Metal core drilling redefined

Two redesigned metal core drilling machines from Alfra GmbH allow core drilling even on thin-walled material from a thickness of 3 millimetres. Both machines, ALFRA Rotabest RB 35 SP and RB 50 SP, stand out with a unique overall concept. The SP line has extremely adhesive permanent magnets at the same time as an amazingly light weight. As such, the leading manufacturer of tools and machines for the metalworking industry and trade is expanding the world of metal cutting.

The metal core drilling machines RB 35 SP and RB 50 SP from Hockenheim-based tool manufacturer Alfra are fitted with a powerful neodymium permanent magnet with pre-stressing, whereby considerable magnetic forces can be achieved even with small mass application. With an innovative and patented concept for magnet alignment, the machines can be used even on thin-walled materials from a thickness of 3 millimetres. Conventional metal core drilling machines fitted with an electromagnet can be used only from a material thickness of approx. 6 to 8 millimetres.

SP line opens up new application scenarios

“As our new metal core drilling machines can already be operated safely and comfortably on thin-walled materials, we are opening up completely new application areas to our customers,” Alfra director Markus Döring explains. According to information from the expert, both models can be used to work even on thin lining sheets, such as are usual in façade, container and ship construction as well as many other application areas.

Records in industrial safety and ergonomics

Models RB 35 SP and RB 50 SP cover a drilling range up to 35 mm or 50 mm – with a cut depth of 50 mm, which can be achieved with both devices. An adjustable lifting range is also included on board in both drilling units. The tool for adjusting and fixing is located in the new grip plate in a clever and user-friendly way.

The two drilling systems also achieve records in industrial safety and ergonomics. The ergonomic activation of the magnets with a handy strap positioned on the side, close to the body of the magnet, has also been completely redesigned. The new design also sets new standards for weight; 9.9 kilograms (RB 35 SP) and 11.5 kilograms (RB 50 SP) are below the values at which machines with similar performance weigh in. This is made possible by the permanent magnets used.

“Metal workers often need a third hand if they have to use the metal core drilling machine in a fixed position overhead or vertically. Our magnet is slightly pre-stressed and holds the deadweight of the device by means of the magnetic field reduced to a sensible level. Completely relaxed, the user can move the machine into the drilling position and get started. This is another invaluable advantage,” Markus Döring knows, “as it is simply impossible with conventional systems.” With the new operating concept of the permanent magnet, the metal core drilling machines can also be positioned between the flanges of a steel beam with no problem.

Permanent magnet technology pays

Unlike conventional systems, the permanent magnets moreover stand out for their lasting stability and long durability. In Markus Dörings experience with everyday use, this pays: “In practice, the drilling systems often remain on the material with the magnet activated whilst the user pauses or is distracted by secondary activities. As a result of the constant power consumption, a conventional electromagnet heats up over the course of the time when it is switched on, which substantially reduces not only its performance but also its service life.” This is not so with the new neodymium magnets of RB 35 SP and RB 50 SP. By virtue of their innovative concept, they require little maintenance and stand out for their long durability.

Convincing overall concept

With the activation of the magnet using the ergonomic hand lever, the electrical circuit for the magnet is no longer required. Only a large and clearly visible membrane keyboard perfectly protected from external influences remains for activation of the motor. The 5-metre-long connecting cable demonstrates that Alfra really has thought of all the details. An LED light, which is optimally positioned on the housing in the field of vision, indicates readiness for operation by means of a green light. In addition, an integrated sensor measures the magnetic field and displays it by the status of the LED: if the material is too thin then the LED lights up in red; if there is sufficient material then the LED indicates this with a green light. The machine cannot be started in red status.                                                                                                                                                           

…And that is still not enough

The product developers at Alfra have thought even of small details and fitted both metal core drilling machines with a temperature sensor for the motor and with a wear sensor for the carbon brushes of the drive. This eliminates overheating of the machines and the wear level monitoring shows at an early stage when the machine requires maintenance, which generally means that expensive repairs can be avoided. Moreover, the metal core drilling machines have integrated internal cooling.

The magnetic holding surface of the permanent magnet is also permanently durable due to its TiN coating and the surfaces are optimally protected, which makes adherent metal shavings easy to remove. The ALFRA Rotabest RB 35 SP and RB 50 SP are supplied in highly robust, oil repellent, double-skinned plastic cases.

Safety First

In operation and on the construction site, safety and accident prevention must be considered at all times. Alfra sets new standards here with the new metal core drilling machines. Even in the case of a power cut, the devices remain stuck to the workpiece. A look at the repair departments of many manufacturers reveals that “crashes” occur regularly there – even if the user is obliged additionally to secure machines in a fixed position with a belt.

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IARC 2019: High attendance rate and fruitful discussions make congress a success

This year’s International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC) ended on a successful note last week with a mixture of satisfied participants, interesting presentations and lively discussions. During the two-day event, some 220 experts from 24 countries came together to discuss the latest trends in the world of automobile recycling, making the IARC the only trade congress worldwide exclusively dedicated to this subject.

Quite a number of topics were up for discussion this year, as no other industrial sector is currently undergoing as many radical changes as the automotive industry. The pressure to cut carbon emissions is driving the development of lightweight design and electric mobility, but posing major challenges for the recycling industry, particularly when it comes to finding ways to recycle new types of composite materials. However, opportunities are also emerging from this development, as the overarching aim of reducing carbon emissions is also increasingly shining a spotlight on the recycling industry.

In his keynote speech on "Mobility’s Circular Economy Potential", Patrick Schaufuss from McKinsey & Company, Inc. emphasised just how great the recycling industry’s potential is. His speech also provided the basis for the subsequent panel discussion titled "Opportunities of the Circular Economy". The McKinsey consultant appealed to the automotive industry and other players to give greater consideration to designs that are suitable for the circular economy right from the outset.

Fittingly, Jean-Denis Curt presented the Renault automotive group’s circular ecosystem and the closed recycling loops it has introduced. Niklas Kilberg from the Volvo Car Corporation spoke about the measures the Swedish car company has taken to promote sustainability and also presented Volvo’s strategy for handling plastics.

Further lectures were held on the key topic of electric mobility and the challenges it poses. For example, Dirk Spiers from the US company Spiers New Technologies presented the "Life Cycle Management of xEV Batteries in Practice". Charles Stuyck also held a talk on the importance of recycling to support the growth of EVs.  In the same vein, Johann Prammer presented technology trends for processes and materials in the steel industry between now and 2050.

Another topic of focus at this year’s IARC was the latest technological developments in sorting and classifying scrap metal. Lorenzo Bacchetti from the Italian company Danieli Centro Cranes introduced the automatic scrap yard, where scrap is classified with the help of artificial intelligence. The technical lectures were accompanied by country reports from Argentina, Germany and India, which pointed out the challenges that individual countries are facing in the field of automobile recycling. Finally, Artemis Hatzi-Hull from the European Commission presented the current state of the planned revision of the EU End-of-Life Vehicles Directive.

A total of 24 presentations were held on the two days of the conference. The program was accompanied by a trade exhibition that gave congress attendees the opportunity to find out about new products, services and technologies. A total of 21 exhibitors had stands at this year’s congress.

Furthermore, on the third day, plant tours were on offer to visit the companies Scholz Austria Group in Laxenburg and voestalpine Stahlwelt in Linz. Next year, the congress will be held in Geneva to coincide with the Geneva International Motor Show. The event will take place from March 11 to 13, 2020.

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Safe solutions for oxygen applications

GEMÜ is expanding its product range for oxygen applications, offering globe and control valves for applications with gaseous oxygen in addition to its multitude of diaphragm valves with immediate effect. For safe plant operation, GEMÜ is placing particular emphasis on the selection of suitable materials for all media-wetted components. In the case of oxygen applications, this primarily concerns auxiliary and seal materials. This is why, for example, the spindle seals of all GEMÜ globe valves that are suitable for applications with gaseous oxygen are manufactured from PTFE, as the material is difficult to ignite.

Oxygen is considered a critical working medium, since many materials burn intensely and quickly with compressed or pure oxygen. For this reason, special care must be taken for areas of application in which gaseous oxygen is used. In Germany, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM – Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung) tests and evaluates whether certain materials are suitable for use with the critical medium.

GEMÜ offers a wide range of valves for oxygen applications. These include, among others, the GEMÜ 550 globe valves, which feature a uniform stainless steel design; the GEMÜ 554 type, which is distinguished by its particularly compact design; and the motorized GEMÜ 549 eSyDrive type. All these valves use auxiliary and seal materials that have been deemed suitable for use with gaseous oxygen by the BAM. The GEMÜ 601 diaphragm valves for small nominal sizes, the GEMÜ 650 BioStar for small to larger nominal sizes and the GEMÜ 660 filling valve are also type-tested and certified by the BAM.

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Interview with Dr Klaus Hauschulte, Scholz Recycling GmbH

The countdown has begun – only eight more days until the conference begins – and all that’s missing is you! If you haven’t yet registered because you’ve had so much to do, that’s not a problem, as our last-minute check-in is open until March 20. We look forward to hearing from you.

It’s well worth attending the IARC 2019, as not only a fascinating, comprehensive conference program awaits you, we’ve also invited some highly interesting speakers. Not only will Klaus Hauschulte from Scholz Recycling GmbH be on the podium, Artemis Hatzi-Hull from the EU Commission, Eric Hannon from McKinsey & Company, Inc. and Johann Prammer from voestalpine AG will also be our guests, to name but a few. Altogether, around 30 well-known recycling experts will be at the IARC 2019 to present the latest developments in the automotive recycling industry.

Shortly before the beginning of the congress we had the opportunity to speak to Klaus Hauschulte, CEO of Scholz Recycling GmbH, and asked him what he intends to report on at the IARC 2019. Although he didn’t want to reveal too much, of course, we did manage to get a few statements from him:

– Mr Hauschulte, at the IARC 2019 you will be talking on the subject of "Demands for more Reuse and Recycling". How important is the topic of reuse for your company?

As experts for driving the circular economy via recycling and as part of our Vision 2022, electric mobility and the increasing volume of batteries are topics of the future that we at Scholz Recycling want to discuss. Reuse is always preferable to recycling. That’s not only important in legal terms, but ecologically as well. Particularly batteries, lubricants and spare parts can already be potentially reused and for that reason we are attempting to improve recycling routes in collaboration with our partners. An important point, however, is that we handle wastes in a proper manner, even before they are reused.

– Is reuse therefore also a potentially viable business for end-of-life vehicle recyclers because recycling is becoming less lucrative?

Reuse is definitely an important aspect for car recyclers, too, but end-of-life vehicles are not glass bottles. We are not planning to enter the spare parts business; that’s up to the dismantling companies. However, the increasing connectedness of vehicle components via software and their ability to be updated could be stumbling blocks for immediate reusability. Solutions will then be needed, not only for reuse, in order for components and raw materials to be reused in production scenarios. If we don’t create common strategies to tackle these questions at European level, recycling could become anything but lucrative, as the ratio of metals to plastics is changing.

– Your core competence is actually in the field of metal recycling. Which percentage of metals are you currently able to recycle from end-of-life vehicles?

As a leading recycler of nonferrous metals and steel scrap, Scholz is capable of recovering up to 99 per cent of the metals, even from finely granulated shredder residues, and only last year we again invested in the further development of our systems in order to do so. Nevertheless, additional investment will be needed going forward that we will hardly be able to afford on our own, the reason being that the composites and alloys used in lightweight components are making it increasingly difficult to achieve complete purity when sorting. Moreover, between 2010 and 2030 the ratio of metals is likely to drop from 70 per cent to just below half of the material mix.

– And what does the remainder consist of?

Going forward, almost one third of an end-of-life vehicle will consist of polymers and composites for which there is no market and no commercially viable separation and sorting technology, as it has yet to be developed. Even energy recovery is becoming increasingly difficult. That’s a serious problem for ELV recycling in general and that’s why it will be the main topic of my talk. We need to create solutions in collaboration with the manufacturers and the suppliers.

– Although composites make vehicles lighter, it is a well-known fact that they are far more difficult to recycle. Is the automotive industry ready to listen?

I sincerely hope so. I used to work for a major lightweight construction supplier, I’m familiar with the business and therefore convinced that we need technical developments from that field. However, we can also find solutions by incorporating recyclability at the product design stage. We could even share the R&D costs with the automotive industry and thus generate benefits in terms of costs, recycling, environmental protection and resource supply security. We have already made numerous offers from our side, so let’s see what comes of them.

– The automotive industry is currently deeply involved with the question of how manufacturers can cut their carbon emissions. What needs to happen to ensure that automotive developers also focus more keenly on the recyclability of the materials used?

Together with a competitor, Scholz Recycling has already started a recycling initiative at national level to get manufacturers, researchers, associations and politicians on one common platform. It’s no good simply worrying about the banning of plastic straws, we need to give recycling products a viable market, also by creating favourable political framework conditions if necessary and creating demand as well as incentives all the way to the consumers, as we don’t have a market for non-metallic residues. This could be done by broadening the ecodesign directive and adapting the end-of-life vehicles directive accordingly. And we need to speak about more ideas than just reuse quotas for recycling products in manufacturing. We are talking about manufacturer responsibility, raw materials production and reducing carbon emissions across the entire life cycle of a vehicle – recycling needs to be at both the beginning and the end.

Thank you for the interview, Mr Hauschulte.

Come and join us at the IARC 2019 in Vienna! Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange views and ideas with experts from all areas of the automotive recycling industry! We look forward to welcoming you at this year’s industry meeting! For all the details on the program and how to register, go to:

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19th International Automobile Recycling Congress IARC 2019

The program has been decided, the congress guide printed and the final preparations are in full swing: this year’s International Automobile Recycling Congress IARC 2019 is beginning in just under three weeks – and the only thing missing is you! We hope you will be attending and we look forward to seeing you in Vienna.

Again this year we have put together an interesting and highly diverse program for you. We are greatly looking forward to our opening and keynote speakers, who will be sharing their market assessments with us on March 20 and 21. This year we will be welcoming as keynote speakers:

  • DI Christian Holzer (Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, Austria)
  • Eric Hannon (McKinsey & Company, Germany) and
  • Johann Prammer (voestalpine AG, Austria)

At the IARC 2019, Johann Prammer will be providing us with an overview of technological trends for processes and materials up to the year 2050. Before the conference we had an opportunity to talk to him and in an interview he told us about current major trends and how he sees the role of the circular economy:

  • Mr Prammer, at the IARC 2019 you will be speaking about current trends in terms of materials used in the steel industry. What are the main trends at the moment?

The automotive industry is voestalpine’s largest customer sector by far and accounts for one third of Group sales. When it comes to topics such as decarbonisation and the energy transition, we are all in the same boat, so to speak, and both the steel and the mobility sectors will be fundamentally impacted by these factors in the long term. It’s not simply a matter of how we intend to produce going forward, i.e. how to manufacture steel as closely to carbon-neutral as possible, but also how much added value the material can generate for our customers and which contribution it can make to driving the mobility of the future.

  • The automotive industry is a key sales market for the steelmaking sector. Major carmakers are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions and are thus looking to make their vehicles as light as possible. In view of this fact, how can steel assert itself against lightweight metals such as aluminium?




The new EU targets for CO2 reduction by 2030 for cars, buses and trucks are not only quite ambitious technically, but also in terms of time, considering the conventional product development and production cycles of average models. We are helping to achieve this goal, for example, by developing high-strength steels and components made of light metal alloys. Moreover, we are working intensively on solutions for alternative drive systems such as electric mobility, for example by developing special electrical steel for motors or materials for making batteries.

Despite being practically declared dead as a carmaking material not so long ago, steel will continue to play a key role going forward. Every material has its strong points, and competition between materials stimulates innovation.

  • How do you rate approaches such as Circular Economy or Life Cycle Assessment in this context?

Apart from their purely material properties, the overall ecological footprint of materials, products and value chains is becoming an increasingly significant aspect. The long-term EU strategy "A Clean Planet for All" also addresses these issues quite extensively. The question is how this can be implemented, because system boundaries, evaluation criteria, measurability and the like must first be developed, defined and made transparent. In my view, this is a very long-term goal, although the right one in principle.

For example, the automotive industry has been the most important driver of the LCA, and in the overall life cycle analysis we see considerable advantages in the assessment of steel compared with other materials, such as its carbon footprint over the entire life cycle, energy consumption in production and reuse in production – specifically as scrap for making crude steel. At more than 25%, voestalpine uses an above-average share in its production process compared with the EU average (19%) or even China (10%), not to forget its practically infinite recyclability.

  • What is your impression regarding the role that the recyclability of materials currently plays in the automotive industry?

Today, it goes without saying that recycling is part of the economic cycle, and that includes the automotive industry. So-called recyclates, i.e. recycled materials, are being used with increasing frequency.

When scrap metals are typically recycled, up to 100% of the car body steel gets used. This is where the greatest amount of recyclates are to be found – in new vehicles, too. Because these are already integrated in the production of new steels in the form of "processed scrap", car manufacturers no longer have to worry about them. However, with plastics it’s a different story, as in contrast to steel and iron materials, plastic applications require separate testing and approval of the recycling material for each respective component.

Recyclable materials may even be superior to new ones, as they may be less prone to dimensional and shape changes. For example, certain components are manufactured using recycled plastics. However, there are limits to the amount of recycled material that can be built into a car. Safety-related components such as crash structures or airbag-related components are not made of recyclates. The materials exhibit a slightly greater variance in vibration behaviour and elongation at break, which must be compensated for by the use of additives or taken into account when the component is produced. That’s why they are not so suitable for safety-related components.

  • The steel industry is also under pressure to reduce its CO2 emissions. Is the expansion of electric steel mills an option, or are new technologies, such as hydrogen-based steel production, more likely to be used?

If we, like the EU steel industry as a whole, by the way, commit ourselves to the climate targets, then the required CO2 reduction of at least 80% by 2050 will not be achievable with existing processes, i.e. the blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace route that is still dominant worldwide. Electric steel mills, or rather electric arc furnaces, will certainly make a contribution to CO2 reduction in the steel production chain in the future. Ultimately, however, the overall system of energy and raw materials management must always be taken into consideration – and this ultimately also involves economic availability. Irrespective of possible intermediate steps to replace coal with natural gas, for example, we are therefore working intensively on new metallurgical technologies based primarily on hydrogen. However, it is not so much an R&D issue as a broad implementation of new processes that ultimately depends on the management of energy and raw materials going forward. This is where we come back to your original question, as future concepts for the automotive industry, whether electric or hydrogen mobility, are also faced with the same challenge: It will require many times more energy, which needs to be provided at competitive cost with a stable supply and the most efficient infrastructure possible.

Thank you for the interview, Mr Prammer.

If you want to find out more about this topic and lots of others, too, please come to the IARC 2019 in Vienna. Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange news and ideas with experts from every field of the automotive recycling sector. We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s industry meeting. For all the details on the program and how to register, go to:



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Änderungen in der Geschäftsführung der SMS group GmbH

  • • Prof. Dr. Hans Ferkel wird Chief Technology Officer
    • Michael Rzepczyk wird Chief Operating Officer
    • Dr. Guido Kleinschmidt scheidet aus der Geschäftsführung aus

Mit dieser Erweiterung wird eine klare funktionale Ausrichtung der Geschäftsführung mit Fokus auf innovative Produkte, effiziente Projektabwicklung sowie digitale Prozesse umgesetzt.

Prof. Dr. Hans Ferkel ist derzeit Bereichsleiter Technologie und Innovation bei thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG. Zuvor war er in leitenden Positionen im Bereich Forschung und Entwicklung bei Volkswagen tätig. Herr Ferkel tritt der Geschäftsführung als Chief Technology Officer zum nächstmöglichen Termin bei.

Mit Wirkung vom 1. März 2019 wird Michael Rzepczyk die Rolle des Chief Operating Officer in der Geschäftsführung der SMS group GmbH ausüben. Herr Rzepczyk ist bei SMS bislang als Geschäfts-bereichsleiter Metallurgie insbesondere für die Abwicklung von Großprojekten zuständig.

Neben Prof. Dr. Hans Ferkel und Michael Rzepczyk gehören Torsten Heising (Finanzen) und Prof. Dr. Katja Windt (Digitalisierung) zum fünfköpfigen Führungsteam, dem der langjährige Vorsitzende
Burkhard Dahmen vorsteht.

Burkhard Dahmen, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung: „Ich freue mich, Prof. Dr. Ferkel und Herrn Rzepczyk in unserem Führungsteam zu begrüßen. Sie sind erfahrene Branchenexperten und werden SMS dabei unterstützen, die Marktführerschaft im metallurgischen
Anlagenbau weiter auszubauen. Als Geschäftsführung sind wir nun optimal aufgestellt, um unsere Wachstumsstrategie zu realisieren und Wunschpartner der anspruchsvollsten Kunden zu bleiben.“

Dr. Guido Kleinschmidt wird zum 28. Februar auf eigenen Wunsch aus der Geschäftsführung ausscheiden, um sich einer neuen Herausforderung außerhalb der SMS group GmbH zuzuwenden.

Burkhard Dahmen, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung: „Wir danken Herrn Dr. Kleinschmidt für seine erfolgreiche Arbeit in der Geschäftsführung. Durch seine Fachkompetenz hat er sowohl innerhalb unseres Unternehmens als auch bei unseren Geschäftspartnern
hohes Ansehen erworben. Wir wünschen ihm weiterhin alles Gute, Gesundheit und persönliches Wohlergehen.“

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DVS Media will produce the official fair newspaper called „fair news“

DVS Media GmbH will be the official partner of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH for the fair newspaper called "fair news". From June 25 to 29, 2019, it will accompany the quartet of fairs consisting of GIFA, METEC, NEWCAST and THERMPROCESS editorially every day. The partnership between DVS Media and Messe Düsseldorf has now been stipulated contractually.

GIFA, METEC, NEWCAST and THERMPROCESS are important fairs for the foundry and steel sectors. "Our publishing house already became the partner of the Federal Association of the German Foundry Industry (BDG) last year. In January of this year, we were also able to expand the publishing house’s own portfolio by the field of ‚Steel‘. As the official partner of ‚fair news‘, we now have another possibility for supporting both sectors with well-founded subject-related communication," explained Dirk Sieben, Managing Director of DVS Media.

"fair news" will be an ideal supplement to the renowned trade journals called GIESSEREI and the English-language CP+T for whose production and distribution DVS Media GmbH has been responsible since July 2018. In the steel field, "Stahl + Technik" and its English counterpart called "Steel + technology", two completely new trade journals from the DVS Media company, will be published from March 2019.

In addition to these classic print media, the specialist publishing house is also offering digital media concepts to the companies from the foundry and steel sectors. These are, for example, an e-paper offer with interactive contents in the foundry field as well as, in the steel field, an app and a new B2B platform which is called HOME OF STEEL ( and is being set up step by step.

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LogiMAT Exotec Solutions has been awarded a „Best Product award 2019 “ in the category „Order picking, Conveying, Lifting, Storage technology“ with the Skypod system

The Skypod system is a complete Goods To Person solution designed for the eCommerce.

Modern logistics are facing a double challenge of performance and agility. It must keep a total adaptability to a moving market, while ensuring the preparation of thousands of orders per day, for a same-day delivery.

The Skypod system is the first order preparation system in the world, based on 3D mobile robots. These robots transfer bins of goods to a 10-meter mass storage and bring them to the picking operators.

“The Skypod Systems answers to a strong need we have identified since the creation of Exotec 3,5 years ago. Customers are looking for high performance and high-density systems, that can be easily modified to follow the unpredictable growth of their business. “They cannot afford to invest in cathedrals of steel, for the next 10 years” says Romain Moulin, CEO of Exotec Solutions.

“The system has been built, since the beginning, to ensure a fast deployment and a full scalability. Our free navigation allows reaching 4 meters / seconds, and the artificial intelligence of the control allows to setup the system in only a few weeks on site.” Says Renaud Heitz, CTO and cofounder.

The fast implementation of the Skypod solution can slash a year out of commonly accepted lead times to get beneficial use of such systems. This leads to better ROI and allows to follow the pace of the eCommerce business.

Business intelligence survey recently projected that the demand for automated systems will be beyond 600.000 to be compared to the 100.000 already in service.

Exotec Solutions, brings automation to small, medium and large DC’s allowing future proof investments.

The use of the full height of the logistics buildings reduces by 5 the needed surface compared to a traditional Person To Goods solution.

In addition, our Skypod, is saving energy as it recovers most of the energy spent during decelerations, and downwards movements. And its low power consumption allows installations without the need of a dedicated additional power supply.

The redundancy in the system is also a key advantage, as it ensures a good availability, and the possibility of a true 24/7 operation, thanks to the maintenance made possible while the system is online. Performing maintenance is possible by retrieving one Skypod, leaving the rest of the fleet operational.

The key advantages are:

Capacity and productivity

Goods to man system to ensure performance and ergonomy


Adding racks and robots is easy and without production interruption. The system size can follow the actual growth needs without anticipation on investments.


Skypod solution doesn’t rely on batches or order combination, it adapts seamlessly to order profile variations.


Thanks to its massive parallelism concept there is no single point of failure and it allows 24 / 7 operations whilst allowing maintenance during production.

Energy saving

With minimal live loads and an embedded energy recovery capability the Skypod solution can claim an impressive 80% energy saving compared to traditional automation.


The pure goods to man concept of the Skypod allows a very late prioritization of orders and therefore an incomparable reactivity. With Skypod the next order to be prepared is always the most urgent one!

About Exotec Solutions

Established in 2015, Exotec Solutions has successfully installed 4 systems and is planning to install more than twice in 2019. With Partners in Italy, Germany, USA, and Poland, Spain, Benelux, UK, Japan, South Korea, Middle east during 2019, the Skypod will be soon available worldwide.

Press Contact:;  Gilles Baulard Tel +33 (0)6 13 30 65 30

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PFEIFER celebrates 440 years of existence

Nowadays, the PFEIFER Group is an international employer with more than 30 sites in 19 countries and ambitious growth targets. We belong to the market leaders in the fields of Rope & Lifting, Rope Technology, Lightweight Architecture and Building Systems. We provide high-tech ropes for the biggest cranes, the highest elevators and cables for the most spectacular stadiums in the world. At the same time, we can look back on such a long corporate history that is possibly unrivalled in the industry.

The rope-manufacturing company of the Pfeifer family was first officially mentioned on February 13, 1579. Which means that today, we are able to celebrate the 440th anniversary of the company. The ropery was operated as a traditional handicraft enterprise by the ancestors of the Pfeifer company in the Old Town district of Memmingen for generations. Production focused mainly on hemp and natural fibre ropes.

Premium supplier

From the 1950s onwards, the former three-man business developed into a modern industrial enterprise. The latest machines were purchased, modern production halls occupied and new employees recruited to mark the beginning of the manufacture of steel wire ropes. This was complemented over the years by additional product segments and business units such as Connecting and Lifting Systems and Lifting Technology. PFEIFER developed into the premium supplier within the industry.

Pioneer of lightweight architecture

At the beginning of the 1970s, the erection of the Olympic Stadium in Munich was the starting signal in the field of lightweight architecture. Today, we are the only company to offer the entire service portfolio in the sector, and now realize modern designer construction projects all over the world.


At the end of the 1980s, the company had already expanded to such an extent that it was accommodated in nine different building complexes in Memmingen. Therefore, a generous, modern factory was occupied in Dr.-Karl-Lenz-Straße, which is still the registered headquarters of our Group today. Then, from the 1990s, the increasing international orientation of the company began.

Motivated team

All of these accomplishments are attributable to a dedicated team of more than 1600 employees and apprentices, who contribute their wealth of know-how every day to our customers and projects worldwide. This passion and expertise are the driving forces of the traditional company PFEIFER since 440 years.

Learn more about our history here.

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Millennial Reports Positive Pumping Test Results from Second Pumping Well at Pastos Grandes Project, Argentina

Millennial Lithium Corp. (ML: TSX.V) (“Millennial” or the “Company” – is pleased to report encouraging results from an extended pumping test of a second production-scale well at its Pastos Grandes Project in Salta, Argentina. Pumping well PGPW17-04 was installed to complete extended pumping of lithium brine to determine the robustness and chemical variation of the aquifer over 23 days in September, 2018. At a pumping rate of 15 litres/second (L/s), the lithium content remained consistent over the trial period and the drawdown was approximately 57 metres (m), with rapid recovery.  Estimated transmissivity was calculated from the drawdown data at 40m2/day.  The pumping test was completed under the direction and supervision of Montgomery and Associates.

Millennial President and CEO, Farhad Abasov, commented: "Millennial is very pleased with the results of this second pumping test in the central portion of the Company’s land position at Pastos Grandes over a significant 23 day time frame. This is another important milestone in our ongoing development program. The pumping rate was 15 L/s from September 7 to 30th with a draw-down of 57m with full recovery to initial levels after 24 days of recovery. Lithium concentrations remained consistent throughout the pumping test ranging from 482 mg/L to 518 mg/L and averaging 495 mg/l.  The transmissivity of the 40m²/day is encouraging and indicates the aquifer has good potential to sustain long term pumping at 15 L/s  The brine from the pumping test was utilized to feed the large scale pilot ponds currently in operation which will  provide concentrated brine for the Company’s pilot plant scheduled for operation in Q2, 2019. With a strong cash position Millennial is on track to produce an updated 43-101 resource report in Q1 and complete the Bankable Feasibility Study in Q2 2019."

Well PGPW17-04 was drilled using the mud rotary method to a total depth of 475m using 15” and 13.5” diameter drill bits.  The well was completed with 10” and 6” diameter steel pipe with 10” blank pipe for the section from 0m to 113.4m, with 6” slotted pipe for the section from 113.4m to 464.3m and 6” blank casing from 464.3m to 470.4m with an end cap.  The annular space between the borehole and the casing were filled with gravel pack.

Constant flow pumping test was completed with a flow rate of 15.2 L/s with 23 days of pumping and 24 days of recovery water level measurements (See Table 1).  Maximum drawdown was approximately 57m which was achieved after 2 days and full recovery of the well was observed after 24 days.

The drawdown and recovery data provides the basis for the calculation of the aquifer transmissivity, the rate at which the brine moves through the aquifer.  The best estimate of the transmissivity is 40 square metres per day (m²/d) and is considered to be good for fine-grained aquifers.  Based on this transmissivity calculation, the aquifer has good potential to sustain a long term pumping rate of 15 L/s.

Brine sampling during the pumping test was completed every on a daily basis to determine the variation in brine chemical composition over the entire period the aquifer was tested.  In general, the chemistry is consistent over the 23 day period with lithium ranging from 482 mg/L and 518 mg/L and averaging 495 mg/L.  The best lithium values occur during the last five days of the pumping test.  The magnesium to lithium (Mg/Li) ratio averages 5.3 and the average potassium to lithium ratio (K/Li) is 10.5 and the average sulphate to lithium ratio (SO4/Li) is 16.4.

Millennial continues to evaluate and define the characteristics of the lithium-bearing aquifer in the southern portion of its land package with pumping wells PGPW18-15 and PGPW18-17.  Both wells are in development and are planned for completion in Q1 2019 with short term pumping tests and brine sampling to follow. 

Sampling was conducted in accordance with CIM guidelines for brine resource evaluation, with an appropriate chain of custody and QA/QC program in place for ensuring veracity, accuracy and precision of the analytical results.

The primary analytical laboratory for the data used in this program is the SGS Laboratory in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  SGS is accredited to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO14001:2004 for their geochemical and environmental labs for the preparation and analysis of numerous sample types, including brines.

This news release has been reviewed by Iain Scarr, AIPG CPG., Chief Operating Officer of the Company and a Qualified Person as that term is defined in National Instrument 43-101.

To find out more about Millennial Lithium Corp. please contact Investor Relations at (604) 662-8184 or email

This news release may contain certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws.  When used in this news release, the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “target, “plan”, “forecast”, “may”, “schedule” and similar words or expressions identify forward-looking statements or information.  These forward-looking statements or information may relate to future prices of commodities, accuracy of mineral or resource exploration activity, reserves or resources, regulatory or government requirements or approvals, the reliability of third party information, continued access to mineral properties or infrastructure, currency risks including the exchange rate of USD$ for Cdn$, fluctuations in the market for lithium, changes in exploration costs and government royalties or taxes in Argentina and other factors or information. Such statements represent the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social risks, contingencies and uncertainties. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affections such statements and information other than as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations.


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