Two years ago Swiss/German tower crane manufacturer Wolffkran announced the opening of a new production plant in Lukhovitsy, Russia, 135km southeast of Moscow.
The facility initially employed around 20 staff and produced tower components, mainly the corner posts the first batch of which shipped to the Wolffkran facility near Berlin, Germany, at the end of last year. This year the production has stepped up and the plant has started producing the entire tower cross frames, while around 40 people are now employed on the 38,000 square metre site, mostly welders and fabricators.
With a need to more certified staff the crane manufacturer has agreed a partnership with the Lukhovitsy Technical School, which has 21 young adults training to become welders. Wolffkran has provided a welding engineer to assist with the hands on instruction at the school and donated welding equipment. It also offers the trainee welders the opportunity to complete on the job training at its facility and set up an exchange programme with its Brandenburg and Heilbronn plants, although the pandemic has put a stop to that for the moment.
General manager Alexey Savinskiy said: “At this point in time, we manufacture exclusively for the Wolffkran production plant in Brandenburg, so all manufacturing staff are certified according to EN ISO 9606 and EN ISO 15614. We have also been training all new production staff in our own training centre workshop for several weeks. Wolffkran has established itself in this region, and we are most pleased to be able to give young people an opportunity for education and long term career prospects. We are also happy to do something about the local shortage of skilled labour in this way.”
Chief operating officer Ralf-Dieter Koch added: “Eventually, we would like to build entire Wolff cranes in Russia and serve the Russian market with our products and services.”