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Komatsu’s first carbon neutral factory gets underway in Sweden

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Sustainability takes the spotlight as world’s second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment builds a new zero-emission plant in Umeå, Sweden – set to open 2021.

Komatsu, the world’s second largest equipment manufacturer for construction and mining, has announced its plans and timetable for building a state-of-the-art, 40,000 sq m factory in Umeå Municipality, Sweden, for the company’s forest machines division – to be inaugurated 2021. 

"We have chosen to invest in a factory that meets our production needs today but also gives us space to grow for the future," says Martin Ärlestig, Plant Manager, Komatsu Forest.

The new plant has been designed to blend in with its surrounding forest environment. It encompasses a main factory building with two floors and an adjoining six-storey office building.

“We have completed a thorough feasibility study to assess the entire project, including construction, start-up and transfer of operations while keeping our high productivity levels intact. We now have a well-prepared plan that allows us to move from decision to a ready-made factory within a relatively short timeframe.”

Landmark facility for smart production

Komatsu Forest’s multi-million euro factory in northern Sweden is expected to become a landmark facility at the forefront of Industry 4.0 technologies and sustainability.

This involves installing IoT solutions for real-time monitoring and traceability in production lines. Furthermore, by optimising the energy supply using a combination of solar panels, modern construction techniques and geothermal energy – all factory operations will be carbon neutral. 

“Our manufacturing process will be digitally connected which brings many advantages. These include the ability to monitor quality, availability and safety in detail, and to make sure that customers experience higher flexibility and shorter lead times,” Ärlestig explains.   

Komatsu Forest’s ambition, he adds, is to also further strengthen the region’s outstanding expertise and position in forest technology. “We are convinced that this initiative will contribute to an expanding footprint at the regional, national as well as international level, in several areas.”

The new location in Klockarbäcken, an industrial area 5 km north of Umeå, offers the added plus of close proximity to the rail network. This means Komatsu Forest can increase the share of goods transported by rail. 

The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Komatsu Forest’s new Umeå plant is scheduled to be held in May 2019.

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