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  1. VIOD Invests in Enhanced Grinding Technology

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    VIOD is witnessing a substantial growth in the share of industrial springs, particularly in the domain of thick wire diameters exceeding 18mm. The evolving quality demands from customers necessitate a careful consideration of the appropriate technology that ensures both efficiency and cost savings.

    The older grinding technology, which VIOD has relied on for years and proven to be effective, is now being reevaluated due to changing market conditions and increased price competitiveness. Efficiencies in setup times, cycle times, and maintenance are crucial. This presents an excellent opportunity for VIOD to invest in new machines boasting significantly improved technology compared to their older counterparts. These advanced machines operate intelligently, allowing us to process more springs simultaneously or manufacture springs that other companies are incapable of producing.

    New Dry Grinding Machine with Advanced Programming Capabilities

    There is a specific demand for ground industrial compression springs. Last year, the grinding shop invested in a state-of-the-art dry grinding machine, the OMD MA-16 7000, to replace the outdated OMD MA-16 7000. The latter machine had been in use for 30 years and was still operating on MS-DOS control, limiting its programming capabilities. With the acquisition of the new machine, we now have the ability to create far more sophisticated programs. The ability to control the 2 grinding discs at varying speeds means that we no longer need to turn the springs over at the end of the cycle. Additionally, the refined technology in the new machine has led to a 60% reduction in grinding wheel consumption. The outdated hydraulic and pneumatic systems have been replaced by servo motors, allowing for much more precise and accurate programming.

    Introduction of the New Wet Grinding Machine

    Another wet grinder is set to be delivered to VIOD later this year, replacing the 2 old wet grinding machines that have been in service since the early 1970s. Once again, we have chosen an OMD machine—the OMD H-80. This new grinder enables us to grind springs with an outer diameter of up to 330mm, a significant improvement from the previous limit of 250mm. Moreover, this machine adopts the same user-friendly software philosophy as the other OMD grinding machines, facilitating smoother rotation of employees and enhancing their motivation to work with these new machines.

    In June 2023, we organized an on-site drivers’ meeting for the first time. Managing Director Lesjöfors Fjädrar AB Jan Carlson and Managing Director Lesjöfors Heavy Springs UK Micheal Gibbs were esteemed guests at VIOD. Based on the shared experiences during this meeting, it became evident that OMD is the preferred supplier of grinding machines. OMD’s superior price-quality ratio and excellent service ultimately surpass those offered by alternative manufacturers such as Dorn.

    Given the burgeoning demand for polished springs and the increasing competition from the Asian market, technology plays a crucial role in maintaining competitiveness. VIOD is enthusiastic about contributing to the growing demand for larger and thicker springs at our facility in Breukelen.

  2. New Tension Springs Centre in Poland

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    Sales Forecast and Expansion Plans

    Since 2016, Alcomex has been growing its share in tension springs for residential doors. The Board of Alcomex Springs Group has prepared the sales forecast for years 2022-2025. Sales of tension springs are expected to quadruple in the coming years. Based on this projection, the decision was made to split the production of door springs in Marki into separate units for torsion and tension springs. To accommodate this growth, a new location was invested in to enable the production and assembly of tension springs.

    Lease Agreement and Conversion Works

    At the end of November, the Lease Agreement was signed for renting a 5320 square meters warehouse area and office area in a building with a total area of approximately 38500 square meters. The building, known as ‘Hall B’, is located in Marki, just 500m away from our current location. The early access to the new facility was granted from 01.02.2023. From that time, all necessary works must be done to convert the warehouse area into a primarily production area for tension springs.

    Conversion Works Details

    The conversion works involve various tasks, including:

    1. Extension of the main electrical switchboard according to Alcomex energy requirements.

    2. Installation of proper lighting in the production area up to 500 lux.

    3. Delivery and installation of 14 skylights with ventilation function, a weather control unit, and a necessary sprinkler system.

    4. Construction of new forklift charging stations equipped with gas detection and sprinkler system.

    5. Installation of radiant heaters to create a comfortable working environment.

    6. Conversion of existing office rooms into changing rooms and social areas.

    Completion of Adaptation Works

    In mid-May, all fit-out works were completed, and all necessary notifications, agreements, and approvals from relevant authorities were obtained. As a result, on 29.05.2023, the Protocol of Completion of Adaptation Works was signed. With this milestone achieved, additional tasks such as the installation of the piping air system and the transfer of two air compressors from Hall D could begin. Furthermore, all necessary equipment, including lockers, benches for changing rooms, office furniture, desks, printers, and kitchen equipment, were purchased to provide a comfortable environment for our employees during breaks.

    Cooperation with Czech Republic and Equipment Transfer

    In addition to the expansion in Poland, we have initiated closer cooperation with our colleagues from the Czech Republic, as some production will be transferred from there. The first training session took place in Brno, where our employees familiarized themselves with the production process for tension springs, which will be transferred to our new center.

    Operational Timeline and Customer Deliveries

    The transfer of the current production equipment to the new center is scheduled for mid-June, followed by the transfer of additional machines and tooling equipment from the Czech Republic in July. Our goal is to have the new tension spring center in Poland fully operational from the first of September this year, enabling us to deliver our products (springs) to customers all over Europe.

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