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ÄRIPÄEV, APRIL 2012.

STEEL PROCESSING MANUFACTURER HYRLES INVESTED 1.6 MILLION EUROS INTO NEW EQUIPMENT

Located in Lagedi, Hyrles OÜ steel processing factory invested 1.6 million euros into new equipment last year. An automatic bending machine, powder coating line, and new thread cutting machine provide the company noticeable competitive advantages compared to its competitors for achieving better quality and fulfilling customer orders faster.

“One of our biggest investments was a steel bending machine from Salvagnini which allows us to bend steel plates bigger than before, faster, and with more stable quality,” says the CEO of Hyrles OÜ, Mr. Urmo Sisask, by way of introduction. “This new equipment gives us a huge competitive advantage, as in addition to unchanging high quality, this means savings in price and faster service for customers.”

The bending machine allows the steel leaves to be bent with a maximum length of 2.5 meters and a width of 1.4 meters. Compared with conventional methods used, the new fully automatic machine produces a metal closet door in 40 seconds, instead of the former 12 minutes.

The second most important investment was an Aabo and Wagneri powder coating line, which finishes thin components of leaf steel with maximum sizes of 2500x1250x600 mm. The main units of the coating line are chemical preliminary and main washing, drying, automatic and manual coating with the powder and heating oven. “Formerly we subcontracted the coating services, but unfortunately we were often disappointed with the quality of the services,” says Sisask. “We decided to buy our own ‘painting street’ and now we offer the services ourselves. I dare say that we are able to guarantee the best quality of powder coating.”

In addition to perfect powder coating, the line allows for washing metal components, finishing stainless steel and aluminum components, providing components with better weather resistance and improving their surface quality. The washing line utilizes washing chemicals from Henkel. The new CNC thread cutting machine gives the customers an additional guarantee for components, as the machines work with much higher precision compared to manual work. The purchase of three new machines required the area of Hyrles OÜ’s production facilities to be doubled. These investment activities were supported by Enterprise Estonia and the European Regional Development Fund.

*Demanding customers appreciate quality*

The steel processing factory was opened three years ago when the economy was in a recession and many competitors in the market reduced the number of their employees instead. The initial investment of Finnish owner Hyrles Oy into the factory in Estonia was about 30 million kroons and the investment made last year took about half of Hyrles OÜ’s yearly turnover. “We were not making a profit last year but we were able to update substantially our machinery and we decided to invest in the future,” says Sisask. “We will definitely continue investing in the future according to our capability.”

He adds that the strength of Hyrles OÜ is staying in their niche. “We are specialized in one segment only, and due to that we are able to obtain top quality, output volume suitable for the customer and a fair price level. For us, delivery reliability and delivery dates are of paramount importance. There are many players in Estonia, but only a few of them are of high quality. Hyrles cannot ‘play’ with quality, as most of our customers are demanding companies from energetics, automatics and medical technology industries.”

Hyrles OÜ produces components made of leaf steel in accordance with customers’ drawings. The main working processes include stamping, bending, thread cutting, powder coating, riveting and composition, such as installation of seals and meshes. The main materials used are galvanized leaf steel, stainless steel, and plastics from Finland and Sweden. Most of the production goes for export, reaching the whole world through the mother company.

For securing the ability to process the orders, and in cooperation with key accounts, the company has implemented a joint ERP system module, which allows the customers to enter their orders from their computers into Hyrles OÜ’s production planning system.

“Our future plans are continuously ambitious. This year we expect a turnover of five million euros,” says Sisask, manager of the steel processing company of 35 employees. “We believe that in addition to our investments, we get a competitive advantage also from our international certificates – last year we received an ISO9001 certificate, and currently we are striving for ISO14001 and OHSAS 18 000 working environment and working safety certificates.”