ProcessIT Innovations Annual Report

Annual report 2018
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Next generation forest machines

2019-04-15  Now it is established that Komatsu Forest in Umeå is implementing one of the largest investments in industrial Sweden right now. It will be a future-proof factory in large format, with a focus on sustainable production. The company's investment further strengthens the region's position as a leader in the field of forest technology.

Komatsu Forest is one of the world's leading manufacturers of forest machines. The company sells its products all over the world and is wholly owned by the Japanese company Komatsu Ltd. Now Komatsu Forest makes one of its biggest investments ever and it will take place in Umeå, Sweden.

"The forest industry is an industry for the future. The next decade we see how new innovative and climate-smart products will be produced from wood fiber. We want to invest in the future and see that the best conditions for us to do so are in Umeå, says Martin Ärlestig, factory manager Komatsu Forest.

Komatsu Forest has both headquarters and manufacturing in Umeå, where approximately 530 of the company's employees are located. The new factory will be built on the industrial area Klockarbäcken in the outskirts of the city and the company has done a thorough feasibility study to assess the entire project, including construction and transfer of operations while keeping the high productivity levels intact.

The start of construction is estimated to be May 2019 and the plan is that the finished factory will be inaugurated in 2021. The factory will be something of a unique landmark with its nearly 40,000 m2 divided into production area on two floors and an associated office building in six floors.

“We will build a future-proof factory, where we can lay the foundation for the next generation of forest machines. In the new premises, we will be able to accommodate both production and development. We are investing in a factory that meets our needs here and now, but also gives us room to grow for the future,” says Martin Ärlestig.

The factory is one of the largest investments in industrial Sweden right now and will have a strong focus on sustainability and IoT. The factory will be carbon neutral in its production, which is achieved through efficient energy supply with solar panels, modern building techniques and geo energy. The location at Klockarbäcken in Umeå is also an important factor, since the proximity to the railway means that an increased share of the company's goods can be transported by rail.

As for IoT, Komatsu Forest will take a step towards the fourth-generation industry, where the company's manufacturing process will be connected.

“This means many advantages, including that we can monitor quality, availability and safety in detail and that customers will experience higher flexibility and shorter lead time,” says Martin Ärlestig.

The ambition is also that the new factory will further strengthen the region's position as a leader in the field of forest technology.

"We are convinced that the initiative will yield regional, national and international footprints in several areas," Ärlestig concludes. 


 

Photo: Komatsu Forest