We were excited to hear the news this month that our Finnish sister company, FB Ketju, has made a significant new investment in its conveyor chain manufacturing operations with the purchase of new premises in Lappi, Rauma, Finland.
The new facilities will provide 4500 m2 of production space and 1300 m2 of office space - doubling the company's current floor area and supporting the ramping up of production output over the next few years.
This latest purchase is also anticipated to strengthen the company's continued development of new manufacturing methods, as well as facilitating further investment in R&D and opening up increased access to a larger labour market.
Operations at the Lappi facility are on track to be underway in the Spring of 2019, with the final relocation of production and offices completed by the summertime.
In the meantime, the company's existing facilities in Köyliö will continue as normal, with the original site undergoing modernisation works once the new premises are up and running.
A positive step for conveyor chain manufacture
FB Ketju's Managing Director, Matti Vekkeli has described the Lappi acquisition as the logical next step in what has been "a succession of positive developments" for the company.
Says Vekkeli: "FB Ketju has always invested heavily in quality and reliability. As a result of this determination, the company in 1993 became the first chain manufacturer in Scandinavia to be fully accredited to ISO9000 certification. And as an acknowledgement for our continuous work for the environment, we were accredited with ISO14001 certification in 2001."
We've seen a trend in recent years for customers to delay their purchasing decisions more and more to the last minute. What this means for us as manufacturers is that we ensure we have the necessary raw materials and equipment on hand, when they're needed, so we can continue to turn them into products in a timely fashion.
Enlarging our European manufacturing capability will allow us this increased responsiveness and a quicker turnaround of product—as well as giving us the flexibility to customise and adapt conveyor chain to ensure optimum performance.
Nurturing manufacturing innovation
There is also great benefit in making sure that R&D and manufacturing are located close to each other. This way, our different teams can work together to figure out how to develop a product that can be manufactured at a cost, and to a level of quality, that will make it a commercial success.
Manufacturing is at the heart of any economy. The provision of good quality manufacturing jobs gives people a purpose and manufacturing jobs support many people across the supply chain.
The creation of goods and products is also critical to our prosperity. If we lose our ability or capacity to manufacture, then there is the risk of innovation being crushed and knowledge being lost forever.
A commitment to continued investment in conveyor chain manufacture, both here in the UK and in Europe, can only bode well for the future of industrial chain manufacturing.