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The art of lifting: global crane manufacturer expands in northern Sweden

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Cranab opens new chapter for manufacturing in Vindeln municipality with Italian owner Fassi Group.
  • Cranab, owned by one of the world’s largest crane and grapple manufacturers builds a new factory in Sweden’s Umeå-region
  • The new facility will increase Cranab’s production capacity by 40% in 2019                                  
  • Skilled competence and an advanced forestry sector in Sweden provides the ideal base for global exports

Sweden’s vast expanse of forests plays a key role in the country’s economy and is the source of no less than 10% of the sawn timber, pulp and paper on the global market.

As such, it is no coincidence that Sweden’s rural landscapes have given rise to some of the most innovative manufacturers in forestry equipment – of which several have attracted foreign investment recently.

The hydraulic crane manufacturer Cranab, based in Vindeln municipality some 60 km from the northern city of Umeå, is a case in point. Founded in 1960, the company has become an ambitious exporter of world class cranes and grapple systems used in timber haulage, recycling and road clearance.

In 2017, the Italian company Fassi Group became Cranab’s majority owner. And it didn’t take long before an expansion plan for the existing manufacturing plant in Vindeln was put into action.

“We are investing in a new manufacturing facility that will increase our production capacity by 40 per cent by the end of 2019. The factory will feature new machinery for profile welding and machining and bring in some of the latest technologies,” explains Anders Strömgren, CEO, Cranab.

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Perfect match

Cranab’s leading expertise in lifting technology for forestry was, according to Strömgren, a perfect match for Fassi Group’s portfolio and large distribution network.

“We collaborate very closely with our Italian owners and exchange knowledge on a running basis. We will be exploring ways of further enhancing our manufacturing processes to better serve our customers,” he says.

Opening up for increased traceability is just one example of current priorities on the factory floor at Cranab.

“Using sensors to provide valuable data is essential today. Customers want high quality and expect full insight into how cranes and grapples have performed when deployed in the field. We have reinforced our team’s competence here in Vindeln to meet that need.”

The skills base counts for everything, Strömgren adds, and the technicians found in the Umeå region, Västerbotten County, underpin Cranab’s steady success.

“We rely on the local talent pool and continuously train our staff. The forestry industry in Sweden is among the most sustainable and advanced in the world, so our home market provides a good testing ground before exporting to customers overseas.”

“If new manufacturing techniques are introduced, Swedish engineers are generally quick to adapt which always gives us confidence,” he concludes.

Cranab Group includes four brands – Cranab, Slagkraft, Vimek and Bracke Forest – which have become world leaders in cranes, forestry machines, planting machines, materials handling for recycling and road clearance solutions.

With 190 employees in Sweden, Cranab Group is one the subsidiaries of the Italian industrial group and crane specialist Fassi, a leading supplier of knuckleboom cranes to customers in all corners of the world, mainly for use in the building and construction sectors.

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