With the official opening of a new 8,740m² assembly complex, the second extension phase of the company’s main factory in Šternberk, Czech Republic has been completed. Next milestones and new extension projects will be set and started in 2019, including the opening of Keestrack’s Indian assembly in Neemrana and new production capacities in Ponzano Veneto, Italy.
Successful mid-term expansion
Opened in 2001, Šternberk was the sole manufacturing site for tracked screeners and crushers of the Belgium-based processing specialist until 2007. Then the Chinese screener assembly in Chuzhou went into operation, and in 2010 Keestrack acquired the Italian jaw crusher manufacturing of former OM. Because of continuous growth, requirements on Keestrack-CZ were increasing rapidly – today the 5-hectare factory supplies all Keestrack impactors, screens, scalpers and stackers and provides modular machine components for the jaw and cone production at Keestrack-Italy as well as high quality kit modules for Keestrack’s Asian operations.
As a reaction on the integrated manufacturing concept, the group invested early in modern, fully automated manufacturing technologies (ie. plasma-cutting) to guarantee fast and flexible internal supply of key components. In 2009, Keestrack introduced an anti-corrosive zinc-phosphate nano powder painting line in Šternberk, providing a high-quality long-lasting finish of frame components and other plant key structures.
In 2014 the group management decided to launch a mid-term development program to expand the capacities at Šternberk. The first phase of the planned three steps was adding a modern 5,000m² factory in 2016 for steel construction, additional to the existing halls (8,000m²), and this improved raw material logistics remarkably. The second new complex — operational since September 2018 — now completes phase 2 with an additional space of 8,740m², accommodating parts storage and four separate assembly lines for screeners and crushers. Both projects offer a state-of-the-art working environment at the factory with currently 480 employees.
The optimized production processes improve the workflow and significantly reduce lead times for components and complete plants. As an example, Keestrack introduced a four-cycle line production process for its medium range of scalpers (K3 – K6) and the new 30-ton impactor crusher, the R3. Compared to the former work cell production, the new process is expected to reduce the manufacturing time by up to 30%, depending on the type of model.
According to Keestrack management, phase 3 of the factory extension will be initiated in 2019/20, including a new quality control facility, a modern spare part logistics terminal and a state-of-the-art customer center. Parallel to the floor space extension Keestrack-CZ will implement a new powder coating line, remarkably increasing production capacities and considering larger workpiece dimensions for the coming heavier Keestrack models.
Integral and global investments
Keestrack also announced important investment at its Italian operation in Treviso, Ponzano Veneto. Within the group’s integrated manufacturing and distribution concept with decentralized international technology competence centers, the 2.4-hectare operation supplies the complete series of jaw crushers and the growing range of tracked cones. Contributing to the expanding Keestrack heavy range with powerful track-mobile processing systems for quarrying and mining operation, the existing 5,000m² production of Keestrack-Italy will at least be doubled by the planned factory extension to be finalized in 2020.
Production of the group’s Indian branch, Etrack Crushers, was scheduled for May/June 2019 at the brand-new assembly with the first machines leaving the 10,000m² facility in Neemrana, around 100km south of New Delhi, in August.
The production program initially includes the full hybrid crushing plants Keestrack B4e (jaw) and H4e (cone), identified to meet the demands of Indian contractors in terms of productivity, transport and on-site mobility. Etrack’s assembly is flexible, based on core OEM modules (crushers, frames, chassis, etc.) delivered from the group’s European factories and components of international technology partners (engines, drives, etc.) or local suppliers.
Sound economic base
Structured as an independent family-owned international holding, Keestrack is led by Group President Kees Hoogendoorn, his spouse Annet Schoenmaker and sons Peter and Freek Hoogendoorn, as second generation owners. Headquartered in Bilzen, Belgium, the group directly employs today more than 700 in its international manufacturing and aftersales activities. The company’s sales and service network covers more than 50 countries on all continents, totaling 75 dealer and service partners