Manitowoc has officially opened its newest manufacturing plant in Velky Saris, Slovakia with an open day for customers, dealers and senior company management.
The new plant builds tower cranes from Manitowoc's Potain brand for customers in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. Eric Etchart, president and general manager of Manitowoc, said the new factory would improve customer service in more than one way.
"This factory is important to us for a number of reasons. First, it brings us closer to our growing customer base in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. It allows us to build cranes for those markets faster and more economically as freight costs are lower. Second, it is the first factory designed entirely around our lean manufacturing process we introduced last year. And third, it gives us additional capacity at other Potain factories by relieving some of the pressure caused by the high levels of global demand for tower cranes."
The plant in Slovakia is producing four cranes from the Potain line, including the MDT 178 from the topless range and the MD 208 A from the standard top-slewing tower crane range. The company acquired the facility in August of last year and spent months transforming the brownfield site to a modern tower crane factory. It is home to new equipment, including a shot blaster, paint line, welding equipment and welding jigs.