Following on from the news that Avant Tecno is launching a €10m investment plan, we delve into the reasons for the growth, as well as the details of the plan.
Strong growth continues for Avant Tecno
Finnish compact loader manufacturer Avant Tecno Oy continues to grow strongly. The revenue of the company exceeded €100m for the first time in 2018, showing a growth of 17% compared with the previous financial year. The total revenue of Avant Tecno group which also includes three subsidiary sales companies and access platform manufacturer Leguan Lifts Oy was €123,5m. Exports account for 80% of the production.
Sales have grown steadily over the last decade. The main reasons for the success are a large market area with several customer segments together with continuously developing modular product range. “Customer needs are the basis for our R&D. This way we can develop products which have real demand on the market. So far, we have reached our targets well, however we must keep our finger on the pulse regarding the products, production as well as our operation as a whole,” says Avant Tecno’s Sales Director Jani Käkelä.
Avant counts on a 10% annual growth also in the future. The objective is to advance steadily in Europe, with a moderate pace. Bigger growth is projected in the USA where a subsidiary sales office was started some six years ago.
Investments support growth
Avant has developed the production in the last ten years with firm steps in the LEAN spirit. Development methods include pull system and continuous improvement.
The concepts Kanban, Kaizen and 5S are widely in use. The emphasis in production development has been improved material flow through layout changes. Around 10.000m2 of new assembly and dispatch areas have been taken into use in the last three years. Production volume has grown by 30% and staff by about 10%. “The current investment plan is about €10m. Our target is to increase weekly production by 50% from today’s figures. In practice this means a gradual production growth from 100 loaders per week to 150 loaders per week,” tells Avant’s Vice President for production Saku Vastamäki.
The manufacturing starts from a modern laser cutting line including three laser machines. One of them will be replaced with a new fiber laser cutting machine in the fall 2019. Sheet bending production cells will get more capacity in February 2019 when the new automatic bending machine starts working. The steel chassis of the loaders have been welded by robots since 2007. Currently there are eight automatic robot welding stations, and two new robots will be installed this year. A new automated powder coating line was taken into use in summer 2018.
Continuous production improvement is a key factor in the growth. Implementation of the investment plan for the coming two years goes on. Next steps in production development are automatization of chassis parts machining, assembly line pacing and a more automated in-house logistics. All current development projects will be completed during 2021.
“With these resources we are confident about the future. Avant is currently the global market leader in its class, and our objective is to keep that position. We are proud to say that all manufacturing is “Made in Finland” also in the future. That is what we want and are striving for – naturally,” concludes Vastamäki.