Industry Europe č. 28-3 / 2018 (článek)
TOS VARNSDORF is the world’s leading manufacturer of machine tools, specialising in the production of medium class horizontal milling and boring machines and machining centres. This year, the company commemorates its 115th anniversary. Sales Director Miloš Holakovský spoke to Romana Moares about the company’s latest products, new opportunities as well as challenges ahead.
TOS VARNSDORF, founded in 1903, boasts a manufacturing tradition going back over a century. Its top quality products reflect the know-how and experience of generations of technicians and skilled workers as well as a continuous focus on innovation. The company’s solutions are employed for the machining of components for the transport, mining, construction and energy industries, as well as for general mechanical engineering in all sophisticated markets including Europe, Russia and China.
“The company is doing well. In the first six months of this year, we have signed contracts for the delivery of 65 machines worth CZK 900 million, which is more than the forecast, and have exceeded plans of received orders as well,” says Mr Holakovský. “The orders are coming from all traditional destinations, and we have also won a new customer in Saudi Arabia recently. Now, in the middle of 2018, it is clear that the targeted CZK 1.7 billion in sales will be achieved.”
Headquartered in the north part of the Czech Republic at the German border, TOS VARNSDORF has a stable product portfolio, consisting of horizontal milling and boring machines, floor type horizontal boring mills, machining centres and special tools. “The product offering has not changed much in the last two years,” notes Milos Holakovský. “What has changed, however, is the innovative shift toward more productive, multi-functional and sophisticated machine tools with a wide range of add-ons.”
In the last few years, the company’s R&D has been focused primarily on machining centres. In 2017, it introduced a new, highly efficient WHT 110 C machining centre, a horizontal machining device suitable for the most demanding operations that require accurate drilling, thread cutting, boring and turning or milling. The machines of the WHT line are designed to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding applications in areas such as aviation, power engineering, excavation operations, crude oil and mechanical engineering. “These ‘multi-tasking’ machines are suitable for single-part as well as series production,” Mr Holakovský explains, adding that in June 2018, the company introduced a larger machine from this line, marketed as WHT 130.
He adds that the latest machine to emerge from TOS VARNSDORF’s product development department is a gantry milling centre with stationary gantry and X-axis moving table. “The assembly of the machine will take place in the second half of 2018 and the testing will be completed in early 2019.”
A clear way forward
TOS Varnsdorf’s network of subsidiaries, providing spare parts, warranty and post-warranty service as well as sales, is one of its competitive advantages. “We have subsidiaries in all major global markets, i.e. in China, Russia and the USA. Service and spare parts availability tend to be the decisive factors for customers when choosing a new machine. The immediate availability of spare parts and the professional approach of our staff help to open doors to new customers as well as satisfy the needs of existing customers,” Mr Holakovský points out.
About 55 per cent of TOS VARNSDORF’s machines are sold within Europe, with 20 per cent sold to the Russian Federation and 25 per cent to the markets of China, India and North America. Mr Holakovský confirms that the machine tool market is booming at the moment, which is reflected in the company’s financial performance. “Just recently we have signed a contract for the delivery of 14 machines to the Polish company FAMET Kedzierzyn Kožle worth €7.2 million – the biggest ever delivery since 1999, when 13 machines were sold to Belarus.”
would seem that TOS VARNSDORF’s growth is not hindered by any challenges. Still, human resources and skills development are issues that the company has to address intensively, just like any other European manufacturer today. Two years ago, TOS VARNSDORF opened its own secondary technical school, which is now being extended. “The school has gained a very good reputation amongst students, their parents as well as the general public, and it is now being developed further to create a superior educational facility,” says Mr Holakovský. “At the moment, we are reconstructing an old production hall to be turned into a modern training centre with a sports hall and a school canteen, and also plan to extend the current offering of engineering courses.”
This will, no doubt, support the company’s development towards a lean and highly efficient operating model, capable of providing a flexible and speedy response to customers’ requirements worldwide. “We strive to secure sustainable company development. We establish subsidiaries and joint ventures in remote markets to be as close to customers as possible. I believe that service will become a core element of our competitiveness. Technical parameters will of course remain important, but in this technologically advanced day and age, they hardly constitute a differentiating factor,” he concludes.