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awareness Wireless technologies within machinery are causing regulatory conformance issues for manufacturers

Also in this issue:

• Health & safety • Additive manufacturing • Focus on HVAC • IoT case study


133 October 2016


Editor’s Comment

Art Editor/Design David Howard Staff Writers Jo Cooper Andrew Dann Joshua Younespour Production Manager Fleur Daniels Production Advertising Administrator Tracy Chynoweth Operations Director Philip Monument Editorial Researchers Mark Cowles Tarj D’Silva Jeff Goldenberg Kya Johnson Ben Richell Richard Saunders Kieran Shukri Laura Thompson Advertising Sales Joe Woolsgrove - Sales Director Mark Cawston Tim Eakins Andy Ellis Darren Jolliffe Jonas Junca Dave King Theresa McDonald


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Ambitious strategy



t looks as though we are in another period of uncertainty following UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent comments about Article 50 and the resulting fall in Sterling. However, while I may have received plenty of emails predicting doom and gloom, as we saw previously after the Brexit vote, again the main message is that nobody really knows what to expect! Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, stated that: “There’s an uncertain road ahead for the UK in the run-up to Britain’s formal divorce proceedings with the EU. “Until the talks start, there will be no clear answers to the important questions about the UK’s future relationship with the EU or the rest of the world and this is going to create ongoing uncertainty.” Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, suggests that what we need now is a long term plan on how to make the UK the best place in the world for growing businesses. “This must include an ambitious industrial strategy which drives the investment needed to push us up the global infrastructure rankings, together with a tax system that supports our economy on the road to the fourth industrial revolution,” he stated. What do you think?





Editor Libbie Hammond

133 October 2016

Chairman Andrew Schofield


Schofield Publishing

Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K. Tel: 044 (0)1603 274130 Fax: 044 (0)1603 274131

awareness Wireless technologies within machinery are causing regulatory conformance issues for manufacturers

Also in this issue:


©2016 Schofield Publishing Ltd Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and adver tisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effor t is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the proper ty of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher. 1

Features 4 News

Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena

8 Health & safety

12 Focus on HVAC

Inverter technology is one of the most recent advancements in air conditioning, and it brings cost savings

Polymer safety barriers evolved and today are sophisticated, multifunction products offering multiple benefits

12 Focus on HVAC 14 Case study

How one Irish heating systems manufacturer worked with a mobile application platform company to develop a smartphone controlled boiler

8 Health & safety 10 Additive manufacturing The advances and applications of Additive Manufacturing in the aerospace industry

14 Case study 16 Smart plant

The Internet of Things has caused an increase in the use of wireless technologies, and the knock-on effects include regulatory compliance issues

10 Additive manufacturing 2


Profiles 19 22 31 34 38 41 48 51 52 56 58 61

Husqvarna Group Bisley Amaray Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd MANN+HUMMEL (UK) Ltd 3T RPD Polar Technology Management Group SS Tube Technology Lentus Composites Fracino Guttridge Ltd

98 BekaertDeslee Textiles 100 HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd 102 Pekabex 104 Ekamant AB 106 Mecaplast Group 110 Europacable 112 Tele-Fonika Kable 121 Munck Cranes AS 125 RS Motorhomes 129 Silentnight Group 135 UK Steel 140 M Squared Lasers

64 67 70 73 76 79 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96

Hosokawa Micron Ltd Rotpunkt InTiCa Systems AG Sumgait Technologies Park Hoshizaki Europe Limited Broadwater Mouldings Ltd Electronic Temperature Insturments (ETI) API Group Plc Fey & Co GmbH Goma BV Sarginsons Industries Ltd Vantage Power Thermacore Europe ATAG Verwarming Nederland BV

143 Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) 148 AR Metallizing NV 152 Summitglow Ltd 155 James Dewhurst 158 Collins and Hayes Furniture Limited 161 The Sertec Group Ltd 166 Servopresse Srl 168 Anstey Wallpaper Company Ltd 171 Bristow Group 174 Automotive Insulations Ltd 176 Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Limited 178 Enesco 180 Widex 182 TOS Varnsdorf a.s

22 Bisley


61 Guttridge Ltd 3

News in brief Partnership strengthened

Capgemini and SAP SE have broadened their strategic partnership with the launch of ‘Fast Digital 4 Discrete Industries by SAP and Capgemini,’ a joint initiative to help clients in the discrete manufacturing industries to manage their digital transformation as they seek to maximise the potential of Industry 4.0, the Internet-of-Things and innovative manufacturing techniques. As part of the initiative, the solution suite to support this model includes SAP S/4HANA as the digital core, with SAP Hybris solutions and SAP HANA Cloud Platform, providing data in real-time across both the front-end and backend applications. Capgemini and SAP plan to co-innovate and invest jointly in order to develop new applications and extensions on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, as well as engage with an ecosystem of start-ups and vendors in the manufacturing space to provide clients with end-to-end solutions.

SMEs challenged

Small and medium sized manufacturing businesses in the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to design new products for their customers, citing innovation as a key challenge for the industry as a whole. This is the key finding of this year’s ‘SME Barometer Research’ commissioned by Exact, an annual survey of 2500 respondents across Europe and the USA. Other key findings included: Reducing costs still a key priority in spite of need to innovate, customers becoming more forgiving of late deliveries, and the skills gap has reduced and an influx of talent could provide creative energy.

Capabilities enhanced

JDA Software Group has added innovative new capabilities in JDA Manufacturing Planning, including intelligent and prescriptive demand-supply planning, real-time and collaborative cross-functional scenario analyses, and an innovative in-memory foundation for an always-on supply chain. These capabilities allow manufacturers to proactively plan risk-aware strategies, optimise business performance, and respond to disruptive events with unparalleled speed and intelligence. Said Puneet Saxena, vice president, solutions strategy, manufacturing planning, JDA: “These capabilities help manufacturers thrive in an ever-changing, highvolume, omni-channel world by empowering associates across the manufacturing supply chain to easily and collaboratively manage complex processes and deliver profitable results.”


International player

A new company called TouchPath has been created by the merger of long-established businesses TransitionWorks Software and AIDC Solutions to meet market demand for modern, fully customised but lower-cost supply chain solutions. TouchPath plans to grow dynamically, has operations in the UK and the US that can provide global, 24/7 user support and is actively seeking partners in Asia. Using its 30 years combined technology and applications development experience TouchPath plans to penetrate a series of target markets beginning with 3PL (third party logistics). TouchPath systems’ technology captures more supply chain information for better business performance and faster ROI. Its unique custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems use building blocks that allow TouchPath software to be fully tailored ‘with no limits’, in line with user-defined business rules and processes, at a lower price and with faster deployment, according to the company. “Our companies have joined forces to create a new, international player that can deliver customised, userdefined supply chain solutions for organisations of all sizes, at a price-point that sets a new benchmark for the industry,” says TouchPath International CEO David Myers. “Our strategy is to share and integrate knowledge across the new company, creatively, to benefit logistics, transport and other supply chain users.”

Contract extension

Leading facilities management provider EMCOR UK has been awarded an extension to its current contract with British Airways Engineering (BA Engineering). The contract extension includes performing planned and reactive maintenance and repair services for the aircraft Ground Support Equipment (GSE) at Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Glasgow, UK line stations, as well as all of BA Engineering’s non-UK stations. EMCOR UK has delivered these services for BA Engineering for the past 23 years. The contract extension is for five years, and commenced in July 2016. EMCOR UK will be responsible for providing a large and diverse range of services to support the GSE. Scope of work includes planned and reactive maintenance to steps, docking, access equipment, engine and airframe tooling, lifting equipment, aircraft jacks, pressure systems, fixed electrical ground power and small tools. Additionally, EMCOR UK is now responsible for the management of all statutory inspections across the portfolio, providing BA Engineering a single source, fully managed service. David Parker, EMCOR UK’s Group Executive Director, commented: “Our ability to provide ground support equipment maintenance and deliver services in-house evidence that EMCOR UK is well positioned to meet BA Engineering’s requirements, which include exacting specifications and rigorous processes.”

MANUFACTURING NEWS Record risk highs

Global supply chain risk climbed to 80.8 in the second quarter of 2016, which is amongst the highest levels since records began in 1995, according to the CIPS Risk Index, powered by Dun & Bradstreet. This continued the worsening trend in global risk, which has been following this trajectory since Q4 2015. Amid sluggish growth across developed and emerging market economies in Q2, the UK’s vote to leave the EU at the end of June marked an unprecedented event that is expected to have a reverberating effect on supply chains in the region, and also across the rest of the world. The Index, produced for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) by Dun & Bradstreet economists, tracks the impact of economic and political developments on the stability of global supply chains. The UK’s risk rating was downgraded by Dun & Bradstreet from DB2a to DB2c, as a result of the leave vote. Immediately after the result, a dramatic fall in the Pound Sterling led to soaring costs for businesses that relied on importing, prompting many to reconsider their sourcing strategies. In addition, early evidence of a drop in consumer spending and business investments in the weeks following the EU referendum result increased the risk of the UK economy falling into contraction in the third and fourth quarters. John Glen, CIPS Economist and Director of the centre for Customised Executive Development at The Cranfield School of Management said: “The UK’s departure from the EU could lead to some of the most dramatic shifts and severe implications for global supply chains in the coming years. While the full impact of the leave vote is still unfolding, the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the current situation has already driven supply chain risk to a worryingly high level. “In these volatile times, businesses must develop bespoke contingency plans for possible scenarios. This must start with gaining clear visibility of the supply chain in order to accurately assess emerging risks. The next step would be to ensure supply chains are agile and flexible to adapt and react quickly to changes and disruptions. “While there is a lot of uncertainty, we need to avoid talking ourselves into a recession. This requires business leaders and politicians to develop a narrative, which outlines actions that can be taken to meet the economic challenges that the UK faces as a result of Brexit. At the moment Governor Mark Carney and the Bank of England are lone voices in trying to provide this narrative and they require broader support.”

44 5


A post-Brexit study has found that well over half of British manufacturers are positive about the decision to leave the European Union (EU). The research, conducted by independent energy consultancy Utilitywise, found that 57 per cent of manufacturers felt that the decision to leave presented business opportunities for them. The findings coincide with research from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the business lobby group, which found that orders for British manufacturing exports climbed to their highest for two years in August 2016. Tim Hipperson, Consultancy Director at Utilitywise, said: “With the dust beginning to settle post-referendum Britain’s manufacturers are clearly the sector most positive about business going forward, with the weaker pound and boost in exports likely to be the main reason for their enthusiasm. However, it is also likely that manufacturers are hopeful that a government not bound by EU trade and energy regulations is more likely to offer them proactive financial support and assistance, perhaps in the form of subsidies, that will help them compete internationally. Whatever the reason, it is good to see that manufacturing, a vital component of the economy, is feeling optimistic about its economic future.”

Refurbished French facility

Gardner Aerospace has opened the doors to its newly refurbished facility in Belesta, France, as part of its group-wide commitment to supporting the aerospace industry, which calls for fewer, stronger, global suppliers. The site remained fully operational during the renovations and customers now benefit from increased manufacturing efficiencies owed to a new layout of the workshop floor, modelled on Gardner’s group wide standard approach to its global operations. The external and internal improvements secured industry-leading ISO 14001/OHSAS 18001 certification in early April. The standards are a cornerstone of Gardner’s growth strategy, ensuring the highest levels of occupational health and safety throughout its facilities worldwide. Christian Perichon, deputy CEO and President of the French operations of Gardner Group, says: “Gardner’s significant investments in world-class facilities and machinery are designed to keep us at the forefront of the aerospace manufacturing industry, which is not only important for our customers but also for attracting, retaining and developing the best talent in the industry. Ultimately, we want the best team that shares the company’s future direction and success, serving customers to the highest standard.”

The final frontier

Space and advanced manufacturing industry leaders will explore new ways to accelerate production cycles, solve significant maintenance issues and create operational efficiencies using affordable access to space-based assets at the annual SpaceCom (Space Commerce Conference and Expo). The largest commercial space conference in the world, SpaceCom 2016 will be held Nov. 15-17 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. From remote operations to robotics and specialised materials, technologies developed for space are already making a dynamic impact on many areas of production, manufacturing and new material creation and testing. SpaceCom will showcase these crossover technologies and demonstrate existing applications that can be used to improve profits, create new product lines and gain market share. SpaceCom includes five specific Applications Workshops, as well as conference sessions with advanced manufacturing experts from companies such as EOS of North America, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Made in Space and NASA. In addition, there will be numerous opportunities for cutting-edge entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors to do business and forge partnerships to gain competitive advantage.


The first and last line of

defence Adding safety barriers to the modern safety agenda


acility managers know that evacuation procedures, fire safety and PPE are critical to health and safety in the workplace. But in industrial environments, safety barrier implementation, whether in a new facility or an existing facility, should be considered as important as these health and safety cornerstones. A workplace safety barrier used to be a luxury. It was something a conscientious employer would install, usually in hindsight after an accident. These steel constructions, hastily put together at the local metal fabricators, would be installed without much consideration to anything. Other than hoping that whatever accident had just occurred would somehow be prevented from happening again. There was little thought given to the loads operating in the area, the speed of traffic, the possible angles of impact, the fixings and the floors, if the barrier could withstand any sort of impact, or whether the facility layout


could be changed to something altogether safer. Eventually, inevitably, the steel barrier would be impacted again. And, steel being inflexible, it would crumple, tear out the floor, damage the impacting vehicle and the barrier would need to be replaced. All good for the metal fabricators, but not so good for the conscientious employer. No more. The evolution of polymer technology means facility managers now have a better option. Polymer-based safety barriers are intensely strong. People are often surprised at just how strong. Plus, unlike steel, they have the capacity to flex on impact, absorb the impact forces and then reform to their original state. The safety technician at a Kimberly-Clark site in the UK said: “I have to admit we were extremely sceptical. We had steel barriers in place and whilst they did the job, we did have to continually replace, repair and maintain them. We were willing to offer the polymer barriers a trial, but we didn’t make their life easy, providing

a trial section in a high traffic area. The gantry that we wanted protecting was a problem area and constantly being damaged by forklift trucks. This was a very vulnerable area and I don’t think anyone believed that the barrier would stand up to the test or fare any better than the system we had in place previously. However, it more than did the job and was the catalyst to review the site and start replacing steel barriers with polymer ones.” As well as the inherent strength of polymer barriers, these multi-functional items provide a host of other benefits. As well as protecting employees and assets, they organise a facility, segregate pedestrians from workplace vehicles, provide long-term ROI, streamline productivity, reduce maintenance downtime and manpower resources, contribute to hygiene and enhance aesthetics. No facility should go without them – and here’s why:

Health & safety

quantify, but no less damaging, including loss of reputation, psychological fallout of employees, negative PR and loss of staff morale. Preventing these deaths, injuries and their subsequent costs is why safety barriers are now so important in the industrial workplace. Why? Because literally, safety barriers are what stand between an accident happening and an accident being prevented. Safety barriers put accident prevention right at the heart of a facility – and safety barriers are a facility’s first and last line of defence.



This we know: The cost associated with workplace injury in the UK alone is £4.9bn per year (HSE, Costs to Britain of workplace fatalities and self-reported injuries and ill health, 2013/14). What we don’t know is how many accidents and injuries have been prevented, or the total savings made by companies who have implemented accident prevention products and techniques. But to gain some perspective, a single workplace fatality costs an employer an average of £1.6m. Non-fatal injuries, which range from serious accidents with extended periods off work, to small injuries that can be dealt with within the workplace, average out at around £7500. These potentially crippling costs come from many factors. There are obvious ones, such as damage to equipment, lost productivity, new hiring and training costs and increased insurance premiums. But other factors are harder to

Increasingly, architects are designing in safety barriers at the planning stage of new facilities. In so doing, they are creating facilities that are primed for safety and accident prevention before a single foot lands on the shop floor. Here is a facility’s first line of defence. As the important demands of health and safety adherence become ever more prevalent, this safety ‘future proofing’ is becoming standard best practice. As, indeed, is protecting the vital structures inside a facility. Walls, columns, and doorways should be protected from the potential heavy impacts, or the wear-and-tear impacts, of workplace vehicles and equipment. Older facilities without barrier protection will find safety barrier implementation benefits them in many ways. Aside from obvious health and safety adherence and protection for people and property, their organisation and, therefore, productivity is improved. Pedestrian routes and traffic routes are segregated and defined. Workers on equipment are safe and segregated. Critical crossing points are better managed with guidance, gates and the safer flow of pedestrians and traffic.


Maximum prevention comes first, but accidents will still happen. When they do, safety barriers are often all that remains between a worker and injury.

A safety barrier should only ever have been implemented after understanding exactly the kind of vehicle it was protecting against. What is the potential maximum load, speed and angle of impact? At what height? Safety barriers should be tested (ideally independently) so that companies know exactly the kind of forces they can withstand. A barrier should never be implemented in a location where it could potentially fail. James Smith, director of A-SAFE, the inventor and world-leader in polymer safety barriers comments: “Safety barriers have come a long way from the days of the metal fabricator. Today they are sophisticated, multifunctional items. New advances include hygiene seals and zero ingress points so dust or debris cannot collect in the barrier system – a huge boost for sensitive environments. There are new multidirectional capabilities that allow them to fit more economically into a facility’s layout and also curve more gently around corners, removing the hard angles that are often the cause of accidents. Of course, being polymer, they don’t corrode, are scratch-resistant and don’t need repainting. Maintenance and manpower needs are vastly reduced.” Protecting the people and property of a business is a prime concern of a well-run company. Safety barriers protect, but they also do so much more. It is time to raise the barriers onto the top table of health and safety essentials until every facility manager has polymer safety barriers on their safety first – and last – agenda. v

A-SAFE A-SAFE is the inventor and manufacturer of the world’s first fixed, polymer-based safety barrier system, used in warehouses, car parks, factories, airports and other industrial workplaces across the world. Made from a trademarked material called Memaplex, A-SAFE barriers flex, absorb and dissipate impacts from workplace vehicles, protecting structures, personnel and machinery and creating huge cost savings in maintenance, replacement products and down-time. 9



Stephen Chadwick looks at recent advances and application of Additive Manufacturing in the aerospace industry


dditive Manufacturing (AM) goes beyond 3D printing. It has evolved into a production and manufacturing technology that displaces or complements conventional processes in an increasing number of applications in aerospace and defence (A&D) as well as other industries. At its genesis some 30 years ago 3D printing was restricted to plastic. The advent of laser sintering metal powder changed the game because it allows metal objects to be printed. Almost every type of metal can be used for AM by putting down successive layers of metal powder that is then solidified using precisely targeted heat from lasers. The technology allows a 3D digital model to be perfectly reproduced as a solid metal object. AM has the ability to build parts on demand with


designs that include internal cavities and lattices - known as bionic structures, that reduce weight and maximise strength without compromising mechanical performance. Even complex mechanical parts - an encased set of gears, for example - could be made without assembly. 3D printing relies on digital simulation technology for design. The process differs from that for manufacture with subtractive machine tools because there is no machining and minimal finishing required to create parts. Furthermore, because parts do not have to conform to the strictures of machining they can take on new forms. Using integrated design and analysis software on a unified platform enables ‘hard points’ i.e. points of contact, to be defined as design drivers. This means that points of contact, space envelopes and

functional and structural requirements can be used to define forms automatically in a process called, generative design. Integrating finite element (FE) analysis into the design process in real-time makes it possible to develop products with the precise structural characteristics needed to match their function. Designing this way not only saves time but can also help overcome the current skills shortage for highly qualified design engineers because part of the design process is automatic.

BOMs away

Predictability of form, performance and lifespan are built into AM because digital designs are exactly re-produced as solid objects. The digital model has all the characteristics of its physical twin. Residual stress, thermal evaluation and cooling rates can also be calculated prior to part manufacture.

Additive manufacturing

Another benefit is that there is no wasted material as happens with subtractive machining where shapes are cut from a solid block of often valuable metals such as titanium. Deploying AM means that tooling does no need to be set up which helps reduce lead times and AM uses 90 per cent less energy than traditional machine tools. In many cases AM reduces Bills of Materials (BOMs) because the process can replace, with a single part, what used to be constructed from several components. Material requirements are also reduced since only the precise quantity of material needed is used to make a part. That can lead to weight reductions of up to 50 per cent. This is very attractive to the aerospace industry where weight reduction is of significant benefit because it leads to better fuel consumption, longer range, reduced carbon footprint and more innovative design possibilities.

Technology take off

AM is used extensively by aerospace OEMs including Airbus Group which after a two-year comprehensive benchmarking process, is extending its use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to its AM programs integrating design, simulation and production. Airbus Group will deploy collaborative design and simulation applications as part of the ‘CoDesign to Target’ industry solution experience, for the additive manufacturing of tooling, prototyping and parts for test flights and for production use on commercial aircraft. This provides Airbus Group with digital continuity to optimise its conceptual designs by virtually validating each phase of the AM process. Using this approach Airbus Group can explore design and manufacturing possibilities to meet engineering and manufacturing requirements for the additive manufacturing of tools and parts.

Robert Nardini, Senior Vice President Engineering Airframe, Airbus recently said: “Numerous projects across Airbus are accelerating the use of additive manufacturing to produce prototypes as well as production components potentially delivering lighter and less expensive parts that meet technological, performance, safety and cost standards.” He added: “Airbus has long used 3D simulation applications to accelerate the structural analysis and virtual testing of aircraft and now we can define a new way of designing parts by leveraging simulation-based design to better answer aviation market needs.” AM creates new opportunities in many different areas such as remote fabrication for support and maintenance, rapid prototyping for realising new concepts and experiences and, perhaps most importantly, developing designs that were previously impossible to fabricate. Airbus Group will be able to take advantage of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s automated design assistant for parts, whether they are 3D printed or not, thus accelerating a new wave of transformation in the aerospace industry. Using this platform Airbus will have an end-to-end solution, including all engineering parameters, for the additive manufacture of parts inclusive of material science, functional specification, generative design, 3D printing optimisation, production and certification.

End-to-end AM

Another AM partnership is with Safran Group, a leading international high-technology group in aerospace, defence and security, where virtual validation of the AM process will be developed. The partnership combines the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with Safran’s expertise in innovative technologies, for the development of a world-

class, end-to-end digital solution for AM. It addresses upstream material design and downstream manufacturing processes and testing. This will provide digital continuity for all engineering parameters necessary for the additive manufacturing of engine parts. That includes: material science, functional specification, generative design, 3D printing optimisation, multi-robotic production and certification. Pierre Fabre, Senior Executive Vice President R&T, Innovation, Safran said: “Research and technology is a fundamental part of Safran, allowing us to drive continuous improvements for safer and more environmental-friendly air travel. Safran is currently leading the field in using 3D printing technology to manufacture its engines. By pooling expertise with Dassault Systèmes and its 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we can accelerate the innovation process and better meet customers’ needs.”

4D design

Deploying AM in the aerospace industry brings otherwise dispersed islands of expertise onto a single unified platform. This provides the ability to access all relevant data from a single source, meaning there is only one version of the truth. Digitally simulated parts can also be placed in real-life context to show how they will behave and perform when made. 3D simulations can also include the 4th dimension; time, to demonstrate product performance over its lifecycle. AM represents a new arena not just for aerospace but for many other manufacturing sectors. When it is run on a seamless unified platform that builds bridges between skills, the advantages and benefits of this exciting technology are multiplied. Its dynamic evolution is attracting interest and bright minds because AM is the cutting-edge of technology that like all good technology makes complexity simple. v

Stephen Chadwick Stephen Chadwick is Managing Director, Dassault Systèmes EuroNorth. Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. Its world-leading solutions transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported. Dassault Systèmes’ collaborative solutions foster social innovation, expanding possibilities for the virtual world to improve the real world. The group brings value to over 210,000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 140 countries. 11

Keep your


A look at the use of Inverter technology in air conditioning and the benefits that this brings end users


nnovation is what keeps any industry moving forward, and the air conditioning industry is no different. Since the first ‘modern’ air conditioning unit was introduced in 1902, in Buffalo, New York, the way we control the temperature in our homes and offices has been overhauled again and again, and that shows no sign of slowing down.

What is Inverter technology?

One of the most recent advancements in air conditioning is the advent of Inverter technology. Created in Japan, Inverter technology is the method of controlling the speed of the compressor motor, enabling continuous regulation of temperature. The units have a variablefrequency drive, which controls the speed of the electromotor, which in turn manages the cooling and heating output of the system. Using this technology has yielded a number of


benefits for the owners of these air conditioning units, with one of the most attractive being cost and savings. The purchase and installation costs of these Inverter units are higher than traditional machines, but the money saved on the lower energy bills will ensure that the initial disparity is negated by the lower monthly expenditure.

A slightly lesser-known benefit of these air conditioning units is the way they work with solar panels and photovoltaic technology. As these units use less electricity than their counterparts, the size of the photovoltaic panels required is smaller, as is the required size of the inverter

Benefits of Inverter technology

For some units, noise is an unfortunate byproduct of its function, which can be distracting in certain environments. Inverter technology, however, is much quieter, meaning perfect air temperature can be enjoyed without any humming or whirring in the background, making it ideal for offices or other environments where concentration must be maintained. The efficiency of Inverter technology is not to be taken lightly - when compared against air conditioning that does not use Inverter technology, the former costs at least 30 per cent less to run, an amount, which can rise to 50 per cent. The speed at which it reaches the desired temperature – 30 per cent quicker than nonInverter technology - helps consolidate this efficiency - there is no time or energy wasted waiting for the temperature to be adjusted. Once

Focus on HVAC your desired temperature has been reached, that is where it will stay - there will be no fluctuations, no need for you to re-adjust the settings unless you want to. Normal air conditioning units are designed for the peak of summer, which means that all other times of the year, they are over-sized, as they always run at peak power requirement. Inverter air conditioning units are constantly turned on, but only ever use the exact amount of power required - no more, no less. A slightly lesser-known benefit of these air conditioning units is the way they work with solar panels and photovoltaic technology. As these units use less electricity than their counterparts, the size of the photovoltaic panels required is smaller, as is the required size of the inverter.

How do Inverters work?

In all air conditioning units, the amount of heating or cooling required from the unit is dictated by the temperature of the room it is in. In traditional units, the compressor motor will operate at a high speed in order to increase the amount of refrigerant flow to increase the heating or cooling capacity of the unit. When the outside temperature is lower, the compressor will slow down and the amount of refrigerant is decreased. The on-and-off nature of traditional units, when compared to the always-on Inverter units, is much less efficient, wasting precious energy by powering up and powering down at different times, as opposed to maintaining its ‘on’ status but lowering the speed when the ideal temperature is reached. Inverter air conditioning works differently. The

compressor starts working at high speed as soon as the unit is switched on, and does so until the set temperature is reached. Once it has been reached, the compressor slows down, saving energy and maintaining the temperature. If the outdoor temperature changes, however slightly, the unit senses it and adjusts accordingly. This entire process uses 30-50 per cent less energy than traditional units, and at 12p/kwH, it will save a lot of money over time.

Japan, the country of the system’s origin, has the highest ratio of Inverter products, but exports to Europe and Latin America are increasing as Inverter air conditioning becomes more and more popular. Certain manufacturers have taken the technology one step further, incorporating sleep-state technology. This technology detects when the user has fallen asleep, and adjusts the temperature. This not only maximises comfort, but it also helps to maintain the efficiency levels that the technology is renowned for. When considering an Inverter air conditioner, the size of the room it will be based in must be taken into account. This is because the Inverter technology adjusts its cooling and heating capacity based on the size of the room it is installed in. The onset of Inverter technology and the speed at which it is being picked up by consumers around the world shows no signs of slowing down, and as it becomes more commonplace, it is safe to assume there may be even more efficiency innovations around the corner. v

Airway Air Conditioning Airway Air Conditioning is a leading supplier of air conditioning units for customers throughout Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire. Working with the leading manufacturers of air conditioning units, including Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba and Fujitsu, it is an excellent choice for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioning units 13


in your hands

A Dublin heating systems manufacturer has dipped its toe into the Internet of Things with a smartphone-controlled boiler


n response to customer interest for mobile apps that monitor utilities, Systemlink, a Dublin-based manufacturer of heating systems, set about developing a cylinder storage system, with additional sensors and relays, that could be controlled through an intuitive user interface running on a smartphone. Systemlink wanted to provide consumers with control and feedback, helping them to better manage their electricity, gas and water consumption. A joint study by the University of Southampton and University of Essex found that when consumers are provided with real-time feedback on their energy and water consumption, they may be more likely to address waste, in order to save money and be more environmentally friendly.


Consumers increasingly use mobile applications to manage all aspects of their lives, including their domestic appliances. Systemlink managing director, Terry Madigan, comments: “The new generation of home owners and self-builders are tech savvy. They’ve grown up using mobile phones and computers, so they expect to be able to control their household systems through an app. It’s all about control for the end user. If you come to market without an Internet of Things (IoT) ready product, you could affect your potential marketability.”

The problem:

Traditional water and space heating boilers work by filling up a cylinder with cold water and heating

the entire volume of water to the required temperature. This can result in some of the water being heated unnecessarily, which can waste energy and increase consumers’ heating bills. Systemlink’s patent pending AquaEko system fills the cylinder from the top with hot water, allowing just the required volume of hot water to be drawn off as it is needed, which can help to save energy and reduce water consumption and household costs. Madigan explains that the heater uses simple physics to reduce the volume of cold water that has to be heated: “Because hot water rises and cold water sinks, our AquaEko method delivers domestic hot water in a stratified hot layer above the cold water layer, without any separating

Case study membrane or physical separation of the cold and hot water cylinders. “A traditional cylinder will typically heat all the water it contains, even if some sits in the tank going cold again. AquaEko allows for domestic hot water to be heated as it is required.” He also points to the convenience of heating smaller volumes of water because this can reduce the recovery time of a domestic hot water cylinder. “For some customers, time saving would be the most desirable feature, over and above energy efficiency, because there may be no more waiting around for a shower with AquaEko,” enthuses Madigan. As Systemlink does not have an in-house app development team, it needed an IoT development partner to develop an app that could communicate with a Home Interface Device (HID) control panel mounted in the home and via a smartphone, and manage the app on an ongoing basis.

The selection process:

While it was open to working with a third party developer, Systemlink wanted to ensure that it would still be able to update and take control of the app, without being locked into any particular system or development environment. To develop its application, Systemlink selected mobile application platform company, Red Hat Mobile. Terry Madigan believed that the Red Hat Mobile approach would not lock the development code within the system, which he believed could increase his company’s flexibility and reduce the potential of hidden development costs over the longer term. Madigan felt that, to avoid vendor lock in, he wanted to work with a development partner that offered ongoing support for common coding languages, JavaScript frameworks and developer toolkits. The Red Hat Mobile Application Platform uses open technologies and standard toolkits, enabling developers to use the tools that they may be familiar with. By employing a microservices-based architecture, Red Hat customers have the ability to innovate, develop and deploy apps in response to evolving business requirements. The Node. js-based platform can be hosted in the cloud and uses open standards that allow customers greater flexibility. Middleware is important for interfacing between IoT devices and mobile apps used to control them. Madigan also understood that mobile apps can require frequent updates and need to be managed throughout their lifecycle, so his company needed to select a mobile app infrastructure that could reduce the management burden by enabling updates to be pushed from the cloud. By selecting Red Hat’s enterprise-grade

Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), with an API infrastructure, Systemlink is able to support the IoT app using cloud-based middleware that integrates with Systemlink’s databases and pushes updates to customers’ devices as required. Madigan also cites the benefit of having a Red Hat team based in Waterford, Ireland, which offered logistical advantages when the teams were collaborating on development of the app. The team from Red Hat had also completed projects developing apps for a number of organisations in Ireland, so Madigan felt that Red Hat’s cloud-based platform could support the necessary back-end integration and scalability that would be required for the AquaEko app.

The solution:

An HTML5 app was developed for mobile devices, enabling consumers to remotely control their home heating and hot water system and monitor their usage over the year. Systemlink had also specified controllers manufactured by mSemicon, a Dublin-based developer of customised engineering hardware that is used with IoT and renewable energy devices. To enable the app to work with the controller, Red Hat helped to create a custom cloud API to integrate with mSemicon’s hardware. “The creation of the app and the design aspects were good,” reports Madigan. “Red Hat was able to present us with a number of designs. The user interface was well-suited for the app.” Madigan explains that this aspect was important for user adoption: “We wanted a simple user interface. The app developed by Red Hat has a front page that we felt was selfexplanatory. As soon as you open it on your phone it takes you straight into the controls.” Systemlink uses the LoRa wireless network to transmit data to and from the AquaEko device. “Two of the biggest enemies of wireless signals are concrete and water,” explains Madigan. “We found that LoRa is a good low power network, which provides our IoT products with greater range.” The HID control panel mounted in the home is designed to have a removable bevel surround, available in 20 colours so that it can match customers’ décor: “We want this to be smart visually as well as technologically,” quips Madigan.

The results:

“The volume of domestic hot water generated is displayed to the end user through the Systemlink AquaEko app in pictorial form, showing the numbers of baths or showers that are available to use, rather than litres that have been heated. This makes the app more intuitive and helps end

users to control the amount of energy they use to heat their domestic hot water,” says Madigan.

The benefits:

Systemlink made use of Red Hat’s cloud-based mobile application platform to help minimise the management overhead of running the app: “If we’d have done this on our own it would have been a bigger undertaking. We were able to use Red Hat’s cloud-based servers for greater security, ongoing management and scalability,” Madigan says. Madigan believes that by using the feedback enabled through the IoT app, to help reduce the amount of energy and water that goes to waste, customers may be able to increase household savings. “AquaEko’s ‘One Touch’ hot water or heating zone boost facility gives users easier control over their hot water and heating needs,” asserts Madigan.

Future plans:

The Systemlink AquaEko system already has a frost setting that automatically turns on the heating so that the home temperature should never fall below 5°C, which is beneficial for any customers who may be susceptible to the cold. In future, Systemlink may integrate with databases such as the local weather report to enable returning travellers to be alerted if there is a cold snap. “We are considering including intelligent learning on the system so that it can adjust to local weather conditions,” enthuses Madigan. Systemlink also believes that hoteliers, B+B owners, nursing home managers and hospitals could also benefit from its IoT-enabled system. Madigan explains: “These establishments know that guests, residents and patients must always have hot water available, but there is also an optimal quantity that they can keep heated without unused hot water going cold. With our IoT system, we would aim to help them get into the Goldilocks zone, where it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold, it’s just right.” Now that the Systemlink app has been developed, Madigan believes that the IoT benefits could be applied to other domestic devices: “Essentially, IoT is a remote control switch. The relays could be expanded to control other household items such as electric blinds and lighting, using the Red Hat mobile platform,” Madigan believes. v

Systemlink 15



Neil Dyson discusses how the Internet of Things is raising issues with regulations and highlights what manufacturers have to look out for


he Internet of Things (IoT) for machineto-machine communications (M2M) has seen an increase in the use of wireless technologies within machinery. However, this has created a situation where machinery manufacturers are unfamiliar with the regulatory requirements that come with this new wireless trend, and are in danger of falling foul of the various market surveillance authorities. This can lead to fines, withdrawal of products from the market, and damage to a company’s reputation. As this is new territory for many machinery manufacturers, it is consequently an issue that machinery end-users must also now be aware of.

market for new equipment, many machinery manufacturers are relying on the use of wireless modules, which already meet some, or all of the RED essential requirements. Manufacturers commonly assume that because the wireless module is compliant with the RED as an independent unit, no further action is required. However, this may not be the case. While a wireless module can indeed be compliant with the RED, if it is then fully integrated into a machine, which is normally outside the scope of the RED, then the machine would fall within its scope and the manufacturer would then need to draw up their Declaration of Conformity (DoC) accordingly.

New Directive

Taking responsibility

In the European Union (EU) the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EC (RED) superseded the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive 1999/5/EC (R&TTE) in June 2016 and is mandatory from June 2017. In order to reduce both costs and time to


The manufacturer of the final product is responsible for its overall compliance and must therefore take responsibility for the wireless module compliance, as well as for the final host product. Ideally, the manufacturer of the wireless module should provide clear instructions to

the machinery manufacturer about the correct integration of the module, including details of how to comply with the wireless regulations.

Standard evolution

However, integrating a wireless module is not always as straightforward as it may seem. The manufacturer must document their risk analysis and assessment to determine their compliance strategy and the measures taken to reduce the compliance risks, e.g. by compliance with the relevant essential requirements and the application of appropriate standards / tests. The most common method of demonstrating compliance with the RED essential requirements is by using ‘Harmonised Standards’. These are written and published under an EU mandate, and provide a ‘presumption of conformity’ (or compliance), provided they are applied in full. Harmonised Standards are always evolving, so manufacturers must keep abreast of them if they are to continue placing products on the EU market.

Smart plant

Different standards

The USA and Canada have formal approval processes in place, so the routes to compliance are laid down and are reasonably clear compared to Europe. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules can be difficult to understand. So, for those wishing to export products to North America, it may be prudent to seek guidance from an authorised test laboratory or from an FCC-designated Telecommunications Certification Body. The FCC rules on module integration are laid down in CFR 47 Pt15.212. For further clarification, the FCC has also issued a guidance document (KDB996369). A wireless module must meet the particular part of the FCC rules, which applies and must also meet certain criteria in order to gain modular approval. These include requirements such that the module must have shielded circuitry, a unique antenna connector, be compliant in a stand-alone configuration, and meet RF exposure requirements. When all of these requirements are met and the device is certified, the FCC grant will state that the device has modular approval. Provided the conditions of the grant are adhered to, there should be no further testing or certification required for the intentional radiator part of the host equipment, but a label should be displayed stating that an approved wireless module is

contained within the host machine. Where multiple modules are integrated together, the rules can become more complex. This is particularly so if the host device is to be used in a portable application within 20cm of the human head or body and RF exposure becomes a major issue. Where the conditions of the modular grant cannot be adhered to when integrated into the final host, additional testing and certification is therefore usually required. In all cases, the module manufacturer must provide the integrator with comprehensive integration instructions, so that they can fully understand the conditions and limitations for authorised use of the modular transmitter. The Industry Canada rules for modules are broadly similar to those of the FCC and are laid down in RSS-GEN Section 3.

Global complexity

With different rules applying to the global marketplace, manufacturers are advised to follow some basic guidelines when integrating wireless modules into their machines. For European compliance, ensure that the wireless module you are integrating is fully compliant with the latest Harmonised Standards and is integrated in accordance with the manufacturer’s supplied instructions. While the module manufacturer should be aware of the integration rules, as a minimum the final or host product manufacturer should check the module’s DoC to ensure that it lists Harmonised Standards, which are current. It is also important for the host product manufacturer to have access to the module manufacturer’s technical file in case they are

asked to prove compliance by a country’s market surveillance authority. This should involve checking the European Union’s Official Journal to see if the standard to which the wireless module was tested has an expiry date and, if so, take action well in advance. It is important to remember that products containing wireless transmitters must comply with national radio regulations no matter where in the world they are used. A product containing a wireless transmitter must therefore not be shipped to a non-EU country without checking the regulations. For USA and Canada, host product manufacturers should check the conditions of the module grant and ensure that the product is not breaking those conditions. Once again, follow the module manufacturer’s guidance on integration. In any country, the market surveillance authorities can come down hard on manufacturers that supply non-compliant equipment to the market, imposing significant penalties for non-compliance, with goods being held up at national borders if the wrong standards are detailed on the DoC. Machinery end users must also ensure that the manufacturer of their machinery is aware of these new requirements, and is therefore providing them with fully complaint wireless-enabled equipment. v

Neil Dyson Neil Dyson is Business Line Manager for Machinery Safety at TÜV SÜD Product Service, a global product testing and certification organisation.TÜV SÜD Product Service is one of the world’s leading experts in product testing and certification and the UK market leader in machinery safety. Analysing over 20,000 products each year in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, it ensures that products are safe, reliable and compliant - minimising liability risks for manufacturers, importers and retailers. 17



Focus on: Husqvarna Group

BekaertDeslee Textiles




HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd

Ekamant AB

Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd

Mecaplast Group




Tele-Fonika Kable

Polar Technology Management Group

Munck Cranes AS

SS Tube Technology

RS Motorhomes

Lentus Composites

Silentnight Group


UK Steel

Guttridge Ltd

M Squared Lasers

Hosokawa Micron Ltd

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC)


AR Metallizing NV

InTiCa Systems AG

Summitglow Ltd

Sumgait Technologies Park

James Dewhurst

Hoshizaki Europe Limited

Collins and Hayes Furniture Limited

Broadwater Mouldings Ltd

The Sertec Group Ltd

Electronic Temperature Insturments (ETI)

Servopresse Srl

API Group Plc

Anstey Wallpaper Company Ltd

Fey & Co GmbH

Bristow Group

Goma BV

Automotive Insulations Ltd

Sarginsons Industries Ltd

Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Limited

Vantage Power


Thermacore Europe


ATAG Verwarming Nederland BV

TOS Varnsdorf a.s




A cut above the


Husqvarna Group, a global leader in the production of outdoor power products for forest, park and garden care, is committed to creating performance, pride and improved results for customers


teeped in a history that is rich in tradition, Husqvarna Group began operations with the establishment of its first plant in 1689; beginning as a weapons foundry, Husqvarna produced a wide range of products over the centuries, such as sewing machines, motorcycles and kitchen equipment. In 1978 Electrolux acquired Huaqvarna, at this point the company’s product range mainly comprised of chainsaws, however years of diversification led to a wider product range and Husqvarna becoming a global leading producer of outdoor power products.

In addition to being at the forefront of the outdoor power products market, the group is also the European leader in garden watering products and global leader in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. These products and solutions are sold under brands that include Husqvarna Garden, McCulloch, Poulan Pro, Flymo, Weed Eater, Zenoah and Diamant Boart via dealers and retailers to customers and professionals in over 100 countries. Diversification of products and a commitment to high quality solutions has proven fruitful for

Husqvarna, with net sales in 2015 amounting to SEK 36 billion. By geographical area, North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are the strongest areas for sales for Husqvarna Group, with the two taking up 45 per cent and 44 per cent of the group’s net sales respectively; customers in the rest of the world take up the remaining 11 per cent. Looking at net sales by division, Husqvarna’s segment takes the majority, with 49 per cent; consumer brands, Garden and Construction take up the remaining 51 per cent of sales, equating to 27 per cent, 13 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. 19


In more detail, the Husqvarna business division incorporates the core brand Husqvarna and tactical/regional brands such as Zenoah (Japan) and Jonsered (Nordic region and North America); these service specific segments that the Husqvarna brand doesn’t reach while also providing an opportunity to address the premium retail segment. Operating globally, this division has a broad and competitive product range, proven innovation and brand recognition that successfully meets the needs of customers in demand of high performance and high quality products. Within this division, Husqvarna produces petrolpowered handheld products such as chainsaws, brushcutters, trimmers and leaf blowers; wheeled products such as front riders, garden tractors, walk-behind mowers and snow throwers; electric products such as battery powered and corded products and handheld products such as trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws. As the main R&D driver in the group, the Husqvarna division focuses on innovation in its locations in Sweden, the US, China and Japan; within each facility is a specific focus and expertise to serve the market with groundbreaking products and solutions. For example, the group recently responded

to demands for more environmentally friendly products that don’t compromise on products with the launch of the Husqvarna professional grade battery-operated products in the second quarter of 2016. These items offer an even wider range of high-performance that get the job in hand done more efficiently though a unique combination of powerful machinery and cleaner operation. Each new product from the series, which includes the 536Li XP battery chainsaw and 436LiB battery leaf blower, is equipped with a high capacity 36V Li-Ion battery that delivers the performance of a gasoline powered engine with a cleaner and quieter experience. Focused on the details, the Husqvarna battery series is the result of the group’s knowledge in outdoor equipment combined with innovative electronic engineering. Features of this series include a cooling system for the batteries, which not only extends the battery cells’ lifetime but also lets customers work at high temperatures, an interactive keypad that also lets customers work longer via the SaveETM mode, and an attached charger that can charge a depleted BLi50 battery to 80 per cent in 35 minutes. Another innovative development to take place within Husqvarna is the X-CUT saw chain

SP33G, the first ever saw chain to be completely developed, designed and manufactured by the group. Well suited for demanding customers and everyday professional use, this X-CUT saw chain SP33G boasts a sharpness that lasts, superior durability, low stretch and a high cutting efficiency. Having developed a strong presence in the global market, the group’s impressive growth is maintained through its 13,000 expert employees who are based in 40 countries. All of these facilities follow the core purpose, vision and key behaviours of Husqvarna and are proud to turn technology into opportunity through a passion for innovation; this then creates performance, pride and optimised results for clients, which, in turn, shapes positive experiences for those who shape green spaces and urban environments. Complementing this core purpose and vision are the company’s key behaviours, which involve seeking out the customer’s point of view in all meetings and decisions, demonstrating a collaborative approach through giving and seeking support and maintaining a strong focus on the job in hand while keeping things simple. Moving forward, these values and visions will remain at the forefront of Husqvarna’s activities as it continues to respond to market developments in the broad range of segments it operates in. Through ongoing innovation and a commitment to listening to customer requirements, Husqvarna is certain to retain its leading position in a competitive global market, both now and in the future.

Husqvarna Products: Power tools for lawns, garden and forestry applications

Panther Global Technologies A key supplier/partner to Husqvarna for over 25 years, Panther is a global low-cost manufacturer of high-quality crankshafts and crankshaft assemblies, as well as various axles, augers, worm shafts, etc., for the Lawn and Snow industries. Panther specialises in precision CNC Turning, Machining, Threads, Splines, Worm Rolling, Induction Heat Treatment, and Grinding. Panther’s Metalflow™ Zinc Injection Molded Assembly Process is a technology breakthrough for low-cost assemblies of many types, including Steering U-Joint Assemblies, Wheel Axle/ Flange Assemblies, and many other applications – some yet to be determined! With high-tech manufacturing facilities in Wixom, Michigan (USA) and Ningbo, China, make Panther your supplier of choice!.

20 85


Fit for


Representing a genuine British success story, Bisley began business in the field of car body repairs and has grown to a leading specialist in the design and manufacture of steel storage systems



ith offices and a customer service network throughout the world and a modern manufacturing facility located in Newport, Gwent, Bisley produces around 15,000 steel storage items per week. These items can be bought in over 50 countries, with clients including well-known names such as Direct Line, the BBC and PwC. “The origins of Bisley go back to 1931. It was in that year that Freddy Brown, a tradesman sheet metal worker, started his one-man business repairing damaged cars in a garage in St John’s, Woking, Surrey. In 1941 the company moved to Bisley, Surrey when a 400 square metre manufacturing facility was built and various wartime defence contracts were undertaken. The company was responsible for designing and manufacturing the first containers to be dropped by parachute, which were widely used by airborne forces throughout the Second World War. Bisley subsequently received several commendations from the Ministry of Defence for the work undertaken on behalf of the war effort,” elaborates Operations Director, Paul Crutcher. “At the end of the war in 1945, the company

had built up a manufacturing capability for which there was now no demand. Car repairs had been resumed but no specific manufacturing role presented itself,” he continues. “In 1946 a London wholesaler, Standard Office Supplies, now defunct, showed Freddy Brown a steel waste paper bin and was told that if he could meet the necessary price and delivery, then an order for 24 would be his. The rest, as they say, is history. The company made steady if unspectacular growth. In 1963 the repair of cars was discontinued to allow more emphasis to be placed upon office furniture.” Over the following years Bisley continued to develop, with Freddy Brown deciding to retire from the company in 1968 at the age of 67. The company was put up for sale and on 10 March 1970 Tony Brown, Freddy’s son took proud ownership of the company. In that year Bisley had sales of £370,000 per annum and employed 45 people, with Freddy Brown remaining as Chairman of the company until his death on 29 December 1977. Growth in the business has been steady over the proceeding years and includes milestones such as the launch of the lines like the filing cabinet in 1980, the

side-opening tambour in 1990, the pedestal in 1993, LateralFile in 1995 and InnerSpace in 2003. To meet expanding demand, a 17-acre site in Newport, South Wales was purchased in 1988. The purchase of the site in Newport meant that the company could concentrate upon export markets and export sales subsequently increased in ten years from £2.96 million in 1987 to £20.27 million in 1996. Bisley achieved a unique status in the office furniture industry by being granted two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Export Achievement, in 1992 and later in 1997. Consolidated export sales for 2011 were £34.2 million. In 2012 the decision was made to consolidate all manufacturing on a single site in Newport. This was achieved through the acquisition of a 20,000 square metres property bringing the total to 60,000 square metres. In addition, Bisley has a showroom on London’s Great Portland Street, as well as sales offices in France, Holland, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Dubai and North America. In November 2015 Bisley was further recognised through the award of the Manufacturing Guild Mark by the Furniture

Makers’ Company. This prestigious award, which recognises excellence in design, sustainability and production, assures all its customers that the furniture they are buying is made with care and that Bisley adheres to the highest standards throughout its operations. Paul reveals: “Our success is based on enduring relationships, the latest manufacturing technology and the best people. Our 700 employees are always pushing the boundaries of manufacturing excellence and as a private company we’re able to devote all our profits to our business. Since 1989 we’ve invested more than £80 million - helping us to become Europe’s leading manufacturer of steel storage. In fact, 48 per cent of all UK steel storage originates from Bisley.” Bisley’s manufactured product range spans from the classic MultiDrawer, to the highly customisable ‘Be’ range of integrated furniture solutions and nearly everything in between. The company is active within several key sectors and manufactures the fullest range of steel furniture for corporate, industrial and home markets. “Within the home market our MultiDrawers are viewed as being as iconic as they are versatile.


AkzoNobel are proud to have been supplying Bisley with Interpon powder coatings for more than 30 years. Alan Hall, Sales Director AkzoNobel Powder Coatings UK, commented: “We supply a broad range of powder coating colours and surface finishes to help Bisley build a range of innovative appearances to meet their customers’ demands. We work in partnership with Bisley, providing support from our highly trained technical service personnel to ensure the performance of Bisley coating lines always operate to the highest standard.” Over 1600 products in the Interpon range are available for immediate shipping within Europe. 23




We would like to thank Bisley for their continued support and our long term relationship with such a distinguished customer.

Originally designed in 1958 to be a desk-side filing cabinet, they have since become a design classic – they are even ranged by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Made from steel and powder coated with a highly durable smooth finish, MultiDrawers are not only the perfect solution for the home office but any other room in the house; in the bedroom for makeup and jewellery, in the bathroom for cosmetic items or in the kitchen for herbs and spices. They are the ultimate storage solution – compact, robust and built to last,” Paul says. “Designed in response to the upward trend in the number of people working from home,

Stage is Bisley’s modern, adaptable, shelving based furniture system which delivers both style and utility in the home. With a bespoke aluminium frame at its core, it has a contemporary open aesthetic with a mid-century look. Combined with a choice of sliding door colours and work surface finishes, each piece can be customised to suit any interior.” Within the office space, Bisley understands that dynamic organisations need to respond swiftly to changing work landscapes with minimum disruption. The company’s intuitive Be range represents a convenient solution that can be arranged and reconfigured to support evolving needs. Indeed, Be is not simply a single solution, but a plethora of possibilities to suit the different needs of individuals and businesses now as well as in the future. Be includes office furniture solutions ranging from tables, desks and workspaces through to cupboards and drawers, all of which can be fine tuned to meet the specific needs of the client. The company also offers clients operating within the office environment its ‘Essentials’ range of products, which is comprised of a core group of products that no office can function without, including cupboards, tambours, lodges, drawers, desk high storage and combination units. The line is designed to take the complexity out of specifying an individual workspace, while providing an affordable and high-quality storage solution. Bisley is also active in the provision of products within the industrial and manufacturing environments through the delivery of its ToolStor line of storage solutions. The ToolStor range has been designed to take the rigours of industrial use and incorporate some of the most advanced design and manufacturing processes seen within Europe. All 1200 of the line’s products 25



Hayley Group PLC

Hayley Group have been working with Bisley for over ten years supplying a complete range of MRO products. Over the last two years, Hayley Group have been working closely with Bisley to introduce a vending solution for engineering consumables and PPE. Bisley now have the advantage of real time reporting to see who, when and how many items are being used across the factory whilst ensuring that the correct items are available at the point of use plus the added benefit of reducing their inventory of MRO/ PPE stock.

TCB Arrow Ltd

TCB-Arrow Ltd are plastics and rubber injection moulders that have worked with Bisley for over four years. They manufacture and supply Bisley with a variety of components from pen trays to draw rails. With extensive warehousing at their operation in Camberley, they supply JIT against weekly Kan Ban call-offs. Managing Director Murray Humphries commented: “We are proud to be supplying Bisley who are recognised as a high quality British manufacturer. Since the introduction of their supplier performance KPI last December we have maintained a 100 per cent score. It demonstrates our commitment to customer service and production quality control.”

are supplied with a ten-year comprehensive guarantee as a commitment to the lasting life cycle of the company’s tool storage products. “ToolStor products are suitable for all industrial workplace environments making them the most appropriate type of storage to maximise your workshop’s efficiency,” highlights Paul. It is clear from Bisley’s approach that one of the company’s top priorities is to ensure that all of its products are designed and tailored with the needs of clients in mind. Paul confirmed that this requires close collaboration both internally among colleagues, and also with third parties should the need arise. “We have a strong inhouse design and product development team, which constantly assesses our products while making improvements based on feedback from customers and the manufacturing team,” he says. “We also work in collaboration with leading designers when we want an injection of a different type of expertise. Be and the highly adaptable Stage lines of office furniture were both developed with the support of external consulting designers.” The company’s comprehensive range of office and industrial furniture solutions has allowed Bisley to provide workspace solutions to some

of the world’s most recognised names across a range of industries. Across the breadth of its clients Bisley is highly active within the charity, retail, media, legal, communications, finance, public sector, engineering, utilities, health services and education markets. For example, when the BBC announced its high profile move to Manchester’s MediaCity in 2009, Bisley was contracted to provide storage at the new premises, including 300 lockers, many drawer units and cupboards in a multitude of colours. “The BBC Salford installation embodied today’s evolving working habits and in terms of specification reflected customers’ increasing sophistication when it comes to product flexibility. The BBC solution demonstrated that new demands in terms of personal storage have changed to become more lifestyle-oriented, with correspondingly less emphasis on traditional drawer or archive storage. Bisley is delighted that the BBC chose its LateralFile Lodge product which, proved flexible enough to meet the dynamic needs of the BBC.” Further to developing its presence within new and existing markets, Bisley also invests heavily into the continued development of its products and storage lines. This includes the development and training of its employees; visiting international 27



trade shows to capture market trends; and the implementation of Lean manufacturing techniques. The company has recently invested into the development of its production facilities, including the introduction of a new electrostatic powder coating line. The company’s central press shop produces nearly half a million steel components every week across over 6000 variants, some of which are produced in very small quantities, while others are manufactured by the thousand. Bisley routinely ships in excess of 1000 different finished goods variants every week. “The thrust of Bisley’s new investments within the factory (beyond that of plant lifecycle renewal) has been focussed increasing our manufacturing agility with machines, which support greater flexibility, smaller batch quantities and increased factory throughput rates,” Paul says. “This includes the introduction of a Bystronic fibre laser with integrated materials handling tower for ‘lights out’ unmanned operation; two Salvagnini P1’s – an all electric flexible folding technology; and an Amada Auto Tool Change Press Brake, offering true ‘batch size of one’ capability,” he continues. “The new electrostatic powder coating line supplied by specialist Gema replaces ‘end of generation’ technology at one of Bisley’s four main paint lines. The new application equipment concurrently reduces manual in-fill spray, improves the repeatability of automatic spray and can now handle spray batches, which may be highly variable in terms of their geometry.

Lowe & Fletcher

Lowe & Fletcher have worked in partnership with Bisley for over 30 years. As a locking systems manufacturer, we offer a wide range of locks that compliment Bisley’s products and meet the changing needs of their customers. By working closely with the Bisley design and commercial teams, we are able to help them meet their customer expectations and have produced new products such as high security removable cylinders and, more recently, electronic and RFID systems. With many more exciting projects in development, we hope to build on our mutual successes and continue to work with Bisley over the coming years. 29


To this end the new installation will reduce operating costs, improve quality and consistency and further Bisley’s ability to reduce its batch size of manufacture through the factory.” While the company’s traditional and established markets continue to enjoy healthy levels of activity, Bisley understands it must address the needs of new and emerging markets if the business is to continue to grow. During


the coming years, Bisley is keen to explore new market activities while continuing to service clients old and new. “The market for traditional steel storage is, at best, experiencing a plateau in demand. It is for this reason that, in order to continue its growth, the business will be looking to develop its value proposition in terms of value chain, breadth of product offering and market segments which remain undeveloped for Bisley,” Paul concludes. “With regards to the market, Bisley will be continuing its diversification and exploring where our core competencies and brand awareness can add value for existing and potential customers. In terms of manufacturing, Bisley will be looking to consolidate on and build on its Lean journey. Much progress has been made to date, but as is often the way with Lean, one never really feels as though the job is anywhere near done!”


Products: Specialises in designing and manufacturing steel storage systems


Making good things


Amaray is a leading global plastic injection moulder with a rich history of innovation within plastic packaging and injection moulding


maray is a company with a history that stretches back to before the turning of the 20th century, having naturally evolved over subsequent years to compliment market and manufacturing dynamics. An overview of the business as it currently operates was outlined by managing director Jamie Tinsley and marketing manager Neil Pentecost: “Amaray is a high volume, highly efficient, highly automated plastic injection moulding company providing insight, innovation and cost effective manufacturing solutions across varied consumer markets. Amaray’s success in being one of the highest volume producers of plastic components and assemblies has been built on creating plastic packaging with enhanced performance, enriching people’s lives and driving sales throughout the world.” At the heart of any successful manufacturing company are its facilities and capacity, which

Jamie and Neil provided details on: “In Europe alone, Amaray has over 90 high performance production cells with moulds varying in size, clamp force and cavitation. With the inclusion of robotics all the cells are fully automated and optimised, from material silo selection right through to palletising. With the addition of in-line decoration and secondary welding operations we have utilised our working environment to deliver the highest output and quickest turnaround for customers. We also operate robotic banding and wrapping, supported by computerised automated guided vehicles for productive and accurate storage. A key element of the Amaray proposition is highly efficient moulding with high throughput and our proactive approach to streamlining processes is what sets us above other injection moulders.” The facilities and approach to manufacturing is clearly a major strength for Amaray, and 31


Ribermold’s excellence is demonstrated by high quality molds and a commitment to customer needs. The company’s goals are to supply high precision molds through innovative solutions, along with a high commitment to quality and openness with customers. The reputation that the company has earned in the market reflects not only its knowhow but also its cutting edge technology. The success of Ribermold is down to building intimate and close relationships with all its customers, delivering competitive advantage through understanding, honesty, and high quality products. Through a close collaboration with Amaray, based on a full Quality Policy, the search for the best solution, price and the respect of delivery times, Ribermold aims for the total satisfaction of its customers.


in addition to this Jamie and Neil further elaborated on the company’s approach: “Amaray’s business is driven by customer experience and therefore sets out to achieve extreme customer satisfaction. With a vision to ‘make good things, better’ Amaray have maintained their competitive advantage through innovation, ingenuity, customer orientation, extensive product offering, lean manufacturing processes, and

increased integration of automation. Over the years Amaray have registered in excess of 330 patents, representing its determined approach to be innovative. This compliments Amaray’s focus on developing and diversifying, bringing together the skills and strengths of marketing, research, technical, and business development, to create an exciting and proactive attitude. “With packaging being an invaluable


communication vehicle for brands, it is important for brands to recognise and satisfy consumer needs and deliver a solution that is beyond fit for purpose. Packaging must be considered as an inseparable element as it is the only marketing element experienced by 100 per cent of a brand’s customer base. Our new ideas bring the consumer and brand closer together.” The benefits of plastics were something that Jamie and Neil also discussed: “The global ridged plastic packaging market exhibits considerable growth thanks to a variety of beneficial properties plastic delivers. It is lightweight in comparison to competitive materials - easy to manipulate, and extremely durable. Functionality is key, however with waste and sustainability

continuing as priorities, consumers’ seek rigid plastic packaging to extend the life of goods, which can then be either re-used or collected for recycling. In addition, the change in consumer lifestyles continues to have an impact on consumer spending and it is these factors that are contributing to the overall growth of the global rigid plastic packaging.” There are a number of good signs coming from the market for Amaray, which Jamie and Neil provided details on: “At present the UK packaging market is experiencing year on year growth as a result of consumers becoming more willing to pay for premium products. Re-sealable closures and thin walled containers are notably benefiting from a growth demand for convenience, gaining share in categories where products are used frequently and not in one interaction. Food and confectionery are the most obvious categories, where retaining freshness is vital for both the consumer and brand reputation. Within other categories there is a strong focus on portion control and dosage, from calorie consumption in food to detergent usage in home care. Our experience of manufacturing over one billion products globally, helps us to overcome the challenges many packaging designers encounter in relation to right weighting. Our knowledge and expertise has enabled us to consistently manufacture packaging that is structurally competent, fit for purpose, designed for value, that meets government regulations, whilst retaining our environmental responsibility.” The company’s expectations for the coming years were something that Jamie and Neil concluded with: “Driven by our purpose to

make good things better, our focus will continue on creating inspiring and thoughtful bespoke packaging for major global brands. Packaging that creates additional value for consumers through ease of use and addictive functionality is more likely to encourage repeat sales than the standard pack offering. We look at inventing packaging that delivers distinct brand differentiation whilst inspiring consumers to remain loyal and committed. Our primary applications will involve technologies we have pioneered in the media market – living hinges, snap closures, and high volume products lending themselves to highly automated secondary process. Amaray are well positioned as an innovative solution provider; strengthening brand to consumer relationships to aid long term sustainable growth.”

Amaray Products: High volume, highly automated, highly efficient plastic solutions 33

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd


Springboard to

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Limited is a leading designer and manufacturer of innersprings for the bedding industry – and is always striving to improve its products


eggett & Platt Components Europe Limited is part of the International Bedding Components Division of Leggett & Platt Incorporated. This company is 133 years old and made up of 17 business units, 20,000 employee-partners and 130 facilities located in 19 countries. Further information about Leggett & Platt was provided by managing director Darren Rhodes: “Formed in 1998, the International Bedding Components Division strategically positions Leggett & Platt as the largest supplier of innerspring components to the bedding and furniture industry within Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.” According to Darren, being part of Leggett & Platt strengthens the company in a number of ways. “Being part of the largest innerspring unit manufacturer in the world allows us to share knowledge and tap into the many innovative ideas that come from our corporate IDEA Centre and all the other plants around the world. We have our own world-class machinery


division that supplies much of the manufacturing equipment we need and probably, most importantly, Leggett’s willingness to continue to invest in growing our business.” Crucial to any business in the manufacturing market is the facilities it uses, and this is a feature of Leggett & Platt that is very strong, and something Darren elaborated on: “We have two plants in the UK; the main plant in Barnsley which focuses on the production of pocket spring units whilst Barnoldswick produces open-coil type units, specifically Mira-Coil for Silentnight – a company that we have had a very long and very successful relationship with, that has benefited both companies’ growth. Leggett & Platt’s two factories in the UK produce over 30,000 tonnes per year of our own wire that we then use in the production of the innerspring units. Both sites have full supply chain capability from receiving raw materials, production, quality and testing facilities, finished goods warehousing, dispatch and customer service.” The scale of Leggett &

Platt’s two facilities means that over the course of a week it will produce over 30 million springs. There are plans to improve what the business can do even further, which Darren discussed: “We have invested approximately 18 million pounds in machines, facilities, and warehousing in the last four years, a trend we plan to continue. We employ 20 per cent more people than we did two years ago and have invested over 100,000 pounds in learning, development, and training for our employees in that time.” The company wants all of its customers to be happy with the products it makes, and Leggett & Platt does not achieve this by any one means; instead it takes a multifaceted approach, which Darren explained: “We focus on innovation, customer service, consistent high-quality products and commitment to continuously improve everything we do. People are a big part of it – anyone can buy machines and buildings, but it’s the people and relationships that make the difference.” One of the overwhelming features of Leggett & Platt is innovation, and Darren provided some instances of this: “Since we have the ability to design and build our own machines it gives us a major advantage

ArcelorMittal Europe

ArcelorMittal Europe has a long and rich tradition of producing quality steel bars and wire rod in its locations across Europe. Its mills are at the forefront of technical innovation and service. It offers a wide spectrum of grades covering the full range of applications. In recent years, its plants have made major investments in state-of-the-art equipment. These investments significantly improve the capability and the quality of the company’s products and support the development of its customers in the most demanding market segments. Bars and rods find applications in all segments such as bedding and seating, construction, infrastructure, automotive, engineering and energy. ArcelorMittal Europe offers a unique combination of industrial, technical and sales resources fully committed to supporting its customers. Its commitment to reducing the company’s carbon footprint is another key element in its development strategy, enabling customers to optimise their product designs. The company’s product range is continuously evolving to meet the needs of industry. The highly experienced technicians in its mills and in its research & development centres are looking forward to working with you to meet your specific needs, now and in the future. 35

Wrexham Wire With over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing high quality drawn steel wire Wrexham Wire now bring automotive industry levels of customer service, product quality and process efficiencies to the drawn wire industry. An influx of high-calibre, professional senior management, new owners and the long-standing technical expertise of the incumbent team defines the customer centric approach of the UK’s premier drawn wire solution provider. Significant capital investment in the high-carbon (bedding and seating) and low-carbon (cold heading) processes continues to add capacity, increase range and enhance efficiencies. Modern defined capacity production planning systems support the drive to achieve world-class OTIF performance. Located on the Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales, the business employs circa 85 people and has a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per annum and manufactures products from mild steel to boron and alloy grades, in various size ranges, choice of coatings and qualities to suit many applications. In addition to its standard specifications, the business can develop bespoke products that can be


designed, implemented and supplied to suit specific client requirements. Wrexham Wire’s facilities are equipped with Bullblock, Multiholer, Rotodie and Galvanising production lines (located in the Wrexham Plant), but Cut & Loop, Straightening and Mesh Making can also be carried out in West Bromwich by established service partners. Both continuous and batch annealing furnaces are employed on site and it offers both mechanically and chemically cleaned products. Wrexham Wire caters to the requirements of the UK market and 60 per cent of sales are exported to Europe and around the world. The company’s mission is to be the leading European wire drawer in cold heading, bedding & seating, galvanised and engineering wire by providing the best quality and service to customers. The business employs stringent quality control processes at every phase of the supply chain to ensure all goods are manufactured, shipped and delivered in strict compliance to key European standards, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd

and keeps us at the forefront of spring-making technology. We manufacture heat-treated springs at a rate of over 140 springs per minute from 25mm high to 200mm high, which can be used in the core and comfort layers within a mattress, allowing us to make a single spring unit with over 4,000 springs in it. Another innovation is our variable-rate springs that offer different levels of progressive support and pressure distribution within the spring unit and hence mattress, depending on the load applied; this creates a very comfortable and independent-feeling mattress for lighter and heavier people on the same bed.” There are also developments being made at the company, which makes it evident that the business is forward-thinking, and Darren provided some examples of ways Leggett & Platt is pursuing this approach: “We have just installed five state-of-the-art advanced pocket-coiling machines and plan for six more over the next six months. These are among the fastest and most efficient coiling machines in the world and will allow us to make more ergonomic pocket units with reduced environmental impact. We are also due to take the first of its kind continuous coil

machine in Q4. This machine is a brand-new development made by our Swiss sister company which produces a type of open coil spring unit like no other.” Leggett & Platt has already achieved so much, and yet the company has its eyes firmly set towards the future. Leggett & Platt knows exactly what it wants to achieve and how it will do that, something that Darren concluded with: “We deliver to our customers the capacity, technology, innovation, and service levels they need. Which is why our focus for the future will be to become the first-choice supplier of innersprings for the bedding industry – and we will do this by continuing our policy of pursing investment,

service, improvement, and developing our people. With a focus on quality, cost, and service, we have built and will further advance strong and long lasting relationships with our customers, suppliers, and employees, and will continue to invest for the long-term benefit of all.”

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd Products: Innerspring components 37

Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd.


A trusted With close to three decades of industry experience, Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd. is a leading UK manufacturer, specialising in honing, super-finishing, gun-drilling and tooling services



ounded in 1988 specialising in honing and super-finishing, Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd. quickly expanded its services to include gun-drilling capabilities following two years of rapid growth. By 1994 the business had relocated to a larger facility, while further investment allowed the company to develop manufacturing cylinder liners and pistons predominantly for high-end performance motorsport markets. Following a period of continued growth Perfect Bore was sold to the US conglomerate, Dover Corporation Inc in 2001, while the company’s gun drilling and honing engineering division reverted to private ownership through an acquisition by one of the division’s former owners during 2004. Over the proceeding years Perfect Bore continued expand through heavy investment into its machinery, management infrastructure and employees, leading to an increase in its manufacturing footprint from 6000 sq ft to 32,000 sq ft. This investment has enabled the company meet the increasing demands of its customers to provide additional services,

including preparatory turning operations, boring and honing of billets up to 300 mm diameter and three metres in length. Perfect Bore has operated a fully documented quality system since 1994 and is fully AS9100/ISO 9001:2008 approved and a SC21 bronze signatory. The company was accepted as a partner within the Fit for Nuclear programme during December 2015 and is today is committed to providing the aerospace, defence, power generation (including nuclear) and oil and gas markets with bore solutions for highly critical parts. The aerospace market represents an important market for Perfect Bore, where the company provides bore solutions for major OEMs with approvals from clients including Airbus, BAe, Goodrich Actuation Systems, Boeing, Moog and Rolls Royce; supporting projects including B787 Dreamliner, A400M and A350. Indeed, in the field of major aerospace component manufacturers, Perfect Bore’s name is renowned for quality and on-time delivery, while continual investment gives its customers the confidence to off-load components that have critical geometric ID and

OD requirements. “There is currently a strong market for the construction of aircraft and we have recently seen a return of demand to the UK from low-cost manufacturing environments, because UK manufacturers are valued for their quality and as a reliable source for long-term support across the total lifetime of supplied components,” reveals Perfect Bore Manufacturing Managing Director, Jason Wyles. “We offer a honest and reliable service where both quality and on-time delivery to the client is paramount. We also provide service at a price that we feel adds real value to the overall supply chain.” Perfect Bore continuously invests into research and development to maintain its high levels of quality and products support across all of the industry sectors that it serves. The company invests heavily in the development of its machining capabilities and continually undertakes pure research on new techniques around its core deep-hole processing services. Along with the intention of stretching achievable boundaries, it allows the company to offer true value for money to its customers, with reduced cutting times enabling parts to be manufactured to an acceptable budget. For example, during

Straightforward Business Improvements

November 2015 Perfect Bore completed a £1 million investment into a new CNC/Prismatic Drilling division, which allows it to drill multiple holes in various shaped blocks and offset holes in round billets. These machines can provide cost effective solutions to drilling holes in mould tools for high-end automotive applications, manifolds for oil and gas tool applications and plates for nuclear fabrications. The company has also recently launched a

Straightforward Business Improvements get stuck in to what needs doing, we do collect data to start with to make sure the problem is the problem but once we have turned the data into a measurable problem we get involved at any and all levels to solve the problem. The improvements range from setting up new manufacturing sites, re-laying existing sites, looking at the entire business processes and working with the users to improve them. We have stopped 2 businesses from failing, helped businesses create processes for improvement purposes. If you contact me with your problem I will tell you immediately if we can help We are honest but straight with our approach 39

Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd.

dedicated CNC Cylindrical Grinding Division to complement its bore producing services as the largest sub-contract supplier in the UK, providing: • A fully managed and supported Sub- Contract division • High specification CNC cylindrical grinding • Fully temperature controlled environment equipped with Studer grinding machines

• State-of-the-art measuring equipment including a Mitutoyo Laser Scan Micrometer, RA120 • Roundness Tester and 2D Colour Vision System • Improved logistical management and reduction in manufacturing lead time for parts that require honing and match grinding

While Perfect Bore services a host of industry sectors, it is thought that the aerospace sector will be particularly interested in the development of this new facility. The company produces bore solutions for a number of projects within the aviation market, on components including piston rods; cylinders; actuator bodies and housings; actuator pistons and sleeves; tail rotor actuators; spools, valves, guides and blocks; hinges; strut pistons and cylinders; cargo door pistons, cylinders and retraction pistons. With dedicated managers for each division, Perfect Bore prides itself on providing first class service and support. By providing a comprehensive in-house service, Perfect Bore is able to afford its clients the highest levels of quality and a trusted lifetime support service. Although the company has been highly successful within the aviation sector in recent years, it will increasingly look to expand its operations within the energy and nuclear sectors over the coming months. “Over the next 12 months we will also be looking at returning opportunities within the oil and gas tool sector. We will also be looking to explore opportunities within the nuclear industry in both new build and decommissioning applications,” Jason concludes. “We are fully onboard with the Fit for Nuclear programme and are endeavouring to seek partnerships wherever possible and would look forward for the opportunity to proving services for clients that require a trusted supplier that has the approvals to cement a strong relationship.”

Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd. Services: UK manufacturer, specialising in honing, super-finishing, gun drilling CNC turning, grinding and superfinishing.




Leading the

Development partner and systems supplier to the international automotive and mechanical engineering industries MANN+HUMMEL has become a global leader in its field, with more than 70 locations across five continents


elebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, MANN+HUMMEL has grown from its humble beginnings to become a specialist in the manufacture and supply of air, fuel, centrifugal oil and industrial filtration systems and components, as well as blow and injection moulded components. Having developed a solid reputation in the market, the group’s customers include global blue chip organisations such as Ford, Nissan, VW, BMW, Mini and JLR. Harald Späth is the company’s managing director for the UK. Mr Späth, you manage a company that has always set sociopolitical standards; it was, for example, among the first to introduce a corporate health insurance company and an early adopter of employee participation in company success. Which of today’s values are particularly important to you and why? HARALD SPÄTH: In the coming years, we aim to consolidate and develop our position as a market leader in filtration technology through high-

quality products, first-class service and innovative technologies. We will also do this on the basis of our company values, which serve as guidelines for our actions with regard to our customers, our employees and our societal environment. These values are Focus, Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Excellence, and Respect – in short FILTER. Along with quality, service, and innovation, MANN+HUMMEL’s employees have, for 75 years, truly been at the heart of what we do. Our employees are very valuable to us, we treat them carefully and with trust, because it is they, primarily, who ensure the continued commercial success of our company. MANN+HUMMEL succeeded in 2015 in boosting sales by eight per cent to three billion euros. For the coming years, you have announced that you will continue to pursue that growth strategy – which I would like to come back to later – and strengthen the brand presence. What measures are you taking with respect to the brand? 41


Bowman International

Bowman International specialises in the manufacture and supply of plain bearings and sintered components across a wide range of industries globally. Combining technical expertise and unrivalled product know-how and availability, Bowman has over 7000 types of bearings in stock. Bowman specialises in plain bearings, providing customers of all sizes with the mass-market and specialist products that they need to meet their individual requirements. With in-house testing, inspection and machining facilities Bowman International is able to offer plain bearings for all applications across all industries.

Since 2013, the corporate strategy of MANN+HUMMEL has been developed continuously, and adapted to the changed framework conditions in business and industry. In 2015, we started the process of systematically communicating the content of the agreed initiatives in all divisions and regions. The vision of the strategy has been clearly defined: ‘Leadership in Filtration through motivated employees, outstanding products, and excellent results.’ We think with vision and act with confidence. It is precisely this concept that underpins our brand strategy. Our communications are based on the three factors of inspiration, integrity and interaction. These brand principles determine our claim to be a ‘Leader in Filtration’ and our actions with regard to customers, employees and our societal environment. Our corporate design is also part of this; we have overhauled this to strengthen the MANN+HUMMEL brand and to support the new strategic alignment. This visual presence lends a face to the brand strategy and ensures that the company remains authentic, credible and unmistakable both to the inside and the outside. In recent years, acquisitions have made up approximately one third of your growth. Now, the Affinia Group alone is bringing a sales volume

in the order of around $900 million all in one go, which is no trifling matter when it comes to integration. How will you deal with this, particularly as it pertains to company values and cultures? The acquisition of the worldwide filtration business of the Affinia Group with its two strong brands WIX Filters and FILTRON is the largest acquisition in the company’s history. We want to share our know-how, bundle our competencies and cement the relationships with our customers. Two outstanding companies with over 150 years of filtration expertise between them are coming together here. Our aim is for this enormous acquisition project to be handled as smoothly as possible – this includes the post-merger activities and of course also the integration of the workforce of around 4500 employees. MANN+HUMMEL continues to be a family company. We stand by the same values regardless of location: our values and those of the MANN+HUMMEL Code are our guide. We have also been able to win over our new colleagues in the USA with this corporate culture. We communicate our values and our mission statement to all employees and we live them through the most varied of activities at locations around the globe. This attitude will also help us with the integration of the new employees. 43



What does the takeover mean for the growth plans for the automotive segment? Will you be focusing more on the industrial area in 2016 and beyond? Approximately 85 per cent of our sales come from the automotive sector. That is our core area, but we know that the, scope for growth there is not unlimited. For this reason too, we have also taken the non-automotive area into consideration within the framework of ‘Strategy 2022’. The market there is growing by six to seven per cent per year. Naturally we want to utilise this potential in the future too. In addition to the integration of the Affinia Group, the opening of the new technology centre is surely another highlight of this year. What objectives are you pursuing with that? In the technology centre, we will bring together all the functions of the company under one roof at the Ludwigsburg location. The 24,000 square metre area houses the testing centre of the research and development department, and in a separate building, the offices and a number of modern conference rooms. The two main buildings will be connected by a lobby, which will also provide access to a bistro and the new company museum. Investment in the building exceeds 30 million euros overall. The technology centre can make a great contribution to our continued success through close co-operation between development, testing and design as well as the co-operation between the R&D areas, sales and marketing.

For many years, you have ranked amongst the top 50 patent applicants with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. What methods do you use or principles do you pursue in terms of innovation management? MANN+HUMMEL holds more than 3000 patent applications, patents and registered designs. This high number did not come about by chance. We use different instruments to drive innovation management. One example of this is Open Innovation: MANN+HUMMEL wants to work more closely with our own suppliers and together identify and utilise innovation potential. Open Innovation makes it possible to explore new paths, promote innovation and open our eyes to new topics. In addition, our ideas management process HYPE, which we established in-house, serves to explore innovation opportunities and not just through the creativity of our developers, but also the ingenuity of our colleagues in all areas. On the interactive platform, ideas are gathered that have the potential to be innovative. Naturally ideas need a specific maturity process in which they are improved or linked with other suggestions. Therefore, submitted suggestions are evaluated by the HYPE Review Board, which is made up of product strategists, developers and product management, and are further developed if required. We regularly receive awards for our innovations; for example in early 2016 our biofunctional cabin filter FreciousPlus was named product of the year in France, we won the Industry Prize and were named 45



Best Innovator in China. We are very proud of our performance in this area and would like to continue to prove our innovative strength in the future. What challenges and opportunities do you currently see with respect to RDE, particularly with a view to your plastics technology? RDE will significantly increase the requirements on engine and drive technology. Under real conditions, in particular colder temperatures, more dynamic driving modes, higher speeds, it is significantly more challenging to comply with the statutory limit values than it is under the restricted conditions of a roller test bench. In addition to the general cost pressure in the market, the additional costs incurred by diesel engines to achieve the more stringent conditions of RDE are rising more than they are for gasoline engines. As MANN+HUMMEL has been very successful thus far with diesel engines, for example with fuel and oil filter modules, a falling share for diesel in Europe and India would not be advantageous. Nonetheless, these developments are also generating market opportunities to reduce consumption and emissions and thus also creating new fields of activity. By using plastics in production, we can offer our customers not only individual parts, but entire system solutions, which if produced from metal would be almost unaffordable. With that we are also engaging with the current trends towards weight reduction and downsizing.

Lower displacement and fewer cylinders means less fuel consumption, less CO2 and fewer pollutants. With our plastics technology we are meeting the challenges posed by these smaller installation spaces. What will MANN+HUMMEL be working on in the coming years? We are constantly working on our technologies in all areas, from Automotive to Industrial Air. We are already one of the market leaders in the filtration area and want to grow within this market and break new ground in areas that we do not as yet serve. MANN+HUMMEL is involved in a lot of basic development, in respect to manufacturing, specification and further development of our filter media. We have consistently managed to define new directions in the market and will continue to work intensively on this in the future. In this respect, we will also be working on technological and social challenges: Industry 4.0, climate change – in particular the topic of particulate matter – and Big Data. Another challenge especially for our business in the UK is obviously dealing with the implications of the Brexit in a sound and farsighted manner.

MANN+HUMMEL (UK) Ltd Products: Air, fuel, centrifugal oil and industrial filtration systems and components 47




Through R&D, innovation and investment in state-of-the-art production facilities, 3T RPD has become the market leading provider of plastic and metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) services in the UK and Europe


stablished in 1999 in Newbury, Berkshire, 3T RPD has developed a sterling reputation in the market over the last 17 years and remains unchallenged as the UK’s largest plastic AM (Selective Laser Sintering) provider. Making the strategic decision to relocate to new purposebuilt premises in September 2006, the company further expanded its facility in May 2007 to launch its metal AM (Direct Metal Laser Sintering/ DMLS) capability. Following major investment in technology and personnel, the company has pushed to the forefront of the metal AM industry. “The overall objective of 3T RPD is to be the first choice AM Production supplier of plastic and metal parts in the UK and globally. We currently have 70 employees who are working to the same


vision; we are growing at approximately 25 per cent year-on-year overall, with metals growing 40 per cent over the last year, the turnover of the business will be roughly £7 million for 2016. Our most important achievement as a business, is that we have set up a platform for rapid growth in AM Production” begins Ian Halliday, CEO of 3T RPD. “Since joining 3T ten years ago, I’ve been focusing on developing the company to become a global leader in offering a full AM Production service to our customers. It was very clear to

me that production would be the future for the business and that we had to push forward from a prototyping company to a highly professional and capable production business through the utilisation of innovative technology: Additive Manufacturing,” adds Ian. Metal AM, also known as metal 3D printing, is a revolutionary technology that produces 99.99 per cent dense parts directly from 3D CAD data by using powder bed fusion process known as DMLS. Fast, accurate and cost-effective, Metal AM works by fusing together very fine layers of metal powder through using a focused laser beam; this powder bed fusion can create complex geometries such as undercuts, channels through sections, tubes within tubes and internal voids. Plastic AM, also referred to as plastic 3D

printing, and Selective Laser Sintering; the process generates highly accurate models and one-off prototype parts for design approval, trial and testing purposes. As with metal AM, parts are built directly from 3D CAD data, which is sliced into layers, loaded onto the AM machine before a computer-directed CO2 melts layers of nylon powder together. After each layer, the process is continued until the part is complete. Aware that innovation and research is key to the ongoing success of the company, 3T RPD’s team of highly trained engineers and finishers focus on consistently gaining optimum use from these technologies. In recognition of these efforts, the company was awarded AS 9100 Rev C for the production of metal parts using Additive Manufacturing (AM) in April 2012. In addition to this, the company also holds ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 Medical Devices accreditations and is the first AM company in the UK to hold all three of these quality standards. “By having the highest certification levels AS 9100 Rev C and ISO 13485:2003 we can serve the aerospace and medical markets respectively. At the moment aerospace, industrial and

motorsport are our main sectors; this applies principally to metals but also increasingly plastics. Plastic can be used in a vast number of industry sectors; we even offer services for the consumer market, building parts that people have designed at home,� says Ian. Striving to create an ethos and working environment centred around strong positive corporate and cultural values, 3T firmly believes its success is driven by the skills and attitudes of its carefully selected personnel. This commitment to hiring only the very best is appreciated by customers, who, from the first phone call to the


THT is an independent heat treatment company specialising in Vacuum heat treatment and Plasma Ion Nitride processing across a variety of key industry sectors. The company offers Vacuum processing of Additive Manufactured components and materials including Inconel, Titanium and Aluminium with high vacuum processes in an Argon or Nitrogen atmosphere. A high quality process and tailored delivery system are both key for THT to provide its customers with the best level of service and for THT to be a trusted heat treatment partner. 49


final quality check, are working with experts that know how to deliver a service and products to a superior standard, often in a matter of days. Commenting on the expertise within 3T RPD, Ian says: “Within the company we have a highly capable group of metallurgists who are expert in developing new metal material applications such as CM247LC, which is something that, as far as I am aware, is manufactured by only one or two other companies across the globe. These experts are also looking at special ways to build parts,

devise innovative support architectures, develop new design approaches for the process and so on. We also have Quality, Production Engineering and New Product Introduction experts, who are working hard to refine our production capabilities, and differentiate us from our peers.” Complementing these strengths is 3T RPD’s commitment to R&D, which Ian intends to grow to 15 per cent of business activities as the company continues to grow. “You find that, in general, businesses that invest in R&D are very successful,” says Ian. “We have developed a highly capable laboratory with high-end equipment including a scanning electron microscope, a specialised heat treatment furnace, an R&D specific small metal machine (an M100, which has a 100mm platform) as well as a range of analysis equipment. “This investment in R&D follows the £5 million we have invested over the last two years in machines and metal equipment; we also recently invested in an M400, which is a huge piece of kit with a 400 mm cube build volume, and is another part of our AM Production strategy” he adds. Having made significant technological investments, 3T RPD has ensured it is fully prepared for future customer demand and the continuous developments within the manufacturing sector. “Over the next 12 months we anticipate winning some substantial production orders and will be launching a number of new materials; we are also developing plans for global expansion and aim to have two new production satellite sites set up over the next three years. In addition, we will be moving into new premises in 2018, so there is plenty for us to be getting on with!” Ian concludes.

3T RPD Products: Plastic and Metal Additive Manufactured parts for end use and prototyping


Polar Technology Management Group

Mike Dewhirst



With a proven track record for innovation, rapidly growing Polar Technology Management Group is certain to reach its vision of becoming a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of advanced engineering products


oday comprised of highly complementary, advanced engineering businesses SS Tube Technology, Lentus Composites and Horizon Property, Polar Technology Management Group was founded in 2011 by Scott Roberts and Mike Dewhirst with the goal of setting up and growing a group both organically and through acquisition. Benefiting from the long-term experience of Scott and Mike, who have been friends and colleagues since 1998 when both worked at AEA Technology at Harwell, the Oxfordshire based group currently boasts a turnover of £12 million and a strong presence in markets such as aerospace, defence, energy, medical and high performance vehicles. Discussing the benefits of being part of the group, Scott Roberts, Co-Chairman of Polar Technology Management Group, comments: “Apart from providing leadership, guidance, finance and central processes and systems, Polar Technology Management Group also enhances the synergies between the businesses through the development or acquisition of new technologies; we also provide Lentus Composites access to SS Tube Technology’s customers and vice versa. This means we can present an incredibly vertically integrated group that covers the whole spectrum of services in metals and composites technology; from design, analysis, development, prototyping and qualifications through to low rate initial production and volume production, we provide all of these services while also focusing on customer service to ensure satisfaction.”

Operating at its 3.5 acre site in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, within which the group has approximately 70,000 square feet of operating space, Scott and Mike have plans in place to further boost productivity and output over the coming years, which, in turn, will result in significantly higher turnover and a stronger global presence. “We have great plans in place to develop the site in line with our goal of reaching £60 million turnover over the next ten years. Having looked in detail at what we need to do to achieve this growth, we have found that as a business we are turning over approximately £250 to £300 per square feet per annum; to reach £60 million turnover we will need 240,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space. So far we have exchanged contracts on 12 acres of land adjoining our site to the west and applied for planning permission to build a 15-acre engineering campus, which will hold all of the necessary factories and our headquarters.” Already the forefront of the engineering industry through major technological investment, the group has proven its capabilities in providing complete vertical integration to customers; strengths achieved through intense investment in machining equipment and composite processing equipment. By utilising and enhancing these strengths over the coming years, Scott says Polar Technology Management Group will further cement its role as an essential part of each customer’s business strategy: “What customers most value from us is our ability to help them

Scott Roberts

solve problems in a short space of time while also working to aerospace standards. “We have major global customers that we want to partner with in a technological and commercial way while providing high value products that offer real value. In the long-term our target markets are clear, we will be focusing on providing solutions to the aerospace, defence, energy and nuclear industries while continuing to grow organically,” he concludes.

Polar Technology Management Group

Services: Polar Technology Management Group is a holding company for engineering businesses operating at the leading edge of technology 51

SS Tube Technology

A hot


CMC turbine shield

With a wealth of experience in partnering businesses at the very highest levels in a variety of industries, SS Tube Technology can provide a complete design, development and manufacture service to meet all of its customers’ requirements


S Tube Technology is an innovative, dynamic, and ambitious company. The business has made great developments recently, building on its brilliant record of providing thin wall tubular structures and precision fabrications, as well as thermal insulation products. It has also embarked on new technologies, and is making preparations to be a supplier for the burgeoning nuclear industry. Managing director Daniel Chilcott provided an overview of the business: “SS Tube Technology is an engineering-led, precision fabrication, thermal management business - we design and manufacture assemblies for high end advanced and demanding industries. There are a number of areas that require our services – high performance automotive, aerospace, energy industry, defence - we provide for industries that are looking for parts to use within harsh


environments. This in turn means we tend to work with quite challenging materials, such as exotic alloys that can deal with high temperatures.” Daniel continued on from this to elaborate on how the business has progressed recently: “In the last three years we have doubled the size of the business from about 2.8 million to about six million, and from about 25 staff to around 70. From here we are looking to continue our diversification, as well as adding new and novel processes, combined with technologies, which will allow us to offer more added value and problem solving solutions to our customers.” There have been several major highlights for SS Tube Technology recently, and Daniel discussed the company’s ceramic matrix composite development: “In our thermal management side of the business, we have a

Exhaust lagging

In the last three years we have doubled the size of the business from about 2.8 million to about six million, and from about 25 staff to around 70

lot of metallic based insulation and head shield products. What we recognised was that in order to carry on innovating and developing – we needed to look for lighter weight, improved thermally, and better-packaged products. An epoxy composite only has a temperature limit of 50 degrees centigrade, or you could go for more exotic resins that might take you to around 300 degrees. However, many parts we produce are operated in environments of between 700 to 1000 degrees centigrade. In order to develop this new method we set out

Monulution on a programme to develop our own ceramic matrix composite – this was an 18-month short research project. At the end of the project we gained a recipe for two different materials, and one of the materials is called CeramicLite® – which is a registered trademark name and that material is capable of operating at about 500 degrees centigrade. We also have an even higher performing material

Since its inception more than ten years ago Monolution has rapidly been building a reputation for employing imaginative precision CNC machining strategies that deliver outstanding quality, radically reduced lead times and provide cost effective solutions for all your precision CNC machining challenges. With the flexibility and responsiveness of a true 24/7 customer focused organisation, Monolution offers a complete service for your manufacturing requirements. Monolution is proud to supply a wide range of customers including Aerospace, Automotive & F1 Motor sport. Monolution continually re-invests, year on year, to insure it remains at the forefront of evolving technology. 53

Exhaust system


Tamworth Heat Treatment offers a Vacuum and Plasma processing service. Vacuum heat treatment of Inconels, Titanium, Aluminium, Stainless steels and a wide range of Tool steels across many industry sectors. A high quality process and tailored delivery system are key to providing THT customers worldwide with the best service possible. Accredited to AS 9100 and ISO 9001.



called CeramicLite® Ultra capable of operating the 1000 degrees centigrade. We are now marketing this, engaging with customers, and we are now being getting commissioned for pieces of work.” The second major development that SS Tube Technology has made is related to the company positioning itself to supply future nuclear projects in the UK. In order to do this the business embarked on the Fit For Nuclear programme – it is a unique service to help UK manufacturing companies get ready to bid for work in the civil nuclear supply chain. The process, and what it means for the company, was discussed by Daniel: “We recognised that with new nuclear builds on the horizon, and that this offered great opportunity for the business with our precision fabric components, in order to try and support that industry. There is not a huge supply chain in existence in the country anymore - so we worked with Nuclear AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre)

A Lentus product

SS Tube Technology

Heat shields

in Rotherham, and we went through their programme called Fit For Nuclear. This was a business wide programme, that looks at all areas of the business, and involves the development of the business, working on elements of quality to people development to risk mitigation to business development. At the end of this programme the Nuclear AMRC awarded us with Fit For Nuclear status. This has enabled us to have conversations with those in the nuclear industry more easily.” These developments are indicative of the company’s ambition and values, and Daniel highlighted what the fundamental strengths were of SS Tube Technology: “Our problem solving approach gives us a competitive edge in the market, we like to take and understand what our customers are trying to achieve. Then we enjoy looking at how we will go about solving that technical, commercial, or scheduling challenge that they might have. Also, the fact that we are a company with a can-do attitude, we have a motor sport response time and agile approach, but combined with an aerospace level of quality. I think those two elements really allow us to come up with new novel approaches, new technology, new processes, and implement those in a very efficient and effective way.” The Cally Robson award that SS Tube Technology won was due to its overall strengths, and this vindicated the company’s success so far, and is a positive indication for the coming years. The business will further continue its policy of diversification, making big pushes into new areas and industries. Due to all these factors, as well as the new technology and nuclear preparations that the company has pursued, it is in the ideal position to take what is already a successful company to even greater extents.

SS Tube Technology Services: Design and manufacture of bespoke, advanced tubular structures, precision fabrications and thermal management systems for advanced industries 55

Lentus Composites

Making the complex, simple Lentus Composites offers its customers market leading composite support, from the design phase through after sales services, and everything in-between


entus Composites is an engineering led manufacturer of composite products, assemblies and systems for a range of industry sectors. As part of the Polar Technology Management Group, Lentus engages with its customer at whatever level is


appropriate. The company has capability to design, analyse, produce prototypes, as well as carry out qualification testing and put parts into low or high volume production. This vertical integration of the complete design and production cycle forms Lentus’ position in the

market today. It has the mission to create a composite business that delivers a strong mix of rapid product development and delivery alongside established industry qualified and stable manufacturing processes. The company designs, develops and produces composite components and complex engineering assemblies typically where the composite elements are the enabling technology within the wider system. Composite design, system design and composite to metal joining are particular areas of expertise for Lentus’ design team. It can deliver one-off F1 components in a matter of days through to high volume components and assemblies delivered line-side for MRI applications on time, right first time, every time, every day. Lentus can select the right tools and techniques to develop and manufacture products to suit every customers demanding application. Offering a complete design, engineering and development capability Lentus is not just a manufacturing business, it works in open partnership driven by clear communication and targets and excels in delivering on its commitments. Lentus operates in a diverse marketplace of

many sectors and the team has vast experience of operating in these industries. One area of significant activity is the manufacture of components for Medical Scanners (MRI) and scientific equipment. Motorsport is an area of considerable activity where rapid response quality and delivery are very important. Lentus operates in the sports equipment industries as well as the medical and veterinarian sector. There is an increasing requirement for advanced composite components in the automotive industry for both structural and styling applications. With a strong Aerospace heritage within its team Lentus is poised to sign its first major Aerospace contract to supply critical high speed rotating components for commercial jet engines before the end of 2016. In order to deliver its products, Lentus has a wide repertoire of processes at its disposal. These processes are selected and optimised for each product whether the requirements is for a filament wound part with specific properties, a multi-axial winding for a pressure vessel or an autoclave cured pre-preg part for an Formula 1 chassis component. Whatever the product Lentus’ engineering team will review the requirements for performance, cost, volume and quality and select the most appropriate process from its range. Lentus has the depth of scientific and technical

knowledge to adapt processes or develop new processes to suit each project. Whether it is for the automotive industry, aerospace, medical, or industrial sector, Lentus applies its skills and expertise to a number of composite based solutions. The company has developed its position in the market, and made itself a reliable and consistent supplier to its customers. Managing Director of Lentus Simon Odling discussed some of the key strengths of the business: “We have a diverse range of manufacturing technologies, and a strong engineering team, and we have great capabilities. However, what I would say is a really key feature of Lentus, is the vertical integration we offer, this means right through the whole process we work on every aspect – from design, development, concept, right to volume manufacturing. This enables our customers to come to us at any point within the product lifecycle - it can be at the very early stages, or can already have a complete design ready for production. We ensure that the best outcome is always achieved by working with each individual customer throughout the life cycle of the product, as opposed to many of our competitors that tend to only offer the manufacturing aspect.” It is no wonder then, with such modern facilities and equipment, and with a talented team

of engineers that Lentus is expecting a positive future, and Simon provided further details on this: “Our big focus as a business is to continue to growing the business by utilising the capabilities and equipment that we have in place here – we have made heavy investments in technology and the facility over the past two years. This means that we are well positioned to take advantage of this and further develop the existing product lines we currently have, while also branching out and expanding more into other sectors. Lentus has in the past two years built the platform for the company to now accelerate from, we have everything at our disposal to ensure a successful future.” Simon concluded on what was expected in the coming years: “As a business our five year plan takes us to a turnover of between 15 million and 20 million pounds, and an expansion of staff to around 200 employees. Within this period we will diversify significantly, and while maintaining our position in the medical and scientific and motorsport sectors will also make strides in the other sectors Lentus is already growing in.” The company might be relatively new, having begun only a few years ago, however the combined experience by those that work there demonstrates that it understands the industry. Simon laid out the vision Lentus has for its future, and there seems little reason to doubt the likelihood of achieving this. The company displays a strong knowledge of the technical and engineering side of the business, while also placing a great focus on its customers and service. Lentus provides the very best expertise, products, and service – from start to finish.

Lentus Composites Products: Composite products 57


Fracino’s SUB1 with fridge commissioned by SUBWAY ®

An Espresso of


Fracino is the UK’s only manufacturer of cappuccino and espresso coffee machines, and it is a multi-award winning family owned business


racino represents the quality within the British manufacturing sector, and has built a reputation on its ability to design and build coffee machines that make better drinks than its competitors. The result of which has been for Fracino to become a wellrespected brand on a global scale, supplying over

Fracino scoops ‘Made in the UK’ national innovation award © David Lake


70 countries. The company continues to grow and improve, and has recently made massive investments in its facilities in order to meet a growing demand for its products. Fracino is taking British made products to customers, big and small, across the world. The company developed a new product called SUB1 and it was designed for the largest food chain in the world – Subway®. The machine scooped a high-profile national accolade for its innovation, creativity and speed in designing and supplying a bespoke espresso machine for the food company. Having started out with just one prototype, there are currently around 500 of Fracino’s machines in Subway® outlets throughout the UK and Europe. From start to finish it assisted with the smooth delivery of these market leading coffee machines, beginning with the design - that doubled the quality of the drinks being served, and continuing to technical support for staff using the machine. Having made such a success of this relationship with Subway, Fracino will no doubt continue to supply more

and more of its shops. It is worth noting that the food chain boasts over 40,000 outlets worldwide, with over 20,000 in the US, and around 2,000 in the UK - so this is a massive business opportunity for Fracino, and could lead to other substantial projects with other big brands. The company is always working on new products, making constant improvements in order to provide the finest coffee machines available. To the extent of which Fracino has released no less than 13 new machine models since 2008, and has won 17 awards since 2013. The popularity of this could be seen by the overwhelming demand in December 2014 for one of its latest models - all of the machines Fracino had manufactured for this were sold within weeks. However, due to the company’s constant investment in its factories and capabilities, it was able to keep up with demand. As Fracino continues to expand its business and increase sales in a number of markets, then it will need the facilities and manufacturing ability to meet this, and managing director Adrian Maxwell highlighted how the company is ensuring this:

Top teamwork - Fracino celebrates unprecedented success

“There has been large growth year-on-year for us, both in domestic sales but particularly within exports. With the increased sales we have been able to reinvest into new machinery that will enhance what we can do. This includes, but is not restricted to, new finishes, new tube bending machines – all unmanned. “As a result, our volume has increased by 200 per cent, and we have also just installed our first robot laser welding machine in the factory, which will improve our welding capacity by about 600 per cent. We also have new laser cutting machinery. All of this is a part of the massive investment we have been making over the course of the past few years, and this has a total figure of Fracino’s boilers being brazed as part of the manufacturing process between five million and six million pounds. This has resulted in the company being turned into a real modern automated manufacturing centre, and this method is the way forward.” Adrian continued: “The fact that we manufacture so much of the machine, while also assembling it ourselves sets us apart from many of the others in the industry, as often they have the parts made by subcontractors and are only involved in the assembly aspect. Our approach has resulted in really positive feedback from across the board, and it has even given us somewhat of a global notoriety, which we see reflected in our sales.” Another development that Fracino is embarking upon is not based upon its technical side, but instead is about its visibility, as Adrian explained: “Next week we start building on the factory again as we are building a state-of-the-art showroom. 59


Fracino’s ground breaking PID espresso machine

“We need to take the approach that car show rooms do, and to really put the product out there for people to see. For me, it is something that has to be done - we have the finance in place and have already made many improvements to the building, efficiency, and capacity side of the business - it was important to ensure that that we are presenting the machines in the manner that denotes their quality. We have always believed in reinvestment of our profits and I see it as essential to have constant investment, it is after all something we have done for over 30 years, and will continue to do so. It is as simple as this – if you don’t feed it, it won’t grow.” It seems clear that Fracino already has in place its modern and state-of-the-art facilities that it will continue to improve. “The company has also focused on developing another area of the business,” added Adrian: “One thing we are investing in quite a lot is people – our headcount has gone up enormously in the last year by around ten to 12 people that have filled various key positions. We have had a new Head of sales and marketing join us, and my technical operations manager has progressed a great deal, as he started out with the company over 16 years ago as a service engineer and worked his way up. This really demonstrates the depth of talent at the company, and the investment we make in our people, which can then be seen in what we do and what we make,” Adrian said. The company has every expectation that there will continue to be growth within both the domestic and export markets. Indeed, Fracino wants to achieve a 50/50 split between the two markets, and while there is a promising amount of opportunities outside of the UK, it still wants to maintain a strong position at home. It also will be increasing the reputation of the brand as part of the high-end machines category, which the company believes its quality denotes. Another aspect of this is that Fracino will be aiming to break the idea that some consumers have that if a coffee machine has been made in Italy that they are inherently better than one made in Britain. Instead it wants to prove that the British manufactured coffee machines by Fracino are not just as good as, but are actually superior.


Products: Cappuccino and espresso coffee machines


Guttridge Ltd

Moving with the


With a foundation of 50 years of experience, Guttridge is a flourishing company, globally respected for delivering well-engineered, reliable materials handling solutions that continue to anticipate dramatically changing industrial needs


uttridge manufactures an array of products, including conveying and elevating equipment for a diverse range of materials from foods and fine chemicals to biomass, aggregates and waste. Its four operating divisions are focused on delivering solutions for specific market and customer requirements, and Guttridge supplies everything from single machines to fully integrated handling solutions. The company manufactures in both stainless steel and mild steel, producing durable equipment for every material and eliminating the risk of contamination, where necessary. However, Guttridge isn’t simply an off-the-shelf supplier. What sets it apart is the ability to design and build truly bespoke solutions for a customers’ specific application. The company’s comprehensive range of bulk materials handling equipment includes bucket elevators, screw conveyors and dischargers, chain conveyors and dischargers, belt conveyors, load and discharge hoppers, vertical blenders and live bins, ancilliary equipment such as spoutings and fittings, plus slide valves and diverters. The starting point for any bulk materials handling project is an understanding of the flow properties of the product. Here, there is no substitute for experience and the business relies heavily on the wealth of knowledge it has developed from dealing with a truly diverse spectrum of materials over very many years. However, Guttridge also recently developed

partnerships with major universities to undertake powder testing and has employed a specialist engineer who has developed the technical capability to advise on this, in order to further strengthen its understanding in this key area. This detailed material testing allows it to predict material behaviour and flow properties more reliably thus vastly improving the ability to provide ‘right first time’ equipment specification. It has also maintained a modernised manufacturing site, and in 2015 it invested in a new laser cutter, and is planning on purchasing another in the near future. Guttridge’s design

and manufacturing practice similarly focuses on delivery to the customer and it will continue to invest in the technology needed to achieve excellence. The company enjoys the benefits of a modern facility, and a market leading product quality that utilises a decade of experience, but it also does much more. Guttridge works closely with its customers to create the best possible tailormade solutions. Two key parts of the service Guttridge provides are its bespoke element, as well as the way the company has open dialogue with its customers throughout the process, which sales and marketing manager Doug Anderson discussed: “We tailor our machines to fit their space and any other requirements, this means that we are able to help increase their efficiencies and make them more cost effective. This is increasingly important as it is getting rarer to work with a greenfield site, and more often it is working within an existing location, which means creating a very customised product. It also means that when the machines are installed the design has been developed to have a minimum impact on the production lines that are already active at the site.” Guttridge has established itself on the national and international stage, and it is looking at expanding its growth elsewhere, and in regards to the markets that Guttridge is active, Doug said: “Guttridge supplies the industrial sector, and we have taken our first orders for recycling systems, and we have one 61


Guttridge Ltd

Chain + Conveyor

Started as a family run firm over 25 years ago, Chain + Conveyor has now evolved to become THE biggest provider of conveyor chain & sprockets in the UK & abroad. As its team has grown so has its passion and at its core is one distinct principle - to provide THE very best technical support & service in the industry. It’s this conviction that ensures there is never a challenge it can’t meet or a problem that it can’t solve. Give the company a try and see for yourself.

really notable order, which amounts to a total of 28 bucket elevators, and a number of screw conveyors being installed this year. We also continue to be successful in winning contracts to provide elements for biomass power stations, and we have also won a number of export contracts to supply systems for new grain handling and feed mill sites recently. “The grain industry, ranging from food processing to brewing and distillery industries, remains our core focus representing over 50 per cent of our turnover. Guttridge remains the market leader in this sector and has won five major projects to supply new production facilities in the UK this year alone.” There are a number of defining features of the company - however another one that sets it apart is its commitment to bringing through new talent for the industry. This strength was explored by Doug: “We promote STEM subjects in primary and secondary schools, with the ambition to enthuse young people about the industry, and bring through the next generation. We also work very closely with several universities in the UK, such as Loughborough and Middlesex, in order to engage with students, and it means that we maintain a fresh and innovative approach.” The company has further plans to invest very heavily in training and looking to launch an apprenticeship scheme. Guttridge knows its strengths, and in the coming years it will utilise its experience and

expertise to focus on what it specialises in, which will help it become an increasingly internationally renowned business. It already is serving the grain industries in the Middle East and North Africa, to countries like Egypt that is the largest grain importer in the world. Therefore, as Guttridge expands here there is a realistic expectation that due to this new business the company will grow by 60 per cent over the next three years. All of which the company intends to do whilst working with

customers, and this will help Guttridge develop its position in the industry - it uses brilliant people, to make brilliant products, which results in brilliant service.

Guttridge Ltd Products: Bulk materials handling equipment

4B Braime Components

An international market leader in the field of bucket elevator and conveyor components and electronic monitoring equipment, 4B Braime Components has a long history in serving the bulk material handling sector. 4B leads the field in elevator bucket and bolt design and manufacture and supplying the highest quality elevator belting and drop forged chain. 4B’s electronic division specialises in hazard monitoring systems that prevent costly downtime and reduce the risks of explosions in hazardous areas. 4B’s electronics range includes bearing temperature sensors, belt and pulley misalignment sensors, (under) speed switches, level and choke switches and combined monitoring systems. 63

Hosokawa Micron Ltd.

An industrial

Buggy filling and weighing booth



With over five decades of industry experience, Hosokawa Micron Ltd. has grown into a leading provider of a comprehensive range of technologies across several sectors

ormed through the amalgamation of Alpine Process Technology, Hosokawa Mikropul and LE Stott, Hosokawa Micron Ltd. represents a specialist in the development, manufacture and installation of machines and systems for powder and particle processing, hygienic filling and weighing, containment and nanotechnologies. Hosokawa Micron Ltd operates as a member of the worldwide Hosokawa Micron Group, which was originally founded in Osaka in 1916 and was proud to celebrate its 100th anniversary during 2016. Today the group is a world leader in providing process solutions in the fields of powder and particle processing technology and blown film technology. Hosokawa Micron Group maintains facilities for research, engineering, manufacturing and service throughout Asia/ Oceania, the Americas and Europe. “Hosokawa Micron Ltd has a proud heritage of designing and manufacturing powder and particle processing equipment. Our portfolio of equipment is designed for high performance


and the ability to deliver distinct production advantages for customers. Powder processing equipment is a requirement in many industry sectors – in particular where size reduction, mixing, drying, filling and weighing and containment are required,” elaborates Managing Director, Iain Crosley. “Typically our work is within the chemical, food, pharmaceutical, and nuclear sectors. Hosokawa Micron leads the way in nanoparticle production technology, combining expertise in more traditional powder processing technologies with particle design and the supply of equipment for the creation and manufacture of high value particles with new powder characteristics. Using nanotechnology, materials can effectively be made to be stronger and harder, lighter, more durable, more reactive, better electrical conductors and much, much more. We also offer a toll processing service, which means that we process the customer’s materials when they can’t – either because of limited capacity, niche product requirements or new product development or in readiness for their own plant

coming on-line. Our purpose built Test Centre offers unique opportunities to test equipment, processes and systems in a controlled and convenient environment – from concept through to feasibility studies and product trials. This facility enables customers to find the optimum system design and helps determine individual equipment specification of both pilot and full scale plant.” Throughout its history Hosokawa Micron has developed a strong network of working partnerships with key international blue chip companies and iconic brands mainly but not exclusively within the food, chemical and pharmaceutical fields, as well as with smaller, locally based clients. Furthermore, whether it is dealing with a major international business or much smaller entity, Hosokawa Micron is able to take advantage of its place within the wider Hosokawa Micron Group to provide a comprehensive one-stop-solution. “Benefiting from the extensive support and partnership of other member companies in the international Hosokawa Micron Group, we are able to

able to take advantage of its place within the wider Hosokawa Micron Group to provide a comprehensive one-stop-solution. “Benefiting from the extensive support and partnership of other member companies in the international Hosokawa Micron Group, we are able to deliver a comprehensive range of products and technologies that continue to deliver optimum solutions for individual size reduction, mixing, classifying, filling and weighing, screening, containment, nanotechnology and integrated processing and plant performance problems, which deliver recognisable and tangible benefits. Typically these projects range from research and development (R&D) through to full turnkey installations in both the UK and overseas. Our engineering skills and latest production technologies ensure that the high level of performance of our machines, application of our extensive processing know-how and partnership approach to development of new technologies and processing solutions are in demand by small and large, blue chip companies alike,” Iain says. “We are proud to offer customers a single source supply for integrated processing systems and component machinery to meet individual

ReMs remote monitoring App

requirements and seek to set new standards in powder processing technologies that exceed expectations and deliver significant competitor advantage. Our philosophy is not just to offer a standard machine but to also work alongside our customers and their engineering teams to provide value added solutions to processing problems. With an unrivalled portfolio of machine ranges

and many unique equipment and technology options to offer, many companies appreciate the benefits of our selection choices and easy scale-up options available to them for both their present and future processing requirements.” As an example of the innovative solutions provided by the company, Hosokawa Micron recently designed two new downflow booths for 65

Hosokawa Micron Ltd.

Glove-box and gas loop system

Powder handling booth

Global manufacturing is poised to make one of the biggest changes to economic growth and productivity ever seen – eclipsing the mechanical, mass production and automation industrial revolutions of the last 200+ years

a world-leading cosmetics company. The client required two new downflow booths to deliver high levels of protection from dust and fumes for both personnel and products. Space limitations and structural restrictions in the customer’s facility poised significant challenges relating to the build and design of the booths, one of which was required for the handling of solvents and the


other for powders. Before commencement of the project a full risk analysis was undertaken which examined all potential risks from the toxicity and flammability of the materials handled and dust exposure limits to the compatibility of materials handled and the explosion risks. Standard operating procedures and the number of people operating within the booths and production areas were also considered in order to ensure the optimum booth design and configuration. “In order to future-proof and deliver flexibility of operation, the booths were designed to accommodate a range of dispensary and sampling tasks plus manual and automated materials handling. Our designs and the finished facility are sympathetic to these demands, offering easy access, well planned and flexible work zones and integrated equipment positioning,” explains Iain Crosley. “The ergonomic design of the booths is enhanced with cooling packages for workplace temperature management to create a more user friendly work environment, ECM filter monitoring, high efficiency fans and LED lighting plus recessed

housing for ease of storage and accessibility of tools. The placement of the solvent handling booth also allows for a space saving mezzanine floor above.” Throughout all of its operations, Hosokawa Micron works both internally and externally to embrace ‘Industry 4.0’ and the company works with clients to manage their transition to more intelligent manufacturing by harnessing the combined strength of the latest plant performance monitoring equipment and multivariate analysis software with its technical and practical processing expertise. Equipped with intuitive and predictive modelling and advanced control capabilities, the company can provide the specialist support to enable companies to unlock the full potential within their plant; achieve six Sigma performance; realise significant competitive advantages; and develop a step by step transition to increasingly intelligent manufacturing. This embrace of digital technology represents a key strategy for Hosokawa Micron and will continue to be an important area of focus for the business in the future. “Hosokawa Micron will remain focused on building and maintaining partnerships with blue chip customers seeking powderprocessing solutions. We will continue to develop our machinery range to create added production benefits for customers but on a wider focus Industry 4.0 or ‘The Internet of Things’ is now a reality for all manufacturers. Global manufacturing is poised to make one of the biggest changes to economic growth and productivity ever seen – eclipsing the mechanical, mass production and automation industrial revolutions of the last 200+ years,” Iain concludes. “By capturing the data in your plant we can unlock patterns and trends that have never before been seen, enabling another level of efficiency within your plant or manufacturing process, while improved visibility allows operators to see how individual assets are performing, identify hidden losses and failures, justify improvements and then monitor their impact on the bottom line.”

Hosokawa Micron Ltd. Products: Specialist in the development, manufacture and installation of machines and systems for powder and particle processing, hygienic filling and weighing, containment, nanotechnologies and data driven manufacturing solutions


The heart of the


Rotpunkt, Rabe and Meyer Küchen GmbH produces kitchens that are designed to reflect the latest trends in markets across the world


he family owned company Rotpunkt, Rabe & Meyer Küchen GmbH produces high quality kitchens with the latest manufacturing technology at its main factory and headquarters, located at subsidiary plants in Löhne and Preußisch Oldendorf. The management at the company continues the tradition of specialised manufacturing processes, extensive product range and reliability of quality and logistics. The company has recently unveiled plans for a large amount of investments, and what these entailed was laid out by managing director Andreas Wagner: “We expect it to be between seven million and eight million euros over the course of the next five years, and this will go into new machinery that will help to improve what we do. It will also be going into a new plant, and we are already several weeks into the building process, having just laid the concrete

foundations. In addition to this we are also planning on creating a new showroom that will be 3000 square metres instead of the existing 1000 square metre one, and it’ll be located at the front of the factory and will be a way to add to our products visibility.” Rotpunkt demonstrates a close relationship with its customers, and this is from the design phase of a product, right up to the delivery of it. There are many examples of this at the business, and Andreas discussed some of these: “We are very close to our customers and work with them on product development, in order to help realise new designs. Even recently we have had a number of customers – particularly from Britain – visit us here in Germany. It has been an opportunity to discuss with them various aspects of our products, as well as to talk through the development process, and how it might relate to their market in particular. The 67

information we gain from these interactions helps to guide our actions, whether that is in relatively small factors that relate to a part of the kitchen design, or larger ones that will affect how we build our manufacturing facilities. We want there to be a fluid, efficient, and clear plan to how our new plant will be able to produce


the right kinds of products, not just for the current trends, but for those of the future.” Another way in which Rotpunkt positions itself closer to its customers is that it has its own fleet of trucks, which Andreas highlighted: “An important factor in my opinion is that we have our own trucks to deliver our kitchens to the end customer, and that is not very common in the kitchen industry. There are 20 trucks within the fleet at the moment, and there is the possibility for more.” For Rotpunkt, the export market plays a large role in its annual turnover, and on this Andreas stated: “We make about 80 per cent of our turnover in the export market, and the most important markets for us are the Netherlands and Belgium, followed by Britain. As well as Scandinavia – our products are very popular across the whole region of Scandinavia, and there is also the German market, which is within the top areas we deliver our products to.” In regards to the products themselves, there is a diverse selection to choose from, and it is continuously working on developing and designing new kitchens. Rotpunkt products are geared towards both the high-end and middle


level consumer, however it is not, and does not attempt to be, a competitor to flat pack options. The company goes to great lengths to satisfy the wishes of its customers, and Andreas elaborated: “We try to make products especially for our different foreign markets, and we do make a lot of tailor made articles - we produce all our products in batch size one, and we work closely with our customers, as it seems pointless to make kitchens that our customers do not want.” The environment is becoming an increasingly significant concern for those within the manufacturing industry along with its customers, and Rotpunkt has demonstrated its proactive approach with the latest development of GreenLine. This innovation reduces wood consumption, while also improving the product function and customer experience, and in regards to this new product Andreas said: “Last year we launched a new product called GreenLine made of bioboard, which is a new chip board that we use, and it is based upon wood but we remove about 37 per cent of the wood out of the chipboard during the panel making process, and replace it with a popcorn substance. The result of this means that chipboard is not as dense and therefore

makes it lighter, and the GreenLine helps to produce more environmentally friendly products. This really is a very important and interesting development, and can create a strong selling point with customers.” Rotpunkt is already considered a reliable manufacturer of high quality kitchens, but it is increasingly making investments to ensure that it is able to meet growing demand, expanding markets, and changing trends. The company is not afraid of making dynamic improvements, such as its GreenLine product, however it also retains some of the core attitudes of a family business – such as having its own trucks to deliver to the end customer. With the addition of Rotpunkt’s investments, it will no doubt help continue the company’s success, and take its kitchens to even more customers across the world.

Rotpunkt Products: High quality kitchens 69

InTiCa Systems AG

Customers come Power inductor


InTiCa is a reliable partner for the automotive industry, especially in the development and manufacturing of customised inductive components and assemblies


Keyless entry antenna


nTiCa Systems is a leading European supplier in the development, manufacturing and marketing of inductive components, passive analogue switching technology and mechatronic assemblies. The company operates in the automotive and industrial electronics industry. It intends to retain this prominent position by maintaining its high quality facilities, and its competitive edge in the market, while investing in an ambitious future. An important factor for any manufacturing company is the facilities it possesses, and the strength of InTiCa’s was discussed by spokesman for the board of directors Gregor Wasle: “We are very proud to have facilities both nationally and internationally, and our technology and training centre, which was founded in 2015, is only a stone’s throw away from the headquarters. At these locations our highly qualified staff are constantly working on the development of new technologies. While our production facility in Prachatice (Czech Republic) has been transferred to a lean manufacturing during the last year including

a considerable extension of the production area to concentrate on our plastic molding competence. Also, our plant in Silao (Mexico) was just recently founded in 2016. A smallscale serial production for customers in the automotive sector is scheduled to start at the end of October 2016, and start-up of a complete serial line scheduled for 2017.” The company is a specialist in its field, and this is just one of many reasons that makes InTiCa so appealing to its customers, and Gregor stated: “All development steps are carried out adhering to the TS 16949 certification standards. The highly modern laboratory measuring technology ranges from the classic profile to measuring projector to the multi-sensor measuring equipment for capturing electromagnetic or geometric two and three-dimensional parameters. The focus is on electrical and mechanical design of customised inductance or assemblies in the most varied way. InTiCa offers ‘everything from a single source’ from development to manufacturing – from plastic injections, soldering, resistance welding, crimping,

InTiCa headquarters in Passau, Germany

Winding technology

Moulding technology

bonding, compound filling, winding, upright coiling and testing up to complex assembly.” There are a number of ways that InTiCa has positioned itself as a leading company in its industry, and Gregor elaborated on some of the factors: “The company’s slogan which best describes what we do is ‘working together to realise visions’, we work in close collaboration with our customers to ensure there is a successful product. At first, there is an idea that is shared with InTiCa – and in order that it doesn’t just remain an idea we offer solutions. We take pride in the work of our excellent staff – they bring to each and every project many years of experience and expertise. There is also a mutual exchange and update on the development process as well as on new challenges – this is an essential step towards a successful project. Furthermore, the close contact with our customers allows us to discuss these issues and talk about future actions – the ultimate goal here is a satisfied customer who receives the product they asked for.” In order to continuously meet the high

standards that InTiCa sets itself it has made many investments, which Gregor provided an insight into: “Electrification and digitisation are global megatrends in the automotive industry in which InTiCa would like to have an even greater share in the future. As a specialist for the development and production of highquality, customised induction components and mechatronic modules and systems solutions for industrial electronics, InTiCa will also benefit from growth as seen, for example, in the automation sector as a result of the digitalisation of industrial facilities. Industry 4.0 will play an important role for us.” Gregor presented further positives of InTiCa that will continue to improve: “Our customers always take centre stage, from an initial idea to a new project, finally leading to innovative developments and customised solutions. Our own competent team of developers and manufacturing experts support customers in finding the most efficient solution for their individual requirements and developing their product ideas to innovative,

Actuator engineering 71

InTiCa Systems AG

Production Site in Prachatice, Czech Republic


marketable products.” Gregor continued: “InTiCa has proved itself as a reliable partner for different system suppliers in the automotive industry, especially in the development and manufacturing of tailored inductive components

World leader in winding and assembly systems for coils and motors MARSILLI has been working for over 75 years standing out for its research and technological innovations. This allowed the company to reach a global consolidated position as a Solution Provider for Factory Automation covering different industries such as automotive, appliances, electromechanical applications and RFID. MARSILLI has developed cutting edge expertise in all the assembly processes that have the winding phase as the core. Today MARSILLI is a worldwide leader in Winding & Assembly Systems for coils and motors where precision, flexibility and customisation are mandatory. Designing, assembling and delivering equipment with unique passion, MARSILLI provides absolutely reliable solutions together with stunning quality.


and assemblies. The portfolio offering includes custom-made solutions for electromobility, hybrid-technology, actuator engineering, driving and access authorisation systems, filters and safety technology. InTiCa is also a specialist in developing and manufacturing high-quality customised mechatronic modular and system solutions for industrial engineering.” InTiCa has an extensive list of strengths from its facilities, to its expertise, to its customer relationship, and it will continue to improve in areas such as lean production, sales growth, cost efficiency, quality, and expanding its global footprint. With all of this in place, and InTiCa keen to stay at the top of its game in all the most important places, no doubt the company will continue to build upon its strong position, and its customer base will continue to grow.

InTiCa Systems AG Products: Customised solutions for electromobility, hybrid-technology, actuator engineering, driving and access authorisation systems, filters and safety technology

Sumgait Technologies Park

Constructing the



he President of Azerbaijan Republik Ilham Aliyev launched Sumgait Technologies Park on 22nd December in 2009. It is a unique project in the region and is able to satisfy the requirements of the domestic market as well as the foreign market. The establishment of such an industrial centre in Sumgait City is not only a boost in economic development of Azerbaijan, but also is a restoration of the historical traditions of Sumgait founded as an industrial centre in the Caucasus. More than 4500 people are currently employed in the production and construction-installation fields of the organisation. After the launch of all planned plants, it is expected that the facility will employ around 10,000 people. All production facilities are equipped with the best technological equipment manufactured in Europe where raw materials are imported from the leading producers. All its factories are equipped with the latest laboratories manufactured predominantly in Western Europe and accredited to AZS ISO/IEC 17025-2009 standard. New enterprises are established on the basis of equipment based on high standards and up-todate technologies. Devices and equipment used in the production process are products of the leading manufacturers of the world. Therefore,

Sumgait Technologies Park is an extremely diversified place, where the latest technology breakthroughs are met with innovative solutions and backed with vast experience. It’s a unique complex with large scale production facilities that contributes to the sustainable growth of the Azerbaijan economy finished products are of high quality. Currently, 25,000 kinds of power and communication cables, specially designated plastic pipes and fittings, other polymeric products, several types of technical gasses, sandwich panels, aluminium composite sheets, ventilation pipes and fittings, trailers and semi-trailers for trucks, specially designated metal constructions, electrical equipment, solar collectors and other products are manufactured at the enterprise. All production areas are equipped with accredited laboratories and all products are verified with the certificates of compliance. In addition, international management standards ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 are applied at the enterprise. Sumgait Technologies Park participates on a number of large projects in the country, including the construction and installation of electric power stations and social facilities. It carried out the manufacturing and installation of the metal constructions for National Flagg Square, Baku Olympic Stadium, Ismayilli Bicycle Manufacturing Plant, and many other developments. The company also has further plans to support a number of upcoming national projects, which will place it as a leading supplier of its high-quality industrial products. The company has a large number of plants

within Sumgait Technologies Park, the extensive list includes: cable plant, polymeric products plant, heavy machinery building plant, electrical equipment plant, fine mechanics plant, pressing plant, technical gasses plant, copper and aluminium electro technical rods production, hot dip galvanizing plant, sandwich panel plant, and ventilation systems production. Sumgait Technologies Park clearly provides for a wide variety of industries, and further information about some of these demonstrates just how advanced the company’s services are. Its cable plant is one of the largest plant in the region, and it utilises high quality equipment from technologically advanced countries to be used in the production process in the enterprise. Only high quality raw materials, and those supplied by the leading companies of the world are used at the plant. It also only employs highly qualified specialists with wide background experience – for this reason, and many more, it means that the cable plant can be called the enterprise of the future. Another area of Sumgait Technologies Park is the polymeric products plant, which is also one of the largest manufacturing industrial enterprises of the region, and has been in operation since 2009. This area of the company is one of the 73

Sumgait Technologies Park

most innovative, it utilises the latest technologies made in Germany, Austria, Italy and other European countries, as well as using some of the best-known raw material manufacturers such as Borealis, Bayer, Total, and many others. All of which enable the production of market leading plastic pipes, plastic fittings, wrapped and polymeric composite pipes, and a wide number of other polymeric based products. Another major part of the company is the heavy machinery-building plant. Sumgait Technologies Park can boast a plant with the utmost equipment - that was installed in 2010. This section of the business provides machine building, casting, mechanical processing, crane

fabrication, technical processing, smithery, manufacturing, and installation sites. There is a number of facets to what Sumgait Technologies Park has to offer - the most important thing is that, the company provides to the highest standards, with certifications, and utilising the latest technology, as well as experienced employers and skilled personnel. Having developed itself from a recent starting date, it has managed to achieve rapid growth, and created a modern collection of facilities, that can supply and support the latest developments in this quickly developing area. No doubt, Sumgait Technologies Park will play a central role in many of the major projects in the region.

Sumgait Technologies Park Products:

Electrical equipment, cables, machine building, polymeric products, steel fabrication, hot galvanizing, overhead cranes, sandwich panels, PVC windows, technical gases, solar collectors and powder coating

MFL Group

Strategic partnership brings to the forefront ‘best practices’ and the ability to react to changing market trends and through this co-operation extraordinary and timely market intelligence to the benefit of both organisations. MFL Group, with our 100 years of industry experience, and the broadest engineering and manufacturing knowledge base in the industry, specialise in wire drawing, stranding and extrusion equipment. Our efforts with our strategic partners, coupled with our experience and technical expertise, enable greater customisation of the customers’ production process. Our turnkey project capability allows us to participate in large projects like The Sumgait Technological Park. Over the last eight years Construcciones Mecanicas Caballe S.A, Barcelona, Spain, an MFL Group Company, has installed many large projects such as Planetary Armouring Lines, Bow/Skip Stranders, Rigid Stranders, and Drum Twisters into the Sumgait Technology Park where their facilities are equipped with the best technological equipment manufactured in Europe. 75

Hoshizaki Europe Limited

Yoshikazu Fukuma, Managing Director of Hoshizaki Europe Limited, receiving the Grant of Appointment of the Queen’s Award from the Queen’s representative,The Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Sir Algernon Heber-Percy


The ice

Hoshizaki Europe Limited (Hoshizaki), a leading manufacturer of commercial ice-making equipment, has earned a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade, achieved through investment in manufacturing and the application of three strong business values


oshizaki produces ice machines, and has acquired a vast experience of the sector and its requirements over the 22 years it has been in operation. During this time the company has continued to grow and to update and improve its facilities, increasing sales and building a strong reputation. Finance director Haydn Humphreys expanded on the company’s history and development: “Hoshizaki Europe Limited began its operations in Telford in 1994. At that time we had around 20 employees and were producing an average of 20 ice-making machines per day. We now have a 127-strong team and produce, on average, 110 machines per day.” From these humble beginnings the company has evolved and grown, and has based all aspects of the business on a strong set of fundamental values and ideals. The values that underpin Hoshizaki are three fold. Firstly the company aims to be continuously evolving and developing. By responding to the changes in the culinary requirements of the marketplace it believes it can make a


contribution to the lives of its customers and to society as a whole. In order to fulfill this aim, Hoshizaki not only manufactures products based on its own original technologies, but is continuously developing new ideas, as well as quality service in support of more comfortable and efficient culinary environments. Hoshizaki’s second corporate value is the creation of a company that is trusted by society and its employees, and is based on compliance with the law. This means having transparency throughout business, and following clearly defined business practices that allow for debate and discussion. As well as harmonising business activities and the environment, the company has focused on creating an occupational environment that is easy for its staff to work in. The third corporate value is the Hoshizaki code of conduct. This involves valuing the approach of constantly creating new products, and enabling its staff to try new and unconventional ideas without fear of failure. It also means always considering matters from the perspective of the customer. To facilitate these

values and ideals, Hoshizaki aims to promote an environment where all employees, in every job, are able to work in a friendly and positive atmosphere. The company has enjoyed a considerable degree of business success by combining these corporate values with updating and improving its manufacturing facilities, as Haydn explained: “In 2014 we were approaching maximum capacity for warehouse space and set about finding additional premises to enable us to expand. In February 2015, we purchased a property immediately adjacent to our existing premises and began development work to expand our facility. The increased capacity not only gave us the extra warehouse space we required but also enabled us to improve the factory layout and maximise efficiencies to cater for our expanding business.” Having expanded and improved the warehousing and manufacturing space, Hoshizaki has been able to increase its output and productivity. Today, the company manufacturers 110 ice machines per day, and benefits from

Declan Walsh, Manufacturing Manager of Hoshizaki Europe Limited, conducting a factory tour and explaining to Sir Algernon Heber-Percy how an ice-making machine operates

AcoustaProducts being part of a much larger organisation. “Hoshizaki Europe Limited, a subsidiary of Hoshizaki Corporation,” Haydn said, “ has a current turnover of £21 million (forecast for 2016) primarily generated from sales of 23,000 ice-making machines (forecast for 2016). The primary purpose of the Telford factory is to supply the European, Middle East, Asian and North American market and we are proud to

be recognised for our contribution to EMEA exports.” It comes as no surprise then, that the quality of Hoshizaki’s products and continuing business performance have been nationally recognised. Haydn explained: “Having achieved an outstanding performance in exports, with significant year-on-year growth in overseas sales for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 of £13.1m,

AcoustaProducts has been supplying Hoshizaki with a wide range of products since 1995. The business supplies a range of insulation and sealing products incorporating almost 100 line items supplied on schedule to meet the everyday needs of Hoshizaki production demands. During the past 21 years of supply both companies have formed a close customer/ supplier relationship. AcoustaProducts understands the needs of Hoshizaki regarding the supply of high quality products delivered on time, whilst Hoshizaki works closely with AcoustaProducts regarding product design and production lead times. 77

Hoshizaki Europe Limited

£14.1m and £16.8m respectively and an outstanding growth in overseas earnings relative to business size and sector, we decided to apply for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and were delighted to hear that we had been successful in the category of International Trade for 2016.” Haydn went on to shed some light on the benefits of the award: “Winning this prestigious award has enhanced Hoshizaki’s reputation as a quality manufacturer and we are extremely


proud to be able to apply the Queen’s Award emblem to our ice machines. Our staff have responded enthusiastically to the win, which is a real testament to their hard work and dedication to the company and its products. The anticipated increase in sales as a direct result of receiving this prestigious award will strengthen Hoshizaki’s plans to continue its operations in Telford and we are already seeing a real team effort to meet production targets and satisfy an increased demand for our products.” Hoshizaki has developed a large international business producing industry-leading products, and is well-loved and respected by its customers. With investments in the Telford plant improving capacity and quality as well as receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the company is going from strength-to-strength, and no doubt has an impressive future ahead of it.

Hoshizaki Europe Limited Products:

Ice-making machines and ice dispensers

Broadwater Mouldings Ltd

Breaking the

mould Ongoing investments in upgraded technology will ensure leading composite manufacturer Broadwater Mouldings Ltd develops a strong global presence in both new and existing markets


stablished in 1973, Broadwater Mouldings Ltd is a subsidiary of the Betts Group and operates from a modern, purpose built manufacturing facility in close proximity to Beccles, Suffolk, where it manufactures fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) for a range of industries. “Essentially we are a service provider as everything we manufacture is custom-moulded and directly advised by our customers; they come to us with an idea for a product, whether from a design or a drawing, and we manufacture exactly what they want before shipping it out to them when they want it. We primarily work in THE medical, automotive and industrial fields for customers such as Philips Medical, JCB, McLaren

Automotive and Lotus,” begins James Cushing, Sales Manager at Broadwater Mouldings Ltd. An innovative British design engineering and composites manufacturer, Broadwater Mouldings specialises in moulding high quality fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) and fabricating finished assembled FRP components for a diverse range of customers in the UK, Europe and across the globe. To ensure the company can provide the most suitable solution to customers, James says Broadwater Mouldings offers a wide range of moulding techniques: “We manufacture through a variety of different technologies; there is Hand Layup, for smaller parts and smaller volumes, and Spray Layup, which is for larger parts; we manufacture campervan panels with this 79

technology. There is also Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM), which involves the resin, gel coat and glass fibre mat being put in a closed mould before the resin is drawn out by a vacuum to create the part, and Low Pressure Press Moulding (LPPM), which although the tooling is more expensive can create higher volume parts leading to the actual product being less expensive per piece.” Closed mould processes such as LPPM, RTM and RTML (Resin Transfer Moulding-Light) produce a smooth semi-cosmetic B surface that is preferred by many customers. Similar in the sense that they all produce a composite of polymer matrix and glass fibres, Hand Layup, Spray Layup, LPPM, RTM and RTML all typically use polyester, which can be formulated while in a liquid state to give specific properties for particular applications; these include reduced shrinkage and flame retardancy. During the moulding process, the resin is converted from a liquid into a solid polymer, encapsulating the glass fibres to form a composite structure. Post moulding operations include trimming (either manual or robotic), drilling, assembly and, in some cases, painting. With every aspect of the design and manufacturing process completed in-house, the quality-conscious Broadwater Mouldings ensures it has full control and traceability on all products that leave its site. “Our quality and expertise is second to none in the industry,” says James. “We have a very experienced workforce, with many employees working with us for more than 20 years; this level of experience means we know exactly what we are doing. Moreover, everything from design to tool making, to actually designing the jigs and pallets that the products are dispatched on is done in-house. We work to ISO 9001, so if we start from the glass fibre cut, through the laminating process, to final checks and dispatch we follow a six-part process to sign off as we go before the product is sent out. This commitment to quality ensures full traceability over every single thing that goes out the door.” As one of the leading fibreglass composite manufacturers in the UK, Broadwater Mouldings has remained in demand in both the UK, Europe and throughout the world. However, to further strengthen its foothold in the market, the company continuously invests in its facilities and announced the completion of an upgrade to its robotic trimming department in July 2016. This investment will allow the trimming of over 70 per cent of its FRP mouldings to be done by robots, which will enable the company to


Broadwater Mouldings Ltd

grow in both new and existing markets, as James confirms: “With 70 to 75 per cent of our parts trimmed by robots, we will create a more accurate trim and lessen the cost for our customers. This development comes at a time when we are looking to grow again by targeting specific markets such as the automotive market, which will be looking for lighter weight parts within cars and ready production cars over the coming years.

“We anticipate that by 2025 manufacturers will start to develop lighter weight parts; in response to this we are involved in R&D on new materials to diversify away from traditional GRP markets and potentially provide parts to customers who haven’t used GRP in the past and would traditionally use metal.” With this new upgrade increasing flexibility and enhancing reliability and accuracy, Broadwater Mouldings is at the forefront of

FRP manufacture and assembly in the UK and is ready to take on new opportunities on a global scale.

Broadwater Mouldings Ltd

Products: High quality fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) and finished assembled FRP components 81

Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI)



Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd, is a digital thermometer manufacturer, producing digital thermometers, catering thermometers, moisture meters, pH meters, dataloggers and other related products


lectronic Temperature Instruments Ltd (ETI) is a private limited company founded in 1983 by Miriam and Peter Webb. Over the past 33 years, ETI has developed a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer and supplier of quality and value for money instrumentation and temperature sensors. ETI manufactures in its two Worthing factories a comprehensive range of digital thermometers and temperature probes, and sells a wide range of temperature measurement instrumentation, sensors and associated accessories. ETI instruments are designed to be easy to use and offer the benefits of a reliable product, available at a variety of price levels. The thermometers can be used for a wide assortment of applications from testing the temperature of chilled food to hot asphalt. The benefits of having in-house manufacturing and design facilities give ETI an advantage over the majority of the competition, which in the main, import part or wholly assembled instruments. The flexibility and knowledge of detailed manufacture provides an added dimension to the service it can offer its customers. ETI’s knowledge and experience in


the manufacture of sensors, enables the company to provide a bespoke design service. Temperature monitoring has become an important factor in the business world and, with it, more diverse applications that ETI can assist the customer to measure. There are several reasons for the success of the business, and an essential one is the workforce ETI has. The company can boast a valuable, hardworking, and talented team of employees, and this was something that MD Peter Webb was keen to highlight: “We have a lot of loyalty in our workforce and they are really good at what they do. We have got people who have been here for 25 years and those people have grown up with the business and we owe a great deal of debt to those people because they have invested a great deal of time and effort into ETI. Our employees are significantly our number one asset - from my point of view they have done a fantastic job over the years.� Another major strength of ETI, which is absolutely essential, is its research and development, this has resulted in a number of improvements and new technologies. The focus that the company commits to this area

is a positive sign for the future of the business, and Peter went into more detail about some of the success of this: “Research and development is huge, if you don’t develop new products then you basically are saying your business will not grow and likely decline. Investing in this – looking at ideas and ways of doing things, and approaching projects differently in the process or product is core to how we approach this.” ETI has a number of new products that demonstrate the innovative nature of the company and its approach to progress, and Peter highlighted some interesting developments: “We have a patent for a rotating 360 degree display – it uses an LCD, and nobody else in the industry can use this due to the patent, and that certainly provides us with a nice competitive strength. It means that there will be certain instruments that once they have the display can be turned 360 degrees, whether you are left handed or right handed.” Peter then continued and discussed another exciting development: “We have the Bluetooth technology, but are also working on WIFI products – which will allow people to measure temperatures remotely from anywhere. For example, if you run a restaurant and want to ensure that the expensive stock doesn’t degrade due to a rise in temperature of the fridge – due to the door being left open or a fault – you are able to get an SMS text notifying you that the temperature has gone past a certain number. This would mean you are able to react quickly and rectify the situation, saving money on stock, and providing peace of mind. With this technology it offers an exciting opportunity for us to use within some of our products, which can then be utilised by a diverse section of businesses or individuals.” ETI’s success and quality has not gone unnoticed, it has been the recipient of many awards, though some of particular note are the two Queens Awards that the company has won for export. Another impressive one was the individual award London and South East Director of the Year Award in 2014 that Peter Webb won, this was a great acknowledgment of the work done at ETI and demonstrates the reputation it has among its peers. The company’s products also being often used by those in visible positions,

some of its thermometers are the choice of a popular national cookery programme, and is also a favourite of many celebrity chefs, both veterans of the industry as well as up and coming ones. This demonstrates that ETI’s products are trusted and used by those who understand the importance of reliability and quality. Therefore, with ETI holding a target of hitting £20 million turnover in 2020, and expecting to reach £13 million turnover for 2016, the future seems bright. The company will continue to improve, develop, and create even more cutting edge products, and considering the popularity of its products already, it seems likely that ETI will only continue to grow.

Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI) Products: Thermometers 83

API Group Plc



API’s brand enhancement products and solutions take inspiration from the newest trend predictions across consumer products to ensure packaging meets the latest in design needs


PI Group Plc is a leading manufacturer and distributor of foils, laminates and holographic materials, which provides exceptional brand enhancement for consumer goods and printed media worldwide. The company operates across 13 locations within Europe, America and Asia, working with companies across a number of industries, including premium drinks, confectionery, tobacco, perfumery, personalcare, cosmetics and healthcare. Central to any marketing strategy and product image is how it is designed, and API is the company that helps to achieve this. The company plays an essential role in how a product is perceived by consumers, and is the first point of contact that most people will have with the goods, and API works with its


clients collaboratively to ensure the very best outcome is reached. An important factor within any manufacturing company is its facilities, and president and CEO Dino Kiriakopoulos provided some detail about API’s: “We have a mix of manufacturing and distribution sites across Europe, North America and Asia, strategically placed to serve our customers and other stakeholders. In 2015, we invested in a significant increase in production capacity in Europe relating to both our foils and laminates product lines. This included upgrading and commissioning a new transmet module on one of our state-of-the-art laminators at our Poynton manufacturing site, and in both coating and metalising capability at our Livingston plant.” Dino continued: “In August this year, we completed the acquisition of Hazen Paper Company’s paperboard lamination facilities and business in Osgood, Indiana. Not only did this

give us access to the North American lamination market locally, mirroring what we have in Europe, it also enabled us to provide a combined foils and laminate offering to our global customers which is becoming more important. Last, but not least, we are investing very heavily in people and process, adopting our parent company’s continuous improvement programme, in order to ensure we continue to offer the best products, quality and service to our customers.” API is a leading producer that help to increase a brands marketability and visual appeal to customers, and Dino was able to elaborate more specifically about what the company makes: “As the standard of luxury packaging goes ever higher, brands increasingly use foils and laminates to give consumers a multi-sensory experience. Across every consumer goods market, inks, laminates, foils and coatings – aided by new print techniques – impart texture and interaction with

packs, meeting the trend for sophisticated, haptic packaging - that provides a sense of touch.” All of which is important to consider when trying to create a brand that stands apart from its competitors, or one that adds to the customer’s experience, as the packaging is the first interaction a consumer has with the product. API understands that brand packaging must evolve and transform to appeal to changes in customer preferences, as an out of date product image means that it is less likely to attract new sales. Some of the recent developments and approaches taken by API were discussed by Dino: “Whilst using laminates and coatings to produce multi-functional packaging products is very well established, more demanding production environments and more discerning buyers continue to drive development in this area for manufacturers and converters. Tight registration of lenses and bespoke holographic patterns are an increasing trend and this is allowing packaging to be tuned to be more specific to brands needs and enable greater consumer interaction with the final pack solution.” Dino then went on to talk about the environmental angle: “Another important aspect is delivering products with an environmental focus, this is still a key trend in new product development for converters and manufacturers. As an example API’s recent investment in its transmet laminate production capacity was driven by the increasing demand for a film free finish that provides brand owners with a fully recyclable material. Also, customer environmental demands have also led us to move our popular OneBoard product to be FSC certified. Rather than making to order as we usually do, OneBoard is a product that we hold in stock and enables us to react quickly to customer demands with its fast-track processing typically delivering finished laminated or coated product on an environmentally approved board base within days.” API’s successes have been recognised in recent years, which Dino laid out: “We were again shortlisted in the Luxury Packaging Supplier Category for the 2016 Luxury Packaging Awards, following on from our Highly Commended award win in 2015 and this means a lot to us. Luxury brands demand packaging that reflects their position as leaders in their category and we work exceptionally hard to understand the specific needs of each individual brand within every project brief.” The coming years look likely to see an increasing demand for high-end luxury finishes to packaging, in laminates, foils and coating, as well as haptic, all to make sure that the packaging conveys the brand’s values. There also

will likely be an even greater importance placed on ensuring that packaging is using optical effects, holographic, bold and bright colours and metallic finishes that require the latest print technologies, so that a brand can set itself apart from others in the market. Therefore, for any company that wants its brand to stand out and attract a customer’s attention, in addition to the packaging sending a message of quality – then API is the name to remember.

API Group Plc Products: Foils, films and laminates are used to add metallic and holographic finishes and effects 85

Fey & Co GmbH


Adapted to


Based in Emsdetten, Germany, Fey & Co Guter Schlaf is a third-generation family business with over nine decades of industry experience in mattresses and sleep systems

aking its name from the German for ‘Good Sleep’, Fey & Co Guter Schlaf was founded in 1926 and has grown into a leading supplier of box-spring beds with a further speciality in the production of mattresses, slatted frames and neck support pillows. During its 90-year history Fey & Co has grown to employ around 600 members of staff across three sites. In addition to its original plant in Germany, the company has maintained a manufacturing presence in Poland for 20 years, and in Belarus for ten years as of 2016. This has given the business a wide-reaching base of manufacturing skill and experience that enables


it to meet and exceed the requirements of its clients for all budgets. “We currently produce at two levels,” explains Business Development Manager, Maik Steppat. “We provide private label products for various independent clients as well as our own branded Fey Guter Schlaf label. This enables us to remain in touch with clients at low, medium and high price points. Our long-term experience with the demand of different market levels has allowed us to become a leader in the field with several innovative products. Within Germany there is continued strong demand for our range of BoxSpringBeds, which is an innovative design that

is double filled with pocket springs within the box as well as in the mattresses for better comfort and durability.” Further to its BoxSpringBeds line of products, Fey & Co also manufactures its popular Bodyscan range. Bodyscan is designed to ensure a healthy and restful night’s sleep that adapts to the sleeping methods of the individual. The line provides a system that addresses all of the factors that have an influence on a restful sleep, including physical factors such as size, weight and stature. Personal preferences such as sleeping, lying habits, temperature and pressure sensitivity are also taken into consideration. The concept

of Bodyscan is built on the fact that each person is unique with individual requirements for a restful night of sleep. By taking into account personal data and requirements, Bodyscan is able to calculate a customised ‘deck system’ that addresses the individual needs of the client. The final system consists of a mattress, base frames, neck support pillows and duvet. In addition to providing a restful night of sleep, the Bodyscan system also promotes good health by ensuring good back posture while sleeping. Fey & Co understands that we spend almost one third of our lives lying down and that the right sleep system can help to prevent back pain or to even alleviate the problem. The spine is the key to achieving the correct position while lying in bed. It is important to largely retain a natural shape while lying on the back or side. This can be afforded through the use of a mattress that is adjusted along with a mesh base to meet the physical circumstances of the individual. The Bodyscan system supports the individual by gradually adapting to the natural curve of the spine. Bodyscan employs a measuring column that is equipped with two sensor arms, which move up and down the side of the unit. The measuring process uses infrared light to measure the contours of the client’s body without the need for any physical contact. Three scans in different postures produce relevant body measurements such as height, shoulder, pelvis and waist width, as well as the shape of the spine. These measurements are supplemented by information obtained through consultation relating to the client’s preferred sleeping position, mattress hardness and warmth requirements. All of the collected information is stored and processed to determine the best fitting Bodyscan system across all components. “Sleeping systems like Bodyscan represent revolutionary products, which we are able to sell around the world. Whether it is through a spring or foam mattress, we are always able to meet the individual tastes of the public,” Maik says. “Increasingly the colour and haptic qualities of the product is the focus of customers, which makes the bed an item of status and furniture, as well as a place to rest.” Continued innovation and product development are important factors in the on-growing growth of Fey & Co. During 2016 the company will market its new FEYONIC line at events such as the Cologne Furniture show before finally releasing the product during Q1 2017. FEYONIC mattresses are very breathable sleep systems that are designed in accordance to the principle of bionics and modelled on nature. The breathability of this new line is significantly higher than that of a conventional mattress, meaning that a natural form of ventilation is achieved when the sleeper turns at night.

Fey & Co. currently sells in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Belarus and Russia and has recently also begun to export to France, Italy and the Middle East. Additionally, the company’s first containers left for Singapore and Beijing during 2016 filled with Bodyscan products. With its presence increasing around the world, Fey & Co. is a leading name in sleep systems that is distinct from anything else on the market. “With skilled sales representatives we are in direct contact with our clients. We are continually scouting the various trends around the world and never miss an opportunity to meet customer demand and introduce trend-setting products,” Maik concludes. “Through several years of design experience, we understand the tastes of the public within Germany and beyond and are able to offer products that offer real advantages when compared to the competition.”

Fey & Co GmbH Products: Mattresses, slatted frames, neck support pillows and box spring beds 87

Goma BV


manufacturing Embodying over five decades of industry experience Goma BV is an internationally orientated subcontractor, specialised in high quality sheet metal products, as well as semi-finished parts and assemblies


ased in the Dutch town of Hengelo within the province of Gelderland, Goma BV is a leading company in fine metalwork such as laser cutting, punching, bending, welding, powder coating and assembly to produce sub frames and components for a range of industries. The business was founded by Gerrit Oortgiesen in 1962 and today supplies clients operating within the medical, furniture, air conditioning and heating industries to name a few. The company provides


high-quality metal products to clients through The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, with exports accounting for around 30 per cent of its annual turnover. Goma marked its 50th anniversary during 2012, celebrating a consistent record of success in collaboration with the then Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Chris Buijink by hosting an open house to industry players and other visitors. Throughout its history the company has continued to grow and invest in its facilities and processes to ensure that it remains fully at the forefront of metal working technologies. As a result of this continued investment Goma today employs some 175 members of staff, across a total of 13,000 m2 of manufacturing, assembly and storage space. “In 2014 we invested in a 1700 m2 expansion to the business and during 2016 we added a further 600 m2 of space,” reveals Managing Director, Foppe Atema. “We are also currently hiring a facility in another village due to a lack of space resulting from the rapid pace of growth that we are currently experiencing. During the next three to five

years we are looking to expand by a further 3000-4000 m2 and this space will be used for storage and assembly.” Further to its investment in the company’s manufacturing space and facilities, Goma continues to develop its implementation of digital technology in support of its manufacturing processes. The result is a modern manufacturing facility that ensures the highest levels of quality. “We are rapidly moving into robotisation and are employing increasing numbers of robots in our factories. These are typically deployed in conjunction with other machines, such as bending machines. Robots employed in this fashion are referred to as collaborative robots – or cobots,” Foppe explains. “We are increasingly interested in smart industry concepts that involve developing processes for manufacturing products that are actively supported by computer and communication technology, including the internet, large volumes of data and so on. For example, we have electronic data interchange (EDI) connections with our customers and expect to extend these to our suppliers as well. We are keen to have a very up-to-date

company that incorporates digital technology as much as possible. The whole world is becoming digitalised and we are preparing ourselves for this development by investing in manpower on the ICT side of the business to make sure that we are educated and prepared for the growth of digitisation in the manufacturing industry.” Reliability is the highest priority for Goma, both in terms of quality and quantity and its dedication to premier levels of quality is expressed through neatly finished products that fit correctly first time. The company combines smart manufacturing practices and comprehensive customer support services to ensure the quality all of its procedures and is fully registered in accordance with ISO 9001:2008 standards. This allows Goma to provide products that are recognised for their quality and that stand out against alternatives on the market. “Our level of quality is something that really sets us apart. We mainly work with stainless steel, plain steel and zinc-coated steel. The advantage of zinccoated steel is that we can add a power coating on one side of the product, which protects the metal from rust. This is different from plain steel products where a powder coating is required on both sides of the metal,” Foppe says. “The quality of our powder coating is above what is typically encountered within the industry, for example we are currently trying to subcontract part of our powder coating operations and are having trouble doing so because third party suppliers cannot match our standard, or they cannot do so at the price point that we can. We have been active in powder coating since 2001 and since day one we were aware that we had a superior level of quality - and it shows. It has enabled us to win new clients and add new products to our portfolio.” In addition to ensuring trusted and reliable products, the company’s implementation of smart manufacturing techniques and ICT systems has enabled Goma to maximise the speed of its delivery times. By leveraging its EDI connections the business is able to work in close collaboration with clients to ensure that time between initial

order and shipping is kept to a minimum. This expanding use of digital technology will be invaluable to the company as it continues to further its presence in new sectors and continue to grow over the coming years. “We increasingly work with forecasts that we receive each week from customers that regularly order from us. Our digital system includes built-in software that enables customers to order from us in the morning and for us to sell off-the-shelf and ship that same afternoon. By producing in accordance to forecasts we can eliminate production times on orders and simply pick them and ship them

once orders come in,” Foppe concludes. “We are currently expanding in the markets for heating and air compression, while components for electric beds and relax chairs are also an interesting area for growth for the business.”

Goma BV Products: High quality sheet metal products, semi-finished parts and assemblies 89

Sarginsons Industries Ltd

Lightening the



arginsons Industries has few competitors in Europe, and while some of these are larger in size to Sarginsons, it has the edge in terms of technology, and recently announced a brand new development that will prove invaluable in the future of the automotive industry. In particular this will be crucial in lowering emissions, and facilitating the predicted boom of electric cars. Considering the company is already fully expecting to have a record year, then its future looks even more promising and it has everything in place to take advantage of these growing opportunities. The company, which is celebrating 80 years in business in 2016, is a specialist in the casting sector, and it was the owner Mark Nunan that provided an overview of the main methods that it utilises: “There are three that we specialise in - one is sand casting, and this is for short run components, so mostly prototypes for the car industry, and prototypes for the aerospace industry. The next one is gravity casting which is a low to medium quantity of parts, again this tends to be within automotive work, but also a lot of aerospace applications as well, in addition to this it is used for oil and gas requirements. The third part that we do is called low pressure casting – we have great experience in this and it is proving


Sarginsons Industries is one of the few European companies to offer gravity diecasting, sandcasting, and low-pressure diecasting in a single foundry. Its customers benefit from synergies because it can combine elements of each diecasting process

to be increasingly useful due to the drive towards lightweight vehicles.” Sarginsons is at the forefront of the casting industry, and in order to retain its position the company is investing in improving its facilities and tools, and Mark listed some of these: “We are looking at spectrographs, 3D digital scanners, and a new £250,000 X-ray machine that will penetrate even deeper into a product. The machine uses multiple 3D X-rays to build up a computer tomographic picture of the microstructure of components, ensuring better structural integrity - this is most important when we are working on anything safety related. “We’re also looking to invest in another low pressure machine which is around £200,000, and last but not least we will be adding a new automatic sand core machine to enable hollow castings.” Sarginsons has recently made an exciting development, which Mark was able to discuss: “Under the Catapult scheme by the government we have recently been working with Brunel University and Jaguar, and helped develop a new lightweight aluminium alloy that is as strong as steel and totally recyclable.” This will affect a developing sector within the automotive industry - electric cars, and this area

looks likely to transform the landscape of vehicles. The rapid change will rely on the development made by Sarginsons, and Mark outlined this situation: “Currently electric cars are limited by their battery life, so if we can get 600 miles out of an electric car then it can compete with a tank of petrol, but they are not able to do this at the moment, and some are running at about 300. However, one of the ways that the battery life can be extended is by reducing the weight of the car. Therefore, if we can take out the steel chassis and replace it with a lightweight aluminium one – reducing 50 per cent of the weight – then the distance is going to go up significantly. There is a clear drive towards electric cars, and there are figures suggesting that by 2020 there is going to be as many electric charging stations in the UK as there are petrol stations. The changes that are going to come in the automotive industry from electric cars is going to be absolutely phenomenal, and the volume of business is off the chart electric cars are coming.”

of three or four, meaning we could easily grow to be a £20 million turnover company. The lightweighting of electric cars is going to be critical to the vehicles’ success, and we have the technology, we have the alloys, we have the casting techniques to make this possible.”

Sarginsons Industries Ltd Services: Gravity diecasting, sandcasting, and low-pressure diecasting Another solution Sarginsons provides is related to changes in emissions testing, which Mark was able to explain: “For us, our new technology means that we can make something that is as strong as steel and make a chassis with all the benefits of being steel, however it is made from aluminium that is hollow and lighter. This means in terms of emissions, in terms of CO2, in terms of efficiency, it is significantly better – which is an important issue following the recent emissions scandal that has led to the real world emissions tests coming in 2016. “Real world testing will show that the mileage per gallon actually achieved could be 40- 50 per cent less than those claimed at present - and one way they will be able to do this is by reducing their weight – that is what we do we take the weight out of cars without losing any strength or flexibility.” In addition to this Sarginsons work is enabling the long awaited ambition to enable circular manufacturing – meaning that everything that goes into a car will be able to be recycled and made into a new vehicle. The future within the automotive industry looks as though electric cars will play a major role, and this is something that Sarginsons fully expects and is fully prepared for, and Mark concluded how positive the coming years looks for the company: “The automotive industry in the UK is particularly buoyant, but I think increasingly there will be a shift towards electric vehicles, and this could multiply the size of Sarginsons by a factor 91

Vantage Power




Leaders in retrofit hybrid powertains for bus OEMs Vantage Power is anticipating global demand with its award winning hybrid retrofit system


ounded by Alexander Schey and Toby Schulz in 2011, Vantage Power manufactures complete hybrid powertrains for bus OEMs and as a retrofit solution known as the B320 System for buses already in operation. With remote telemetry as standard, the system offers live performance data that enables enhanced fleet management, maintenance, fuel economy and emissions. Discussing the history behind Vantage Power, Founder and CEO Alex begins: “Vantage Power was founded in 2011 by my Co-founder Toby and I. Prior to this, we had designed and built the longest range electric car and set a world record in driving it down the longest road in the world; this was filmed into a eight part documentary on the BBC, which then launched us into the business of hybrid retrofit powertrains thereafter. Because of our previous experience we knew we wanted to do something in electric and hybrid vehicles and, after a lot of market research, we found the best place we could do that was in the heavy-duty industry, most specifically buses. “We came to this decision because these vehicles use huge amounts of fuel and their harmful emissions are concentrated where people live, as this is where buses operate the most. In response to this we came up with the solution of developing a hybrid system that can retrofit into existing buses, cutting fuel consumption by 40 per cent and reducing emissions by up to 92 per cent. We have now gone through our prototyping phase and sold our first units to some of the largest bus operators in the UK; these buses, complete with our retrofit hybrid systems, will be hitting the road in the next few months.” Key to the development and success of Vantage Power’s innovative hybrid powertrains are the company’s strong partnerships with complementary organisations Ensignbus, Marshall of Cambridge and Fablink. As the UK’s largest bus dealer, Ensign was instrumental in the testing and verification of the hybrid technology, while Marshall of Cambridge, which has built more than 5000 buses alongside its aerospace, military


vehicle and motor retail business, brought integral commercial and engineering support. As a high quality fabricator and system assembler for major firms such as JLR, JCB and Perkins, Fablink manufactures and assembles the B320s across a number of UK sites. Launching into the market at a time when increasingly stringent emissions regulations are being enforced in cities across the globe, Vantage Power’s B320 System has been designed and developed to solve issues surrounding emissions from buses. As a disproportionately large contributor to emissions, particularly nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, a large number of buses would be made obsolete by the upcoming legislation were it not for Vantage Power’s solution. By enabling operators to hybridise their

B320 retrofit system

existing buses for a fraction of the cost of buying a new hybrid, Vantage Power not only saves customers money, but also guarantees that the emissions coming from these buses are upgraded to Euro V and Euro VI levels and fuel consumption is reduced by 40 per cent. Operators also benefit from having a new technology suite added to their vehicles, including real time 24/7 telemetry, geo-fencing and remote testing and diagnostics. Other benefits an operator will typically receive from installing a B320 system include £15,000 saved per year on fuel, a full driveline warranty and lifetime battery warranty, and increased passenger comfort due to reduced noise and vibration. The system also allows zero emissions engine off mode for up to four kilometres and uses technology and components that are proven in the bus industry. Having gained the attention of the automotive industry with its innovative solution, Vantage Power, along with Ensignbus, was presented with the Gold award for Innovation and Silver award for Environment at the UK Bus Awards 2015. The companies received these awards after impressing judges with an innovative, after-market product that maximises the benefits of existing vehicles while minimising capital cost. “There is a huge

amount happening in the bus industry across a variety of technologies and we came out on top against some stiff competition with regards to innovation,” says Alex. “What we have developed in terms of concept and technology is significant as some of these technologies have never been seen before in the automotive industry, let alone the bus industry. “We also came second for the Environment Award, which recognises technology that is helping to improve the environmental performance of vehicles. Because our product is still being scaled and isn’t out in large numbers yet, I feel we didn’t have the current environmental impact that the awards were

Turner and Odell

As a long established and leading precision engineering company and part of the Crompton Group, Turnell and Odell - with quality systems approved to ISO 9001:2008 + AS9100C - has been delighted to work with Vantage Power to develop parts for this exciting project. The success of this new technology is clear for all to see and will bring benefits to many people. Turner and Odell looks forwards to a long and successful relationship with this dynamic company, which will enable all to share in its success.

looking for to receive first place. Nevertheless, both awards recognise the innovation and environmental impact that our company and products are capable of.” Since then, the company has been awarded Autodesk Inventor of the Year 2015 and winner of the UK Business Angels Best Investment in Internet of Things 2016. As recognition continues to grow for Vantage Power and the capabilities of its product, the company will continue its focus on providing retrofit solutions for UK double-decker buses while also preparing for its ambitious goal of targeting the global market. “Over the next 12 months we will be scaling up manufacture significantly as we grow the business and set sights on our target to sell 2500 units by the end of Hybrid drive

Range extender

2020. To stay at the cutting edge of developments, we are also working on an aggressive product development plan. We are maturing as a business but want to retain our culture of nimbleness and innovation - it is important to us that people continue to enjoy working with us as we move forward, not only employees but other businesses too,” Alex concludes.

Vantage Power Products: Hybrid powertrains and hybrid retrofit systems 93

Thermacore Europe

Thermacore 5 Axis Mazak SR800 CNC machine


innovations As part of Thermacore, Thermacore Europe boasts 45 years of experience in the custom design, development and manufacturing of highly-engineered thermal management systems


ounded in 1989 as part of the wider Thermacore Group, Thermacore Europe specialises in the custom design, development and manufacture of highly engineered thermal management solutions, selling into major electronic OEMs in Europe and the rest of the world. “Thermacore operates in the highly competitive electronics cooling business where the ever demanding need for faster and smaller devices requires more powerful, effective cooling solutions that are critical for equipment life and reliability,” begins Mark Robinson, Quality HSE Services Manager at Thermacore Europe. “The trend of increasingly complex thermal issues in electronics has driven Thermacore Europe to introduce new technologies and develop new products to solve the problems of customers. Today we employ 75 highly qualified staff and are located in two facilities in Ashington, Northumberland (UK); we have also significantly invested in new equipment and processes to manufacture highly engineered, customised products.”

The company currently exports approximately 75 per cent of revenues to more than 20 different markets, such as defence and security, space, aerospace, communications, medical/ scientific, Formula One, test systems and power. To meet the unique requirements of each market sector, the company offers bespoke technical solutions and services such as design feasibility studies, thermal analysis, product design, prototype manufacturing and full production at one of its two sites in Ashington. To further strengthen its capability in providing solutions to customers, the company continuously seeks out new technologies to extend its product offering and support its clients’ ever demanding product requirements. “We invest heavily in capital expenditure, and in the last three years this has equated to approximately £700,000 in support of our business plan,” says Mark. “This includes the extension of our manufacturing capability, with vacuum brazing and associated heat treatment processes, machine centre expansion to support full five axis CNC

Vacuum brazing


machining and the purchase and installation of a CNC co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) in the quality department.” In addition to major investments, the company has also been actively engaged in the SC21 supplier excellence award scheme since 2011; this industry exchange programme is designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of its supply chains. Launched in 2006 by 19 founder signatories, including customers of Thermacore such as Airbus, Selex Galileo and Thales UK, the awards scheme encouraged an accelerated continuous improvement culture within Thermacore Europe; this will further aid the company as it re-aligns its quality management systems to AS9100 accreditation as part of its ongoing business strategy. “The awards scheme is progressive from bronze to gold and in 2011 Thermacore was one of the first companies to be awarded bronze level status in Northumberland; in 2015 we were awarded silver status, which means we are in the

From left to right:Telecoms application, military application and high power application

top five per cent of suppliers in the UK aerospace industry,” highlights Mark. As a global leader in thermal management technology and solutions, Thermacore Europe has accumulated an enviable portfolio of intellectual property, which includes more than 100 patents; merging these patents with more than 35 expert engineers and 45 years of experience, the company applies these strengths to noteable projects, the majority of which involve blue chip organisations. “Over the past 12 months Thermacore Europe was awarded the first phase contract for the feasibility and engineering development to evaluate K-core technology for the Solar Orbiter Project and more recently the second phase for the design and manufacture has been awarded,” says Mark. “K-core is a unique composite material combining the thermal properties of annealed pyrolytic graphite (APG) with an encapsulant of aluminium. The resultant material has the same versatility as standard aluminium heat spreaders, but with four to five times the thermal conductivity; the resultant conductivity being in the range of 800 W/mk to 1000 W/mk. “The mission of the project is to monitor the sun through the atmospheric measurements and high resolution images of the sun’s surface. It is a seven-year mission that will measure solar waves, winds and energy particles through the suite of instruments on board; the Solar Orbiter will send back the highest resolution images. Thermacore Europe will be using K-core technology to design and manufacture solid conduction bars and space radiators, which will spread the heat generated by its electronics to a cooler point on the outside of the satellite.” Continuing to discuss services for another key client, Mark adds: “Thermacore Europe is also very proud to be a major supplier of custom thermal solutions to a major autosports brand. The needs of this market are typically ones of high reliability, very tight timescales and the ability

to incorporate design changes with a moment’s notice, while accepting the fact that failure is not an option.” As business continues to grow at the same rate predicted at the start of 2016, Thermacore Europe seeks to remain competitive in an evolving market through investment and R&D. “We are extensively involved in projects through EU Horizon 2020 programmes, European Space Agency research and UK TSB programmes. These

investments are expected to provide the next generation of thermal management solutions, which will allow the business to stay ahead of the competition and drive forward continued growth for many years to come,” concludes Mark.

Thermacore Europe Products: Highly engineered thermal management solutions 95

ATAG Verwarming Nederland BV

Creating comfortable


ATAG provides a warm and pleasant environment for its customers, suppliers and employees alike, by becoming the leading specialist innovator in its core enterprise; high efficient heating boilers


TAG specialises in developing and producing advanced boilers for homes and businesses – it promotes and delivers the key product characteristics of A-brand quality: durability, reliability, safety, optimum control, environmental friendliness, energy conservation and first class design. It has won best boiler in the Netherlands for seven years running, and has patented its heat exchange system, all of which underpins some of the latest products developed by ATAG. During the 1980s, taking full advantage of its advanced knowledge base and scale of operation, ATAG Heating introduced a very successful generation of heating appliances focused on premium comfort throughout Europe. ATAG has developed into a company that is clearly outstanding in supplying products and services of excellent quality for customers in both the domestic and commercial sectors. It is also a company that demonstrates a considerable power to innovate, and is always looking towards the future. At ATAG there is a focus on quality, and one of the ways that the company ensures that this is


always met is through its manufacturing process, as marketing manager Jan Henk van der Wijk elaborated: “As our boilers are based on quality, they are hand built with the aid of sophisticated tools - we rely on the personal touch of our employees, a unique approach that make our products special.” Offering an extensive range, ATAG is a leader in compact, wall hung, condensing, system and combination boilers for both the domestic and commercial markets. Its award winning central heating boiler surprises the market with its revolutionary vision in comfort. This appliance has established a long series of successes not least because of its inverted pre-mixed burner coupled with a full stainless-steel heat exchanger. The same technology goes into the ATAG Premier and the Q, E and XL series boilers giving ‘Super-High Efficiency’ through continuously variable modulation over an extremely large range, complemented by self-regulating weather dependant controls. ATAG has utilised the experience it has built up over the course of many decades - to produce a new range that offers a large number

of improvements. The details of this new product were highlighted by Jan Henk: “The name of this new range is i-Series – the development for it has been finished, and is almost ready to be introduced to customers. Although, in the UK this new boiler is already on the market, for the rest of Europe the launch date is foreseen as being October 2016. Which means that currently we are preparing the market for this new boiler. Our message is mainly built around the fact that the i-Series have near zero plastic inside. They are hand built using A-grade components made from brass and stainless steel, and this means that our boilers are kinder to the environment and it makes them far more reliable. They are even designed to last a minimum of 18 years.” The new product is an exciting prospect – it is clearly a design for the modern world, and understands the demands of the customer. Further details and information about the i-Series were provided by Jan Henk: “The main features of the product is that it has compact dimensions (mm) h700 x w440 x d355, with the lowest NOx emissions in Europe. It also offers instantaneous hot water that is always available,

while also maintaining a quiet operation – due to bottom up modulating technology. With a builtin frost protection device, and a near zero risk of condensate freezing in severe weather, and it is ErP A rated. All of which has meant that the new ATAG i-Series are compact and the most energy efficient in Europe.” Creating such an advanced machine demonstrates the prominent place that ATAG has within the industry - it is at the forefront of innovation and improvement. While the i-Series is a major focus for the company, it has still been able to produce a large number of other high quality products, and Jan Henk discussed some of these: “Together with the new i-Series, the new intelligent controller – ATAG One – has been introduced. ATAG One

is an internet connected digital programme that allows you to control the heating system remotely from a smart phone, tablet or laptop. It is possible to save a further 12 per cent on annual gas bills when fitted with an ATAG i-boiler. ATAG One operates via a free user app with no ongoing costs. The ATAG One will even remind you when your boiler service is due and also allow the engineer to assess overall performance and ongoing efficient levels.” The company is in a great position going forward - in the coming year its brand new state-of-the-art machine will be in full flow throughout Europe, as well as the other numerous products that ATAG has to offer. The next few years already look positive, and Jan

provided the company’s expectation for the future: “We will continue to develop intelligent, energy saving and user friendly appliances to make you feel comfortable at home at any time.” With such a positive and determined approach ATAG will no doubt be a key figure in heating homes throughout Europe for many years to come.

ATAG Verwarming Nederland BV Products: High Efficiency Boilers 97

BekaertDeslee Textiles



Incorporating the combined expertise of DesleeClama and the Bekaert Textiles Group, BekaertDeslee Textiles is a leading mattress manufacturer to clients the world over


perating from its headquarters in Waregem, Poland, Bekaert Textiles was founded in 1892 and over the following years has continued to expand through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. In 1999 Bekaert started production in the USA, while in 2000 the German company, Schoedel, was taken over by Bekaert Textiles. Bekaert Textiles Wuxi began operation in China during 2003 and Bekaert Textiles further acquired Textiles & DeseĂąos in Argentina, followed by Telartex Group in


Mexico in 2004. Later Bekaert Textiles Turkey opened in 2007. During February 2016 Bekaert Textiles announced its acquisition of DesleeClama in milestone merger to become BekaertDeslee Textiles. While Bekaert Textiles boasts close to 125 years of industry experience, the roots of DesleeClama date back to 1928, meaning that today BekaertDeslee Textiles can count on more than 200 years of combined expertise. The deal between Bekaert Textiles and DesleeClama represents an important milestone

in the growth strategy of both companies and an answer to positive market opportunities fuelled by the increased awareness about the importance of sleep and the acceleration of the global mattress market. Further to being a favourable strategic and economic opportunity, the acquisition is also a strong cultural fit between two companies that share similar values and a rich tradition. BekaertDeslee Textiles has a very ambitious growth strategy, which combines the strengths of both Bekaert Textiles and DesleeClama to

create a customer centred company with a unique global footprint, higher speed of delivery and a comprehensive product portfolio. Prior to the acquisition, both businesses have successfully expanded their market presence, with sales in more than 100 countries and manufacturing facilities in 19 different locations. Both organisations will merge as equals to strengthen the position of BekaertDeslee Textiles as a relevant business partner in an increasingly professional and demanding market. Bekaert employs more than 1400 people worldwide and generates an annual turnover in excess of €200 million with a strong base in all the important world markets. It is the passion of BekaertDeslee Textiles to develop stylish and smart textile products that will inspire, comfort and protect its customers during the night. The company’s mattress textile products are used to dress tens of thousands of new beds and mattresses every day. Its client base ranges from New York to Sydney and from Helsinki to Cape Town and is supported by a global footprint of rapid and reliable service in all parts of the world, meaning that clients can count on a good night of sleep wherever they are. BekaertDeslee provides a comprehensive portfolio of brands that cover the requirements of hygiene; microclimate; ecological concerns; functionality; and look and feel. The company’s Bounce air pad technology for example, offers the best in comfort, pressure, breathability and ventilation. The introduction of innovative engineering creates three layers that combine to guarantee increased sleeping and sitting comfort. The open structure of both the inside and the outside of the pad results in a comfortable layer, which is ideal for bedding, office chairs, seats and wheels chairs. Within its microclimate range of products BekaertDeslee’s Adaptive line is able to respond dramatically to temperature changes to ensure a comfortable night of rest. As the client’s body heats up the textile the adaptive treatment pushes an evaporation ‘gas pedal’, reducing humidity and providing a relaxing cooling effect. Adaptive mattresses and pillows keep sleepers comfortably cool and dry and improve the overall quality of sleep. Further to its broad selection of mattress and seating solutions, BekaertDeslee also provides an extensive range of ready-made covers. Innovative and smart mattress products will add value to the client’s mattress as a whole as the company focuses on total solutions and inspirational packages. With manufacturing units in the Czech Republic, USA and Mexico it is able produce ready-made covers that are customised for the specific needs of individual customers. With an extensive variety of choice

in design, functionality and fabric, BekaertDeslee helps to wrap up each mattress as a complete package. While the company’s latest evolution is still in its early stages, the broad product base and extensive experience of BekaertDeslee promises an exciting period in the company’s history over the coming years.

BekaertDeslee Textiles


It is the passion of BekaertDeslee Textiles to develop stylish and smart textile products that will inspire, comfort and protect its customers during the night

Products: Stylish, tactile and smart mattress textile products 99

HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd.



With clients operating within the construction, agriculture, material handling, aerial work platform and mining sectors, HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd. represents a leading supplier of hydraulic cartridge valves and custom manifold control systems


ounded in the UK during 1988, HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd. (HydraForce) operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of HydraForce Inc, which was previously incorporated in Chicago, Illinois during 1985. Since its formation HydraForce in the UK has grown from its base in the Aston area of Birmingham into a £56 million business that employs around 360 people at its 120,000 sq ft production facility. This site represents the company’s fourth new location during its history and is the result of an investment valued at £10 million. The facility started production during August 2015, after the entire company was moved to the location in just three weeks. “The new manufacturing site was needed firstly to give the capacity required to support a strategic initiative to significantly increase our market share in Europe. Secondly, it was needed to increase the amount of product manufactured in the UK to sell into the markets we serve. This allows us to reduce customer lead times,


provide redundancy and a natural hedge against currency fluctuations. Thirdly it enables us to bring additional processes in-house, such as CNC block machining and grinding, as well as an applications laboratory for close market applications support,” reveals Managing Director, Peter MacDonald. “Although we looked at alternative locations, including mainland Europe the need to retain our existing skilled workforce drove the decision to build at the Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Aston, Birmingham. A £1.8 million grant from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was still required to help our US Board make the final decision on what was the single largest investment they had ever made.” HydraForce manufacturers hydraulic cartridge valves and custom manifold control systems, which are sold to manufacturers of off highway vehicles in the construction, agriculture, material handling, aerial work platform and mining industries. Eighty per cent of the products made in the UK are sold into the export market to clients within Europe, India and South Africa, while


Peter MacDonald, Managing Director

the remaining 20 per cent is sold in the UK. The company’s clients comprise some of the biggest names in equipment manufacture, including John Deere, Caterpillar, JCB, AGCO, Volvo, CNH (Case New Holland), Terrex, Genie, JLG and NACCO. Throughout the business HydraForce Inc also operates several sites globally, including two manufacturing sites and its worldwide innovation centre in the US, a further manufacturing centre in China and two global systems integrators (GSI) located in India and Brazil, which gives the entire company, including HydraForce in the UK a truly global presence. The company’s proven track record, experience and global presence have established HydraForce as a trusted hydraulic equipment and manifold manufacturer. During May 2016 for example, the business was named as the Manufacturer of the Year at the ‘Made in the Midlands’ awards night. The award recognised HydraForce for its excellence in production as well as its recent move into its manufacturing facility. “It is an honour to be recognised for our achievements within manufacturing and a pleasing reward for all our employees’ hard work and dedication. The strengths of HydraForce stem the breadth of the company’s product range and the innovative way our sales and applications teams package these to offer a technically superior solution to our customers,” Peter explains. “This is backed up by exceptional quality, delivery, customer focus and global footprint, which is supported by our owners, who fiercely wish to remain an independent and agile company that is not burdened by corporate bureaucracy.” Even though the global market remains depressed across several industry sectors, HydraForce has continued to grow despite these challenges. During the coming years the company will look to build on its current success to establish new business with both new and existing clients. “Current growth in the business is derived from winning new business with no help from the present economy. We are extremely well placed to grow in the future because of the investments we have made ahead of the curve

in talent, capacity and innovation. Also our global footprint allows us to supply product wherever in the world the customer wants to make their machines,” Peter concludes. “Our turnover is projected to almost double by 2020 from existing customers alone. In the UK we will be focused, over the next 12 months, on transferring more production to the Birmingham plant and sourcing more components locally. Further ahead we will be investing in the new processes, automation and product innovation that is required to keeps us as the market leader in our industry.”

HydraForce Hydraulics Ltd. Products: Leading supplier of hydraulic cartridge valves and custom manifold control systems 101


The perfect


Pekabex is a leading manufacturer of precast concrete structures in Poland. It produces traditional reinforced elements, as well as modern prestressed elements used in enclosed structures, engineering objects, and atypical designs


here is a history that stretches back over 40 years at Pekabex, however it is the past decade that has been a deciding factor in the future of the company, and president of the board Przemysław Borek provided an overview of this: “The company almost closed in 2007 due to poor management and bankruptcy, but then investors appeared and covered all the debts, and the recovery process began. I entered the company in 2008, and I have been the president of the board since then, and we have managed to heal the business. At that moment in 2007 the total turnover for the company was approximately 15 million euros and this year we are going to reach approximately 120 million euros. This happened through the determined work I did with a group of colleagues where we focused on improving the situation year-by-year. The result of this was that we reached better and better sales turnover, 20 per cent to 30 per cent, and this was due to major changes we had made in the organisation, and the investments made into the company. First of all we started installation of the


precast technology within the business, we also created a professional sales team, and created an expert project management team. One of the areas we have really improved and has become our strongest department - is the design team – they go into greater depths about the design of our products and how it will be executed. The changes in the company and the new technology investments gave a boost to the business, and helped to alter the trajectory of Pekabex so that it could be where it is now.” Pekabex production plants manufacture a total scope of the structural prestressed and reinforced concrete elements - including columns, beams, floor beams, girders, solid and sandwich walls solid slabs, TT slabs etc. Moreover the plants in Poznań and Mszczonów produce the prestressed hollow core slabs. A plant in Poznań is equipped with automated - computer-controlled - production lines for the structural prestressed elements up to a length of 120 metres, and technical facilities that support the manufacture of elements that weight up to 70 tons. The company is clearly performing well, and has come on leaps

and bounds from its state in 2007, as Przemysław stated: “We are beating the production records in each of our plants from August/September and September/October, and we are reaching the production records from the moment we started to compare it.” The company has also continuously increased its facilities - it currently has four production plants located in Poznań, Mszczonów (near Warsaw) and Bielsko-Biała, and the manufacture capacities of the plants amount to over 100,000 m3 per year. The company is planning further investments, including expansion and modernisation of plants, while also looking at market consolidation. Pekabex has added more factories and companies to its portfolio in recent years, and one of those was Mszczonów (Ergon- CRH Member), which was finalised in January 2016, and this has helped strengthen the company’s position in the precast market, and enables Pekabex to work on the biggest projects in Poland. Continuing on from this Przemysław discussed some of the key consumers Pekabex has: “The

majority of our clients are locally in Poland, and this includes many medium customers we have as well. All of these are a large part of whom we supply, but there is also a large amount that belong to bigger international groups like Boodermex Budimex that is our biggest client. Another major one is Skanska, and we work with them in Poland, but also we execute projects for Skanska on big projects in Sweden. We have also been involved in big projects in Poland with the work we do with Estaudi Astaldi, which is an Italian company, and this was to build their new railway station, in addition to this we are also working with them on another project that is yet to be finalised.” Pekabex has a number more clients, however the insight into these few demonstrates how varied the company is, and that it can provide its services for a variety of projects within Poland and further afield. In addition to its clients, it is also working on a number of exciting projects, which Przemysław highlighted: “We are constructing one of the biggest office buildings in Poland. It is situated in Gdansk and using the precast technology as a frame and solution, this is a design and build project. It is for the full structure, so we started with the foundations and are now reaching the top. The total height of the building is 180 metres including towers and the totally height of the building without towers is 158 metres and its fully designed by us. It looks likely that we are going to complete it in an extremely short period and we are reaching one floor every week, and altogether it amounts to more than 40,000 square metres for the project. This is without doubt the biggest

precast building in Poland and will be within the ten highest buildings in Poland.” Pekabex has come a long way in under a decade - this has been due to important investments and improved management – taking it from a precarious position in 2007 to become a leading figure in the precast industry in under ten years. Resulting in a significant increase in turnover, which began at around 15 million

euros a year to then become ten times that figure expected in 2016, there seems to be little limit to what Pekabex can achieve.

Pekabex Services: Manufacturer of precast concrete structures 103

Ekamant AB

A smooth


Ekamant is one of the leading producers of coated abrasive products for the wood, metal, and automotive industries


kamant is a company that has a deeprooted history in the industry, and has provided coated abrasive products for many years, to customers across the world. However, it has continued to move forward and find ways to improve – retaining its sense of tradition and history with a forward looking and youthful approach. It has persisted in supplying market-leading products, while also expanding into new areas, and supplying developing markets. There is a great deal to be impressed by about the company and its history, but there is also a great deal to be excited about for its future. With more than 80 years in the business, it is one of the oldest — as well as one of the most innovative, with a history of introducing groundbreaking-coated abrasive technology. Ekamant is still located in Markaryd, deep in the heart of a Swedish forest, where the company was founded in 1928. The coated abrasive knowledge the company has accumulated over the years has been passed down from generation to generation. It is constantly discussing new ideas


for improving the technology it uses. Ekamant is also always trying, testing - and eventually succeeding. But the goal is always the same: how to find ways to make its products even better and more effective in supporting the customers’ development. Ekamant is Sweden’s only producer and exporter of coated abrasive products, and for decades now, Ekamant has excelled as an innovator in the field of sanding technology. With the resources available to the company as well as extensive research and development, Ekamant will continue to excel in the 21st Century. There are many ways it has been able to do this, though a significant reason for this can be attributed to the company’s values, and some of these were highlighted by CEO Mikael Rietz: “For us, quality is the number one priority. The company also focuses on providing high performance and service through our highly skilled technicians to our customers. Creating products that are not only at the pinnacle of excellence, but are made to save costs for clients. We manage to combine all of these, to provide something that helps solve

many aspects of a customer’s needs. These are also all things that we will keep increasing in the future, and due to new factory equipment we are able to be more streamlined, efficient, and even higher quality.” Ekamant abrasives are sold in more than 50 countries around the globe. It has its own global sales organisation and conversion plants in five different countries with approximately 450 employees in total. This is even further enhanced as Ekamant’s business concept is to offer a full range of the highest quality coated abrasive products to end-customers and distributors within the global market, in combination with an outstanding distribution and service offer. Ekamant is also entrenching and solidifying its position in the metal market - the product range for these new metal products is extensive and is for all types of metal grinding, and by using backings ranging from flexible cloth up to strong/ heavy polyester backings and different grain types

from standard grains to high performance grain types, every metal sanding operation is covered. The key to succeeding in this market is not only having a good product, but also more importantly having professional people that are able to introduce the product to the customer. One aspect of this has been that Ekamant focused on employing new colleagues with long experience in the metal industries. The importance the company places on the people that work there is clearly significant and it has been a major focus for the business recently, and it has been recruiting the very best personnel for Ekamant, as Mikael elaborated: “We now have a better structure of the company - we have also been able to attract some really good people, talented ambitious individuals, as we see that the people at the company are central to its success.” New people in combination with already highly skilled and experienced staff makes it a strong set up for the future. Ekamant also produces coated abrasives for the wood industry, as well as products for the automotive market, and this sector looks to become a growing part of the business in the coming years. Ekamant has made great strides in the global automotive industry, and Mikael discussed this: “In Asia we have been gaining a good position, and throughout the world there is quite a significant amount of sales coming from the automotive industry. There are also promising signs in other locations, for example in Brazil we have a long-term distributor, and we are seeing a growing market there. There is also a focus on the European market, such as in the German automotive sector. This is just one part of the business that we will be further growing going forward.” The company has had a long and rich history; however it is its future that is really exciting. Ekamant has managed to continue its marketleading position in the wood side of the business, while also solidifying its service within the

metal industry, and is also making inroads in the automotive business, furthermore all of these are supplied internationally to an extensive and growing number of countries. Ekamant is passionate about quality of product, quality of personnel, and quality of service, all of which are made to be a cost effective option for all of its customers around the world.

Ekamant AB Products: Coated abrasive products for the wood, metal, and automotive industries 105

Mecaplast Group

Drive for Reaping the benefits of a surge in growth in the UK automotive industry, Mecaplast UK Ltd has doubled its size and turnover in the past two years




ecaplast Group is a worldwide Tier 1 Automotive parts supplier with a revenue of 734 million euros and locations in 18 countries across the globe. The 6000 strong Mecaplast has evolved over the last 60 years to be at the forefront of automotive equipment production activities. “Mecaplast was founded in 1955 in Monaco by Charles Manni and is today a European leader in plastic injection moulded parts for automotive market applications. We design and develop parts and complete systems for vehicle engines and body applications and support our strategic clients as they go global,” begins David Cann, Plant Director at Mecaplast UK. He continues: “The parts we produce are split into three main categories, engine, interior and exterior, each of which accounts for approximately one third of the company’s turnover. Examples of engine parts are associated with air, water and thermal management, valves and housings, while interior parts include pillar

trims, garnishes, cockpit and trunk parts; the exterior portfolio includes body side mouldings, painted parts and functional black covers and under trays.” Boasting superior expertise and facilities when it comes to design and development resources, test, validation and measurement resources and calculation resources, the group is able to develop wholly compliant products that offer safety, comfort and performance to customers. Indeed, for testing of products alone, Mecaplast has nine testing and validation centres, additionally, for painting and decoration operations it has paint application facilities on three sites across the globe as well as one external finish development centre. Furthermore, its human resources complement the technical resources, with over 300 engineers and technicians able to take care of projects, from development through to product delivery, on a local basis. Having achieved rapid growth when it comes to Mecaplast’s number of employees and annual sales revenue over the last half century, the

company made the strategic decision to divide its sales revenue into two fields of expertise during 2002 and 2003 following a surge in success during this period. The two business segments were Mecaplast’s car body skills centre, which focuses on weight saving, CO2 reduction, acoustic, cosiness, safety and quality, and its engine skills centre, which focuses on CO2 reduction, weight saving, soundproofing and performance and reliability. In fact, from 2000 until 2002, the company grew to 580 million euros; this progressed further, with the company achieving revenues of 759 million euros (736 million euros for the automotive industry) by 2007. Discussing the reasons behind the company’s continued success, David comments: “Mecaplast has grown over the years via acquisition and organic growth; we also have a diverse client base and a client-centric business unit organisation that allows strategic product focus as well as for emphasis on innovation. Alongside the international footprint development, these customer focused initiatives have translated into a high level of business awards; this demonstrates

the confidence of Mecaplast clients in the group and its strategy. “As a tier one supplier, Mecaplast understands the needs of the industry to keep moving forward; to stand still is to fall behind in our world,” continues David. “With this mindset, driving continuous improvement in all areas of our business, we strive every day to be competitive, with a high level of quality performance that is achieved in a safe environment from our workforce. These strengths

Aim to Recycle

Aim to Recycle work closely with a wide range of plastics manufacturers. Aim to Recycle specialise in automotive plastics and can purchase clean segregated materials as well as offering solutions for mixed or contaminated waste materials. Aim has serviced Mecaplast for over 13 years and in that time had great success improving recycling rates and aiding impressive waste minimisation services. Aim is able to provide specialist equipment to ensure customers maximise recycling rates. 107


Mecaplast Group

perform as the cornerstones for our sustainability. We operate to a clear set of company values that are shared between all Mecaplast employees that have been designed to direct company activity in a positive way.” Alongside these developments, the company also set upon a 3000 m2 factory extension project and invested in four new injection moulding machines in 2013 in response to an increase in contracts leading up to 2016; the company also expanded its workforce at its site in Peterlee, County Durham, to ensure it could handle the increased demands in production. “Since 2013 the UK site in Peterlee has grown from a workforce of 84 people to 145 due to a factory extension project which saw turnover increase by more than 100 per cent,” highlights David. Not a company to rest on its laurels despite this major success, Mecaplast has continued this long tradition of improvement with investments in renewing ageing equipment and the adoption of new technologies to meet changing market demands and customer expectations, as David adds: “Mecaplast is investing in new technology linked to the light-weighting of parts to satisfy the ever-more stringent emission legislations as well as increased mileage needs from both fossil fuel and battery powered vehicle solutions.” The company has also invested more than £3.5 million in 2016 in a further four injection moulding machines and a partnership with Access Training to enhance the skills of its growing management team after securing a major contract with Jaguar Land Rover. “In 2017, the workload will increase further as a new development project with new client, Jaguar Land Rover, begins production. “Staff development is paramount to us staying competitive and remaining a leader in the automotive field; we need to be at the top of our game at all times. A pre-requisite to this is the continued improvement of our technical

capabilities and process efficiencies through the development of our teams,” notes David. “Meanwhile, when it comes to Mecaplast’s investments, we do so with a firm eye on the newest technology from the major known brands of injection moulding machine builders and suppliers and will thus strive to bring this technology to our clients through co-operative development programmes. Through these collaborations we hope to serve our clients with

the newest innovations in terms of quality, cost and delivery. “We do not stand still and are already engaged with our clients to understand their needs and strategies for new and potential projects. We then make our internal plans and discuss our own strategies in line with our customers to ensure we are ready and agile enough to support the unique demands of customers, whatever they may be,” concludes David.

Mecaplast Group Products: Automotive parts and complete systems for vehicle bodies and engines 109

Sea cable installation. © Nexans



As the cable industry in Europe continues to grow in both digital and energy markets, Europacable is representing the leading European manufacturers of these high performance products during the creation of Europe’s Energy Union and Digital Single Market


perating as the voice of the wire and cable industry in Europe, Europacable provides membership to the world’s largest cable makers and highly specialised SMEs throughout Europe. Globally its members employ over 70,000 people, of which more than 50 per cent are based in Europe; these companies generated a turnover of 20 billion euros in 2014 with their products that cover the full spectrum of energy and communication cables. Proud to represent the manufacturers of these high performance products at a European level in relevant EU policy debates, Europacable is recognised as a fully transparent lobby organisation and a trusted source of technical information on wire and cable products. Actively engaged with relevant standardisation processes, the organisation also raises the visibility of the European cable and wire industry as it strives to secure Europe’s technology leadership. Looking at the challenges and opportunities faced by those within the evolving cable industry, Dr. Volker Wendt, Director of Public Affairs


Dr. Volker Wendt

at Europacable comments: “From a Brussels perspective we see three core focal areas for growth in the cable industry in Europe. The first is the drive towards what is creating Europe’s Energy Union, which has been manifested in

concrete targets that have been set at European and member state level. There is very strong demand for underground and submarine cables for the interconnections and connections of offshore cables for windfarms over the next ten years. Meanwhile, on the digital side of the industry, there have been clear targets set for the creation on what is called the Digital Single Market by 2020; this will be relaid in considerable investments in telecommunication infrastructure, notably fibre, and again we see a great potential for the industry to respond to this. “Thirdly, we see a call for higher performance of cables; the best manifestation of this is the Construction Production Regulation – or short: CPR - which entered into force on the 10 June 2016 and sets new mandatory fire safety requirements for fixed cable installations. In response to this, we launched what we have called the Europacable Industry Charter, which expresses the commitment of our members to high quality cables; this has been signed and endorsed by all of our members.” Committed to supporting its members within the three

Land cable installation. © TenneT

dimensions, the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market and the specifications for cables, Europacable provides a strong voice for all companies within its organisation to the Brussel societies. Set up with the goal of making energy more secure, affordable and sustainable, the European Energy Union will allow a free flow of energy across borders and a secure supply in every EU country. With a policy framework for energy and climate for 2030 in place as well as an energy security strategy, the objectives of the Energy Union is to pool resources, connect networks and unite the EU’s power when negotiating with non EU countries; to diversify energy sources, help EU countries be less dependent on energy imports, reduce Europe’s energy use by 27 per cent by 2030 and emit at least 40 per cent less greenhouse gases by 2030. With concrete targets in place for every member state to have interconnection capacity of at least ten per cent of the installed electricity capacity in place by 2020 and 15 per cent of the interconnection target complete by 2030, it is clear that Europe requires more electricity grids. In response to this demand and the fact that it takes on average 15 years to realise new high voltage transmission projects, of which more than 30 per cent suffer delays caused by the Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) phenomena, underground cabling has become a readily available solution for transmission system operators. For high voltage alternative current (HVAC) projects, partial undergrounding of up to 20 km is being deployed in projects based in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. When it comes to using HVAC, partially underground

sections complement overhead lines in sensitive areas, which thus eradicates issues with public concerns and leads to faster product completion. For high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables, which are used to carry high electricity loads over long distances, these underground cables serve to cover long distances where local consent may be challenging to achieve. As Europe’s future grids need to be reliable, affordable and acceptable to the public, it would appear that underground and submarine cabling is the way forward to achieve these requirements, with wholly capable and experienced Europacable members ready to assist in the building of Europe’s goal for an European Energy Union. “Technology within the European cable industry continues to evolve and reach better performances; if you look at energy cables, ever higher voltages can be carried ever longer distances and in submarine cables they can reach ever greater depths. Our members continue to push technology innovation forward and cables are certain to become the backbone of Europe’s future energy and digital infrastructures and will be essential for the ensured competitiveness of Europe over the coming years,” highlights Volker. Alongside these major developments in the energy sector, the European Commission has just issued its ‘Connectivity Package’ paving the way for more and better internet connectivity for all EU citizens and businesses. The Commission highlights that ‘first-class communication networks’ will be crucial to reach the ambitious target of a truly Digital Single Market by 2025. This now comprises concrete objectives like giving main socio-economic drivers access to extremely high gigabit-connectivity, equip all EU

households with at least 100 Mbps download speed and ensure all urban areas and major roads have uninterrupted 5G coverage. Concrete proposals like the ‘5G Action Plan’ and the new initiative ‘WiFi4EU’ which is to develop free Wi-Fi access points in communities and cities across Europe, will push for the deployment of notably fibre optical cables. From a Europacable perspective it remains crucial to ensure that Europe’s future telecommunication and data infrastructures will be built using only high quality cable technology. “Notably when public co-funding is involved, we believe it is of fundamental importance to ensure that Europe’s networks are future proof,” Volker underlines. With a great deal of opportunities ahead for those within the cable industry in Europe, Europacable will remain busy over the coming years as it delivers technical expertise during projects while also continuing its involvement in stakeholder communications in various EU member states. “Both the creation of the Energy Union and Digital Single Market offer strong opportunities for the European cable industry. Because of this, the cable industry and our products are to play a central role in shaping Europe’s future energy and digital infrastructures,” concludes Volker.


Services: Representing the wire and cable industry at EU Level 111

Tele-Fonika Kable



Ranked in the forefront of the global cable industry, Tele-Fonika Kable SA (TF Kable) is the third largest manufacturer of cables and wires in Europe and sells its products to over 80 countries



Consistently focused on operational excellence and the delivery of high quality products, TF Kable anticipates further growth in the future


stablished in April 1992 in the city of Myslenice, in close proximity to Krakow, Tele-Fonika civil par tnership company began by constructing a modern and stateof-the-ar t production plant that specialised in the manufacture of copper, computer and fibre optic telecommunication cables. The company swiftly became a leading supplier in the Polish market and took the strategic decision to maintain its position in the market by initiating the production of advanced copper telecommunication cables that allow for data

Zumbach Electronics

On-line measurement, monitoring and control equipment for almost 60 years

transfer in a bandwidth up to 100Mhz at a maximum speed of one Gbit/s. With market demand for its products booming by 1996, the company began doubling manufacturing capacity for that product group. One year on, the company progressed into the production of fiber optic cables and,

following the purchase of advanced equipment by Nokia Maillefer, TF Kable was able to produce up to 216 strand fiber optic cables. To further strengthen its foothold in the market, Tele-Fonika SC acquired a majority stake in Krakowska Fabryka Kabli SA (KFK), which specialises in rubber isolated cables.

A pioneer of on-line measurement, Zumbach Electronics from Switzerland manufactures a comprehensive range of non-contact, on-line measuring and control instruments. Its technology is in use world-wide for such dimensional parameters as diameter, thickness, eccentricity, out-of-round and for physical or electrical parameters like expansion, capacitance, dielectric strength, and more. One or more parameters of a production line can be monitored simultaneously. Zumbach technology is used successfully in these industries by thousands of customers around the world who rely on the quality and reliability of the company’s instruments and systems: In the cable industry – for telecommunication wire, data wire, power cable, electronic and control cable, fiber optic cable – on extrusion lines of singles and jackets, CV-lines, rewinding stations. In the plastics and rubber industry – for the extrusion of pipe, tubing, hoses and profiles for automotive, medical, hydraulic, plumbing, construction products and more. In the steel and metal industry – on hot rolling mills as well as in cold processes for steel and other metals. 113

Tele-Fonika Kable Desma

DESMA realises machines and systems for the production of technical rubber and silicone moulded articles. The DESMA turnkey plants make demanding products that seal up, dampen, fix, insulate or protect. In order to manufacture them successfully, DESMA puts excellent technologies and service performances worldwide on the customers’ side. The development of the innovative product range SmartConnect 4.U allows production processes to be realised in a more flexible, efficient and resource-friendly way by applying intelligent networking. The new systems make a higher plant and machine uptime, a more transparent and improved product quality or piece cost oriented production efficiency possible. A claim which the market leader DESMA of course lives up to – in the light of increasing customer requirements and dynamic market developments.

These developments resulted in the commissioning of a modern, automated and robotic production facility in Krakow - Bieżanów; this facility focuses on flexible highly stranded conductors, aluminium wire rods, aluminium alloy overhead aerial cables; trolley traction wires and PVC and building wires. With the acquisition of a majority stake in Elektrim Kable SA finalised in December 2001, a new entity was formed - Tele-Fonika Kable SA (TF Kable). As a result of two plants Bydgoska Fabryka Kabli and Fabryka Kabli Załom became part of the Tele-Fonika Kable Group and Ożarowska Fabryka Kabli was closed. Following further business developments, TF Kable today is the largest wire and cable manufacturer in Poland, operating from six production facilities and boasting a significant local market share. Benefiting from its impressive manufacturing capabilities, the Group produces approximately 25,000 different products for its broad customer base, as Bartlomiej Zgryzek, Vice President at Tele-fonika Kable highlights: “The products offered by the Group are classified into six main categories: 1 kV cables, medium voltage and high voltage cables, telecom cables, wires, rubber isolated cables and other cables. Sales on the Polish market account for approximately 40 per cent of total revenues, with sales in 115


Tele-Fonika Kable

foreign markets generating the 60 per cent; the core markets are Germany, the UK, the US and Baltic region countries.” He continues: “The main customers of TF Kable include wholesale network distribution companies, energy companies such as power plants, utilities and network operators; companies in the oil & gas and mining sector, the telecommunication segment, which includes telecom operators and their suppliers and large industrial companies.” Operating from six production facilities, four of which are based in Poland, the Group made the strategic decision to go through a reorganisation process in 2013 that has led to each production plant in the country specialising in specific types of cables; this decision has enabled TF Kable to not only improve cost controls when it comes to production, but also logistics and sales processes. “TF Kable’s main competitive advantage lies in our high quality products and operational effectiveness,” says Bartlomiej. “Therefore, we have to compete by carefully controlling our operating costs above all as it seems to be the key to commercial success. The operational excellence is strongly supported by the complete specialisation of our production plants.” In more detail, the Group’s Myslenice plant today specialises in the production of telecommunication cables, while Krakow - Bieżanów specialises in processing copper and aluminium rods as well as manufacturing semi-finished products such as copper wires and cords. The Krakow Wielicka plant, meanwhile, is the largest cable producer for the power industry in Poland 117


Tele-Fonika Kable


Founded in 1936, Sampsistemi has gradually grown to become the only company worldwide able to provide customers with the complete wire and cable process chain. With Italian roots and a worldwide presence, Sampsistemi embodies a philosophy of constant care for the environment that, combined with extensive application know-how, has always driven the evolution of the company’s products. All over the world, Sampsistemi supports its customers with the best possible solution in terms of reliability, quality, innovation technology and cost reduction thanks to local companies located in Italy, China, the USA, Russia and India.

BWE BWE Ltd is a British engineering company specialising in continuous extrusion machines and cold pressure welders for many different applications. Conform and Conklad are well-established continuous extrusion technologies in the non-ferrous, cable and tube industries. Typical applications include Copper & Aluminium Rectangular Wire (Magnet Wire for Transformers), Solid Aluminium Conductor (SAC for cables) Copper Bus Bar, Trolley Wire and other shaped conductors, AS Wire, OPGW, CATV, Round Refrigeration Tube, Multiport or PFC Tubes in different alloys. With seven lines currently in production, BWE’s SheathEx technology is fast becoming the new alternative to seamless aluminium sheathing of high voltage cables. The SheathEx process provides a continuous (no stop marks), reliable (no weld) and cost effective (cheap materials, low energy etc) method of sheathing high voltage power cables. A new Conform machine has been specifically designed to extrude Solid Aluminium Conductor (round or sector shaped) from 2 x 9.5mm diameter rods, providing a cost-effective process to a product in demand. A new Conklad machine has been added to the range, enabling small and delicate cores to be sheathed from one aluminium feedstock rod instead of two. The machine will reduce capital and running costs for applications such as AS Wire, OPGW, Sheathed Composite Cores, Reinforced Aluminium Wire and Solid Aluminium Conductor (SAC). BWE continue to manufacture and supply a complete range of cold welders and dies for a fast, cost-effective and reliable solution to welding non-ferrous materials from fine wire to round rod. SheathEx, Conform and Conklad are Registered Trade Marks of BWE Ltd.

and produces a wide range of cables; these include power cables, control and signalling cables and special purpose cables such as rubber isolated cables. Bydgoszcz specialises in the production of power cables as well as self-suppor ting and suspended cables, fittings and power cables. The two facilities that are abroad, Zajecal, in Serbia, and Czernichow, Ukraine, both specialise in low voltage cables, however, the Zajecal plant also produces building wires and rubber isolated cables, while Czernichow also manufactures building wires. The massive diversity of products and the superior production capability of plants has resulted in the Group’s involvement in a number of major projects. For example, in 2011 the Group supplied power to one of the main Euro 2012 arenas, the National Stadium in Warsaw. For this project, the Group’s Bydgoszcz plant manufactured speciality high voltage cables, rated 110kV, with fiber optic cables; the cable line was approximately 510 metres and was installed in a conduit running under the Vistula River, cable conduit installation took place through the utilisation of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). Proud of its commitment to shared principles and objectives when it comes to ethical, sustainable and high quality cable development and manufacture, the Group became a member of Europacable, signed the Europacable Industry Char ter in September 2015 and the CEO of Tele- 119

Tele-Fonika Kable

Consistently focused on operational excellence and the delivery of high quality products, TF Kable anticipates further growth in the future following positive changes in the market since 2014 HF Mixing Group

The new mixing room installed at TELE-FONIKA KABLE SA (TFK) in Cracow is a typical example of application-oriented co-operation between end user and HF Mixing Group. Knowledge of TFK’s engineers on cable compounds and HF’s specialists on mixing technology resulted into one of the most modern mixing lines for cable applications in Europe that enables TFK to react successfully on the growing demand of high quality of cable compounds.


Fonika Kable became the Vice-President of the Europacable Association. Having joined the ranks of Europacable, the Group not only gets oppor tunities to network with representatives of other cable market players, but also gains additional knowledge when it comes to respecting product quality and safety. Consistently focused on operational excellence and the delivery of high quality products, TF Kable anticipates fur ther growth in the future following positive changes in the market since 2014. In response to these oppor tunities, the Group will fur ther develop

and expand its vast product por tfolio with more complex products such as MV and HV cables and cables in line with European CPR requirements, which will thus enable it to meet the increasingly challenging needs of its customers across the globe.

Tele-Fonika Kable

Products: Copper and aluminium cables and wires and optical fibre cables

Munck Cranes AS

Weighing up

opportunities F

ounded on 25th October 1924 by Mr Sverre Munck, an educated electrician engineer from the University of Trondheim, Munck AS initially began as a trading company with products ranging from fuses and lightbulbs to escalators, elevators and electric wire rope hoists. With the first manufacturing plant completed in 1946, the number of employers significantly increased from 30 to 300 people, which was mainly due to the result of a major contract to make 18 units of trolley buses for Bergen Sporveier, the local bus company. It was during this milestone in the company’s short history that the Munck electric wire rope hoist was designed and full production commenced, which involved hoists, industrial cranes for all types of industry onshore as well as onboard vessels. A pioneer within the Norwegian export industry, the company exported its first hoist to Sweden in 1948, which was shortly followed by another two to England; since then, export to overseas became a rapidly growing market for Munck. In response to this, subsidiary firms were set up in locations such as the US, Canada, the UK, Sweden and Belgium and a network of agents were established in other strategic areas across the globe. Taken over by the family company Furnes

By focusing on customer satisfaction, enhancing quality and the continuous development of its products, Munck Cranes AS has become a leading manufacturer of cranes in Norway, the Nordic countries and Northern Europe Hamjern Holding AS in 1996, Munck Cranes AS today owns two separate companies, Munck Kraner AS Danmark and Munck Cranes AB, in Sweden and continues to work closely with its subsidiaries, which are being managed by local owners. Representing experience and competence, Munck Cranes AS has grown to become one of the main producers and suppliers of cranes and lifting equipment in Norway, an enviable position that was earned through a continuous focus on quality, development and innovation. Capable of delivering equipment for lifting loads of up to 500 tonnes, the company is viewed as a total supplier

of cranes and material handling equipment for a broad range of industries, both in Norway and further afield. Discussing the company’s product portfolio is Rune Vabø, Managing Director at Munck Cranes AS: “Our main product can be divided into four segments: service and maintenance, standard cranes, automatic crane systems for offshore installations and offshore special equipment. Within the latter division we are strongly involved in supplying winding turntables, in fact, we are currently producing two large turntables with a load capacity of 16,000 tonnes.” This current contract follows the company’s 121


Munck Cranes AS


LOMAN is one of the leading suppliers for CNC machined components in Slovakia and has been working with Munck Cranes over six years. During this time the relationship between the two companies has grown enabling LOMAN to become an important supplier for Munck Cranes. High quality and good prices on one hand, seriousness and fairness on the other hand create a strong partnership. It is a pleasure to work with company that shares its core values.

recent involvement in a number of notable projects, including the delivery of three Munck semi gantry cranes with an operator cabin mounted to a centre fixed column as well as a six tonne column crane with arm length of seven metres and a column height of 11 metres. This cable handling system was mounted to a turntable used for storing umbilicals in Norway five months ago. Although Munck Cranes has seen steady growth in demand for its winding turntables, the company’s main products are overhead travelling cranes and hoists. “These products continue to be our bread and butter; we have our own range of hoists that we use for a range of things, these have a capacity from under one tonne to 100 tonne. We also have these heavy duty cranes that we can’t use as a standard hoist; the biggest one in production at the moment is 220 tonnes.” Also known as automatic cranes, overhead travelling cranes offer customers in the process industry advantages including increased security and lower operating and maintenance costs. Plants handling hazardous waste also use automatic cranes instead of fork lift trucks and conveyers to ensure all crew work in the safe zones of the facility. Because these cranes are part of a computer system that operates throughout the facility, these automated cranes offer notable advantages. For example, the waste in an incinerator plant can be reduced significantly as a result of the main computer being provided with the exact information on the volume of garbage, which is then fed into the incinerators. Suitable for locations such as glass processing plants, composting plants, galvanization plants, zinc production factories and incinerator plants, Munck Cranes’ automatic cranes would be a beneficial addition to any company’s facility. Meanwhile, Munck Cranes offers a variety of

hoists that are suitable for all kinds of lifting, with wire electric hoists frequently used for heavy loads between 630 kg to 108,000 kilos, while its chain hoists can be manually driven or electric; these are mainly used in lifting of a load between 40 to 20,000 kilograms. Within the electric wire hoist range is the electric wire hoist 31-series, which are specifically designed to meet the challenges of precision lifting material. Following rigorous tests, this new range has met Munck Cranes’ high standards for quality and boasts a robust design and limited need for service – integral factors that lead to low maintenance costs. Although the Munck standard hoist range covers 630 kg to 108,000 kilos, Munck Cranes is also able to create solutions that offer lifting capacities of up to 500,000 kilos; these units are built from superior quality components and offer the same economical advantages as the standard programme. As expected, all components comply with international standard such as EN-NS, FEM, ISO, CMAA and HMI. Renowned for its commitment to quality, the company has recently been involved in a number of notable projects and even beat competitors to become crane supplier to the 20 million Norwegian Kroner (NOK) Follo Line Project in Oslo, Norway. As the largest infrastructure project 123

Munck Cranes AS


ROTEK AS is a specialist in bearings and transmission parts. Since the company was founded in 1989 it has built a considerable know-how in this field. In addition to its own, well regarded brand RTK, ROTEK also represents and stocks a carefully selected line of products from other high quality suppliers. This has made ROTEK a leading supplier of bearings and transmission parts for nearly 30 years. The company is supported by a modern and efficient warehouse, which enables it to assist customers with a very high level of service. ROTEK AS is regarded one of the best-rated suppliers among the most demanding customers in Europe.


in Norway, it involves adding four tracks into the capital of Oslo, which will offer more trains as well as faster trains on schedule. The project will also include a 20 km long tunnel that will become Norway’s first long twin tube rail tunnel. Although its wide range of high quality products have cemented Munck Crane’s reputation in the market, Rune says it is the people behind the

cranes that make the company special: “We have the knowledge, focus on quality and commitment to customer service to ensure problems are solved or new options are provided to clients. Our key customers are the moment are in the energy, oil and gas and aluminium sectors; for these customers we want to become stronger in all four segments of the business, to enhance our service and standard equipment and also our special handling equipment for the offshore sector. “There is a great deal of potential in the energy sectors, not only in Europe but also the wind industry across the globe; we have also seen an increase in demand for our automatic cranes in waste industries. Despite problems due to oil prices and exchange rates we have come out of these challenges strong; it is our goal to continue getting stronger,” he concludes.

Munck Cranes AS Products: Cranes and lifting systems

RS Motorhomes



With 25 years experience in the manufacture of bespoke luxury motorhomes, RS Motorhomes has established itself as an award-winning leader in its field of expertise


fficially established 25 years ago, Yorkshire based, family owned business RS Motorhomes’ history dates as far back as 1982 when Managing Director Mick Rowe built his own motorhome for motorsport. This soon became a desirable product that has gone on to become world-class with global demand. Since these early developments, RS Motorhomes has progressed from supplying specialised motorhomes to the motorsport market and expanded, with significant success, into the leisure market.

“RS Motorhomes has established itself as an award-winning bespoke luxury motorhome manufacturer that now builds motorhomes for all kinds of needs; these include motorsport, which is mainly motorcross, however we do also provide vehicles for racing cars, quads, buggies and many other racing platforms; leisure and disability,” says Mick Rowe, Managing Director of RS Motorhomes. “Today we hold 80 per cent of the UK niche/completely bespoke motorhome market, selling to all corners of the UK and further afield.” As a renowned leader in delivering high

Endeavour 125


Accurate Laser Cutting (SJS)

Accurate Laser Cutting (SJS) Limited is a leading UK provider of laser profiling & pressbrake services. From its manufacturing facility in Rotherham, the firm services a wide range of industries with its advanced laser cutting & forming capabilities. A recent investment project, introduction of a dedicated night shift & increased production capacity ensures customer demands are met quickly & efficiently, offering some of the shortest lead times in the industry. With potential new investments on the horizon, Accurate Laser Cutting (SJS) is set to continue to offer an unrivalled laser profiling service for many years to come. Enquire today for all of your sheet metal needs.


quality products created from exceptional designs and an ongoing commitment to innovation, the company continuously strives to ensure that owning one of its vehicles is as fulfilling as possible for customers. Because of this, customers receive the same level of care and craftsmanship for each project, whether the client is requiring a 40 foot motor race support vehicle, motorhome or a van conversion. According to Mick, RS Motorhomes’ customer centric approach to business is key to ensuring optimum customer satisfaction during the process of production: “AT RS Motorhomes we can do just about anything the customer wants to a vehicle, from smaller bespoke items such as hydraulic leveling legs to extending slide outs to being able to fit a racing car in the back of the vehicle; in fact, we have built vehicles where the whole back lifts up to unveil a large garage space fit for a whole racing team. “To make this possible, we work extremely closely with all of our customers, as each vehicle is completely bespoke we ensure that we have as much input and communication with clients as possible. The customer will regularly visit our design team and production plant throughout a


RS Motorhomes

Eros home

project to ensure we deliver a vehicle to their exact specifications.” Operating as both manufacturer and dealer, the company is able to react to a customer’s requirements and welcome their input; it also encourages both existing and potential clients to visit the facility and see for themselves the level of quality that can be appreciated by experiencing an RS Motorhome as well as the services on offer. Within the company’s RS model range, from smallest to largest, is Eros, Equinox, Endeavour, Evolution, Envoy and Emotion. Discussing the manufacturing process, Mick states: “We always use the latest chassis from either Iveco or Mercedes-Benz; a model we are particularly proud of is the Elysian. In fact, we are the only UK manufacturer of an A-Class, and the amount of design and technology that goes into this model is staggering. During manufacture, we completely transform the chassis, giving the vehicle a new face that we make on-site in the fiberglass shop. “Within our range of products, the RS Elysian is a high quality, great value for money motorhome; we are proud that customers come back year-after-year to replace their older model with the latest version.” Injecting a high level of passion and charisma in every item it makes, the company’s employees are driven to building the perfect motorhome and, as such, each product is built by hand with the enthusiasm and care for detail that the customer deserves. “We have a very

strong team that will always make sure each vehicle rolls out of the factory no less than perfect. From quality control officers to lean manufacturing managers, we will do everything we can to ensure that customer satisfaction is achieved,” says Mick. Following solid sales levels in 2015, with more than 10,500 new motorhomes registrations and sales reaching pre-recession levels that were the highest annual figure since 2007, RS Motorhomes is in an enviable position as the UK becomes one of the fastest growing markets in Europe for motorhomes. Moreover, the currency difference between the euro and sterling gives the UK leverage as an ideal place for European manufacturers to invest in; with all of these positive developments, it is anticipated that sales in the UK in 2016 will exceed those in 2015 and thus offer RS Motorhomes ample opportunity to strengthen its foothold in both the UK and beyond. “Our goal over the coming years is to continue our expansion into Europe and are also looking at growth in areas such as South East Asia with potential partners. We have been very successful in the UK market and our longterm goal is to achieve this success overseas. To do this we aim to design and manufacture motorhomes across the world, meeting the expectations of customers like we have here. Ultimately, we want to design products that continue to exceed the competition and guarantee that the customer returns year-onyear,” Mick concludes.



RS Motorhomes

Products: Motorhomes and specialised vehicles 127


Silentnight Group

Making dreams a



rom its humble beginnings operating as Clarke’s Mattresses Limited in Skipton North Yorkshire, Silentnight Group has become the go-to company for those seeking innovative beds and mattress that promise quality without compromise and, ultimately, a great night’s sleep. “Silentnight Group is the UK’s leading bed and mattress manufacturer and home of the most trusted sleep brands, including Silentnight, Sealy and Rest Assured. We promise a great night’s sleep for all through a combination of market-leading quality, first-class customer service and continuous innovation,” begins Marketing Director of Silentnight Brands, Nick Booth. “Silentnight, the UK’s biggest bed brand, employs around 750 people at its Barnoldswick factory and makes around 500,000 bed and mattress products each year. With its additional pillow and duvet products, we estimate one in five households has a Silentnight branded product,” he continues. “While Silentnight is the mid-market family brand that offers a wide range of bed, mattress and sleep accessories for every member of the family, Rest Assured is over 100 years old and one of the UK’s most established bed brands, offering affordable luxury to consumers looking for a more traditional

Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016, Silentnight Group has become the UK’s leading bed and mattress manufacturer through delivering high quality sleep solutions for all the family

pocket solution. Studio by Silentnight is a brand new offer, which is targeting younger consumers with a contemporary, style driven solution.” Keen to remain uniquely different to its competitors, Silentnight Group keeps innovation and product development at the forefront of its operations. This has resulted in the company winning numerous awards such as Superbrands status for the tenth year running in 2015 as well as two Which? Best Buy Awards for two of its mattresses, the Mirapocket 1200 and the 3 Zone Mattress, the same year. In 2016 Silentnight was reawarded the Which? Best Buy Award the Mirapocket 1200, a traditional, double-sided hand tufted 1200 advanced Mirapocket spring system with targeted zoned support for superior comfort. The double sided mattress also features EcoComfort Fibre technology for luxury responsive comfort. Purotex treated to reduce moisture and dust-mite allergens, the mattress is drier, fresher and healthier, earning it the Allergy UK seal of approval. Able to serve a wide range of customers through its diversity, the main products within the Group’s portfolio include award-winning cot bed mattresses, which recently won the prestigious Mother and Baby Gold Award for 129


Silentnight Group

quality and premium and pocket sprung mattresses, as Nick comments: “Our core ‘adult’ mattress offer includes the convenience rolled and boxed Mattress Now collection, which has sold in huge volumes online. There is also our exclusive Miracoil continuous coil system, which is popularised by the iconic hippo and duck characters, and of course the aforementioned award-winning Mirapocket pocket sprung collection. On top of these products, beds and bed frames are becoming increasingly popular, especially for customers looking for increased storage space in the bedroom. Our clever ottoman storage bases now feature heavily across all brands and are helping to reposition traditional divan bases into more contemporary furniture statements.” Additionally, the Group’s recently introduced ground-breaking Geltex, a revolutionary gel infused foam comfort layer that delivers new levels of comfort, is rapidly becoming one of its most popular comfort options. By using a unique open cell structure that provides unparalleled breathability and thus allows air to pass through and prevent the body from overheating with ease,

Geltex enables customers to enjoy a full and deep night’s sleep. Moreover, through a unique fusion of gel molecules, foam crystals and air cells, Geltex is significantly flexible and adaptable when it comes to relieving pressure where customers need it most; this innovation helps reduce discomfort from aching joints and also reduces circulatory problems. Alongside these benefits, Geltex mattresses also ensure immediate spring back through innovative elasticity and responds to the individual contours of the body to provide perfect spinal alignment and support all night. Aware that products must evolve to remain relevant in a changing world, the company holds innovation as an integral part of its ongoing success, as Steve Petrovic, Manufacturing Director at Silentnight Brands, comments: “We work holistically with the commercial side of the business, engaging with the New Product Development (NPD), quality and manufacturing teams to keep feeding the conveyor belt of new product demand. To further support this conveyor belt, we work in partnership with our fabric, foam, fillings and spring suppliers to further develop the principle of a holistic approach to

product development. Over the last five years this has seen the Silentnight brands products transform from low value ‘me too’ products to a variety of products covering the needs of all age groups; it has also culminated in a number of awards, including Which? Best Buy.” In addition to developing new products, the company also focuses on improving quality across the whole supply chain, which significantly includes customer participation, as Steve adds: “Continuous improvement has become organic over the last five years. At the process level, managers are working with their respective teams to drive out issues and foster improvements, which has seen product returns reduced significantly; waste has also been significantly driven down and our business performance is on an upward trajectory. One example of our continuous improvement culture is that we have a weekly gathering of all functions where we tear down a product drawn from stock and critique it; over the last three years this has literally driven hundreds of improvements.” In line with this focus on quality, Silentnight’s buying team scours the upstream supply chain to ensure the company only buys from credible suppliers. Additionally, the company ensures it is not missing anything that may affect its success by undertaking external audits such as the audit that enabled it to become a full member of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP). Based around sustainable development, FISP was set up by the government with four 131


Silentnight Group John Cotton

We are a family company with over 100 years expertise in meeting requirements across a diverse range of markets. Our Nonwovens division invests over £2m annually on both research and development; improving efficiencies and product quality. We employ both Thermal and Mechanical bonding in our production processes and also offer the UK’s largest range of Natural, Recycled and Synthetic fibres. Our UKAS accredited in-house laboratory ensures high product quality standards and legislative compliance. We are committed to eliminating textiles and plastics, which can be recycled or reused from entering our landfills and to that end, became the 2015/2016 winner of the ‘Bed Component Supplier to the industry’. In August 2016 we received the Editor’s Choice award for Sustainability from Interiors Monthly Magazine.

main objectives: social progress that recognises the needs of everyone, efficient protection of the environment, prudent use of natural resources and maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and development. To become a member of FISP the company showed commitment to social, economic and environmental sustainability throughout all parts of the business. In addition to this, Silentnight also complied with commitments to environmental management systems, waste management, energy management, packaging management and sustainable timber procurement. “FISP is very important to the business, as

we aspire to be the must trusted brands in our industry, and that means doing things right and letting the retailers and consumers alike know what we are doing is right to further develop that trust,” says Steve. Discussing another recent audit, Steve continues: “This year we were successfully audited by Bureau Veritas against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code and we passed to a very high standard. This, along with our in-house product testing facility and a management team committed to ensuring legal compliance in all of our activities ensures Silentnight brands keeps driving towards its trust aspiration.”


Better sleep, better life! BekaertDeslee is a global producer of mattress textiles; tactile, stylish and smart sleep surfaces that inspire, comfort and protect you during the night. Mattress textiles grow more sophisticated, from the fashionable designs on the outside to the increasingly complex engineering and technology on the inside. With Silentnight the company shares a passion for flawless product and quality assurance. BekaertDeslee values the years long partnership with Silentnight Group, a close co-operation of many, innovation and co-creation on all levels and in all departments. It looks forward to continuing this successful journey together. Congratulations! 133

Silentnight Group

Keen to maintain these standards throughout the company, Silentnight established an apprenticeship scheme with the goal of replacing an ageing workforce with knowledgeable, passionate and innovative people. Since then, the apprenticeship scheme has gone on to win awards such as Apprentice Provider awards through Burnley College for the last two years as well as a regional award in the large employer category of the National Apprenticeship Awards. “We currently have 28 apprentices, of which we have recruited 15 in 2016 alone. In total we have


had more than 60 apprentices in the business and are already seeing our graduate apprentices moving in to first-line supervision roles,” says Steve. “Such is the scale of our training plans that in the last year we have introduced a full time development and training co-ordinator to improve the management of these young people and tailor our training to ensure we are achieving what the company needs through introducing a modular programme that delivers a broad business understanding before decisions are made on specialising the direction of the trainee.”

Looking ahead, despite celebrating a record sales performance across its Silentnight, Sealy and Rest Assured brands during its last financial year (ending January 30th 2016), Silentnight won’t be resting easy as it seeks to maintain its reputation as the UK’s favourite bed and mattress manufacturer. As five-star consumer reviews across all brands continue to grow and Which? Best Buy awards further increase recognition in the market, the company will build on the success and growth of the last few years by focusing on its core values: market leading quality, first-class customer service and continuous innovation. “By understanding the needs of our customers and identifying new trends we will continue to bring new, exciting products to market and further consolidate our position as the home of the most trusted bed and sleep brands,” concludes Nick.

Silentnight Group Products: Beds and mattresses for the whole family

UK Steel

Material to the


Embodying several decades of industry experience, UK Steel provides a central voice to the steel manufacturing sector that offers support to modern challenges ranging from business rates and oversupply to a changing political environment

Photo: Mill Being Heat Treated, taken by Alan Burke, runner-up in the Amateur photographer category of the EEF Photography Awards 2013


ith a history that is deeply entwined with the development of the country’s steel production, UK Steel represents the leading trade association and unified voice for the steel industry within the UK and beyond. Formerly known as the British Independent Steel Producers Association (BISPA), UK Steel has been at the forefront of representing the interests of steel manufactures in the UK during periods of both national and private ownership and today continues to champion the sector. During 2001 the BISPA changed its name to UK Steel before finally undertaking a major restructuring and merging with EEF, the leading trade association for manufacturing in both the UK and European Union, to become a stand-alone division within the federation. EEF was founded in 1896 as the Engineering Employers’ Federation and later merged with the National Employers’ Federation in 1918. In November 2003 EEF rebranded itself as EEF - the Manufacturers’ Organisation and currently incorporates thousands of members, comprising manufacturers of all sizes across the UK. EEF is the leading voice of UK manufacturing and engineering that also provides a comprehensive source of business support. It is the aim of EEF to aide businesses operating within the manufacturing sector to continue to be able to thrive, innovate and compete both locally and on a global scale. The organisation works with a wide range of individuals ranging from industry

leaders, managers and professionals to young people apprentices, policy-makers and media representatives, which enables it to promote and support enterprise within the UK, while making sure businesses remain future-focused and competitive. As an independent division within EEF, UK Steel shares the goals of the wider organisation and provides its members with a central point of contact and specialised support. Membership of UK Steel is open to all UK-based companies involved in the production of steel as well as to the associated down stream processes including rolling, drawing, coating and tube making. “Our membership is made up of almost the entire UK steel sector, which includes all of the steel making companies operating within the UK and most of the downstream activities within the market. We are here to represent that sector as a whole, to liaise with the Government to provide further services and support to the steel industry, as well as to work with our members to develop best practice guides and innovations relating to health and safety and technical considerations,” elaborates Director, Gareth Stace. “Recently due to the steel crisis the sector has seen a number of job losses during the past year and we have been the main voice of the steel industry in relating its concerns to the Government and to the media. UK Steel has been focused on highlighting the crisis itself, its causes, what has happened in terms of job losses and market conditions, as well as what we as a sector believe are the solutions to the crisis in terms of what the Government can 135

Wrexham Wire With over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing high quality drawn steel wire Wrexham Wire now bring automotive industry levels of customer service, product quality and process efficiencies to the drawn wire industry. An influx of high-calibre, professional senior management, new owners and the long-standing technical expertise of the incumbent team defines the customer centric approach of the UK’s premier drawn wire solution provider. Significant capital investment in the high-carbon (bedding and seating) and low-carbon (cold heading) processes continues to add capacity, increase range and enhance efficiencies. Modern defined capacity production planning systems support the drive to achieve world-class OTIF performance. Located on the Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales, the business employs circa 85 people and has a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per annum and manufactures products from mild steel to boron and alloy grades, in various size ranges, choice of coatings and qualities to suit many applications. In addition to its standard specifications, the business can develop bespoke products that can be


designed, implemented and supplied to suit specific client requirements. Wrexham Wire’s facilities are equipped with Bullblock, Multiholer, Rotodie and Galvanising production lines (located in the Wrexham Plant), but Cut & Loop, Straightening and Mesh Making can also be carried out in West Bromwich by established service partners. Both continuous and batch annealing furnaces are employed on site and it offers both mechanically and chemically cleaned products. Wrexham Wire caters to the requirements of the UK market and 60 per cent of sales are exported to Europe and around the world. The company’s mission is to be the leading European wire drawer in cold heading, bedding & seating, galvanised and engineering wire by providing the best quality and service to customers. The business employs stringent quality control processes at every phase of the supply chain to ensure all goods are manufactured, shipped and delivered in strict compliance to key European standards, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

UK Steel

A large perforated steel filter, taken by Robert Watkins at Croft Filters Ltd in Warrington, winner of the Amateur photographer category of the EEF Photography Awards 2013

do to help us and what action can be taken in the UK, Brussels and globally. We would like to create a level playing field for all steel companies globally to compete and trade in what is essentially a global market.” Despite the challenges currently facing the steel industry, steel remains a vital part of everyday life and UK steel producers have invested in the future of steel manufacture as a key component in the development of a sustainable world. Indeed, steel has been at the heart of more than 100 years of progress and it is anticipated that the material will be equally fundamental to meeting the challenges of the next 100 years. Steel is also the most widely recycled material in the world, with more waste steel recovered in the UK and recycled than all other materials combined. This makes steel a highly sustainable commodity, for example each tonne of scrap material recycled by the steel industry saves 1.9 tonnes of iron ore and 0.6 tonnes of coal. The steel sector also makes a valuable contribution to the UK economy and in 2015 the industry contributed over £2.3 billion to the UK balance of trade. As the leading voice of the steel industry, UK Steel communicates with government and

Gareth Stace

parliament representatives in both London and Brussels with a goal to influence policy that underpins rather than undermines the long-term success of the steel sector. UK Steel harnesses the power of media to compel the government to take action to support the steel industry and has enjoyed several achievements in recent years. For example, through UK Steel’s intensive campaigning it was announced at the end of 2015 that State Aid approval had been granted for the Energy Intensive Industries Compensation scheme. The package is worth approximately £90 million per annum to the steel sector. The UK Government has also recently committed to permanently exempt the steel sector from renewables policy costs, voted in favour of anti-dumping measures, called an emergency Competiveness Council meeting in Brussels and has pushed for the Trade Defence modernisation package to be accelerated. Furthermore, through the work of UK Steel the Cabinet Office and others, guidance has been published to ensure social issues are taken into account when procuring major projects, unlocking significant opportunities for the steel sector. While UK Steel has enjoyed significant success in protecting the interests of the steel industry, the current steel crisis within the UK and globally demonstrates that there are several issues that need to be urgently addressed in the immediate future. “What we have seen when looking at the root causes of the steel crisis in the UK, is that there are three main components that have contributed to its development. For example, the UK steel industry faces unilateral costs that even our competitors in Europe do not face. There has also been a strong pound in recent years that has hurt the UK steel exports globally and finally, over capacity from China and other regions has equally impacted the steel manufacturing sector,” Gareth says. “The intention is not to look for handouts to support a ‘wounded’ industry because we strongly

believe that the UK steel sector is one that is able to compete on a global market, although it has also recently found its hands tied behind its back to some extent.” The unilateral costs facing the UK steel industry include energy prices, where UK manufacturers has previously paid more than double the price for energy when compared to competitors in France and Germany for example. While in recent years the UK government has taken some action in this area by compensating the UK steel manufacturing sector to the value of £90 million to help lessen the impact of energy prices, the problem of high energy costs continues to persist for UK steel manufacturers. “The reason that energy pricing continues to be a problem is that it is difficult or even impossible for UK steel manufacturers to pass these costs on to the customer because steel pricing is usually set at a global level, or if not at least at a regional level. Currently despite government assistance there is actually still a gap between the UK steel sector and its competitors in Europe of around £50 million in terms of what they pay for electricity. These unilateral energy costs exist because the UK government has provided funding to renewable energy and introduced carbon and energy taxes, while not paying close enough attention to the impact of this on other sectors, which has resulted in significant job losses in the steel industry,” Gareth explains. “While the government is increasingly aware of these issues, there are other areas such as business rates which are also universally frustrating for UK manufacturers, with UK firms paying five to ten times what our counterparts in Europe are paying. This discourages UK companies from investing in new plant machinery to promote modern business practices and manufacturing and is ultimately a tax on investment. Again the present government has taken an interest in this area and has suggested that UK needs a new 137

Tubes Ltd


ince its establishment in 2002, HDM Group of Companies (HDM) has developed a global client base with an extensive annual growth rate over the last six years. Focused on the production of steel pipe solutions, the group has two factories strategically located in MersinTurkey and Cardiff-UK. As part of its growth plan, HDM launched a new spirally welded LD pipe production investment to serve to foundation and construction industries in their Cardiff factory located at ABP docks for UK, Ireland and export markets. The company can produce up to 3m OD, 32mm wall thickness with special coatings and special design attachments such as clutch/interlock, pile shoes, and rings etc. HDM also established successfully hollow section and ERW tubes business in UK market in the last 3,5 years from its Cardiff factory; its products are delivered in the UK to different industries such as construction, fencing, manufacturing etc. HDM Group of Companies also operates a unique facility in Mersin Free Zone / Turkey, where the company focuses on the production of tailor-made foundation pipe solutions.The company is immensely proud of the extensive track records in global foundation solutions that had earned over the years, which continues to grow. With its new investment in Cardiff, HDM will seek to strengthen its leading position in the foundation pipe market while also sustaining its UK based hollow section business. Contact Details: Emre Fidan / Ozgur Fidanoglu HDM Tubes Ltd., Longships Road, I-Shed, CF10 4RP Cardiff 07824169760


UK Steel A steel ingot casting, taken by Ian Spooner at Sheffield Forgemasters, shortlisted in the Professional photographer category of the EEF Photography Awards 2013

be more difficult for the steel sector in the UK, however we are looking at how we can turn negatives into positives while looking for further opportunities,” Gareth concludes. “Looking at trade defences for example, theoretically once the UK does leave the EU, the government will have more freedom to set its own rules in investigating the impact of dumped steel on the market deciding the robustness of tariffs. UK Steel is very keen to work with the Department for International Trade going forward to set out what we, as a steel sector in the UK should be and how they should work. We will also work with producers of commodity products in the construction and automotive sectors for example, to promote the increased use of UK manufactured steel over the coming years.” industrial strategy, which we feel must look across the board and we hope will remove plant and machinery from the valuation process that sets the level of business rate that a company pays annually.” One of the most high-profile challenges facing the UK steel industry is that of the influx of under-priced steel products from China and other markets around the world. Over the last five years for example, the market share of imported reinforcing bar from China into the UK has risen from zero per cent to 43 per cent as a result of excess product being sold into the global market. “The problem stems from the fact that we have had several fast-growing economies, particularly China, which had massive production and therefore a significant need to consume steel. In recent years the Chinese economy has slowed slightly while its steel production has continued to increase, therefore within a few years the steel industry in the region had developed a massive over capacity. As a result companies increasingly turned to the export market to dump excess steel products,” Gareth reveals. “Around 12 months ago the UK government was not very supportive of trade defence instruments and nor was it historically supportive of EU proposals to impose trade tariffs on China or other countries. With the appointment of Anna Soubry as Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise during May 2015, within only a few weeks she had expressed a belief that the Government needed to change its position and support fair and sensible tariffs on imports of dumped steel. The government also became more supportive of EU proposals on trade tariffs and on ensuring that these were robust enough to address dumped products, such as reinforcing steel.”

While the government has been more receptive to the needs of the UK steel industry in recent months, the result of the UK decision to leave the EU has created a series of fresh challenges for the steel sector. “I think the headline for the steel sector is that it is going to

UK Steel Services: Support to steel manufacturers 139

M Squared Lasers

Solstis optical table

Lighting the


M Squared is a photonics technology company and it’s on a mission to harness the power of light to improve our world through the design and manufacture of advanced, laserbased photonics technologies and related applications



Squared is at the forefront of technological advancement, with a wide range of applications and mix of customers around the globe. Chief executive officer and co-founder Dr Graeme Malcolm explained the core elements of the business: “We design lasers and laser-based instrumentation using cutting edge photonics technology. We focus our efforts in three main areas: quantum technology – which is really the future of electronics: we had analogue with valves, digital with computing and smart phones, and now quantum – the

next big technological breakthrough. We are at the point where quantum science allows us to enable newer, more advanced and previously unimaginable applications. We also focus on lasers for chemical sensing, using our lasers to detect chemical agents and their chemical composition – so looking for things like explosives or chemical warfare agents, or even for standard industrial chemicals, oil and gas, or food and drink. The final area is biophotonics, which is the use of lasers for healthcare applications. Our new form of microscope can observe biological material at

Solstis engineer ing drawing

Dr Graeme Malcolm

a cellular level, so we can look at individual and larger groups of cells. For example, this enables neuroscience to see how neuron networks join up and further our understanding of how the brain works – we hope this will one day lead us to cures for diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Those are our three key themes, but there is really a whole plethora of interesting applications being born from our technology.” One exceptional side to M Squared is its dedication to innovation and advanced manufacturing techniques, which Graeme explained: “We manufacture all our products

in-house and really challenge ourselves to go further developing new techniques, using new materials and creating advanced software. One example of this combination of hardware and software is the development of a microscope system that is able to image large volume specimens (such as brain cells in neural networks) over long periods of time – this will really help scientists study what is happening to them. This new technology will have uses that range from developing greater understanding around neuroscience, as well as for cancer biology, or for pharmaceutical research.” Thanks to the hard work done at M Squared, it received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation this year, an achievement Graeme commented on: “It’s real recognition for the team and great for the business. It was awarded for our SolsTiS laser platform– a toolkit that is helping scientists explore the quantum realm. It

has been responsible for enabling the progress scientists are making in quantum and is already being used in the world’s most accurate clocks, to teleport information, in antimatter experimentation and in the construction of ‘ion-drives’ (the next generation of space propulsion).” The company works hard to continually improve and innovate, and in order to achieve this M Squared places a high priority on research and development, which Graeme highlighted: “We take a very open collaborative approach to innovation. We structure the business with an 80 per cent focus on making world-class products and 20 per cent on innovation. There are 25 members of staff focusing on research and development – currently we’re running in the region of 25 collaborations on projects worth around 20 million pounds. Over the last five years we have collaborated with more than 70 different groups worldwide – places like Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Stanford, Max Planck Institute in Germany, and University of Copenhagen. The work we do in this area will undoubtedly provide future growth for the business.” M Squared also works hard to recruit new people into the industry by going to universities and giving talks, as well as conducting outreach work – this is to ensure that the next generation of specialists in laser technology is developed. It is no wonder then that M Squared’s 141

M Squared Lasers

Zebrafish Gaussian Air y compar isons

Ashgill Electronics Ltd (AEL) Ashgill Electronics Ltd (AEL) has provided contract manufacturing services to the electronics industry for over 45 years. Global parts sourcing and procurement coupled with PCB assembly and test using modern equipment, ensures products competitively meet the most demanding of environments. Recent investment in additional, SMT, Selective Soldering and AOI equipment, means the company is capable of placing in excess of six million parts per day. The current development of a small business unit to support prototype and product development, makes AEL the ideal, cost effective solution for all PCB assembly needs, from small prototype runs through medium and higher volume production


products have extensive uses for highly technical research and day-to-day uses, and the position the company has in the market was something Graeme discussed: “We are seeing a growing demand in sensors, computing and communications – China has launched a satellite that has quantum key encryption in it, so these technologies are getting adapted and used rapidly. I think this is going to be like the digital revolution, like the semi-conductor was decades ago.” The business is ready for these upcoming developments, and Graeme explained that it is in a strong position: “Overall last year our

revenue was about ten million pounds and typically we are doubling every couple of years. So we have a high rate of growth in the business and at the moment we have about 80-85 employees that are split between the UK, US and Germany where we have local offices.” M Squared has already reached the milestone of a decade in a fast moving industry, and the plan for the future is exciting, which Graeme provided a brief insight into: “The step-up is integrating laser systems and developing photonics technology. This is the big opportunity for us because it opens up areas where we can solve big problems.” M Squared is without doubt a company that is forging the technology that will play a major role in the world, from the average person’s laptop or phone, to amazing breakthroughs in international medical research.

M Squared Lasers Products: Advanced laser platforms, lab instrumentation and novel photonics systems and applications

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC)



Through innovation, quality and compliance to stringent regulations, major Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company’s (SCAC) is flying high with its family of Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ) planes


ounded in 2000 with the goal of developing new regional aircraft projects, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) focuses on the creation and production of a family of regional planes. In charge of aircraft development, certification and production as well as marketing, sales and aftersales support, the Moscow headquartered company also operates from a production branch in Komsomolk-onAmur as well as business divisions in Uilianovsk, Voronezh and Novosibirsk. “The main project of SCAC is the production of Sukhoi Superjet 100, a new generation-jet designed and manufactured by SCAC together with Italian-based firm Leonardo-Finmeccanica, which is one of our shareholders alongside Sukhoi Aviation Holding. The SSJ1000 was first presented in September 2007 and the first flight was accomplished in May 2008; the aircraft went onto operate its first commercial flight in 2011. Able to be operated on both short and medium routes, the SSJ100 aircraft are operated by airlines and government agencies in CIS, Europe, the US and Asia; among the company’s largest operators are Aeroflot, Interjet and Gazpromavia,” begins Evgeniy Andrachnikov, Senior Vice-President Commerce at Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company. Elaborating on the many milestones undertaken by SCAC to ensure its aircraft comply with rigorous regulations, Evgeniy comments: “In January 2011 the Sukhoi Superjet 100 obtained IAC AR type certificate from the Russian Certification Authority; this certificate confirmed compliance of the SSJ100 with the airworthiness regulations and authorised commercial operations of the aircraft and its safety. Following this, in February 2012 the SSJ 100 (model RRJ-95B) received its Type Certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency, which recognises that the SSJ 100 aircraft demonstrated compliance with the EASA airworthiness and environmental 143

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC)

Aero Style Founded in 2000, today Aero Style’s main activities consist of the design, construction and installation of interior, galley and entertainment equipment/systems for aircraft. This includes the design and manufacture of equipment and polymeric composite parts, the production of aviation seats and aircraft simulators and the design and manufacture of light aircraft, helicopters and UAV. Its facilities are able to address the entire lifecycle of a product, from design to operation, and thanks to good relationships with global suppliers of materials, instruments and parts, the company provides smooth-running operation and effective quality system at all levels – from design and production process to warranty maintenance. The manufacturing operation includes a section dedicated to composites - in fact, one of the most important directions of company activity is work with composite materials, which allows decreasing the weight of parts while preserving their strength and durability. Aero Style also has the resources to offer numerically controlled machining, woodworking, metalworking, sewing section, painting section and assembly and electrical assembly. Over the years since its inception, the company has completed several refurbishment projects for blue chip clients, and at the same time it has mastered new techniques and acquired huge experience in the process of complicated technologies and unique projects.

requirements. This recognition allows the European airlines, as well as those airlines operating in countries that use EASA regulations as a reference standard, to accept and operate the SSJ 100 aircraft. In fact, the SSJ 100 is the first ever Russian passenger large airplane to achieve the EASA CS-25 certification.” Following further certifications, the company achieved another first for Russia when Russian authorities issued a Supplemental Type Certificate for the SSJ 100 that permits the utilisation of vertical navigation (VNAV) functionality at all stages of flight. This functionality significantly decreases crew workload and ensures compliance with all applicable restrictions. More recently, in December 2015, EASA issued a supplemental type certificate for the SSJ 100, which confirms this type of aircraft can perform flights under area navigation in RNAV 1 and P-RNAV systems. This development was followed by EASA issuing a supplemental type certificate that confirms the SSJ 100 can operate in CAT IIIa environments. As the first Russian aircraft to meet the world’s leading airlines’ stringent requirements, the jet has been developed to boast enhanced takeoff and landing performance, high cruising speed and can also be operated in a climate conditions ranging from -54 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius. These features make it possible to plan the route network with an element of flexibility, which increases the number of destinations it can travel to; as such, the SSJ 100 can be used on both regional and mainline routes.

Committed to product development, SCAC has three versions of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 within its portfolio: basic, long range and business; it is also working on a stretched version of the aircraft, which will have increased passenger capacity and is due for completion in 2019. SSJ 100/95 Basic and long range has a passenger capacity of 98 in single class configuration and offers customers a superior experience thanks to more comfort for passengers, increased profitability for operators, better support and systems for crews and enhanced environmental performance. The latter of which includes lower fuel burn thanks to improved aerodynamics, fly-by-wire, enhanced performance and a new engine; there are also lower maintenance costs, lower weight-related fees and lower capital costs, all of which result in more than ten per cent cost savings in comparison to SCAC’s competitors. Meanwhile, the Sukhoi Business Jet is a must for high-flyers who require the freedom to travel anywhere in the world at short notice as well as high-quality facilities and optimum comfort. With more space than any other business jet in its class, the SSJ100 business jet offers more scope for comfort, luxury and facilities as well as interiors tailored around unique preferences. Indeed, by combining the cabin space of an airliner with the luxury of a bespoke Italian interior design, this jet offers a higher level of luxury in its opulent lounge. Increasing this level of luxury is the business jet’s bar, bedroom and washroom, all of which have been produced with the same commitment to delivering superior quality in a relaxing, homely, environment. Assembled at the company’s modern factory 145


Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC)

EPS presently is the exclusive supplier of power distribution units and components for the SUKHOI SUPRJET-100 regional jet. The history of the program arises from 2002 when the Russian government decided to invest significant budget resources into regional projects for the market’s section which was free of worldwide grants’ presence. EPS has provided the most advanced components and technological concepts for the project. SUKHOI SUPERJET-100 became biggest regional carrier of EPS power distribution products in the world. EPS has provided a unique original conception of a 20-channel solid state DC Load Management Unit, which is applicable for pre-serial prototypes and for serial aircraft, too. The universal management and control capabilities of this unit still remain as a reference point in this section of technologies. Key components from EPS are also used in primary power distribution boxes of the aircraft including: relays, sockets, Hall Effect sensors, contactors and other accessories. Presently the SUKHOI SUPERJET-100 overtakes 100 delivered aircrafts with proven outstanding reliability of EPS power distribution technology. Such a result is only possible when a supplier actively participates in the design and supports customer requirements and services.

in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, as in company claims, SSJ 100 incorporates the best technology that has been developed by well-reputed leaders in the aviation industry: “These renowned companies include Honeywell, Parker, Liebherr, Safran, Goodrich, Intertechnique and Thales, among others. It is an advanced and cost-effective commercial aircraft built with state-of-the-art technology in aerodynamics, engine and aircraft systems. For example, all models of the SSJ 100 family are equipped with two SaM146 turbofan engines designed specifically for this type of aircraft; the engines are produced by PowerJet, which is a joint venture between Snecma and NPO Saturn.” Keen to continue enhancing its product’s operation capabilities, the company remains receptive to the feedback it gains from customers and offers additional activities in terms of customisation. For example, following SCAC’s obtaining of the EASA certificate that authorises it to operate SSJ 100 planes on runways down to 30 metres, the company is performing activities to initiate operations in London City airport, one of CityJet’s key locations, by December 2017; in line with this development, the company will undertake further improvement and performance of the aircraft via installation of horizontal winglets by 2018. This mode will be guaranteed by wing-flap system modernisation and FMS and avionics improvement, which will enable the CityJet fleet of SSJ 100’s to fit in the short London city runway; flight tests are due to begin in the summer of 2017. With three types of innovative aircraft already in its portfolio, SCAC is keen to continue strengthening its foothold in the aircraft market with new products, as Mr. Andrachnikov highlights: “We recently attended the Farnborough airshow 2016, where SCAC introduced the concept of a new aircraft designed to fly professional sports teams: Sportjet by Sukhoi.” A mock-up of SportJet by Sukhoi was exposed in Rio during Olympics in August. The concept of SportJet is based on the expertise and technology of Sukhoi Superjet 100, enhanced by innovative medical and IT solutions developed in co-operation with sports physicians, experts and managers. SportJet by Sukhoi is based on scientific and practical research in the field of sports, such as the impact of flights, jet lag, hypoxia, dehydration, stress on the body and aerophobia that affect professional athletes from various sports. Among the potential customers the company sees national sports federations, professional sports clubs, individuals and businesses. SportJet by Sukhoi will provide custom aircraft versions for professional teams in such sports as football, hockey, basketball and rugby, as well as a solution for customers from business aviation, emphasising its ties with the sport and paying particular attention to health issues. The aircraft is easily customisable based on the client’s needs. Having set the foundations for further growth in locations such as Europe and also China, where the company going to open an office by the end of this year with the goal of taking one tenth of the market, the future looks full of opportunities for SCAC as it not only focuses on strengthening its foothold in existing areas but also seeks out untapped markets such as Africa.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) Products: Regional planes 147

AR Metallizing NV

Listen, learn and


AR Metallizing NV is a world leader in the production of metallized boards, papers and films used in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector. Its core focus is labelling and flexible packaging

Bart Devos, CEO



s Bart Devos, CEO, explained, alongside these items the company also develops complex specialty products, including metallized textiles and substrates for the automotive, sports gear and equipment, medical and construction sectors. “For instance, the company provided the UV reflecting textiles for the Bangkok Airport roof construction,” he highlighted. In fact AR Metallizing’s range is very extensive. The core focus is labelling and flexible packaging, which are supplied to an array of clients including printers, laminators and converters as well as the top tier brands in the food and beverage, entertainment, media and advertising sectors. The product portfolio also includes a range of envelopes and gift-wrap solutions. , “Our range is actually quite vast,” added Bart. “We work closely with clients to help them develop solutions, and so for example, we’ve been working with a chain of quick serve restaurants to replace their existing

non-environmentally friendly packaging with a greener solution.” “We also help our clients in the designing of their labels and packaging,” noted Jacky Vanden Ecker, Operations Director. “We have an in-house creative services department with a marketing design specialist who helps new customers and existing label and packaging customers to design specifically on metallized paper because design is always different on these materials.” “We have the reputation in the market to be innovators,” Bart continued. “A great illustration of this is the new metallized paperboard for folding boxes, called SilberBoard, that we recently released.” The market has responded very positively to this new product, hailing it as the first real revolution in the packaging industry for decades. What makes it so remarkable is that it enables premium brands to get rid of plastics, yet offers consumers glossy, great looking packaging. It also meets environmental requirements from

DHL Global Forwarding Belgium DHL Global Forwarding Belgium, the logistics partner of AR Metallizing, handles their Air and Ocean Freight business on a worldwide level. Thanks to our global network and dedicated local service, we are able to process even their very big volume shipments efficiently and with the highest care. We always aim to obtain a win-win situation, by helping AR Metallizing to improve their transportation network and gain competitive advantages. The strong partnership and the very open communication between our companies are definitely two of the key success points of our collaboration.

consumers, state regulatory authorities and – at the same time – satisfies industry needs from premium brands in the CPG markets. “SilberBoard is the result of years of stakeholder’s involvement, extensive R&D and financial investments,” added Bart. “Consumers and authorities favour environmentally friendly packaging, yet consumers’ buying behaviour shows that packaging needs to look great, reflect brand values and remain functional. With our SilberBoard we can offer them an environmentally friendly alternative for their existing plastic packaging.” In addition to the release and positive reception of SilberBoard, two other recent achievements have even further accelerated the company’s success. In 2015 AR Metallizing became a full subsidiary of the Japanese multinational Nissha. The multinational is listed on the Tokyo 149

AR Metallizing NV

Jacky Vanden Ecker, Operations Director

stock exchange and is highly regarded for its technological leadership. Nissha’s roots date back to 1929. Further to this development, AR Metallizing acquired Brazilian-based Malaga Produtos Metalizados, the number one player in the Latin American region. This brought the total number of the organisation’s manufacturing facilities around the world to four (Belgium, Italy, the US and Brazil), and cemented its position as a trusted global supplier with a local presence. “The vision we had and still have is that as our clients become more global, we want to be close to them and be able to streamline our supply chain as much as possible. So the acquisition in Brazil gave us a solid and reliable supply chain for our customers in Latin America and it also enables AR Metallizing to move up in

the value chain by integrating supply processes and expand and diversify our product portfolio,” Bart explained. “We also always have a back-up scenario for all plants,” added Jacky. “In Brazil, for instance, we have created the capability to serve customers from Europe if needed. What we also notice is that combining the knowledge of the four different facilities is really helping us to better position ourselves, as well as improving our focus on the quality and design of our products, hence we can meet customer needs even better.” The acquisition also puts AR Metallizing in an even better position to respond to strong current global market demand. “Although oftentimes the perception in Europe is different, we see that especially the American market is very much in favour of sustainable packaging. It is interesting to see for instance how in the American market bottom-up approaches affect the industry. US consumers are advocating strongly for sustainable packaging, which has a major impact on the industry’s behaviour. On the other hand, the industry also starts to understand that ‘going or being green’ is profitable, which is a great opportunity for a company such as AR Metallizing.” It is clear from speaking to Bart and Jacky that AR Metallizing is a very hands-on and entrepreneurial company, and one that is dedicated to continuous improvement. “We try to foster internally - throughout the whole


company - the spirit to always think ahead and anticipate, by listening, learning and then leading – this is one of my favourite mottos,” said Bart. “If you apply this in the company and towards your clients you are often successful. We also keep a close eye on our competition, pay attention to the trends in the market and as I mentioned, listen to our clients. Of course you also have to undertake the necessary investments and that is what we try to do. Invest in technology, people, and obviously in new products. “We think that our true competitive edge, is not caused by only having good management strategies, but in the execution thereof. We are continuously focused and result-driven on all levels of our organisation: sales, marketing, purchase, R&D, operations. We are always looking for cost efficiencies and true solutions for our customers.” Going forward, AR Metallizing’s strategy will be to continue to build on its strengths, with the ambition to always be a better company that can serve the labelling and packaging industry to the best of its ability. “My leadership team is proud that we can steer a company like AR Metallizing, and every day we see the commitment of our people – without them the company would not be the success it is today,” concluded Bart. “We are also proud of our customers, who are also loyal and dedicated to improvement. We are keen to apply the motto of listen, learn and lead to them all, as we believe that such an attitude is necessary to stay at the top globally.”

AR Metallizing NV Services: Global provider of specialty technical coatings for metallized applications 151

Summitglow Ltd

Many irons in the Summitglow Ltd is a heat treatment specialist that continues to expand and steadily grow and as such takes advantage of both traditional and new technologies




he past few years has been a testing time for many of those connected to the oil industry, though there are those that have managed to continue to achieve growth, and Summitglow is one of them. The company provides a wide selection of specialised heat treatments and supplies these to a range of industries. Summitglow has made further improvements and investments to the business, as well as devoting focus to diversification and expanding into more markets, which demonstrates the strengths of Summitglow and how well it can perform even during a more challenging period. The company was set up in Sheffield during 1983, and it was a family owned business – something it continues to be to this day. Summitglow originally provided salt bath heat treatment services, though due to a sustainable growth plan it evolved – it now offers unique

and specialised heat treatment services by using cutting edge technology and a dedicated small team. At the present time Summitglow offers services that range from vacuum, salt bath, case hardening, gas nitriding and nitrocarburising, to sub-zero (cryogenic) and air and atmosphere treatments, in addition to hot chemical blacking and straightening services. Having been established in 1983, the company has already achieved the milestone of over three decades of activity, and with further investments and larger demand for its products - attaining five decades or even a century in business seems likely. Summitglow has previously been featured in Manufacturing Today Europe during 2015, in that piece managing director Philip Watkinson discussed that the company was looking into the opportunities that opening a new furnace would provide: “The vision is, and has been for a while, to progress further into doing more high-end,

high-complexity components that require high tolerances and better quality. By pushing for higher technology, higher quality, high-end markets, whilst maintaining our spread of markets, we will be able to continue to grow,” he said. This development has since come to fruition. Summitglow now has a fully functioning new furnace, something that in the most recent interview Philip expanded on: “It has given us a lot more capacity than we had previously, because before we only had vacuum capacity for small turn around batches, whereas now we can handle much larger requests. We can actually do a lot more than just a greater sized batch with the new equipment, we can also provide for different shapes, and new varieties of components, all of which we couldn’t handle before. This is all really positive, it means that we can do more work for our existing customers – that before we were not able to commit to – it also means that it opens doors with new customers that had demands we couldn’t meet previously.” It is clearly a positive sign that the company has continued to invest in its facilities, which will then in turn make it more attractive to a wider market, and thus ensure that the Summitglow is in an increasingly stronger position in the future. The business is willing to make investments in order to increase its product range and quality, and this has proven to be a worthwhile tactic – leading to the company growing and appealing to more markets. After the successful launch of the new furnace there are plans to improve another side of Summitglow, something that Philip elaborated on: “We are looking at increasing some of our nitriding facility next year, the plan is that during 2017 we will have another nitriding furnace – smaller units will then be replaced by a more versatile furnace that is slightly larger with a much quicker heat up time and a vacuum tempering furnace, those are the two main things we are looking at for the moment.” There are many factors that are crucial to any business working within the 153

Summitglow Ltd

industrial sector, but two essential ones are safety and the assurance of quality. Both of which Summitglow takes seriously and places as a top priority. It has already achieved previous accreditations, such as the ISO9001:2008, but Philip explained that the company is not sitting idle on these matters: “One of the main projects at the moment is we are working towards is ISO9001:2015 and we plan to have that in place by the middle of next year, we certainly expect for that to be in place by our next audit in July. It is going really well, and we have utilised some external help to achieve it. It is a significant change to the current standard but any improvements to quality is something we welcome and embrace.” The company has high hopes for the coming 12 months due to the combination of improved equipment, expanding markets, and the business growing in general, this ambition was something that Philip expressed: “At the present time I don’t think we will pursue rapid expansion, however we do plan to have sustainable and continued growth. We aim to achieve consolidation and growth within existing markets

– and still continuing to push towards improving our reputation in different markets. There will always be some areas that are declining and others that are improving, so the expansion for us at the moment is definitely within vacuum.” Summitglow is taking a very pragmatic and stable approach, it is not overstretching in a market that can fluctuate, and instead it is appealing to a variety of sectors, this will protect the company’s success in the future. It has been a tough period for many companies that provide for the oil industry, however Summitglow is not delivering a message of doom-and-gloom – instead it is quite the opposite, it is building on what it has previously done to provide an even better standard. It is appealing to larger markets, and it is has a realistic plan for the coming years that will see steady growth. It will no doubt be a glowing beacon of success and diversification.

Summitglow Ltd Services: Salt baths, sealed quench furnaces – hardening, case hardening and carbonitriding, belt furnaces – hardening, case hardening and carbo-nitriding, vacuum furnaces, hardening, ageing, gas nitriding furnaces – up to four metres capacity, nitro-carburising furnace, hot chemical blacking, sub-zero (cyrogenic) treatments


James Dewhurst



James Dewhurst designs and manufactures high performance engineered reinforcement fabrics to ensure optimum performance throughout the supply chain using a wide range of material types


rom James Dewhurst’s origins in 1933 as an innovative weaving business, it has grown into one of the largest global manufacturers of flexible reinforcement materials. Over the last 80 years, it has built on this heritage with proprietary laid scrim processes, chemical binders, and lamination and weaving technologies. Dewhurst’s high-performance industrial woven materials allow it to offer competitive reinforcement solutions tailored to its customers’ requirements. As part of the future planning at James Dewhurst, a new team has been put together in order to ensure that it is taking a proactive and energetic approach to targeting the geotextile and construction market. Having only recently been implemented, it will likely prove to be an important strategic move, as Group Sales Director Jean Claude Abed discusses: “This geo textile market team has been assembled with the sole focus of identifying opportunities whereby James Dewhurst products may be applicable to the geo textiles and construction industries particularly. The group will also focus on developing new products for customers through partnerships and close relationships with customers.” 155

Geotex Scrim selection


Monosuisse, as one of the world’s leading producers of monofilaments has been a reliable partner for James Dewhurst Ltd for more than one decade. Its common philosophy about high quality, engineered products and ongoing developments, is the key for the success of both companies in the market. Monosuisse has four production facilities worldwide and offers an extensive range of monofilaments with special polymers for various applications. High tenacity multifilaments for technical applications are a new addition to its range of products.


The new group has already seen some dividends for its efforts, and Jean Claude provides an example: “We have had some successes already in the US where we supply polyester reinforcement scrims to reservoir liners. We sell the scrim to essential polyethylene film extruders that laminate our scrims to their extrusions to provide a reinforcement and then these are laid in the bottom of various ponds and reservoirs as a barrier layer and then the water gets added on top of it.” He adds: “In addition to reservoir liners, another successful application has been developed in partnership with one of our customers; this is a glass reinforced laminate that is used in road construction applications in the US and was produced to meet the needs of the road construction business in North America. We have also developed a third product that is also for roofing; it is a glass scrim laminate that differentiates itself from other types of glass scrim as it is based on a roving yarn instead of a multi-filament yarn. This makes the glass scrim laminate a very high strength glass yarn and is part of our efforts to deliver a glass woven, glass tissue laminate for the roofing industry in Europe.”

The market is always a significant factor in any company’s success, and will affect its customers demands, and Jean Claude has a positive outlook for the situation in Europe, particularly for James Dewhurst: “I think overall Europe is seeing slow to moderate growth in general – so there is new business for us, but it is not necessarily only new business that our growing demand is coming from. A substantial part of it is coming from us taking more of a share of one customer or another. We do believe that things are starting to look better, and we have been getting many more developments and opportunities, as well as requests and partnerships with customers, over the last six months. We expect this to be the case in the coming 12-18 months, as we feel that not only are we looking to further develop our business but our customers are also looking to grow theirs.” Jean Claude also discussed the areas that are seeing the greatest improvement: “The most strategic growth for us is in the geo textile and construction markets. As I mentioned we put together this focus team to drive that. They are really starting from scratch – so for us this is a completely new business and that takes time. We have to develop a lot of opportunities and

James Dewhurst

Geotextile team

a lot of the products, we will go out and identify the customer and find their unmet needs, to then work with co-operatively to develop some new products. “For example, in construction we are looking to target roofing applications; previously we have made a lot of roofing laminates made from glass scrim, laminated to glass tissue, but have recently developed a laid scrim to replace the woven scrim that is historically used to create a single ply roofing application for TPO or PVC roofs. This development is in response to market trends whereby woven reinforcement is being substituted with a laid reinforcement; this is

a new business for us and has recently been commercialised with one of our customers.” There are always new areas in which James Dewhurst is looking to improve, so the company has a very active future planned, as Jean Claude discussed: “We are also evaluating and running trials for the next four weeks whereby we hope to be able to offer a new bio compostable scrim. This is an area where a lot of customers have expressed interest but a lot of the materials that would work in our process were not available until this time or were very expensive to the point where it didn’t make any sense. So we hope in the next six months to have two or

three different bio compostable options available as reinforcement to customers targeting hygiene areas like wipes. This will allow packaging customers to prevent a lot of paper going to landfill, and instead make it compostable. Those are probably the biggest areas of growth that we expect to get into.” The company is putting in place innovative plans for the future, new energetic teams, investments in its facilities, and increasing its market share within Europe. James Dewhurst developed an impressive business in the 20th century, and the company no doubt has an even more successful future ahead as it continues its focus on innovation and a collaborative approach to product development.

James Dewhurst Products: Flooring and roofing products, needle punching and filtration fabrics and wind turbine blade reinforcement 157

Collins and Hayes Furniture Limited




ituated on the coast in the South East of England and steeped in history, Collins and Hayes has been successfully designing, developing and manufacturing upholstered furniture of the highest quality for over 140 years. It takes pride in offering its customers a wide choice of beautifully designed and styled products. Collins and Hayes’ upholstery has always


Collins and Hayes is a designer and maker of bespoke furniture, and going forward is focusing on efficiency, modernisation, and increasing its reputation

been handmade. Over the years the company has earned an enviable reputation for elegantly designed and well crafted furniture, based on skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen with a deep understanding of materials and construction techniques. The large collection of fabrics and

leathers are specifically selected and sourced from all around the world in order to enhance and complement its furniture. A great deal of effort and experience goes into crafting Collins and Hayes products, so it comes as no surprise that the company has

recently received a number of awards. Managing director Matt O’Flynn explained: “The first recognition we received this year was at a Birmingham trade show in January where we won an award for best design. Then in August we won the Interiors Monthly award for the best UK furniture manufacturer of 2016. This award was voted for by the readership of Interiors Monthly, which is made up of retailers and the supply chain - and this represents a really broad spectrum of professionals from the industry including importers, wholesalers, manufactures, retailers and traders. So the award really demonstrates the impact we had in the market last year, and it’s something we plan to build on.” The awards are a clear recognition of what Collins and Hayes is striving to achieve - to produce the best quality for its customer.

All Collins and Hayes models employ close attention to detail in their construction. The handcrafted frames are engineered to slot together, then glued and screwed by highly skilled craftsmen and come with a lifetime guarantee. The furniture is also bespoke. It can be customised to fit a specific space and tailored to suit requirements, including increasing or decreasing the width of the sofas. In addition to the extensive focus on customer preferences and material quality, there is a range of new product designs that are likely to prove popular throughout the rest of 2016 and into 2017. Several of these deserve special note. There is the Dalston, which is new for Autumn 2016 and features feather seat and pillow cushions inside a tailored natural fibre covered frame, which is designed to provide a comfortable space to relax. Then there is the

Shelby, a refined, architecturally designed corner unit that provides large seating capacity and is available in modular combinations, which the company has designed to be a stylish option. There have been a number of improvements to the business by Collins and Hayes, and this is something that Matt elaborated on: “We have continued to bring new products to market, and improve the quality of the merchandise we are making. But we have also advanced the manufacturing side of the business. Internally a great deal has changed. We have reduced the amount of space we operate out of in order to increase efficiency and to become more customer orientated. The result of all of this is that we now have a higher capacity, and have been able to focus on reducing costs and making the product even more appealing for the market.” 159

Collins and Hayes Furniture Limited

Collins and Hayes has made other improvements to its facilities, as Matt explained: “We have completely refurbished our wood mill with a clean supply of electricity and a new extraction system. We are investing in new machinery, and we have also upgraded our IT capability with a new ERP system. This has provided us with a much more robust and modern platform and has made the whole order processing more slick. One example is that we have now electronic order acknowledgments and invoices.” It is clear that Collins and Hayes is embracing


the future, finding new ways to provide its traditional quality with modern systems, processes and equipment. The company is focused on increasing its reputation both domestically and internationally. One of the methods it is employing to achieve this is by attending trade shows and exhibitions, and Matt elaborated on this: “The Long Point open trade show, based in Long Eaton, is actually the centre of excellence for furniture manufacturing. With around 40 or so exhibitors it is a significant exhibition, and provides us with the space to show off what we have to offer,

which adds value to our business.” Internationally the company is looking to increase its exports, and Matt gave more details: “We are looking to take a stand at the Milan furniture show, which will provide us with an opportunity to promote our fine range of furniture internationally.” The company has a number of plans for the future, and these include a complete revamp of the website and attending more expos. While Collins and Hayes continues to focus on making quality furniture that provides comfort and style, the company is determined to continue its forward momentum. Its ethos is a commitment to finding new innovative approaches to production, marketing and materials. Its aim is to create products it genuinely believes in, and without a doubt it will go on to collect many more awards in the future, and attract many more customers.

Collins and Hayes Furniture Limited Products: Bespoke furniture

The Sertec Group Ltd

The right

components With more than five decades of industry experience, The Sertec Group has established itself as a specialist manufacturer of automotive components in aluminium and steel 161

Head office, Wincaster House


he Sertec Group Ltd (Sertec) was founded in 1962 as an engineering business, predominately in the manufacture of press tooling for the automotive industry and has since grown to represent a major force within the UK manufacturing industry. “In 54 years, Sertec has witnessed dramatic changes in the UK automotive sector with a clear objective to grow and prosper. The company’s strong management team and commitment to excellence in everything it does has seen it not only survive where others have fallen, but rise to become the largest independently owned manufacturer of its kind in the UK,” explains Group Managing Director, Dave Steggles. “Quality manufacturing has ensured the continued success of the business and through a policy of continued improvement, investment and acquisition, Sertec is now responsible for over 1500 employees across its five manufacturing sites that deliver sales of over £200 million.” Sertec operates two factories in Coleshill, one in each of Aston, Saltley and Tyseley in Birmingham as well as a tooling business in Guangdong Province, China. Across these sites the company is specialised in the delivery of

products ranging from stamped components in both steel and aluminium; complex assemblies utilising robotic and manual welding; as well as employing the latest automated riveting technologies required for aluminium structural assemblies. Sertec also supplies tubular assemblies including exhaust bright trim and wire formed products; with customers currently including world leading names such as Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Scania, Tenneco, Denso, UYS, Unipart, Arvin Meritor, TRW, ZF Lemforder and GKN. By working with several industry-leaders in the automotive sector, the company has established a strong market presence with its products reaching markets within China, the USA, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Holland, France, Belgium and Brazil. The business has enjoyed significant growth over the last eight years with sales rising from £40 million in 2008 to £200 million today. The trusted and long-standing relationships between Sertec and its customers have been founded upon the company’s dedication to working in close collaboration with them to ensure that it delivers the best solution to meet every component’s unique requirements. Once a solution has been agreed on, Sertec remains on hand to provide assistance throughout the

Sertec’s new logistic centre



The Sertec Group Ltd

£16 Million investment in a brand new Stampings facility at Sertec’s Birmingham factory

entire development of the final product. “In co-operation with our main customers, Sertec has been successful in innovating and enhancing the use of aluminium to deliver a broad base of ‘lightweight structures’. We intend to develop these products further with significant investment and engineering resources focused purely in this area. Over the coming years we will also continue to work to further develop our understanding and knowledge of alternative materials,” Dave says. “Sertec manages a dedicated design team that supports our customers with design feasibility right through from initial design to full design testing and prototype supply. Our commercial and logistics team also operate established teams to support any customer aftermarket requirements.” To allow Sertec to continue to better serve its customers, it was announced during February this year that the company had secured a £20 million funding package from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to support the company’s management team in its continuing expansion plans for the business. Sertec currently produces over three million components per week across its five operating sites within Birmingham, while

new BGF funding will allow the business to accelerate its production and growth strategy. The funding comes in addition to £20 million in working capital that was invested into Sertec by Lloyds Bank in August 2015. Indeed, Sertec invested heavily across all of its operating centres during 2015, through the implementation of new robotics, presses and site upgrades. During 2016 the company will complete a brand new £16 million press shop at its Coleshill factory, where 13 new transfer and progression presses will be fully operational within the next 12 months. The investment by BGF and Lloyds Bank will facilitate Sertec’s continued expansion to support Jaguar Land Rover’s exciting development of new vehicles such as last year’s launch of Discovery Sport and Jaguar XE and this year’s arrival of Jaguar’s new crossover F-Pace and the convertible version of the record breaking Range Rover Evoque. “Partnering with both the BGF and Lloyds is critical to the next steps the business needs to develop not only our product range, but also our international footprint,” Dave observes. “Following a full review of our UK plants, the board decided to not only focus our stamping facility in one UK facility, but to also replace 163

Head office assembly hall

predominately manual capacity with the latest progression and transfer automated capacity. This will both improve the productivity of the group as a whole as well as to future proof the site.” Additional to allowing Sertec to invest in its plant and equipment, this latest deal also supports the company’s on-going programme of restructuring. The reshaping of the business began as long ago as 2006 with long term plans in mind; and as part of this latest investment, Sertec’s founding Mosedale family have retired from the business, with a strong executive management team comprised of Grant Adams (CEO), Dave Steggles (Managing Director) and Finance Director Martyn Hughes taking over the reins of the business. Across this team there exists over 83 combined years of experience in working at Sertec and a passion that will ensure that they will continue to lead the company for years to come. “Bringing BGF on board complements the strong partnership we have enjoyed with Lloyds Bank for over 50 years and allows us additional flexibility for our ambitious growth plans. The combination provides a well-balanced source of support and funding, both now and in the future,” Group CEO Grant Adams says. “Whilst we share important plans with Jaguar Land Rover, we must also expand


our customer base and extend our geographical reach into Europe. It is testament to our potential that this is The Business Growth Fund’s largest single investment in the automotive industry to date.” Since securing the latest of a series of financial investments into the business, Sertec has moved to increase its manufacturing footprint. For example, during May 2016 the company announced an agreement to lease a brand new Logistics facility at The Hams Hall Estate, just a mile from its head office as part of its ongoing expansion plans. Indeed, as Sertec continues to grow, the inclusion of this new facility will allow the company’s existing storage areas to be reallocated to the production of finished goods. “Our Group strategy has always been to attract more customers and a more diverse range of products to manufacture. Furthermore, export markets are becoming more and more important to us and we must improve our sales to both existing and potentially new customers overseas,” Dave details. “Given such targets, this exciting new development will allow us to not only demonstrate greater manufacturing capacity across our factories, but now we have added an outstanding stand alone distribution centre to our business. As we invest in our

The Sertec Group Ltd

Robotic weld technologies

future, such developments are essential to accelerating growth whilst continuing our drive for performance excellence.” But the very latest initiative is all about the people Sertec employs. With the continuing success locally to Sertec of Jaguar Land Rover and the automotive industry in general, the pressure on the UK Midlands supply chain to find new skilled labour continues to be an issue. The Sertec Group’s investment in bricks and mortar, plant and equipment has certainly increased manufacturing capacity. But to sustain such growth, the business is now investing in its people with the launch of the Sertec Learning Academy. Training has always been a part of building an effective and efficient workforce. But with the launch of the Academy, Sertec can now take new, unskilled people, give them a world class induction and train them before a single day’s work is done. Based at Sertec’s Wincaster House headquarters, the Learning Academy covers all aspects of the manufacturing processes involved in the supply of automotive components, not only for new starters but for existing employees too. CEO Grant Adams said: “This is only just the beginning. The possibilities are endless in our efforts to up-skill our workforce and with our current team of 1500 people increasing by a further 100 workers over the next 12 months, the Academy is an essential development in the future of our business.” Quality and performance excellence is the be all and end all in automotive manufacturing and Sertec has instilled a mentality and a structure

to reflect that. This is achieved through the implementation of quality procedures that are fully compliant with all applicable industry standards used throughout the Sertec Group of companies. Shared database facilities and group wide functions such as advanced quality planning (AQP) and supplier development ensure that the quality of products and services is of the highest quality of all times. Jaguar Land Rover has in recent years awarded Sertec its highest accolade relating to supplier quality and manufacturing, over and above more than 1200 JLR suppliers worldwide. The combination of the company’s modern production facilities, dedicated staff and leading quality management systems have made Sertec a trusted partner to some of the automotive industries most demanding clients and will further strengthen the business as it continues through the second half of 2016 and beyond. “Market conditions generally remain positive for us at present and we expect the sector to remain strong throughout 2016 as we launch several new products,” Dave concludes. “Our main competitive edge remains as it always has been on our people and our ability to adapt to market and technological changes. This is added to class leading quality and delivery performance.”

Sertec Group Ltd Products: Specialist manufacturer of components in steel and aluminium for the automotive sector 165

Servopresse Srl

Aid to


Sertec’s se supplieler cted

With a history dating back over more than 45 years to when the company was founded with the aim of designing and producing equipment for process coil material for presses, Servopresse has developed a reputation as one of Europe’s leading companies in this sector


ervopresse products are found in shears, forming machines and machines that use sheet metal coils across several industry sectors. The company was founded in 1970 and today continues to operate as a mid-sized privately managed organisation, with around 40 employees and partners operating in its factories in Milan and Nice covering a combined space of 5000 sq. metres. Throughout its history Servopresse has remained at the forefront of developing markets, new customer requirements and ongoing technology trends, which the company is able to respond to quickly, owing to its experience as a family owned business. Indeed, since Silvano and Umberto Cecchi first established the firm, Servopresse has sold in excess of 5000 coil lines to customers worldwide. The business is in its second generation and is currently under the successful guidance of Dario, Lara and Paolo Cecchi, operating as technical, commercial and financial managers respectively. “The name Servopresse comes from a play on words, with ‘servo’ in the Italian language meaning aid or servant, while ‘presse’ simply means press. Therefore the name Servopresse Heavy coil


Lara Cecchi, Commercial Manager, Servopresse

literally translates to ‘aid to press’. My mother conceived this name 46 years ago, when the company was founded and the brand was later officially filed in 1975,” reveals Commercial Manager, Lara Cecchi. “In recent years this name has been increasingly useful to us, because the development of technology in building presses with servomotors, has resulted in greater visibility for our company. Since we obviously own the trademarks and domains for Servopresse that are recorded for our organisation, this is something that does somewhat ‘stick in the throat’ of several press manufacturers who would like to have the exclusivity of this major brand. It is a fact that we received some interesting takeover offers in recent years, especially from manufacturers based in Asian countries wishing to expand their activities in Europe. This would give them a major advantage over their competitors since they would then automatically have a point of distribution in Europe, however Servopresse is a family company and the progress that we achieved in the last few years has given us a lot of confidence. Therefore, we are keen to continue to push further in this area, by endeavouring to build even more advanced lines in the future.” Around 95 per cent of the components produced by Servopresse are exported to clients outside of Italy through a network of technically qualified distributors, which are able to offer customers full installation services and

aftersales support. This has allowed Servopresse to gain a reputation as a trusted supplier to leading OEMs including Sertec – an important equipment supplier for Jaguar-Land Rover. The company’s production range covers all coils up to a maximum capacity of 20 tons, widths of up to 2000mm and thicknesses of up to 20mm. Servopresse can build single machines, compact lines and special lines comprising: Decoilers: single or double, with or without motor, and hydraulic self-centring expansion. Straighteners: normal or feeding straighteners, comprising a cast iron drafting head and hardened and ground steel straightening rolls. Electronic roll feeders: easy to use and suitable for automated lines. Traditional lines: these feature decoilers and straighteners to be used with an independent feeder. Compact lines: these are composed of integrated decoilers and feeder straighteners. Special lines: to satisfy most sophisticated working requirements such as zigzag feeding lines; straightener cradles; bar feeders; complete cutting lines; micro perforation and embossing coil lines as well as automatic multi-disc cutting lines from coil.

• • • • • •

Heavy duty line


Traditional coil loop line

The company’s comprehensive product portfolio is supported by its flexible management structure and ‘made-to-measure’ manufacturing processes that have allowed Servopresse to remain both buoyant and competitive in a challenging market. Rather than operating as a simple assembler, the company manufactures around 85 per cent of the components it uses in-house, which enables it to satisfy even the most sophisticated, diverse and complex manufacturing requirements.

“Through a period of global financial downturn that has affected most of the world across almost all sectors, we have emerged stronger with a close-on threefold increase in production and our forward order book is full up to mid-2017,” Lara exclaims. “For example, we have seen an increasing demand for machines that can process new, high-strength materials or aluminium. It is important for our customers that our machines are very capable and increasingly automated. Most of our customers are big companies

wrestling with shortages in skilled operators, meaning that machines need to be automated to support their operations. In the last year, our production has changed from semi-automatic to fully automatic line production and we have therefore developed new automatic threading adjustment systems for coil feeding equipment which enables us to offer complete decoiling, feeding and straightening lines able to automate the set-up phase of these machines.” During the next 12 months and beyond, Servopresse will continue to provide marketleading solutions to its clients while managing the demands of a volatile global market. Its international customer base has given the company a diverse range of clients and a strong order book that will help the business to further develop its global reputation and win new orders over the coming years. “The UK is the most important market for us right now and we deliver to a lot of customers there. We are honoured and proud to be a supplier to one of our best customers, Sertec where in recent years, we have delivered almost 15 large lines ranging from 1000mm to 1600mm/10-15 ton coil width. Sertec operates multi-production runs so automation is very important for the business, meaning that it wanted compact lines that are very small and space saving. Line safety is also a key prerequisite for us and we fix protective barriers as an integral part of the machine and not as an add-on,” Lara concludes. “Servopresse also has customers in Poland, Hungary and Scandinavia as well as Italy. It has also delivered lines to customers in the US, Mexico and Brazil and is currently in the process of delivering a machine to a rollforming manufacturer in India, with a further project for a customer in Russia. We view the Italian and global markets market as a challenge but also, more importantly, an opportunity.”

Servopresse Srl Coil and associated equipment specialist 167

Anstey Wallpaper Company Ltd

Got you


Benefiting from the broadest machine profile in Europe and backed by design and technical expertise, Anstey Wallpaper Co Ltd has achieved an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most versatile, professional and capable wallcovering printers



ased in Loughborough, England, Anstey Wallpaper Company Ltd’s (Anstey Wallpaper) history stretches back more than 100 years, during which time the company achieves an enviable global reputation as a versatile and professional wallcovering printer. Not only the largest contract wallcovering printer in the UK, Anstey Wallpaper also has the broadest machine profile in Europe, a strength that is backed by design and technical expertise. “Anstey Wallpaper is the wallcovering manufacturer of Walker Greenbank PLC, sitting alongside a sister company Standfast and Barracks who print and dye fabrics.

The wallpaper manufacturer, then known as Wallcovering International, which as well as being a manufacturer also had the marketing brands Zoffany and Harlequin, was purchased in 1987. However, wallcovering manufacturing with direct lineage can be traced back through a series of different names for a hundred years or more,” begins Carl Ashby, Business Development Director at Anstey Wallpaper. “The ambition early on was to transform the wallpaper arm of the business, now renamed Anstey Wallpaper (after the village it was situated in and drew a large proportion of its workforce from), targeting the higher ‘luxury’ end of the market where the vast skills within

trends and colours at the London and Paris shows, which results in cutting-edge, on-trend products for its client base. Moreover, Anstey Wallpaper has a specialist technical development department that explores and combines inks, substrates, techniques and technology to ensure the continuous development of new and innovative products from within its own wide range of processes. Additionally, the company’s strong partnerships with suppliers also guarantees it remains fully up to date with the latest raw materials and works with these suppliers with the goal of creating new ones. A recent example of the company’s commitment to continuous innovation is the addition of a high tech scattering machine to its factory, which enables tiny beads and particles to be added to a wall-covering; as a result, texture, colour and even light reflection can be added as an accent or simply used to create stunning designs that offer superior durability and adhesion. During 2016 the company also acquired a new digital press, which Carl says provides a number of benefits: “Firstly, unlike conventional printing, digital has no pattern repeat because it doesn’t use cylinders, which by nature have a circumference and therefore a pattern repeat. Therefore a design can theoretically be endless; it reality it tends to lend itself to designs that have a two to three metre repeat, which essentially a wall height. Another benefit is that the minimum order quantity is

the business would focus less on wallcoverings being a commodity product and more on it being a lifestyle decorative purchase, in what was identified at the time as being a rapidly changing consumer led market,” he continues. Today manufacturing in excess of two million rolls per year through using a variety of different print processes, substrates and inks, the selfcontained company is constantly looking for new ideas to stay ahead of its competitors. One way it does this is by researching the latest 169

Anstey Wallpaper Company Ltd significantly lower than conventional printing, thus reducing the financial ‘risk’ to our customers in launching a wallpaper range with all the normal associated costs to it.” No stranger to investment, the company has a total of 19 individual print machines, which enables it to virtually cover the entire spectrum of printing technologies, which can therefore satisfy any customer demand. The company can also combine these processes to create unique product offerings that won’t be found anywhere else. “We consider ourselves very blessed at Anstey Wallpaper as, to the best of our knowledge, we are globally unique in having every single wallcovering print process, plus a number of variants and hybrids, all under one roof in the heart of the UK,” highlights Carl. “The processes range from 400-year-old traditional wooden block printing through to the uber-modern, very latest digital print machines. Chronologically taking in surface print, which was the first mechanised way of printing wallpaper, surflex print, flexographic printing, long table screen print, Roto Gravure printing and a state-of-the-art Gravure-Rotary screen hybrid machine that we recently commissioned; this was built in the UK to provide a very specific, unique look.” He continues: “The beauty of having such


flexibility is that we can accommodate most customer’s design desires, even if they aren’t prepared to pay the cost of that process, in that we can generally take a more cost-effective process and exploit this to get as close to the look of the suggested process as possible. In fact, we have both a product development and design team whose functionality is to support our customers in this area, which in turn, as you may expect, fosters strong relationships with all of our clients.” With the wallpaper market growing significantly out of the recession, Anstey Wallpaper aims to continue reaping the benefits of this growth by reacting, adapting and supporting the rapid changes in wallpaper tastes. However, the company is aware that this growth will not last forever and will also focus on its objective to continue building ever-stronger relationships with customers over the coming years.

Anstey Wallpaper Company Ltd Products: Wall coverings

Bristow Group


Man and

Bristow Group is the leading provider of industrial aviation services offering exceptional transportation, search and rescue (SAR) and aircraft support services, including helicopter maintenance and training, to government and civil organisations worldwide


ith headquarters in Houston, Texas, Bristow has major operations in the North Sea, Nigeria, the US Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Trinidad. Bristow also provides SAR services to the private sector in Australia, Canada, Guyana, Norway, Russia and Trinidad, and to the public sector for all of the UK on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The UK division, Bristow Helicopters Ltd, has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for over 50 years. Since 1971, Bristow Helicopters has flown more than 60,000 SAR operational hours and conducted over 15,000 SAR missions, during which the company’s crews and helicopters have rescued more than 7000 people. In 2013 Bristow won the UK Government national contract to deliver SAR operations on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

(MCA). Seven of ten strategically located bases have taken over the helicopter SAR responsibility from the military in a phased approach throughout 2015 and 2016. The remaining three, two of which are already operated by Bristow, are set to become part of the new contract in 2017. Given the sterling reputation for excellence that Bristow has earned in the marketplace over its years of existence, it is no surprise to learn that the company has always worked closely with only the best suppliers of helicopter technology. For example, it has been doing business with Sikorsky (a Lockheed Martin Company) for 40 years, and as recently as July 2016 the companies signed a ten-year agreement providing Bristow’s S-92 fleet with extended support for its aftermarket material needs. Sikorsky’s Total Assurance Program provides Bristow continued aftermarket support to operate its S-92 fleet within a known budget, reducing the risk of unplanned costs. Bristow has been a loyal operator of the S-92 171

Bristow Group

DART Aerospace

With over 700STCs, 5000 parts and 3500 tools for civil and military rotorcraft, DART Aerospace has supported the Bristow Group’s fleet requirements and evolution over the years. DART offers many products that facilitate Bristow’s offshore operations, helping them save weight and reduce costs while maintaining their commitment to safety. DART’s patented emergency floats with integrated life rafts as well as its sturdy and corrosion resistant landing gear are some of the key products that have helped the company accomplish their missions. DART has also supplied a wide assortment of quality rotorcraft tools for Bristow’s AW139 bases resulting in cost savings.


helicopter, which perform at an average air speed of 145 knots (166 mph) and have the endurance to perform for more than four hours without refuelling. They are outfitted with state-of-the-art technology including: • High definition forward looking infra-red (FLIR) and thermal image camera technology • Night vision goggle (NVG) technology including glass cockpit • Icing protection system • Twin hoist • Comprehensive medical suite Overall, the Bristow fleet features more than 160 Sikorsky aircraft, of which more than 75 are S-92 helicopters. These are operated in Europe Caspian, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Bristow Helicopters Ltd. currently operates 14 S-92 helicopters on behalf of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency for SAR. In the first year of UK SAR operations, beginning April 1, 2015, Bristow successfully completed 1149 missions utilising S-92 helicopters. In fact, such has been the success that Bristow has seen through its operations using the S-92 that at the same event as the support agreement highlighted previously was signed (the Farnborough Air Show) Sikorsky

recognised Bristow Helicopters Limited and the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency for excellence in lifesaving achievement with the S-92 helicopter. It is clear from recognition such as this, that Bristow Helicopters delivers vital and exemplary services in SAR, and in 2016 it has celebrated two significant anniversaries in this area – it is the third year it has delivered the Gap SAR contract from Sumburgh and Stornoway in Northern Scotland on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the first successful year of SAR in Lydd, from the base at London Ashford Airport. The HM Coastguard service became operational at Lydd on 14 August 2015 and statistics for the base’s first year show that the crew at Lydd responded to over 180 taskings from the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC). At the same time as Bristow Helicopters has been undertaking SAR services in the UK, the Group has been working across the world, and during the recent Louisiana floods in the US in mid-August, Bristow supported helicopter rescue efforts for affected residents. Working in close co-ordination with the Office of Homeland

Security and Emergency Preparedness for Livingston Parish, Bristow teams based at Galliano and New Iberia quickly mobilised the company’s response to provide critical care to those in need. Utilising an advanced Leonardo SAR AW139, a Sikorsky S-76C++ and a Bell 407 aircraft, Bristow crews carried out several missions over the two days to provide critical assistance to displaced residents and their pets. The emergency calls and SAR taskings were communicated to Bristow’s SAR dispatch, which were triaged for severity and relayed to rescue crews. Throughout the rescue missions, the crews performed dynamic risk assessments as the situations unfolded. Due to their extensive experience with SAR, the crews are well versed in performing these risk assessments. “Our employees are on the front lines, saving lives and making a difference,” commented Bristow’s Americas Region Search and Rescue (SAR) Manager David Jacob. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team in completing our rescue taskings without hesitation or question, especially considering that many of our employees were also affected by flooding from this storm.” The operations undertaken around the world

by Bristow display the true professionalism, teamwork and unwavering dedication to the lifesaving mission that each of its employees possesses. They also show how these staff work in harmony with the helicopter technology at their disposal – for example Bristow’s SAR AW139 helicopter is equipped with state-of-theart equipment, including a 700Mhz radio that allows for communication with the multiagency responders, mission management capabilities, external rescue hoist system and critical care medical equipment. Onboard the aircraft are two pilots, hoist operator, rescue swimmer and flight paramedic. This perfect unification of man and machine has saved thousands of lives across the world since Bristow was founded, and going forward the company looks set to continue in its critical operations, changing lives and making a difference to those in need of rescue.

Bristow Group Services: Industrial aviation services

GE Aviation

GE is proud to commemorate its ten-year relationship with Bristow, providing reliable CT7 power for the global fleet of S-92 and AW189, including all UK SAR helicopters. The CT7 has provided commercial airline reliability, delivering amazing time on wing for a Turboshaft engine. World-class response and support will always remain the company’s collective calling card – every mission along the way. 173

Automotive Insulations Ltd

Determined to


Part of the Autins Group, Automotive Insulations is entering a new phase of expansion after a period of rapid growth


ith a history dating back to 1966, the Autins Group began operations as Automotive Insulations, a manufacturer of die cut noise reduction parts for a range of vehicles, and became well known within the automotive sector for producing parts for the original Mini. However, when major client British Leyland ceased production the company faced a challenging period before its fortunes turned around following a management buyout in 2006, as Paul Walker, Managing Director of Automotive Insulations Ltd, begins: “The current CEO Jim Griffin led the senior management team through a period of transition, developing a whole new business strategy. As a result, the Autins Group had a four-year period of rapid growth, which looks set to continue well into the future. “Meanwhile, Automotive Insulations Ltd continues to provide acoustic and thermal insulation materials to the automotive industry as well as branching out into other sectors such as the apparel, building, rail, aerospace and marine industries. Ultimately, Automotive Insulations Ltd specialises in providing light weight insulation with


improved acoustic performance primarily for the automotive industry.” Today combining approximately 50 years of manufacturing experience with state-of-the-art technology, The Autins Group has earned a solid reputation in the market for developing heat and sound solutions across a range of sectors such as automotive, marine commercial and industrial. Having achieved rapid growth and developed a strong foothold in new sectors, the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001 and TS 16949 certified group’s portfolio of clients includes major blue chip firms including Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda and VW Group. Within the group is founding company Automotive Solutions, German based Rheinland Insulations, Sweden based Scandins and Indian based Indica Automotive. Together the group forms a team of specialists in noise and heat management that can offer a complete solution to each customer’s acoustic, thermal and NVH manufacturing needs,

a strength that is enhanced through an ongoing investment in state-of-the-art equipment and the most modern technology. Located at the group’s headquarters in Rugby, the UK, Automotive Insulations is an awardwinning market leader in acoustic, thermal, lightweight and NVH material and component manufacture. It is here that products used in vehicle engine bays, interiors, underbodies and exteriors with a new extended product range of pressed felt, heavy layer, cut foam, moulded light foam and PUR injection moulded parts as well as its traditional die cut and heat sealed parts for noise absorption and transmission loss are manufactured. Proud to be at the forefront of the manufacturing industry, the company has ensured it maintains this leading position through an investment of approximately £2 million in new machinery as well as a new purpose built 61,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution site. Operating 24/7, these cutting edge facilities enable Automotive Insulations to undertake a diverse range of testing and manufacturing processes in-house. Moreover, the company’s constant availability means it can respond to customer requirements in a quick and efficient manner, while also providing innovative solutions. Commenting on these recent investments, Paul states: “Autins Group has invested over £10.4 million in new technology, equipment and premises in the past two years and the group now leads the way in several niche manufacturing processes including cut and seal technology, lightweight acoustic solutions and composite

solutions, many of which are based at Automotive Insulations Ltd. The group has also recently set up a research and development facility, Autins Technical Centre at HORIBA MIRA Technology Park, which will enable Automotive Insulations Limited to test and refine materials in-house. “As a result of this investment, staff numbers have risen from 40 in 2012 to 240 in 2016 and turnover has increased rapidly from £5 million in 2012 to £19.9 million in 2015/16, with further sales agreed that will enable the business to grow further.” Not a group to rest on its laurels, Autins Group has gone on to commission a £4 million factory in Tamworth under its new subsidiary Solar Nonwovens, which will focus on providing customers with the group’s latest product Neptune. Using new technology from Korea, Neptune is a new high performance, lighweight and micro-fibre insulation material for the automotive market that will only available in Europe through Solar Nonwovens. As part of this major investment, the group has shipped over a new cutting edge machine from Korea, which was transported in 14 containers, with the goal of having a saleable production running at Solar

Nonwovens by the final quarter of 2016 and full production of up to three lines in 2017. Paul highlights the benefits of this major development in Autins Group’s history: “By supplying a comprehensive package the overall result can be tuned to meet and exceed the customer’s expectations and the production of

our new Neptune product gives us the flexibility to produce custom grades of material weights with a range of surface materials to suit each client’s requirements.” Benefiting from a strong foothold in the thriving automotive market, the Autins Group is in an advantageous position moving forward not only as the exclusive European supplier of Neptune but also as a group with a strong reputation for delivering cost effective, high quality solutions to customers. As it seeks to gain certification to UKAS in 2017 that will enable its technical centre to carry out testing for external companies and in-house research and development, Autins Group’s goal of becoming the supplier of choice within the markets it operates is certain to become reality over the coming years.

Automotive Insulations Ltd Products: Acoustic, thermal, lightweight and NVH material and components 175

Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Limited

Technology optimised With a history dating back more than six decades, Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Ltd offers a complete supply chain solution in the provision of components and services to the aerospace industry


perating from its original base located on the Isle of Man, situated next to the island’s Ronaldsway Airport, Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Ltd (RAC) operates as a world-class manufacturer of high-precision machined details and aircraft sub-assemblies. The company was founded in 1955 and during more than 60 years in operation has established a firm reputation as an innovative solution provider for clients with complex manufacturing and assembly requirements. Throughout this period RAC has driven forward with its continuous development and improvement culture, which has enabled the company to achieve some notable milestones during its history. These include the development of a unique ‘cradle to grave’ facility that provides the basis of an extensive range of manufacturing solutions comprised of aerospace component assembly, testing, surface and heat treatment, machining, finishing, plating, painting, fabrication, kitting and packaging services. Ronaldsway Aircraft Company is fully AS9100 approved and holds a number of customer approvals. The business generates a turnover of over £25 million a year and operates from a 170,000 sq. ft. facility on the Isle of Man. The company is today part of the RLC Engineering Group (RLC), which is also headquartered on the Isle of Man and has sales in excess of £120 million and over 800 employees. RLC presently has manufacturing facilities in the Isle


of Man, Northern Ireland, Northern England and Singapore, allowing the business to supply many of the major aerospace companies in Europe and North America. By working with clients during prototyping and early product development through to the production stage and on into full life cycle support, RAC can ensure the most effective solution and the highest levels of customer service. RAC’s extensive capabilities include; three, four and five axis machining, together with sheet metal and fabrication which allow RAC to produce a wide range of different products. The company has always re-invested in new equipment and its latest investment, a Mazak 4 axis Mill/Turn machining centre will be installed in September. This is the first machine in a significant programme of investment for this year which will not only include further major assets but also expanding and upgrading the assembly facilities and creating a dedicated prototyping cell. This is added to the company’s range of finishing operations, heat treatment, plating and painting, all of which are NADCAP approved, and allow it to provide a complete service to its customers. It also has its own NDT facility, which is NADCAP approved. The ability to control all of its finishing operations in-house gives a significant advantage over other suppliers who have to subcontract these operations. RAC also produces a wide array of sub-assemblies with the majority of the

components manufactured on-site. These include electromechanical actuators, flight harness buckles, timing and firing mechanisms for fighter ejector seats along with complex engine sub-assemblies for the civil aerospace market. The services the company offers include assembly, pressure testing, load and functional testing so that the finished assembly can usually be incorporated in higher levels of assembly by its customers without any further testing Its comprehensive service portfolio coupled with its membership of the wider RLC group, has allowed RAC to work with respected Tier-1 aviation organisations including Rolls Royce, MTU, Siemens, BAE Systems, Airbus, and Martin Baker. The company’s strong position and trusted reputation has allowed both RAC and the wider RLC group to win high-value contracts, as well as developing long-standing relationships with clients. Over the last year RAC has signed a number of new contracts across both the civil and military aerospace markets, which include supplying components for the Rafale and F35 fighter aircraft, and supplying a major European aircraft engine manufacturer. RAC is continuing to grow and is actively looking at new market sectors. It has initially focused on science and technology and is now an approved supplier to CERN in Switzerland. RAC see the spares and repairs markets in both aerospace and defence as significant opportunities. It has significant experience of

producing legacy components and re-engineering components from castings to a ‘machine from solid’ solution where necessary. To support this renewed sales activity RAC is about to launch its own dedicated website which will stand alongside the RLC group website and it is looking at exhibiting at a number of different exhibitions over the next few years as well as supporting the RLC group’s exhibition programme. As part of its commitment to the Investors in People programme, it is proud to hold the Silver award, and looks to provide a clear career path for all its employees. RAC has an extensive apprentice programme and typically employs between six and eight apprentices per year. It is also a major supporter of the Isle of Man apprentice training centre and the ‘Careers in Engineering’ schools programme. As well as training and developing its existing staff, RAC is constantly looking to recruit new talent to the business. As a result of the continuing growth of the business, it will be looking to employ new staff at all levels within the organisation in the near future and has a number of current opportunities.

Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Limited Products: World-class manufacturer of highprecision machined details and aircraft sub-assemblies Contacts: Sales: Cheri Crompton Careers: Colin Bagshaw Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Limited Ballasalla, Isle of Man. IM9 2RY Tel +44(0) 1624 820555 177


The gift of

giving Enesco LLC, a leading giftware company, has been designing and selling top quality products since 1898


erving over 40,000 customers across the globe, Enesco distributes merchandise to a large assortment of card and gift retailers, and home furnishing stores, as well as well known leading chains and retailers trading on the internet. With its international headquarters located in Itasca, Illinois, Enesco has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Hong Kong, serving markets operating in Europe, the Americas, Canada, Australia and Asia. The huge range of product lines available from Enesco include some of the most well-known brands from across the globe, and Enesco is renowned worldwide for stocking the most innovative and entertaining items, stylish decorations for interiors, inventive products for the garden, and sought-after collectibles. Its exceptional assortment of high quality products includes licences for all-time favourites. The huge range of products available include calendars, Christmas decorations, drinking glasses, egg cups, key rings, magnets, photo frames, stationery and wall art. One of the brands featured in the Enesco portfolio is Gund — a very prestigious soft toy company from the United States that has a heritage stretching back over a century. Renowned for being behind the creation of some of the world’s most adorable soft toys, Gund’s ranges include classic teddy bears, soft and activity toys for young children and licensed ranges based on various characters including social media stars - the world’s cutest dog Boo, the infamous Grumpy Cat and cartoon and Facebook favourite, the adorable cat character Pusheen. Another favourite brand is Designs by Lolita, the brainchild of a designer who was inspired to create decorated glassware after a night out with the girls. Designed to help consumers all over the world celebrate life’s occasions, Providence, Rhode Island-based Designs by Lolita has sold over 14 million glasses since its inception in 2004. The hand painted glassware collection features an informal style of illustration, on a hand blown glass. Available for a variety of gift occasions, these glasses are bound to delight any recipient – for example, teachers are


sure to love a special wine glass for the end of term! The glasses are very distinctive and celebrate occasions with a glamorous twist. Designs by Lolita was added the Enesco brand portfolio in May 2015, when it signed a license agreement to be the worldwide manufacturer and wholesale distributor for the glassware. Kathi Lentzsch, president of Enesco Gift said at the time: “Lolita has been an admired brand for many years and is enormously popular with consumers and retailers alike. The engaging, fun, artistic designs and giftable products make Designs by Lolita a perfect complement to the Enesco family of brands. We look forward to working with Lolita and her team and are delighted to offer these great products to Enesco’s customers.” “I am thrilled to partner with Enesco,” added Lolita Healy, CEO and founder of Designs by Lolita. “When I started out, just a gal with some hand-painted martini glasses, I never imagined how much the brand would grow. I am excited about the potential that lies ahead and confident Enesco can help us take Lolita to new heights

while delivering fabulous products to our fans.” For those looking to see Designs by Lolita or any of the rest of the products Enesco makes available, its website is a hugely helpful resource. It not only illustrates the range of products to be had, it also offers assistance to visitors, by suggesting the right present, giving the option to chose by recipient and/or occasion. Special events listed include anniversaries, weddings, christening and even bereavements, but of course special birthdays are high on the list and items such as figurines and soft toys are suggested as the ideal gift for men, women and children. The website also lists retailers that stock the products, and these are especially selected suppliers located throughout the UK and the rest of the world, that have worked with Enesco and established relationships based on superior quality and service. And of course, Enesco’s own customer service department is on hand to assist if there is any issue with tracking down the perfect item. For anyone looking for that perfect gift, Enesco is the surely the first place to start.

Enesco Services:

Giftware company 179


Widex CO2 neutral HQ



By developing digital technology at a level of quality few can match, family owned company Widex has earned a strong reputation as one of the most innovative manufacturers of hearing aids in the industry

Widex new automation system


ounded in Denmark in 1956 by Christian Topholm and Erik Westermann, Widex has remained true to its roots by focusing on the technical development and manufacturing of high-quality hearing aids, as well as the sales and marketing of products. Renowned for the unique sound of its products and state-of-the-art technology, Widex provides a full line of hearing solutions for all types of hearing loss. The company has a history of developing many of its own manufacturing equipment and production processes. Julian Topholm, Vice President of Production Technology at Widex and grandson of founder Christian Topholm, explains: “Traditionally we have done a lot of work in-house. Processes like nano coating, electronics mounting, rubber moulding and coil-winding are examples of this. We have a history of process development that leads us to constantly push our production process to the limit of what is possible. We have just finished installing our largest machine ever, a 600 m² automated testing machine that can assemble, test, calibrate, program and pack hearing aids. Looking at the way the market is evolving, I would say automation and process development is something that will continue to be focus points for us in the future. “Our legacy of development and innovation has cemented our focus on quality and this commitment has kept us in business in a competitive market since 1956. An important part of our success is our technical expertise and solid reputation for producing some of the best hearing aids in the market; in the last 20 years we have pioneered developments like remote controlled hearing aids, digital hearing aids, as well as the use of 3D printing for moulds and shells,” he adds. Today, Widex employs almost 4000 people worldwide, out of which 850 work at the company headquarters in Lynge, Denmark. The owners are closely involved in the company, and Widex enjoys an open-door culture and a high level of employee engagement. Alongside its headquarters, the company also boasts a large network of sales companies as well as manufacturing facilities in Estonia,


Unique hearing aid family

where the labour-intensive assembly of parts takes place. As an independent, family-owned company, Widex has the freedom to make long-term investments that bring the company closer to its vision without having to take into consideration obligations to shareholders. This way of operating has proven fruitful for the innovative company - as shown by the latest positive financial statements released in August 2016.

quality. Modern hearing aids are complex – part of the challenge is to establish the scope of sound and decide which sound sources need to be amplified and which need to be suppressed, as well as how to reduce feedback (whistling) and how to apply noise reduction. There are a lot of opportunities to continue developing even better products both when it comes to sound quality and other features like connectivity.” Widex has a proud tradition of innovation and was the first company to bring a fully digital hearing aid to the market – a technology that revolutionised the industry; today all hearing aid manufacturers only produce digital hearing aids. Having established a solid foothold in the hearing aid industry as one of the most important

global players, Widex is well positioned to continue its innovative legacy. Julian expects automated production technology to be an integral part of this: “We see strong growth over the coming years, and a bottom line that follows it, as our products become easier to manufacture while we work to increase the level of automation.”

Widex Products:

Hearing aid solutions

UFM hearing aid

Discussing the importance of innovation, Julian comments: “Technology is key and the process of R&D is very important to us. Over recent years, a lot of our R&D has been focused on connectivity, that is the ability to connect hearing aids to other devices such as phones, tablets, computers and so on. This is something we will continue to work on while maintaining our strong focus on sound 181

TOS Varnsdorf a.s

License to


Steeped in tradition, TOS Varnsdorf has used its century of experience in horizontal boring and milling machines to become a trusted manufacturer to customers across the globe


ituated in Varnsdorf, Czech Republic, TOS Varnsdorf a.s (TOS Varnsdorf) was originally founded in 1903 under the name Arno Plauert Works; while operating under this name, the company produced various types of machines such as horizontal lathes and grinding machines before realising the strategic advantage of specialising in a specific product. Following years of product development, the company today boasts an impressive product portfolio, which has been segmented into separate divisions: horizontal milling and boring machines, floor type horizontal boring mills, machining centres and special machines; there is also a segment for accessories, should customers require items such as milling heads, milling attachments, add-on tables, clamping equipment, standard accessories and tool cooling. Alongside this range of products, the


company also offers a wealth of services to customers; this includes technological solutions, where customers are offered information on the machine’s optimum configuration and most suitable technology to be used as well as a time study and list of suitable tools and clamping elements. TOS Varnsdorf also offers customers machine installation, training for operators and maintenance workers, programme training and technological studies. Other services include financial support, shipping and a rapid, high quality machine commissioning service in addition to machine modernisation, general overhauls, medium scale repairs and minor repairs of the machine. This commitment to delivering a thorough and reputable service to customers has resulted in strong sales across the globe in a wide range of industries such as energy, oil and gas, mining, construction, transport shipping and even glass. Approximately 50 per cent of TOS Varnsdorf ’s customers are based in Europe, however it has also developed a strong foothold in the US, South America, South East Asia and particularly China, where it has established a daughter company that delivers approximately 30 machines a year to clients in this booming market. Discussing the company’s activities, Michal Machacek, Head of Marketing at TOS Varnsdorf a.s begins: “Today our core business is not only manufacturing and selling horizontal

boring and milling machines, of which we produce approximately 140 per year to our customers across the globe, but also the development of the machine as well as a warranty service and overhaul of machines. Our portfolio is mainly comprised of three groups of products, the first of which is table type horizontal milling and boring machines; this means that the machine is small and light enough to move and fit on a table and also means that the weight of the work piece is between five and ten tonnes. The second product group is floor type horizontal boring mill machines, which must be clamped to the floor on a special surface of cast iron pieces with clamping equipment. The third type of product available is a machining centre; these products are much like the first group because they are table type, however they are designed for up-to-date technologies. “When it comes to recent product developments, in 2014 we produced the first prototype of the WHR 13 CNC and WRD 13 CNC machines, these are family machines from the same frame parts and were developed in accordance with demands from our sales representatives. To get these machines developed in one year was their first target for us and since their development and launch into the market sales have been positive across the globe. So far we have produced 25 machines and now have many new orders, so these steps in our production proved highly fruitful for us,” he

adds. “Meanwhile, in 2015 we launched our first machine with hydrostatic guideways; this was a big project for us as we have no skills in hydro, but the final development was perfect. So far we have produced two of these machines and we expect further positive results over the next few years.” Not a company to rest on its laurels, TOS Varnsdorf is in the process of testing a mechatronical concept, as Michal notes: “Our machines are quite big, the machine part can be up to 30 metres in size and in this big cube we achieve accuracy in hundreds of millimetres, which is the standard level. However, with the mechatronical concept, we can provide accuracy in thousands of millimetres, which is more superior. Carried out by an independent measurement system on the machine, according to the information provided, the control system

can adjust the machine and correct the errors. This concept is available to standard production programmes as we can customise any machine for our client’s demands, such as a need for inprocessing measurement.” Offering time and cost savings to customers, this mechatronical concept is certain to increase in demand as customers realise they will benefit from no longer having to move parts to the coordinate measurement machine that controls the shapes and data of the workpiece and will instead be added with new technologies without any transportation required. Proud of its ability to deliver a complete customised solution to customers, the company will naturally continue this tradition for delivering satisfaction by maintaining a focus on enhancement, not only in product innovations

but also in customer service, as Michal concludes: “In the past we have had issues with quality of service. Now we have twice annual meetings with representatives across the whole world who come to our company and see what changes need to be made. In line with these meetings, we are currently focusing on improving skills when it comes to motivation, communication and leadership. These are areas we will focus on enhancing over the coming years.”

TOS Varnsdorf a.s Products:

Manufacturer of horizontal milling and boring machines 183




MANUFACTURING Editor: Libbie Hammond Sales manager: Joe Woolsgrove

Schofield Publishing Limited Unit 10, Cringleford Business Centre, Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1603 274130 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 274131

Manufacturing Today Europe Issue 133 October 2016  

The latest edition of Manufacturing Today Europe

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