Skyjack provides more detail on doubling production capacity
Canadian aerial lift and telehandler manufacturer Skyjack has been expanding its global production capability, increasing capacity by 235 percent compared to its 2022 capacity.
Production facilities will increase from two in Canada to five globally with the new plants in China, Hungary and Mexico. President Ken McDougall spoke with Vertikal’s Mark Darwin.
January saw the first telehandler come off the production line of the new Mexican plant and it supplied all the machines on the stand at Conexpo. Located in Ramos Arizpe Mexico, the facility has two phases - Phase one was the 18,600 square metre telehandlers and boom facility with the focus aimed at the America’s region - the first was complete with the SJ1056 TH coming off the line. Phase two, already initiated, will see an additional 45,500 square metres of space.
Skyjack president Ken McDougall said: “Prior to Covid we were pushing the boundaries at our Canadian plants to the extent that we had simply had no more space. The pandemic brought a new series of challenges that highlighted the need to revisit supply chain and logistics structures with a view to more localisation.”
The initial phase of development has seen an increase in fabrication and vertical integration at the company’s Canadian plants. These changes will see a focus on the production of vertical mast booms as well as electric slab and RT scissors, with telehandlers and booms moving to the new plant in Mexico.
Skyjack will also develop the Canadian plants as an innovation hub that will see an increased advanced engineering structure and the co-ordination of design and development activities across the company’s regional structure, now consisting of three regional business units: Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
“It is an exciting time for our Canadian plants,” he said. “Our plans call for a significant increase in headcount and a positive change as we develop vertical integrations and an improved work environment.”
Earlier last year Skyjack announced its intentions to open manufacturing facilities in China consisting of two phases. The first units came off the production line in September marking the completion of phase one which saw the use of a 3,525 square metre facility utilised with the help of Skyjack’s parent company, Linamar. The plant - located in Tianjin - initially focused on the company’s smaller electric slab scissors. Phase 2, which was launched with a ground-breaking ceremony in October 2022, will see a greenfield facility developed with 37,200 square metres and will focus on slab scissors and booms with output supplying to the Asia Pacific and Australian regions. This new facility is scheduled to be in production in the third quarter.
“We have had our eye on the Chinese market for some time,” said McDougall. “The key to success here is the ability to commit to the region and in-turn that means an in market manufacturing presence. We have been lucky enough to benefit from our parent company’s existing infrastructure in the short term and we are now focused on building up sales and distribution networks.”
2022 also saw increased production in Europe with the expansion in Oros, Hungary. The facility offers 10,500 square metres of space. Production of the new SJ45 AJ & SJ60 AJ articulating booms product started in October 2022 and the plant is destined to supply articulating booms, telescopic booms, electric slab and compact RT scissors to Europe.
“2022 was a busy year and it is great to see how our global team achieved so much so quickly. 2023 will be even more exciting as this capacity comes on stream. This and some exciting new product later in 2023 will make it a memorable year!”