Forty thousand EPSILON cranes sold – a number that implies a lot of work
It is not merely last year’s severe drought, raging autumn storms and disruption caused by snow over the harsh winter that are responsible for the record figures. A far more significant factor is customers’ trust in the product and the performance promise that PALFINGER EPSILON makes to its customers.
“2018 was an unbelievable year. Since the company was established at the Elsbethen site, a total of 40,000 cranes have been produced and sold over the world. That makes us very proud. As early as the first quarter of 2018, demand increased by considerably more than was expected. This trend intensified more and more throughout the year, exceeding our expectations. As a result, we had to maximise production capacities in the long term. This posed new challenges not only for us but also for our suppliers, who had difficulties increasing their capacities,” said Stefan Oberleitner, Managing Director of EPSILON Kran GmbH.
The high demand for PALFINGER EPSILON cranes was noticeable in every department, especially in assembly. Therefore, the aim here was to increase production capacities in the shortest time possible by a close to double-digit percentage, at the same time as training new staff employed for this purpose. This was a clear message from the management team, which at first seemed impossible.
“Looking back, the past year has just been crazy,” said Wolfgang Seidl, who has been working for the company for 15 years and specialises in constructing controllers. “Nobody would have thought that the past year would be so productive. We were already working at a very high level and producing lots of cranes in the previous months, but 2018 really exceeded everything else,” reported Wolfgang Seidl.
Franz Löcker, who has also been employed by the company for 15 years and who works in assembling top seats, agrees with his colleague, adding: “We are very proud that we have managed this despite supply bottlenecks from our sub-suppliers, which delayed crane production to some extent. We were subject to time pressure, as was also the case for other colleagues. For instance, colleagues in purchasing had to conjure up the missing crane parts from nothing, as it were, so that we could continue our work.” Löcker answered the question of what the working atmosphere was like at the time by saying: “We all stuck together during this period and provided mutual support. Ultimately, this was the only way to overcome this challenge together.”
Stefan Oberleitner predicts that this successful development will continue in 2019: “We were able to continue on from the success of 2018, with order intake remaining at a consistently high level in the first quarter of 2019 as well. This high demand is down to each and every employee who works at EPSILON. After all, without this extraordinarily high capacity and readiness to work, we could not achieve these successes.”