Marcin Ciszkiewicz (GH POLAND production manager): “More and more customers expect comprehensive order fulfilment, from design to assembly and certification”

How would you classify the production plant in Poland?
Over the last few years, we have observed an increase in the share of special cranes in our order portfolio. These are cranes for the energy sector as well as the steel processing industry and incineration plants, both from local government and private investments. In addition, we have been equipping these cranes this year with open winches, built here in Poland in cooperation with steel processing plants. We also managed to complete several orders for gantry cranes of various sizes (the largest with a span of over 44m using the technology of divided girders) and several transfer carts with electric GH drives. Steel beams have a significant share in the production tonnage, the production of which will amount to approximately 1000 m (40% of the total processing of steel tonnage).

Are the production facilities in Poland at the gh plant in Klobuck appropriate for the current market situation?
Our plant is one of the oldest in the GH group and requires increasing production capacity, adapting to larger products, special projects related to long-term production and the need to have storage zones for surface treatment, milling or edge spinning. Investors also demand more control over production and expect high-quality C4, C5 in terms of construction, where the shot-blasting and varnishing process is also a problem. Our possibilities in terms of beam height, length and tonnage are also limited. We entrust the settlement of such beams to trusted cooperators who are under our supervision.

What is the production capacity in number of cranes/year of the current facilities in Poland?
We achieved the greatest production before the Pandemic in 2019 – a total of 196 cranes, 40 of which were made in cooperation. This year, due to the enormous commitment to special projects (6 cranes with winches produced by us + 400m of beams and platforms), we will achieve a result of 120 cranes.

“This year, due to the enormous commitment to special projects, we will achieve a result of 120 cranes.

Could the production structure of Poland absorb a higher workload than the current one?
For several weeks we have been working in three shifts, plus additionally on Saturdays due to the high quality requirements of C4-C5 special cranes for incineration plants in Warsaw. We could definitely make more cranes, standard girders with a smaller share of special cranes in the production process. An ideal solution would be to invest in a new, additional building with a second bed for the production of cranes, which would avoid a blockage in the section of assembly of girders with end carriages.

Do you think that the production equipment in Poland should be upgraded or could we continue for a while longer with the current resources?
As mentioned, our plant is one of the oldest in the GH group. The infrastructure is divided into 2 buildings a considerable distance apart. The process of putting together the structure requires going outside to a separate section and then returning to the paint shop. Currently, we also have an external steel warehouse located 2 km from the main building. In the next few months we will be forced to switch to production only from cut material for production in cooperation, which will limit our production flexibility. I believe that investments in Poland are necessary in order not to lose competitiveness and be able to achieve results similar to those in 2019.

What is the interaction between those responsible for the Klobuck plant and headquarters like?
Organizational cells in Poland have their counterparts at the Headquarters in Spain. Managers and employees of departments communicate with each other in the assessment and implementation of projects, while special projects are assigned to Managers who distribute knowledge in the departments and coordinate the work of teams. I personally work with the Production Department at the Head Office through Lierni Campos and consult with Jose Zapata on construction processes. Shortly after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, our branch supplied itself with steel unavailable in Poland thanks to the contacts of GH Spain, which brokered purchases in Spain and Portugal.

In your opinion, what are the points for improvement that we should address in order to be more competitive in the production section?
We notice that more and more customers expect comprehensive order fulfilment, from design to assembly and certification. In uncertain times, they prefer to outsource the delivery of cranes and beams to one supplier, negotiating hard on the price and supervising the production processes. In order to reconcile all these factors, an efficient, well-equipped plant is necessary, which will be able to largely carry out processes in house, without succumbing to attempts to raise prices through suspended distribution of goods or rising prices of services. A strong supplier must have a lot of production autonomy, which is what we strive for.