Industry Europe – Issue 33.4

Page 1

VOLUME 33/4 – 2024





The Transatlantic Comedy Show: How the Next US Election is Shaking Up Europe I n a world that often feels like it's spinning off its axis, one thing we can rely on for entertainment is the quadrennial circus known as the United States presidential election. But hold onto your lederhosen, folks, because this time around, the show has a special guest star: Europe. That's right, strap in for a rollercoaster ride of political drama, cultural mishaps, and maybe even a few laughs along the way. Picture this: it's 2024, and Europe is watching the American political theater with a mixture of bemusement and mild horror. As the candidates duke it out on the debate stage, Europeans are popping popcorn and settling in for the spectacle. After all, when your own political landscape includes everything from Brexit shenanigans to Italian opera in the parliament, a little American drama is just the cherry on top. First up, we have the candidates themselves. On one side of the ring, we've got the seasoned politician with all the charisma of a damp sponge. They've been in politics for decades, navigating the treacherous waters of Washington with the skill of a seasoned sailor. They speak in measured tones, careful not to offend anyone and adept at dodging difficult questions. On the other side, we've got the reality TV star who thinks foreign policy is something you do with your hair. They've never held political office, but they've got millions of Twitter followers and a knack for grabbing headlines. It's like watching a sitcom where the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. But hey, who needs substance when you've got soundbites? Forget about policy proposals and detailed plans for the economy. In the age of social media, all you need is a catchy slogan and a snappy comeback. "Make America Great Again!" "Build Back Better!" It's politics by way of a late-night infomercial, and Europe can't look away. Of course, no American election would be complete without a healthy dose of scandal. From leaked emails to questionable tax returns, it's like a soap opera where everyone's a little too invested in other people's business. And let's not forget the

obligatory accusations of foreign interference. Russia, China, Europe – everyone wants a piece of the action. But while America is busy tearing itself apart, Europe is left to pick up the pieces. With the fate of NATO hanging in the balance and trade agreements up in the air, European leaders are scrambling to figure out where they stand. Will they cozy up to the new president, or keep their distance until the dust settles? It's like trying to dance with a drunk uncle at a wedding – awkward, uncomfortable, and bound to end in tears. And speaking of tears, let's talk about the impact of the election on the European economy. With the world's largest economy in turmoil, stock markets are more jittery than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Will the dollar collapse? Will the euro follow suit? Will anyone ever figure out how Brexit is supposed to work? It's a financial rollercoaster with more twists and turns than a Danish crime drama. But hey, it's not all doom and gloom. After all, laughter is the best medicine – especially when your healthcare system is in the hands of politicians who can't agree on the color of the sky. So let's raise a glass to the absurdity of it all, and toast to the enduring comedy of the transatlantic relationship. In the end, whether you're rooting for the donkey or the elephant, one thing is for sure: the next US election is sure to be a wild ride. So grab your popcorn, hold onto your hats, and buckle up for the most entertaining show on Earth. Because when it comes to politics, you never know what's going to happen next – and that's half the fun. As the countdown to the next US presidential election ticks on, Europe braces itself for impact. From the bustling streets of Paris to the tranquil canals of Amsterdam, the chatter about American politics echoes across the continent. But amidst the serious discussions about foreign policy implications and economic ramifications, there's a distinct undercurrent of amusement – a recognition that, for all its chaos and uncertainty, the American electoral process is also a source of unparalleled entertainment.

Take, for example, the candidates themselves. In one corner, you have the seasoned politician with decades of experience under their belt. They speak in carefully crafted sentences, peppered with political jargon and diplomatic niceties. In the other corner, you have the outsider – the maverick who eschews traditional political decorum in favor of bombastic rhetoric and Twitter tirades. It's a classic David versus Goliath scenario, played out on the world stage for all to see. But it's not just the candidates' personalities that make for good TV. It's their antics, their gaffes, their moments of sheer absurdity that keep audiences glued to their screens. Whether it's a viral video of a candidate falling asleep during a debate or a scandalous revelation about their past indiscretions, there's never a dull moment in American politics. Of course, the real fun begins when the candidates go head-to-head in the debates. It's a high-stakes game of political chess, where every move is scrutinized and every misstep could spell disaster. But amidst the seriousness of the occasion, there's also a sense of theatricality – a recognition that, at its core, politics is just another form of entertainment. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the memorable one-liners and zingers that inevitably emerge from these showdowns. Who could forget the iconic moment when one candidate accused the other of having the "wrong" opinion on a hot-button issue, only to be met with thunderous applause from the audience? Or the time when a moderator asked a seemingly innocuous question about tax policy, only to be met with a rambling, incoherent response that left viewers scratching their heads in confusion? These are the moments that live on in political lore, destined to be replayed and analyzed for years to come. But it's not just Americans who are tuning in to watch the drama unfold. Across the pond, Europeans are also getting in on the action – albeit with a healthy dose of scepticism and bemusement. After all, when your own political system includes everything from parliamentary brawls to eccentric prime ministers, it takes a lot to impress the jaded European audience. n Industry Europe 3



VOL 33/4

Comment 3

Editorial: How the Next US Election is Shaking Up Europe

Focus on – Semiconductors, metals & mining 6

Editorial Director Roger Sullivan

Art & Design Editorial Office

Profile Writers Romana Moares Dariusz Balcerzyk Emma-Jane Batey

Navigating the silicon path: Exploring the future of semiconductors

Focus on – Transportation / rare earth metals 8

Rare earth metals: The driving force behind transportation innovation

Aerospace & Defence 10

Aerospace & Defence news The latest developments in the sector


Chemicals & Biochemicals

Director of Sale & Business Development

Katarzyna Pozoga


Chemicals & Biochemicals news The latest developments in the sector

Construction & Engineering 14

Business Partner, Poland Magdalena Grzempczyńska

Construction & Engineering news The latest developments in the sector

Consumer Goods 16

Consumer Goods news The latest developments in the sector

Energy & Utilities 18

Energy & Utilities news The latest developments in the sector

Industry Europe 110 Boundary Road, Norwich NR6 5JE, United Kingdom

Healthcare 20

Healthcare news The latest developments in the sector

Tel: +44 1133 281 173 Email: Web: LinkedIn:

Metals & Mining 22

Metals & Mining news The latest developments in the sector

Politics & Economics 24

Politics & Economics news The latest developments in Politics and Economics

© Industry Europe 2023 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.

Technology & Innovation 26 30


Your partner in scaling business ideas Manufacturing Partners Bringing advanced AI technologies to edge / cloud decision manufacturer layers and facilitating the coopera tion between humans and machines, using Ethics by Design approach ATC Technology & Innovation news The latest developments in Tech and Innovation


Transportation 36

Transportation news The latest developments in the sector

4 Industry Europe





emiconductors, often referred to as the bedrock of modern technology, have continually shaped the trajectory of human progress. From the dawn of integrated circuits to the current era of nanoscale transistors, these tiny electronic components have revolutionized industries, powering everything from smartphones to spacecraft. However, as we stand on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, the future of semiconductors

6 Industry Europe

is both promising and fraught with challenges. In this discourse, we delve into the potential pathways that lie ahead, exploring innovations, disruptions, and the transformative impact of semiconductor technologies. Continued Miniaturization and Moore's Law: One of the defining features of semiconductor technology has been the relentless pursuit of miniaturization, encapsulated by Moore's Law. Named after

Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, this empirical observation predicted that the number of transistors on a microchip would double approximately every two years. However, as transistor dimensions approach atomic scales, the traditional scaling trends are facing formidable physical limitations. Nonetheless, advancements in materials science, such as the integration of novel materials like graphene and nanowires, offer avenues to extend the scaling roadmap and sustain the pace of innovation. Beyond Silicon: Exploring Novel Materials and Architectures: The future of semiconductors lies not only in shrinking silicon transistors but also in exploring alternative materials and architectures. Emerging technologies like gallium nitride (GaN), silicon carbide (SiC), and organic semiconductors present opportunities for improved performance, energy efficiency, and functionality. Furthermore, the advent of quantum computing and neuromorphic computing heralds a paradigm shift, leveraging the principles of quantum mechanics and brain-inspired architectures to tackle complex computational tasks beyond the capabilities of classical computers. Heterogeneous Integration and System-Level Design: In the pursuit of enhanced functionality and performance, the future of semiconductors will witness a paradigm shift towards heterogeneous integration and system-level design. This approach involves combining disparate technologies, such as logic, memory, and sensors, into a single, cohesive system-on-chip (SoC). Through advanced packaging techniques like 3D integration and chip stacking, heterogeneous integration promises to unleash new levels of efficiency, flexibility, and miniaturization, enabling the realization of smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

AI-Powered Semiconductor Design and Optimization: Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize semiconductor design and optimization, empowering engineers to explore vast design spaces and accelerate time-to-market. Machine learning algorithms can optimize chip architectures, improve power efficiency, and predict performance characteristics with unprecedented accuracy. Moreover, AI-driven design automation tools promise to democratize semiconductor design, enabling startups and innovators to compete on a level playing field with industry incumbents. Sustainability and Ethical Considerations: As the semiconductor industry propels towards the future, it must confront pressing sustainability and ethical considerations. The manufacturing processes associated with semiconductor fabrication often involve hazardous chemicals, high energy consumption, and electronic waste. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop sustainable practices, embrace circular economy principles, and minimize the environmental footprint of semiconductor production. Additionally, ethical considerations surrounding data privacy, algorithmic bias, and technological unemployment necessitate a thoughtful and inclusive approach towards innovation. The future of semiconductors is teeming with possibilities, poised to redefine the boundaries of human ingenuity and technological prowess. From the continued pursuit of miniaturization to the exploration of novel materials and architectures, the semiconductor industry stands at the precipice of a new era of innovation. However, realizing this vision requires a concerted effort to overcome technical challenges, embrace sustainability, and navigate ethical considerations. By harnessing the collective wisdom of scientists, engineers, policymakers, and stakeholders, we can chart a course towards a future where semiconductor technologies enrich lives, empower communities, and propel humanity n towards new frontiers of discovery and progress.

Industry Europe 7




are earth metals, a group of seventeen elements nestled within the periodic table, are emerging as the unsung heroes propelling transportation into the future. These elements, though scant in occurrence, wield unparalleled significance in the automotive and aerospace industries, powering the evolution of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid cars, and cutting-edge aircraft. As the world endeavors to mitigate carbon emissions and embrace sustainable modes of transportation, rare earth metals stand as pivotal ingredients in this transformative journey. The allure of rare earth metals lies in their remarkable properties, which render them indispensable in numerous technological applications. Among these elements, neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium are notably sought after for their magnetism and thermal

8 Industry Europe

stability. Neodymium magnets, in particular, feature prominently in electric motors, enhancing efficiency and power density in EVs. The transition to electric propulsion hinges on the availability of rare earth magnets to ensure the optimal performance of motors, facilitating the widespread adoption of eco-friendly vehicles. Moreover, rare earth metals play a crucial role in the development of lightweight alloys, essential for enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions in conventional automobiles. Cerium and lanthanum, for instance, are employed in the production of catalytic converters, which diminish harmful pollutants emitted from internal combustion engines. As regulatory pressures intensify to curb vehicular emissions, these metals become increasingly indispensable in catalytic systems, promoting cleaner air and a healthier environment.

In the realm of aerospace engineering, rare earth metals underscore advancements in aviation technology, enabling the construction of lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft. The aerospace sector relies on rare earth elements for manufacturing high-strength alloys, enhancing structural integrity while minimizing weight. Cerium, terbium, and europium find application in aerospace-grade materials, ensuring the durability and performance of aircraft components subjected to extreme conditions. Furthermore, rare earth metals feature prominently in the development of rechargeable batteries, pivotal for storing renewable energy and powering electric vehicles. Lanthanum and cerium contribute to the composition of nickel-metal hydride batteries, offering a reliable energy storage solution for hybrid vehicles. Meanwhile, emerging battery technologies, such as lithium-ion and solid-state batteries, leverage elements like lithium and cobalt, often found alongside rare earth metals in battery chemistries. As battery technology evolves, rare earth metals will continue to underpin the energy storage systems vital for sustainable transportation. However, despite their indispensable role in advancing transportation technologies, rare earth metals face challenges concerning their extraction, processing, and geopolitical implications. China, the predominant producer of rare earth elements, exerts considerable influence over global supply chains, raising concerns regarding resource security and market volatility. Diversifying rare earth supply sources and investing in recycling technologies are imperative to mitigate these vulnerabilities and ensure a stable supply of critical materials for transportation infrastructure.

Moreover, environmental considerations surrounding rare earth mining and processing necessitate sustainable practices to mitigate ecological impacts. The extraction of rare earth metals often entails significant environmental degradation and pollution, underscoring the importance of responsible mining practices and stringent regulations to minimize ecological footprints. In conclusion, rare earth metals epitomize the nexus of innovation driving transportation toward a sustainable future. From electrification and lightweighting to energy storage and emissions control, these elements permeate every facet of automotive and aerospace engineering, catalyzing technological breakthroughs and paradigm shifts. As the world embraces the imperative of decarbonization and renewable energy, the role of rare earth metals in shaping the future of transportation cannot be overstated. It is incumbent upon stakeholders across industries to harness these precious resources judiciously, fostering a symbiotic relationship between technological n progress and environmental stewardship. Industry Europe 9


New developments in the Aerospace & Defence

Thales ground master 200 multi-mission compact radar

to strengthen lithuania’s counter battery operations


uilding on the strong international NATO cooperation as well as strategic bilateral defence ties, the Lithuanian Defence Material Agency signed an agreement with Dutch procurement Agency COMMIT for the acquisition of Thales Ground Master 200 Multi-Mission Compact radars (GM200 MM/C). Designed to address modern warfare’s challenges, the GM200 MM/C, provides simultaneous accurate detection, tracking and classification against all current and future threats, including drones. It offers radar operators with more time-ontarget to gather as much information on incoming threats as possible thanks to new-generation 4D AESA technology*. The system automatically detects tracks, classifies aircraft, missiles, helicopters, multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Rockets, Artillery and Mortar (RAM), and is particularly suited to weapon location and air defence. Cyber-secured by design, the GM200 MM/C also benefits from the latest software defined

radar technology, enabling future upgrades and capabilities expansion to manage the ever-evolving spectrum of changing threats and doctrines. Additionally, the compact design of the GM200 MM/C provides ease of choice from fixed location mode to high mobility, very short deployment times and ease of transportation on any platform. Lithuanian partner ELSIS will support Thales in this project, collaborating on the vehicle integration part of the solution. Thales has a long-standing and comprehensive expertise of air surveillance and air defence, from detection to neutralization. Its high technologies can address all types of threat, from drone countermeasures to ballistic missile defence surface radars, airborne radars, command centres, communication systems and equipment, counter battery and different types of effectors. “Acquisition and delivery of Multi Mission radars Thales GM200 MM/C will be another step in strengthening the Lithuanian Armed Forces' artillery

capability. Moreover, the joint procurement provides a lot of opportunities for enhanced cooperation with NATO allies in the field of acquisition and support”, Mr. Sigitas Dzekunskas, Director of Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence of Republic of Lithuania. “This Government-to-Government contract between the Netherlands and Lithuania illustrates the strong European defence cooperation. We are proud to be a part of this collaboration between NATO countries for which our GM200 MM/C will increase the safety and security of military personnel and high value assets.”, Gerben Edelijn, CEO Thales Netherlands.

SpiTrex Orthopedics Selects Flexxbotics for Robot-Driven Manufacturing


lexxbotics, delivering workcell digitalization for robot-driven manufacturing, announced that SpiTrex Orthopedics (SpiTrex), a leader in global medical device contract manufacturing, has selected the Flexxbotics solution for robot-driven manufacturing with autonomous process control in its FOBA laser marking machine workcells. The Flexxbotics solution enables robots to communicate directly with the FOBA laser marking system and change jobs in real-time and within sequence, reducing changeover time to 10 minutes, twice a week. The robots also connect with the vision system verifying the laser marking on each part to autonomously sort based on the results ensuring closed-loop quality for higher yields. “Flexxbotics is the only robot machine tending software solution we found capable of delivering the precision, cycle-time and closed-loop compliance required,” said Brett Gopal, SpiTrex Orthopedics Senior Vice President of Operations. “We are impressed with Flexxbotics’ autonomous process control using robots, and the ability to close-the-loop by alerting upstream and downstream workcells of quality problems based on automated inspection results which is quite unique.” Flexxbotics directs the robots to use the COGNEX camera images to determine the pass/fail status of each part, and then sends alerts with the images to pre- and post-process workcells when nonconformance issues are detected that need correcting. Flexxbotics changes jobs in real-time and within sequence, enabling job change-over at SpiTrex in less than 10 minutes, as opposed to requiring an hour or more of an engineer’s time to set-up the workcell when a new job is run. Brett Gopal explains, “The autonomous changeover process coupled with the closed feedback loop functionality enables us to produce extremely high tolerance parts through continuous flow

10 Industry Europe

which reduces the overall lead time by 20+%. Flexxbotics directly improves our throughput and ROC, which in turn increases profitability.” Brett Gopal continues: “Rolling out Flexxbotics across all FOBA laser marking workcells results in a 10:1 machine-to-man ratio which enables continuous operation allowing us to ship more high quality parts even with labor shortage challenges making it a game-changer for our business. It was clear the benefit of Flexxbotics’ solution horizontally integrating from one FOBA machine to another. What made their solution extremely unique was their ability to vertically integrate to our pre-machining process, post process and IT systems.” SpiTrex is an international contract manufacturer with specific focus on complex orthopedic implants for the Spine, Trauma, and Extremity markets (Spi.Tr.Ex). The company has a multi-site manufacturing footprint across North America and Europe. Flexxbotics workcell digitalization is the backbone of the smart factory delivering autonomous process control for next generation machining environments utilizing robotics in the medical, aerospace and advanced industrial sectors. Flexxbotics breakthrough innovation, the unique FlexxCORE™ technology, seamlessly connects and coordinates robots with existing automation equipment, IT systems and people. “We are proud to work with SpiTrex as they robot-enable manufacturing operations in their smart factories,” said Tyler Bouchard, Flexxbotics Co-founder & CEO. “We understand the necessity for the highest levels of precision while increasing output in advanced machining operations using robotics, particularly in sectors like medical, defense, aerospace and automotive. We believe that autonomous manufacturing cannot be achieved without autonomous process control which is why we are focused on robot-machine orchestration.”


INDUSTRYNEWS Telenor has entered into an agreement with Space Norway regarding the sale of its subsidiary Telenor Satellite. Space Norway is a leading player in the Norwegian space industry


he sales price is NOK 2.36 billion on an enterprise value basis. As Space Norway is wholly owned by the Norwegian Government, the transaction is subject to approval by the Norwegian Parliament. Closing of the transaction is expected in January 2024. “For more than 20 years, we have served our customers with premium, high-quality broadcasting and data services via satellite. Now the time has come for a new era for Telenor Satellite. With Space Norway, Telenor Satellite will have an industrial owner who has the right competence and who will prioritise the required financial resources to realise the company’s potential. We are proud of what we have achieved together and look forward to following the company’s future development”, says Dan Ouchterlony, EVP and Head of Telenor Amp,

“Satellite-based capabilities are more important than ever. The combination of Space Norway’s partly governmental customers and Telenor Satellite’s commercial customer base will give the new company a strong platform to grow the business in both sectors. We are very excited to enter into this agreement and look forward to contributing to the long-term development of Telenor Satellite”. Telenor and Space Norway have already signed a letter of intent outlining a strategic partnership and possible joint business development initiatives, in particular regarding additional satellite capacity and satellite consulting services. "The government will propose to the Parliament that Space Norway be provided with capital to finance the acquisition of Telenor Satellite. The acquisition will contribute to the establishment of a major Norwegian satellite operator, which, together with a growing Norwegian space industry, can strengthen Norway as a space nation. At the same time, the acquisition ensures that Norway, in a time of increasing geopolitical unrest, maintains control over satellites crucial for critical societal functions and strategically important for the country," says the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre. Telenor Satellite is a European satellite operator that covers the European, Middle East and North African (EMEA) market with broadcasting and data communication services. The company serves millions of homes with TV services, and nearly 2,000 vessels and 600 land terminals with data connectivity. During the first three quarters of 2023, Telenor Satellite generated revenues of NOK 707m, EBITDA of NOK 504m and EBIT of NOK 284m. Space Norway manages and develops strategic space capabilities. The company is 100% owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and represents a key part of the Norwegian Government’s activities and assets in the space sector. Space Norway’s activities range from small satellites in Low Earth Orbits to large satellites and ground infrastructure.

Research meets the used machinery market: AMRC machine auction on


he Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield is a globally leading research centre specialising in machining processes, manufacturing technology, and materials science. A particular focus is on aerospace, but also on other challenging manufacturing sectors such as the automotive industry, construction, food industry, and medicine. These outstanding research achievements of the AMRC are only possible through excellent equipment. High-quality machines and special equipment form the backbone of the centre, supplemented by reliable standard machines. Every part of the extensive machine park is maintained and cared for with the utmost care. This ensures that research work can always be carried out with the highest precision and efficiency. To always stay up to date with technology, it is essential for the AMRC to regularly acquire new machines and update existing equipment. This

tions have the opportunity to benefit from the quality and performance of these machines.

Auction of AMRC machines For metalworkers, a special opportunity now presents itself: A selection of high-quality CNC machines from the AMRC inventory is ready for auction. On 22/02, an auction with 32 lots ends on, including:

results in older, but still high-quality machines being phased out. In the spirit of sustainability and promoting closed loops, the AMRC decides to sell these machines. This process not only contributes to the reuse of valuable resources but also helps the AMRC to manage its budget efficiently. By selling these well-maintained and cared-for machines, other companies and institu-

• Vertical machining centres: DMG MORI SEIKI NMV 5000 DCG, NV5000a1, DMG MORI SEIKI DuraVertical 635, HAAS Mini Mill 2 • Linear universal machining centre: BUMOTEC S191 • CNC lathe: HAAS SL40 • Microwave VOTSCH VHM 180/200 The machines can be viewed by appointment in Rotherham. Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Chemicals & Biochemicals

Let it glow: Scientists develop new approach to detect ‘forever chemicals’ in water


esearchers have created a new way to detect ‘forever chemical’ pollution in water, via a luminescent sensor. Scientists in Chemistry and Environmental Science at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with scientists from the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Germany's Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, have developed a new approach for detecting pollution from ‘forever chemicals’ in water through luminescence. PFAS or ‘forever chemicals’ are manufactured fluorine chemicals that are used widely in different industries - from food packaging to semiconductor production and car tires. They are non-degradable and accumulate in the environment. Concerns regarding the toxic pollution they cause, particularly in water, have been rising in recent years. Stuart Harrad, Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, who

– with colleague Professor Zoe Pikramenou, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Photophysics - co-led the design of a new sensor, said: “Being able to identify ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water, or in the environment from industrial spills is crucial for our own health and the health of our planet. Current methods for measurement of these contaminants are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. There is a clear and pressing need for a simple, rapid, cost-effective method for measuring PFAS in water samples onsite to aid containment and remediation, especially at (ultra)trace concentrations. But until now, it had proved incredibly difficult to do that.” The researchers, who have published their findings in Analytical Chemistry, have created a prototype model which detects the ‘forever chemical’ perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The approach uses luminescent metal complexes attached to a sensor surface. If the device is dipped in contaminated

Sabic & cj cheiljedang collaborate on world-first ready-to-eat rice packaging bowls made with 25% certified renewable pp


ABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, has announced that a food-contact grade of its TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio of certified renewable polypropylene (PP) resins is used in the production of Hetbahn instant white rice packaging bowls by CJ CheilJedang, a South Korea-based global food company. The rigid bowls are the first of their kind using certified renewable PP in a ready-to-eat-rice packaging in Asia Pacific and align with CJ’s strong ‘Nature to Nature’ sustainability roadmap. SABIC supplies food-contact polypropylene for world- first ready-to-eat rice packaging bowl made with 25% certified renewable feedstock. Mohammed Al-Zahrani, Vice President of SABIC’s Polypropylene Business, comments: “Food brands around the world are increasingly looking for materials that will help them reduce their carbon

12 Industry Europe

footprint without compromising the performance, convenience and food safety of their packaging. We are very pleased about this opportunity to demonstrate SABIC’s vast expertise in sustainable PP resins for rigid food containers. Our certified renewable grade from our TRUCIRCLE portfolio used in CJ’s Hetbahn rice bowls meet the foodcontact regulations, and offers the same ease of processing and high end-use quality as competitive all-virgin polymers.” The Hetbahn brand, which is one of the top brands in cooked rice and now expanding its product portfolio to include porridge, frozen rice, cooked rice with soup etc., was originally launched in 1996 and means freshly harvested and cooked rice and has changed consumers’ perception of Korean rice meal culture. The rice grain is polished in a strict raw material process, cooked the same day and packed in a sterile environment so that the delicious taste of the rice can be preserved. The rice bowls are manufactured by sheet extrusion and subsequent thermoforming. The PP polymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio has a certified renewable content of 25% and provides the critical attributes of dimensional stability and heat resistance required when microwaving the rice

water, it detects PFOA by changes in the luminescence signal given off by the metals. The team has collaborated with surface and sensor scientists BAM in Berlin for the assay development and dedicated analytics at the nanoscale. Dan Hodoroaba, head of BAM’s Surface and Thin Film Analysis Division, emphasized the importance of chip characterization: “Advanced imaging surface analyses are essential for the development of dedicated chemical nanostructures on customised sensor chips to ensure optimal performance.” Professor Pikramenou concluded: “PFAS are used in industrial settings due to their useful properties for example in stain-proofing fabrics. But if not disposed of safely these chemicals pose a real danger to aquatic life, our health, and the broader environment. This prototype is a big step forward in bringing an effective, quick, and accurate way to detect this pollution helping to protect our natural world, and potentially keep our drinking water clean.” directly in the cup. In addition to this, the used bowls can be returned into the rigid PP recycling stream to recover their material value and enable a more circular packaging industry. CJ has already started to introduce the new Hetbahn rice bowls in E-Mart stores, one of the largest grocery chains in South Korea. Grace Kim, SVP of Global Packaging R&D at CJ, adds: “We are excited to launch our very first ISCC PLUS certified food packaging with renewable PP from SABIC. It marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and minimize the use of fossil based feedstock in our packaging. Maintaining high standards of quality and safety is a top priority for our company while continuously delivering more environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. We hope our initiative will inspire the global market by demonstrating the possibilities of renewable circular materials and creating the momentum toward achieving a circular economy.” The resulting certified renewable compounds form part of SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services, which also comprise design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular polymers and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.


INDUSTRYNEWS flow of water for at least 15 minutes to ensure Why Is Safety Shower Maintenance So Important? the a thorough decontamination. If the water pressure


afety showers are the first line of defence against the effects of skin contact with chemicals or dangerous materials. When they haven’t been properly maintained or regularly serviced, they don’t offer workers the protection needed in emergencies. The impact can be severe – life-changing injuries, permanent disabilities, and in the worst scenarios, even death. Several issues can impact the performance of an emergency shower. They’re common, and if you don’t know about them you could risk non-compliance with safety shower regulations. However, with regularly scheduled safety shower maintenance, you can identify and resolve them relatively easily. So, what are the issues, what causes them and what risks do they present to a user’s safety in the workplace?

is too high, this will be extremely uncomfortable or even painful to endure. With an eye wash in this scenario, the natural instinct would be to draw the head away from the nozzles – meaning any hazardous material or substance wouldn’t be flushed out.

4. Inconsistent Water Flow Pattern The types of bacteria found in stagnant water typically include Legionella, acanthamoeba and Pseudomonas. Similarly, with emergency tank showers - the water inside is at risk of becoming stagnant if they're not used frequently or activated on a weekly basis. Water tank chlorination, as well as non-chemical water treatment sticks, can help disinfect and clean the water – effectively killing most pathogenic bacteria. The ideal Legionella growth temperature is between 20°C and 45°C. EN./ANSI standards recommend water delivered from safety showers is tepid (so, between 16°C and 38°C). However, this risk can be mitigated through weekly activation and regular servicing and maintenance.

What causes the issue?

What's the risk to the end user?

What's the risk to the end user?

It can impact the safety shower or eye wash's water pressure, flow rate and spray pattern - causing the unit to malfunction or not work at all. And if it can't function correctly, it can’t work to limit the effects when skin comes into contact with chemicals. The water delivered by the unit will be contaminated, with the built-up sediment being sprayed out. This can heighten the risk of an even more serious injury – particularly with eye washes.

Acanthamoeba can cause acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), which is an infection of the cornea – the clear front part of the eye. It can be extremely painful. Pseudomonas can result in a variety of infections, including to the eyes, lungs, muscles, skin and tissue. Legionella can cause Legionnaires disease. If untreated, someone affected by Legionnaires will find their condition worsens during the first week. It can lead to severe illness.

If the flow pattern isn't at the correct width or height levels stipulated by EN and ANSI standards, it just won’t rinse effectively – and it’ll be non-compliant. For example, if water was to flow in a straight line, it wouldn’t reach a user’s shoulders. So, it wouldn’t be capable of decontaminating chemicals from a user’s skin.

3. Emergency Shower High Water Pressure

What's the risk to the end user?

2. Bacteria in Standing Water

What causes the issue?

What causes the issue?

Water pressure-related issues are caused by on-site supply. Fortunately, they can be resolved fairly easily with the addition of a pressurereducing valve (PRV).

1. Sediment Build-Up in Pipes What causes the issue? If a unit isn't being used frequently, stagnant water can sit in the pipework and cause a buildup of sediment. You can prevent this through a weekly activation test which flushes away any sediment, and stagnant water from the pipework, nozzles and eye wash diffusers. What's the risk to the end user?

There could be a problem with the mains water supply being contaminated. If you've got a unit that's not regularly used or fully flushed, stagnant or standing water can lead to the formation of biofilm – a thin layer of mucilage, containing bacteria and other microorganisms, that adheres to solid surfaces.

What's the risk to the end user? When someone comes into contact with a hazardous substance, it's recommended they stay under

There could be inconsistent water pressure on site. The unit not being serviced at regular intervals. As we covered in point 1., a build-up of sediment can impact flow pattern and rate. If the water quality is poor, the aerators could become blocked which will have an impact. The East, South and South East of England have the highest water hardness levels in the country, rating as ‘hard to very hard’ (between 201 – 350 parts per million (PPM)). On an eye wash, we recommend replacing the eye wash diffusers every six months to ensure the unit delivers the correct flow rate and functions correctly.

5. Missing/Damaged Eye Wash Dust Covers/Lids

The aerators on an eye wash can become blocked or clogged with external contaminants. These particles could enter the user's eyes, which would worsen the injury. Here, at Hughes, we have more than 50 years of experience in the industry, so we know just how important it is for businesses to have fully compliant emergency equipment. Our engineers regularly perform service, maintenance and repairs, to ensure our customers’ showers and eye wash stations are ready to provide that first line of defence against hazardous materials. Industry Europe 13


New developments in the Construction & Engineering

mobile tilt-down flexible screw conveyor system for manual dumping, bulk bag dischargiing


new Tilt-Down Flexible Screw Conveyor System is mounted on a portable base with a multi-purpose hood and an integral dust collector. This allows manual dumping from handheld sacks as well as discharging from bulk bags, subsequently transferring material to elevated downstream process equipment and storage vessels at multiple plant locations, dust free.

Discharging from bulk bags requires the user's forklift or plant hoist to suspend the bag above the dust hood, allowing the bag spout to be cinched by an iris valve, untied and then released gradually to prevent uncontrolled bursts of material from the bag. Alternately, hand-held sacks can be rested on a fold-down support tray, slit open, and manually dumped into the hopper. Airborne dust generated by either process is drawn away from the operator's area through the dust hood by a side-mounted BAG-VAC™ dust collector vented from the hood. To maintain operational efficiency, reverse-pulse air jets on a timed cycle remove accumulated dust build-up on filter surfaces, dropping it to the bottom of the dust collector for later removal and disposal.

The flexible screw conveyor features an inner stainless-steel screw of specialised geometry to propel both free- and non-free-flowing bulk materials including products that pack, cake, smear, seize or fluidise, with no separation of blends. The support boom and conveyor assembly can be tilted down to manoeuvre through standard doorways and aisles, and around corners for use anywhere in the plant. A low centre of gravity maximises stability during operation and when rolling the unit between multiple processing tasks and wash-down stations. When fully lowered, the tilt-down mechanism positions the clean-out cap of the conveyor tube higher off the plant floor, and the conveyor's discharge closer to the floor, allowing removal and re-insertion of the flexible screw from standing height during cleaning and inspection. The unit is constructed of carbon steel with a durable industrial coating. All stainless steel construction with material contact surfaces finished to sanitary standards is also available.

KORE Low Carbon EPS insulation using Neopor® BMB by BASF selected for major housing project of Braidwater


ORE Insulation has launched its low carbon EPS insulation which has been specified on a large housing development located in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland. This 127-unit development, Cloughan View, is being developed by the Braidwater Group, a major house builder from Northern Ireland. A key feature of the new homes is the high level of energy efficiency and one of the main factors contributing is the KORE Low Carbon EPS floor insulation. “Braidwater chose KORE’s Low Carbon EPS Floor Insulation as it comes with a significantly lower product carbon footprint when compared to competing insulation materials. Choosing products with a lower carbon footprint in our building materials enables us to meet green building certification requirements and cut our greenhouse gas emissions” says Rory Devlin, buyer for the Braidwater Group.

KORE Low Carbon Insulation combining climate protection with high quality “We are very proud to be part of this major housing project. Our Low Carbon EPS offers the same benefits found in KORE’s traditional insulation materials, with no loss in thermal 14 Industry Europe

performance or thermal conductivity” says Brian Flax, Marketing Manager at KORE Insulation. “KORE EPS remains moisture and water resistant, lightweight, versatile and cost-optimal when compared to competing insulation materials.” With its Low Carbon Insulation, KORE is combining climate protection with high product quality. KORE’s Low Carbon EPS Insulation is available for most applications including KORE Fill Diamond, KORE Floor, components of the KORE Insulated Foundation System, KORE External, KORE Roof Insulation and KORE Void Formers & Fillers. Additional products will be available in the near future. KORE Floor is NSAI Agreement Certified with independent third-party REDcert2 certification for its low carbon footprint alternative.

Neopor® BMB used for the production of KORE Low Carbon Insulation KORE’s Low Carbon Insulation is produced using Neopor® BMB from BASF, which is manufactured by replacing fossil feedstock at the very beginning of the value chain with an equivalent amount of renewable resources. The attribution of the renewable share of feedstock to the product according to a mass balance approach

is independently certified by REDcert². This kind of production saves fossil resources and further improves the positive sustainability profile of EPS. For example, the use of renewable raw materials significantly reduces the product carbon footprint of Neopor® BMB compared to traditionally produced Neopor®. “In general, insulation of buildings, whether new construction or renovation, is essential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reaching climate targets, while at the same time saving energy and heating costs for the owners”, says Phil Marsh, Commercial Manager UK & Ireland for Styrenic Polymers at BASF. “We’re delighted that KORE Low Carbon EPS using Neopor® BMB has been selected for this major project of Braidwater.” Groundbreaking for the 127-unit development, Cloughan View, has already taken place and the first houses will be handed over to new homeowners in early 2024.



Construction industry brace for slow recovery in 2024


ccording to the latest PMI data by S&P and CIPS, the headline construction PMI for November decreased slightly to 45.5, down from 45.6 in October. This latest fall was driven by a decrease in civil engineering and commercial activity, however new orders, future activity and housing activity all saw increases, a sign that the industry has finally reached a positive turning point after a year of shrinking pipelines. Commenting on the data, Kelly Boorman, partner and national head of construction at RSM UK, said: ‘This month’s slight fall in the headline PMI

to 45.5 reflects signs of stabilisation for the construction industry after a year of ongoing challenges, namely disruption to infrastructure projects and a slowdown in the housing market, which, coupled with the acute, long-term impact of interest rates and inflation had previously depleted the pipeline of work. But, more positively, the upticks in new orders, housing activity and future activity, plus the slight decrease in the availability of subcontractors implies there are reasons for cautious optimism as the industry braces for 2024. ‘In addition, last month’s Autumn Statement outlined the government’s intentions for planning reform and a fund to build 40,000 homes across Cambridge, London and Leeds. This will further stimulate the market, especially as national housebuilders have had to reduce their volume of plots and revise their targets amidst economic challenges and the scrapping of HS2. As a result, they have had to manage land impairment on their balance sheets and increased costs in 2021 and 2022 after purchasing land at its peak price, unable to generate the required profit margins. With the housing activity index seeing a slight three-month upward trend, housebuilders will start to build back profit margins towards Q2 2024.’ She added: ‘The government’s new planning reform, aimed at reducing backlogs and accelerating major applications, is a big step forward for the industry, which, coupled with interest rates freezing and enhanced mortgage availability in Q2 2024, could be the change in momentum businesses have been hoping for. That being said, challenges remain regarding infrastructure budget and allocated regional spend, so the industry will be poised for clarity from the government on the mobilisation of projects in Q1 and Q2 2024.’

Choosing the right telemetry tools for the job


ignal conditioning and telemetry specialist Mantracourt has released a new guide to telemetry equipment, guiding customers through the system selection and implementation processes. The whitepaper compares Bluetooth and IoT 2.4 GHz systems and also explores specialist requirements, such as those found in ATEX environments. The whitepaper is available to download for free on Mantracourt’s website. Wireless telemetry systems provide the easiest and most cost effective way for plant and asset managers to gather system data across their sites. However, with different communications options available, it is sometimes difficult to know which option is best for the job. Mantracourt’s new whitepaper aims to help, by explaining the key considerations for selecting the best type of system for a given application and, crucially, how to get the most out of whichever system you opt for. “The options for wireless transmission are varied and deciding which system works best for your

application can often be a tricky task,” explained Robert Badcock, managing director of Mantracourt. “Possibilities include low power devices that use transmission bands such as 2.4 GHz, which can transmit on multiple channels and are remarkably tolerant of radio frequency interference, and devices that use mesh or star network topologies. We help our customers understand the differences, ensuring they select the system that is the best fit for their application and helps them overcome any operational challenges they face in their business. “We supply an array of products, from our B24 Bluetooth Strain Transmitter to our T24 2.4GHz system and, even, the ATEX specific X24 system. Each has been designed to overcome specific industry challenges, so it is important that we help customers match the right product with each given application,” continued Badcock. The whitepaper also explains how to take advantage of cloud-based monitoring tools, such as Mantracourt’s SensorSpace® platform, to improve data monitoring and analytics capabilities.

“SensorSpace® is a fully customisable cloud-based platform, tailored to the needs of the end user. The dashboard can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be, from a simple numerical display of operational parameters to in-depth overlays, charts and graphs showing live and historical data. The platform provides a place to store and mine all your performance data for up to three years, allowing asset managers to gain insights that were not possible before,” concluded Badcock.

Industry Europe 15


New developments in the Consumer Goods

Chinese Licensor Zhejiang Zonepic Petrochemical Technology Co., Ltd. Commissions ABS Blend Manufacturing Plants Using Coperion ZSK Extruders


operion has developed a process solution for particularly energy-efficient manufacturing of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS) blends, with the Coperion ZSK Mc18 twin screw extruder playing a key central role. Thanks to short raw material residence time in the ZSK extruder and gentle product handling, Coperion’s process solution achieves an extraordinarily high ABS blend product quality. ABS is a thermoplastic engineering plastic which combines numerous positive mechanical properties and chemical stability, which make it ideal for multiple uses in the electric and automotive industries. Technology licensing and engineering company Zhejiang Zonepic Petrochemical Technology Co., Ltd. located in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China, is a licensor for the emulsion grafting-bulk polymerization ABS blend method which allows for the production of ABS blends in general grade, food grade, flame retardant grade and electroplating grade. For this solution the company has permitted to

design several large installations with multiple ZSK 133 Mc18 twin screw extruders. Two systems have recently started production: one plant is at Lihuayi Lijin Refining & Chemical Co. Ltd. with an output of 200 KTA, and the other at Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co, Ltd. with an output of 400 KTA.

ZSK Extruders for maximum energy-efficiency ABS blends consist of synthetic rubber polymers HRG and SAN (styrene-acrylonitrile). Coperion has developed a particularly energy-efficient process solution for manufacturing ABS blends. The ABS emulsion emerges wet from a reactor following its manufacture. In Coperion’s solution, it passes through a screw press before the HRG – still damp – is introduced downstream via a Coperion ZS-B side feeder into the process section of a ZSK extruder. The energy-intensive thermal pre-drying of the ABS is thus eliminated. Using gravimetric Coperion K-Tron feeders, SAN and additives are likewise introduced into

the ZSK extruder. SAN, additives and HRG are intensively and homogeneously mixed in the ZSK process section, all the while handled very gently, so that the product does not yellow, nor does the polymer break down. Frank Lechner, General Manager of Process Technology and Research & Development at Coperion, is convinced of the importance of Coperion’s development: “We’re proud to see how both of these large installations from Zhejiang Zonepic Petrochemical Technology Co., Ltd. have successfully taken over production for ABS blends. These machines are already proving on a daily basis how energy-efficient their operation is. At the same time, they deliver a constant, extremely high product quality that underscores how our innovative process development precisely meets our customers’ requirements. Even our newest development, providing a way to further reduce ABS production’s energy consumption, has already met with great interest – as has our solution for manufacturing ABS blends for direct contact with food products.”

Domino Printing Sciences: Driving the Global Migration to 2D barcodes with GS1


omino Printing Sciences (Domino), the global expert in variable data printing, is proud to support the industry’s transition to 2D barcodes as an innovation sponsor of the GS1 Global Forum 2024. The largest annual GS1 event, which takes place from 19th–22nd February in Brussels and virtually, brings together GS1 member organisations from across the globe to collaborate and discuss common issues and share best practices. This year’s event will show how GS1 supports the industry in preparing for the global transition from linear (EAN/UPC) barcodes to 2D barcodes, which will see 2D barcodes accepted at point-of-sale (POS) – Sunrise 2027. Commenting on Domino’s attendance at the GS1 Global Forum, Lee Metters, Global Business Development Director, Domino, says: “Domino has worked closely with GS1 for more than 20 years to drive the adoption of 2D barcodes across industries; during this time, global businesses have trusted us to provide the necessary sector and technology expertise. “Today, we are at the forefront of the migration to 2D barcodes at the POS, and we are continuing our strong relationship with GS1 to help businesses realise the potential and ease the transition from concept through to production for all product and packaging types.” Delegates, including GS1 member organisations, multinational retailers, and brand owners, are invited to visit Domino’s kiosk, to discuss Domino’s latest advances in variable data printing and solutions to support the transition towards 16 Industry Europe

2D barcodes – including a new bottle cap printing solution, developed specifically to support the application of variable data 2D barcodes on labelless PET bottles. Domino’s experts will be on hand throughout the week to discuss how Domino is helping businesses ease the transition from linear barcodes to 2D barcodes and unlock a range of benefits in smart and intelligent packaging. In addition, Lee Metters, Domino’s Global Business Development Director, will present in two panel discussions focusing on the opportunities available to businesses across sectors. In the first panel, “What’s Possible in 2024”, taking place on Monday 19th February at 14:30–15:45 (UTC+1), delegates will learn about current and emerging printing technologies for 2D barcodes and witness live demonstrations of “what’s possible” for today’s printers and scanners. Lee will discuss potential future applications for 2D barcodes, Domino’s experience, and how the company can support the application of 2D barcodes in different industries. Steven Keddie, Senior Director of AIDC and overseer of the Global 2D Migration standard and technology initiatives, emphasizes the pivotal role of solution providers such as Domino in enabling brands and retailers to harness the full potential of enriched data with 2D barcodes: “Lee and the dedicated team at Domino quickly grasped the significance of QR codes with GS1 Digital Link structures, recognising their power to facilitate seamless online engagement while retaining the familiar ‘beep’ at the point-of-sale.”



Alfa Laval Free Rotating Retractor: 100% cleaning

coverage for ducts and tanks in hygienic processing lines


reventing contamination is a crucial element in the design of hygienic processing lines. Yet manufacturers often face uncertainty when cleaning ducts, tanks and other confined spaces with hard-to-reach shadow areas. The new Alfa Laval Free Rotating Retractor, a high-efficiency retractable cleaning device, provides complete cleaning assurance, enhancing product safety while boosting uptime and productivity. “The Free Rotating Retractor is the latest example of how Alfa Laval works to make 100% cleaning coverage in hygienic processing lines, like milk or infant powder plants, a reality,” says Babak Shojaei, Manager, Product Management, Tank Cleaning, Alfa Laval. “We remain tireless in our efforts to innovate to meet customer needs.”

Complete cleaning assurance Preparing hygienic vessels quickly and economically

so that all interior surfaces are spotlessly clean and ready for production is easy with the Free Rotating Retractor. Dynamic and resource-efficient, this retractable Cleaning-in-Place device remains sealed off from the product area during production, flush with the vessel wall. The spray head slides out, expelling cleaning media in a 310°-up spray pattern across the vessel surface. Upon completion of the cleaning cycle, the spray head retracts, and the vessel is production-ready.

Boost process uptime and product safety The Free Rotating Retractor quickly and effectively removes residues from the interior surfaces of hard-to-clean vessels, limiting cross-contamination, minimizing downtime, and increasing productivity. It complies with FDA, EU and China regulations while

Probiotics for Homeowners: Boost Your Cleanup Power!


sually when someone says “probiotics,” it brings to mind health food supplements to boost immunities and digestive health. Interestingly, however, the benefits of “good” bacteria go far beyond diet. In fact, their digestive action makes them an excellent addition to standard home cleaning and maintenance supplies, as Bionetix® outlines in the suggestions below.

hard floors, carpets, bathrooms, kitchen floors, garbage bins, and other dirty or odorous surfaces. Areas with tough stains can be spot treated with Bionetix® ECO STAIN-OFF™. This surface stain cleaner or laundry pre-soak contains enzymes and probiotics that attack and digest stains—especially enzymatic stains such as blood, grass, and milk, but also grease, tomato sauce, and dirt.

General Cleaning

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Probiotic cleaners contain beneficial microorganisms that help digest organic residues such as grease, proteins, and starches that soil and stain surfaces. Bionetix® International’s ECO-CLEAN-ALL TABS™ combine these biologicals with biodegradable surfactants for powerful cleaning action. ECO-CLEAN-ALL TABS™ are highly economical and convenient: users simply add one tablet to a spray bottle filled with 500 mL of tap water, allow the tablet to dissolve for a few minutes, and gently mix if desired. The solution may be sprayed on surfaces and used like a normal cleaner, but with ongoing residual effects. Typical applications include

Another great place for probiotics is in garbage disposals, which are a breeding ground for bad odors and typically need a weekly clean and freshen treatment. However, with probiotics, routine cleaning has longer-lasting effects. For instance, Bionetix® ECO-DISPOSAL™ is a foaming cleaner and freshener that leaves garbage disposals, sinks, and drains clean and fresh while preventing blockages. Each water-soluble pouch contains billions of beneficial probiotics that awaken upon contact with water and start digesting organic waste. These probiotics cling to garbage disposal and drain walls to continue

securing good manufacturing and hygiene practices at dairy, food, beverage, home and personal care, and other processing facilities. For high-purity pharmaceutical and biotechnology processing lines, the Free Rotating Retractor UltraPure is the solution. A 3.1 documentation package for metal parts is available upon request.

Up to 35% savings in water, chemicals and time Dynamic and resource-efficient, this cleaning device delivers up to 35% savings in water, chemicals and time for every CIP cycle compared to conventional static spray ball technology. Moreover, more efficient use of resources enhances sustainability throughout manufacturing operations.

Low total cost of ownership It is easy and economical to install, operate and maintain the Free Rotating Retractor due to its streamlined construction. To fully automate operation, pair two or more of these cleaning devices and Alfa Laval ThinkTop sensing and control units with an existing CIP system. All told, the retractor's total cost of ownership is low due to the minimal cost and effort involved in owning and operating it.

digesting odor-causing compounds. ECO-DISPOSAL™ also leaves behind a fresh fragrance.

Septic Tank Maintenance Many homes rely on septic tanks for sewage handling and treatment. These systems must have a healthy microbial population to digest the waste. Unfortunately, these helpful microbes can be decimated by harsh chemicals such as root killers and bleaches that must be used occasionally. To get the system back in balance, homeowners can add probiotic supplements that replenish the bacteria count. Due to its extra high concentration of beneficial bacteria, BIOBOOSTER 1T™ is great for this purpose after especially hard shocks to the septic system. Other septic treatments with lower probiotic concentrations include FIZZY-TAB™ (convenient 5 g and 22 g tablets) and ECO-SEPT™ P (a more budget-friendly powder), which only need to be added once a month for maintenance once the system is in balance. Regular addition of probiotics like these can also save on pumping costs by reducing sludge buildup. Industry Europe 17


New developments in Energy & Utilities

Aalborg Energie Technik a/s (AET) have got a new Operation and Maintenance contract


oodwood is an icon in motorsport and AET is an icon in biomass-fired plants. Therefore, we teamed up to ensure a high performance through an Operation & Maintenance operating model for Goodwood's straw and wood-fired plant (a nonAET plant). The plant produces both electricity (0,7 MWe) as well as heat (2.8 MWth heat). All the bales from the Goodwood Festival of Speed are burnt in the plant, as the Goodwood Estate focuses on both a circular economy and sustainable energy.

The long-term O&M operating model is a result of using the best from both companies: Goodwood: Focus on continually reducing the environmental impact of our business through investment in biomass and other renewable technologies. AET: Superior experience and competencies with continuous

optimising, high availability and optimising operational costs.

During the long-term period there are important steps to ensure: • Effective handover from non-AET EPC contractor to Goodwood Estate including successful commissioning and start-up • Safe and stable operation with low operational expenses and high performance • Plant improvements and upgrades • Remote operation and maintenance in parallel with local resources. "We are thrilled to join forces with the legendary Goodwood Estate on their mission to combat climate change. As we sign this

TECO 2030 and Yokogawa Sign Partnership and Investment Agreement for the Utilization of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Industrial Applications


ECO 2030 ASA and Yokogawa Electric Corporation announce that they have signed a strategic partnership and investment agreement regarding the development of technology for utilizing hydrogen fuel cells in industrial applications. Under this agreement, Yokogawa Electric has invested in TECO 2030 by way of acquiring treasury shares, and the two companies will collaborate on optimizing hydrogen fuel cell technology and exploring business opportunities for distributed power sources in the maritime transportation and other industrial sectors. Hydrogen fuel cells use an electrochemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electrical energy and water, and are utilized as power sources in fuel cell vehicles (FCV) and stationary power supply devices. Green hydrogen and ammonia are considered promising energy carriers for the storage and transportation of renewable energy that has been produced as electricity. Fuel cells powered by green hydrogen, or hydrogen produced through

18 Industry Europe

long-term agreement, we see it as the beginning of a lasting partnership, working together towards a shared goal of sustainability." Says Lars Kristensen, CEO of AET. “From our first meeting with AET, we have been hugely impressed by their flexible approach, resulting in an agile partnership. We expect to see great benefit AET’s strong technical knowledge base as we look to Not only "Know How" - also "Know Why” 2 achieve a stable income and well controlled operational expenses.” Says Sam Medcraft, General Manager of the Goodwood Estate Company.

green ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking technology, are more energy efficient than conventional combustion engines and don’t generate nitrogen oxide (NOx), so can be used as zero-emission energy sources in a range of applications. Although adoption has been limited up to now, technology maturity and a dramatic increase in demand for hydrogen-powered marine vessels are driving expansion of the fuel cell market, and the resulting reduction in manufacturing costs is expected to in turn accelerate use in the automotive and industrial sectors as well. TECO 2030 develops and manufactures hydrogen fuel cells, and has opened in Narvik, Norway, a gigafactory for the production of hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and energy modules, which consist of multiple cells and auxiliary operating equipment. Production of hydrogen fuel cells is already underway, and module production is expected to start within the next few months. The production capacity will be built up over time, targeting an output capacity of 400 MW in 2025 and 1.6 GW in 2030. TECO 2030’s hydrogen fuel cells employ unique technologies developed together with technology partner AVL, a forerunner in this field, enabling industry-leading energy density and performance. Tore Enger, Group CEO of TECO 2030, commented, “I am very excited to have Yokogawa on board as an investor and strategic partner for the ongoing development of TECO 2030’s complete fuel cell system. I am looking forward to working together toward the common goal of a zeroemission future.” Tsuyoshi Abe, a Yokogawa Electric senior vice president and head of the Marketing Headquarters, said, “As we mention in our whitepaper Reweave the World*, energy conversion systems are going to play an important role in the transition from the fossil fuel era to a renewable energy era. Yokogawa firmly believes that fuel cells are one of the pathways to net-zero emissions in the maritime and industrial sectors, and we are confirming this by embarking on a journey with TECO 2030 as a strategic partner for a sustainable future.”


INDUSTRYNEWS UK businesses pushing forwards on Net zero despite government U-turn – finds Vattenfall


he Prime Minister’s controversial move to cut back many of the nation’s net-zero ambitions has received criticism from business leaders, environmentalists, and Conservative party backbenchers. Meanwhile, a new survey from energy company Vattenfall reveals a very different perspective from UK businesses, demonstrating their eagerness to decarbonise – without delay. Rishi Sunak recently announced a major recalibration of the nation’s net-zero targets. Key changes include pushing back the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2023, and the 2025 ban on gas boilers to 2035. While the government’s reasoning for this environmental U-turn is to save consumers money, Sunak’s justification has been met with serious scepticism. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged that “we cannot afford to falter now or in any way to lose our ambition for this country”, and that “businesses must have certainty about our net zero commitments”. Jim Watson, Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, argued that the weakening of our sustainable policies is likely to add further costs onto businesses in the future, rather than cutting them. He commented “Rishi Sunak’s Net Zero speech is full of contradictions and will make it harder to meet our medium and long-term climate change targets. It also risks increasing the costs by delaying the shift away from fossil fuels and reducing the economic benefits to the UK.”

UK businesses are driving decarbonisation regardless According to a recent study conducted by Vattenfall Network Solutions, UK businesses are committed to their net-zero regardless of the changes: 95.5% of companies surveyed, with a workforce exceeding 50, stated that they are steadfast in their commitment to reducing carbon footprints or achieving Net Zero. A majority, 77.4%, aim for significant cutbacks by 2030, with 58.1% envisioning substantial reductions within the next 5 years, highlighting business’ understanding of the urgency and commitment to the net zero imperative. Vattenfall’s survey, engaging a thousand mid-sized industrial firms, demonstrates that UK business is committed to cutting emissions as soon as possible, despite the Prime Minister’s wavering. Electrification is one of the most vital strategies for the UK to reduce its CO2 emissions in time for the2050 net-zero deadline, which also makes economic sense since electrical processes are often more efficient. But surprisingly, according to Vattenfall’s investigative report, only 51% of companies surveyed anticipate a rise in their electricity usage in the forthcoming decades. This statistic raises a serious question - where will business’s energy be coming from, if not from electricity? Evidently, a deeper understanding of the netzero roadmap and its key steps is imperative to navigate the transition.

Energy efficiency is the most obvious way to reduce consumption and was the most popular method of achieving carbon reductions with 23.4% of companies targeting savings this way, whilst almost 70% (68.6%) of companies with carbon reduction or net zero targets included electrification, solar PV or changes in energy use as part of their plans. The biggest take-away from Vattenfall’s survey was that a resounding 80% of respondents acknowledged the necessity of guidance to meet their targets, underscoring an industry-wide thirst for expertise, rather than a weakening of targets. This massive demand for financial, technical and implementation support highlights UK businesses commitment to net zero and the urgent need for clear guidance and programmes to help UK companies deliver on net zero. But, where the Government is failing to deliver, industry is pushing forward to deliver on the urgent net zero imperative. Vattenfall's Power-as-a-Service model is specifically designed to support UK businesses by providing funding, technical support and implementation for electrification projects. Whether a company is looking for solar panels, EV charging, or energy efficiency upgrades, Vattenfall will provide the investment capital, design, installation and ongoing maintenance to help companies transition to net zero whilst remaining focused on their core business goals. As a nation, we have an urgent need to cut carbon emissions and there are extremely strong economic arguments to do so, which completely undermine Sunak’s views that strong net zero targets will increase bills. For example, Vattenfall’s fully financed offer for solar photovoltaics delivers electricity to UK businesses at under 7p per kWh on average over 25 years - a massive saving in comparison to contracts for grid-based electricity which are currently around 30p per kWh. If a company has the roof or land space to install solar panels the decision to reduce bills is obvious, with many CFO’s describing it as a “no brainer” from a commercial perspective. The fact that the cheaper electricity is carbon free, and that solar and other carbon reduction projects, create UK jobs, grow the UK’s net zero expertise, and contribute to the essential reduction in global emissions might be something that Sunak should pause to consider. Industry Europe 19


New developments in Healthcare

FMI’ Analyst view: “Beyond Sieves: Unraveling the Innovations in Laboratory Filter Paper Tech”


he market for laboratory filter paper is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.5% from 2024 to 2034, reaching US$ 437.0 million by 2034 from US$ 309.8 million in 2024. The need for membrane filtration technology, the growing demand for high purity in end-user segments, the focus on developing large-molecule biopharmaceuticals, and the increasing spending on research and development in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries are the main factors driving the market's growth. However, throughout the projection period, the high cost of systems is anticipated to restrain the market's expansion for lab filtration partially.

Key Market Highlights Expected Notable Growth in Ultrafiltration Segment The growth in the ultrafiltration market is driven by the significant and broad applicability of ultrafiltration, including protein purification and isolation, vaccine manufacturing, and increased investments in research and development activities. Ultrafiltration is also boosted by its ability to generate rapid results and high product throughput. The popularity of the ultrafiltration technique is increasing as it overcomes the disadvantages of traditional methods such as chromatography, which require complex instrumentation support to run efficiently and yield low throughput of product at an extremely high cost. Proficiency in Development and Research Fuels Market Growth The market growth is mainly driven by the increased use of filtration technology across various industries such as biopharmaceutical, 20 Industry Europe

pharmaceutical, beverage, and food. Additionally, the rising demand for filters with higher levels of efficiency also contributes to this growth. Filtration products offer various features, such as bioburden reduction, oil and gas filtration, sterilized air, and membrane filtration. New filtration technologies are being developed to streamline high-volume filtration operations in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Growth is expected due to the introduction of new filtration processes for ultra-purification, increased utilization of analysis tools, and rising demand for high-utilization products and services during downstream processes.

Consumption Analysis of the Laboratory Filter Paper Market Advanced research and development spending, especially in developed and developing countries, is expected to create additional opportunities for lucrative market expansion in medical devices and instruments. The research and development capacities of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical nations, which are integrating cutting-edge technologies into healthcare facilities, are another factor propelling the market's growth rate. Suppliers of lab equipment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors are under pressure to provide premium goods at affordable costs. Cost reduction is a top concern even in the face of consumer demand for better, more advanced items. Consequently, there hasn't been any price change in the market for laboratory filtration equipment. Producers need assistance passing on R&D expenses and other manufacturing costs to end consumers, lowering profit margins because of the intense competition. Large quantities of small-molecule drugs and components are produced by biopharmaceutical companies, which encounter various obstacles in the manufacturing process, such as managing expenses and enhancing the quality of products. Filter papers are strategically placed in multiple locations to prevent contamination and eradicate living organisms during production. Among the various types of laboratory equipment are filters used for bioburden reduction and sterilizing. Because sterilizing filters may be swiftly used to protect quality during production and loading procedures, they are becoming increasingly common. At various phases of the manufacturing process,

laboratory filtration supplies and equipment are used to control bacteria and other organisms. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to fuel global laboratory filter paper market growth. Scientists use various lab tools like filters to detect the virus and create a vaccination. The coronavirus outbreak has changed consumer preferences for hygiene and health products, indirectly fueling demand for membrane filtration technology usage. The food, medical, and wastewater treatment applications that the laboratory filtration market services account for most of its primary revenue streams.

Country-wise Insights Innovations in Filtration Technology in the United States to Spur Laboratory Filter Paper Sales

Development of Advanced Laboratories to Drive the United Kingdom Market In 2024, the European region dominated the market for laboratory filtration products, which held a significant share of 27.40%. The United Kingdom, one of the key players in the country, is projected to experience substantial growth at a CAGR of 3.40% throughout the forecast period. The United Kingdom's market for laboratory filtration products is the largest in the region, owing to significant filtration product manufacturers, the development of advanced laboratories, and increasing government support for fundamental research.

China's Increasing Population Provides a Rich Environment for Market Opportunities China has a significant target population due to the emergence of new diseases and the consequent increase in demand for treatment. Moreover, the rising demand for laboratory filtration products in the region is propelled by a growing industry and the availability of new goods. The Asia Pacific region's thriving growth over the forecast period is expected to be supported by the presence of several generic drug manufacturing industries, efforts by food and beverage companies to introduce high-quality products, and a growing number of critical players setting up their operational facilities in these regions. Read more at:


INDUSTRYNEWS Hiab, part of Cargotec, announces the introduction of HiPerform™, a suite of smart solutions to maximise the Hiab equipment lifecycle value by optimising the performance and productivity of operators, equipment and fleets


iPerform is a milestone in Hiab’s digitalisation journey and proves our dedication to using technology to keep everyday life moving. Each product in the suite addresses different challenges in a product’s lifetime to maximise the equipment lifecycle value,” says Michael Bruninx, Senior Vice President, Services, Hiab. HiPerform is the umbrella brand for a range of smart solutions. There are currently three solutions to optimise operator performance, equipment efficiency and fleet productivity. ProCare™ service contracts provide proactive maintenance and expert assistance to maximise uptime, equipment performance, reliability and lifespan. This comprehensive service contract solution for Hiab equipment will soon be expanded with a remote monitoring and diagnostic service. HiConnect™ provides near real-time data about the health and performance of Hiab

equipment. This telematics solution can be used to identify potential issues and make data-driven decisions about fleet safety and utilisation. HiSkill™ is a Virtual Reality training simulator to train both new and experienced crane operators in a safe, scalable and cost-effective manner. The availability and specifics of the smart solutions within HiPerform may vary, catering to the unique demands and nuances of each market.

Bringing customers peace of mind Maria Lindroos, Director, Digital Services Transformation, Hiab, comments: “We are excited to introduce HiPerform to our customers. This is the result of Hiab's on-going investments in new technologies, digital capabilities and solutions, and service network to serve our customers proactively. By bundling the solutions under the HiPerform brand, we

are making the value proposition easier to understand for our customers.” “HiPerform transforms Hiab from not only an equipment supplier into a strategic partner for the customers by safeguarding their equipments’ lifecycle value through operational efficiency. By taking a load off their mind, they can fully focus on core activities and profitability,” says Michael Bruninx, Senior Vice President, Services, Hiab.

Take a load off For this launch, Hiab has created the communication concept Take a load off, which emphasises the human aspect of HiPerform’s benefits in real-life scenarios. As part of a campaign, Hiab will release a series of videos featuring an operator explaining the benefits of HiPerform. The long version is available here.

Largest hospital area in Finland modernizes its power systems to ensure mission critical uptime


inland’s largest hospital area has future-proofed its life saving power supply thanks to a modernization program with electrification partner ABB. The Meilahti Hospital Area in Helsinki, which is operated by HUS, upgraded its electrical system to maximize uptime, eliminate the use of SF6, a potent greenhouse gas, in the medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, extend the life of electrical equipment and optimize hospital operations. The Meilahti Hospital Area uses the same amount of electricity a year as a small town, and delivers healthcare to more than half a million patients annually, so having a reliable and safe power supply is critical to providing a dependable service where lives are at stake. Jari-Pekka Korhonen, Operations Manager for HUS Kiinteistöt Oy, the organization that manages real estate services for HUS, said: “What matters most is that in our hospitals, the healthcare professionals can perform surgeries and treat patients safely – and that the power supply won’t cause any problems for them. We’re well-prepared to face any problems with the power distribution. This is all down to the reliable, high-quality products and solutions ABB provides.” The upgrades included a turnkey MV circuit breaker retrofit, where SF6insulated models have been replaced with next generation VD4 vacuum circuit breakers. These new devices clear potentially harmful short-circuit faults in tens of milliseconds, thereby preventing severe damage to the hospital’s electrical infrastructure and minimizing the risk of downtime. What’s more, thanks to ABB’s full-circle end of life service, the old SF6 breakers and gases were disposed of safely and sustainably, eliminating the risk of severe environmental impact and adhering to strict national laws.

The aging relays in the switchgear were also replaced with ABB’s Relion® protection relays from the 615 series, REF615. These protection relays offer extensive protection and control functionality to ensure uninterrupted power supply. In this project, a solution was implemented where reliable and fast arc fault protection is now ensured with ABB’s REA 101 modules. The protection is based on optical arc flash detection with fiber-optic light sensors, tripping at arc faults in milliseconds. Sixten Holm, Business Development Manager at ABB in Finland, said: “For service providers such as HUS, one of the greatest opportunities for improving reliability and reducing carbon and costs is by modernizing outdated components, rather than replacing the entire switchgear. Replacing aging circuit breakers and protection relays can also be done quickly with minimal downtime.” This timely and essential overhaul has given HUS a technologicallydriven and environmentally friendly solution that improves reliability, security and safety. But to reduce operating costs in the long term, it needed to be supplemented by an intelligent system that could optimize the hospital group’s maintenance activities. ABB Ability™ Energy and Asset Manager was installed to facilitate remote monitoring and provide HUS personnel real-time information on the condition of equipment, such as temperatures, with alarms from devices alerting them instantly by text message. This level of predictive maintenance ensures early warnings of any potential failures, providing crucial information to act upon to avoid unplanned downtime. Continue reading at: Industry Europe 21


New developments in Metals & Mining

Metso awarded a 5-year Life Cycle Services agreement in North America


etso has signed a 5-year Life Cycle Services (LCS) agreement with a major mining company in North America. The agreement includes several key equipment technologies supporting the needs of the customer’s various sites. Through collaborative planning between Metso and the customer, the agreement will enable consistency, transparency, and ease of doing business. The contract is one of the largest LCS orders received by Metso. The order, spanning a 5-year period, is of significant value, with the first part of the order booked in the Minerals segment’s third quarter 2023 orders received. The contract will help the customer to identify the right parts needed for the equipment and

will significantly improve parts availability resulting in higher equipment availability and reliability. Furthermore, the contract will ensure dynamic replenishment of inventory and mitigate

risks from sourcing visibility and potential supply chain volatility. “We are very pleased that our key customer trusts Metso to ensure reliable and efficient production. Metso’s own and managed inventory service concept will ensure that the customer will always have the needed parts available for example during a shutdown,” says Giuseppe Campanelli, President, the North and Central America market area. Metso has hundreds of Life Cycle Services contracts around the world that have been tailored to combine Metso Owned Inventory with other expert services. Metso Owned Inventory is designed to meet some of the most common challenges customers have with their inventory. Find out more at:

European aluminum buyers are opposing the potential ban on Russian wire rod


he Federation of Aluminium Consumers in Europe (FACE), which represents leading European processors and aluminium buyers, has voiced its opposition to the potential introduction of a ban on Russian aluminium wire rod —a low-carbon raw material used in the production of cables for green energy. According to press reports, the European Commission is currently considering the inclusion of aluminium wire rod from Russia in the new 12th package of anti-Russian sanctions. A potential ban on Russian wire rod, which account for 17% of imports in the EU, would leave European small businesses with limited alternatives for replacing Russian products and would create “serious repercussions” for them, FACE said in a statement. A ban on a specific type of aluminium product from Russia would exacerbate market uncertainty and unease. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, international manufacturers like Norsk Hydro and Alcoa have repeatedly proposed restricting trade in primary aluminium from Russia as well.

22 Industry Europe

“People keep wondering “what’s next?”, and this instability contributes to keeping an upwards pressure on prices, which is terrible for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of this very low margin industry”, FACE said. “It is a bonanza for those whose market capitalization and bonuses are linked to sales prices and who happen to be the fierce advocates of trade restrictions and sanctions. As the transition to green energy progresses, the production of primary aluminium, which requires a significant amount of electricity, is decreasing in the EU. The net deficit of primary aluminium in Europe already exceeds 84%. No new investments in primary aluminium production are expected, while European aluminium production from scrap cannot meet the region's demand for this highly sought-after metal. Additionally, it's important to note that Russian wire rod and primary aluminium are produced using green hydroelectric power, resulting in one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world—only 2.2 tons of CO2 per ton of metal. This is 30-70% lower than that of competitors, according to the industry publication Harbor Aluminium. Wire rod is used to make aluminium cables, which are used to connect wind and solar power stations to the energy grid. Metal with a low carbon footprint is especially important for such customers. The example from 2018 demonstrated how politically motivated restrictions can negatively impact fragile and interconnected commodity markets. Just weeks after the United States imposed sanctions on the Russian producer Rusal, aluminium prices surged by a third, causing significant problems for metal customers worldwide. Eventually, the U.S. first eased and then completely lifted these restrictions a few months later. Could EU officials be stepping on the same rake again? Restricting Russian aluminium wire rod will force processors and buyers to switch to products from other producers, which are more expensive and have a higher carbon footprint. If sanctions are also imposed on primary aluminium, it could create a full-scale crisis in global metal markets.


INDUSTRYNEWS ABB to support new H2 Green Steel plant in Sweden with around 1,200 energy-efficient drives


MS group, a specialist in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the metals industry, has selected ABB’s latest generation of drives to provide process technology for H2 Green Steel plant in Boden, Sweden. Globally, the steel industry is responsible for an estimated 8 percent of the world’s energy demand and generates between 7 percent to 9 percent of CO2 emissions – most of which are from burning fossil fuels, according to the recent International Energy Agency (IEA) Iron and Steel Technology Roadmap. The project is currently in its first phase and will begin production at the end of 2025. It uses hydrogen in the furnaces rather than fossil fuels, resulting in steel with 95 percent lower CO2 emissions than conventional methods. “This is the latest development in ABB’s longstanding relationship with SMS group. Our drives have a long track record in the most demanding applications,

and it is exciting that they will now contribute to green steel production at Boden. We are proud to play a role in the transformation of the steel industry as it shifts to hydrogen combustion,” said Chris Poynter Division President for System Drives, ABB Motion. ABB will provide around 1,200 ACS880 low voltage (LV) drives for use throughout nine demanding areas of plant, including the tunnel furnace, plate mill, and the annealing and galvanizing line. These drives will provide precision control of equipment as well as a consistent, stable supply of electricity. In addition, ABB will provide 11 ACS6080 medium voltage (MV) drives in both individual and multidrive configurations for use in the project’s hot and tandem cold mills. These applications depend on the ACS6080’s industry-leading precision to ensure uniform mechanical qualities, thickness and finish. A multidrive configuration enables a single drive cabinet to control several motors independently. The advantages are a smaller footprint and greater energy efficiency, including the capability to share energy captured by regenerative braking. For the demanding hot finishing mills, the multidrive concept ensures grid-friendly operation and low harmonic content. Multidrives also achieve increased reliability and optimized installation costs. The Boden plant is on course for large-scale production from 2026 and by 2030 it is expected to supply 5 million tons of green steel a year.

Brazing and 3D Printing Without Oxidation: LZH Researches Oxygen-Free Production


n the field of metal processing, dealing with oxidation can be quite challenging. One potential approach involves carrying out production in an environment free from oxygen. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is investigating how this concept can be applied in laser beam brazing and additive manufacturing. Oxygen is a disruptive factor in many production processes within the metalworking industry: Oxide layers formed during metal processing in the presence of oxygen can hinder the joining of workpieces and accelerate the wear of components and tools. In the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1368 "Oxygen-Free Production," researchers employ an innovative method to address the oxidation problem. They introduce argon protective gas with a small amount of silane during production. Silane reacts with the surrounding oxygen, creating an atmosphere equivalent to an XHV environment. This atmosphere has an extremely low oxygen content similar to that in an extremely high vacuum. This oxygen exclusion approach is significantly more cost-effective than implementing a technical vacuum. At LZH, scientists are researching this method for powder-bed-based laser beam melting and laser beam brazing.

alloys in an oxygen-free atmosphere. Consequently, wetting the surface with a compatible solder material was possible. In the second funding period, researchers will transfer the process to the challenging mixed connection of aluminum and copper and explore the process limits.

Additive Manufacturing in an Oxygen-Free Atmosphere

Goal: Laser Beam Brazing Without Flux In a subproject, the group Joining and Cutting of Metals has developed a novel brazing process that eliminates the need for flux. Fluxes, which are partly environmentally and health-hazardous, are typically used to break up the oxide layer on the material surface, allowing metal and filler material to react. In the newly developed process, LZH researchers break the oxide layer with a ns-pulsed laser beam source instead. Subsequently, the brazing process occurs under a continuous-wave (cw) laser beam in a silane atmosphere. The oxygen-free atmosphere prevents re-oxidation of the surface between process steps. Researchers have demonstrated the ability to permanently remove the oxide layer on aluminum

The Additive Manufacturing - Metals group investigates how metal powders can be processed in an oxygen-free atmosphere using laser-based powder bed fusion of metals (PBF-LB/M). The process was developed using the titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V on a specially developed system for the PBF-LB/M process and monitored using high-speed cameras. The subproject's goal is to gain a fundamental understanding of the process in an oxygen-free atmosphere and the influence of oxygen. Researchers expected the absence of oxygen to result in a more stable process, fewer splatters, and improved component properties. They demonstrated that not only did the number of splatters decrease, but they also oxidized less, reducing powder degradation. However, for further improvement of the process and component quality, eliminating moisture in the atmosphere and powder will be thoroughly investigated in the second funding period. Industry Europe 23


New developments in Politics & Economics

BASF SE and its partners publish year 7 impacts for ‘Pragati’, the world’s first sustainable castor bean program


ASF, Arkema, Jayant Agro-Organics and implementation partner Solidaridad launched the project in May 2016. For year seven the members officially updated the impacts of the program so far:

workers, and their family members, of which 65% were farmers enrolled in the Pragati program.

• More than 7,000 farmers have been trained, audited, and certified. • Over 74,500 tons of certified castor seed have been cultivated.

• Farmers from more than 100 villages in North Gujarat now participate in the program.

• Year 7 yield is 36% higher than the yield published by the local government for this region.

• This year, more than 380 capacity-building training sessions were held with farmers.

• Over 7,000 hectares are now being regularly farmed in accordance with the SuCCESS sustainable castor code (see – more than 27,000 hectares cumulatively; Pragati farmers are increasing their land dedicated to castor farming as it is seen as a profitable crop.

• Over 475 lead farmers have been identified and trained to guide certified farmer groups.

• The practices followed in the Pragati project have resulted in a lower water consumption compared to conventional practices. The data measured in the demo plots for these practices showed about 21% less consumption of water. • Over 7,000 safety kits and crop protection product boxes have been distributed free of charge. • More than 100 medical camps organized in all project villages this year successfully conducted health monitoring of 8,500+ farmers,

“Since my engagement with the Pragati program, I have adopted sustainable practices and diversified my agricultural practices which have improved my yield and income. The support and guidance provided in the program has played a crucial role in my adoption and successful implementation of new agricultural techniques, such as vermicompost,” says Jayeshbhai Ramjibhai Mujat, a 45-year-old castor farmer in the Banaskantha district. The partners have committed to Phase 3 of Pragati, comprising of three years, from 2023-2026. The next phase of the project will see continued attention being paid to sustainable farming with a special focus on greater female participation and improved water management techniques in the farming communities.

Is there a potential for a rightward shift in European politics in 2024?


ore than 50 nations are set to hold elections this year, with significant political events unfolding in mainland Europe. Scheduled for June, the European Parliament elections will be complemented by general and regional elections in various European countries. In 2023, the Netherlands elected the far-right Geert Wilders, while Germany's regional elections saw substantial gains for the far-right AfD party. Slovakia chose pro-Russia populist Prime 24 Industry Europe

Minister Robert Fico. Conversely, Poland and Spain resisted right-wing advances in their respective national elections. Former EU President Donald Tusk assumed the Polish premiership, shifting power from the right-wing Law and Justice party. In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez secured a third term, defeating far-right opposition. As Europe gears up for the upcoming elections, questions arise about the popularity of populism and the status of far-right movements. Will these movements continue to gain traction, or has the allure of the far-right diminished? Key issues shaping the electoral landscape include the state of a more divided European Parliament and the prominence of right-wing groups. The European Parliament, set to convene in early June, serves as a political barometer for sentiments across the continent. While centrist factions currently dominate, there is an anticipated rightward shift, with projections indicat-

ing increased influence for right-wing groups, including the populist Identity and Democracy group. Their objectives, voiced in a meeting in Florence, Italy, highlight ambitions to become a decisive force in the EU Parliament. Key concerns driving votes include immigration and the war in Ukraine, according to the Eurobarometer. Migration, a stronghold for right-leaning nationalist parties, has influenced regional and national elections. Issues related to climate goals are also significant, as a potential rise of conservative voices may impact EU-wide legislation on environmental matters. Despite discussions about potential exits from the EU (Nexit, Frexit, Italexit), these ideas remain largely unpopular. The aftermath of Brexit has made countries hesitant to follow suit, and recent developments show more nations expressing interest in joining the EU. In December, the EU agreed to open membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova, while Georgia was granted candidate status.


INDUSTRYNEWS Return of the Cam: David Cameron's Diplomatic Resurrection and the Shedding of Political Piggishness


n a shocking turn of events that left political pundits scratching their heads and citizens double-checking their calendars to make sure it wasn't April 1st, former British Prime Minister David Cameron has made a triumphant return to the political stage as the new foreign secretary. Yes, you read that right – the man who once declared that he was done with politics and wanted to spend more time in his garden shed is now jetting off to represent the United Kingdom on the global stage. As news of Cameron's return broke, the reactions were swift and varied. Some people were genuinely surprised, others were downright confused, and a few were probably just relieved that it wasn't another sequel to 2020. Twitter, that bastion of public opinion and snarky commentary, exploded with a flurry of memes and jokes faster than you could say "Brexit means Brexit." One user quipped, "David Cameron coming back to politics is like ordering a pizza with pineapple – you thought it was a terrible idea, but now it's here, and you're not sure what to do with it." Another likened it to a surprise cameo in a bad movie, saying, "I haven't seen a plot twist this absurd since M.

Night Shyamalan decided he was the best part of his own movies." Cameron's return to the forefront of British politics has sparked a wave of nostalgia for the good old days when the biggest political scandal was a pig-related one. Memes featuring his infamous "piggate" incident made a comeback, with one particularly creative user superimposing Cameron's face onto a pig with the caption, "Guess who's back, back again, piggy's back, tell a friend." But it's not all laughs and pig jokes. Some are genuinely concerned about Cameron's ability to navigate the complex world of international diplomacy. After all, it's been a while since he was in the political limelight, and the world has changed quite a bit since his departure. One Twitter user voiced their worry, saying, "I hope David Cameron has been keeping up with the news. Last thing we need is him accidentally starting a war because he missed a memo." Others, however, are taking a more optimistic approach, suggesting that maybe Cameron has been spending his time in the shed studying geopolitics and perfecting his diplomacy skills. One

imaginative tweet proposed, "What if the shed was a secret think tank all along? Maybe there's a whiteboard in there with 'How to Solve World Peace' written on it in crayon." As the news of Cameron's return continues to ripple through the political landscape, one can't help but wonder what other surprises 2023 has in store. Will Nick Clegg be appointed Minister of Silly Walks? Is Boris Johnson secretly training for the next season of Strictly Come Dancing? In the unpredictable world of politics, anything seems possible. In the meantime, as David Cameron dons his diplomatic hat and prepares to engage with world leaders, the British public can only hope that his time away from politics has given him a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose. Or at the very least, that he's learned how to use Twitter without accidentally tweeting a picture of his dinner. The world watches with bated breath as Cameron takes center stage once again – pig jokes and all.

Arrow Electronics Supports Robotics Design Challenge To Attract More Young Women To STEM


o help reduce the digital gender gap in Europe, Arrow Electronics teamed with Girls Go Circular’s Women and Girls in STEM Forum to fund a Green Robot Challenge. The event, held in Brussels, attracted 270 school-aged girls from across Europe, comprising a total of 90 teams from 19 countries. A team from Malta won the competition for developing an ecofriendly robot that removes carbon dioxide from the air using the process of enhanced weathering, an effective way of decreasing

greenhouse gases to mitigate the impact of climate change. Selected by a combined public and jury vote, the winning team earned an entry into the FIRST Tech Challenge Benelux Scrimmage in late February. “We believe these learning opportunities play a critical role in cultivating female STEM leaders in the communities we serve,” said Christina Frantz, director of corporate affairs of Arrow. “Girls Go Circular is on the front lines of this effort, and we are proud to support the program’s work.” Arrow helped connect GirlsGoCircular with FIRST Robotics, an Arrow STEM partner, which hosts international engineering events that tasks teams with building and programming industrial-size robots. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. The Women and Girls in STEMForum gathered over 1,200 policymakers, industry leaders, students, and educators together to champion gender equality in STEM and information and communications technology (ICT). Arrow invests in programs globally that expand access to STEM education for girls, with an emphasis on instilling confidence and leadership skills. Facilitated by the European Commission and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Girls Go Circular equipped nearly 40,000 schoolgirls aged 14-19 throughout Europe with digital and entrepreneurial skills. The initiative aims to reach out to thousands more young girls, empowering them to embrace STEM and ICT studies and careers. Industry Europe 25


SCALING BUSINESS IDEAS Manufacturing Partners, a company from Gdansk, Poland, helps innovating the world of contract manufacturing by providing a fully scalable solutions to get products to the market. The company bridges to gaps between prototype and scaling to mass production. It provides an expertise to help to get the most advantageous solution combining the best of inhouse and outsourcing.

26 Industry Europe



anufacturing Partners is a young company, which under its name and in current business model has operated only for 12 months. In fact, it had started its activity five years earlier, as ODM factory for a brand producing electric surfing boards. However, as life has shown, the business model of running the factory producing one product for one customer was far from optimal. Manufacturing Partners was formed by a factory buyout while maintaining the process, tooling, manufacturing line and foremost experienced crew of the original plant. The previous owner then became a customer of its former factory whilst allowing the factory to operate in “contracted manufacturing” business model to find new markets and customers. This has allowed to reach higher efficiency and return to profitable execution. This story reveals the potential shown by the “factory for hire” business model. As the old saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat”. Companies defining their future manufacturing strategy may opt for building their own, dedicated manufacturing site rather than focusing solely on R&D, marketing and business development. Here “manufacturing-as-a-service” business concept comes to the rescue with providing the resource and competence to assemble a final product. The concept originates from electronics industry named as EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services). It based its success on aggregating business from various customers to assure a increased

machine utilization, since electronics automated assembly lines are a very expensive assets. Later, the concept was scaled to automotive, pharmaceutical and other businesses with success. Manufacturing Partners aims to provide a specialized assembly competence in the area of electromechanical products. The company originates from electromobility so its inbuilt area to engage with new customers would be anything that has a lithium-Ion battery, electronics and electric motor, ideally packaged in rugged enclosure and operating under demanding conditions. European markets are the company’s priorities. Manufacturing Partners is based in Gdansk, at the coast of Baltic Sea. North of Poland has always been a good location to partner with Scandinavian customers. But the company also works with customers from all over Europe.

Standing out from the competition There are couple of things that, in the company’s opinion, distinguish the Manufacturing Partners’ offer from the competition. They are as follows: “Put customers central” - subcontracting business is often seen as a gap-filler business to the main business line of products. Booking additional business on contracted services allows companies to boost their income, allows for better asset utilization. But it’s always secondary to the main product or service. Manufacturing Partners is different – it is 100 per cent a service-oriented

Industry Europe 27

organization, with no its own product on the market or parent company privileged with priority access to manufacturing capacity. For Manufacturing Partners there is never more important business than the one of its customers’. “Sustainability” - as the common denominator for projects Manufacturing Partners engages. The world is too much based on use-and-discard economy. The company would like to build a more circular economy, where well-designed tangible products last as long as they deserve, they are repairable and can be re-used in their second life through recycling or upcycling. “Open book” - Manufacturing Partners works on an “open book” with its customers. It shares detailed and costed bill of material, openly communicates its yields, process times, scrap levels and process efficiency. It is also transparent about the overheads and profit margin. “Partners” on its name is hard-earned through transparency. The company do not take itself as a “supplier”. Recently it has formed a consortium with several European battery factories and a battery design house. Consequently, it has landed a project from the world’s biggest electric city scooter company to design and manufacture (in regionally distributed model) sustainable, repairable battery pack, conforming to future European battery regulations. “Scaling-up” - the management team of Manufacturing Partners come from big industries: electronics, automation, advanced materials, automotive. With that background it has business scaling-up in its mind. One of the company’s founders is renowned coach for scaling-up. Despite being nimble and agile partner, Manufacturing Partners provides its customers with a plan for growing their operations 10- or 100-fold.

Włodzimierz Babś, Managing Director.

28 Industry Europe

Focused on the customer’s needs An idea/concept review is the company’s first step on the common journey with a customer. Its team evaluates the partner’s business concept, creates an initial roadmap, and bring all inputs together into a deliberate design walkthrough utilizing DFx experience. Early manufacturing is where prototypes are built and reviewed by manufacturing specialists. All improvements are explored, documented, challenged. Then goes plan and run pilot production, propose test, and process control alignment and review roadmaps and process path with constant feedback loops to the original design/business concept. Leanovation involves an initial lean assessment and includes a risk analysis and operations overview. During this step the company executes lean activities based on the assessment results. It implements lean actions tailored to the client’s product and concept. This aims for sustainable, flexible, scalable processes and always with an open mind to reach outstanding results in quality, cycle time reduction and cost development. Then, “Go to market plans” are executed. In this step the company finalizes the execution of the “Go to market plan”, scaling the business ideas, applying finishing touches to the product, and launching it to the market. The joint deliverable here is the established and robust supply chain (internal/external/hybrid) designed for your business idea success. The company’s support goes even beyond manufacturing. It supports the customers’ design process with an important step of “Industrialization”. This means it helps to carry the product design across from a prototype stage into volume manufacturing readiness.


Through a set of design tools such as DFM (design for manufacturing) workshop it would have a look on the product with “factory eyes”. It advises design changes and adjustments, advises redesigned or alternative parts for easier assembly, shorter lead-time, reduced cost or supply chain redundancy. It also help to define an optimal supply chain, with planning for best availability, removed bottlenecks and sole-sources. It also suggests using local sourcing to maximize benefits of cost reduction and lowered carbon footprint.

Plans for the future Due to its skillset and experience Manufacturing Partners is a company privileged to choose its areas of growth. Each main areas of the company’s interest to grow is booming: - Battery pack manufacturing is growing, energy storage systems demand is about to explode, battery recycling – the market demand is expected to double every year for coming decade. Manufacturing Partners just moved to the new manufacturing location that allows for modular extension of a floor-space. Such a modular concept will allow the company to execute its largest projects in 2024: Reverse vending machine for plastic bottles and cans, Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and electromobility/micro mobility vehicles projects. Manufacturing Partners declares that its plan for growth is based on two concepts: “one stop shop” and “technology dem-

onstrators”. “One stop shop” is the business idea to give the company’s customers possibly most comprehensive service. Today it complements its assembly service with engineering support, documentation management. On the hardware side it builds cable looms, lithium-ion battery packs, and integrate metal enclosures. In coming years, it plans to add more mechanical fabrication processes: welding, CNC machining. As for “technology demonstrator”, in 2023 Manufacturing Partners took on a challenge to demonstrate the potential that lies in LithiumIon battery lifecycle. Put it in simple words – today many batteries from cars, e-bikes and scooters end their useful life too early for many reasons. Manufacturing Partners has renovated a mahogany classic boat designed by a famous Swedish designer Carl Gustaf Pettersson from 1931 and retrofitted with a super-efficient direct-drive axial flux 10 kW electric motor. Then it has combined the motor with a 36kWh 48V modular battery, built in-house from up-cycled cells that had its first life in rental city e-bike. It resulted in immaculate whisper-quiet, boating experience at a comfortable five knots cruising speed and an impressive range of 100 nautical miles. It has also proven that up-cycling or giving batteries a second life is an n environmentally responsible alternative to recycling.

For more infomation, visit:

Industry Europe 29



Project Outline and Objectives


I-PROFICIENT (Artificial Intelligence for improved PROduction efFICIEncy, quality and maiNTenance) is a thirty-six month Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Commission, launched in 2020, aspiring to integrate advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies with manufacturing ones, aiming to improve production planning and execution and facilitate the collaboration between humans and machines. In order to face challenges of adaptability, agility and resilience of Cyber Physical Production Systems, the project team investigated disruptive technological solutions, and introduced AI for the implementation of optimised strategies in the frame of agile production and predictive maintenance. Also, AI-PROFICIENT project places the human factor at the centre of the implementation of these solutions, by considering ethical aspects in relation to the work of each operational actor. This way, it upraises Ethics at the core of the service design by adopting an Ethics-by-design approach. The project addressed a series of Digital challenges within the modern factories. In an effort to achieve smart component integration and interoperability, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) installation was the basis to collect data from the shop floor and provide it to a series of higher-level modules implementing the solution. Smart components were deployed for embedded AI at system edge, AI detection and diagnostics and prognostics for system degradation and health state assessment.

The overall tool collection comprises: • • • • •

Semantic lifting, Model agnostic techniques used for Explainable AI (XAI), Process Modelling done by using Hybrid Digital Twins, Generative optimisation of production processes, AI-enabled decision making,

all provided in an AI Platform, facilitating Process Optimisation and also, Quality Assurance. Comprehensive Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs) were created to visualise output originating from all developed tools, using role-specific visualisation for machine operators, providing tools for transparent AI decision support. Thus, usage of the HMI applications, deployed in project pilot sites, accommodates the operator with a Plant Management System putting Human-In-The-Loop.

Project Use Cases, Tools developed and Applications deployed AI-PROFICIENT was demonstrated in three operation environments (i.e. production facilities), tackling different challenges, under different scenarios of significant economic value, which were then made available by two manufacturing enterprises acting as consortium members. •

Continental, a tyre manufacturing with Combiline system for rubber preparation, extrusion and cutting in the Sarreguemines plant (France);

CONTINENTAL Sarreguemines site

INEOS Geel site

INEOS Cologne site

Industry Europe 31

Ineos, producing petrochemicals with two plant facilities for production of polypropylene and polyethylene polymers in Geel (Belgium) and Cologne (Germany) respectively.

Potential ethical and legal obstacles were carefully studied as part of the demo production facilities and adequate recommendations were provided and disseminated in this regard. The tools developed by the project are the following: •

Surrogate data driven model based on explainable AI

Connected worker Additive Check application

Quality Data analysis: GO-QData

Machine vision for dimensional measurement and positioning with small “bad” datasets

Data-driven predictive AI analytics for prognostics based on DL

Natural Human-Computer Interaction

Process anomaly detection: GO-QNormality

Multi-objective optimiser (generative and MI(N)LP optimisation solvers)

Semantic Accountability Tool

Short-term Post-hoc Anomaly Detection tool

These tools are implemented into two remarkable HMI applications. The applications deployed, each exemplifying the transformative power of innovation, are the following: INEOS Application: An Augmented Reality (AR) enabled mobile application that allows for new user interaction paradigms. By seamlessly integrating voice-controlled commands with Quick Response (QR) code scanning, the application empowers users to engage with their surroundings in a hands-free manner. This synthesis of AR, voice recognition, and real-time data processing exemplifies the transformative potential of immersive technologies in enhancing operational efficiency.

Ineos Application

32 Industry Europe

Continental Dashboard: A web application displaying information from a sophisticated system designed for real-time AI-driven machinery monitoring, and operator feedback. The web application not only presents operators with essential machinery data but also offers AI-generated suggestions for value adjustments. This interactive loop, wherein operators’ responses inform AI model refinement, showcases the collaborative synergy between human expertise and algorithmic insights.

Outcomes achieved Based on tools implementation within the Industrial environment of Continental and Ineos, important AI-based improvements were realised both at shop floor level operation and at production quality. Namely, the project achieved optimisation of machine control setting and set-up of product parameters, leading to significant reduction of production failures due to system breakage/disturbance, which consequently leads to minimizing low quality products due to system degradation. Improved model operation due to data drift identification combined with operator-on-the-loop had a further contribution on increasing product quality. At the same time, the use of intelligent image recognition optimised the usage of raw materials whilst AIbased operations achieved increased raw material conversion.

Project unique points and innovations moving EU Industry forward The project has developed a human-centered (anthropocentric) approach to AI, rather than a technology-centered one. Ethics by design is therefore at the heart of the project, as a goal and not as a constraint. In addition, AI-based technological solutions were developed taking into account the particularities of the application field (manufacturing), the data scarcity (e.g. new equipment, small data sets), the data uncertainty (e.g. problem of sensor settings), the representativeness (e.g. normal operation, degraded operation), the dynamics of the manufacturing systems (e.g. old age, wear and tear) etc. Furthermore, the provided AI solutions can be combined on different abstraction levels (Edge, Fog, Cloud, Decision) of a manufacturing system to provide anticipation (e.g. field-level intelligence), proactivity (e.g. information management) and overall performance. Finally, the AI-based solutions were tested in an operating environment with real conditions (e.g. CONTINENTAL), enabling the measurement of industrial credibility/benefits and scalability under severe conditions.


Continental Dashboard

Who is behind this project AI-PROFICIENT was made possible through the collaboration of ten partners from six European countries all of them having a distinct role in the project. Here is a short summary of the partners, including the technological and scientific offerings.

9. Institut Mihajlo Pupin (Serbia): Worked on IIoT interoperability, Generative optimisation, product-level anomaly detection, XAI and transparent AI decision making, System architecture and Platform deployment.

1. Universite de Lorraine (France): Coordinator of the project, worked on System Health, self-diagnostics/self-prognostics, predictive AI-Analytics and Proactive maintenance strategies. Also, worked on Ethics-by-design and supported standardisation activities.

10. Athens Technology Center (Greece): Worked on Optical character recognition (OCR) and Speech-to-text technologies in production environment and on machine/process-level Anomaly detection, followed by Root-cause analysis and AI reinforcement learning algorithms. Leaded also the dissemination, communication, exploitation and clustering activities of the project.

2. Continental France SNC (France): Provided industrial scale pilot installation and Use Cases to develop problem solving solutions.

For more information on the AI-PROFICIENT project, visit:

3. Tekniker (Spain): Worked on field-level automation, self-diagnostics, production process anomaly detection, Predictive AI analytics. 4. Ineos Services (Belgium): Provided two industrial scale pilot installations in two different EU countries, and provided three Use Cases to develop and demonstrate problem solving solutions. 5. Tenforce (Belgium): Worked on Semantics, Role-specific human-machine interfaces, XAI and Conversational interfaces at shop floor level. 6. VTT (Finland): Worked on Digital Twins and Hybrid models describing production processes. 7. Inos Hellas (Greece): Worked on component level data acquisition and pre-processing, on proactive maintenance strategies in the Industrial environment and leaded Standardisation activities.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 957391.

8. Ibermatica (Spain): Worked on IIoT environment deployment/ setup, and Use Case Validation methodology and Analysis.

Industry Europe 33


New developments in Technology & Innovation

Launch of the Innovative Chromatiq Spectral Engine™ with Extended Wavelength Range


amamatsu Photonics is pleased to announce the launch of a new innovative Chromatiq Spectral Engine™ (CSE) made by its whollyowned subsidiary Energetiq Technology. This pioneering light source manufacturer designed a breakthrough product now featuring an extension to near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. The CSE, initially introduced in 2021 and recognized with the esteemed Laser Focus World Innovator’s Award, addresses a crucial challenge faced in light sensing and colour measurement applications: the ability to generate light with highly specific spectral content, emulating real-world lighting conditions and other custom spectra to meet calibration and testing requirements. What sets the CSE apart from existing solutions in the market is its high spectral resolution enabled by Energetiq’s Laser-Driven Light Source (LDLS®)

technology. LDLS, a plasma-based broadband light source, is recognized for its outstanding spectral radiance, stability, long lifetime, and broad wavelength range. The CSE not only outperforms comparable sources in terms of resolution, but it also boasts a lightning-fast switching speed of <10 ms between programmed spectra. The added NIR wavelength range covers the full active range of silicon-based detectors, from 380 nm to 1,100 nm, offering precise alignment between light source and detector.

Key features and functionalities that define the uniqueness of the CSE include: • Realistic Spectrum Matching: Ensures accurate simulation of real-world lighting conditions. • Laser-Driven Light Source Technology: Built on LDLS technology for unmatched performance. • Custom Spectrum Generation: Offers multipeak, flat top, ramp top, and narrow peaks as well as dimming capabilities.

• Production-Optimized Switching Speed: Facilitates fast switching for efficiency in production environments. The CSE caters to a broad audience, including manufacturers of colour sensors, spectrometers, and image sensors, as well as anyone integrating these optical sensing technologies into finished products. The applications span a diverse range, from consumer electronics and advanced driver assistance systems to evolving needs in the aerospace industry. “Customers can expect improved levels of reliability and efficiency from seamlessly integrating the CSE into multiple stages of their production processes,” said Debbie Gustafson, CEO of Energetiq. “The CSE provides the accurate and repeatable data necessary to support cutting-edge product innovation across multiple industries.” This launch represents another significant step forward in Energetiq Technology's commitment to innovation, driving the evolution of light source technology.

Pallet shredder chips away at waste disposal costs for distribution firm


usy distribution specialist K Engineering Group is one of the latest organisations to transform the tidiness, environmental impact, and cost-effectiveness of its logistics site, with the help of an UNTHA shredder. A PS1300 pallet shredder has been installed at the firm’s West Midlands headquarters, saving the business over £15,000 in waste collection fees per year. The growing business began life as a manufacturer in 1954, but now largely imports and distributes a range of heavy duty nuts, bolts, threaded fasteners and other socket products, from its three UK depots. Goods come into the industrial facility loaded onto wooden pallets or packed within other shipping crates. With much of this bulky Asian packaging material old or unrepairable, it has no further use in the market and had begun to stack up – proving to be unsightly, occupying valuable space, and adding to fire risk. Waste disposal fees were high given the limited number of pallets that could be housed in a skip prior to collection, and K Engineering also wanted to boost the environmental credentials of its operation. Now, the distributor is shredding its pallet waste in the purposeengineered UNTHA PS1300. With the initial goal to reduce the volume of this otherwise bulky material, K Engineering has gone one step further by producing a homogenous 30mm chip, which is now being sold locally for landscaping mulch and recycling. Commenting on the installation, K Engineering’s managing director Ian Wilkinson, said: “We are new to shredding, but having read about the PS1300 we were intrigued about what this machine could do. Impressed with how our enquiry was handled and the quality of the manufacturing – something that we 34 Industry Europe

know a lot about as an organisation – we moved quickly. “The shredder has been excellent – our operators were trained by UNTHA so they have confidence in the safe operation of the machine, and we’ve had no complaints. We’ve removed all the pallet waste that had accumulated on our site and now have an asset that will support our waste handling, long into the future. “Importantly, we’re preserving the resource value of the wood, and I’ve even used some of the chip in my own garden!” K Engineering is currently processing 300kg of pallet waste per day but it can comfortably handle 30 pallets per hour. Commenting on the popularity of the PS1300 since it was launched, UNTHA UK’s sales manager and pallet shredding specialist Ian Harvey said: “We predicted that this small but mighty machine would make waves when it was launched, and we weren’t wrong. Achieving as much as 4:1 waste volume reduction success for clients, it quickly erodes organisations’ disposal costs, making sites safer and tidier in the process too. That’s the ‘business case’ box ticked. “Then there’s the output material of the PS1300, which can be used for landscaping mulch, other recycling routes and biomass. Allowing warehouse, logistics and distribution firms to start shredding with ease – even if they’ve never owned such a machine before – customers can be up and running in no time. That’s why we continually hold these machines in stock at our North Yorkshire test centre.” K Engineering’s PS1300 has been purchased outright inclusive of a three-year service plan.


INDUSTRYNEWS Rohde & Schwarz presents its Wi-Fi 7 multi-channel single-box test solutions for R&D and production at MWC 2024


ohde & Schwarz will display its R&S CMX500 multi-technology multi-channel signaling tester at MWC 2024 with newly added Wi-Fi 7 testing capabilities. With this functionality, the one-box tester allows R&D engineers of wireless devices to comprehensively test their design’s operation in cellular and non-cellular standards of the latest generation in a single instrument setup. In addition to this, the R&S CMP180 radio communication tester will verify a signal waveform of 480 MHz bandwidth in loopback mode, attesting to be a future-proof solution for users in R&D and production, even beyond the requirements of Wi-Fi 7.

Challenges of next-generation WLAN testing While the market for the sixth generation of Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11ax, is still growing, the development of Wi-Fi 7, or IEEE 802.11be, is in full swing. Wi-Fi 7 is the next generation of Wi-Fi technology, designed for extremely high data throughput. With tens of gigabits of data per second and low latency, it meets the growing demand for ultra-high-definition video streaming, virtual reality and augmented reality applications. Key elements to achieve higher throughput are an increased channel bandwidth of 320 MHz, up to 16 spatial streams and 4096 QAM modulation. In addition, for a yet-to-be-defined Wi-Fi 8 (IEEE

802.11bn) standard, even wider channel bandwidths are in discussion. Rohde & Schwarz meets these challenging characteristics with its solutions for testing Wi-Fi 7 and beyond, showcased at MWC Barcelona.

R&S CMX500 features new Wi-Fi 7 capabilities for R&D During the development of WLAN devices, measurements of the RF TX and RX characteristics must be tested under real-world conditions in signaling mode. The R&S CMX500 one-box tester is a multi-technology multi-channel signaling tester that is now available with integrated Wi-Fi 7 test functionality. Especially in WiFi 7 where Multi-Link-Operation (MLO) is a key feature, a test environment that provides multiple RF chains is crucial. The tester's flexibility, support for multiple radio technologies, and embedded IP test capabilities make it a versatile solution for a wide range of Wi-Fi 7-specific tests, such as 2x2 MIMO, 6 GHz band with 1/3 out-of-band discovery, coexistence and E2E test capabilities.

Testing WLAN offloading with Voice over WLAN in a single box WLAN offloading is the process of delivering data originally intended for cellular networks over WLAN. It helps reduce the amount of data carried on the cellular bands, freeing up bandwidth for other users. It is also used to ensure service continuity in scenarios where cellular coverage is insufficient, but a WLAN hotspot is available to take over the connection. For example, the handover between a cellular network and WLAN during a voice call, often referred to as Voice over WLAN, aims to provide subscribers with an uninterrupted voice call experience.

Schneider Electric and Phoenix Contact deliver Plug and Produce Universal Automation


chneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced that its EcoStruxure Automation Expert universal automation solution can now seamlessly deploy to Phoenix Contact’s PLCnext Technology, a key milestone in the industrial world’s transformation to open, software-defined automation. Both share the same runtime technology, giving industrial operators new levels of engineering and maintenance efficiency due to simple application portability and interoperability. Developed and managed by, an independent, non-for-profit association, the shared runtime execution engine, based on the IEC 61499 standard, enables an ecosystem of automation plug and produce software applications that are completely independent from the hardware on which they execute. This new software-defined automation means industrial companies can mix and match automation solutions and no longer be held back by closed and proprietary automation platforms, a problem the industry has been struggling with for a while.

EcoStruxure Automation Expert, a fully open and interoperable software-centric system was designed to decouple automation software from hardware and seamlessly integrate offers from different automation vendors, providing unprecedented freedom for industrial enterprises, and advanced agility and simplicity for industrial automation system integrators and OEMs. Industrial companies can now unlock Phoenix Contact PLCnext controllers with runtime so users can then develop and deploy applications to one or more PLCnext controllers using EcoStruxure Automation Expert.

Software-defined universal automation A confluence of significant market trends are making the shift to software-defined automa-

tion inevitable, according to industry analyst IDC in its recent perspective Software-Defined Industrial Automation: An Update. “We've talked about this idea of software-defined automation for a few years," said Jonathan Lang, Research Director, Worldwide IT/OT Convergence Strategies at IDC. "We are now starting to see general availability of some of this technology, which means we have to speak more practically and prescriptively about the impact to organisations and how to best prepare for it." “Collaborating with Schneider Electric has demonstrated the flexible and open nature of the PLCnext Technology,” said Andrew Vanderpool, Senior Project Engineer at Phoenix Contract and Co-Chair of the OPAF Technical Working Group. “We are excited to see how we can continue to collaborate and ‘enhance the automation thinking’ between universal automation and PLCnext Technology.” “This deployment shows that automation solutions that work well across different systems are viable, providing greater flexibility in our fastchanging digital world,” said Fabrice Jadot, Senior Vice President, Next Generation Automation Solution Incubator at Schneider Electric. “No company can achieve the promise of Industry 4.0 alone. Today’s announcement shows that an extended ecosystem of partners working together with open architectures can positively impact industrial operations.” Industry Europe 35


New developments in Transportation

Wärtsilä hybrid propulsion solution selected for three new cargo vessels


echnology group Wärtsilä will supply an integrated hybrid propulsion solution for three new self-discharging cargo vessels being built at the Royal Bodewes shipyard in the Netherlands for Norwegian shipowner Aasen Shipping. As part of the solution, the ships will feature the latest addition to Wärtsilä’s engine portfolio, the Wärtsilä 25, which was launched in September 2022. The engines and vessel are prepared for operation on sustainable fuels in the future. The order was booked by Wärtsilä in September 2023. Wärtsilä delivered a similar hybrid propulsion solution to two earlier Aasen Shipping vessels, the ‘Aasfoss’ and ‘Aasfjell’. These ships have successfully operated with the hybrid propulsion solution for almost two years, and this success has been cited as a prime consideration in the award of this new contract. To cater to the increasing demand for hybrid integrated machinery solutions, Wärtsilä works closely with customers, such as Aasen Shipping, from the early stages of a newbuild project in order to firstly, optimise the performance and efficiency of the vessel, and then secondly, by “de-risking” the project at the design phase. “We have been very satisfied with Wärtsilä’s support and close cooperation in helping us to achieve more efficient and cleaner cargo transport. This is important to us. Plus, the Wärtsilä engines are made ready for us to switch later to sustainable fuels, which will allow us to significantly further reduce carbon emissions in line with our fleet decarbonisation aims,” said Torbjørn Torkelsen, CEO – Aasen Shipping. “We are delighted to have received this repeat order for our hybrid solution. The combination of the highly efficient and flexible Wärtsilä 25 engine with batteries provides both optimised operations and environmental sustainability. The ships can use electrical battery power when in harbour and for low-load operations, and then switch to the main engines for transit,” commented Stefan Nysjö, Vice President of Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine Power. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with both Aasen Shipping and Royal Bowedes on our shared commitment to decarbonising marine operations.”

“As we understand that becoming emission-free is the biggest challenge of our generation, our focus at Royal Bowedes is to build innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient vessels for the industry. We are proud to be working alongside Aasen Shipping and Wärtsilä to utilise technology and solutions which will ensure these new self-discharging cargo vessels are able to cut emissions and reduce fuel costs, whilst keeping carbon-costs to a minimum,” commented Johan Tiemersma, Project Manager – Royal Bowedes. The three 9500 DWT vessels will each operate with one six-cylinder Wärtsilä 25 main engine fitted with a Wärtsilä NOx reduction system, a Wärtsilä gearbox and controllable pitch propeller with shaft line, a Wärtsilä Pro-Touch bridge control system, the Hybrid system with DC hub and 620kWh battery capacity, the control system, as well as the battery, power and energy management systems. The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery to Royal Bodewes in December 2025 and in 2026. From dry cargo vessels to self-discharging cement carriers, and specials, like tankers and RoRo, Royal Bodewes has been building vessels since 1812. Royal Bodewes is currently building at three yards simultaneously in the north of the Netherlands. Among the current orders are highly efficient hybrid powered, methanol-ready self-dischargers.

Danfoss Power Solutions expands tractor valve platform, enabling use on wider range of models


anfoss Power Solutions, a leading global supplier of mobile and industrial hydraulics as well as electric powertrain systems, has enhanced its tractor valve platform with additional electrohydraulic module sizes as well as new mechanical modules, enabling the valve to be used on a wider range of tractor models. Proven in farm fields for more than 20 years, Danfoss’ tractor valve provides rear implement, front implement, and front loader control. Built on the PVG 32 proportional valve platform, the tractor valve offers a variety of components and features specific to agricultural applications. A range of valve modules — inlets, working modules for auxiliary functions, hitch modules, top-mounted modules, and endplates — enable customization for each specific application.

36 Industry Europe

Danfoss has added zero-leak electrohydraulic PVBZ 16, 40, and 48 modules to the platform, which enables the valve to cover flow rates of up to 170 liters per minute (44.9 gallons per minute). The new sizes enable customers to tailor the flow rate for each service more accurately. All PVBZ modules are based on the PVG 32 platform, eliminating the need for interface plates and allowing them to be combined in numerous configurations to match customer needs. The new modules are compatible with PVE electrohydraulic actuators. For tractors with mechanical implement actuation requirements, Danfoss has added zero-leak mechanical MVBZ modules to its valve platform. The MVBZ modules can be combined with the electrohydraulic PVBZ

modules, enabling the use of mechanical modules for auxiliary function control and electrohydraulic modules for hitch control. The new mechanical modules also enable the valve to be used on base-model tractors. “Danfoss tractor valves have long been used on many of the top tractor brands worldwide. With these enhancements to our valve platform, we are now a full-line valve supplier able to meet the needs of a wider range of tractor models, from small to large and basic to advanced,” said Jonas Lauersen, senior sales development manager, Spool Valve Solutions, Danfoss Power Solutions. “The valve offers a number of benefits, including a high degree of design flexibility and minimized parasitic losses. Danfoss’ unmatched global service and support rounds out the offering, providing our customers with a complete package.”


INDUSTRYNEWS ABB forms strategic partnership with Titagarh for metro projects in India


BB and Titagarh Rail Systems have formed a strategic partnership to supply propulsion systems for metro rolling stock projects in India. The partnership aligned with the Indian government’s “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) initiatives has already had an early success by winning orders to design and supply equipment for metro coaches for the state of Gujarat. Titagarh specializes in the design, manufacture, supply, commissioning, and servicing of various passenger rolling stock and metro coaches for Indian and international markets. ABB is a world leader in the field of the design, manufacture and servicing of propulsion systems and electrical equipment relating to rolling stock used for railways and metro systems. The strategic partnership brings the two companies together to build on their potential and synergy to become an established player in the Indian market and expand its market base to other projects and countries. The partnership covers an agreement for Titagarh to purchase ABB propulsion systems including traction converters, auxiliary converters, traction motors and TCMS software. It also includes securing the manufacturing rights and production license for traction motors along with the complete transfer of technology of the GoA 4 (Driverless metro) TCMS software from ABB to Titagarh.

Edgar Keller, President, Traction Business, ABB, said, “ABB is established as a leading global player in the design, manufacture, supply, and servicing of traction propulsion systems and TCMS. This strategic partnership with Titagarh provide the strong foundation to enter and expand our footprint in this key market, while also supporting the efforts to make rail transportation in India sustainable through our energy efficient technology, fully produced in India.” Umesh Chowdhary, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Titagarh said. “Working in partnership with ABB will enable Titagarh to participate fully in our government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives. We have already set up manufacturing facilities for some of the items for the propulsion chain and are in the process of making it a holistic solution. This agreement is an important step towards developing in-house capabilities for our own TCMS, including driverless (Grade of Automation 4) TCMS, complete with the setup of a TCMS Laboratory and the development of the source codes , which is often referred to as the ‘brain of the train’ and is the most modern in the world. This development of local TCMS capabilities will enable us to further align with the governments vision of the Aatmanirbharta.”

The strategic partnership is already underway with orders for propulsion equipment and TCMS for metro coaches in Gujarat - one of the leading industrialized states in India. ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 140 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation. ABB Motion keeps the world turning – while saving energy every day. We innovate and push the boundaries of technology to enable the low-carbon future for customers, industries and societies. With our digitally enabled drives, motors and services our customers and partners achieve better performance, safety and reliability. We offer a combination of domain expertise and technology to deliver the optimum drive and motor solution ​for a wide range of applications in all industrial segments.​Through our global presence we are always close to serve our customers. Building on over 140 years of cumulative experience​in electric powertrains, we learn and​improve every day.

BORG Automotive Reman publishes Life Cycle Assessment results for all eight product groups


ustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic in the automotive aftermarket. The same applies to the remanufacturing of automotive spare parts: It has the reputation of having a less negative impact on the environment than new production. However, only a few manufacturers have had their exact environmental impact of remanufactured spare parts determined, the findings third party validated and made public.

Lower environmental impact than new products BORG Automotive Reman is now one of them. The remanufacturer commissioned Linköping University to complete Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) for all eight product groups: The company remanufactures used original brake calipers, EGR valves, starters, alternators, turbochargers, AC compressors, steering racks and steering pumps and distributes them under the brands Elstock, DRI, TMI and Lucas. The company has now published the results of the comparative LCAs. The figures clearly speak in favor of BORG Automotive’s remanufacturing: Combining the results from all eight product groups shows they perform significantly better on average in terms of environmental footprint towards Global Warming (-60%), Natural reserves (-70%) and energy demand (-42%).

Remanufactured EGR valves: 99,6 percent raw material savings According to the LCAs completed by experts at Linköping University in compliance with the related international research standards, a remanufactured EGR valve from BORG Automotive has a 46% lower energy demand, 57% less CO2eq emissions to the atmosphere, and requires 99,6% less new material compared to a newly manufactured EGR valve. The same applies to remanufactured starters: Here, 77% less CO2eq is emitted to the atmosphere while energy demand decreases by 80% and depletion of natural resources even by 90% compared with newly manufactured starters.

Concrete figures: important for distributors and workshops “We are proud to be one of the first suppliers to be able to provide our customers in the trade and workshop reliable figures on the life cycle assessment of our products,” says Line S. Meldgaard, Sustainability Manager at BORG Automotive. “The figures cannot be transferred to other manufacturers,” she concludes. “At BORG Automotive we have been working with a circular business model for more than 40 years and many individual factors go into the results – for example the reuse rate of the cores or the way we organize our processes, where we source our sub-components, and how efficiently we use energy.” Industry Europe 37



New developments in the Transportation

Enhancing Your Business Ventures Through Smart Ride Choices

• •

ing couriers via motorcycle or bicycle offers flexibility to shuttle documents and small items through congested urban areas. Don't just default to the cheapest ride share or damaged box truck if client impressions and professionalism matter. Bringing clients, catering or sound systems to an event venue calls for spiffy transports so you remain poised and polished from start to finish.


aking wise transportation choices is key when starting or expanding any business venture. Your vehicles make an impression and need to align with your brand, meet practical needs, and fit within budget. As you grow in the UK market, here are some tips on selecting rides to boost your entrepreneurial success.

Getting Around Town Having reliable transportation for meetings, networking events, and simply getting around London is essential. Taxis offer a professional on-demand option for busy founders and executives. Black cabs conveniently roam city streets ready to hail. Minicabs arranged through an operator provide another efficient choice. Apps like Uber allow you to directly book drivers to arrive at set times.

Impressing Clients Use upscale rides like executive cars and limousines to make the right impression when hosting VIP clients or special events. Elegant vehicles, courteous drivers, and five-star service communicate success and distinction. This transports key guests in comfort and style, whether they are tackling traffic in London or travelling longer distances. Booking luxury rides for just the most important meetings and occasions keeps costs reasonable while still using high-end transport to facilitate crucial deals. Just be sure to choose newer vehicles so the comfort and appearance align with positioning your business as modern, sophisticated, and forward-thinking.

Hauling Gear Of course, you also need practical vehicles to transport equipment, goods and large teams. Minibuses, coaches, and lorries may enter your fleet as operational needs grow. Contract-

Food Delivery Networks Speaking of cycles, pedal power can fuel food delivery expansion too. Bicycle couriers from services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats provide emission-free, swift circulation of your restaurant or meal kits. Integrating with these established networks outsources delivery logistics so you can focus on cuisine and hospitality. Two wheels over four means navigating traffic faster, fitting into tiny alleys and kerbside parking more easily. This offers a more responsible and quicker method for local patrons to enjoy your fares. Just be sure to use sturdy, insulated transport bags to keep dishes piping hot or cold.

Going Green In general, use eco-friendly ride choices whenever reasonable. Hybrid, electric or hydrogen vehicles align with UK sustainability goals. They demonstrate your values while supporting cleaner urban air quality. Cycles, scooters, carbon offsetting schemes and renewable fuel mixes further reduce environmental impact. If your brand identity incorporates protecting the planet, lead by example outfitting your fleet accordingly. Get that message out proudly by detailing your initiatives online and even wrapping vehicles in colourful signage. This proactively spins operational modes into marketing opportunities.

Future-Proofing Your Fleet As you evaluate transportation for your venture, also consider how solutions integrate emerging technologies and sustainability trends. Look for features that future-proof investments like: • •

Hybrid/electric drivetrains Self-charging capabilities

Autonomous features like crash avoidance Connectivity and over-the-air updates Renewable/alternative fuel compatibility

Vehicles with capabilities like these better retain resale value and usefulness over time. They evolve with regulation changes, environmental priorities, and smart city infrastructure. Fleet electrification may soon be compulsory. Many urban centres aim to ban diesel vehicles outright within the next decade as zero emissions zones spread. Your choices must meet these shifting baseline requirements. Essentially, future-friendly transports demonstrate conviction. They underscore your resolve to actively lower emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. This mindset hopefully permeates all aspects of your operations. If sustainability matters to you, embedding it into one of your most visible business functions – transportation – makes perfect sense.

Comparing Taxis for Sale When exploring taxis for purchase, review what’s on the market to make feature comparisons that inform investments. Cab Direct have a great selection of taxis for sale, from former black cabs to minicabs and rideshare vehicles. The iconic London black cab design stands out while its tight turning capability, low floor and Prius hybrid engine provide efficiency and accessibility. Minicabs offer options like comfortable Volkswagen Passats, discreet luxury Mercedes E-Class vehicles, or spacious rides to haul groups, often with clean diesel-compliant engines.

Finding a taxi for sale isn’t difficult, but it’s worth looking at used options when starting out. At every phase, integrating smart mobility solutions positions an organisation for stability and success. Your choice of cars, lorries, bikes, and alternate transport demonstrates values and acumen each time they roll down the streets. Savvy selection, financing and maintenance keep your business always headed in the right direction. So, map out your needs, explore the options and let the right rides carry your ventures forward.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.