Solar Impulse is the first aeroplane to be able to fly day and night without fuel and pollutant emissions.

Solar Impulse is the first aeroplane to be able to fly day and night without fuel and pollutant emissions.

This revolutionary fibre-glass aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 747 (63.4m) and the weight of a small motor car (1,600kg). At the end of February/beginning of March it is to take off from Abu Dhabi on a round-the-world flight – powered solely by solar energy.

One of the challenges before the mission ends again in Abu Dhabi in mid-2015 is likely to be a nonstop five-day flight from China to Hawaii. The aeroplane, powered by 17,248 solar cells, will fly higher than Mount Everest every day in order to fully charge its batteries to enable it to stay in the air at night as well. 

In the year 2014 ABB and Solar Impulse formed an innovation and technology alliance, with three ABB engineers supporting the Solar Impulse Team. Their work was comprised of refining the steering and control systems, enhancing the charging electronics and battery systems as well as solving any problems which might crop up.
 

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Sonepar’s Belgian subsidiary Cebeo has taken over the tool dealer Vanas Beyond Tools from Kruibeke near Antwerp with effect from 1st February.

Sonepar’s Belgian subsidiary Cebeo has taken over the tool dealer Vanas Beyond Tools from Kruibeke near Antwerp with effect from 1st February.

This family business was founded in 1946, currently employs about 45 people and made a turnover of EUR 14 m in 2014.

The takeover confirms Sonepar’s interest in expanding into the tools sector as well (hall equipment, tool cupboards, furniture and lifting tools).

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In the 1st quarter 2015 (Sept. – Dec. 2014) the group’s net profits slumped by 25% to EUR 1.1 bn.

In the 1st quarter 2015 (Sept. – Dec. 2014) the group’s net profits slumped by 25% to EUR 1.1 bn.

Besides noticeable drops in earnings in the two important energy and gas and medical technology divisions it is also said to be major encumbrances in the financing sector because of the lower level of interest rates and the decline of the euro together with the price of oil which are responsible.

Siemens’ boss Kaeser still appeared to be convinced that overall profits will increase by at least 15% in the year, since he says extraordinary profits from the sale of a number of activities are to be expected.

For instance, the sale of the domestic appliance business to Bosch and the sale of the hearing aid business will alone yield over three billion euros in pre-tax profits. Nevertheless, he goes on to say that there is urgent need for action, above all in the group’s largest division energy and gas: The former world leadership in large gas turbines is a thing of the past, the market is determined by price pressure and excess capacity and the number of tenders is falling.

The first savings measure is now likely to be the cutting of 1,200 jobs in the division on short notice.
 

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The world’s largest sanitation wholesaler, the UK-based company Wolseley, is alleged to be planning to sell its construction materials business in France, since it considers this market to be too keenly contested.

The world’s largest sanitation wholesaler, the UK-based company Wolseley, is alleged to be planning to sell its construction materials business in France, since it considers this market to be too keenly contested.

Wolseley is represented in France with the Reseau Pro, Panofrance and Silverwood brands. In the USA and the UK the company is represented by Ferguson and Plumb Center.

According to information from the company, French turnover stood at USD 873 m (EUR 778 m) in its last business year, which ended
31.7.2014, and profits of USD 10.5 m (EUR 9.4 m) were declared.

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Dr. Joerg Dederichs has taken over the responsibility for Industrial Markets, the largest division at 3M, with effect from 1st January 2015.

Dr. Joerg Dederichs has taken over the responsibility for Industrial Markets, the largest division at 3M, with effect from 1st January 2015.

Dederichs started his 3M career in 1997 and has been a member of the board since 2007. In 2010 he took over the directorship of the health care business in Germany and was appointed labour director and managing director in 2013.

In his new function he replaces Michael Peters, who took over the position of Commercial Excellence and Business Services director at 3M Germany in January 2015 and was appointed as another managing director of the company.

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3M was able to raise its turnover by 2.0% in the 4th quarter in comparison with the prior year to USD 7.7 bn (EUR 6.9 bn). Earnings stood at USD 1.66 bn (EUR 1.45 bn) and net profits at USD 1.2 bn (EUR 1.1 bn).

3M was able to raise its turnover by 2.0% in the 4th quarter in comparison with the prior year to USD 7.7 bn (EUR 6.9 bn). Earnings stood at USD 1.66 bn (EUR 1.45 bn) and net profits at USD 1.2 bn (EUR 1.1 bn).

This results in a record turnover amounting to USD 31.8 bn (EUR 28.3 bn) for the year as a whole, 3.1% more than the prior year.

Earnings rose by 7% to USD 6.67 bn (EUR 5.95 bn) and net profits by 6.4% to USD 4.96 bn (EUR 4.42 bn).

According to CEO Inge G. Thulin it was the strong fourth quarter which made the main contribution to the good annual result, with organic growth extending over all divisions and geographical regions. He says that the generated free cash flow will be invested and has also additionally profited 3M’s stockholders.
 

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