Thank you for visiting our booth at Excon 2019

The infrastructure sector is the key driver for the Indian economy. It is highly responsible for propelling India’s overall development and enjoying an intense focus from the Government to initiate policies which would ensure a time-bound creation of world-class infrastructure in the country.
 
There will be new regulations on driver safety in the future. Are you prepared for the challenge? Fortaco together with Tata AutoComp Systems is prepared for the new era in the tractor and off-highway sector.
 
We are pleased to help you with questions in regard to driver safety.

Tata AutoComp and Fortaco are welcoming you to EXCON India 10-14 December

Tata AutoComp together with Fortaco provides cabin technology and manufacturing services for Indian markets. Cabins are tailored to local needs and they meet European FOPS and ROPS standards. By combining their know-how Tata AutoComp and Fortaco we have created a unique cabin source for all Indian off-highway OEMs, who want to take care about operator safety and comfort.
 
You are welcome to meet with us at EXCON, the largest construction equipment event in South Asia. You will have a possibility to discuss with our cabin technology experts and test, how virtual reality can support a design and engineering process.
 
Event takes place in Biec, Bengaluru, India on 10-14 December. You can find us in Hall 2, upper level, stand P383-P386.
 
See you in Bengaluru!

Fortaco at Construction Equipment Forum 26 - 27 November in Mannheim

Fortaco will exhibit at the 2nd Construction Equipment Forum on 26 - 27 November in Mannheim, Germany.

Conference brings together industry leaders from all stage of the construction equipment value chain for two days. They share their expertise in discussions that cover all mega trends in the industry – connectivity, digitalization, electrification and autonomous vehicles.

"In the new digital world, cooperation is a very important issue. The event provides the basis for networking with suppliers and customers to develop a common digital ecosystem", Martin Lehner, CEO, Wacker Neuson SE.

We would like to welcome you to visit our stand in the networking of Congress Center Rosengarten. See you there!


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.


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.”


Fortaco thanks all who visited us at Subcontracting Fair in Tampere

This year's Exhibition was one of the best in terms of attendance. Subcontracting 2019 Trade Fair brought together 17.731 visitors and over 1.100 exhibitors. The number of visitors is the second highest in the event's history.

Thanks to all visitors for interesting discussions.

Next time we will meet at Elmia Exhibition in Sweden on 12-15 November.


Welcome to visit Fortaco at Tampere Subcontracting Fair 24-26 September 2019

The traditional event with 20.000 industrial professionals takes place at Tampere Exhibition Center.

Increased uncertainty on the global market makes forecasting of future challenging. However, Fortaco is ready for this challenge through productivity improvements and machine investments to increase production automation. Our operational excellence programs ensure that our customers receive products at the right time, with the right quality and at the right price.

One of our most significant ongoing investments is a factory expansion in Narva with 10.000 m2 and new equipment. During the past years, Fortaco has also invested in several welding robots, machining centers and production lay-out improvements to ensure our position as a professional and reliable partner in our industry.

Fortaco Technology has been kicked-off as planned and it is well received by our customers. The first common R&D projects are ongoing. Fortaco is expanding cabin technology and manufacturing presence into the Asian market. The partnership with Tata AutoComp is enabling OEMs in India to use Fortaco's cabin technology and knowledge on this fast-growing market area.

Welcome to exchange ideas and news with Fortaco people on our stand A630.

See you in Tampere !
Marcus


The Disciple of Data

Change has been the one constant in the job of Veera Gordijevski, Fortaco Estonia’s production director. Over the last two years the factory has added 200 workers, several welding robots and CNC machines, and introduced tens of new products.

Coping with dramatic growth requires change, and in a modern production environment change isn’t most effective when it’s dictated. Shop floor personnel need to buy in to change and be convinced there is a better way. To make a convincing case, Gordijevski doesn’t consider herself a “person of words.” Data is her tool of choice.

Study the processes
Gordijevski's approach has been to study processes and understand deviations, employing data analysis to isolate the root cause of a problem.

When Fortaco’s Narva factory found itself in the situation of actual orders exceeding customer forecasts, Gordijevsky and her team froze forecasts for two months in order to analyze the lines and verify capacity. "We studied the workflow of every line, balanced resources, rotated people, and eventually optimized the processes. We built a dashboard tool which gave us a global view of production so we didn't lose information." It may sound simple when expressed in a few sentences, but implementing change in a period of heavy growth required a large amount of discipline.

"When I started as production director in 2017 I made the decision that I would take the time to investigate processes myself. I didn't want to take anyone's word for how something worked, and I learned that employees themselves don't always have an accurate view.”

‘Is it possible we’re not right?’
Middle management had worked with the processes for many years and were accustomed to doing things in a particular way. Gordijevski views it as her job to pose the tough question: Is there a possibility that you are not right?

“Sometimes a problem gets identified,” she says, “but that problem represents only a small part of the root cause. In order to convince middle management that change is needed, you’ve got to have the numbers.”

A good example was with pre-fabrication in small machining centers. "There was the belief that we had 400 hours of delays, and we needed to add labor and produce 24/7," says Gordijevski. "But when we carefully analyzed delays and associated hours, we saw that 300 of those hours were due to other mistakes in the process. There were only 100 hours of real delays. We used data to prove it wasn't a backlog and we did not add an additional shift."

"I'm not a person of words," says Gordijevski. "I am confident when what I say is based on figures. I dislike long meetings where lots of time is spent speculating about what might be the problem. Meetings can only give you a hint of where the problem might be and help you figure out ways to gather data."

Sowing doubt
Gordijevski is the first to admit that she can’t be an expert on everything. “I once thought that as production director I should understand all detailed technical elements. But I’ve realized it’s more important to lead.”

“I have great experts on my team. My role as a leader is to rely on these experts. I can use data to sow a bit of doubt, to make them question the way we’re doing things. Should it really work like this? How else might it work? If you can raise doubt in the mind of those doing the work, get them to consider that the way we’re currently doing it may not be the best, then they will find a way to improve it!”