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A magazine from the Sapa Group #1 2005





Full speed




A bright future with Smooth façades

A number of the buildings at Hull College exemplify
new investments New in aluminium
Sapa RC System’s solutions for interior walls, win-
dows and doors. The newly-constructed faculty for

o date, the current year has been an eventful media and the performing arts is one of them.
one for Sapa. For several years, Elkem ASA of The façade of the main building comprises a
Norway has been the principal owner in Sapa AB. curved glass wall from the ground to the roof, giving
In February, the majority shareholding in Elkem was a light and airy indoor environment.
acquired by Orkla ASA of Norway, with the result that Sapa collaborated closely with the architects
Orkla also tendered an offer for the shares outstand- behind the project to design and extrude a new
ing in Sapa AB. Consequently, Sapa became a wholly décor-profile for the entire interior wall.
owned subsidiary of Orkla and its shares were de-listed The windows are made from Confort 50 com-
from the Stockholm Stock Exchange. ponents – a double-glazing system that allows for
However, this will not affect our customers or employ- large ventilation windows. The system also includes Attainable goals. Scansis of Norway
ees. We will continue to nurture our brand and to ensure a cladding mount, allowing the sides and rear of the manufactures soccer goals and pitch-
that you, our customers, continue to feel confidence in building to be clad with panels to achieve a harmoni- surround frames from Sapa profiles. In
our business relations. During the company’s 42-year ous overall impression. March, Scansis secured a contract for 20
history, ownership has shifted but has never acted as an For the entrances, doors were chosen of the type complete sports facilities for the Moldavian
impediment to the further development of the company. Unusual shapes used in shops for their ability to cope with large soccer association – sponsored by UEFA.
I am convinced that we will see Sapa develop favour-
ably. For customers such as yourself, this continued
Sapa inspires designers to use aluminium 12 amounts of traffic, while being easy to handle and
Large glass walls provide an airy interior.
development provides a strong partner when you are
seeking solutions based on profiles and heat-exchanger
strip made from aluminium.
In both areas, we are making new investments to
strengthen our position in the market and to provide you
with the advantages you seek in a supplier. Among other Sapa expands in the United States
things, we are extending Sapa Heat Transfer’s production Parsons City, Kansas – this is the address investment is an important step in maintain-
facility in Shanghai, installing an additional press in Poland of Sapa’s new extrusion plant in the United ing and increasing Sapa’s market share in the
and building a facility for vertical anodising in Sweden. We States. United States,” says Robin Greenslade, who is
are also making additional investments in refinement in Sapa Inc operated the extrusion plant under responsible for US operations at Group level. Beneficial jets. Hydro-massage is consid-
Poland and establishing new plants in Lithuania and China. a leasing agreement from the summer of 2004, In recent years, Sapa has enjoyed a favour- ered beneficial for both body and soul–
We are also making efforts internally to continuously but this spring, the plant was acquired for SEK able trend in the United States, following the
International customers The London “Tube” is to be equipped not least in preventing stress. This is the
improve, so that you will truly feel that you receive the
service you expect, while we are able to offer competitive
require new strategies 6 with 376 new cars from Bombardier 9 10 million.
“By operating the extrusion plant during the
initial establishment in Portland, Oregon, in
2000. Today, Sapa holds a sizeable market
business concept of Pool-spa in Poland,
which has launched a series of wall-mounted
solutions and conditions. I feel secure about autumn, Sapa Inc gained valuable experience share in aluminium profiles in the north-western shower panels in aluminium with built-in
Sapa’s future. We have knowledgeable of the press and local market knowledge. The United States. massage functions.
and creative employees who are pleased
to accept challenges and we have the
resources. The success will continue.
Our goal is for Sapa to be the
natural first choice when purchas-
ing profiles, components, building Lightness – a weighty issue for the army
systems or heat-exchanger materi- For US transport manufacturer Silver Eagle reduced weight is a characteristic that is growing in
als of aluminium. Manufacturing Company, weight is crucial. In 2004, importance. This is why aluminium is used,” explains
when the company won a five-year contract to supply Patrik Andersson, market manager at Sapa Inc.
light trailers to TACOM (US Army Tank-Automotive TACOM has ordered up to 12,800 trailers that are
New anodising facility provides Improvement where it counts, and Armaments Command), it chose to use alumini- specially designed to suit a particular kind of sturdy

Kåre Wetterberg,
surface treatment for long profiles 16 with the Putting Guide golf device 17 um profiles from Sapa. army vehicle called the HMMWV or “Humvee.”
“As for all other players in the transport industry, “Our assignment isn’t that large but our local pres-
President and CEO ence has contributed competitive advantages that
can hopefully increase our customer share,” says No mess. A new series of napkin dispensers
Sapa is an international business group, which It is published in eight languages twice annually Project team: Anna-Lena Ahlberg Jansen, Carl Andersson. from SCA combines modern design with
develops, manufactures and markets value-added for customers, shareholders, analysts, journalists, Hjelm, Dag Enander, David Valldeby, Henrik The Silver Eagle Manufacturing Company has smart functions, making them easy to refill.
aluminium profiles, profile-based components and employees and others. Shape is also available via Emilson, R. F. Mamoowala, Susanna Lidström.
systems, and heat-exchanger strip in aluminium. the Internet at Changes of address: Customers should inform
been in the business for more than 65 years. The The dispensers are available in three different
Sapa has sales of approximately SEK 14 billion Editor-in-Chief: Eva Ekselius their contact person at Sapa, employees their sal- company also produces heavier trailers for the truck sizes and are intended to be placed in restau-
and has some 7,900 employees throughout Europe Production: OTW Publishing ary department and others the Communications industry. Its customers include companies such as
and in the US and China. Printing: Davidsons Tryckeri, Växjö, Sweden Department on +46 8 459 59 00. rants, cafés, ice cream bars and so forth.
Shaping the future Shape is the Sapa Group’s customer magazine. Trailers adapted for the army. UPS and FedEx.

2 SHAPE • No. 1 2005 No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 3


Sweet music for the ear

School windows get Getting music to sound right in cars is not always the summer of 2004. In just five weeks, an initial
A buoyant material
top grades the easiest task. In old models, it was quite easy to version of the amplifier with a black aluminium cas-
French marine vessel manufacturer Ocea
Break-in attempts are unfortunately part has developed a type of floating pontoon
install a larger radio if you were in the slightest tech- ing was developed.
of everyday life for schools. Sapa Building made from aluminium – a material that offers
nically skilled. However, in modern cars, this is more “We chose to work with Sapa because it is
Systems in the United Kingdom recently great advantages in marine environments.
difficult, since most technology is hidden behind competitive,” says Daniel Wälker, sales manager at
conducted a safety test of its sliding Ocea chose aluminium for its pontoon
panels and integrated into the car’s systems. Procar Audio.
Dualframe window system. The purpose design because of the material’s high
Procar Audio of Germany seized upon this,
of the tests was to demonstrate to school resistance to corrosion. Weighing less
developing the i-sotec brand of products that
personnel and head teachers how well the than, for example, galvanised steel, which is
improve the quality of sound from existing systems
window systems meet the requirements the often used in this area, aluminium is conse-
in a simple manner without complicated modifica-
schools place on security against break- quently cheaper to handle and transport.
tions to the vehicle.
ins. The model tested proved able to resist Ocea turned to Sapa for parts includ-
Products include the i-soamp car-radio amplifier,
repeated attacks of different kinds. ing the bridge spans between the floating
which is a “plug-and-play” device. Thanks to various
units. Sapa contributed expertise in the
adaptors, the amplifier can be used in more than
Many advantages with Ligna 550 car models with built-in or removable radios.
development and design of the profiles.
A new insulated aluminium system “Sapa has done everything required to
Having previously purchased aluminium products Improved in-car sound.
for windows and doors has been be both a supplier and a committed partner
in Asia, Procar Audio became a Sapa customer in
launched on the market. The sys- in the development of our pontoons,” says
tem, called Ligna, is produced Xavier Aubert, Ocea Transport’s business

Exciting angles in the corridors of the Casa de Música. by Sapa RC System and offers Long-term co-operation unit manager for marine projects.
several favourable charac- For nearly 100 years Leupold & Stevens of the
teristics: specially designed United States has manufactured optical equipment,
A building with a view seals, pressure-equalising chambers
and drainage to protect against all kinds of
including binoculars and telescopic gun sights.
Its products are used for bird-watching, hunting,
In April, architect Rem Koolhaas of the Netherlands
weather. The system reduces energy costs shooting and for military purposes.
and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
through its sealing insulation and ability to The company has also co-operated with Sapa for
architectural agency unveiled their latest masterpiece
cope with all weather conditions. Ligna has a number of years, and that co-operation has grown
– the Casa de Música concert hall in Porto, Portugal.
a construction depth of 89 mm, a façade with time.
The Casa de Música is the result of a competition
depth of 77 mm and holds sealed glazing “It is not the profile that is at the core of our
announced by the country’s minister for culture during
units with a total thickness of 20 to 28 mm. customer relationship, but rather our ability to sur-
Porto’s year as the European Cultural Capital in 2001.
face-treat the gun sights. A company in California
The concert hall, which is situated in the oldest
produces the aluminium parts, which are then proc-
part of Porto, can be described as a shoebox-shaped Pedigree one-year-old essed by Leupold & Stevens. The entire process Pontoons from Ocea.
building in a self-supporting outer concrete shell. Rem In January this year, Sapa
Gun sights in focus. saves man-hours and metal for the customer,” explains
Koolhaas wanted to erase the borders between the RC Profiles in Belgium
Patrik Andersson, market manager at Sapa Inc.
interior of the concert hall and its surroundings. For celebrated its first birthday
example, he used corrugated glass facing to distort the – but, in reality, this one-
It’s fixed
In collaboration with Kingspan, Sapa
view. The purpose was to alter the idea that everybody year-old is much older.
Building Systems in the United Kingdom
knows what cultural institutions look like from the out- The company’s history
side while few know what they look like on the inside. stretches back to 1949 Non-clogging gutters has developed a new cladding fastener for
Kingspan’s panels and Sapa’s Dualframe
For the assignment, OMA developed new materi- when Remi Claeys Aluminium (RCA) was Seamless Aluminium, which produces rainwater ble to enter,
system for windows and doors. Thanks to
als and new uses of typical Portuguese materials. The founded in Lichtervelde. In July 2003, RCA systems of aluminium, has developed a new while rainwater
Elegant aluminium entrance. this cladding fastener, it is no longer neces-
building has an entrance staircase of aluminium, tiled became part of the Sapa Group, and was at gutter that allows water to flow unhindered. The is able to flow
sary to order un-tested solutions for joining
terraces, corrugated glass facing and specially mixed that time Sapa’s largest acquisition to date. innovative design of the gutter and its patented freely.
windows and wall panels. The connection
concrete for its façade. There were many reasons for the acqui- protection against leaves, snow and ice (Slip) The various
components meet demands for warmth
sition – the geographic location of the com- prevents it from becoming clogged with waste. parts of the gutter
and air-flow sealing in accordance with
pany in north-western Europe, its market “This is a new and unique system, which can are manufactured from extruded aluminium pro-
Sapa puts best foot forward in Hanover position, its modern production apparatus handle as much as 50 mm of rainfall per hour,” files in order to be able to withstand all types of
construction standards and resolve the
problems that usually arise in the interface
More than 6,000 exhibitors from 65 countries par- says Lars-Inge Arwidson, head of the TeleCom and its specialised product range (large says Peter Kavanagh, administrative manager at weather, including heavy snowfalls.
between adjacent parts of a building.
ticipated in this spring’s Hanover trade fair, which business segment. profiles, building systems and welded alu- Seamless Aluminium. “We use aluminium because the material is
is one of the largest events on the industrial cal- Lothar Kanowski from Sapa Vertrieb in Germany minium tubing). The upper part of the system consists of a durable and lightweight,” says Kavanagh, who
endar. This year, the focus was on the automotive was the project manager for the event and was Sapa RC Profiles produces 36,000 curved protective cover. Water runs over this adds that this type of gutter is no more expen-
industry. Sapa was on-site with a stand shared by pleased with the results. tonnes annually and exports products to 19 curved surface and down through a slit into sive than the traditional kind. Internet tip:
its Automotive and TeleCom business segments, “We conducted useful discussions with exist- countries. In 2004, sales volumes rose by the lower part and the gutter channel. The gap By replacing ordinary gutters with the Slip Alumatter is a new interactive website con-
as well as its German and Polish companies. ing customers and made many new contacts with 6 per cent. between the upper and lower parts of the system system, there is no need for the risky process of taining scientific and technical information
“We were able to show Sapa’s full breadth. The potential ones. We received confirmation that is so narrow that leaves and other waste are una- cleaning out gutters along the eaves of houses. intended to be used for training purposes.
units co-operated to promote our philosophy of Sapa is seen as a potential supplier for the various
conducting sales and marketing across borders,” areas of industry represented,” he says.

4 SHAPE • No. 1 2005 No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 5


Sapa’s strategic business segments enable it

to cooperate more effectively with customers
in key industries. The newcomer in the group is
TeleCom, which was launched in April.
Percy Ekström, head of the business segments,
describes future plans and challenges.
Percy Ekström in brief

n 2002, Sapa Mass Transportation and TeleCom. During last year, Percy Ekström,
Age: 42.
Sapa Automotive became the Group’s first former head of Automotive, took up his duties
Home: House in Vetlanda.
strategic business segments, functioning as the new head of the strategic business seg-
Family: Wife Åsa, children Jonatan, 15,
as sales organisations focusing, respectively, ments. He regards the business segments as
Pontus, 13, and Cajsa, 9.
on the railway and shipping industries and a way for Sapa to approach a global market
Background: After completing my engi-
the automotive industry. The Group’s exper- that is difficult to handle via the local sales
neering degree, I began as a trainee at Sapa
tise was assembled in Automotive and Mass organisations.
in 1984. Since then I have held various
Transportation, leading to more efficient co- “Major international customers demand
positions within Sapa.
operation with customer segments. special resources from us. Our business seg-
Leisure interests: Fly-fishing, golf, training
Since then, an additional business segment ments enable us to be present for our custom-
a boys’ handball team in which one of my
has been created – the recently launched Sapa ers throughout the world, which is a great
sons plays, and enjoying the company of
advantage,” says Ekström.
family and friends.
Sapa Automotive’s customers currently
Most recently read books: Toyota
include a number of the major vehicle produc-
Production System by Taiichi Ohno, and
ers and their subcontractors, while Sapa Mass
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.
Transportation has major international cus-
Most recently seen film: Shrek 2.
tomers in the railway and shipping industries.
Sapa Automotive “All of these customers have rigorous qual-
A moment I remember at Sapa: Our
first large order for fuel distribution lines for
• The Sapa Automotive strategic ity and logistical requirements,” continues
Volvo in 1992, which can be regarded as the
business segment was estab- Ekström. “It is considerably more efficient to
start of our focus on the automotive industry.
lished in 2002. gather our expertise into segments, so that we
Future plans: To work for increased
• The segment comprises many can work with our customers worldwide. It is
growth, profitability and success for
of the major vehicle producers also a way for us to expand markets and create
our business segments. And to further
and their subcontractors, includ- growth.”
strengthen our cooperation with all of the
ing GM, Ford, Volkswagen, TeleCom was previously a product area
companies within Sapa. Another item on
Renault, Scania, Volvo Trucks, in Sapa Profiles’ Swedish organisation, but
the agenda is to examine the possibilities
Antolin, Delphi and Autoliv. became, as of April 1, 2005, a separate strate-
for potential new business segments.
gic business segment with prioritised markets
in Europe, China and the United States. »
6 SHAPE • No. 1 2005 No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 7
“There is a tremendous
depth of expertise in the
Sapa companies. It is
important that we exploit
this resource to create
added value for customers.”

Sapa TeleCom
• The TeleCom business segment was
formed on April 1, 2005.
• The segment is responsible for the Sapa
Group’s sales in the telecom and datacom
• Sapa TeleCom’s largest customer is
Ericsson. Other customers include Nortel,
Flextronics and Sanmina-SCI.

» “The telecom and datacom markets are profitability, particularly in new markets.” Ekström believes that Sapa’s main competi-
becoming increasingly international, and we According to Ekström, the aim is for the tive weapon is indeed the Group’s compe-
note that the growth potential is greatest in business segments to achieve annual growth tence and versatility. The task of the business
countries outside Scandinavia. The business of about 15 percent – a growth rate that they segments is to transfer this competence to the
segment will enable us to expand in a market have essentially maintained to date. market in order to strengthen Sapa’s position.
that is highly significant for us. We plan to “The outlook is excellent for the business “We must be able to demonstrate to cus-
reshape the organisation to make it more segments. A clear sign of this is that we are tomers that we can offer higher value than
international.” now growing in markets outside Scandinavia, our competitors or competing materials can
which is highly significant,” says Ekström. offer,” emphasises Ekström. “We must also
TODAY, THE THREE STRATEGIC business areas have However, Sapa’s strategic business segments work in close partnership with our customers
combined sales of approximately SEK 1.1 bil- also face major challenges – there is tough and offer technical support and development,
lion. The largest is Automotive, which accounts competition for large international customers. and I believe we are succeeding in this regard.
for more than 50 percent of total sales. “There is a tremendous depth of expertise “As proof that this is so, we have a large
“Automotive has grown impressively over in the Sapa companies. It is important that number of new projects. We learn from all
the years, and Mass Transportation is also we exploit this resource to create added value our new projects, which provides further
growing steadily,” continues Ekström. “By for customers. The competition is fierce, but evidence of our competence to customers. By
establishing TeleCom as a business seg- Sapa’s breadth and collective competence give offering advanced technology, such as hydro-
ment, we hope to increase both growth and us a major advantage. forming and friction stir welding, we show
that Sapa also possesses a high level of techni-
cal expertise.”
Ekström has clear visions for the strategic
Sapa Mass business segments, which he believes have
Transportation excellent prospects of growing at a faster rate
• The Mass Transportation than the market.
business segment is one of “Our aim is to grow while maintaining a
Europe’s leading suppliers to high and stable level of profitability. Success
the railway and shipping indus- in this regard requires inspiring leaders – and
tries in Europe. they are not in short supply at Sapa: people
• Major customers include with real enthusiasm for their work. I am con-
Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, vinced that we will successfully meet the chal-
Fincanteri and Åker Finnyards. lenges facing us,” concludes Ekström.

8 SHAPE • No. 1 2005


Safer cars
for the London Underground
Bombardier Transportation has been contracted
Friction Stir Welding (FSW)
to supply 376 new cars for service on the London The FSW welding technique makes use of
Underground’s Victoria Line. Each car is fitted with six the fact that at high temperatures the metal
can tolerate substantial plastic deforma-
aluminium profiles that together form its side panels. tion. Neither additives nor protective gas
are used. The clean metal surfaces of the

profiles to be joined are brought together
ondon’s venerable underground rail- Safe, cost-efficient and reliable operation is a
under high pressure at the same time as
way system is scheduled to undergo an high priority in the requirement specification
frictional heat is generated through the
extensive modernisation programme from the customer.
mechanical effect of a rotating tool. A new
that will take a number of years to com- “It is one of the largest orders we have ever
homogeneous structure is formed by the
plete. Multinational company Bombardier received and will be a major challenge, with
combined effects of pressure and heat.
Transportation, which is among the world’s tough targets to meet,” says Smith.
leading producers of rail equipment, has He explains that the new cars that
secured a major order in conjunction with the Bombardier has developed have a standardised
project, comprising delivery of new under- form but contain many new design features and Kingdom, has long experience of the FSW
ground cars and a 30-year maintenance con- advanced structural engineering. For the sides technique. One of its advantages is that it does
tract for the equipment delivered. of the cars, ready-to-mount panels comprising not require such high welding temperatures,
“We will be delivering 376 cars for the London aluminium profiles from Sapa were chosen. which reduces deformation of the material
underground’s Victoria Line and assuming “We began cooperating with Sapa in and gives a smoother, more attractive finish.
responsibility for the vehicles in their entirety, December 2003 on a project for ordinary com-
including reliable operation,” says Andy Smith, muter trains,” says Smith. “In that project, the “THE COMBINATION OF FSW and the fact that we
head of Strategic Sourcing at Bombardier profiles were used only for the lower part of the deliver a finished component with all the nec-
Transportation in Derby, in the United Kingdom. sides of the cars. This will be the first time we essary processing completed make it simpler
have used them for the entire side panel of the and quicker to construct the entire car body,”
DELIVERIES WILL BEGIN this year with 16 cars, cars’ bodywork.” adds Sven Lundin, sales manager for Sapa
which will undergo an extended period of testing This means that six aluminium profiles Mass Transportation.
before the total order is executed in two years. have to be joined together to form the sides of The order for the London underground is
the underground cars. Sapa is responsible for huge even by Sapa’s standards and involves
the joining process, which is performed using a number of units within the company – par-
a welding technique known as Friction Stir ticularly R&D, which has worked closely with
Welding (FSW). This capability was a key fac- Bombardier’s technical department.
tor in Bombardier’s choice of supplier. “Among other modifications, we optimised
“Previously we used aluminium bodywork the customer’s structural drawings to reduce the
assembled using conventional Metal Inert Gas weight of the product,” says Egrilmezer.
(MIG) welding,” says Smith. “FSW is a more He notes that deliveries for the first test
technically advanced welding technique that series have begun according to plan, and
results in a stronger and more stable product, sees excellent prospects for future orders as
with excellent performance in terms of with- the modernisation of London’s entire under-
standing a crash situation, for example.” ground railway system proceeds over the next
New underground railway cars will soon be Tolga Egrilmezer, Sapa Mass 15 years.
in service on the Victoria Line in London. Transportation’s sales manager in the United PHOTO: BOMBARDIER

No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 9

Dam construction
for full power
China’s energy requirements are expected to double
in the next 20 years – and the build-out of the power
network is fully under way. ABB has now started its
third project with power connections for the world’s
largest hydroelectric power plant. Sapa is one of the
partners and is supplying processed aluminium profiles
for the project.

he Chinese economy is growing enor-
mously and this development is placing
considerable demands on the country’s
energy supply. The build-out of China’s power
stations and networks will be intensive in the
next few years. To fulfill the energy supply, an
expansion of not less than 20,000 megawatts
per year will be required, which corresponds
to Sweden’s entire annual consumption.
The Three Gorges hydroelectric power
plant in central China is part of the country’s
China’s energy
China’s GDP is growing by as much as
plan for the future. The plant is the largest of
10 percent annually and is now the world’s
its kind in the world. Sapa supplies processed aluminium profiles
fourth largest economy. Compared with
Electricity from the power station will be for the hydroelectric plant’s thyristor valves.
2000, the economy is expected to increase
carried using high-voltage direct current
four-fold by 2020.
(HVDC) to China’s industrialized and energy-
The Three Gorges in China is the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant. It will provide 4 percent of China’s energy supplies. The rapid economic development is also
demanding coastal areas. Since it is more
affecting the country’s energy supplies.
efficient to transport direct current over long
The Chinese authorities estimate that energy
distances – the energy loss is lower – alternat- Gorges to Changzhou in eastern China. The awatts, so these are extremely large projects,” ABB has cooperated with Sapa on all The project places high demands on Sapa.
consumption will increase from 1,890 TWh
ing current is converted to direct current and second order, in 2001, was for transfer from says Toivo Lindmark, Key Supplier Senior three projects. In the most recent one, Sapa Such factors as quality, measurement preci-
in 2003 to 4,500 TWh in 2020.
then back to alternating current. The conver- the dam to Guangdong in the south. Manager at ABB Power Technologies HVDC. supplied more than 140 tons of processed sion, surface treatment and durability are all
Industry currently accounts for 70 per
sion is made in converter stations at either ABB has now initiated work on another two aluminium profiles, mainly for the thyristor important, according to Rolf Pettersson, sales-
cent of China’s energy consumption.
end of each power line. converter stations, this time on the 960-kil- THE CONVERSION OF THE current is conducted in valves’ nearly 5,000 liquid coolers. man at Sapa.
Electricity consumption per inhabitant in
In accordance with China’s expansion plan, ometer stretch between the Three Gorges and 20-meter tall, 20-tonne thyristor valves that Lindmark says that product development “Many details on the items we supply
China was 939 kWh in 2003. The corre-
more than ten new power connections will be Shanghai. The power link is expected to be are freely suspended in enormous valve halls. for the project has been conducted continu- require a high level of expertise. We have a
sponding figure in the US was 12,878 kWh.
installed in the next 10-15 years. placed in operation in 2007. The two current converter stations comprise a ously in cooperation with Sapa. joint project group with ABB, which works
When the Three Gorges hydroelectric
ABB Power Technologies has already sup- “We are supplying materials for the power total of 24 thyristor valves. “Sapa’s role in the project is incredibly continuously with product development.
power plant is in full operation in 2009, it
plied power links for two projects in China, link, which China’s national power company “In our applications, aluminium is the important. We have had positive cooperation Sapa’s customers do not only purchase
will supply about 4 percent of China’s total
which are both in operation today. ABB will then assemble under our guidance. The most important material. Since the valves for several years and Sapa has been actively aluminium profiles, they also purchase our
energy requirement.
secured its first order in 1999, which was for three projects each correspond to 3,000 mega- hang from the ceiling in the halls, it is impor- involved in the development of the coolers,” expertise,” he says.
power transfer from the dam at the Three watts. A normal year for us involves 2,000 meg- tant to minimise the weight,” says Lindmark. says Lindmark. PHOTOS: ABB AND REUTERS/CHINA PHOTO

10 SHAPE • No. 1 2005 No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 11


Long-distance skates for Lundhags.

A sharp-edged profile
Aluminium is still an “Many designers like the feel of alumini-
um,” says Lundberg. He predicts:
unexplored material when “If you choose aluminium as a strategic
material, you are inspired to work with the
it comes to furniture. distinctive appearance of aluminium. I don’t
think this will disappear. On the contrary,
Sapa is about to change I think it will increase.”
this and is investing Sting was one of several inspiring exam-
ples featured in the launch of “Beyond the
in design projects in Profile.” Ruth Hasselgren is project manager
and marketing coordinator for Sapa Profiles
Scandinavia and the in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic States. She
explains how Sapa has endeavoured for sev-
United Kingdom. eral years to meet designers and encourage
them to use aluminium in their designs.
Students at design schools often receive

lose collaboration with designers, extensive training focused on steel and wood.
sponsors and, in particular, inspirational By contrast, knowledge about aluminium
exhibitions and trade fairs are the essen- among students and design graduates is rela-
tial ingredients for creating interest in alu- tively low. Ruth Hasselgren and her colleague
minium profiles within furniture design. Tor Zetterström conducted a questionnaire
“Good examples of design will bring survey to investigate the situation. So what
many designers into the public eye,” says conclusions did the survey reach?
Olle Lundberg, who runs a design agency in “Well, knowledge about aluminium
Stockholm and has worked with Sapa and alu- profiles was fairly poor. But it seems that
minium as a material for more than ten years. people are interested in learning more. The
The Sting chair designed by furniture survey respondents expressed an interest in
manufacturer Blå Station is a good example. attending workshops arranged by us,” says
The chair was launched a few years ago and Hasselgren. “Eolin” electric violin.
“Jives” clothes hanger by Pia Skoglund. consists of two aluminium profiles, with one Workshops form part of the drive in
profile forming the seat of the chair and the Scandinavia, with two already planned to take
other forming the backrest. »
place later this year. Frequent meetings with

12 SHAPE • Nr 1 2005 Nr 1 2005 • SHAPE 13

designers are also an important ingredient fits somewhere in an item of furniture, it can
in creating an information flow. One of the also be visible and an important part of the
first meetings took place at the Stockholm design,” he says.
Furniture Fair in February.
“We wanted to meet designers in an appro- THE FOCUS ON FURNITURE design also extends
priate setting they were planning to visit any- beyond Scandinavia’s borders. In the United
way,” says Hasselgren. Kingdom, Sapa has been collaborating with
On the stand, images of various designs in Furniture Works, a project led by London
aluminium were displayed, such as an electric Metropolitan University and aimed at draw-
violin, a stove-top, a loudspeaker for a home ing attention to, developing and improving
cinema system, ice-skates and jewellery. For
many visitors to the stand, it came as a revela-
tion when they saw the designs on display.
“There is no doubt that we drew a positive
response,” says Zetterström. He explains that,
as the name suggests, the Beyond the Profile
concept goes much deeper than just the physi-
cal profile.
“It involves every aspect of the profile and
the benefits that it can bring. That instead of
being just a small piece of aluminium that

Anodising transforms a metal’s surface
layer into oxide through electrolysis.
In Sapa’s production, different baths are
used to give the aluminium profiles a dura-
ble outer surface. The treatment begins
with an alkaline degreasing bath. This is fol-
lowed by pickling, which involves dipping
the profiles in soda to open the pores in
the material. After a series of rinsing pro-
cesses, the actual anodising is performed:
the oxide layer is created in a sulphuric
acid bath through which direct current is
passed. Then follows several rinses with
water before the process concludes with
sealing. The pores close up when the profile
is placed in water at a temperature of 96°C.
The result is a brighter, smoother, more
durable surface with increased corrosion

Currently, all long-length anodising is still performed in Vetlanda.

Smart special facility

surface-treats entire mast
Sapa Profiles in Finspång has solved the problem of jointless been installed in the roof of the plant to trans-
port the long, heavy profiles from the press to
sailboat masts. A new anodising plant for aluminium profiles up further processing.
to 20 metres in length will be inaugurated in the autumn. “There are very few companies in Europe
capable of anodising profiles up to 20 metres
long, and handling them in our own plant is a
EXTRUDING ALUMINIUM PROFILES to specific more weather-resistant than the underlying challenge,” says Thörn.
lengths is no problem with today’s advanced material. Today, all of Sapa Profiles’ masts are pressed
pressing tools. Rather, the limitation lies in “Up to now, we have had anodising baths in Finspång, after which they are transported to
the subsequent surface treatment required barely 13 metres long, but now we are install- the company’s Vetlanda plant for anodising and
so that sailboat masts, for example, are bet- ing baths that will be 21.5 metres in length,” packaging for onward distribution to customers.
ter able to withstand the heavy wear and tear says Mats Thörn, project manager for the new “The new plant will bring everything together
caused by wind and weather. facility in Finspång. under the same roof. It is a major advantage to
The anodising process creates a thin oxide This means that sailboat masts up to 20 be able to reduce our transport and reloading of
layer that hardens the surface and makes it metres in length will no longer need to be goods,” says Thörn.
constructed in sections.
The application area naturally extends to THE PLAN IS TO begin production at the plant
other types of products. Tall television and during August. The pipes will be laid and ten
radio masts, for example, are currently built baths installed during the spring.
up from a number of sections. If long-length The surface treatment capacity at the new
anodising were used, fewer joints would be plant will be approximately 80,000 square
needed. metres per year.
“We are hoping that the new plant will
PREPARATIONS FOR THE NEW production in enable us to substantially increase our deliver-
Finspång are proceeding at full speed. A new, ies once the new production gets under way,”
longer ageing oven has been installed and says Thörn.
put into operation. A new traverse system has PHOTOS KJELL ISRAELSSON

16 SHAPE • No. 1 2005


Sink putts with

The idea of creating the ultimate
putting aid was born during a
tedious trip over the Atlantic.
Today, golf ace Annika Sörenstam
uses the Putting Guide.

utting is the aspect of the game feared
by both hobby golfers and top-flight
professionals. Despite the fact that only
a few metres remain to the hole, it’s all too
easy to transform a record-low round into a
complete disaster.
Tomas Dahl became hooked on golf when
he was seven and knows how frustrating
putting can be.
“Despite the fact that 40 percent of all shots
during a golf round are putts, most golfers
practise putting far too little.
“I got the initial idea for the Putting Guide »
Nr 1 2005 • SHAPE 17
» while I was training putting, when I started to
wonder whether the angle of the club face was
right at the moment of impact.”
In the workshop, Dahl designed a predeces-
sor to the Putting Guide, which resolved the
issue of club angle, pendulum movement
and impact on the putter face. If one of these
features is performed incorrectly, the putt is
A few years later, on his way home from
Florida, Dahl sat on a plane reading a newly
purchased book.
“Its author Dave Pelz has scientifically
proved the importance of these three factors
after years of empirical studies. What he had
not succeeded in doing was finding a tool that
resolved all the training features at the same
time. That was when I realised that this tool
was lying at home in my garage, collecting
dust,” says Dahl.

ONCE HE ARRIVED home, Dahl discovered that

there was no impediment to registering the
patent and he approached various golf pros to
get their verdict. One of these was Henri Reis,
who has been Annika Sörenstam’s trainer The Putting Guide consists of a ball-bearing hung carriage between two composite rails.
since the late 1980s. He quickly realised the The actual frame is made of aluminium.
power represented by the new practice tool.
“I had never seen anything like it. It’s the
best aid available for practising putting,” and works well outdoors. It’s also light,” says golf clubs, but Dahl hopes that exports will
says Reis, who is currently a co-owner of the Dahl, who explains the background to his ini- increase in the future.
Putting Guide. tial contact with Sapa. “Sweden is a good test market, but the big
His world-famous disciple, Sörenstam, is “I called their switchboard and asked what markets are the United States and Japan, which
also a Putting Guide user. Reis took one of members of the management team played have 27 and 15 million golfers, respectively.”
the first versions of the aid to the sevenfold golf. All of them, was the answer. So I was Many miracle aids are offered to golfers
major winner, who was so impressed that given an opportunity to demonstrate the pro- but Dahl pledges that the Putting Guide has
she, quite simply, kept it. totype,” he explains with a chuckle. improved his putting.
The main material used for making the Today, more than 400 Putting Guides have “After having trained a week with the Putting
Putting Guide is aluminium extrusions, been manufactured in two different versions, Guide, I tested whether I’d improved. After
which was a natural choice for Dahl. one for pros and one for private individuals. sinking 268 consecutive 2.5-metre putts, I was
“Aluminium radiates precision, is durable Many of the products are found in Swedish convinced. That was all the proof I needed.”

From prototype to product

Sapa often receives proposals sales technician at Sapa, was assigned the Do you cooperate well with the Putting Guide?
task of developing the finished version. “Excellently. It’s a product that we believe in
for unique inventions. Few are “In contrast to many other proposals, Dahl ourselves. Occasionally, our delivery times
really well conceived, but the had both a prototype and proper blueprints. It have not been as short as the customer has
Putting Guide stood out. was quite clear that he had carefully thought wanted, because certain details have taken
out its appearance and how it would be pro- time. We’re now working intensively to be
duced,” says Rickard Kjellberg. able to deliver as fast as possible.”
WHEN TOMAS DAHL contacted Sapa with a view Together with Sapa’s designers in Vetlanda, Have you tested the Putting Guide yourself?
to cooperation, he had already made a rough he optimised the Putting Guide’s profiles for “Just for fun. You see, I’m one of the ones
version of the Putting Guide, using stand- Sapa’s production, and studied how best to who don’t play golf,” Kjellberg explains.
ard profiles from Sapa. Rickard Kjellberg, conduct the milling and make the holes.

18 SHAPE • No. 1 2005

that measure up
Getting standard wardrobes and cupboards to fit into concept, since our business strategy is entirely
based on flexibility.”
both bedrooms and kitchens is not always the easiest He emphasises that delivery reliability and
quality are prerequisites for cooperation, since
task. Danish company KA Interiør found its niche in all production at KA Interiør would have to
stop if a key aluminium profile were miss-
customised cupboards with sliding doors. ing. To date, KA Interiør and Sapa have jointly
developed a number of new products and made

urt Armose is the entrepreneur behind nevertheless interested in the opportunities that improvements to the company’s cupboards,
Danish company KA Interiør, which pro- China and other low-cost countries offer. which are mainly sold through kitchen stores in
duces cupboards with sliding doors. Over “One of the reasons why we chose Sapa as our Denmark and other countries.
a period of ten years, he has built up operations partner was the company’s operations in China,” “Right from the beginning, we focused on
based on a clear business concept – manufactur- says Armose. “We use aluminium profiles for selling our products via the kitchen sector, which
ing cupboards entirely to individual customer both the edge protection and the ceiling and has personnel who are used to custom orders, as
specifications, as opposed to mass-producing floor rails, and we naturally depend on our sup- well as craftsmen who can handle the assembly
them. plier being able to deliver at a competitive price. work. We also develop various lines that fit into
“Everyone knows that costs are lower in If China one day becomes the best and cheapest the product ranges of the different kitchen fur-
China, so we would gain nothing by conducting alternative, it is important that our supplier is nishings companies, which means that product
mass production in Denmark,” says Armose , already established there, as Sapa is.” development is important for us,” emphasises
who is now Chairman of the Board of Directors. Armose.
“Instead, our strategy is to specialise and supply EVEN BEFORE COOPERATION was initiated, Armose Although most of the company’s products
products that cannot be mass produced.” was also very interested in what Sapa knew are still sold in the Danish market, exports are
This means that the customer can have exactly about product development. increasing and currently account for some 30
the cupboard that fits – regardless of the dimen- “I expect a supplier to suggest good ideas for percent of sales. The target is a 50 percent export
sions, unusually angled walls or other special new products and technical improvements to share by 2007. The most important export
conditions. The quality is high, and price is not existing solutions,” he says. “The supplier must countries are the other Scandinavian countries,
the primary competitive weapon. But Armose is also have a thorough understanding of our Germany and the United Kingdom.

No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 19

“We need to use the best
materials, so that we can offer
customers the best product.”
Praveen Agarwal, Group Chairman of Vikas

Full speed ahead

for India’s car industry
India is one of the fastest-growing car markets in the
world, which benefits the local companies working in
the industry. One of them is the Vikas Group, which
manufactures air-conditioning systems.

he Indian government has given the Plugging into the success is India’s Vikas
country’s automotive industry a vote group of industries – Pranav Vikas and
of confidence. In the Economic Survey Sanden Vikas – two leading players that
for 2005, the government estimates the pro- manufacture car air conditioning systems. Vikas in brief
duction of automobiles in India will exceed With a 30 percent market share, they buy their Group sales: approximately SEK 800
10 million vehicles by 2007. In the first 11 component requirements from Sapa. Says million
months of this business year (April–February Group chairman Praveen Agarwal, “We are Location: Faridabad in the north Indian
2005) car sales rose 17.7 percent to 730,425 the largest manufacturers of heat exchangers state of Haryana, 20 km from Delhi.
units, from 620,705 a year earlier, according in India and supply car air conditioners to Number of employees: 1,500
to the survey. all auto majors in India: Maruti-Suzuki, Tata Products: Complete airconditioning sys-
Nowadays, you can pick up a Mercedes, Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, General tems with evaporation coils, condensers,
Honda, Mitsubishi or Ford model from the Motors, Honda, etc.” heating units, cooling packages, intercool-
glitzy showrooms in Indian cities. Increasing ers, oil cooling radiators, and charge-air
incomes, more job opportunities, particularly ALL HEAT EXCHANGERS manufactured by the coolers – all made from aluminium.
in IT and IT-related industries, financing Vikas group are 100 percent aluminium. The Advantages of aluminium: The most
options at low interest rates and attractive dis- group’s relationship with Sapa has grown as widely used material in heat exchangers
counts from dealers and vehicle makers have the Indian auto market has expanded. for cars, since it has excellent thermal con-
fuelled India’s auto sector. Even though global auto majors initially ductivity, and is considerably lighter than
overestimated the Indian market and cre- copper, completely recyclable and corro-
AUTO EXPORTS HAVE also seen robust growth, ated overcapacity, Agarwal is happy about the sion-resistant.
showing that cars made in India could com- growth of the auto industry. Research and development: A strong
pete with global standards. According to the “India is one of the fastest growing automo- team that, for more than 20 years, has
Economic Survey, the total number of Indian bile markets in the world today, after China. been designing, developing and building
cars exported was 161,000 during 2004–2005. Globally in this industry there is always an prototypes of air-conditioning systems,
The auto component industry grew 20 percent overcapacity.” using the latest technology.
in 2003–2004 to register a sales turnover of Agarwal says another trend is that the fami-
USD 6.95 billion. ly is having a bigger influence on sales. “More »
20 SHAPE • No. 1 2005 No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 21
The Vikas Group manufactures airconditioning systems made from aluminium for India’s major car producers.

» and more women in India – not to forget the technology prod- Mutual trust
children – are having a say in what car model ucts and are com- Board Chairman Praveen Agarwal believes
or brand the family will buy. This is clearly mitted to giving that Vikas’ partnership with Sapa will grow
reflected in all the auto ads.” the best-of-its-kind steadily during the coming years, given the
Regarding the future plans of his group he products to our economic boom in the Indian car industry,
says, “We want to maintain our vision as one customers. To do combined with the fact that most of the
of the largest heat exchange manufacturers in this we need to use components in the Group’s airconditioning
the country. We aim for value-added and high- the best material systems are made from aluminium.
combined with the “Our business relations are already based
best technology, to on mutual trust and appreciation,” he notes.
give the best price He feels that Sapa is a reliable, solidly
and quality option based supplier.
to the customers. It is here we depend on sup- “If problems arise, their representatives
port from our suppliers, including Sapa.” come here without delay and give advice on
innovative solutions. We are able to benefit
AGARWAL ADMITS THAT when Sapa established from their latest technology, and they make
its manufacturing facility in Shanghai to serve every effort to understand our needs and
the Asia-Pacific market better, in the late meet them as quickly as possible.”
1990s, the group had reservations about buy- Sapa’s export manager Per Stark
ing material out of China. comments:
“We were unsure we would get the same “After beginning with individual orders of
quality that we were getting from Sweden. test examples, our business with the Vikas
But their export sales manager Per Stark Group has developed into a strategic part-
convinced us they would meet all our needs, nership. Now they purchase nearly everything
and we became their first client out of China, they need from Sapa Heat Transfer China.
in 2000.”
He has not regretted that decision.

22 SHAPE • No. 1 2005


On the
right track
The Translohr tram was
designed for urban
The premiere trip is
scheduled for next year in
Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Exhaust fumes, cars and queues are everyday
features of the centres of most large cities.
Pedestrians, cyclists, buses, trams and motor-
ists – everyone is competing for space. The tram’s pneumatic tyres ensure a quiet ride.
This was the startingpoint when French vehi-
cle producer Lohr Industrie was developing its
new series of trams, Translohr. cars are equipped with pneumatic tyres, giv- The tram is made up of modules, which
The new tram series is designed to blend in ing them a tighter turning radius. According increases flexibility in terms of passenger capac-
effortlessly with the existing urban environ- to Lohr Industrie, they can handle sharp ity. The tram can carry from 80-250 passengers,
ment, without any need to widen or rebuild bends and greater inclinations. The tyres also depending on the number of modules used.
streets. The tram is electrically powered and enable the trams to run more quietly. The trams have been test-driven more than
follows a single track at the same level as the The wheel pairs are located between the car 15,000 kilometres on the company’s testing
road surface. Since the tram is no wider than modules and provide support for the entire tracks in Duppigheim, France. Next year, the
a car, it leaves more space for other vehicles, structure. They also neutralize any uneven- first trams will go into service in Clermont-
pavements and bicycle paths. ness in the road surface. The tram body is Ferrand, after which they will also traffic a
One of the major differences between partly made from aluminium profiles sup- number of cities in Italy. The company also
Translohr and conventional rail-bound vehi- plied by Sapa, including the side beams and hopes to be able to deliver Translohr to cities
cles is the design of the wheels. The Translohr seven different cross beams for the seats. in northern Europe and Asia.

Profile School/Cross-sectional radii

Aluminium profiles function best when Another reason is that the tool’s strength and The depth of deep, narrow tracks in the pro-
they have rounded shapes. Here is part 1 lifespan are increased, while the risk of the tool file must be limited, since the risk of breakdown
of the Profile School, on how to produce malfunctioning when forming sensitive cross-sec- increases if the ratio between depth and width is
hard-wearing corners. tions diminishes. too large. A full radius in the
Another phenomenon that can arise during bottom allows the depth of
It is hardly ever possible to produce knife-sharp cor- pressing is the formation of “heat zones,” which the track to be increased
ners through extrusion. One reason for this is that occur if a thick section comes into contact with a considerably. In Figure 2,
the matrix is wire-spark-processed. The thickness of thinner external wall. the ratio between depth
the spark wire plus the gap between the wire and During cooling, the and width is increased from
the tool gives a radius of approximately 0.3 mm in thinner wall cools 3 to 4.
the inner corner of the cavity, the profile’s outer cor- more rapidly than the Accordingly, the gen-
ner. Even if the matrix is knife-sharp – which can be thick section, result- eral recommendation is:
achieved using sink-sparking with a copper elec- ing in a clearly visible always incorporate radii in
trode – the material will not penetrate into the sharp streakiness on the corners and when there are
corner; a smaller radius will be formed instead. outer surface. The variations in thickness – the
effect can be con- Fig. 2 larger the radii the better.
To ensure that the material penetrates into small
radii without any breaks along the length of the siderably mitigated More good reasons to incorporate radii will be pre-
profile, the press speed must be reduced, which in if the material blank sented in the next issue.
turn increases the price. A radius of 0.5-1.0 mm is is processed with an
Fig. 1
a major improvement. adequate radius.

No. 1 2005 • SHAPE 23


The Atomium lives on

A six-month lifespan increased WHEN THE BRUSSELS World Exhibition opened numbered panels one square metre in area
in 1958, visitors had the opportunity to see rapidly sold out at a price of approximately 1,ooo
to nearly 50 years. Now the a unique structure – a molecule consisting euro each. However, the remaining panels were
Atomium in Brussels, Belgium, of nine atoms enlarged by 165 billion times.
Within the molecule, visitors could ride esca-
not discarded but are acquiring a new lease of
life at this very moment.
is being renovated, and 30 lators between the nine spheres and view vari- Through the Aluminium for Future
ous exhibits. And in case anyone was hungry, Generations program established by the
tonnes of aluminium will be there was a restaurant in the topmost sphere. European Aluminium Association (EAA), the
transformed into wheelchairs, Initially, it was thought that the aluminium industry organisation, nearly 30 tonnes of
panels would last for the six-month duration aluminium will be reused in products with a
bicycles and children’s toys. of the exhibition, but the metal showed its social function, such as wheelchairs, bicycles,
strength. It was not until 47 years later that ski poles and many other products.
renovation work began on one of Brussels’ “This proves what a versatile metal alumini-
major tourist attractions. um is,” says Patrick de Schrynmakers, secretary
The real enthusiasts gained an opportunity to general of the EAA. “The aluminium from the
own a piece of the structure when one thousand Atomium is now on the threshold of a new life.”

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