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Fortaco team wants to thank you for the extraordinary year

2020 is the year we will remember as the global crisis for the human beings. The corona virus is here to stay, and the world must be ready to accept the ‘new normal’ until a vaccine will prevent the illness. The Covid-19 disease has caused sever damages for the human beings and the financial turmoil for some, for some not. The way to socialize, live and work has changed.

The off-highway equipment industry has faced impacts, in the spectra of slight to intensive. At Fortaco, we have turned around the way we are operating since mid-March: secured deliveries on-time, optimized individual employee protection, optimized sales to delivery planning with business partners, secured healthy cashflow, stopped travelling, met business partners in virtual and limited face-to-face meetings only when absolutely necessary.

Our philosophy is simple – no panic, we are professional and will manage the crisis. With speedy actions by all Fortaco teams we have secured healthy liquidity and good profitability, despite of decline in sales.

Dear customers, business partners and colleagues, we want to thank you all for the extraordinary year 2020 and for the tight collaboration.

Wishing you a Peaceful Christmas Time with your nearest ones and a Successful Year 2021 – aligned with the ‘new normal’.

Stay safe,
Fortaco Team

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Instead of traditional Christmas gifts, Fortaco has made a donation to charity:


Picture of Marko Manninen, a Foreman at Fortaco Kalajoki Factory with Fortaco Logo in the background

Opportunities On Solid Experience

Marko Manninen, a foreman at Fortaco Kalajoki factory, needs no introduction. Known as a hardworking, responsible and straightforward person, he has worked at Fortaco for 22 years in various roles. Those roles contain positions in different industries and business sectors, including assembly, welding and warehouse operator in shipping, construction and energy businesses – he also has worked as a chief shop steward for several years. "I like my work being versatile. Every day is different, which keeps it very interesting and motivating."

Marko thinks the team spirit is good among employees at Business Site Kalajoki, cooperation and interaction with different employee groups is very enjoyable part of his work. Marko's superior says he is very committed and showing a great ability to develop his professional skills.

"Marko is raising necessary issues and works towards solving them. He is very focused on safety and production efficiency, as well as developing the daily production processes", says Jyri Paavola, General Manager, Fortaco Kalajoki. "He has a long experience, which certainly helps him to utilize his knowledge and capabilities in the current position".

This year, Marko was promoted to a foreman position in welding and surface treatment, he finished his foreman management studies at Central Ostrobothnia Vocational College as apprenticeship training program. The program was executed in cooperation with Fortaco, studies were performed both at the college and at work. As studies required a lot of work outside of office hours, time management and good organizational skills were necessary. With Marko's self-directed manner the planned schedule with studies was kept.

"During the apprenticeship training program, organizational changes were made at the Kalajoki factory and Marko's area of responsibility expanded from welding to also include surface treatment. “He succeeded in his role very well, even with the expanded responsibilities together with the studies”, Paavola commends.

Nowadays, Marko's responsibilities gather around the daily operations, monitoring of schedules, quality control, material flow control, development of work processes and interacting with production workers and supervisors at Business Site Kalajoki. Studies were a great continuum for his career and provided right tools for a supervisor's need at a work place.

"I really appreciate I have an opportunity to impact on business unit operations and performance, and also respect that the safe working environment is a high priority within Fortaco".

What does Marko do outside of work? Seems like he also likes his free time to be versatile, as he enjoyes different outdoor sport, dog shows, travelling around Finland; and is planning to start motorcycling hobby again after several years.


Alihankinta.fi Subcontracting fair banner Fortaco

Fortaco goes virtual - again

Fortaco is participating Subcontracting Trade Fair. Let's meet up online for networking and pick up the latest insights and industry innovations!

Subcontracting Trade Fair brings together industrial companies, experts and decision-makers. It is packed with new innovations, and you can meet with peers within the industry from Finland’s and Europe’s B2B scene.

This year, we will meet each other in a virtual Subcontracting event on 8–10 December. There will be plenty of live program, pre-recorded videos, and great opportunities for networking with experts and professionals in the manufacturing industry. Participation in the event is free of charge for visitors.

Join the networking event together with us!

Link to the event: https://www.alihankinta.fi/fi/

 

Subcontracting fair


Narva factory extension timelapse

Ever wondered, what does it look like to build a 10 000 m2 factory? Our partner Rand & Tuulberg not only did a great job as our partner in the factory extension project, they also filmed and edited an enjoyable clip for us to watch.

Layer by layer the magic was made - thank you for a good cooperation!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwKoaQk4C_0


Construction Equipment Forum 2020 goes virtual

The aim for Construction Equipment Forum Nov 30 - Dec 1 is to network the players along the entire value chain within the construction equipment industry, even across national borders, and enable exchange of knowledge and experience. In order to ensure the aim for CEF will be achieved, it has been decided to arrange the conference as virtual, due to recent development in the spread of Corona virus.

The management conference brings together the players in the entire value creation chain within the construction machinery industry. More than 500 manufacturers, suppliers and customers from all sectors will exchange information in virtual during two days, make new contacts, and enrich each other's lives. The event is rounded off by a virtual innovation exhibition with 60 inspiring solutions and products.

Fortaco Group will also participate by a virtual stand. Dr. Rafal Sornek, Senior Vice President, Fortaco Technology, will give an online presentation on “Residual value of a machine - value enhancement through combination of IoT and blockchain technologies”.

Read more about the Speakers & Experts: https://www.constructionforum.eu/speakers

We are inviting you to register and visit the conference by using this link: https://www.constructionforum.de/anmelden

Welcome – and see you in virtual!


manufacturing

People of Steel

If you can dream it in high-strength steel, Fortaco Jászberény can probably make it.

If it’s made of high-strength or mild steel and weighs between 100 kilograms and 60 tons, Sebastian Kun and his team at Fortaco in Jászberény, Hungary, can probably manufacture it.

While the team mostly produces steel structures for customers in materials handling, energy, and mining, they can also make you a chocolate mixer.

Flexible enough for chocolate

Sebastian Kun, Fortaco Jászberény's sales manager, doesn't foresee a big future for Fortaco in the confectionary industry, but the manufacturing of chocolate mixers are what happens when being agile is in your DNA.

"We're a reliable partner for OEMs, because we’re flexible enough to withstand market fluctuations," says Kun. "In our three business segments we try to serve the top three OEMs. Each of these segments has different market fluctuations, and not being bound to one single segment allows us to balance capacity with demand."

Kun says the chocolate mixers are a real novelty for guests at Jászberény. “Visitors are baffled that the mixers aren’t stainless. But chocolate has so much fat that stainless isn’t required. The customer’s cost savings by not using stainless are significant. We grind the surface, treat it with food oil, and it’s ready to go.”

Secret tank manufacturers

Even before the Jászberény plant joined the Fortaco organization in 2013, it had a history of flexibility. Founded in 1951 under the name Aprítógépgyár, it produced stone crushers and classifiers. Unofficially, it also made military equipment. At one point in its history, it also designed and made its own rolling machine.

Kun joined the Jászberény plant in 2007. He combines a pedigree in steel fabrication — his father owned a steel fabrication company and machine shop — with languages. “Manufacturers in Hungary are very dependent on the German market,” he says, “and surprisingly few engineers of my age were fluent in German.” Born to a German mother, Kun found that his German, combined with his English, made him valuable to both suppliers and customers.

He started in the purchasing department for ready-to-weld parts, implemented the ERP system, and in 2009 switched from sourcing to sales, a move he jokes was “from the dark side to the light side.” He became a part of the cost calculation team, then a sales engineer, and in 2017 became Sales Manager. Kun runs a team of five, three in logistics and two in sales, backed by the plant’s other 400 team members.

Happy birthday, Jászberény!

Next year, Fortaco’s Jászberény plant will celebrate its 70th birthday. What would Kun like to receive as a gift? More customers is one thing. He sees capacity for taking on more clients looking for 20- to 30-ton products and seeking support from the design stage through to final production of plug-and-play equipment.

“We’re uniquely equipped to handle project- and serial business in manual- and robot welding, plus modular assembly,” he says, nothing that the plant is already doing modular assembly for clients like Komatsu and Liebherr. “We support the customer with ready-to-install modular products. When their product isn’t traveling from one factory to another, there’s a victory with reduced lead time and more flexibility.”


New Fortaco Narva Factory Complex from outside

Building New Opportunities

The new factory in Narva was launched this autumn, signifying a milestone in the industrial development of the region. The factory extension project was kicked-off in 2015, when lack of space, capacity constraints and overload of new project implementations were foreseen.

Andrey Ponomarev at Fortaco Estonia was appointed as Project Manager. Working in this kind of project was familiar to Andrey, he has worked in similar start-up projects in the automotive industry. “But this was the biggest project, which I have participated from the idea and design stage. What is great, that our ideas and wishes have now been implemented in reality.”

For two years, before the construction work was started, Andrey participated the project documentation development, and paperwork took quite a long time to be finished. When a contract was signed, things started to be moving on fast. “The most memorable moments were, of course, in the beginning and at the end of construction. We built a good cooperation within our Fortaco team and with our external partners. The project was like a fresh wave for our daily routine jobs.”

Like in any project, there are always things you can learn from, and which need to be taken into consideration to make the next similar project easier. The biggest challenges were found during the construction work, mostly related to extra work, and to keep up with a somewhat tight schedule. In Fortaco team we had some parallel projects ongoing, the new equipment was needed to be purchased and installed to the right places at the same time when the new factory started to take a shape. “We had to investigate each task carefully, and also fast, to keep everything rolling. For example, when purchasing CNC machines and planning their foundation and installation, we had to make sure, these tasks would not influence on the construction schedule, and machines will be available for use when the permission of usage of the new building is received.”

There are some key elements Andrey would like to stress, when working with the project like this:

Carefully check the partners. The cheapest solution might not be the one with most benefits. Surprises during the construction process usually are not good, and you want to avoid them, as they have a habit to turn out to be expensive.

Check the commercial offer precisely, and make sure the contracts with all parties are transparent. Hereby you will avoid misunderstandings in case there happens to be any deviations from the contract or schedule during the process.

Be active - this is very important, time is money. All people involved must understand their role, and they also have to be willing to make decisions, if required. Some decisions need extra monitoring, but also this should be a rapid process.

Andrey was glad to see how the professional cooperation between the external partners and Fortaco team enabled the launch of new factory just according to the schedule, and he hopes Fortaco employees will be happy to work with the new equipment and technology. “I would like to say big thanks to all people who participated, including our partners and my colleagues in Fortaco. I believe, this new factory will create new opportunities to increase our business, and also employment in Narva region”.


Milestone in Narva industrial development – new factory launched

“This was a project, which was really big – maybe it turns out to be the biggest project in my life”.

A factory extension project was kicked-off in 2015, when we first time started to foresee an overload of new project implementations, and lack of space, as well as capacity constraints. Many actions were connected to operational excellence allowing us to accommodate additional work into the company up to +100%. 30 revisions of a business plan were executed before the final approval.

Mid 2017, when we celebrated a 70 year anniversary of Fortaco Estonia, we officially announced the start of the extension project. This will be an investment of 10.000 m2 in factory floor as well as investments in several welding robots, CNC machines and bending capacity, in total 10 MEUR. The extension project was supported by the Estonian government with the amount of approx. 1 MEUR.

Before autumn 2017 old buildings were demolished, and we started technical design for a new production hall. After extensive technical and commercial preparations a construction work was started by a contractor, Rand and Tuulberg, during summer 2019. We assigned Andrey Ponomarev from Fortaco Estonia as Project Manager. Andrey was doing excellent job in cooperation with all stakeholders. Thanks to all dedicated work done by the project team, partners, Fortaco Estonia Leadership Team, we managed to finish construction work successfully in August 2020 – according to time schedule.

”This was the biggest project I have participated from a concept and design stage, and I think this was like a fresh wave for us in our daily routine jobs. There were some challenges during the project, but all of them have been analyzed and worked through for a next similar project. The most memorable moments are in the beginning and at the end of construction; I was participating in project documentation and development for two years before the real construction work was started, and it was nice to see the factory layout starting to be realized with equipment installation” – Andrey Ponomarev.

In 2020 Fortaco Estonia was awarded by the Estonian government as the best company for its’ contribution to the regional development of Narva, Ida-Virumaa county. In 2019 Fortaco Estonia was awarded as the best company of Narva city for the result.

I would like to thank all who contributed to this successful project. I am happy that Fortaco Estonia will now have wider possibilities to boost new business implementation and support customers’ supply chain strategies. I am also very glad that our employees will get working conditions with advanced technologies to develop their skills.

I am sure, this will be a great continuation on our road to success.

Larissa Shabunova
Managing Director
Fortaco Estonia


Fortaco Hyster-Yale Cabin Showcase

The Next Generation Operator Cabin

Fortaco is the co-designer and manufacturer of the next generation Hyster® operator cabin, which is designed to meet the highest standards and lift them up within the industry.


Vehicle cabin manufacturing quality control with laser measurement

Everyone has a role – pay attention to safety

We are wishing all our business partners a safe restart of operations after the summer break.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in many EU countries reminds us to continue paying attention to safety measures. Everyone has a role in this. It is important to continue maintaining physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, and good hand hygiene. People with symptoms, compatible with COVID-19, should stay at home and contact their health care providers.

Fortaco is committed to safety of our employees, and we continue our manufacturing operations. We keep our operations safe by the measures introduced already earlier this year. We have decided to continue with the restrictions regarding travelling, personal contacts at our factories, and remind about the responsibility concerning all of us to keep this situation under control.

Let us stay safe!