Sjørring Maskinfabrik is a major supplier of Volvo loader buckets to Volvo Construction Equipment internationally, and now the Danish subsidiary Volvo Entreprenørmaskiner A/S has entered into an agreement with Sjørring Maskinfabrik concerning the delivery of shovel buckets
The folks in the small village of Sjørring, seven kilometres west of Thisted, have a special ability – and they have been proving it to Volvo Construction Equipment for 40 years, because Sjørring Maskinfabrik is a major supplier of original Volvo loader buckets. The factory in Thy welds around 3,000 loader buckets with Volvo’s logo in about 1,200 versions for Volvo construction-machinery models L45 up to L250 – and will soon include the L350.
The factory has 250 employees, 105 of whom are welders, but the factory also uses robotic welders. Sjørring Maskinfabrik is one of the largest bucket manufacturers in Europe and also manufactures a wide range of welded components for Volvo’s dumper production in Braås, Sweden. The final use of 60% of the products manufactured in Sjørring is on Volvo machinery.
“We have also had excellent experiences in Denmark with Sjørring Maskinfabrik’s loader buckets for loading machinery, and we would like to transfer these positive experiences to shovel buckets, now that we have the opportunity to use a top supplier right in our own back yard,” says Jens Ejsing, Market Manager.
“Being an officially authorised external supplier of Volvo Construction Equipment means that the company must already meet a wide range of requirements, so we don’t have to deal with all the basics relating to reliability of supply, welding quality, logistics, etc. We’ve been able to concentrate on developing and designing exactly the types and sizes of buckets that we know are popular with our Danish customers,” he says.
Buckets for three machines
The agreement between Volvo Entreprenørmaskiner A/S and Sjørring Maskinfabrik initially comprises buckets for Volvo excavators EC 220, EC 250 and EC 300, weighing between 23 and 32 tonnes. This is also the range in which the largest number of excavators are sold in Denmark.
Volvo Entreprenørmaskiner has selected a standard shovel bucket in three different widths for each machine size. In addition, there are four grader buckets and one clay-soil bucket for each. The shovel buckets are available with different types of teeth and blades, depending on customer requirements.
“We have found the varieties that cover 80% of the buckets we deliver with the machines. In the future, it will be our standard shovel for the three sizes of excavators, and we will presumably widen the collaboration to include additional sizes, but we have to run in this one first,” Jens Ejsing says.
“Even though shovel buckets are a bit simpler than loader buckets, there are still many details and individual wishes to consider. This is one reason we had the first eleven finished buckets made, and now all our sales reps and technicians will pay a visit to the factory to see them. This gives them an opportunity to take a closer look at the buckets, and I’ll sure say that’s exactly what they are doing, too,” Jens Ejsing says, as sales reps and technicians literally scrutinise the buckets and discuss details with Sjørring Maskinfabrik’s engineers and welders.
“The buckets look splendid. These welds are excellent and everything looks almost faultless,” says Per Buhl, a veteran sales rep from Volvo Entreprenørmaskiner A/S. He has seen a great many used and worn-out buckets during his many years at Volvo Entreprenørmaskiner and has a good sense of what lasts in the long run.
Sjørring Maskinfabrik has a continuous production flow, meaning that it usually takes 10 working days from order placement to delivery. Right now, the company is working to reduce the production time for selected loader-bucket models.
The loader buckets for Volvo Construction Equipment are manufactured on a special production line with a weekly capacity of 100 loader buckets. In addition to this production and the new production of shovel buckets for the Danish market, Sjørring Maskinfabrik also manufactures buckets for other makes of machinery, including the mining sector. The biggest bucket made at the factory has a volume of 17 cubic metres.
Up until a few years ago, Sjørring Maskinfabrik was a family-owned company, but it is now run by an investment group, backed by pension funds, among other sources.
The company is transitioning to a more customer-orientated approach. The core competencies are still cutting, bending and welding of high-strength steel, and the processing associated with this. Most of the produced goods are OEM parts, i.e. original parts for brand-name manufacturers, but Sjørring Maskinfabrik is also increasingly delivering customised solutions for distributors and in this context increasingly enters into the actual design processes.
“We are currently in a development process. We must improve our ability to be customer oriented in a short time and convert customer preferences into drawings and data so we can manufacture our products quickly and efficiently at our usual high level of quality,” says Henrik R. Rasmussen, key account manager for sales to Volvo, while the welding manager at the company adds that during the 40 years of collaboration, Volvo Construction Equipment has never made a complaint about a bucket that has been put into operation. “Obvious” faults have been discovered before commissioning, but there have been no complaints subsequently.
Jens Ejsing notes that at no time has the topic of discussion between Volvo Entreprenørmaskiner A/S and Sjørring Maskinfabrik been limitations – they have only focused on the opportunitie.