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UAB “SLT Industrial Components”: production of breathing air cylinders

UAB “SLT Industrial Components”, which operates in Biržai, searching for solutions to produce air cylinders that have recently been in high demand for pulmonary ventilation and anaesthesia what also saves jobs due to decreased needs in automotive sector.
The target is 90,000 units worth of air cylinders per week. At present, the company manufactures 0.5l, 1l and 3l capacity air cylinders. It plans to increase its capacity and dedicate over 20 people for this project. Each shift trains 2 new people, who would have been responsible for the manufacture of other products at the company previously. “We would like to run continuous operations 24/7,” says the Director, Mr Variakojis. The head of the company stresses that with the US automotive industry entering a slowdown, established brands are urgently ramping up their efforts to start or have already started manufacturing pulmonary ventilation equipment for this country suffering from the pandemic. UAB “SLT Industrial Components”, which operates in Biržai, will also attempt to meet the demand for this kind of equipment both in the USA and across Europe.

Until recently, UAB “SLT Industrial Components” has been manufacturing parts for a variety of industries, including the medical industry. The company supplies its products to a Swedish company, Nolato MediTor, which in turn caters for 25% of the global market of breathing air cylinders.

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HISTEEL: a reliably-expanding circle of customers and 2.9% growth in turnover

In 2019, Kaunas-based UAB HISTEEL increased its serial production volume and turnover grew by 2.9%. It is one of the leading and most modern metal-processing companies in the Baltic region, producing 850 different articles in production runs ranging in size from 1,000 to 5,000,000 units per year.

The core business of HISTEEL is production of parts by punching and drawing, production of small welded parts and assembly of fittings. The company specialises in the making of prototypes and small series production, when a given article may be produced in a production run ranging in size from several to 1,000 units in a year, as well as mass production, when up to 5,000,000 units of a given article may be produced in a year. Automotive manufacturers and other industrial sectors figure prominently among the company’s customers.

The company’s deputy managing director, Dainius Volskis, emphasises that “2019 was a successful year for our company. Rising volume in serial production and outsourcing of production from Western Europe let the company generate a larger profit and invest in machinery and equipment. Our expanding list of customers gives us the opportunity to plan for continued growth in the next year, despite the situation of our market sector being quite complicated.” HISTEEL’s turnover was 10.5 million euro in 2018 and 10.8 million euro in 2019, that is, an increase of 2.9%.

Liudmila Valinčienė, the head of sales, draws attention to the investment in machinery and equipment, thanks to which the production process has become significantly more efficient. “Last year, companies across our sector in Europe experienced decreasing sales volume, but that encouraged us to look for alternative solutions,” she says. HISTEEL constantly pursues innovations and has been able to find long-term sales partners.

At present, product assortment includes 850 different articles. One of the company’s main advantages is the fact that a customer can find everything it needs under one roof:

  • From design to technical calculation and tool production in-house.
  • Coordinated and effective processes using optimal solution methods.
  • HISTEEL stays with the customer throughout the entire process: from the initial idea right through to serial production.

The company exports most of its production to customers in Germany, France, Austria, Hungary and the Baltic region. Only about 12% of production stays in Lithuania.

Liudmila Valinčienė, the head of sales, says that the company invested heavily in 2019 in employee training, to develop specialised skills. Employees with exceptional competencies contribute greatly to improving efficient production processes and increasing sales.

She emphasises that in recent years, the company has been audited by several foreign companies prior to possibly beginning the production of certain articles. According to her, the results of these audits have been quite successful, so in the future the company expects some significant orders.

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UAB Baltic Filter: the productivity in manufacturing sectors increased almost 4 times

Baltic Filter

Last year was especially successful for UAB Baltic Filter, a producer and supplier of automotive air, salon, fuel, oil and other filters. As the company continued to apply innovative technologies, two new automated production lines (using robots) were installed, eliminating the possibility of production defects resulting from human error. The productivity in these sectors increased almost 4 times and turnover exceeded 10 mln. Eur.

The head of the company, Vytas Mazuronis, believes in its success. “Our distinctive feature in the market is that we produce filters in which parts of the inner housing have been patented. The efficiency of such filters increases by up to 8%.” Know-how is one of the factors with the greatest effect on the company’s growth. In addition to automated production lines using 7 robots, two new production workshops with warehouses have been built.

UAB Baltic Filter produces more than 2,500 types of automotive air, salon, fuel, oil and indoor ventilation system filters. The company supplies filters and filter elements for cars and trucks, motorcycles, agricultural equipment and other vehicles.

UAB Baltic Filter prioritises environmental protection. The company’s operating guidelines are based on the strictest world standards, with much attention paid to using innovative technologies, ensuring environmental protection, optimising production processes, having as little effect on the environment as possible and preventing the slightest pollution by industrial waste. Such industrial waste is sorted and recycled, using a circular waste recycling scheme.

Employee initiatives, brain-storming and independence are valued. Employees are involved in maintaining and improving the integrated management system. Employee trainings are periodically organised. Conditions for personnel on the job and on breaks are being improved; facilities have been renovated, and for those who enjoy active recreation and sport, there is a sport area.

The company exports 93% of its production to more than 50 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa, and only 7% of production stays in Lithuania. The largest customers are EU countries, West Africa and the Near East. Despite its rapid growth in 2019, the company has set ambitious targets for 2020. Additional investments and production lines as well as a search for new partners abroad are planned. It is planned to launch a new, innovative product for indoor air ventilation system filtering.

The company emphasises the main factors driving the company’s growth: “The excellent, coordinated work of our staff, our flexibility, our ability to satisfy our customers’ needs quickly, effectively, properly, in a timely manner and at the optimal price”.

Baltic Filter 2

Baltic Filter 3

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At UAB Panevėžio Aurida: an expanded assortment of autocompressors for agricultural use and the first deliveries to new strategic partners

UAB Panevėžio Aurida finished 2019 by finding new sales channels in strategically important Eastern European countries and by opening a company in Germany. The company, which produces compressors, machines parts, melts and casts aluminium and thermally treats parts, has expanded its assortment orientated to agricultural equipment, but also plans in the near future to produce more advanced models of compressors and to increase production efficiency.

Although the company has long years of production experience and reliable clients, the company constantly introduces innovative technology into its production processes. To remain competitive in the market, in 2019 the company expanded its assortment of compressors for the agricultural sector. The company also began to cooperate more closely with the Minsk Motor Plant (MMZ), and the first orders from MMZ were filled.

The compressor manufacturer occupies strong positions in Eastern Europe, but is now expanding its sales network into smaller regions. Deputy CEO Mantas Klupšas says, “We see a lot of potential for growth in the Western market, too. Starting in the third quarter of 2019, we began to operate more actively in the Western market, and we opened a company in Germany.” The company participates in international trade fairs, forums and conferences, seeking to expand its customer base.

One of the company’s exceptional features is its more than 60 years of manufacturing experience. As deputy CEO Mantas Klupšas says, “We are the only compressor factory in the Baltic countries and we are in the top 5 in the world, having such long experience and an extensive knowledge base.” Another of the company’s advantages is the highly-qualified personnel working in the factory. The deputy CEO is convinced that “thanks to a devoted staff which loves what it does, we are among the strongest compressor manufacturers, with an assortment of more than 50 compressor models.”

Most of the company’s production is exported to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries. The company also has clients in Germany, Poland, Italy, Cuba and countries in Africa. Only about 1-2% of the company’s production is sold in Lithuania.

According to deputy CEO Klupšas, “The indisputable factors that have made us successful and which drive the company’s growth are our long years of experience, modern production equipment, highly-qualified staff and flexibility in manufacturing.”

The company has set important objectives: to deepen its know-how in the area of producing compressors for the agricultural sector, to expand its assortment of products, to increase production efficiency, to implement a modern enterprise resource planning system, to invest in new equipment, to expand production volume, to expand into the Western market and to establish cooperative relationships with large European manufacturers of commercial vehicles.

       

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CIE LT Forge: an incredible jump in sales, in just three years… from 14 to 45 million euro!

The launch of a modern manufacturing line using robots, a project to build three warehouses, selling to world-famous automotive industry brands and fast-growing sales: this is the non-photoshopped everyday reality of the Marijampolė-based company CIE LT Forge and its CEO, Darius Masionis.

Tell us about the greatest challenges the company faced in 2019. What successes can the company take pride in?

In 2018 and 2019, our greatest challenge was managing the increase in production. Production volume increased significantly, compared with that of several years ago. We had an especially large number of orders and new manufacturing projects. As production volume grew, we had to seriously focus on managing that process. Our sales grew and grew, and have tripled since 2016, from 14 million euro to 45 million euro! A new crankshaft-production line, into which we invested 10 million euro and which began operating in spring 2018, contributed a lot to our especially fast growth. The startup of the new production line allowed us to triple our production capacity. We encountered another challenge, too: lack of space for storing raw materials and finished product, so last year we started a warehouse-expansion project and new construction. We can take pride in another production line modernisation project using robots, which we carried out in 2019.

What makes your company different from other companies with a similar profile?

We can offer the client a finished product, performing all necessary operations, from forging to machining. All of the parts we produce (crankshafts and parts for engines, transmissions and trucks) end up in the vehicles of world-famous manufacturers, including Audi, Renault, Fiat, Volkswagen, Skoda, Scania, Porsche and others.

What factors do you think are behind the growth of the company?

A major influence is the fact that we belong to CIE Automotive, a global group of companies having its own know-how.

We use Lean manufacturing principles in the company, and the Lean method helps us find ways to more effectively manage all our production processes. We have been working with the Lean method for several years and we invest in improving our efficiency.

What portion of production do you export? What portion stays in Lithuania?

Everything we make is exported, nothing stays in Lithuania. We work only with mass and serial production of automotive components. We have long-term contracts. Unfortunately, there simply aren’t any clients in Lithuania.

In what countries are your main partners/clients?

Our main clients are in Germany, Hungary and Poland. We also supply product to clients in Austria, Czechia, Romania, France, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Mexico and the USA.

What are the most important objectives for the company in 2020?

This year, we are concentrating on finishing the strategic projects we have already started: the construction of three warehouses and the modernisation of another production line using robots. We also plan to continue implementing Lean principles. In 2020, we plan to concentrate more on developing opportunities in IT and on social accountability.

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Nitator – SLT: profit increased 20%!

In 2019, the sheet-metal pressing, welding and cutting company Nitator-SLT diversified part of its production and began to orientate toward providing specialised services to industrial companies in Lithuania. Although 99% of the company’s production goes to Sweden, the company does not intend to remain focused just on the Swedish market. The company is actively searching for new growth opportunities. The 20% growth in Nitator-SLT’s profit is proof of that.

One of Nitator-SLT’s main activities is supply of sheet-metal components to clients with especially demanding requirements for quality, environmental responsibility and delivery precision. The company manufactures and supplies parts to clients including Scania, Volvo Trucks, Volvo CE, Volvo Cars, Renault and Nolato.

CEO Liutauras Variakojis explains that in 2019, it was especially important for the company to diversify its manufacturing capacity. In the last year, the focus was on the search for and realization in new areas of operation. He says that the company is open to actively cooperating with companies in the Baltic Automotive Components Cluster (BACC) as well as other companies operating in Lithuania. At present, specialised cutting (shearing) and welding works are performed at the factory for companies lacking such specialised equipment for order fulfilment.

As one excellent example of such cooperation, the CEO mentions Utena-based Elameta, which belongs to the BACC. Powder coating of parts produced by Nitator-SLT is performed at the company in Utena.

As one of the distinctive features of Nitator-SLT, Variakojis draws attention to the production of hose clamps, using specialised stainless steel with rounded edges. The hose clamps are made for Volvo and Renault trucks.

Asked if employees are hard to find, the CEO says that “the Biržai area was always an agricultural region, so there are plenty of qualified employees capable of working with welding, cutting (shearing) and other specialised equipment. Employees are loyal to the company, with some having worked at the company for 15 years. For its part, the company encourages all-round employee involvement in the company’s operations.”

In 2020, the company has set the goal of remaining profitable and focusing not only on the automotive industry, but also supplying even more specialised services to clients and achieving maximal productivity.

About the company’s headquarters in Sweden. Since 1983, Nitator has been a family-owned business. The company seeks not only to preserve its roots in responsibility and tradition, but also to make use of the most up-to-date production technology available. Nitator has grown rapidly since it began to focus on contract production for the automotive industry. In Lithuania, the Nitator-SLT unit was established in 2005. The quality of its products and services is especially important to the company, as it seeks to satisfy the needs of some of the most demanding clients in the world. Nitator management emphasises the responsible attitude of employees to the highest standard of quality throughout the production process, the purpose of which is to avoid even the smallest of manufacturing defects.

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CEE Automotive Forum 2019 in Budapest

Happy to participate at the CEE Automotive Forum 2019 in Budapest. Latest data, forecast, trends and challenges, which face the automotive industry in Europe and globally. Baltic Automotive Components Cluster (BACC) has fruitful and interesting meetings with OEM and TIER1 representatives.

 

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Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and BACC. The first step to creating collaboration was done.

Over 960 Automotive members has Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the UK! Opportunities, Supply Chain, Networking and Investments were the topics of a very interesting discussion regarding co-operation between SMMT and Baltic Automotive Components Cluster (BACC).

Big thanks Ruta Aisthorpe, the Deputy Head of SMMT for professional input and hospitality!

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Meetings and exciting discussions with automotive companies at IAA 2019

Baltic Automotive Components Cluster (BACC) Executive Director Darius Lasionis with the Vice-minister of Economy and Innovation Dr. Marius Skuodis, Lithuanian commercial attache in Germany Sarune Sableviciene and Head of Business Development in Germany of Invest Lithuania Arnoldas Dapkus had more than 10 high-level meetings with the world global automotive players in 2 days at IAA2019.

Big thanks for meeting us: MAHLE, SCHAEFFLER, BROSE GROUP, ZF GROUP, LEOPOLD KOSTAL, WEBASTO, MAGNA INTERNATIONAL EUROPE, DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES.

The automotive is undergoing a profound transformation and digital transformation is fundamentally reshaping the automotive industry.

Lithuanian automotive industry is rising and takes a more and more important role in the automotive supply chain, especially in cooperation with German OEM, TIER1 companies.

MAGNA Supplier’s Day

MAGNA Supplier´s Day in Lithuania, Vilnius, will take place on 30th of May, 2018, 8:00–17:00 pm, Novotel Vilnius Centre Hotel, Gedimino av. 16.

MAGNA is a global automotive supplier with 335 manufacturing operations and 96 product development, engineering and sales centres in 28 countries. They have over 168,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to the customers through innovative processes and World Class Manufacturing.

Each participating company will have max 30 minutes on disposal for presentation and questions to the representatives of MAGNA. Companies will introduce their samples and marketing materials. The form of the event is speed-dating, following a strict agenda with specific meeting times.

Language of the event – English.