Irish manufacturer of multidirectional forklifts Combilift, which specialises in customised machines, on Wednesday launched its new 46 500 m2 global headquarters and manufacturing facility, in which it invested about €50-million.
The facility, which is based in Monaghan, Ireland, currently produces about 110 machines a week, with the aim to increase this to 140 machines a week by the end of the year.
The facility’s total capacity allows for the manufacture of 185 machines a week, with only one shift worked daily.
This forms part of its future expansion plans and will enable Combilift to significantly increase its yearly output and to double its current turnover within the next five years, Combilift MD and CEO Martin McVicar told media at the event.
“We intend to double our turnover in the next five years. Our long-term plan is to become Monaghan’s first €1-billion company. Our strategy to achieve this, however, is to grow organically and not by acquisition.”
The strategy, McVicar elaborated, is to continue investing in research and development, add new products to the portfolio, focus on additional niche markets and organically grow the business.
“We invest 7% of our revenue into research and development (R&D), and that’s the key to our business.”
A workforce of about 450 employees are involved in the design, development, fabrication, assembly and final dispatch of Combilift’s machines to destinations around the world, including the Arctic Circle, Tasmania and Argentina.
The company’s first South African customer was stainless steel manufacturer Columbus Stainless, McVicar noted.
Substantial year-on-year growth and continued investment in R&D, has enabled Combilift to develop its current wide-ranging portfolio of products, which are all designed for safe, space saving, as well as productive materials handling and storage.
Included in the manufacturer’s range of products is the 2.5 t C2500 and the 25 t C25000, with a range of models and capabilities in-between. The Combi C-Series, which can negotiate tight corners with a multidirectional capability, enables sideways travel with long loads.
Additionally, the more compact Combi-CB handles palletised loads as well as long loads and, as such, can benefit operations that need to move and store variable product sizes while also enabling them to make optimum use of storage space.
The range of highly versatile and manoeuvrable models has grown considerably since the first Combi-CB was launched, and now boasts lift capacities of 2.5 t and 4 t, with a choice of liquefied petroleum gas, diesel or electric.
The Combi-WR, the smallest in the company’s product range, is the first purpose-built pedestrian reach stacker with the ability to operate in a very narrow aisle of just 2.1 m.
McVicar further noted that the ISO9001 and ISO19001 accredited facility is located on a greenfield site and is situated near the company’s original two factories.
While there are currently no definite plans in place, the company’s previous facility, which is located in Annahagh, Monaghan, may potentially be used to refurbish second-hand machines and access storage.
*Simone Liedtke was a guest of Combilift in Ireland.