About: Antoine HEGER - Commercial Manager Protection
NLMK Europe Plate is the entity that groups the 3 plate mills of NLMK in Europe. They are NLMK Dansteel, NLMK Verona, and NLMK Clabecq.
1. Would you begin with an introduction to NLMK Europe Plate and an overview of the company as it is now?
NLMK Europe Plate is the entity that groups the 3 plate mills of NLMK in Europe. They are NLMK Dansteel, NLMK Verona, and NLMK Clabecq. The combined production capacity of the 3 mills exceed 0073 1.5 million tons per year and the offer goes from 3mm to 1500mm in thickness and from 1500 to 4200mm in width with piece weights overtaking 30 tons. NLMK Europe offers the widest range of grades and dimensions in Europe.
2. Quardian is a brand name of the ballistic plates manufactured in Belgium by NLMK Clabecq. As a commercial manager for Quardian, what is your duty in developing sales of the products?
My first objective as a segment manager is to increase the sales of Quardian year after year. To succeed in my mission I can count on strategic stocks in the port of Antwerp, in Dubai, in South Africa, and soon in India and Central/South America. I know by experience that an important part of the end-users needs quick and JIT deliveries. Besides this, I can count also on the highly skilled and strategically located sales network of NLMK Europe. Combined with an excellent product offering not only ballistic performances but also remarkable processing abilities (bendability & weldability), very tight thickness tolerances, and superior surface aspect, you have all the ingredients needed to build a success story.
3. To ensure that Quardian is compliant with different international standards, what numerous tests do NLMK Clabecq conduct in independent laboratories?
NLMK Clabecq conducts ballistic tests every week at independent laboratories located in Belgium, Germany, France, and/or the Netherlands. Besides the ballistic resistance validation of our Quardian deliveries, we perform extra tests to validate new solutions or to assist our customers in their development of new solutions.
4. NLMK Group has expanded its first-class product offering in the European market. Could you share your views on this expansion?
NLMK invests constantly in all its plants to propose High Added Value for all market segments. The best examples are NLMK Dansteel now the leader in steel production for onshore and offshore windmills or NLMK Clabecq offering best in class Quenched and Tempered steels for mining, lifting, or defense applications a.o. That place NLMK in a leading position when it comes to Plate offering. It is extremely rewarding to work for such a strong group whose ambitions are always to produce more special steels for high-end markets.
5. How would you describe the feedback of your customers?
Without referring to one customer or another (we work mostly under NDA), we always get a very good satisfaction level from all our customers. The proof is the claim percentage which is @ 0.05% for Quardian!
All our customers will confirm you that Quardian combines excellent ballistic performances with nice surface aspect, good processability and attractive pricing for first-class material produced in Europe. They trust our material as, unlike other brands, NLMK controls the full production process from slabs casting to the final painting of the Quenched and Tempered Quardianprotection plates.
6. What excites you most about the Defence Sector? What brought you to your position in this company? What was it that intrigued you or enticed you?
What keeps me enticed in this market segment is the uniqueness of each project. All our customers want to offer the best products combining the latest technology with the best performances and each time with higher protection levels to defend their clients against new threats. That pushes our industry to develop new solutions to support the evolution of our customers.
7. Mention the various sectors and applications NLMK is involved in the world’s rising economies?
NLMK is involved in most of the sectors using steel and everywhere. The group supplies slabs, coils, sheets, and plates, long products all over the world and in all sectors. For example, the group supplies electrical steels produced in Russia to end-users in India. Our Danish plate mill produces up to 4.2m wide plates to manufacture onshore or offshore windmills for Spain. NLMK Clabecq produces wide Q&T plates in thickness 3.6mm which will further be used in Canada to build tippers. We could give you thousands of other examples like these. NLMK is global with the widest range of products.
8. What are your strategic plans for your company to stand out amongst your competitors?
The winning strategy is the addition of: Product quality, range of grades, local stocks, network, tailor-made productions, and competitive pricing. This is challenging but that’s how we can differentiate Quardian from other brands
9. What were/are the most important achievements for NLMK Europe Plate in Defence Sector?
Your readers would for sure be interested in reading who our customers are and in which projects we participated but regretfully I can’t share this information. I wish I could but that would be against all signed NDA.
10. What do you see as the single biggest challenge for the Defence Industry in 2020? What are some of the newer, exciting technologies or products that NLMK is working on?
The biggest challenge for the defense industry in 2021 (projects for 2020 deliveries were finalized and signed before Covid pandemic appearance) will be to see the countries defense budgets confirmed. It is obvious that everywhere huge unbudgeted expenses were made. Deficits widened in many countries and original budgets for defense might be partially reallocated to other priorities.
11. Defence-industries are a connecting point for buyers and suppliers across the global defence industry. What do you think about our website which promotes and brands defence industry today on such a wide scale?
Defence-industries website is worth regular visits. There are many compelling articles and the tenders section is also very interesting for all companies involved in defence industry.