Forklift manufacturer and material handling solutions provider Combilift has officially opened its new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Monaghan, Ireland. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the company also announced that it will be significantly expanding its workforce with the creation of 200 new jobs in the next three years.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Irish Prime Minister An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said: “Combilift is an incredible home-grown Monaghan success story. When the company was founded 20 years ago, it had three employees, a brilliant concept, and the ambition to make it a reality. Combilift is playing a significant role in Monaghan’s success, and I would like to congratulate Robert Moffett and Martin McVicar and everyone at Combilift on their achievements to date and wish them every success for the future.”
Built at a cost of 50 million euros, the investment in the new 46,500 sq. m. (500,000 sq. ft) facility will allow Combilift to realise its ambitious growth plans. Martin McVicar, Managing Director said: “We have employed an additional 230 people since we announced our plans for this factory in 2015 and the combination of this state of the art production plant and the growing skilled workforce will allow us to double production within the next 5 years.”
Combilift currently exports 98% of its products to 85 countries through its 250-strong international dealer network. The current workforce stands at 550 people and the new employment opportunities will be for skilled technicians, design engineers, logistics and supply chain specialists and those with mechanical and electrical mechatronics skills.
Martin McVicar attributes the company’s impressive growth and its status as an acknowledged world leader in the material handling sector to mass customisation. “Combilift has set the benchmark for the mass production of customised innovative products. Mass customisation is the new frontier for both the customer and the manufacturer as customers are increasingly expecting products to be tailored to their requirements. We listen to and take feedback on board from our customers and dealers to identify solutions that best match their individual specific needs.”
Combilift invests 7% of its annual turnover in Research and Development to enhance its customisation capability and to maximise ROI for its customers. “The flexibility in our new facility means that we can continue to accommodate any request for a customised material handling solution. We also see ourselves as much more than a forklift manufacturer and are transforming the transport and logistics sector with our innovative, space-spacing products and our services.”
Combilift offers a free logistic and warehouse design service which enables customers to see the benefit that its products will bring to their business. “Our engineers proactively design, plan and produce material flow analysis and 3D animations – 150 to 200 per day for our worldwide customers – which clearly illustrate the capacity potential as well as the optimum flow of materials on their site.” said McVicar.
GROWTH OF COMBILIFT
Established by Martin McVicar, Managing Director and Robert Moffett, Technical Director, in 1998, Combilift is a privately held and fully capitalised company. It developed the world’s first multidirectional all-wheel drive IC engine powered forklift in 1998. In the first year of operation it produced 18 units,17 of which were exported. The company has more than doubled in the last 5 years and now has 40,000 units in operation in over 85 countries.
Combilift’s product portfolio has expanded way beyond its first multidirectional model according to McVicar: “Combilift has always focused on a number of niche market segments and has a proven track record of launching one or two new products annually. In the first 10 years we focussed on the long load material handling sector with the multidirectional range which revolutionised the handling of long materials, allowing customers to handle long products in less space more safely.”
Between 2008 and 2018 Combilift diversified its product ranged by developing a number of innovative space saving warehouse and heavy load handling products; the Aisle Master articulated truck and the Straddle Carrier (Combi-SC) respectively.
Pedestrian products were introduced into the range in the last five years, enabling Combilift to gain a foothold in this growing market. The Combi-WR, Combi-WR4 and the Combi-CS all incorporate Combilift’s unique patented multi-positional tiller arm technology. “There is a growing demand for pedestrian trucks, driven by safety concerns where customers and/or employees are in the vicinity of operating forklifts,” said McVicar. “It is our intention to significantly expand this range, as can be seen with the launch of the new high lift capacity Combilift Powered Pallet Truck (Combi-HC-PPT).”
Tel: 00 353 47 80500 | www.combilift.com www.aisle-master.com