Industry Europe – Issue 31.1

Page 1

VOLUME 31/1 – 2021

TOTAL LUBRICANTS CERAN GREASES – PERFORMANCE THAT PAYS OFF!

COBI - TOYS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES DFM - FURNITURE BORN FROM PASSION

WASP UNVEILS WORLD’S FIRST 3D PRINTED HABITAT



EDITORIAL

STEVENGISLAM

|

CSR is for life, not just a news cycle As the EU announces a clampdown on greenwashing, IE’s Steven Gislam takes aim at the false claims, PR stunts, and lazy corporate sponsorships that may seem like good PR, but are doing more harm than good to business among an increasingly media savvy public

2

020 was something of a trauma. It was a year that just kept on unfurling surprises and setbacks with such a flair for the dramatic that scriptwriters everywhere should be taking notes. Amid all this, many other events were almost eclipsed by the pandemic. While understandable, it led to a situation where events that would normally be big news, did not receive the coverage that they may have otherwise. But it doesn’t mean that they went unnoticed. One such event came in Western Australia in May when Rio Tinto expanded an iron ore mine, and in doing so destroyed the Juukan Gorge, a 46,000-year-old site sacred to the local indigenous population (page 18). The blast proved to be a catalyst, causing outrage in the media, as subsequent revelations emerged and, ultimately, CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques had to resign. Not that long ago, incidents like that in Juukan Gorge could have gone largely unnoticed, perhaps remaining confined to the mid-sections of a left-leaning broadsheet. But the lesson that the mining giant should have learned is that those times are over. The torrent of negative publicity and the amount of public compassion for the continued plight of Australia’s indigenous communities serve to illustrate that. The point is not to name and shame Rio Tinto per se. It is not the only multi-national accused of damaging heritage sites, local communities, or the environment. The point is that public tolerance for such behaviour is wearing thin and with each of these incidents, mistrust of corporations, industry and capitalism grows. We only need to look at Qanon and the storming of the Capitol building to see that it can lead to some dark places. In 2021, public values and priorities are changing as the world becomes more connected and information is disseminated faster and farther. Something occurring in a remote Australian mountain range can quickly make waves on the other side of the world. Incidents

like Juukan Gorge do not go unnoticed any longer, even with a distracted media. As the post-war boomers settle into retirement, a new generation is emerging and making its voice heard, not just through protest, social media, or outright hacktivism, but also through investment. This new breed of investors are the capitalists of the interconnected age, who put their money where their values are. The global investment community knows that the tide is turning, and its piqued interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is reaching a tipping point. Investment firms have already begun applying pressure on industry and business leaders to make sustainable practices a priority for the sake of both their companies’ bottom lines. Simply paying lip service to social injustices or environmental destruction also doesn’t cut it anymore either. The public is savvier now, and if a PR investment is perceived as insincere, it loses credibility – and can even backfire. Take BAE Systems’ sponsorship of Pride events in the UK. While it is undeniably a sign that society has come a long way on LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance, it did not go unnoticed that the arms company draping itself in the rainbow flag in Britain, was simultaneously and silently exporting billions of dollars of weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death. On one hand, it’s good PR, and great for employee morale, but it can also appear disingenuous. Critics of the BAE sponsorship said the money would have been better spent on donations to NGOs and charities working directly with LGBTQ+ people in Saudi itself, where it is far more urgently needed. Because, if the oppressed people whom a company is claiming to stand with are not benefitting from such action, then who is? It doesn’t stop at the end of the rainbow either. Last November, Geneva-based commodity trader Trafigura announced in

self-congratulatory tones the signing of a deal with the government in DR Congo to improve conditions for those working at “artisanal” mining sites. The company will invest in strictly-controlled, safe mining zones in exchange for supplies of cobalt – a precious metal vital in the manufacture of laptops, smartphone and EV batteries. This development was received with hefty cynicism by many Congolese, who are acutely aware of how companies like Trafigura created the problem in the first place. From a Congolese perspective, the news might look like this: “In a country ravaged by poverty, war and still suffering the effects of Belgian misrule, the boom in demand for cobalt in developing countries has created a situation where world’s poorest are scrabbling through the earth in search of a metal to be used in a product that they cannot afford. Enter Trafigura, a white saviour atop a white stallion, offering such wild, decadent luxuries as basic working conditions and increased safety – for cobalt, of course.” As an analogy, it is like someone bulldozing your house down, then handing you a tent to sleep in and expecting you to be grateful, whilst pulling the copper wiring out of the rubble. The old response to negative publicity was to weather the storm and wait until it blows over. In a way, this is still true, but it doesn’t account for the cumulative effect that the continued trickle of such stories has on public confidence in industry as a force for good in the world. Progressive businesses looking to make it to the other side of the energy transition need to demonstrate that they are in step with changing public attitudes. Using the #BLM hashtag, rainbow flagging a corporate logo, or bandying around words like “eco-friendly”, “sustainable”, or “environmentally-conscious” are not enough on their own. If multinationals and businesses wish to regain public trust, these words must be backed up with actions and avoid accusations of hypocrisy. n Industry Europe 3


INDUSTRY EUROPE Editorial Director Steve Gislam

CONTENTS

Managing Partner & Production Director Stephen Moore

Content Manager Ash Jones

Operations & Finance Director Tania Balderson

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

Sector Managers Oliver Clements Michael Hudson Szidonia Hajdu

Katarzyna Pozoga Above: WASP 3D Printing p6

Comment

Art Director Leon Esterhuizen

3

Editorial CSR is for life, not just a news cycle

Focus on 3D printing 6 8

WASP unveils world’s first 3D printed habitat TECLA could be construction sector’s green disruptor

3D Printing news The latest from the industry

Focus on Construction & Engineering Industry Europe PO Box 3750, Norwich NR7 7GZ, United Kingdom

10 12

Water-filled glass can “revolutionise building design” Dr Gutai’s glass-full approach to home heating

Construction & Engineering news The latest from the industry

Focus on Energy & Utilities Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: studio@industryeurope.net Web: www.industryeurope.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/IndustryEurope LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/industry-europe

© Industry Europe 2021 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

14 16

Lockdown energy use “a glimpse into the future” EnAppSys chief says we can learn from 2020’s lockdown

Energy & Utilities & Sustainability news The latest from the industry

Focus on Metals & Mining 18 20

Destructive mining practices a “loss for humanity” RMF says Juukan Gorge destruction is “another wake-up call”

Metals, Metalworking & Mining news The latest from the industry

Above: Vanderlande p40


VOL 31/1

Above: Schneider Electric p36

News 22 24 26 27

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

Featured in this issue… 28 30

Above: Groupe PSA p48 Below: COBI p54

CERAN greases – Performance that pays off! Total Lubricants Driving automotive towards Bio-Based solutions EU’s Biomotive project is cleaning up the sector

Agriculture 33

Above: LNS Group p75 Below: ALUTECH p78

At the cutting edge AGCO

Automation, Robotics & AI 36 40

Digital partner for sustainability and efficiency Schneider Electric Smooth move Vanderlande

Automotive & Heavy Vehicles 44 48

Reliable automotive partner OE Industry Electrified strategy in motion Groupe PSA

Construction & Engineering 51 54 58

Saving time, keeping safe Casa Noastra Toys for children and adults COBI Brake systems for rolling stock DAKO-CZ

Food & Beverage 62

Refrigeration technology for the world’s retailers Epta

Home Appliances, Furniture & HVAC 66 70

Re-inventing the headset GN Jabra Furniture born from passion DFM

Metals, Metalworking & Mining Above: DAKO-CZ p58 Below: DFM p70

75 78

The specialist for machine tool peripherals LNS Quality put to the test ALUTECH

Paper, Printing & Packaging 82

Above: Coats p85 Below: Procter & Gamble p88

A strategy for sustainable growth Sofidel Group

Textiles, Home & Personal Care 85 88

Improving the fabric of life Coats Pillar of strength Procter & Gamble (P&G)

Left: Epta p62 Industry Europe 5


ITALY’S WASP UNVEILS WORLD’S

FIRST 3D PRINTED HABITAT

Italian additive manufacturing firm WASP has unveiled the world’s first 3D printed structure, featuring a circular model of housing entirely created with reusable and recyclable materials sourced from local soil, carbon-neutral and adaptable to any climate and context.

C

odenamed “TECLA”, it is the first 3D printed construction of its type and based on natural materials and was created using multiple 3D printers running at the same time. WASP hopes the project will show 3D printing can be applied to the construction sector in a revolutionary and innovative way while minimising the use of human energy and resources.

6 Industry Europe

The firm described the process as “a real challenge” as they attempted to maximise the performance of the materials but was at the same time their most stimulating project. The double dome design of the building made it possible to cover at the same time the roles of structure, roof and external cladding, making the house high-performance on all aspects.

It added TECLA can show how humanity can use the natural world around it and can be used to its full extent without resorting to pollution and excess waste. WASP claims their projects come at little-to-no cost and the team developed their own 3D printers, inspired by the Potter Wasp, to undertake their projects. The project was developed using indepth research undertaken by the Italian


School of Sustainability (SOS), founded by architect Mario Cucinella. The partnership between the two parties was supported by Mapei, an international supplier of construction materials, which helped identify the key component required in TECLA’s construction. Massimo Moretti, WASP’s founder and CEO, said: “From the shapeless earth to the earth as house-shaped. Today we have the knowledge to build with no impact in a simple click. “Technology is now at the human service and the home as a birthright is real.” Mario Cucinella, the founder of Mario Cucinella Architects and the SOS, said: “The completion of the structure is an important milestone and shows that, thanks to the design and technologies used, TECLA is no longer just a theoretical idea but can be a real and achievable response to the needs of living today and the future, that can be declined in different contexts and latitudes.” The construction process can be replicated owing to the special design and layout of the printers used. In a first for the industry, specialist software allowed for two printing arms to be synchronised as part of construction,

which allowed WASP to avoid collisions and ensured simultaneous operation. The entire project was created in a period of 200 hours, WASP claims. The final installation of the project and its presentation are scheduled for Spring 2021. n For more information, visit: www.3dwasp. com/en

Industry Europe 7


NEWS

New developments in 3D Printing

Project Chameleon: Europe’s First 3D Printed Car S

windon-based additive manufacturing firm Scaled has unveiled Project Chameleon, a fully 3D-printed car, which they claim is the first fourwheeled electric vehicle of its kind in Europe. The British manufacturer claims the car has a top speed of 72 km/h (45 m/ph) and was created during the lockdown as an example of how quickly and efficiently functioning vehicles could be 3D printed.

All aspects of the production chain were produced in-house at the company’s own facilities. Bob Bradley, Co-founder and Technical Director of the firm told The Engineer that when the company first started the project, there were no suitable 3D printing machines on the market. He said: “There was the Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine that was marketed by Cincinnati over in the States, but it’s a giant and had a £1m price tag. “We did actually start seeking investment on the basis that we would acquire one, but it ended up that using a robot rig and our own in-house gantry systems was a much more sensible option.” Nearly two years ago, the world’s first 3D printed motorcycle was unveiled in Germany by BigRep, in which every component for the bike was the result of 3D printing.

Full-Scale 3D Printing Processes Have Doubled In The Past Year, Research Shows

3

D printing, or additive manufacturing, is ready for a transition into the mainstream manufacturing process, according to independent research conducted by Essentium. This news comes as the first of a series of independent surveys performed by the USbased company, showing that the use of 3D printing processes has doubled over the past year for over 70% of manufacturing companies. The survey covered 169 leading manufacturers from across the world who were questioned about their current experiences, challenges and trends with 3D printing for production and manufacturing. Respondants ranged from all roles across company hierarchies and included small, medium and large-sized businesses. The data hints that the number of companies who have shifted to additive manufacturing in the creation of hundreds of thousands of parts has doubled from 7% to 14% in 2020, showing the sector is evolving from the prototype phase. The data suggests that 3D printing could save the manufacturing industry billions of dollars in production costs annually once the sector matures, 8 Industry Europe

according to 90% of respondants, while 84% of respondants believe that investing in additive manufacturing technology could give companies a market advantage within the next five years. 87% of the companies surveyed believe that 3D printing technology could help drive local manufacturing initiatives, but admit that mateiral innovations will be required to overcome pitfalls, such as material costs and unreliable sourcing. The recent pandemic has shown how resilient the industry is in regards to supply lines and its applications in times of need. Essentium themselves spearheaded a statewide initiative for the 3D printing of masks and other PPE during the heights of the pandemic earlier this year which proved succesful even with border closures affecting supply chains. More recently they have shifted production to manufacturing parts for the US Air Force to “drive the development and deployment of advanced additive manufacturing solutions.” According to the report, as many as 57% of manufacturers ramped up 3D printing processes to create parts to deal with affected supply chains.

It was created using the fused filament fabrication process, involving a feed of continuous thermoplastic material filament through a heated, moving printer extruder head. The materials provided by LEHVOSS ensure the vehicle can carry the loads required when driving, at a 1:1 weight-to-payload ratio of just over 100kg to make it as safe as possible to drive. They also revolutionised the production line by having every aspect of the vehicle’s production handled on a single manufacturing cell. The test-focus nature of its manufacturing ensures the final product is robust and is suitable for application in the real world, where impacts can be difficult to predict. They claim the design and manufacture of vehicles of this kind is more cost-effective than traditional methods. Read the full story: www.industryeurope.comcom/sectors/transportation

3D printing investment plans also appear to have changed at many companies. 24% of respondents have gone all-in with 25% of manufacturers ramping up production to meet supply chain needs and 30% of respondents are evaluating industrial-scale 3D printing to fill supply chain gaps. Blake Tiepel, CEO and co-founder of Essentium, said: “The results of this survey show we’re at the beginning of radical change. Additive is ready for prime time, and manufacturers are already moving into actual manufacturing to save manufacturing costs while building stronger supply chains that can withstand the worst type of unforeseen events – such as the pandemic.” visit: www.essentium.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS Dawn Aerospace Awarded ESA 3D Printed Rocket Engine Contract

T

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 technologies, lightweight and high-performance systems, low-cost structures, reusability and green launch systems. Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uo75F7HX7pI&feature=emb_logo

How Lobsters Inspired Stronger 3D Printed Concrete

R

esearchers at Melbourne RMIT University have enhanced the strength of 3D printed concrete using the shell patterning of lobsters as inspiration. The researchers said that the use of a twisting pattern, like the internal structure of a lobster shell, combined with a special steel fibre-enhanced concrete mix resulted in 3D printed structures that were stronger, more efficient and more sustainable than concrete made using traditional methods. Dr Jonathan Tran, who led the project, said: “We know that natural materials like lobster exo-

skeletons have evolved into high-performance structures over millions of years, so by mimicking their key advantages we can follow where nature has already innovated. “As lobster shells are naturally strong and naturally curved, we know this could help us deliver stronger concrete shapes like arches and flowing or twisted structures. “This work is in early stages so we need further research to test how the concrete performs on a wider range of parameters but our initial experimental results show we are on the right track,” he added. Similar research projects looking into 3D printing inspired by nature has been ongoing for some years. However, the work done at RMIT is likely to be of particular interest to construction firms looking for affordable and sustainable materials for use in large-scale concrete structures that are strong enough for civil engineering projects. Visit: www.rmit.edu.au

ProtoLabs Finalises Acquisition Of 3D Hubs In $280m Deal

I

njection moulding firm Protolabs has successfully acquired online manufacturing platform 3D Hubs in a $280 million deal that will allow the company to offer their services to consumers outside of their current reach. 3D Hubs’ platform will provide Protolabs with on-demand access to over 240 manufacturing partners. The completion of this transaction creates the world’s most comprehensive digital manufacturing offer for custom parts. The deal was made with a $130 million cash offer, with the remaining costs of the transaction being offered in the form of £150 million in Protolabs’ stock. Contingent consideration of up to $50 million is payable based on the achievement of financial performance targets in 2021 and 2022. The acquisition is expected to be accretive of ProtoLabs’ growth for 2022. Bram de Zwart, Co-Founder and CEO at 3D Hubs, said: “The entire 3D Hubs team is thrilled to join Protolabs and continue to revolutionize the manufacturing industry through innovation. At 3D Hubs, our goal is to empower engineers to create revolutionary products through supply chain efficiency and reliability. “We are confident that partnering with Protolabs will help us advance that mission and together we can fulfil nearly every custom manufacturing need across the product life cycle.” Rob Brodor, Protolabs’ incoming CEO, said: “The addition of 3D Hubs provides Protolabs with a platform to evolve our service model to provide unprecedented manufacturing flexibility to our customers. “Our combined organizations will provide the market with an industry-leading digital manufacturing solution to serve their needs from idea to prototype to full end-use part production. Together we can fulfil nearly every custom manufacturing need across the product life cycle.” Visit: www.protolabs.co.uk

Industry Europe 9


THE WATER-FILLED GLASS

HOPING TO REVOLUTIONISE BUILDING DESIGN Water-filled glass could ‘revolutionise building design’ when used as part of a wider heating system, according to Hungarian engineer Dr Matyas Gutai, who has been studying the concept for over a decade. Japan-inspired model Water house

T

he research was performed at Loughborough University and in collaboration with Dr Albofazl Kheybari from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. The process involves a sheet of water being trapped between a panel of glass, acting as an effective insulator. Research suggests that the system performs well in any inhabited climate – keeping buildings hot in cooler climates and cooler in warmer climates – without the assistance of any additional energy supplies. Dr Gutai conceptualised the idea during his PhD studies in Tokyo after being inspired

10 Industry Europe

by rotenburo, which are Japanese hot spring baths. He developed the idea into a working design then created two prototype buildings in Hungary and Taiwan that use water-filled glass as part of a larger mechanical system. In warmer climates, the water absorbs external and internal heat, with the warm water later being filtered into a storage tank. This helps keep the room cool. According to the research, the heat is stored in the tank and, if the temperature

drops, can be brought back into the walls to reheat the building using a temperature monitoring system in a similar vein to central heating. Alternatively, the stored heat can be used for hot water supply. The system is supposed to be able to conserve energy as the water absorption and pumping consumes far less energy than HVAC systems. The technology is also claimed to have other benefits, including acoustics, less need of ‘shading’ (methods used to avoid overheating and the green-


Hungarian engineer Matyas Gutai in Kecskemet, Hungary.

house effect), and there is no need to colour the glass to improve energy efficiency. Dr Gutai has also developed a more sophisticated version of the system by adding a heat pump, which can heat and cool water depending on the season, which is examined in the latest research paper. He joined Loughborough University in 2017 and has used data gathered from the two Water Houses to develop a simulation system that can evaluate the performance of such structures. The paper uses simulations to compare the performance of the WFG system (with a heat pump) against typical heating systems, such as central heating and air conditioning. The study focuses on the annual energy consumption for a typical office space with one glazed facade of equilateral orientation. He simulated how this office with his system would fair in 13 different systems from all

major earth climates – dry, tropical, temperate, continental and polar. For the traditional systems, Dr Gutai looked at the performance of double glass window in low-e, and triple glass, which are filled with argon. The primary findings of the study are that the WFG system uses the absorption of the water effectively to improve the energy performance of the glass and that the water layer lowers the load for heating and cooling effectively, minimising daily and seasonal peaks. Simulations also highlighted that current glass technologies could lead to bigger savings if more focus was made on improving solar absorption as opposed to focusing solely on insulation. In a statement, Dr Gutai said: “Glass is currently a liability in buildings as it com-

promises energy consumption, thermal comfort, acoustics and other aspects. WFG changes this paradigm and turns glass into an opportunity for sustainable construction. “It shows us that thinking holistically about buildings and building components leads to a more efficient and sustainable built environment. “In case of a window for example, if we see it as an isolated system, solar overheating is a challenge that needs to be remedied with cooling. If we approach this holistically, the heat surplus is an opportunity because the same heat is missing from somewhere else [a colder part of the building or hot water supply].” Dr Gutai hopes that he can turn this concept into a tangible product and is working with various colleagues to achieve this. n Visit: www.allwater.hu Industry Europe 11


NEWS

New developments in the Construction & Engineering Industry

Construction 2050 Alliance Says Sector Is “Key” To Post-Covid Recovery

A

virtual conference held earlier this week by the Construction 2050 Alliance brought together industry representatives, MEPs and government officials from across the EU to discuss post-pandemic plans for the construction sector, including a €672.5 billion recovery package. The meeting was introduced by Riccardo Viaggi, secretary-general of the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE), who spoke of the newly-formed Alliance’s unprecedented nature, which has support from 47 European organisations. He said that there had never been a better time for construction stakeholders, member states and EU institutions to come together in solidarity against the twin perils of climate change and Covid-19 recovery.

Maria Teresa Fabregas, director of the European Commission’s (EC) new Recovery and Resilience Task Force, said the organisation was empowered to allocate €672.5 billion of financial support “to accelerate the recovery and make member states more resilient and better prepared for the future. “It focuses on reforms and investments that will foster the green and digital transition and reduce economic and social divergence in the Union. “We are advising member states to bring forward projects that will bring together the renovation of public and private buildings, as well as projects linked to infrastructure,” added Fabregas. She also spoke of the need to prioritise staff training for climate change reduction and in preparedness for the digital transformation. Fabregas also stressed that the task force will need to see at least 37% of the plans put forward by the member states relating to climate change projects and at least 20% to digital projects. The conference also saw officials from Croatia, France, Germany and Greece make presentations in which they described the actions being taken by their respective countries. Yannick Pache, of the French Ministry of Ecological Transition & Housing, said his country’s recovery plan included some €4 billion for the renovation and improved energy efficiency of public buildings.

Global Sales Of Construction Equipment Set To Drop 16%

A

new report by market research and forecasting firm Off-Highway Research has predicted that global sales of construction equipment will fall in nearly every country this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The sector is set to see a drop of 16%, thought the report says the situation would be much worse were it not for China. Stimulus spending packages implemented by the Chinese government are set to give the market a much needed boost of an expected 14%, bringing sales in the country to the highest levels since the last spending boom in 2010-2011. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, it was expected that Chinese sales would fall this year as the market passed its cyclical peak. Off-Highway Research managing director, Chris Sleight, said, “The Chinese market has seen remarkable growth since April and this will certainly cushion the blow as far as the global industry is concerned. We are forecasting a soft landing in 2021, but we are also mindful of the long and painful recession which followed the 2010-11 stimulus boom. I hope the lessons from history have been taken on board.” 12 Industry Europe

Orestis Kavalakis, of the Greek Ministry of Development & Investments, said his government would focus on releasing private funding by advancing private-public partnership projects. He said three such projects were approved in November, with 22 further projects, worth a total of around €22 billion, in the pipeline. Irena Kriz Selendic, from the Croatian Ministry of Economy & Energy, said the priority had to be recovering from recent earthquake damage, so renovation plans would have to be more focused on aiding economic recovery than reducing emissions and saving energy. Domenico Campogrande, director-general of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), also spoke about EU recovery packages, saying: “There is a need, not only to find agreement but also to channel this funding on the field because that is where we will feel the recovery.” Admitting that demands on the industry would be great, he said, “Construction is a sector that reacts with some delay, [due to] its administrative procedures that take time to put in place. “Training will be key because construction companies have difficulties in finding the right workers and if we want to, for example, double the renovation rate, the only way to do it is with the workforce,” he concluded.

Taking out China from global figures, the impact of Covid-19 is much bleaker. Sales will be down 27% this year in the rest of the world, compared to 2020. This would take volumes to their lowest since 2010. However, OffHighway Research said that it expects growth to return in 2021. “These forecasts are based on two key assumptions,” said Sleight. “First, we assume the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us and that, if there is a second wave of infections in the Northern Hemisphere winter, actions to address it will be much more targeted than a blanket lock-down. “Second, we assume that the policy response from governments around the world will remain intelligent and supportive. Viable businesses must be helped through the current difficulties, jobs must be protected and we now look for stimulus spending to reinvigorate economic growth.” Visit: www.offhighwayresearch.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS

Metso Outotec To Aid In The Reconstruction Of The Beirut Explosion Zone

M

etso Outotec is to support the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in providing equipment which will be used in the reconstruction of the Beirut explosion zone. It will be working in collaboration with UNICEF Finland to provide clean water facilities, improved sanitation and healthier living conditions for thousands of children and families affected by the blast. The explosion, which hit the capital of Lebanon back in August, resulted in the deaths of 207 people and caused $15 billion (€12.5 billion) in damages. The explosion was caused by a cache of ammonium nitrate on a ship igniting and destroying much of the city’s port area. More than 300,000 were left homeless by the disaster and relief efforts are underway to rehouse and rebuild. The equipment supplies by the Finnish company will help clear away explosive debris, such as concrete and asphalt from roads and pavements as well as in aiding in the recycling and production of aggregates for reconstruction. Eeva Sipilä, the CFO at Metso Outotec, said: “When UNICEF approached us for financial support, we realized our equipment could help the people and the destruction area in a very concrete way.

“We are happy that through collaboration with UNICEF, we can offer our expertise and do our share in the enormous effort to rebuild the city.” Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director of the Finnish Committee for UNICEF, said: “We are extremely grateful for this donation. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge and there is a high risk of water-borne diseases in the affected area, it is more critical than ever to ensure that children and families have access to safe water and sanitation. “With Metso Outotec’s help, we will be able to clear the explosion waste and help rebuild sanitation services more rapidly.” The donated equipment includes one Lokotrack LT106 mobile jaw crusher and two Lokotrack ST4.8 mobile screens. In addition to the equipment, Metso Outotec will provide training and technical support to operate the equipment. Visit: www.mogroup.com

Balfour Beatty And MSite Collaborate On An App For Workplace Digitalisation B ritish construction firm Balfour Beatty has teamed up with tech company MSite to develop a smartphone app to improve the health and safety of employees across 60 of its sites in the UK. When downloaded, it provides each worker with a digital identity which enables contactless entry to the site by scanning biometric data, reducing the need to come into contact with surfaces as well as tracking attendance. Its integration will be integral to maintaining health and safety during the pandemic. The app tracks other users, who will be flagged if they come within two metres of each other, to help them adhere to social distancing guidelines. The app also collects data to identify potential on-site developments. The two companies are currently working on how the app can be improved and for more intuitive use, including a patch which uses Bluetooth technology to identify employees when they enter exclusion zones around plant equipment in a bid to

reduce accidents and increase safety across their various sites. The app was first developed in July 2020 and is now seeing use across 60 sites in the UK. According to the data gathered by MSite, both site security and general productivity have been increased. The data also suggests efficiency has been improved by allowing the app to track hours spent on project leads and allows for effective data collection regarding the management of product plans. Balfour Beatty plans to have the app rolled out to all UK sites by September 2021. Chris Johnson, CTO for Balfour Beatty, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted us into a new digital era as we have adapted with agility to introduce and embed new ways of working. “This application combines Balfour Beatty’s unrivalled knowledge of the construction industry with MSite’s specialist digital insights and the ability to rapidly deploy technology on mass. This application will ultimately contribute to

keeping our employees safe and is a paradigm shift in digitising site operations to improve productivity through streamlined processes.” Neil Norman, CEO of MSite, said: “We are excited to be embarking on this epic workforce digitalisation journey with Balfour Beatty. The Construction sector is at a pivot point in the adoption of digital workforce technology and it is refreshing and encouraging that the UK’s leading infrastructure group is embracing our technology with gusto, further demonstrating Balfour Beatty’s commitment to continuous improvement through innovation. “The new data insights MSite will provide will no doubt support their desire to maintain their top position in the market.” For more information, visit: www.balfourbeatty.com

Industry Europe 13


LOCKDOWN ENERGY USE “A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE,” SAYS ENAPPSYS CHIEF Energy consumption habits for 2020 may provide us with a glimpse into the future with renewables expected to take a higher market share as the world begins to shift away from fossil fuels, according to the director of energy market analyst, EnAppSys.

T

he coronavirus pandemic caused overall European energy consumption to slump by 3 per cent for 2020 owing to the knock-on effects of lockdowns on energy demand. Renewable sources such as wind and solar power are expected to continue to push out more traditional fuel types - gas, coal and lignite - from the energy market as trends in expanding renewable energy portfolios continue into the 2020s. Analysts predict these are general trends we should see going into the future. Jean-Paul Harreman, director of EnAppSys, told Industry Europe that the coronavirus pandemic was a wake-up call for companies to increase flexibility with their energy supplies. He said: “I very much doubt the effects the pandemic had on the energy market will be permanent, at least in the shortterm. We may see more minor increases

14 Industry Europe

in renewable energy use than predicted, but the statistics show that once demand returns to normal, consumption habits nearly always bounce back. “What we saw with the lockdowns was behaviour in energy markets not predicted for at least another three-to-five years, with renewable energy having a higher degree of penetration within consumption markets. At points, the gaps between renewable generation and demand were so small that it put pressure on short-term markets.” Demand for energy reached its lowest during the summer months, which saw gas generation offering a way to balance out gaps in the market where renewables fell short. Harreman stated this was due to gas assets being far more flexible in Europe than energy derived from coal or lignite. Coal suffered a huge collapse in March, but levels have recovered and even

exceeded 2019 levels, partly owing to an increase in gas prices going up past the marginal costs of coal, although Harreman primarily attributed this to Asian markets. “Switching away from fossil fuels has been an ongoing trend for years but it has not had a great effect on the markets or its prices outside of what we have seen in 2020 with the pandemic. This is a real glimpse into the future once sustainable platforms become the norm,” he added. The chaotic effects of the pandemic have highlighted the need to make energy platforms more sustainable to prevent such catastrophic effects in the future. A number of industries have made efforts to switch away from more traditional fuels. The global automotive market has seen a greater shift towards hybrid and fully-electric vehicles throughout the year, although a semiconductor shortage - attributed to significantly


increased demand for electronics as more people are stuck at home due to lockdown has hindered these plans for now. A number of countries, including the UK and Portugal, have opted to outright ban the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles in the wake of the pandemic, as they attempt to switch to more renewable platforms as part of their post-pandemic recovery plans.

These legislative bans have been met with praise from officials and executives within the automotive industry, with some believing stimulus packages may not be enough to stop their use. Oil prices have been in flux for the past year, with the price even dropping below zero in the US for the first time in history due to significantly reduced demand.

This has been marked with a significant shift towards renewables as its lack of sustainability has been highlighted by the pandemic. Harreman said: “The pandemic has certainly not slowed down the move towards sustainability, but it has made it clear that flexibility around renewables generation is highly valuable. Companies should look to flatten their profiles - handling the intermittency of renewables around market behaviour has become crucial. “The world has certainly not seen a slowdown in global trends. It has shown that if we are going to continue pushing for increased sustainability things such as interconnected markets, influences from other countries and flexibility in production processes and generation must increase, with its value having been n tested throughout 2020.” Visit: www.enappsys.com/about/

Industry Europe 15


NEWS

New developments in the Energy & Utilities & Sustainability Industry

TAP Begins Gas Flow From Azerbaijan To Europe

A

zerbaijan has turned on the tap for gas supplies to Europe via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the country’s energy ministry has announced, heralding the start of its push into the lucrative, Russian-dominated energy market. The European Commission backs the project as part of its own attempts to diversify its energy supply away from over-dependence on Russia. Presently, Russia controls 34% of Europe’s gas markets and plans to increase that through projects such as Nord Stream 2, which is still stalled following US sanctions imposed in December 2019. TAP is a part of the $40 billion Southern Gas Corridor, stretching 3,500 km from Azerbaijan to

Europe and drawing from Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan aims to supply European gas markets with 10 bcm of gas a year, including 8 bcm to Italy and a combined 2 bcm to Greece and Bulgaria. It already supplies gas to Turkey. “The transportation of natural gas extracted from the Shah Deniz field, the main source of the Southern Gas Corridor, to the Turkish market from June 30, 2018; to the European market for the first time, opens a new page in the development of Azerbaijan as a gas country,” said a statement released on the Azerbaijani ministry’s website.

“The transport of natural gas to Europe will strengthen the energy security of our country by diversifying the supply markets and of consumer countries by diversifying the sources and routes. It will contribute to development and stability in the great geography,” it added. Rovnag Abdullayev, head of state energy firm SOCAR, hailed the start of the gas sales to Europe as a “historic day”. Analysts have said Azeri gas is unlikely to change Russia’s dominant position in Europe, but that it still poses some threat to Moscow’s share of the region’s gas market. The TAP stakeholders are BP, SOCAR, and Snam, with a 20% holding each, plus Fluxys with a 19% stake, Enagas with 16%, and Axpo with 5%. The first phase of the Shah Deniz field began production in 2006, delivering more than 10 bcm a year of gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The second phase started output in 2018, adding 16 bcm of gas production capacity at its peak to bring total capacity to 26 bcm. For more information, visit: www.tap-ag.com

Self-Consumption From Solar Power On The Increase In Spain

S

olar energy converted for self-consumption - energy generated and consumed on a small scale, usually by individuals or businesses for their own consumption - has been on the increase in Spain. The past 12 months have seen 569MW of solar capacity installed in line with national rules for self-sustaining energy as a measure to cut the costs of climate change, according to Spanish energy company UNEF. 56% of new installations were made in the industrial sector while commercial deployments came in at around 23%, the data suggests. This represents a 30% increase from 2019, the data shows. 2% of the total energy consumed corresponded to self-consumption facilities not connected to the grid. Coronavirus has had an effect on energy consumption across the continent, with renewable energy operating a far larger market share than previously expected. Wind power and solar power are expected to be driving technologies in the world’s renewable future. While bounce-back of traditional fuels is expected, renewables are expected to make up more of the energy market within the next few years owing primarily to emissions targets set out by both governments and the private sector. It is likely the environment created by the pandemic has encouraged Spanish families to opt into more self-sustaining energy options in part due to pressure on grids due to more people being home, or due to it being a far cheaper form of energy. 16 Industry Europe

Spain has already offered incentives for families and businesses to switch towards more sustainable models such as self-consumption in solar energy. José Donoso, general director of UNEF, said: “ In the case of singlefamily homes in a sunny area, an installation without batteries is an investment that can be recovered in nine or 10 years,” referring to return-on-investment for PV technology. Spanish energy company Iberdrola describes the main advantages of self-consumption being increased energy autonomy, reduced costs and more streamlined demand for energy needs at a societal level. The company also state it is essential in the energy transition as world leaders look to battle climate change before it is too late. Visit: www.unef.es


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS Pandemic Pushed Up UK Nuclear Project Costs By £500m, Says EDF

F

rench energy giant EDF has revised its estimate for the cost of the UK’s Hinkley Point C, the under-construction nuclear power plant in England’s south-west, citing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The group, which is financing the plant’s construction along with China’s CGN, has added a further £500 million (€566 million) to the project’s expected costs and also pushed back the start date to 2026. EDF now estimates the Somerset-based project to cost as much as £23 billion (€26 billion). However, the costs included in this price are based on 2015 figures meaning the real figure is likely to higher when inflation is taken into account. The group said that the UK can expect Hinkley Point C to start producing its first energy in late 2025. It has not been able to catch up with the backlog of work on the project that has accumulated since last year’s lockdown. “Ten months after it began, we are still facing the full force of the pandemic,” said Stuart Crooks, managing director of Hinkley Point C. “Even though experience has allowed us to increase numbers on-site during the pandemic from below 2,000 to more than 5,000, social distancing requirements still limit the number of people we can safely have on-site at any one time,” he said. Crooks added that “a longer construction period also adds some cost — as does the reduced efficiency of operating a site for a long period under Covid-19 conditions”. He added that the extra costs would not be passed on to UK consumers though did not say how they would be covered, or who would foot the bill.

Hinkley Point C is the UK’s first new nuclear power station in a generation and one of three in Europe in which EDF is using its next-generation European Pressurised Reactor technology. The other two, the Olkiluoto power plant in Finland and Flamanville in France, have also been beset by budget overruns and long delays. The UK government struck a deal with EDF in 2013 which guaranteed the megawatt price of £92.50 for energy produced at Hinkley Point C in exchange for the project’s construction costs being covered by the French energy firm. The government’s price guarantee is index-linked and lasts for 35 years something that has been used by opponents of nuclear power, who argue that other forms of energy generation such as offshore wind are cheaper. Former EDF UK chief executive Vincent de Rivaz one said that people in Britain would have power from Hinkley C in 2017. The French company is in talks with the UK government to build another plant, Sizewell C in Suffolk, although executives have made clear that a different financing model will be required for construction. Ministers are examining taking a direct stake in Sizewell C as well as using a “regulated asset base” model that would involve consumers paying upfront through their energy bills. Visit: www.edf.fr/en/meta-home

Several Companies Band Together For Green Hydrogen Initiative

S

even companies, including ACWA Power and Iberdrola, have come together to set up an initiative to scale up production of green hydrogen within the next six years. The ‘Green Hydrogen Catapult’ initiative aims to provide 25 gigawatts of green hydrogen by 2026 and halve its current cost to around $2 per kilogram. Reducing the price of green hydrogen to this level should make it competitive with other fuels. Producing green hydrogen - which is generated through electrolysis - is currently far more

expensive than harvesting it from natural gases. The initial investment from the seven companies will come to around $110 billion (€82.5 billion), which will be raised through debt and equity providers with the option for some public funding. Their targets would go a long way in aiding the complete decarbonisation of the world’s industries, as several companies in other sectors have begun to move away from traditional forms of fuel and energy. Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA said: “Having led the race to deliver photovoltaic

Hydrogen trains are one of many new technologies that green hydrogen could power.

energy at well-below $2 cents per kilowatthour, we believe collective ingenuity and entrepreneurship can deliver green hydrogen at less than US$2 per kilogram”. “From an industry perspective, we see no technical barriers to achieving this, so it’s time to get on with the virtuous cycle of cost reduction through scale-up.” At the 2020 Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS 2020) it was hinted that green hydrogen could go a long way to reshaping global supply chains. A Capgemini report from October considers it essential in helping the EU reach its climateneutral targets Green hydrogen could also be used to power truck fleets, trains, and aircraft. Visit: www.acwapower.com/en/projects/fuel-types/ Visit: www.iberdrola.es/en Industry Europe 17


Rio Tinto’s Brockman 4 iron ore mine in Pilbara, Western Australia.

The Juukan Gorge before and after the explosion

RMF: RIO TINTO’S DESTRUCTION OF HERITAGE SITE IS “LOSS FOR HUMANITY” The Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) has described the destruction last May by Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto of a 46,000-year-old site in Australia’s Juukan Gorge as “a loss for humanity as a whole”, and “another wake-up call” for mining companies to show respect for cultural heritage.

T

he RMF’s Responsible Mining Index 2020 found that many mining companies had failed to commit to leave World Heritage Sites unmined and to respect other protected areas. The report also called on the governments of countries with large mining sectors, such as Australia, to do more for the protection of the historical patrimony of its indigenous peoples. While the site was not a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site, the RMF said that Rio Tinto’s actions were part of a much larger problem within the mining industry. Hélène Piaget, CEO of the Responsible Mining Foundation said: “Mining companies will gain respect where they broaden their approach to responsible mining beyond a narrow view of risk to the business and beyond what is ‘legal compliance’ in a particular context. As a member of society, companies share our collective responsibility to future generations to protect all environmental and cultural heritage, as ‘our’ heritage.”

18 Industry Europe

While the RMF described the subsequent commitment by Rio Tinto to undertake a comprehensive review of its approach to heritage as “welcome”, it called on the company to make a full commitment to not explore or mine in World Heritage Sites, and to respect designated areas of cultural or natural heritage. The report produced by RMF found that, so far, only ten out of the 38 mining companies have made such full, public commitments. The RMF said that the destruction of Juukan Gorge, as well as several other recent cases, had highlighted the weaknesses in heritage legislation in countries across the world. These weaknesses were giving the green light to mining firms to destroy heritage sites, and often prevented indigenous groups from renegotiating their consent to the destruction. The Juukan Gorge is one of the oldest sites of its kind in the region and the only site in Australia to show signs of continuous human occupation throughout the Ice Age.

The government in the federal state of Western Australia gave its consent under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 for Rio Tinto to damage the site for the purposes of expanding its iron ore mine in 2013. The following year, an archaeological dig discovered that the site was twice as old as previously believed and uncovered more than 7,000 cultural artefacts, including sacred objects. DNA testing carried out on a 4,000-year-old length of plaited human hair found that it was woven from the hair of several different people who were direct ancestors of today’s Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people. However, the Act under which the state government had given its consent does not contain provisions for mining consent to be withdrawn or renegotiated on the basis of new information. The cave in the Juukan Gorge, along with another Aboriginal sacred site, was blasted on 24 May.


Following widespread condemnation of the blasting, the mining giant made a public apology, saying that it would review plans for other sites in the region. In a statement, Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury said: “We are sorry for the distress we have caused. “Our relationship with the PKKP (Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people) matters a lot to Rio Tinto, having worked together for many years. “We will continue to work with the PKKP to learn from what has taken place and strengthen our partnership. “As a matter of urgency, we are reviewing the plans of all other sites in the Juukan Gorge area.” Rio Tinto had previously suggested that the PKKP had failed to make its concerns about the site’s destruction clear. Burchell Hayes, a spokesman for the group, labelled these claims as “outrageous” saying the company had been informed in October about the site’s significance, and that Rio’s response had been that there were no plans to extend the mine. Hayes added that the information that was provided by Rio was often “at a level that is difficult for our elders to understand”.

Rio claimed that it had no record of the PKKP asking the company to cease mining activity at the site. The apology was further undermined by an article published in the Australian Financial Review which claimed to have heard a secret recording of a Rio Tinto staff meeting held by Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury. In the meeting, Salisbury had reportedly said that Rio was apologising for the distress caused, not for the destruction itself and that it was not an admission of any wrongdoing. After describing the events that led to the site’s destruction, Salisbury reportedly told the meeting: “That’s why we haven’t apologised for the event itself, per se, but apologised for the distress the event caused.” He was also reported as telling the meeting that what happened was “quite galling to me as well, because we are recognised … as one of the leading resources companies in this field”. The issue is neither new nor unique to Australia. In 2015, WWF estimated that globally almost one-third of all natural World Heritage Sites were under threat of oil, gas and mining exploration, and UNESCO has repeatedly warned about the adverse

impacts of extractive activities in these globally important sites. RMF describes the problem as being particularly acute in Africa where WWF estimated that nearly two-thirds of heritage sites were under threat. For example, the granting of mining concessions in the official buffer zone of the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in South Africa, a World Heritage Site since 2003, has been described as a threat to the already vulnerable site. Concessions were granted despite challenges from government departments dealing with cultural and environmental matters. Examples of heritage lost to mining can be found on all continents and are not only limited to the heritage associated with Indigenous Peoples. In March 2020, coal miners in Serbia damaged Roman-era ships that had been preserved under the mud for centuries at the Kostolac mine, next to the ancient Roman city of Viminacium. This site has been on the UNESCO Tentative List to be considered for nomination as a World n Heritage Site since 2015. Visit: www.responsibleminingfoundation.org Visit: www.riotinto.com/en

Industry Europe 19


NEWS

New developments in the Metals, Metalworking & Mining Industry

Russia’s Polyus Claims Gold Mine In Siberia As World’s Largest

R

ussian mining company Polyus has claimed that its undeveloped Sukhoi Log gold deposit in Siberia is the biggest in the world, with proven reserves of 40 million ounces. The deposit accounts for 25% of Russia’s known unmined gold, making Polyus the second-largest gold miner in the world, the company said. “We are pleased with the results . . . The publication of the maiden ore reserve estimate represents a significant milestone for Polyus’ long-term development strategy, and confirms Sukhoi Log’s position as one of the world’s highest-calibre gold deposits,” Pavel Grachev, chief executive, said in a statement. The announcement comes a month after the company accelerated the buyout of its partner in Sukhoi Log, Russian state defence group Rostec, with a $128.2 million (€108.2 million) payout, which gave Polyus control of the 22% stake that it did not own. Polyus saw its shares rise by 1.4% in Moscow yesterday morning, against a slight drop in the overall market. The company also announced that its total gold production in Q3 has risen by 2% on the same period to the previous year to 771,000 ounces, with forecasted gold sales up 36% to $1.44 billion (€1.22 billion). Sukhoi Log lies nearly 6,000 km (3,728 miles) westwards from Moscow in Siberia’s far east.

he Sukhoi Log site in Eastern Siberia.

Production and development plans for the site have yet to be announced, though a pre-feasibility study is expected by the end of this year. The company has already begun construction of a local airport to serve the remote site and has previously said development costs would be around $2.5 billion (€2.11 billion). The Sukhoi Log deposit contains 540 million tonnes of ore with an average grade of 2.3 grammes of gold per tonne, according to the estimate, the first it had done under international JORC standards. If estimates are accurate, this makes it the largest gold deposit in the world among greenfield and developed mines, Polyus claims. The value of the company’s Moscow-listed shares has more than tripled this year due to a surge in gold prices to a record high in August. According to Forbes, this price surge has made Suleiman Kerimov, the majority owner of Polyus through his family, the richest man in Russia. Visit: www.polyus.com/en

Metalysis Awarded ESA Funding To Find Oxygen In Moon Rock An artist’s impression of Moon Base activities. Photo: ESA - P. Carril

T

he UK’s Metalysis has been awarded a ninemonth 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.

20 Industry Europe

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 earthbased 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. Visit: www.metalysis.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS Northern Irish Steel Imports Will Carry 25% Post-Brexit Tax

A

ll steel sold into Northern Ireland that does not originate from anywhere in the UK will be subject to a 25% duty owing to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. According to information revealed to Argus, the duties have been imposed without warning and many traders were informed during phone calls with government officials. The UK has quarterly steel safeguards that began on January 1 - when it formally withdrew from the EU - with its quota being similar to the European system. Northern Ireland is not included on the list, but any steel that originates outside of the UK will incur a 25% levy.

Many traders have since sent steel into Northern Ireland unaware of the cost, leading to confusion and uncertainty regarding the situation. The levy will not be permanent for imports from the EU, but HMRC has revealed that imports from non-bloc states such as Turkey will be subject to the duties for at least six months. As a result, many traders are considering importing their product to other jurisdictions to avoid paying the cost. The quota has not been updated since the announcement, causing a lack of transparency regarding whether certain imports to the UK will incur a tax. Some suppliers have also stopped importing to the UK while the levy remains in place. Various markets have seen a surge in demand, but rising costs and supply issues. The threat of a shortage could make the UK’s quota more difficult to reach. Learn more: www.argusmedia.com

Galp Buys 10% Stake In Portugal Lithium Project

P

ortugal’s Galp Energia, which constitutes over 100 companies engaged in utilities and delivery, is to acquire a 10% stake in the Mina de Barroso lithium mining project in the country’s north, signalling a directional shift in Lisbon’s planned energy transition. The corporation will pay UK mining company Savannah Resources $6.4 million (€5.26 million) for its share in the project, for which it will receive as much as 100,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per year - 50% of the project’s anticipated output. The project, which is still being assessed for its environmental impact, is one of many requests lodged with the government in Lisbon to develop the nation’s reserves of lithium. Portugal is the largest lithium producer in Europe and has 60,000 tonnes of confirmed reserves of the metal. and its 2019 output of 1,200 tonnes supplies the domestic ceramics industry. The deal is Galp’s first since announcing last month that it would close the smaller of its two oil refineries in order to refocus on development of its low-carbon business. The corporation has earmarked 40% of planned 2019-22 capital for the transition. Last year it became the largest developer of photovoltaic systems in Iberia, and it is leading the H2Sines project to build a green hydrogen

plant with upwards of 1GW of installed electrolysis capacity. Galp did not comment on reports in local media that it would build a lithium refinery on land made available by the closure of the oil refinery in Porto, others that it was holding discussions with Swedish battery maker Northvolt for a refined lithium supply agreement. Portugal’s energy minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said that the government is supportive of any attempts to build a lithium refinery, and that various municipalities close to the sites of reserves of the metal have offered locations for a plant. He added that none of these offered were from the Matosinhos municipality where the Porto refinery is located. Visit: www.galp.com/corp/en

London Metal Exchange Offers End Of Open-Outcry Trade The London Metal Exchange. Credit: HM Treasury / Flickr

T

he London Metal Exchange (LME) has proposed the closure of Europe’s last open outcry trading floor and switching to an electronic system owing to difficulties associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The LME had previously temporarily closed its doors for the first time since World War 2 to adhere to social distancing guidelines early in the pandemic. Its permanent closure will be marked as the end of an era for one of the City of London’s permanent fixtures but the proposal has been met with resistance with brokers. Roughly $50 billion (€41.3 billion) in metals is traded on its floor every day, and it has been in operation for 144 years. “A board meeting in April will consider the feedback and appropriate decisions will be made there. We will aim to publish something in the second quarter of this year,” LME Chief Executive Matthew Chamberlain told Reuters. “The ring is a greatly treasured aspect of the LME’s rich 144-year history, and its closure is not a decision we...will take lightly.” Chamberlain added the change would allow the LME would allow for a broader range of participants and for them to boost transparency for prices of items traded. He added the possibility of the floor reopening should the virus subside before the transition, at the behest of the brokers. Learn more: www.lme.com Industry Europe 21


NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

Eiffage Wins Contract For Construction Of Lidl HQ In France E

iffage Construction, a subsidiary of French civil engineering company Eiffage, has been awarded a €140 million contract for the

construction of supermarket titan Lidl’s new headquarters in France. The sprawling complex will cover an area of 40,000 square metres which will include a retail space of 3,000 square metres, an 860-capacity car park and green spaces. Located within the LaVallée joint development zone in Paris’ Châtenay-Malabry commune, the Lidl HQ will be a workspace for 1,100 employees when completed in the second half of 2023. The construction project is comprised of four blocks with a central five-storey building, with

Multi-Million-Pound Battery Partnership Enables Major Brands To Electrify Warehousing Operations

H

yperdrive Innovation, a designer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery technology, has today announced a new multimillion-pound 4-year supply agreement with Moffett, part of Hiab and world-leading forklift truck manufacturer, to supply state-of-the-art battery packs for zero-emission machinery. The supply agreement, worth more than £500,000 in the first year alone, will initially see hundreds of high-performance battery packs deployed in Moffett’s fully electric truckmounted forklifts. The partnership will instil clean, electric technology into the operational heart of hundreds of organisations worldwide, including well-known British brands Pets at Home and Topps Tiles. Orders for the world’s first fully-electric Lithiumion powered truck-mounted forklift – the Moffett E-Series – have grown significantly since its release in 2013. With the support of Hyperdrive, Moffett aims to meet this increasing demand by growing its fully electric fleet six-fold by 2030 to around 30% of all vehicles produced. Jann Hansen, Sales Director Moffett said: “Customer demand for cleaner, quieter and more sustainable equipment is growing like never before. Our partnership with Hyperdrive allows us to cater to this demand, without compromising the world-beating performance and trusted reliability expected from all our equipment. Going electric offers countless operational advantages for our customers and we’re excited

22 Industry Europe

to be leading the industry in this space.” The near-silent drivetrains of Moffett’s electric forklifts allow operations to continue out of traditional working hours and enables night-time deliveries for Moffett’s customers – a significant advantage to operational efficiency. The lack of exhaust pollution also means that the same machinery can be used for both outdoor and indoor applications. This means drivers can unload and load delivery trucks and stock warehouses without switching between electric and diesel vehicles – ideal for warehousing and distribution settings. There are also significant fuel and maintenance savings associated with Moffett’s fully electric forklifts, with total ownership costs for Moffett’s E-series approximately 20% lower than diesel equivalents. Diesel-powered forklift trucks typically produce more than 18 tonnes of carbon emissions per 1,500 hours of operation. Moffett estimates that its fully electric forklifts can achieve a carbon emission reduction of 75%, providing a significant boost to companies’ green credentials. Steve Travis, Transport Manager at Pets at Home said: “Fully electric forklifts give us the potential to significantly improve our operating costs, while at the same time minimizing the environmental impact to neighbours of our stores.” Hyperdrive’s modular battery packs were chosen due to their top of the range energy density and modularity, allowing flexibility and

one seven-storey and two five-storey building laid out around it. Various subsidiaries of Eiffage will be involved in the Lidl project, including Eiffage Énergie Systèmes, which will be responsible for all electrical and HVAC systems, and Goyer, which will install the facades. The joint development zone is managed by Eiffage Aménagement. Ground is scheduled to be broken on the construction project this December. visit: www.eiffageconstruction.com straightforward application in a number of different machines. This opens up the possibility of deploying fully electric equipment across a variety of different settings, including warehousing, distribution and logistics, materials handling, and construction. The news comes just weeks after a European-wide report – which included views from experts from Wilmott Dixson, Innovate UK, Colas Group, and NCC – forecast rapid growth in demand for cleaner and quieter electrified equipment over the next decade to meet emission targets and ‘build back better’ following the COVID-19 pandemic. The construction industry is responsible for 40% of European carbon emissions, making it an urgent priority for decarbonisation to meet net-zero targets. Stephen Irish, Commercial Director of Hyperdrive Innovation said: “Electrification will be central to the decarbonisation of heavy industry and it’s no surprise that demand for cleaner electrified equipment is booming. Our partnerships with forward-thinking companies such as Moffett will help meet the massively growing demand for electrified solutions and support the delivery of a more sustainable future.” visit: www.hyperdriveinnovation.com


WINNINGBUSINESS

Foresight Solar Buys 99MW Worth Of Energy Investments In Spain

Serbia Signs MoU With French And Chinese Companies To Build Belgrade Metro

J

T

ersey-based investment firm Foresight Solar has reached an agreement to purchase three subsidy-free Spanish greenfield solar assets with a total throughput of 98.5MW of energy to add to their portfolio. The UK firm admitted it expects the total transaction to cost in the range of €72 million once construction has been finalised. This total includes the cost of covering development rights, which were funded using revolving credit facilities. Officials at Foresight said a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will be signed with a major European energy provider for the greenfield assets, which are located in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. The company are also set to implement a ten-year rolling foreign currency hedging strategy covering future cash flows and to reduce fluctuation in currency exposure on returns. The acquisitions will add to the UK firm’s current Spanish portfolio, resulting in the company managing a total of 200MW of solar farms within the country. In total, Foresight manages a total of 58 assets across the UK, Australia and Spain with a total installed capacity of 994MW once fully operational. Its investments outside the UK will represent approximately 17% of the gross asset

value of the company and its subsidiaries. Alex Ohlsson, Chairman of Foresight Solar, said: “This acquisition builds on the Company’s recent first investment in Spain and represents a meaningful step forward for the Company’s international diversification and its increased presence in the subsidy-free solar market. “The ability of the Investment Manager to secure such an attractive investment opportunity for Foresight Solar once again demonstrates the benefit of its significant regional presence across Europe. We look forward to updating investors on progress on the Spanish portfolio as major milestones are met in the coming year.” visit: www.fsfl.foresightgroup.eu

he Serbian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with France’s Alstom and Egis Rail as well as PowerChina for the construction of the Belgrade metro. This comes nearly five months after Belgrade’s deputy mayor Goran Vesic’s announcement that construction on the metro would begin by December 2021 at the latest. The project is estimated to cost around €4.4 million and will include two lines. The first line will extend for 22km and the second for 20km and both with integrate four urban lines. Under the agreement, Alstom will provide the metro with trains, control schemes and platform screen doors for the first line of the system. Alstom Central and Eastern Europe managing director Antonio Moreno said: “We are immensely proud that Alstom’s solutions will be part of the construction of the Belgrade metro, which is a very important infrastructure project in the Balkan region. “This project will greatly improve the transport offering available to Belgrade’s residents and will showcase Alstom’s leadership in metro solutions and providing a superior passenger experience.” The integration of the metro has been designed to decrease congestion and offer commuters with a faster alternate means of travel. visit: www.alstom.com

Mineco To Open Their Fourth Lead-Zinc Mine In Serbia B ritish mining company Mineco is preparing to open its fourth lead-zinc mine in Serbia. The Croydon-based metals company announced their intention to open another mine back in January, with the plan to begin construction of a lead, zinc and copper mine for “sometime in Q3 2020.” The mine is located in Raska, in southwestern Serbia. Mineco announced on Tuesday that it had acquired Serbian mining sector player Vavrina Resources, thus giving them the push they need to begin operations. Vavrina owns the land the mine is located on, which it acquired during the liquidation of the former Suva Ruda mine.

The plots of land were sold to the Serbian company by Dutch-based lender ATB Bank, which they reportedly held as a part of a €25 million loan that was never repaid. No financial details of the transaction were made public. Mineco director Milan Popovic said: “The next steps concern obtaining the right to prospect on our land, and the sooner we resolve this, the sooner we will be able to contribute to the economic growth of Raska, by resuming the production of non-ferrous metal ore concentrate produced by the Suva Ruda mine.” The company manage three other lead and zinc mines in the country: one near Bosilgrad in southern Serbia, one in Rudnik and another in Veliki Majdan.

Mineco is also active in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a lead and zinc mine in old antimony mine near Novo Gorazde and started production of a cerussite mine in 2017. Visit: www.minecogroup.com

Industry Europe 23


NEWS

Combining strengths

Astaldi Acquistion By Webuild Completed

I

taly’s biggest construction group, Webuild, has completed the acquisition of its 65% stake in Astaldi, a fellow Italian construction company which was recently on the brink of bankruptcy, in a deal worth €225 million. The acquisition will establish Webuild formerly called Salini Impregilo - as a major global player in the construction sector, with a backlog of orders totalling at over €40 billion. Webuild first put its acquisition offer to Astaldi in February 2019. At that time, Astaldi was in the process of securing protection from its creditors so it could buy time to restructure. The embattled construction firm then submitted Webuild’s offer to the Court of Rome for approval. The deal, which was accepted by Astaldi shareholders, creditors and the courts, saw the liquidation of some of the company’s non-core assets in order

to pay off some debts to creditors. The shedding off these assets also allowed Webuild to take a controlling share in Astaldi without inheriting its debts. These assets included its stake in the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir highway, and Etlik health campus, both in Turkey, and the Santiago airport and Felix Bulnes hospital in Chile. According to Webuild’s own data, the construction sector represents 8% of Italy’s economy and employs half a million people. The company said that the investment will bring it “closer to what its foreign competitors enjoy: a strong presence in their home markets”. The Astaldi acquisition was part of the ‘Project Italy’ plan, launched by Salini Impregilo in 2019. The aim of the project is to aid in the revival of the Italian construction industry through the creation of a single major construction hub.

Astaldi, which has completed major projects worldwide such as the Yavuz Sultan bridge over the Bosphorus in Istanbul, and the world’s largest optical telescope - the ELT - in Chile, is one of three companies acquired by Webuild as part of Project Italy. As part of the project, Webuild is now in the process of taking control of Seli Overseas SpA and Grandi Lavori Srl, which owns GLF Construction (USA). visit: www.webuildgroup.com/en

Panasonic, Norsk Hydro, Equinor Consider “Green Battery” Plant In Norway

J

apanese tech giant Panasonic is teaming up with two Norwegian companies, Norsk Hydro and Equinor, to explore the possibilities for establishing a European “green battery” business, with the continent’s automotive sector as potential customers. In a press release, the companies said they “will work together towards summer 2021 to assess the market for lithium-ion batteries in Europe and mature the business case for a green battery business located in Norway.” Despite having a stake in the world’s largest battery factory, along with Tesla in Nevada, Panasonic’s presence in Europe is somewhat limited. The company appears to be attempting to use its success as

24 Industry Europe

a Tesla supplier in the US as a springboard to gain new business from Europe’s automotive sector. Demand for lithium-ion batteries is set to increase rapidly as more and more countries are setting dates for the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars. Norway, which is heavily reliant on revenues from oil and gas, is aiming to become the first country to end the sale of fossil-fuel-powered cars, having set a 2025 deadline. Electric vehicle sales already account for 60% of new car sales in the country. Locating the factory in Norway also comes with the advantage of a lowered carbon footprint as, despite being an oil and gas exporter, the country is almost entirely powered by renewable hydroelectric energy. Mototsugu Sato, Executive Vice President of Panasonic, said the partnership with Norsk Hydro and Equinor was a superb opportunity for the company to expand in Europe. “Panasonic has powered the last two revolutions in the automotive industry – first by powering hybrids and now, by powering multiple generations of all-electric vehicles. We are pleased to enter into this initiative to explore implementing sustainable, highly advanced technology and supply chains to deliver on the exacting needs of lithium-ion battery customers and support the renewable energy sector in the European region,” said Sato.

The size of the factory will depend heavily on the results of the six-month study. Some analysts have said it will be of a similar size to the Nevada gigafactory, which is soon to be upgraded to 38 gigawatt hours a year. The Northvolt-owned factory in neighbouring Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle, is set to have a capacity of 34GWh by 2024, with the possibility of being upgraded to 40GWh. Al Cook, Executive Vice President of Global Strategy & Business Development in Equinor, said: “We believe that battery storage will play an increasingly important role in bringing energy systems to net-zero emissions. By pooling our different areas of energy expertise, our companies will seek to create a battery business that is profitable, scalable and sustainable.” The battery makes up around 40% of an electric car’s value, and the market is burgeoning. At present, China produces around two-thirds of the world’s batteries and the EU is eager to increase its own share from its current 3% up to 25% by 2028. In December 2019, the European Commission gave the go-ahead to a funding package of €3.2 billion for research and development into battery technology as part of a push by Brussels to grab a share of the marketplace and become less reliant on imported batteries from China. visit: www.panasonic.com/global/home.html


LINKINGUP Berlin & Copenhagen Agree Closer Offshore Wind Cooperation

D

enmark and Germany pledged yesterday to cooperate more closely on offshore wind energy projects via clusters in the Baltic and North Seas, aiming to offer a boost to renewable power. The cooperation is an important part towards reaching the goals of the EU’s offshore wind strategy, which is aiming for a Europe-wide 60 GW capacity by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050 up from 12 GW today. “What matters now is to identify concrete projects together with our neighbours and drive them forward,” said Germany’s energy minister Peter Altmaier. He also stressed the importance of finding framework conditions that were of benefit to both Germany and Denmark, and to find synergies with green hydrogen development. Earlier this month, Copenhagen announced plans for two clusters, adding 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 - three times the size of Denmark’s current offshore wind fleet - and

marking the largest construction project in the country’s history. The North Sea energy island would connect offshore wind farms with 3 gigawatt (GW) of capacity by 2030, potentially rising to 10 GW later, while a second island off the coast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea would have a capacity of 2 GW. These could be connected to countries other than Denmark via offshore grid connections. As part of its offshore strategy, the European Commission proposed that power generation assets at sea should form their own electricity market bidding zones, which set the price of the production there. Read More: industryeurope.com/sectors/ energy-utilities/north-sea-s-biggest-windfarm-ready-for-operation/

Arkona offshore wind farm. Credit: Ein Dahmer / Wikimedia

Kingspan Acquisition Of TeraPlast Steel Firms Gets EC Approval

R

omanian manufacturer of plastic construction products TeraPlast Group has said the European Commission has given its official clearance to sell off two of its steel businesses to Ireland-based Kingspan Group. The Competition Authority approved the sale of TeraSteel and Wetterbest to Kingspan on January 12, according to a statement released by TeraPlast. Another deal for a third company, TeraSteel Serbia, is still awaiting approval by the Serbian competition authority, which the group expects to receive in mid-February. TeraPlast announced the €85 million deal for its steel business - which comprises the three distinct companies - in July 2020. TeraSteel is the leading company in the production of sandwich panels on the Romanian market and along with its Serbian counterpart is one of Central and Eastern Europe’s top exporters. Wetterbest is the second-largest producer of metallic roof tiles in Romania.

Kingspan Group is a building materials company based in Ireland trading in 70 countries with 159 factories and employing over 15,000 people. The company is listed on Euronext Dublin and the London Stock Exchange. The TeraPlast Group product portfolio comprises several business lines: installation, PVC joinery profiles, compounds, thermal insulating panels, windows, doors and metallic tiles. The group’s seven companies are TeraPlast SA, TeraSteel Romania, TeraSteel Serbia, Wetterbest, TeraGlass, TeraPlast Recycling and TeraPlast Hungary. Visit: www.kingspan.com/group/

Several Companies Band Together For Green Hydrogen Initiative

S

even companies, including ACWA Power and Iberdrola, have come together to set up an initiative to scale up production of green hydrogen within the next six years. Hydrogen trains are one of many new technologies that green hydrogen could power. The ‘Green Hydrogen Catapult’ initiative aims to provide 25 gigawatts of green hydrogen by 2026 and halve its current cost to around $2 per kilogram. Reducing the price of green hydrogen to this level should make it competitive with other fuels. Producing green hydrogen - which is generated through electrolysis - is currently far more expensive than harvesting it from natural gases. The initial investment from the seven companies will come to around $110 billion (€82.5 billion), which will be raised through debt and equity providers with the option for some public funding. Their targets would go a long way in aiding the complete decarbonisation of the world’s industries, as several companies in other sectors have begun to move away from traditional forms of fuel and energy. Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA said: “Having led the race to deliver photovoltaic energy at well-below $2 cents per kilowatthour, we believe collective ingenuity and entrepreneurship can deliver green hydrogen at less than US$2 per kilogram”. “From an industry perspective, we see no technical barriers to achieving this, so it’s time to get on with the virtuous cycle of cost reduction through scale-up.” At the 2020 Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS 2020) it was hinted that green hydrogen could go a long way to reshaping global supply chains. A Capgemini report from October considers it essential in helping the EU reach its climateneutral targets Green hydrogen could also be used to power truck fleets, trains, and aircraft. Visit: www.acwapower.com/en/ Visit: www.iberdrola.es/en Industry Europe 25


NEWS

MOVINGON Kolbelco Arm Expands Operations Into Italy

K

olbelco Construction Machinery Europe (KCME), a subsidiary of Japanese construction company Kolbelco, has announced it is expanding its business into Italy as part of a greater plan to capitalise on the top European markets. Demand for construction equipment such as mini-excavators and heavy machinery is on the rise in Italy, and the Japanese developer has listed it among its most important markets. The expansion includes the appointment for four new Italian dealers into its network to help supply its machinery across the country. KCME will be enlisting the aid of construction firm Sergio Bassan, a family-led business, which will primarily operate in the north-east of Italy and specialises in the supply of agricultural equipment.

Relocations and expansions across Europe

BSM Brescia Macchine covers an array of areas in northern Italy and specialises in the sale of earth-moving equipment, but also operates a significant spare part and rental fleet. SMIA, which operates on Sardinia, has extensive experience in the construction industry and has worked with various Italian construction players before taking up the offer to work with Kolbelco. The company will be supplying to team with a range of excavators, ranging from minis to heavy machines. Arnus will be operating in the northwestern part of the country and provides a range of new and rental equipment. Marco Ferroni, KCME business manager for Italy, said: “Kobelco’s extensive excavator line-up is ideal for Italy as we cover everything from the smallest minis for residential and infrastructure work, to the largest machines for demolition and construction.

“While mini and midi machines were in demand in the first half of 2020, we believe that the future focus will be on some of these larger machines, led by some of our new and largest dealers.” Makoto Kato, managing director of KCME, said: Italy is one of the biggest countries where we have a passionate Kolbelco fan base. We are delighted to welcome these four new dealers as they provide a gateway for us to enter one of the top five markets in Europe. “Importantly, the appointment of Bassan, SMIA, BSM and Arnus demonstrates our commitment to servicing our new customers in Italy.” Visit: www.kobelco-europe.com

China’s CRBC Awarded Third Roadbuilding Contract In Serbia

T

he Serbian government has announced the signing of a €606 million deal with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to build a motorway in the north of the country. The 48 km Fruskogorski Corridor will be an important link in the Balkan country’s road infrastructure. It will connect the town of Ruma with Novi Sad - the country’s second-largest city - and will include a bridge over the Danube river and a 3.5 km tunnel beneath the Fruska Gora national park. The road will also be connected to the A1 motorway, which forms the backbone of Serbia’s road network and runs the length of the country connecting the Hungarian and North Macedonian borders. The Fruskogorski Corridor will also form a link for the TransEuropean transport corridors X and IV and create a shortcut between Bosnia and Romania. The road was first proposed by Infrastructure minister and Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic in 2015, with the idea of construction beginning in 2016 if funding could be arranged. It took until August 2020 for funding to finally be secured when Mihajlovic announced that the Export-Import Bank of China had agreed to provide a loan. The contract is the third road-building project in Serbia to be awarded to CRBC, which is a subsidiary of majority state-owned China Communications Construction Company. The company is currently building a €450 million 31 km motorway in central Serbia between the towns of Preljina and Pozega.

26 Industry Europe


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT California Startup Can Automate 80% Of Construction Process

M

ighty Buildings, a San Francisco-based startup, is promising to automate as much as 80% of the construction of new homes through a combination of 3D printing, prefab techniques and the use of innovative materials activated by UV light. The company has recently launched after two years spent raising $30 million (€25.5 million) from investors. Having developed its production-as-aservice platform, which heavily relies on automated additive manufacturing to produce the housing components, Mighty Buildings claims its techniques can reduce labour hours by up to 95% and with ten times less waste. A 350-square-foot (32 square-metres) studio unit can be printed in under 24 hours, the company claims, at a market price of around $100,000 (€85,000). 3D printing has been used increasingly by many construction OEMs to print spare parts, as well as by building contractors to print smaller

Advances in technology across industry

structures, but the technology has evolved rapidly in recent years. With the construction industry facing a skills shortage, as well as coming under increasing pressure to “green up” its act, there is great potential for the technology to change the construction industry in a significant way. Mighty Buildings is certified under California’s Factory Built Housing program to create units utilising 3D printing, and was the first company to achieve certification under the UL 3401 standard for evaluating 3D-printed building structures and assemblies. UL is a US company that develops and publishes technical and safety standards. “Because we’re building homes for people to live in, we’ve been very deliberate in carrying out our vision to make housing better. This isn’t software that can be debugged on the fly,” explained Slava Solonitsyn, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “We’re now ready to scale our production with full confidence in our certifications and code compliance for both our material and technology.” Due to its technique and cost-saving elements, Mighty Buildings claims to reduce the cost of homes by as much as 45%.

Eric Migicovsky, partner at Y Combinator, an investor in Mighty Buildings, says: “With a strong foundation in robotics, manufacturing, and sustainability, the Mighty Buildings founding team knows the different facets of the issues that face modern housing. “Accessory dwelling units are just the start in further building out their unique approach to building.” According to McKinsey, the construction sector misses out on up to $1.6 trillion of value per year that could be unlocked with higher productivity, which is where Mighty Buildings says it can contribute. Visit: www.mightybuildings.com

China To Launch First Ever Asteroid Mining Robot Into Space

O

rigin Space, a privately-owned Beijing-based company is set to launch the world’s first mining robot into space this November. Despite being described as an ‘asteroid mining robot’, no actual mining will be done. Instead, NEO-1, as the robot is being called, is a preliminary assessment - field-testing technologies designed for eventual asteroid mining. NEO-1 will most likely be launched as a secondary payload on a Chinese Long March rocket and at just 30 kg, is relatively light by spacecraft standards. It will enter its orbit around the earth at an altitude of 500 km. In an interview with IEEE Spectrum, Origin Space co-founder Yu Tianhong said: “The goal is to verify and demonstrate multiple functions such as spacecraft orbital manoeuvre, simulated small celestial body capture, intelligent spacecraft identification and control.” How much actual progress the NEO-1 mission can make is still subject to much speculation, given that such a mission has not been tried before. Origin Space describes the “robot” as a prospector, rather than a miner, though if successful, NEO-1 would open up a multi-billion dollar industry. While mining in space has become a staple of science fiction, the reality has yet to manifest itself. Space is still largely uncharted territory, but the race is heating up. Between Elon Musk’s repeated remarks about the colonisation of Mars, the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency declaring Venus a “Russian planet”, and the European Space Agency looking at the feasibil-

ity of mining the Moon, space looks certain to be the next frontier in human expansion and privatisation. The ethics, however, of selling planets, moons and pieces of space is still being widely debated by scientists, many of whom are not in favour of the privatisation of space. A large sticking point is the question of who does one buy it from? Nonetheless, the launch of NEO-1 will most likely put those debates on the back burner as a new space race gets underway. Visit: www.origin.space

Industry Europe 27


CERAN GREASES – PERFORMANCE THAT PAYS OFF! T

otal Lubrifiants, a subsidiary of Total S.A. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial lubricants and greases. With nine plants located across the world, Total Lubrifiants produces a full range of high-quality greases which are sold in over 150 countries for automotive, industry and marine applications. Among them, the CERAN product range belongs to the Calcium Sulfonate Complex (CaSX) greases. Its high performance and its success are a result of the production process, which ensures the specific three-dimensional morphology of the CERAN greases. Based on this high performance, we are able to prove that CERAN technology significantly reduces the Total Cost of Ownership, TCO, i.e., by reduction of bearing failures, reduction of grease consumption as well as by reduction of maintenance and downtime of the machinery. Table 1 summarises a TCO calculation which was made in close co-operation with a major steel manufacturer. A conventional CaSX lubrication technology was used in the continuous casting lines before switching to CERAN. For this benchmark, the grease consumption (re-grease intervals), bearing breaks as well as the downtime have been monitored over a period of 18

Figure 3: Ceran grease range, available in a variety of pack sizes

Figure 2: Unique structure of CERAN

months. The results show a tremendous reduction in grease consumption by 70 per cent (see Figure 1). In addition, the bearing failures could be reduced by 40 per cent and the downtime even by 67 per cent after the change. Considering that productivity has been increased by 17 per cent, the lubrication costs per tonne of manufactured steel could be reduced by 39 per cent. Without any additives CERAN greases provide excellent extreme pressure, anti-wear and anti-corrosion properties based on its morphology (see Figure 2). Furthermore, even in the case of water contamination, CERAN is able to

Table 1: Cost comparison between CERAN compared to conventional CaSX lubrication monitored in continuous casting lines.

28 Industry Europe

absorb up to 30 to 40 per cent water without any change in consistency or in performance. This exceptional characteristic makes CERAN greases the best choice in applications where water is omnipresent such as in steel, paper and mining industries. By carefully selecting raw materials, suppliers and logistics, as well as providing consumption reductions, CERAN technology allows its customers to significantly reduce their global CO2 footprint. CO2 calculations by product and process certified by an external company can be provided upon request. The high performance of the CERAN technology pays off directly in cost savings for our customers and indirectly in protecting the environment. n Contact: olaf.kurtz@total.com Visit: www.lubricants.total.com www.linkedin.com/showcase/total-industry

Figure 1: Reduction of grease consumption by 70% after switch to CERAN technology.



THE AMOUNT OF PLASTIC USED TO PRODUCE A CAR ACCOUNTS FOR 20 PER CENT OF ITS WEIGHT EXCLUDING THE TYRES. Production for the automotive industry purposes still generates considerable environmental costs in spite of the fact that it uses increasingly advanced technologies and implements further restrictions regarding the emission of hazardous substances.

T

he shrinking resources of crude oil and high incidental expenses of its extraction as well as high production and recycling costs of petroleum-based plastics make it necessary for the market to look for sustainable alternatives to replace them. The European Commission and BBI-JU are acting on this since 2014. The BBI JU’s mission is to implement, under Horizon 2020 rules, the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry and validated by the European Commission which will bring more than €3.7 billion investments in bio-based innovation. The Biomotive Project being a part of the European Horizon2020 Programme and Bio-Based Industries joint undertaking is a project primarily dedicated to the automotive industry whose aim is to develop innovative technologies to be used in the polyurethane production process and to present their advantages over petroleumbased polyurethanes that have been used so far. The European Union hopes to achieve its climate neutrality by 2050 and the solutions developed by the Biomotive Project are a chance for producers to meet new standards.

The main goals of the Project are to demonstrate the production of innovative bio-based polymer materials, such as thermoplastic polyurethanes, two-component polyurethane foams and regenerated cellulosic fibres in a real environment and on an industrial scale. The production of Biomotive polymers is based on natural raw materials, mainly wood pulp, sugars and vegetable oils, particularly the Spanish artichoke oil. Some other materials have also been tested within the Biomotive project. It also developed elastic foams for car seats containing 60 per cent of biocarbon and presented evidence that they ensure the same level of comfort as the foams currently used in car seat. The textiles covering biofoams were also made of almost 100 per cent natural materials. These textiles not only enhance the foam qualities providing additional abrasion resistance but also increase the overall content of bio-based materials used in car seats to 70 per cent. The project is well underway with several achievements already documented. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) granulate having 67 per cent bio carbon content has been prepared on optimised bio-raw materials. First car part injections using this TPU have been done and injection process is being optimised. Wood pulp sustainable production process has been optimised and first biofillers have been integrated into TPU. At the same time 57 per cent bio-carbon containing 2k polyurethane foam has been made in real car seat production moulds. These foams have been integrated with Biomotive bio-textiles as reinforcement allowing >60 per cent overall bio-carbon content in this element. Currently performance optimisations of both materials are under way as well as processability studies. The initial experimental data has been fed into preliminary life cycle analysis. The results of this preliminary study revealed that the project assumptions can be fulfilled and that the works are proceeding towards fulfilment of project goals The Biomotive project joins scientific and research institutions, producers of bio-based materials, car part manufacturers and certification bodies into one European Consortium. The result of this cooperation is a complete, fully tested and documented manufacturing chain ranging from bio-based raw material acquisition to the manufacturing and later on recycling of particular elements of equipment for cars, coaches, buses and special vehicles. The technologies for the production of bio-polyurethanes developed within the framework of the Biomotive project are also used in other industries in the production of finished products and the recovery of raw materials through recycling. There’s also a socio-economic aspect to the Biomotive Project as the implementation of the project will allow for the creation of new jobs in the production of bio-based materials, biochemistry and agriculture. This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and n innovation programme under grant agreement No. 745766. For more infor, visit: http://greennovention.eu/

30 Industry Europe



AT THE CUTTING EDGE New models from FELLA, the brand name of AGCO GmbH, continue its history of technological innovation in green forage harvesting machines

32 Industry Europe


AGRICULTURE

L

ast year, FELLA, the European leader in forage harvesting machines, presented its latest innovations at the SIMA agricultural technology fair in Paris. These included the new RAMOS 2650 TLX-RC rear mower, a centrally suspended three-point mower with roller conditioner and the tried and tested FELLA TurboLift system for a floating cut. The highlight of the TLX variant, which has a working width of 2.6 metres, is its ability to be gently and vertically folded into the centre of gravity of the machine during transport. Also shown among the SANOS hay tedder product group were the classically proven, centrally suspended three-point turner 6606 DN with a working width of 6.6 metres and the trailed version with the 13010 Trans transport chassis with a working width of almost 13 metres. The JURAS 456 DN single-rotor rake with a working width of 4.5 metres and the JURAS 1603 twin-rotor rake with side swath

placement (working width 6.6 metres or 7.7 metres) completed the FELLA product display.

A century of innovation For more than 100 years FELLA has been known for its innovative harvesting technology. Today, from its production centre at Feucht, near Nuremberg, it offers a huge range of high-quality drum and disc mower units, tedders and rakes that add up to the largest selection of harvesting tools in the world. In 2011, Fella was acquired by the AGCO Group and became AGCO’s competence centre for green forage harvesting equipment in Europe. The FELLA brand remains independent, but the corporate name was changed to AGCO Feucht GmbH and then, in 2019, to AGCO GmbH. AGCO is a global leader in the manufacture of agricultural equipment. Through its well-known brands such as Challenger, Fendt,

Industry Europe 33


GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra it delivers agricultural solutions to farmers across the world.

Investing in the future In 2018, AGCO Feucht celebrated not only the 100th anniversary of the founding of the original company - Bavarian Eggenfabrik AG - but also the inauguration of a major plant expansion thanks to a 10.5 million euro investment by AGCO. The core of the expansion was a new 4,000 square metre assembly hall in which the entire range of mowers were to be manufactured. The programme also included the optimisation of the material flow in the plant in order to meet the increasing capacity requirements. “The new plant layout will enable us to meet the increasing demands of the individual brands on time and also to act more flexibly,” said Uli Nickol, Managing Director of AGCO Feucht GmbH at the time of the opening ceremony. The investment marked the largest expansion of the company’s facilities in more than 20 years, with an increase in production capacity by up to 40 percent and the conversion of company processes to an SAP system. It also marked the latest stage of the development of AGCO’s full line strategy. “Thanks to the integration of Lely’s press and loader wagon business and the established forage harvesting machines from Feucht, AGCO now has a complete and very attractive range of products on the market,” said Dr. Rob Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager AGCO EME. “With the investments in our European competence centre for forage harvesting technology in Feucht, we are securing the planned growth for the coming years.”

34 Industry Europe


AGRICULTURE

A comprehensive range Drum and disc mowers are at the heart of FELLA’s range of forage harvesting machines. FELLA RADON drum mowers are ideally suited for the efficient production of quality forage - even under the most difficult conditions. The mower drums with five bearings are designed for the highest loads. An exact cut and a large forage passage ensure optimal forage placement in a loose and compact swath. Even large amounts of forage can be mowed quickly and without clogging. FELLA RAMOS disc mowers are also ideally suited for use in all regions and in all harvesting conditions. The extraction of high quality and clean forage is guaranteed by the precise cut. The durable construction is matched by the low maintenance requirements. The TurboLift cutter bar relief from FELLA ensures that the contact pressure is always optimal during the entire mowing process. This protects the sward and prevents the quality forage from becoming dirty. The innovative control block enables quick, easy and stepless adjustment of the contact pressure to the most varied of application conditions.

The wide range of FELLA SANOS hay tedders is characterised by the optimal mixing of the forage and an excellent spread pattern. From alpine hay tedders for use in the mountains to professional hay tedders with transport chassis for large farms, FELLA has the perfect hay tedder for all areas of application and for every purpose. Robust construction, simple operation, and excellent raking work - these properties are common to all FELLA JURAS rakes. From single-rotor rakes for use in the Alps to professional four-rotor rakes for contractors, the FELLA product range includes rakes for every purpose. FELLA has combined its decades of experience with the latest findings and has developed a wide range of products with n practical benefits for the user.

Conditioners, tedders and rakes By using a FELLA conditioner, the withering process of the mown forage can be shortened by several hours. The wax layer of the forage is rubbed off and a loose, airy swath is deposited. The water discharge is accelerated by intensive air circulation. This not only has a positive effect on costs, but also on the quality of the forage, as the loss of crumbling and forage contamination are reduced to a minimum. This gives farmers a significant time advantage, especially in unstable weather conditions – they get their quality forage faster and more safely.

Industry Europe 35


DIGITAL PARTNER FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND EFFICIENCY

Schneider Electric drives digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies to realise the full efficiency and sustainability opportunities for the business.

36 Industry Europe


AUTOMATION, ROBOTICS & AI

E

stablished in 1836 as Schneider & Cie and renamed Schneider Electric in 1999, the European multinational company provides energy and automation digital solutions with operations in over 100 countries and more than 135,000 employees. In 2019, the company posted revenues of €27.2 billion. In 2010, Schneider Electric refocused to include software, critical power and smart grid applications through strategic acquisitions. In 2015, the company launched a brand strategy called “Life Is On” which aims to showcase the business and societal value of sustainability and efficiency. Since 2019, Schneider Electric has operated as three business units: energy management, industrial automation and services. The energy management business provides installation components, software and integrated solutions for the management of energy in medium voltage and grid automation, low voltage and building automation, secure power and cooling applications.

Social role The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, represents a longterm growth field for Schneider Electric. The company develops discrete industrial and machine automation as well as process automation products and solutions for the industrial sector, including programmable relays, motion controllers and interface modules for simple machines, to complex process systems for smart manu-

facturing. The company is also a provider of software for industrial automation and control. “Two critical disruptions — digital and renewables — can help us rethink our energy model and protect our planet’s future. At Schneider, we combine these technologies to advance a world that increases efficiency and sustainability for buildings, industries, infrastructures, IT, and cities,” says Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric. To this end, in 2019, Schneider Electric partnered with the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) coalition, joining forces with 34 international companies to invest a combined total of over $1 billion in more than 50 current and future initiatives, benefiting 100 million people to date. In 2020, the company launched the Tomorrow Rising Fund to support the communities around us facing the coronavirus pandemic, and confirmed that the global pandemic will not compromise the achievement of its sustainability goals for 2020. Schneider Electric is set to keep the bar high for its 2030 commitments: to empower the worldwide ecosystem to fight climate change and uphold its responsibilities towards inclusive growth.

Optimisation through digital transformation Schneider Electric is committed to be the partner of its customers in their journeys toward sustainability, with its focus on innovation Industry Europe 37


for an all-digital and all-electric world. The emergence of the digital economy has created opportunities for IoT-enabled platforms which Schneider Electric has identified as a growth opportunity. In 2016, the company launched EcoStruxure, its IoT-enabled architecture. The EcoStruxure Platform connects everything in an enterprise from the shop floor to the top floor, collecting critical data, from sensors to the cloud, analysing data to discover meaningful insights, enabling action based on real-time information and business logic. The EcoStruxure Platform is the foundational technology backbone on which Schneider Electric solutions are built and delivered. In October 2020 Schneider Electric announced the launch of EcoStruxure™ Plant Advisor, the next evolution in IoT digital plant manage-

38 Industry Europe

ment. A scalable, open IoT platform built within the company’s EcoStruxure™ architecture, it gives industrial enterprises focused insights to understand process and operational data and uniquely enables common cross-function, live monitoring and application data-sharing. This leads to faster improvements in operational performance, improved quality control, reduction in energy and raw materials use, better maintenance and increased profitability. Developed for and perfected with Schneider Electric’s worldwide Smart Factories, EcoStruxure™ Plant Advisor empowers operations and production professionals with meaningful, specific business insights through contextualized live data, enabling them to make improvements in machine performance, predictive maintenance and


AUTOMATION, ROBOTICS & AI

asset performance. Based on pilot projects, EcoStruxure™ Plant Advisor could generate €2.8 million p.a. in improvements for a typical €100 million manufacturing site.

“Schneider Electric has always been at the forefront of innovation and since launching our EcoStruxure IT platform, we’ve been simplifying remote operations in the cloud and at the edge,” said Jonathan Healey, VP and General Manager, Software and Management Systems, Schneider Electric. “With these enhancements, we are driving forward the latest technology to help data centre and IT customers be more predictive and provide business continuity from n anywhere, anytime.”

At the forefront The company has further advanced the remote management and monitoring of data centres and edge computing deployments with an AI-supported UPS battery health assessment – an industry breakthrough in predictive capability. In addition, to make remote management and monitoring even more accessible to all customers, the company has made its APC by Schneider Electric Smart-UPS available with a pre-installed Network Management Card 3 (NMC3) for advanced cyber security. Due to the increased need for remote management in distributed edge computing or hyper-converged IT environments, Schneider Electric is also announcing the NetShelter 9000 Series Switched Rack Power Distribution Unit (PDU), which offers increased remote management reliability over a wider temperature range. Schneider Electric’s three latest introductions make remote monitoring and management more robust and secure for IT operators across the globe. Industry Europe 39


SMOOTH MOVE Vanderlande is a global market leader for future-proof logistic process automation solutions for airports, warehouses, and the parcel market. Its solid business foundation means that even during the pandemic, the company is following a clear path forward.

40 Industry Europe


AUTOMATION, ROBOTICS & AI

E

stablished in 1949, Vanderlande has more than 6,500 employees committed to moving its customers’ businesses forward at locations on every continent. The company has established a global reputation over the past seven decades as a highly reliable partner for future-proof logistic process automation. With solid roots in the Netherlands, in 2017 Vanderlande was acquired by Toyota Industries Corporation, a move to further boost its global operations. The two companies have a strong strategic match, and the synergies include cross-selling, product innovations, and research and development. Through close cooperation with its customers, Vanderlande strives for the improvement of its operational activities and the expansion of logistical achievements. Vanderlande’s extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software, and life-cycle services – results in the realisation of fast, reliable, and efficient automation technology.

Sustainability is an integral part of the company’s strategy and Vanderlande is committed to establishing the circular economy by developing circular services and products with a positive impact on the environment and supporting initiatives that help accelerate this approach.

Cutting-edge solutions Continuous innovation is the key to winning in a world that is changing faster than ever - and the company is fully aware of the need to develop cutting-edge solutions. This is where the company’s R&D department comes in, with 200 people developing the necessary hardware and software in-house. For the aviation industry, Vanderlande has developed FLEET, a flexible and sustainable baggage logistics solution. By using intelligent autonomous vehicle technology, it replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorting systems. Vanderlande’s baggage handling

Industry Europe 41


systems are capable of moving over 4 billion pieces of baggage around the world per year. Its systems are in active use in 600 airports including 12 of the world’s top 20. For passengers to enjoy a more stress-free experience, Vanderlande has introduced PAX CHECKPOINT, a solution combining state-of-the-art automated screening lanes with a configurable multiplex screening software to create a fully integrated checkpoint solution. Scalable and flexible, the solution offers increased throughput while allowing for easy expansion and may be adapted to meet an airport’s specific needs. Aviation is not the only line of business. Over the years, the company has developed a strong footprint in the parcel industry, where meeting service-level demands is becoming increasingly tough and where maximum delivery reliability – with zero system faults – is also crucial. As part of its next generation of scalable solutions – evolu-

42 Industry Europe

tions – Vanderlande offers AIRPICK, FASTPICK and STOREPICK, which seamlessly integrate innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle services. Every day, more than 48 million parcels are sorted by the Vanderlande systems that have been installed for the world’s leading parcel companies. In addition, many of the largest global e-commerce players and distribution firms have confidence in Vanderlande’s efficient and reliable solutions.

Continuing to serve While the current pandemic has had a major impact on global supply chains and the movement of goods and people, Vanderlande is well positioned to withstand the challenge. “In the light of the spread of COVID-19, Vanderlande has made all necessary arrangements to keep every employee working in the


AUTOMATION, ROBOTICS & AI

safest possible way. However, we are also committed to maintaining our customers’ business continuity to the best of our ability. As always, they can rely on Vanderlande to support their operations,” affirmed the company’s CEO Remo Brunschwiler. The company has continued its projects in line with this statement. In November 2020 Vanderlande installed its advanced AIRTRAX Pocket for de Bijenkorf at its Tilburg warehouse; this will supply seven national stores, as well as e-commerce orders from Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Austria. AIRTRAX Pocket is the first large-scale system of its kind in the Netherlands and represents an innovative and reliable solution for transporting, sequencing, and storing goods. There are approximately 48,000 pockets within the Tilburg system and the solution offers de Bijenkorf a loading capacity of 8,000 pockets per hour. Also, in November last year, Vanderlande delivered an advanced goods-to-person system to the Dutch organic food retailer Udea, the most unique of its kind that Vanderlande has supplied to date. The innovative solution is housed in Udea’s new distribution centre

in Veghel, the Netherlands, and consists of the ADAPTO automated storage and retrieval system, omni-channel picking stations and smart item robot technology. As a reliable partner for over 70 years, Vanderlande believes that delivering industry-leading services tailored to the customers’ needs is the only way to add real value. These integrated future-proof solutions provide efficient and sustainable benefits to ensure clients’ smooth and profitable operation. By boosting their performance and competitiveness in the market, Vanderlande’s clients can focus on n reaching their strategic goals.

Industry Europe 43


OE Industry, a company from Krakow, Poland, is the original equipment supplier of lighting and cooling systems for a variety of industries, but specifically the automotive sector.

RELIABLE

AUTOMOTIVE

PARTNER 44 Industry Europe


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

OE

Industry supplies lighting for manufacturers of buses, trams, metro carriages, special vehicles, including military and specialised vehicles, manufacturers of semi-trailers, agricultural equipment, construction and mining machinery, as well as yachts and boats. It can provide a diverse range of products, from lights in traditional technology to modern LED solutions. As one of the only companies of its kind in Europe, it designs and provides a comprehensive range of lighting products. Respect for budgets and awareness of where savings can be made is the strength of OE Industry. We offer components and complete engineering solutions for cooling and lighting systems. We are close to our client from the very beginning of the concept through designing, prototype development and testing up to serial deliveries. We develop solutions that save money and time. Small series for many leaders of various sectors, represented among others by brands as : Solaris, Zetor, Stadler, ABB, Minemaster - says Mr. Piotr Luty, General Director of OE Industry. The company supplies so-called “short production series”, which means that its recipients are the manufacturers of vehicles, machines and other devices, with the annual production from several to several thousand units of a given model. The company offers components for the automotive market from all major light-

ing manufacturers as well as from its own innovative product lines. It is a partner of such companies as AKG Thermotechnik, Braslux, Frensch, Hella, Jokon and also NCC. “We are proud of having lower costs of developing a project, often also more innovative products. Close cooperation between our designers, constructors and technologists improves the creative process and significantly reduces the time of designing. We have quality certificates in the field of design, production and supplies. The entire burden of testing, production planning and delivery times is on us. Thus, our customer has everything in one place. Such approach we consider optimal,” added Luty.

Comprehensive cooperation The work of OE Industry starts with the collection of technical data, operating conditions and the customer’s specific expectations. Then a preliminary proposal of a dedicated solution is created. It is based on the interdisciplinary knowledge and experience of the entire project team. The component technology verification stage is now significantly reduced. Not so long ago, the time was counted in days or even weeks, today it can be reduced to minutes. Cooperation with many factories allows us to offer a very wide range of products. We have full access to the current offer of various manufacturers and their stocks, to their latest design options and changing parameters of different light sources - says Mr. Robert Matwijewski, Director of the Key Customer Service Department of OE Industry. Going a step further, OE Industry provides designers and constructors from many countries with free access to the what’s on offer from the most important lighting and cooling system manufacturers. A special website offers a range of proven products for use in vehicles. Industry Europe 45


“This is the first platform of this type in the world. It allows to use the parameter databases and 3D file library. This means that our project team starts working from a place that others reach after weeks,” says Artur Głogoza, Director of the Office of Implementation and Development of the OE Industry. The company performs thermal calculations using selected algorithms, dedicated software designed to optimise the performance, comfort and reliability of the operation. The initial design concept is created in the 3D CAD environment. “Manufacturers of short series commercial vehicles expect from us the approach reserved not so long ago for the production of passenger cars and trucks. Vehicle lights are designed to strengthen the identity and personality of the brand, to ensure its attractiveness. Everyone sees that good design cost as much as bad one,” said OE Industry designer Mateusz Przystal. “Our support includes the production of components, final assembly, technical support during installation and commissioning, quality control of the completed system and necessary performance tests. On us is the construction, technological and assembly documentation. We also offer service at further stages of use,” added Lukasz Szczurek, Assistant to the Management Board for Technical Affairs.

More Light by RFT Technology OE Industry promotes the “More Light by RFT Technology” standard and the development of lighting functionality. Exterior lights have an impact on safety, and internal lights affect the comfort of work. 46 Industry Europe


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

There is ongoing discussion about whether public transport vehicles must have the same lighting as long-distance vehicles. OE Industry actively participates in it and offers the solutions. Thanks to the growing producer awareness, design is an integral part of the product development process at virtually every stage. From freehand sketches of initial concepts, their development with the creation of three-dimensional computer models, including preparation for implementation for mass production, i.e. prototyping. However, the role of design does not end with the concept in the form of a finished product. It is also important how the product will age, what will happen to it when its life is over, and what will come after it. “We always listen carefully to the opinion of the end users, here the public transport drivers. Many people regard the lens narrowing the light, which is too cold and has a sharp cut-off, shadows are formed. As a result, the roadside is insufficiently lit. This knowledge allowed us to introduce the first floodlights in LED RFT technology for public transport. Today, our goal is to develop “urban” lighting that will take into account as much the expectations of drivers from various parts of Europe as possible. For instance, drivers in the Nordic countries have a different light demand than users in southern countries,” added Luty. “The agri sector is another interesting example of developing a headlight after analysing the conditions, in which the vehicle is moving. According to our clients, the working conditions in agriculture demanded a different approach. We have developed an innovative solution dedicated specifically to the agri market, with light parameters and colour temperature adapted to work in dusty environments,” continued Luty.

LED experts OE Industry was ready to implement LED lighting eight years ago. Worked on next generations of lamps, improved optics, parameters, combined the number of functions to reduce the number of lighting elements. Consequently, the vehicle installation costs and environmental impact. In a world already convinced of LED lighting, the company offers every type, including many innovative solutions.We are lucky that we deal with LED lighting and cooling systems. These two elements are indispensable in the construction of electric vehicles. Each of them has a lot of lighting elements as well as motors, inverters and electronics that need to be cooled. And we are an innovative company, constantly expanding the technical competence centre. We cooperate with scientific bodies, we employ excellent engineers and we own the design office that specializes in designing for broadly understood transport - says Piotr Luty.

Coolers made-to-measure OE Industry also designs coolers for vehicles and industrial systems. It provides liquid, air, oil and hybrid coolers in various execution techniques; of aluminium, copper, bronze, steel, materials resistant to acids and oxidation. These are 100 per cent solutions made-to-measure in terms of parameters and dimensions. There are cooling systems on shock absorbers, tilted coolers, high performance fan systems for extreme conditions. The company also works, with the support of the EU funding, on n an innovative heat exchanger project. For more information, visit: https://oeindustry.com/en Industry Europe 47


ELECTRIFIED STRATEGY IN MOTION Strengthened by its French industrial heritage, Groupe PSA has since its very beginnings contributed to the history of the automotive world. With its global presence, the Group today is addressing the on-going transformations in the sector with ambition, vitality and efficiency.

48 Industry Europe


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

F

rom the production of one of the first petrol cars in the 19th century to the invention of the technologies required for the advent of the intelligent, connected, and autonomous cars of the future, the history of Groupe PSA is marked by a dynamic industrial heritage stretching back over 200 years. Two car manufacturers emblematic of French industrial know-how are at the root of Groupe PSA: Peugeot, one of the first companies to produce and sell petrol cars at the end of the 19th century, and Citroën, whose avant-garde technologies in design and industrial processes revolutionised the automotive world from the beginning of the 20th century. The PSA Peugeot Citroën group stepped up its international growth in the 2000s, a period marked by the ramp-up of proprietary technologies, initiated by the invention of the particulate filter in 2000 and culminating in the launch of the three-cylinder EB PureTech engine in 2012, reducing CO2 emissions by 18 per cent. More recently the Group has achieved several major milestones. In 2016, PSA Peugeot Citroën transformed into Groupe PSA, and in 2017, Groupe PSA announced the closing of the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, a move that positioned Groupe PSA in second place in Europe with a market share of 17 per cent (2017).

Electric presence Since 2019, Groupe PSA has launched all-electric or plug-in hybrid versions of all its new models, with an objective to offer a fully electrified portfolio by 2025. Following the 2020 launch of electric versions of their medium van models (D-Van) and large van (E-Van), the four brands, Peugeot,

Citroën, Opel and Vauxhall will complete their line-ups in 2021 with all-electric versions of their compact van (B-Van) and associated passenger cars. The new generation of Groupe PSA’s compact van have collected numerous titles including the 2019 “International Van of the Year” award. The passenger car versions were also voted the AUTOBEST “Best Buy Car of Europe 2019”. These successes have been confirmed in the market, with sales exceeding 650,000 units worldwide since their launch in September 2018. Xavier Peugeot, Senior Vice-President of Groupe PSA’s Light Commercial Vehicles Business Unit said: “With these all-electric versions of compact vans and associated passenger cars, Groupe PSA is continuing its electrification offensive and now offers a completely electrified LCV portfolio without any compromises on performance”. Between 2020 and 2025, Groupe PSA will gradually move from two multi-energy platforms to two 100 per cent electrified platforms to support the e-mobility development. The new eVMP (Electric Vehicle Modular Platform) will serve as the basis for a wide range of electric vehicles for the C- and D- segments, offering highperformance with an autonomy of up to 650 km (WLTP cycle) and a benchmark storage capacity with 50 kW.h per meter available within the wheelbase. With this eVMP platform, Groupe PSA once again demonstrates its ability to innovate by developing for its customers state-of-theart and affordable technologies. “This global platform will make it possible to offer a range of vehicles that are perfectly respectful of the environment, meeting the changing expectations of customers and guaranteeing driving pleasure and safety on board, values that Industry Europe 49


AUTOMOTIVE & HEAVY VEHICLES

are the basis of the Group’s reputation today”, said Nicolas Morel, Research and Development Director at Groupe PSA.

2020 and beyond Despite the turbulent developments of 2020, the Group’s performance has remained outstanding: global sales almost doubled in June versus May, in the context of the coronavirus crisis; with electrification of the PC and LCV range continuing at high pace. The Group ranks among the best performing OEMs and is compliant with 2020 European CO2 objectives.

50 Industry Europe

Up to now, the Group has put 131 new electrified models to the market. All new models now come with either an all-electric or a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The global strategy is in line with the Group’s roadmap to offer a 100 per cent electrified range from 2025, of which 50 per cent will be electrified by the end of 2021. “Following the difficult months of lockdowns, our teams are in recovery mode in this critical period, fully committed to spur profitable sales, driven by high-quality, competitive models. In parallel, our monthly CO2 committee ensures that we respect our ethical commitment towards European CO2 targets. We also continue to put our ability to serve client expectations with multi-energy products and very innovative new offers such as the Citroën Ami. Acting this way, we more than ever feed our ambition to provide clean, safe and affordable mobility solutions to our customers.” says Carlos Tavares, n Chairman of the Groupe PSA Managing Board.


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

Romania’s leading PVC window and door manufacturer Casa Noastra is helping its customers through the coronavirus pandemic with an online showroom for its QFORT product range

SAVING TIME, KEEPING SAFE R

esponding to the restrictions on movement during the Covid emergency, Romania’s Casa Noastra has launched the first QFORT Online Showroom for thermal insulation windows and doors in the country. Customers can book an online appointment for a discussion with a QFORT representative, during which, they can take a look at the products that interest them on display in the showroom and receive advice from QFORT specialists. Following the

video call, the QFORT consultant will send the customer an offer for the selected products. The Online Showroom project started in Romania in March 2020 and will soon be expanded to Italy and Canada. At the end of 2019, QFORT announced the opening of a new showroom in Craiovița, Romania, to showcase some of the most important ranges of thermal insulation products in its portfolio. Industry Europe 51


These include PVC and aluminium windows and balcony doors with insulating glass from the Stars by QFORT range, PVC and aluminium entrance doors from the Baby I’m Home! Range, PVC and aluminium sliding doors from the Paysage range as well as doors’ aluminium sliders from the Panorama range, not to mention the shading systems from the Discret by QFORT range, with Venetian blinds and exterior shutters.

Export drive QFORT was established in 2008 as a new brand by Casa Noastra, Romania’s leading manufacturer of PVC windows and doors. In 2009 the company began exporting its products under the new brand name - initially to Austria and Italy - and set up a partnership with VEKA AG, the European leader in the production of PVC profiles.

52 Industry Europe


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

Today QFORT is recognised throughout the European market as a major brand in thermally insulated windows and doors. It operates in Romania, Italy, and France as well as in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. It has built up state-of-the-art production facilities and an integrated business model that covers all its activities, from production to consulting and support services. QFORT products are designated under a star system, as used in the hotel industry, offering 4-star, 5-star, 6-star and, most recently, 7-star ranges of windows. The 4-star ranges are composed of PVC with depths of 70mm, while higher stars have different depths and are certified for either more severe weather conditions or optimum energy-saving. QFORT also produces an innovative range of doors with a new security system, as well as sliding doors with automatic opening. There are also ranges of different colours for both windows and doors. Most QFORT products are optimised for use in residential rather than commercial buildings and are produced using LowE (low emissivity) insulating glass units with an excellent thermal and sound insulation as well as solar protection.

and doors in South-Eastern Europe and operates a network of over 58 stores in 44 cities in Romania, and more than 1,000 dealers in Europe.

Minimalist elegance One of the latest advanced products in the QFORT range is the Panorama series of sliding doors which provide increased visibility to the outside as well as increased weather resistance thanks to stateof-the-art technical specifications. With their elegant, minimalist style, the Panorama doors help to enhance the feeling of space and light in any room. The narrow profiles of the range make it possible to hide them in the walls and the floor for an even greater sense of interior space and brightness. The doors are suitable for any type of space, with from one to six movable frames. They can even be used to join two sliding 90-degree angles if the installation requires it. They are designed to ensure easy n operation either through manual or motorised systems.

25 years of quality Casa Noastra is a 100 per cent Romanian-owned company, founded in 1995. It has grown to become one of the most important manufacturers of PVC windows and doors, as well as sliding and entrance doors, shutters, and French doors in Central and Eastern Europe. In Romania it is acknowledged as a reference point in the country’s industrial economy and the quality of its products is recognised by its customers throughout its constantly expanding European markets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Romania, and other European countries. Casa Noastra has a workforce of more than 1,000 and has invested more than 30 million euros in the last few years in business. It now has the largest production capacity of PVC windows

Industry Europe 53


TOYS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS

COBI, a company headquartered in Warsaw, is Poland’s leading manufacturer of high-quality building blocks. It is also an importer and distributor of licenced toys: dolls, plastic model kits, interactive toys, creative sets for children.

54 Industry Europe


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

T

he company was founded in 1987. “It was before the political changes in Poland. At that time, private economic activity was almost completely eliminated in our country and literally everything was missing in the market. As a company, we started from scratch, operating in very difficult conditions. Initially we made puzzles and board games. Huge success in this field allowed us to develop the company, and to start the production of building blocks in 1991”, reflects Robert Podleś, the company’s owner and president. In 1997, COBI established a new manufacturing plant in the Special Economic Zone in Mielec. Four years later it opened its offices in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. By the beginning of 2011 production capacity had significantly increased allowing the company to meet growing demand for COBI construction blocks. Nowadays, COBI is the biggest manufacturer of building blocks in Central and Eastern Europe. Its international sales network expands to more than 60 countries worldwide. “COBI blocks are sold all over the world, with Germany and the USA being our largest foreign markets. It is worth adding that our

blocks are popular not only among children. Due to the reproduction of the smallest details of vehicles such as cars, tanks, airplanes or ships, adult enthusiasts of motorisation, military and aviation are also delighted with sets of COBI blocks. Adults are a rapidly growing group of consumers of our products. This is similar in North and South America as well as in Central Europe and Asia. Thanks to social media, we know that there are numerous fans of our blocks in Arab countries, Africa and even in Greenland”, adds Podleś. Year after year the company attends the most important toy events: Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, London Toy Fair, Spielwarenmesse Nuremberg Toy Fair and New York Toy Fair where it proudly presents its products and establishes new business contacts. “We work intensively on the development of the company, our products and the quality. And we really work with passion, which continues to grow over time. The most important part of our success is our suppliers, with whom we have long-term relationships. We work with several hundred suppliers from small details of metal forms or cleaning agents, through raw materials, packaging, instructions, right up to machinery, it would be difficult to name

Industry Europe 55


them all. Counting all employees of our suppliers, we can estimate that more than 10,000 people participate in the production of COBI toys”, highlights Podleś. Now, the production plant in Mielec is being expanded. A new factory wing will be opened in June 2020. This investment will allow COBI to increase its production by nearly 30 per cent.

56 Industry Europe

Building blocks for every occasion The company’s priority is to make safe and secure toys of the highest quality that are always fun to play with for all the family. COBI building blocks are created in Poland from origin materials in accordance with the strictest quality control regulations throughout the entire manufacturing process. The company certifies its products at notified European laboratories (TUV Rhineland Group). The toys are phthalates free; they conform to EN71. Each box of building blocks includes detailed illustrated instructions. The high quality of the COBI toys has been valued by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Its first collection of licensed COBI blocks: McLaren Mercedes F1 cars, appeared on the market in 2008. The success of the first licensed line triggered work on other collections. Presently, COBI offers several collections including Jeep with historical Willys (licensor Chrysler Group LLC, the line was launched in 2009), Renault F1 team (licensor Renault, launched in 2010), Dreamliner Boeing-787 and Boeing-767 (licensor Boeing Management Company, the product was launched in 2010). In 2011 has started the production of a Doctor Who licensed series for Character Option Ltd. The newest licence is TOP GUN Maverick – new three sets will lunch on market in June 2020. Small Army and the newest line Armed Forces is the unique military construction blocks series and number one seller worldwide. The collection is remarkable for its sets of the US Army, Russian Army, Royal Navy and US Navy vehicles. The set may vary from 40 pieces up to 3,000. Military figurines are included in each set, and additional figures can also be bought. Sets are under licence of Dassault Aviation -


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

Granpak models of jet fighters Mirage 2000-5 and Rafale-C. Also new tanks as M1A2 Abrams, Challenger 2 or Leopard 2A4 are very popular. “The Historical Collection series covering mainly vehicles from Grate War and World War II is our unquestionable hit. The collection is huge and includes about 200 different sets. New ones that replace the older editions have been appearing every month. We take great care to ensure historical consistency and try to perfectly match the proportions and colours in relation to real prototypes. We manage to delight adult collectors who often buy our models not for their children, but just for themselves. We also notice a huge increase in awareness among the youngest customers. Many kids do not want to play with a regular plane from blocks, which has just a propeller, wings and tail, but with the Spitfire that fought German planes in the Battle of Britain or the American Sherman tank, which significantly helped the Allies win World War II. The Titanic block ship that has won the hearts of fans around the world is the most popular model from COBI. Our series based on the World of Tanks and World of Warships video game licences are also a great success, as well as those released under the license of the automotive brands such as Maserati, Fiat and Skoda. The real bull’s eye, especially in Poland and Germany, is the Youngtimer Collection series comprising several dozen models of cars in 1:35 scale. We listen very carefully to fans of our blocks, who offer us new ideas, suggest changes or modifications. They often inspire us, and their voices repeatedly influence our decisions”, concluded Podleś. n For more information, visit: https://cobi.eu

“More than a printing house” is a family company that invests in technologically advanced equipment as the basis for market success. In addition to highly specialized staff and extensive know-how, it is based on 20 years of market experience. Having a professional graphic and design department, it provides assistance in the development and implementation of a new, even the most demanding concept of packaging. Granpak creates packaging with high marketing standards thanks to the use of a wide range of printing refinement technologies, creates unique and original packaging that effectively performs the sales and visual function of the products contained in them. Thanks to one of the most modern machinery parks in Poland, the Granpak offset printing house provides the highest quality solid and laminated cardboard packaging throughout Europe, serving the FMCG, tobacco, toys, cosmetics and many other industries. The growing requirements of the European market placing emphasis on ecology and the expansion of the field of activities to the food industry prompted Granpak Sp. z o. o. to implement certificates, including BRC Packaging Materials, ISO 9001: 2015, FSC® C124602.

Industry Europe 57


BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR ROLLING STOCK DAKO-CZ, a leading manufacturer of pneumatic, electromechanical and hydraulic brake systems for rail vehicles with roots going back two centuries, offers the latest technology, high quality and flexibility in response to customers’ needs.

58 Industry Europe


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

D

AKO has a clear mission - to be a trusted supplier of brake systems for rolling stock on a global scale, providing high-quality, value-added engineering products. With a planned annual turnover of around CZK 1 billion, of which 70% is generated in export markets, the company already has a strong footing in global markets and counts prime OEMs among its customers, including Siemens Mobility GmbH, Stadler Rail Gruppe, Škoda Transportation and many more. The company has its own research and development centre, a proprietary testing laboratory and a design centre. The reliability of the design of its brake systems and components is supported by the ownership of 14 patents and 11 utility models complying with UIC and TSI standards and regulations.

Two centuries of engineering DAKO’s unique know-how is based on a strong tradition - its history goes back to 1816, when a foundry and mechanical engineering factory was founded in Třemošnice. After 1920, the company’s core business expanded to include products for the railway industry. In the 1950s DAKO started to manufacture and assemble brake systems of its own design. But progress did not stop there. International success was achieved with the CV1 and CV2 distributors for international railways and in 1995 the first brake systems for trams were designed and manufactured.

The manufacturing plant has undergone extensive modernisation over the last two decades with state-of-the art technology installed to supply demanding products to international markets. With the experience of its engineers and designers combined with continued investment in research and development, the company regularly introduces new products that meet the highest technical and quality requirements. In 2019, the company invested CZK 120 million in the acquisition of new technologies and machinery, as well as in the expansion of production facilities, enhanced project logistics and improved staff amenities.

Stable footing With strict security measures implemented, DAKO-CZ has managed so far to sail through the coronavirus pandemic without significant production restrictions. A full order book means that, while many businesses are laying staff off, DAKO is recruiting. It has recently won important contracts to supply its brake systems and components to Germany, Poland, Slovenia and India, capitalising on the boom in the global rolling stock market. “Of course, we do feel the impact of the restrictions, for example, we could not present our innovations at the InnoTrans, International Trade Fair for Transport Technology in Berlin this year, and the strict safety measures and their enforcement do mean additional cost. But the main thing is that we can continue to meet our contracted Industry Europe 59


MSV elektronika MSV elektronika is a manufacturer and supplier of control systems applied mainly in rail transport. We have developed and supply control computers of vehicles (EMU / DMU, locomotives), including automatic train operation system, whell slip protection and brake switchboards, subsystems for door control, toilets and water management, information systems (LED, LCD), including the control units. We are a leading European manufacturer of design LED signal lights and LED reflectors for all types of railway vehicles. MSV elektronika develops and manufactures electronic modules for brake systems in cooperation with DAKO-CZ. These systems are certified as an interoperability constituent according to Directives 2008/57 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as amended by Directives 2009/161 / EC and 2001/18 / EU. The units are supplied for various types of traction and non-traction vehicles. Their DC supply voltage is 24, 36, 48 and 110 VDC. It can be used in vehicles equipped with a disc or block brake and in vehicles with two or four axles. Units are designed in 6U high cabinets and in standard cibanites 19´´ with 3U high. In the end of October 2020, the DAKO PE06-MSV whell slip protection device system with our ASS06.11 anti-skid device for application in coaches, locomotives and EMU / DMU was certified as the first in the world according to the new edition No. 3 of international standards UIC 541-05.

60 Industry Europe


CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING

commitments. In this respect, I must express gratitude to all our employees for supporting the company, respecting all the restrictions and continuing to come to work,” says Dagmar Matúšová, the company’s CEO. New contracts include the KISS project for STADLER, for the delivery of complete pneumatic brake control systems for KISS regional train units, destined for Slovenia. “The delivery of ten three-part double-deck units represents a completely new platform for our company. The three-part electric KISS units are designed as regional vehicles with a maximum speed of 160 km/h. Their capacity is 292 seats including 16 first-class seats and 277 standing passengers. The double-deck train has also space for wheelchairs and bicycles.”

as well as all those on the shop floor. We will be able to accommodate the contracts on time and to the required quality as a result of the increased production capacity which we have now almost completed. To this end, we are now preparing a regional recruitment campaign aimed at both shop floor, and technical and financial skills, n “says Dagmar Matúšová.

Proven capability Earlier this year, the company achieved another success in Germany. By July, brake components for 13 four-carriage underground trains were delivered to be fitted into the Inspiro G1 platform units from Siemens, which operate on Nuremberg’s oldest and longest U1 line. For its Indian customer ESCORTS, DAKO will supply the brake systems for LHB carriages until March 2021. DAKO won its first contract in India in 2006, and has gradually increased its footing in this fast-growing market. The company’s strong position has been confirmed by another order for brake systems for a total of 800 carriages, which includes 700 brake systems for AC/non AC carriages and 100 brake systems for Power units. “The new projects best demonstrate the company’s competence, capability and the fantastic work of our sales and design specialists Industry Europe 61


REFRIGERATION TECHNOLOGY FOR THE WORLD’S RETAILERS Recognised again as one of Italy’s best-managed companies, Epta is known throughout the global commercial refrigeration industry for its commitment to environmental impact reduction.

62 Industry Europe


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

F

or the second year running, Italy’s Epta, the specialist in commercial refrigeration for retailers has been ranked among the winners of the Best Managed Companies, the prestigious award promoted by Deloitte that enhances the excellence of Italian businesses. Epta was seen as distinguishing itself in several ways, including investments in the growth of talents and focus on innovation. The jury particularly appreciated the second edition of EPTAcademy, the training programme developed in association with SDA Bocconi School of Management dedicated to refining middle management skills. Also noted was Epta’s innovative FTE technology at the heart of the Life-C4R project, co-funded by the European Union, created to raise awareness within the scientific community and component supply chain as well as all players within the retail world to choose increasingly sustainable solutions, accelerating the spread of highly efficient CO2 refrigeration units. Marco Nocivelli, President and CEO of the Epta Group said: “I am very proud to have received this award for the second year running. It confirms our work and bodes well for the future, as evidence of the solid foundations that we have laid and of the continuous improvement, which we are always striving to achieve. I would like to thank all those who, with their commitment, have enabled us to obtain this important award.”

Worldwide reach In its 20 years of experience in commercial refrigeration, Epta has made a name for itself in the world thanks to a solid industrial culture, great competitive strength and the Group’s significant presence worldwide in numerous business areas. Today the Group offers the widest and most comprehensive range of solutions for commercial refrigeration, ensuring the supply, installation and maintenance of systems, both directly and through an extensive network of distributors worldwide. EPTA Group also has a strong presence within the Food & Beverage market, working in partnership with major players in the sector. The Epta Group today operates eleven plants in Europe, the USA, South America and East Asia and is present in 80 countries across the world. Through the integration of the specific product lines offered by its brands, Epta ensures a vast variety of solutions for the preservation and display of fresh and frozen products, designed for retailers who want to rely on a single, competent partner for the realization of structured, turnkey systems on a global scale.

Brands for the whole market The original core brand of the Epta Group is Costan, a business that started out in 1946 as an artisan’s workshop for the production of ice boxes and refrigerated cabinets. It is now known internationally for its technologically advanced and reliable products (which include

Industry Europe 63


complete service and turnkey systems). The brand is distributed by a sales network that includes branches in Italy and sales offices and distributors abroad. The Bonnet Névé brand was acquired by Epta in 1988 in the context of a merger between two important brands in the French market, Bonnet Réfrigération and Satam Névé. Eurocryor, founded in 1991 in Solesino, Italy, designs high-end serve-over refrigerated cases to furnish and customise prestigious stores and specifically meet the functional and aesthetic requirements of clients.

64 Industry Europe

The Misa brand joined Epta in 2011 and is now a market leader in the production of commercial and industrial cold rooms. Misa has allowed the Group to create new opportunities in the HoReCa sector. Iarp is a brand specialized in the production of customised selfcontained (plug-in) refrigerated cabinets. It became part of the Epta Group in 2013, bringing outstanding technical know-how to the Group. Its contribution ensures business diversification and excellent completion of the Epta supply chain and opens the doors to the Food & Beverage industry.


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Technological innovation is the hallmark of our production, which is focused on ensuring energy conservation and significant environmental impact reduction through the use of F-Gas compliant natural refrigerants. In addition, the Group ensures the highest degree of customisation so that each product stands out, wherever it is installed, in terms of style, modernity and functionality, while adapting to the style and needs of the store.

intention to increase its presence in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 2011, the company has been working in Hungary with Epta International technical and commercial coordination centre. It has since developed further with the acquisitions of Libre in 2017 in Poland, followed by DAAS in 2018 in Romania. Thanks to Linus’s capabilities, Epta expects to further consolidate its market share in these areas, which are set to yield considerable growth.”

Expansion in Poland

Strengthening in the USA

At the end of 2019 Epta’s continued its strategy for international development, with the acquisition of Linus Eco sp.z.o.o. in Poland, a company that designs, installs and provides after-sales assistance for refrigeration systems, including those with natural refrigerant CO2, for the Food Retail segment. Based in Bosutów, in the Krakow area, Linus Eco has made a name for itself in the area as a reliable partner for the biggest local and foreign players in Retail. This development consolidated the Group’s direct presence in high-potential countries such as Poland and came in the wake of the establishment of Epta Polska in 2017 through the acquisition of Libre Sp.z.o.o.Sp.K. “We are proud to welcome Linus Eco into the Group. This strategic deal will allow us to be more competitive together and help us to stay closer to our customer base in Poland,” said Marco Nocivelli at the time of the announcement. “The agreement confirms Epta’s

In February 2020 Epta announced a further expansion of its US business Kysor Warren with an investment plan of more than 27 million dollars. This is an ambitious programme destined to strengthen operations at the Kysor Warren site in Columbus, Georgia, optimise customer service, expand the range of products and implement cutting-edge solutions. A new training centre is also planned for installers, contractors and service technicians dedicated to natural and sustainable refrigeration. Following entry into the Epta Group, Kysor Warren has greatly enriched its portfolio, which now includes the range of propane and FTE Full Tanscritical Efficiency integrated group cabinets – a simple and reliable solution which guarantees 10 per cent energy saving in any climate area. Furthermore, Kysor Warren has opened a new plant of over 32.500 m2 in the Corporate Ridge Business Park (Georgia) which will become the new North-American headquarters of the Group. n

Industry Europe 65


Jabra is a global leader in the development and manufacture of corded and wireless headsets. The company continues to gain market share through its development of innovative products that set the standards for the industry. Jabra was the first company in the world to introduce Bluetooth headsets and has continued to build on that success since.

RE-INVENTING THE HEADSET 66 Industry Europe


HOME APPLIANCES, FURNITURE & HVAC

T

he Jabra Corporation is a subsidiary of GN Netcom which has its roots in the Norcom Electronics Corporation of America, and was founded in 1983 by entrepreneur Elwood Norris. In 2006 GN Netcom consolidated its contact centre and office headset division under the Jabra Brand and this was followed by a restructuring of the company in 2008. This strategic move resulted in a greater focus on its business-to-business and consumer markets respectively. The GN Group operates in more than 90 countries and currently employs more than 6,500 people worldwide. Today the company continues to focus on its new product development, innovation and investments in new technology. Jabra’s head office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark from where it manages its extensive and diverse global operations.

Celebrating 20 years of innovation In 2018, Jabra celebrated the 20th anniversary of its ground-breaking, innovative technology that launched the world’s first Bluetooth enabled headsets. Since then, Bluetooth has been a key driver for sales and innovative wireless options for both business professionals and consumers. Subsequently, this technology has underpinned numerous other new product launches for Jabra. It enabled the company to create the first consumer Bluetooth headset in 2000, thus paving the way for wireless communications in the enterprise and consumer sectors. The Danish company launched the first wireless headset for conference calls in 2003. More recently, with the release of the Jabra Elite Sport, in 2016 and the Jabra Elite Franchise in 2018 with its third-generation wireless technology, Bluetooth continues to lead in today’s sound technology industry.

Talk Franchise driving sales Following its celebration of 20 years of Bluetooth enabled products, Jabra has now re-launched its BT Mono headsets in one franchise named after what they deliver best: Crystal clear sound. The Talk

Franchise includes its renowned mono headsets that include models such as The Eclipse, Stealth, Mini and Boost. Claus Fonnesbech, Senior Director, Media Relations at Jabra said: “Comfortable, stylish and designed to make your day-to-day activities run smoothly, Bluetooth Mono headsets are still a great extension to your phone, thus allowing you to remain hands-free at all times. Whether at work or on the go, you can make and receive calls whilst performing numerous other tasks with ease”.

Elite active performance In 2018, Jabra unveiled its Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t models, representing the company’s third generation of true wireless earbuds. These have been designed to guarantee a consistently stable wireless connection with up to 15 hours of battery life with its cradle. In launching these two advanced products, Jabra has reinvented a set of truly wireless earbuds, incorporating its knowledge about usage, comfort and design from its first innovative wireless products. The new earbuds deliver superior audio quality for calls and for music without wires. The products come in two versions: one for daily on-the-go use and another that offers an ‘Active’ version, designed for training and sports activities. Building on the success of the Jabra Elite Sport, the best-selling and most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds, they are engineered to deliver an even better voice and music experience as well as incorporating new design styles and colour choices. Developed in order to deliver superior sound, the Elite 65t brings together unique technological features to provide the best-in-class quality for voice and music. It is built to ensure a stable and reliable wireless connection and to deliver the best call and command voice quality possible. The product’s innovative four microphone solution combined with an optimised acoustic chamber, enables advanced noise suppression and voice enhancement for every type of environment. These unique earbuds also allow music to be personalised using a music equaliser accessed from the Jabra Sound+ Companion app. Industry Europe 67



HOME APPLIANCES, FURNITURE & HVAC

In addition, the earbuds are fully enhanced for sports use with a more secure fit, through special coating, integrated accelerometer for tracking features in the Jabra app, and include IP56 sweat, water and dust-proof certifications.

Sound quality evolution In 2018, Jabra also announced the launch of its Evolve 75e range, which was the world’s first professional UC-Certified wireless earbuds. The company has been a pioneer in sound for around-theneck wireless earbud design in the workplace. The new product’s Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and ‘busy-light’ technology, allows users to fully concentrate at home and at work. This new edition to the market-leading Evolve range of headsets for professional use, is Skype-for-business certified and offers up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge. Recent research has revealed that 78% of today’s ‘flexible’ workers, say that their personal productivity, whether in the home or the office is impacted by noise and interruptions. The new product is the ultimate business tool for both sound and freedom, thus helping to maintain collaboration, concentration and productivity in the home office environment where there can be so many distractions. In addition, the Jabra Evolve earbuds have smart controls for work and play. Five buttons allow for quick control of calls and music, including a smart button for one-touch access to all major virtual assistants, including Siri, Google Now, Cortana and Bixby. The vibrating neckband also gives silent notifications to make sure that users don’t disturb others and that incoming calls are never missed. “The Jabra Evolve 75e delivers professional quality sound for calls and music that lasts as long as you need in a wireless earbud design. These first professional UC-certified wireless earbuds meet the needs of today’s mobile, and increasingly connected worker, who demands the same user experience from both consumer and professional solutions” commented Holger Reisinger, SVP at Jabra.

Intelligent sports solutions In another world first, Jabra unveiled its Jabra Sports Pulse and Jabra Sport Coach special editions with improvements in fit, sound, and durability, as well as a range of other smart new sports features. Complementing the company’s existing line-up of Jabra sports headphones, these editions offer high quality calls, music for motivation and intelligent in-ear coaching to help enhance training effectiveness. In addition, these next generation versions deliver innovation in all areas, with passive noise cancellation, a broader choice of fitting options, improved durability and many other unique, and intelligent sports features. n For further details of Jabra’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.jabra.com Industry Europe 69


FURNITURE BORN FROM PASSION DFM is a professional manufacturer of upholstered furniture, which offers comfortable, design and solid furniture. In 2021 it will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

70 Industry Europe


HOME APPLIANCES, FURNITURE & HVAC

D

FM is a company with 100 percent of Polish capital. It is headquartered in Dobre Miasto near Olsztyn, in north-eastern part of Poland in the middle of the Masurian Lake District. Significant experience means DFM are able to create furniture perfectly adapted to the changing market trends and expectations of the most demanding customers. Since its inception in 2001, DFM has successfully been selling its furniture for the domestic market and abroad. Now, near 99 percent of its production is exported to foreign markets like Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Its products are also popular in more distant countries such as the United States and South Korea. To a large extent, the DFM sales depend on the country to which the furniture is being exported. German customers love models with various functions, such as sofas with electrically-adjustable footrests and backrests, movable armrests and headrests. On the other hand, the Dutch prefer designer furniture in a minimalist style. In Poland, the vast majority of buyers are looking for sofas with a sleeping function.

Comfortable armchairs with a relaxation function are equally popular in all countries. They are modern, slender, perfectly contoured and ensure the highest comfort of rest. Their functionality and great design make them perfect for living room TV armchairs, for a bedroom as the perfect place to relax, or for a study or office as a short “pit stop” during the race against time. The company offers a huge variety of furniture functions, a wide range of accessories, furniture layouts and a wide range of colours of fabrics and natural leather. For that reason, the buyer has the feeling that their furniture is perfectly “tailored” to their needs.

Three different production plants The company’s production is carried out in three factories. Dobre Miasto is the DFM’s biggest production plant, with an area of over 60,000 sq miles. The Olsztyn plant has an area of more than 6,000 sq miles as does the third plant, located in Reszel. The specialisation of each factory allows it to produce furniture addressed to many different customers. The production profile includes a wide assortment of

Industry Europe 71


72 Industry Europe


HOME APPLIANCES, FURNITURE & HVAC

SABA Polska Sp. z o.o. Sababond 3392 is the new all-around 2-component water-based adhesive, ideal for bonding different types of foam to a vast array of substrates. With superpowers far beyond those of ordinary adhesives, we can rightfully call Sababond 3392 the best water-based adhesive ever made! It sticks to every substrate imaginable and is perfectly suited for bonding foam to smooth, non-porous substrates, such as Polypropylene (PP). Its high solids content and extremely strong initial tack are perfect for mattress and furniture production. Request a free demo through +48 (0)61 66 45 125 or sabapolska@saba-adhesives.com

representative furniture for living rooms as well as practical upholstered sofas and comfortable lounge furniture. DFM is constantly investing in machinery, employees and expanding its three production plants. This year, the plant in Reszel will be enlarged twice. A professional paint shop department was opened in Dobre Miasto. The company has acquired next modern CNC machines for precise cutting of fabrics, leathers, plywood, chipboards and foam.

At the forefront of hi-tech DFM constantly invests in the latest technologies, implements modern machines and solutions that follow the idea of Industry 4.0 to optimise the production process, facilitate communication between

departments and finally provide the user with a personalized product of the highest quality. Recently, the company has created an individually designed, integrated IT system to track and control the entire production process from one place. Latest technologies help DFM also to increase its production efficiency, to optimise the use of materials and, above all, to develop the “Zero Waste” policy. Many installed devices allow the company to reuse the materials in the production process. For example, a rebound machine re-foams the scraps of foam, which creates a new filling for the furniture. The remnants of foam are used also as fillings for pillows. Many small wooden elements remaining from the production are connected with each other by the technology of finger joints (very durable joining), thanks to which some elements

Industry Europe 73


HOME APPLIANCES, FURNITURE & HVAC

of the frame are built from them. Taking care of the environment and seeing the growing problem of plastic landing in landfills and oceans, DFM has introduced a collection of upholstered fabrics made of 100 percent recycled PET bottles. Such an advanced furniture production technology is in harmony with the nature.

First, the high quality At each stage of creating furniture, DFM focuses on the quality. All materials used in the production process come only from proven and reputable suppliers. A wide variety of imported fabrics and leather allows DFM to create the unique furniture. They meet the highest quality and environmental standards, and have appropriate certificates. Such a policy ensures repeatability in the production process and guarantees the best quality. It is through this approach that the company is appreciated by its business partners. Quality of the workmanship, modern design, timely deliveries and, above all, flexibility of the offer are the factors that the DFM business partners value the most.

74 Industry Europe

The high quality of the DFM products is confirmed by the Golden M certificate, awarded by the German Association Deutsche Gütegemeinschaft Möbel – DGM, which plays an important role as the RAL Quality Association – protecting the quality of furniture and increasing consumer protection. It is awarded to products of higher than average quality – both in terms of environmental protection and user’s health.

For people and with people None, not even the most innovative and up-to-date machinery, is able to replace the most important factor in the company, i.e. people. DFM employs approx. 1,300 people who form a very wellcoordinated and committed team of employees with enormous experience – often exceeding 30 years – in the furniture industry. They are considered best specialists in their fields. With great passion they create furniture perfectly matching to the changing n market trends and customer expectations. For information, visit: www.dfm.pl


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

THE SPECIALIST FOR MACHINE TOOL PERIPHERALS LNS is the one-stop resource for industry-leading bar feeding equipment and accessories, chip conveyors and coolant management systems, offering an unmatched product range, applications experience, service, and support.

W

ith more than 45 years of proven experience in machine tool peripherals that optimise manufacturing performance, productivity and profitability, LNS leads the way in the sector. Based on the principle of sustainability and its knowledge of customer requirements, the company offers a complementary range including chip management systems, coolant management systems, air filtration systems and bar feeding systems. Since its establishment in 1973, the Group has become a worldwide leader with a global operation, to be closer to regional markets and to respond faster to future developments. Today, LNS employs nearly 1,000 people in its facilities across Europe, North America, and Asia.

The business is managed on a global level through an everexpanding network consisting of sister companies and exclusive agents. This solid distribution network, which has been built up over the years, allows LNS to create customer loyalty and to acquire new customers.

Fast and effective In the 1970’s, LNS addressed bar loading machine shortcomings by developing the first hydraulic bar feeders that reduce friction, noise, and vibration, better known as the Hydrobar®. This invention was such a resounding success that not only did LNS’s business

Industry Europe 75


76 Industry Europe


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

increase significantly, but the name Hydrobar® became a generic term still used throughout the machine tool industry today. Since then, LNS bar feeders have evolved into user-friendly, ergonomic, and highly efficient devices that provide a number of significant advantages including faster changeovers, optimum turning machine RPM, unattended operation as well as remote monitoring. With over 170,000 units installed worldwide, LNS bar feeders are universally recognised for their exceptional bar guiding technique. In the most varied applications, LNS bar feeders ensure maximum productivity on all types of fixed or sliding headstock lathes. In addition to bar feeders, LNS offers air filtration systems to eliminate pollution related to the metal manufacturing environment, and is also a specialist in chip management systems, designing and producing conveyors and full integrated chip disposal systems for all machine types. The range of conveyors covers all material types and chip shapes, and can cater for all filtration requirements, up to 50 microns. Last but not least, in order to improve machine tool productivity, LNS Group offers a complete range of coolant systems, oil mist collectors and tramp oil removal systems that guarantee optimal lubrication, allowing a considerable increase in machining speeds.

ULTRA 80 A constant search for new technologies and solutions that will allow customers to maximise their productivity has been one of the factors supporting LNS’ global growth. New products and innovations are developed to match evolving customer needs. In 2020, the company launched the ULTRA 80, a new bar feeder. Provided with an extremely rigid 700 kg mineral cast iron support beam, helping to “seat” the machine in position, it guarantees machining quality by damping to a maximum the vibrations generated by the rotating bar. To make this support beam, LNS Group uses a specific patented manufacturing process. The complete machine weighs up to 2 tonnes and remains perfectly stable even

while long bars with a diameter of 80 mm and weighing over 160 kg are rotating. In response to requests from its customers, LNS Group designed a highly flexible front rest system for the ULTRA 80 to reduce the need to change the guiding elements. The front rest is an essential support element for the bar before it enters the lathe spindle, keeping the bar perfectly centred, while accepting a wide range of bar diameters. It adjusts automatically to bars of different diameters, so the operator does not have to change the guiding elements. The ULTRA 80 is available in two versions, with internal ramp or external lift to offer customers the configuration best suited to their requirements. The oversized insertion and extraction system is also equipped with a booster for all chucks available on the market.

E-Connect The company has been active on the digitisation front since 2006, enhancing productivity through a unique electronic connection system to help reduce downtime, material waste and labour costs, all of which help manufacturers maximise productivity and profitability. The LNS proprietary e-Connect Ethernet communications system enables bi-directional data sharing between CNC machine tools and LNS bar feeders. These intra-machine communications monitor material usage and CNC production schedules to provide automatic changeover capability that reduces material waste and improves throughput. Developed in cooperation with major turning machine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and with extensive input from end users, the system enables manufacturers to create a library of over one thousand parts programs that are stored in the bar feeder’s programmable logic controller (PLC). Currently in use with select turning machines, the system will soon be more widely available. LNS continues to listen to OEMs and end users, and the needs of these will drive the development of other n useful enhancements.

Industry Europe 77


QUALITY PUT TO THE TEST A 2020 award for the environmental friendliness of its sectional doors confirms ALUTECH’s position at the forefront of Europe’s aluminium building products industry.

78 Industry Europe


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

In

August 2020, the ALUTECH Group was awarded an Environmental Product Declaration for the sectional doors produced by its subsidiary ALUTECH Doors Systems. The declaration, which covers its garage, industrial and Panoramic door systems and is verified by IFT Rosenheim, the German Institute for testing and certification of building products, confirms that the company’s sectional doors have minimal impact on the environment during all life-cycle stages, including the manufacturing process, recycling and disposal at the end of their operational life. ALUTECH is one of the largest manufacturers of roll-formed aluminium profiles in Europe. It also holds the leading position on the roller shutter systems and sectional doors market in Eastern Europe. Headquartered in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the ALUTECH Group of companies today includes six manufacturing operations and 25 sales companies in the Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Germany and Austria. The Group’s facilities include a modern panel production line for sectional doors, roll-forming lines, an aluminium coil coating and cutting unit, aluminium extrusion lines, automated machines for high pressure casting of aluminium alloys, powder coating lines and the CIS’s largest complex for anodizing aluminium profiles. The quality management systems of all ALUTECH plants have been certified in compliance with the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001 by TUV CERT. ALUTECH products are supplied to the countries of both Eastern and Western Europe, including the Czech Republic, Germany, England,

the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The company also exports to Asia, Africa and North America. In fact, ALUTECH systems have been installed at millions of sites in 65 countries around the world.

Sectional doors The ALUTECH Group of companies is today the leading manufacturer of sectional doors in the CIS countries. Its current range of sectional doors includes garage doors, with a crossbar design that makes them suitable for installation in almost any type of garage. It also produces an extensive range of industrial sectional doors up to a size of 7x6m that are suitable for most kinds of production buildings. Electric motors are available for garage doors and for industrial doors as well as remote control devices, optical sensors and photocells, control lights, signal lights etc. All types of ALUTECH sectional doors are operationally safe regardless of whether they are driven electrically or manually. All systems comply with the European safety standards EN 12604 and EN 12453.

Roller shutters Roller shutter systems are one of the most efficient ways to protect premises from break-in and burglary, hence their widespread use by banks, boutiques and shopping malls. Roller shutters also help in maintaining a comfortable in-house atmosphere protecting windows

Industry Europe 79


from bright sun, strong wind and rain, noise, dust and strangers. In winter roller shutters help to preserve warmth in the house, while in the summer they keep the house cool. The wide range of ALUTECH systems includes roller shutters for window and door openings, roller garage doors and rolling grills. They are suitable for installation in private houses and garages, stores, boutiques, banks, trade pavilions, cafes and restaurants, industrial shops or warehouses.

Profile systems ALUTECH was the first company in Belarus to focus on the production of architectural and construction systems made of aluminium extruded profiles.

Today the use of aluminium profiles in construction includes facade systems, entry elements, office and interior partition walls and facades with structural glazing as well as translucent roofs and stained glass windows. Aluminium facade structures are also an integral part of modern architecture. ALUTECH also offers multi-purpose automatic systems at various price levels and with various degrees of complexity. These systems are produced by leading manufacturers in the field of door automation including Nice (Italy) and Marantec (Germany). These systems offer instant gate and door control and are suitable for use in various climatic conditions.

Production sites The ALUTECH Group’s production facilities today include three operations in Belarus, one in Ukraine and one in Siberia. ALUTECH Incorporated, based in Minsk, is a modern industrial enterprise producing and supplying a wide range of profiles, components and accessories, such as drives/motors and control systems for roller shutters. It has a production capacity of over 50 million metres of roll formed profiles per year. The entire process flow represents a complete production cycle, from coating the source coils (painting and cutting of aluminium and steel lath, roll forming) to packaging of the finished products. The plant uses the most up-to-date automated production lines that enable quality control of the manufactured products at all stages of the production process. Alutech Doors Systems, also based in Minsk, produces sectional doors and a wide range of panels and components and elements from aluminium alloys using die-casting technologies. It has a production capacity of 240,000 doors per year and an automated warehouse for sandwich panels with a capacity for 230,000 linear metres.

80 Industry Europe


METALS, METALWORKING & MINING

AluminTechno (Minsk) is one of the largest factories in Eastern Europe producing extruded aluminium profiles and performing powder coating and anodic treatment. It produces 45,000 tons of extruded profiles per year, more than 35,000 tons of powder coated profiles and more than 10,000 tons of anodised profiles per year.

Ukraine and Siberia Alutech-K, based in Kiev, is a production and sales company representing ALUTECH in Ukraine. The company has at its disposal

high-tech production lines for manufacture of sectional doors and assembly of roller shutter systems, as well as up-to-date warehouses for a wide range of Alutech products (aluminium profile systems, doors, roller shutter systems, automatics systems). Alutech-Sibir LLC, the Group’s newest production facility in Novosibirsk, Siberia, is a modern manufacturing site specialized in the production of roller shutters, sectional doors and entrance gates. The company also supplies aluminium profiles, kitting and accessories, drives and control systems for doors and roller shutters. n

Stublina d.o.o. One of the strategic partners of Alumin Techno is the company Stublina doo. Present on the market in over 30 countries worldwide and located in Serbia Stublina is a great example of how dedicated work and vision can turn a small company into a giant and one of the leaders in the production of hardware fittings for aluminum and PVC profiles. Covering 5ha, 3 production facilities with the most modern equipment and tools, and 350 employees. ALUMIN TECHNO, is a company with whom we have achieved a long-term and very successful cooperation, where our distribution network has gained new dimensions. The 10-year-long collaboration with ALUTECH, starting in 2010, continues with the same seriousness and commitment as from the first day. With more than 2000 different items we provide to ALUETCH a large variety of products for their systems, while the number of delivered quantities confirms it, with over 1,200,000 pieces of fittings annually, 150.000 window handles, door handles, 250.000 hinges and sets for T&T tilt opening. We believe that big success requires big effort, perseverance and constant improvement through modernization, innovative approaches and constructive solutions.

Industry Europe 81


Italy’s Sofidel Group is leading the world in integrating sustainability into every aspect of its business.

A STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH 82 Industry Europe


PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING

In

October 2020, the Sofidel Group announced that it was enhancing its commitment to more sustainable packaging with the introduction of its Regina Cartacamomilla toilet paper brand in new packaging in kraft paper. The new packaging is manufactured with a bio-based material, and therefore renewable and easily recyclable, and replaces the standard polyethylene film. The operation, which started in Italy back in September, will be completed by the end of the year and is part of Sofidel’s broader sustainable development strategy. At the same time, the Regina Kamillenpapier toilet paper in Germany, and the Regina Rumiankowy toilet paper, in Poland, hit supermarket shelves in a new version featuring kraft paper packs, alongside the polyethylene packs already marketed. In Spain too, the new Regina Camomila toilet paper with kraft paper packs has been recently presented to retailers. The Sofidel Group has set itself the goal of achieving a 50% reduction in the use of conventional plastic in its production by 2030 (compared to 2013), which is equivalent to the elimination of over 11,000 tonnes of plastic released onto the market every year from 2030 onwards. This goal is pursued through a general reduction in the thickness of the plastic film used in the production process (launched some years ago), the introduction of new kraft paper packaging, which is already present or due to arrive on European distribution shelves, and the progressive use, on some markets, of recycled plastics or bioplastics.

has more than 6,000 employees and a current production capacity of 1.3 million tonnes. The group achieved net sales of €1.9 billion in 2019, up from €1.7 billion in 2018. Its best-known brand, available in several countries, is Regina. Regina brand toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins, handkerchiefs and tissues are familiar all over Europe. The Sofidel Group’s business model sees sustainability and innovation as an essential combination that creates value for the company and all its stakeholders and allows new opportunities to be seized. Sofidel’s goal is to incorporate sustainability in every aspect of its business, in order to continually find new solutions to reduce its environmental impact, satisfy customer and local community needs and improve relations with employees and suppliers, putting people’s safety and well-being first. To this end, a three-year sustainability plan has been drawn up, which all department heads are asked to implement with precise objectives. The sustainability plan is monitored and updated every year and validated by Sofidel’s CEO.

New US plant Also this October, Sofidel announced that its new US plant in Inola, Oklahoma, was now fully operational. The Inola production site is the second built from scratch (i.e. on a greenfield site)

A worldwide enterprise Sofidel founded in 1966, is today one of the largest producers of paper for hygienic and domestic uses (tissue) in the world. It produces and markets toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins, handkerchiefs and tissues. The company is owned by the Stefani and Lazzareschi families. From its headquarters in Porcari, Sofidel coordinates the work of 17 companies throughout Europe and the United States. In total it Industry Europe 83


PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING

Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of the Sofidel Group. “This is an important step, of which we are proud, all the more so in light of the results achieved in the first half of 2020 which improve last year’s already good performances.”

Award successes by Sofidel in the United States, after its plant in Circleville, Ohio, opened in 2018. The Inola plant now joins the already operating Group sites in Green Bay (Wisconsin), Circleville (Ohio), Las Vegas, Hattiesburg (Mississippi), Haines City (Florida) and the U.S. head office in Horsham (Pennsylvania). The integrated plant – i.e. including both the papermill phase (which leads from the raw material, the cellulose, to the production of paper) and the converting phase (which leads to the finished product, such as toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins, tissues) – has involved a total investment of about $360 million, and employs over 300 people. The Inola plant has been designed focusing on energy saving, reduction of water consumption and fibre loss in the production process and recovery (water, exhausts, and mechanical energy), in line with the company’s sustainable development strategy. “The U.S. market is fundamental for the growth of the Sofidel Group and the new plant, enabling an enhanced production capacity and a further improvement of the geographical coverage, strengthens our position and creates the conditions for further growth,” said

84 Industry Europe

Regina Blitz Extra Large Triple Layer Sheets won the Product of the Year 2019 award in the UK in the Household Paper category. Product of the Year is the UK’s largest piece of consumer market research into innovation in products for mass consumption. The Product of the Year award for innovation in the House Cleaning Accessories category also went to Asciugoni Regina in Italy. The award was given for its absorption capacity - thanks to the new maxi-sheets - and its “legendary” durability. In the Away-From-Home line, Papernet Freshen Tech won the PPI (Pulp & Paper International) Award 2019 in the Tissue Innovation category. The PPI Awards, promoted by Fastmarkets RISI, are for excellence in tissue at an international level.

Sales in 2020 Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has seen Sofidel strengthen its sales performance in the first six months of the year. The already good performances achieved in 2019 were surpassed as Sofidel recorded a 17.88% increase in net sales, from n €94.5 million to €1.1 billion.


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

IMPROVING THE FABRIC OF LIFE With over 240 years as a pioneer in thread technology, Coats has responded to the global pandemic with a range of innovative textile solutions

In

August 2020, Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread company, formed a partnership with HeiQ, a Swiss technology company, to incorporate HeiQ Viroblock technology into its engineered yarns and sewing threads. HeiQ Viroblock is among the first textile technologies in the world to be proven effective in laboratory testing against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Coats Innovation Hub in North Carolina, US, is adapting HeiQ Viroblock technology to create a new range of threads and engineered yarns suitable for applications across a wide range of

end-use products. Non-toxic and hypoallergenic, HeiQ Viroblock merges microsilver technology to attract virus particles which then combine with vesicle technology to break down the viral membrane within seconds. The microsilver technology uses recycled silver to enhance its sustainable offering, while the vesicle technology is bio-based. Ronan Cox, President, Performance Materials, Coats, said: “The combination of HeiQ Viroblock technology with our specialist expertise in threads and yarns creates a unique and powerful textile

Industry Europe 85


solution for the challenges we see today. The innovation infrastructure we have built at Coats continues to deliver exciting industry changing concepts that have real large-scale commercial potential.”

Two centuries of innovation Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer. Headquartered in the UK it employs 17,000 employees in over 50 countries around the world. For over two centuries, since the company’s foundation in the Scottish town of Paisley in 1775, it has developed a global footprint that gives it unrivalled access to markets, garment manufacturers and brand owners across the world. As a pioneer in the thread industry, Coats continues to lead in the creation of advanced products and services. It partners with

customers across multiple industries to understand and meet the challenges they face by delivering innovative solutions. From conventional apparel like trousers and blouses to highly demanding, safety-critical end uses like automotive airbags and surgical sutures, Coats offers specially engineered industrial threads and yarns that optimise its customers’ sewing performance and enhance product quality. Under its Opti brand, Coats also offers a wide variety of zip fasteners for manufacturers of clothing, footwear, accessories, outdoor gear and many other sectors. The Opti range is backed by unrivalled zip manufacturing technology, designed to give Coats customers a product they can trust every time. Coats global trims offer is a range of high-quality interlinings, reflective tapes, hook and loop fasteners and mattress tapes developed in cooperation with leading suppliers and textile manufacturers. They can be used in a multitude of apparel, footwear and speciality applications. Coats prides itself on its innovation which has become a key focus following the development of its three Innovation Hubs in China, Turkey and the US. These centres provide the opportunity for the company’s technical experts to work alongside industry partners and customers in real time on dedicated machinery to develop ground-breaking solutions for all the industries that Coats supplies.

Eco-friendly threads To ensure growth, now and in the future, Coats understands the importance of using resources efficiently and exploring innovative solutions to protect the environment. This includes using more sustainable raw materials and reducing waste. Coats EcoVerde is the first globally available 100 per cent recycled line of premium corespun and textured sewing threads, delivering 86 Industry Europe


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

the same proven level of performance as the industry’s leading nonrecycled threads. EcoVerde threads help complete the loop for garments and accessories that already use recycled polyester fabrics or other eco-friendly fabrics or materials. Waste plastic, such as used plastic (PET) bottles, is collected from various industrial and post-consumer sources. These are collected, sorted, cleaned, ground to flakes and then melted down and extruded into the fibre and filaments from which EcoVerde sewing threads are made. Because it consists entirely of recycled plastic fibres, Coats EcoVerde has a significantly lower carbon footprint than virgin fibres.

Advanced yarn for telecom cables This year Coats launched Gotex StremX, the first new product of its kind for the telecom cable industry in 20 years. For use as a strength member in fibre optic cables, it is the critical component that preserves the integrity and flexibility of cables in order to protect the wires and fibres they are carrying. To date telecom cables have traditionally been produced using glass or para-aramid fibres as the central strength members but the Innovation team at Coats has adapted a specific composition

of a material substrate used predominantly in the aerospace and wind energy markets. The new product is a premium quality yarn with a unique coating that enhances both the static and dynamic properties of the strength member. It provides a cost-effective alternative to aramid strength members and exceptional mechanical properties with excellent temperature and corrosion resistance. Coats has developed two variations of Gotex StremX to meet specific needs in telecommunication cable designs. Both are available in a wide range of sizes and with optional water blocking coatings. Gotex StremX HM is a super-strong, heat resistant yarn that improves cable tensile modulus by around 15 per cent and tensile strength by 15 per cent when compared to traditional fibre glass strength members. Gotex StremX UHM is a premium product that can achieve even higher tensile strength up to 35 per cent and modulus of up to 25 per cent in comparison to standard fibre glass strength members. Ronan Cox says: ‘Our unique combination of innovation and deep market insights has enabled us to develop a new high performance strength member. Gotex StremX is a cost-effective solution for our n customers and will prove to be an industry disrupter.’

Industry Europe 87


PILLAR OF STRENGTH Last year, Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world leader in fast-moving consumer goods, expanded its markets and increased household penetration in multiple categories — driving top-line growth, bottom-line growth and market share. In addition to boosting financial performance, the company also further intensified its social role.

P

rocter & Gamble, now over 180 years old, is the largest branding company on the planet. This century-long tradition, combined with its start-up mentality, is a sound foundation for the company’s continuous improvement and its drive to change in line with evolving market requirements and customer preferences - an 88 Industry Europe

aspect that helped the business navigate through the difficult year of 2020 with an impressive performance. “We delivered another strong quarter of results across all key measures – top line, bottom line and cash,” said David Taylor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We remain focused on executing


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

our strategies of superiority, productivity, constructive disruption and improving P&G’s organisation and culture. These strategies enabled us to build strong business momentum before the Covid crisis, accelerated our progress in calendar year 2020 and remain the right strategies to deliver balanced growth and value creation over the long term.” “Credit for these results goes to all of the employees of P&G, who have demonstrated incredible creativity, agility and commitment to serving consumers, customers and communities every day during these difficult circumstances.”

Stepping up as a force of good P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Fairy®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene® and many more. Within its ten categories, the company is creating superior, science-based products delivered with superior packaging, consumer communication, retail execution and value in all price tiers where P&G competes. P&G products play an essential role in helping consumers maintain proper hygiene, personal health and healthy home environments. Its products clean laundries, homes, hair, bodies, and hands, as well as clean and shave faces. The company provides hygiene products for feminine protection, baby care, adult incontinence and bathroom needs. As a result, demand for many of P&G’s categories has increased in the face of the pandemic.

Amongst its innovations responding to new needs, P&G introduced Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray, which has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective at killing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. In addition to providing an initial kill of the virus that causes COVID-19, Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray is approved to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses, including the viruses that cause the common cold and flu. In these unprecedented times, the company’s social involvement has also intensified. P&G has pivoted its global disaster relief programme to focus on the needs created by Covid-19. Millions of P&G products have been donated from more than 50 of its brands in more than 55 countries, helping ensure that families have basic access to the everyday essentials many of us take for granted. The company has also partnered with and supported more than 200 NGOs, agencies and some of the world’s leading relief organisations, providing help to nursing homes, shelters, community groups, food banks and more. Industry Europe 89


TEXTILES, HOME & PERSONAL CARE

Improving consumers’ options The pandemic has not affected P&G’s focus on environmental sustainability, one of its top long-term priorities. The company recently made a new commitment to advance a series of natural climate solutions over the next 10 years that will put P&G on track for its operations to be carbon neutral by 2030. Working closely with

90 Industry Europe

leading climate experts, P&G will fund a range of projects designed to protect, improve, and restore forests, wetlands, grasslands, and peatlands. These efforts will increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting local communities and economic recovery. As part of these efforts towards a more sustainable world, P&G Beauty has announced the launch of its first ever reusable and refillable aluminium bottle system at scale, with its brands Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Herbal Essences and Aussie in Europe. P&G Beauty is on track to reduce virgin plastic usage by 50 per cent in shampoos and conditioners by the end of 2021, where through collective efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle it will result in 300 million fewer virgin plastic bottles being produced yearly. “Consumers are no longer willing to compromise performance for living sustainably and they expect brands to take meaningful action in solving some of the most complex challenges facing the world,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer. “This is why P&G is focused on reinventing marketing to use the reach and voice of our brands as a force for good and a force for growth. We want our brands to be growing and creating value while having a measurable, long-term, positive impact on the planet.” P&G has made significant investments to strengthen the superiority of its brands and is set to continue to invest in improving options n for consumers around the world.



ADVERTISERSINDEX

A ADHULST Agromet Axens

73 34 Outside Back

Pompe Cucchi

Royal Institute of Technology 26 84 64

38

G Granpak

86

92 Industry Europe

SABA Sacia Sacia Group Stublina

73 50 50 81

Total

29

Vitronic

42

W 77 52

M Met Components Motionitalia MSV elektronika

S

V

K Kindlimann Kleiberit

Inside Front

T 57

H Huniplast

90

R

F FEPAC

Inside Back

46

C CAAC Pioneer Logistics Capp-Plast Castel

NLMK

P

B Bocar

N

73 72 60

Woodtai Enterprises

68