Bauma manufacturing exhibition

End & New beginning

Creating the future co-operation. The next generation off-highway professionals visiting Fortaco booth in Bauma. 🚜

Exciting week starts to be at the end - many thanks for all the visitors.

Our team is grateful for all the connections made and insights shared during these days. Let us be in touch and stay on the way forward.

See you next time in Agritechnica 2023! 👋🏻


Rally & Manufacturing

This year our experience at Bauma will be supported by an expert in his field.

We are happy to welcome Fortaco’s Ambassador, Ari Vatanen to join our team in Bauma. Vatanen will be on Fortaco booth A6.225 on 26-28 October.

Ari Vatanen, known as World Rally Championship, four times Paris-Dakar Rally winner, FIA World Cup Cross-Country winner, and a former Member of the European Parliament, has a strong background in working with premium teams and technology during his long and remarkable career.

Fortaco aims to be a premium service and product provider for our customers, and having Vatanen onboard, is well aligned and an exciting chance to cooperate. Ari Vatanen will be sharing his experience and knowledge, but also visions, why he supports and has trust in Fortaco journey.

Welcome to meet Vatanen and the whole Fortaco team of experts - see you in two weeks!


Bauma 2022 draws closer

World’s leading trade fair Bauma takes place in Munich 24 - 30 October. With the key themes of digitalization and sustainability Bauma provides valuable insights into promising technologies.

Fortaco Technology - active in green environmental transformation

Our Technology team of professionals is developing solutions to reduce global warming. We are working with research and concept development to address the areas of fossil-free steel, light-weight structures, circular economy, and E-mobility. We have a research study ongoing on fossil-free steel to understand how new material can be used on customers’ applications. We are a member of FOSSA-research project. A new light-weight steel structure design is undergoing a field test with a key customer. The usage of high-strength steel is part of customer's new electrified fleet approach improving the fuel economy. The SmartSteel project is aiming at providing real-life information about the residual lifetime of steel components and enables many circular economy actions like refurbishment and re-manufacturing. E-mobility technologies like battery power pack are in an advanced study phase. We are investigating an offering Fortaco could provide in the future.

Vehicle Cabins – no compromises with safety

Fortaco and Buisard cabins have joined forces. Through a strategic alliance we are the market leading vehicle cabin technology and manufacturing business serving the off-highway equipment industry. FORTACO BUISARD CABINS offering include low, medium, and high-volume glazed cabins with the assembly content, and also full plug and play vehicle cabins. We wish you welcome to meet our vehicle cabin experts at Bauma to discuss how we can further support you.

Steel Fabrications - modern manufacturing

Fortaco is the largest manufacturer of steel fabrications in Europe. We are focusing on quality, delivery performance, and productivity in our manufacturing operations. Based on our long history in steel processing, we have established ourselves as a benchmark and reliable partner to our customers. We support you on product design and manufacturability to ensure the most efficient manufacturing process with right quality and right price. This makes us a genuine manufacturing partner from design-to-manufacturing including sourcing, inspection, testing and delivery to the final destination.

Fortaco Assembly - system integrator​​​​​​

​Fortaco provides with a full range of services starting from the basic assembly labor content to sourcing and purchasing services, including all related logistics handling, where Fortaco can take the material responsibility. In addition, Fortaco Technology provides engineering services as from concept design up to final assembly and testing with the full pre-dispatch inspection to assure the highest quality standards and direct shipment to customers’ distribution network or even to end customers.

See you at Bauma

Our experts on technology, vehicle cabins, steel fabrications, and assemblies will tell you more about the latest news in the areas of technology and manufacturing. Take this opportunity and visit us on Fortaco booth A6.225.

Our team wishes you most welcome – see you at Bauma.

Lars Hellberg
President & CEO


Acquisition completed

​Acquisition of Fortaco Group by One Equity Partners from the funds managed by CapMan Buyout, announced on 8 July 2022, has been completed on 30 September 2022. Under the ownership of One Equity Partners, Fortaco will continue to be a leading strategic partner to the heavy off-highway equipment and marine industries offering technology, vehicle cabins, steel fabrications, and assemblies to global OEMs.

We believe this new ownership will facilitate the further value creation of Fortaco for the benefit of its current and future customers and other stakeholders.

For more information:

Lars Hellberg
President & CEO
Fortaco Group
+358 40 572 9488


Emotional quotient

EQ for Tough Guys: Should Manufacturing Professionals Show Feelings?

Should manufacturing pros be as calm, cool, and collected as robots on the factory floor? Or should they embrace their feelings?

"Must. Suppress. Rage!" is how this century’s best-known engineer, Homer Simpson, deals with his emotions. (He also has attempted to buy feelings: "Six feelings with extra cheese…”). Lucky for Simpson he lives in Springfield, because he would not likely get far at Fortaco, where there is a growing effort to embrace emotional intelligence (EI) and what it can do for the workplace.

Like the intelligence quotient (IQ), there is growing recognition that we all have an EQ, an emotional quotient. The EQ, like the IQ, centers at 100, and 68 percent of the population will fall between 85 and 115, within one standard deviation of 15. Some people are more emotionally savvy, others less. (Homer Simpson's IQ is 58; his EQ surely not much different.)

If IQ measures raw intelligence, then EQ measures how well we understand and use our feelings, which has direct impact in industry. “Feelings drive behavior, and what we say and do impact the results,” explains Dr. Margareta Sjölund, Founder and Chief Psychologist at EQ Europe. When it comes to manufacturing professionals, Sjölund is not naïve. "We’re not asking people to let it all hang out, or to be emotional or cry. But we are asking people to recognize their feelings, understand them, and put them to work — because that generates results.”

Fortaco’s EQ experiment

In January 2021, Fortaco management selected 25 key managers for confidential testing using EQ Europe’s EQ-i2.0 inventory. The test measures emotional intelligence along 15 social/emotional competencies, including stress management, self-awareness, confidence, self-expression, impulsiveness, and assertiveness.

Participating managers received a report during a consultation, and then two hours per month over six months of counseling and team training, so that they might improve their EI. One year later, in January 2022, the 25 participants EQ skills were measured again.

There was statistical and numerical improvement, an increase in all 15 variables measured. But does numerical improvement equate to improvement in real life?

Skeptics

Not all Fortaco managers embraced the program with equal enthusiasm.

Joanna Lesicka, Fortaco's Director, Steel Fabrication, Sourcing & Group Finance Business Control, was already aware that soft skills matter. "I work in a group position as business controller with six factories in multiple countries, so I know how important cooperation is. And though I’m a zero-one finance person, I consider myself self-aware. Ninety percent of the course was a reminder.”

Still, Lesicka found value in a module about how to behave in situations when opinions drastically differ. "I learned to react in a different way, to say ‘I see your point. But the way you’re making it saddens me, because I take it personally. Is it really that important? I would like us to focus more on developing a solution than talking about what went wrong from your perspective only.’”

Fortaco's General Manager for the Kalajoki business site, Jyri Paavola, was not skeptical of EQ itself, having worked with a personal coach for two years. But Paavola felt the training modules were sometimes misunderstood. "You need smaller groups, more cycles, and it needs to be executed company wide."

He also was perplexed by some of the results. "I was confused because the test result said I wasn’t empathetic. But people who know me would say the opposite. But it was explained to me that this measures whether your behavior was empathetic. You have to express empathy with words. I learned it’s not enough to help, but you need to nod and hug. I don’t know if I can do that, but I know people would like me more if I did.”

Believers

Andrzej Wrona, Fortaco Group's Director Operational Excellence, did not need to be persuaded about EI. He has always seen it as a part of daily life. "If you hire the best-in-class engineers without communication skills, without empathy, emotional zeroes, then they’re not good people for you. What good is knowledge if you think everybody who isn’t an engineer is stupid? Those people can’t contribute as much."

After his evaluation and coaching, what changes has he personally made? "I was not communicating with my team enough. Now I take 15 minutes for a one-on-one with each team member each week. We have no specific agenda. It’s about well-being and what they need. We get to know each other as humans. I have been asking them if they find these 15 minutes to be a waste of time, but they say 'No, definitely don’t stop it!'"

Wrona sees the program as only good for the company,and applauds the top-down approach. "We had 25 top people who learned to listen more actively, and that is enough to change a culture. If we communicate downwards in an effective way, then people see it and unconsciously copy it. You can tell welders to listen empathetically, but they’re wondering what’s for dinner. You’ve got to start at top. We’ve tried it before but started lower down. I think that was a mistake."

Becoming an EQ company

Generally everyone, including Fortaco’s skeptics, believe that becoming an EQ company has value, that being a good leader in heavy industry goes well beyond technical skills. “It’s about helping everyone see the individual,” says Sjölund.

Sjölund cites a Cap Gemini study that confirms the need for tech people to develop emotional skills. “This and other studies that show emotional intelligence is the most important thing that employers will look for in the future. To lean on one’s IQ or technical skills will simply not suffice. In the future, many skills will be replaced by AI, and only 10 to 15 percent of work will be attributed to technical- or professional competence. The rest is EI."

This was consistent with the impressions of Fortaco Group's CFO, Kimmo Raunio, who participated in Fortaco’s EQ exercise. "As a curious person, I'm interested in how I behave and why. EI is something you can influence and learn, not something that either exists or doesn't. Since the exercise I've been trying to remain quiet, to listen more, and allow others freedom to lead the discussion. I’m still leading; I’m just stepping back a bit."

Walking the talk

But just because companies recognize the value of EI doesn’t mean they’ll do anything about it. “Seventy percent of people claim to want to improve their EQ,” says Sjölund. “But only one in five companies support their employees in doing that. Over 75 percent of companies say that they can train their people, but it does not get done. Sure, there are written policy documents and company values, but few seem to walk the talk.”

Lars Hellberg, Fortaco’s President and CEO, views emotional intelligence as a critical component of Fortaco’s assets. “A company has three key assets: brand, customers and people,” says Hellberg. “To be successful, you can’t neglect any one of them.” For Hellberg, “people” means roles and responsibility, competitive benefits, and a nice working environment that includes the team and colleagues. “However, what is frequently missed is the individual emotional feeling and situation. Emotional intelligence is very important. If you can recognize that, and openly discuss and develop it, then your emotions and feelings can make a major difference.”

Hellberg has been impressed by the change he’s seen with Fortaco’s top-down approach, and he’s ready to expand it in the organization. “We worked with EQ Europe to understand and improve the individual performance and well-being of our top management. We added regular workshops and individual coaching sessions. And now our next step is to offer the program to middle managers.”

“I see that most of the participants are now more confident, better team players, and enjoy the hard work they do daily,” says Hellberg. “I can only recommend that others join the journey.”


The Annual Meeting Point

Autumn is coming, business is rolling, and Subcontracting Trade Fair is approaching.

Welcome to meet the Fortaco team at the annual Subcontracting Trade Fair in Tampere on 27-29 September.

Let us exchange ideas and explore how we can support your business on its journey to success.The event venue is Tampere Exhibition and Sports Center, and you can find our team at a stand A 630.

In three days, Subcontracting Trade Fair, Finland’s leading industrial event will offer visitors a unique overview of the industry’s prospects and future. It is an event, where various innovations are exhibited, including products, services, production methods and processes, materials and components.

Register for free entrance, click here.

See you in Tampere!
Team Fortaco


Smart potentialities

Innovative and fertile meeting with Kalmar in Ljungby, Sweden.

Lars Hellberg, President & CEO and Rafal Sornek, Senior Vice President, Technology from the Fortaco team visited Kalmar’s Service organization in Kalmar Innovation Center. Kalmar team was represented by Peter Berndtson, Thomas Malmborg and Frederik Fogelklou.
Teams had great and intensive discussions around the circular business models and new approach enabled by Fortaco’s SmartSteel project.

SmartSteel is a data-based lifetime concept, measuring residual lifetime to help customers make decisions about the reuse, refurbishment or re-manufacturing of machines. This is supporting a circular economy regardless whether a diesel or electric driven machine.

Kalmar’s state of the art facility has been designed to support new collaborative ways of working with modern architecture and cutting edge technology, and it provides a showroom for customers to learn about Kalmar’s latest innovations and test Kalmar solutions.


Reflections from the Leadership Team

As we have entered the third quarter of the year, it is a great time to view back, reflect, value the lessons learned and gain some perspective, while proceeding forward on our mission. Fortaco is committed to reshape the industry; the way things are produced, and to the continuous improvement of safety, quality and delivery accuracy for the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders.

Exciting things have happened in the company this year, which have opened new pathways and enabled us to develop our strategy and business plans for the coming years. All Fortaco Business Sites are currently engaged in preparing growth plans and having on-going collaboration - teams have put in great efforts, trust and visions. ”Fortaco team has been able to present good business performance, despite the turbulent supply and cost development situation this year, and reach continuous growth and profitability improvements”, reminds Kimmo Raunio, Senior Vice President & CFO.

Things and situations in the outside world are rapidly changing, but the basics in the industry have not gone anywhere. ”Customers need safe operations, the best quality, and deliveries on time”, points Lars Hellberg, President & CEO.

There seems to be a trend on the market that customers are considering increased levels of outsourcing both for operator cabins and steel structures.”Several new, quite substantial business opportunities for the key customers are being developed”, shares Mikael Persson, Senior Vice President for Customer & Business Development. Also, Fortaco’s KAM team is looking trough plans for Key Accounts/Development Accounts.

In the field of technology, Fortaco portfolio is filled with increasing amount of projects related to zero-emission transformation. Also, situation in Ukraine drives demand for new products and increase in production capacity related to governmental business operations. ”Manufacturing and assembly of battery cages, research on of fossil-free steel, preparation of cabin business for e-mobility transformation are very high on agenda”, says Rafal Sornek, Senior Vice President, Technology.

The Sourcing team has faced some challenges due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as the both countries are responsible for the significant share of whole EU steel supplies. The Sourcing team has been continuously monitoring the market and done an excellent job securing needs for Business Sites, despite the increasing demand on various products in the world market, like electronics.

Due to the geopolitical situation, security has become even more important topic this year. The IT team has done great work by implementing new system security solutions, as well as developing additional measures to prevent from external attacks. Implementation of SAP 4/HANA, as well as training and development of core team and key user network are projects ready to be finalized till the end of the year. ”We’d like to express thanks to all of you for your continued trust and faith in our team”, states Krzysztof Michel, Senior Vice President, Sourcing & IT.

Exciting projects are emerging also in People & HR, the team is looking forward to the second half of the year.”Fortaco’s P&HR team has been focusing on recruitment and development activities related to the business growth and expectations of our clients”, says Agnieszka Koziara, Senior Vice President, People & HR. One of the projects is focusing on employer branding to attract also future employees. Aiming our focus on employer branding is something we have found very valuable to understand our people, their expectations towards Fortaco, motivations, and in addition, to get a clear view on how we can improve our processes in HR.

Let us enjoy the last month of the summer, be grateful for our team members, and have our trust in tomorrow.


Trust in the new chapter

Funds managed by CapMan Buyout have agreed to sell their holdings in Fortaco Group to the private equity firm One Equity Partners.

The acquisition will empower the further development of the current and new offering, including areas to strengthen value creation to customers, and to provide means for further international expansion of Fortaco.

Becoming a member of the One Equity Partners family is something we are very honored about, and it will support our journey in realizing the true potential of Fortaco as the leading business partner of technology, vehicle cabins, steel fabrications and assemblies.

We want to give our best acknowledgement to CapMan for all their strategic support that has enabled the growth created under their ownership. CapMan was one of the initiators in the formation of Fortaco ten years ago.

We are grateful for all our global customers, business partners, and the Fortaco team for the highly qualified performance reached together.

Let us continue to have the way forward.

Read the whole press release here.


Award winning Fortaco team

We are grateful to inform that Fortaco was awarded today with two Supplier Awards on Kalmar’s Supplier Day 2022 in Szczecin:

* Best Delivery Performance
* Best Innovation, concerning a steel structure and technology

We are proud over these recognitions and would like to thank Kalmar for their continuous trust on Fortaco!