ELMIA - Welcome to meet with Fortaco

Elmia Subcontractor in Jönköping Sweden is northern Europe’s leading trade fair in the manufacturing industry for suppliers and their customers. Subcontractors are the backbone of Sweden’s manufacturing industry. Without them, development and production would grind to a halt in many sectors. Elmia Subcontractor brings as many as 1.200 of these companies together. Thousands of specialists in hundreds of areas of expertise at your service.

The manufacturing industry is developing faster than ever. New materials and manufacturing technologies are challenging specifications, whereas the market volatility and customer behavior demand new ways to increase flexibility and agility from the supply chain. Fortaco is ready for these challenges through our technology programs, supply chain digitalization, investments, and operational excellence programs – we ensure that Fortaco will be reliable partner also in the future.

Take the opportunity and visit Fortaco’s booth to get more information about Fortaco Technology R&D projects, our factory expansion in Narva, Estonia and how we are expanding our cabin technology and manufacturing presence on the Asian market.

Come and visit our stand in Hall D02:37 and discuss with our team about what we can offer for your company.

See you in Jönköping on 12-15 of November!

Marcus Engman
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales

We are proud to announce

New robot welding system from CLOOS has been successfully implemented at Fortaco factory in Holic, Slovakia. This is a crucial and important milestone for us, and definitely a way forward in our technological development.

This automatized technology solution secures top quality, high accuracy and flexibility for all our customers. The new robot is equipped with 2-axe positioners, high-quality sensor system and solutions for excellent weld-joint accessibility.

Together with this latest investment and state of the art surface treatment facility, we are able to serve and meet our customer’s requirements even better than today. “It has been a center of interest among our visitors and potential business partners, says Juraj Prachar, Managing Director of Fortaco s.r.o.

Operational Excellence at Janow Lubelski

All Fortaco sites are actively involved in Operational Excellence programs to continuously improve their performance. Watch video of our Business Site Janow Lubelski.

Lean method

Getting to lean - organically

Andrzej Wrona, Director for Operational Excellence, offers a great insight into Fortaco’s lean philosophy.

When robots rule?

This whitepaper describes potential scenarios for the future of cabin business related to the development of AI and autonomous vehicles.

Ground breaking ceremony at Fortaco Narva factory

Now it is official! The ground breaking ceremony took place at Fortaco factory in Narva. Two capsules with greetings from employees and guest were laid down into the corner stone.

Our honored guests, Jelena Golubeva, Member of Narva City Council, Raivo Rand, representative of construction company Rand & Tuulberg and Hannu Heinonen, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Finland in Tallinn laid down the capsules into the corner stone together with Lars Hellberg, President & CEO for Fortaco Group and Larissa Shabunova, Managing Director for Fortaco Estonia.

We would like to thank all partners and the local community for the great support for this important milestone.

New factory extension will be ready in July 2020.

Devil’s Advocate

Joanna Lesicka is Fortaco’s Group Controller. If she challenges you, it’s just part of her job.

Winter is coming. Well, eventually. Although an economic downturn hasn’t yet arrived, it’s Joanna Lesicka’s job to be ready for it.

As Fortaco’s Group Controller, Lesicka describes her job as “the bridge between all functions.” Reporting to the group CFO in Helsinki, she’s responsible for performance monitoring of five factories in the Steel Fabrication Business Unit, plus Group Sourcing and IT. She measures and controls financials and KPIs, and attempts to predict and steer future direction of development. Most succinctly, it’s her role to question the current state of things and push for improvements.

Culture clash?

In her role of Chief Questioner she's always pushing people to justify their current approach and consider new options. No one likes to entertain the notion that what they’re doing isn’t optimal, and Lesicka’s job is further complicated by challenging the status quo in cultures not her own.

Lesicka is responsible for five factories in four countries with employees from at least six different nations. “And add to that that I’m a woman in a male industry,” she says.

“I need to delicately make the point that just because I question something doesn’t mean I’m the enemy. I’m really there to offer support.” To do her job well, Lesicka has learned the nuances of communicating with the different cultures.

Speaking with nuance

“People in all cultures like to know what they’re doing well,” says Lesicka. “That’s just human nature.”

“If you’re talking to a Finn, it’s best not to propose a specific solution, but show your faith that they’ll come up with one.”

“Poles, on the other hand, like you to be direct and offer specific advice. They also expect you to follow up.”

“Russians are extremely hard workers. It pays to show pride in their work.”

“Hungarians, more than other cultures, appreciate great detail and regular follow-up.”

“It’s interesting that if I send the very same email to four countries I’ll get four different responses. But this can be a plus: these very same differences bring a variety of new ideas for a single situation.”

Universal challenges

If an economic downturn arrives, as many predict, it will impact all of the business. But even if winter doesn’t arrive, there are plenty of other universal challenges.

One of those is that many countries in New Europe are no longer low-cost countries. “Poland and Hungary, for example, have salary inflation of about 10 percent,” says Lesicka. “We have to offset that with productivity improvements and automation. There’s also very low unemployment, which means a small rise in pay elsewhere can mean welders disappear. And with white collar jobs, we’re finding we need to build flexibility in contracts to accommodate seasonal fluctuations.”

Having originally graduated from a technology university with a specialty in finance, Lesicka revels in the challenges of a controller. “I love controlling, because it’s not just about analyzing numbers. With finance, you’re mostly attempting to predict the future based on the past. But in my job to push for improvements I’ve got to connect the functions across the entire business, with the added complexity of cultural differences.”