A company's reputation depends on its team's professionalism. In case of elevators, professionalism is crucial at all stages of production from manufacturing to installation and service maintenance. If there is a weak link in this elaborate chain, a company may lose its market niche.
A Swedish company TORNUM is well aware of it. For TORNUM, quality is as important as people who ensure this quality and bring it over to the customers.
An engineering approach to agricultural industry
TORNUM's major production facilities are located in a small Swedish town of Kvänum. The first factory was built there in 1973. Today it specializes in grain dryers and coolers.
TORNUM offers its customers not mere equipment but decades of experience in grain storage industry. It is reflected in the company's motto: "Dry the grain and keep it cool". The factory shops are fully computerized which minimizes human involvement and makes all the elevator elements produced at the factory of the same high quality.
In contrast to other world famous companies, TORNUM has no manufacturing subsidiaries in other countries. All the equipment is produced in Sweden.
A remarkable thing about executives and managers of TORNUM is that they, like many other Swedes, have their own farming land. Having practical experience in farming, they see to it that their product is reliable and efficient.
Another reason for the exceptional quality of TORNUM equipment is that almost every Swedish farmer has a degree in engineering. It means that they know what sort of equipment they need and what to look for in the product they buy. This serves as a great stimulus for elevator producers to constantly improve their products.
TORNUM elevators are famous all over the world. The company has subsidiaries in the EU, Eastern Asia and America. Ukraine is not an exception either.
A client-oriented team
There are 10 company representatives in Ukraine. They are young engineers and managers. Each has his own share of duty contributing his knowledge and experience to TORNUM projects. Together they can handle any task.
LLC TORNUM Ukraine built and modernized over 40 facilities in Ukraine. Some projects required only equipment installation; others were turnkey projects. The following elevators are some examples of TORNUM presence in Ukraine: Rentcom elevator with 30 thousand tons of storage capacity, the elevator at a private family firm Dryzhba with 65 thousand tons of storage capacity, Monastyryshche elevator with 94.4 thousand tons of storage capacity, Dzhulynskyi elevator with 30 thousand tons of storage capacity etc.
For 10 years, TORNUM LLC Ukraine has been headed by Vyacheslav Kovalenko.
Most of the year the team and the general manager spend on the road working with the agrarians. Vyacheslav does not even have a separate room in the office. He jokes that his workspace is his car which daily takes him to meetings with customers and clients.
When I started working for TORNUM, I instantly liked the people and the balance between head office control and independence of decision-making it granted the subsidiaries. I haven't found any flaws in such management so far,
— says Vyacheslav.
He also pointed out that working at TORNUM one may expect help and support from all TORNUM offices around the world not just the headquarters.
If a project involves equipment that is new to Ukraine but which already functions in Romania, Latvia, Poland or other countries, our colleagues share their experience with us and we show the client that the project can be done. We, in our turn, share our experience with overseas colleagues,
— explains Vyacheslav Kovalenko.
He says that there are cases when clients' needs make the manufacturer look for personalized solutions.
The manufacturer always tries to meet the needs of the client. They can even embark on an innovative equipment production without enhancing the price of the end-product,
— told us the General Manager of TORNUM LLC Ukraine.
Owing to the regular reports from Ukrainian and other overseas subsidiaries, TORNUM promptly adjusts to the market situation by introducing timely solutions.
The company is always there for its clients from designing to commissioning and further maintenance.
TORNUM's clients are clients for life. We keep in touch with both owners and workers of facilities. After commissioning the facility, our service engineer inspects it on a regular basis. Each year we conduct training for its employees. Owners receive technical help and information about the market. There are neither clients who forget about us nor we about them,
— says Vyacheslav Kovalenko.
Vyacheslav Kovalenko, Head of TORNUM LLC Ukraine, about the team
Optimal feasibility study and project management
In 2008, Vitaliy Fitsyk joined the emerging company of TORNUM LLC Ukraine as project manager.
Vitaliy graduated from the Mechanics department of the National University of Food Technologies with a degree in Processing and Food Technologies.
For me, the food industry is the constant dynamics of changes in facilities and technologies of food production. I am a third-generation representative in the industry and can talk about it for hours,
— says Vitaliy Fitsyk.
According to Vitaliy, he was initially tasked with the graphic part of projects and technology development. As his experience grew, he got involved in design calculations for the customers. Later, he was trusted with negotiating with design and assembly agencies and suppliers of electrical devices, thorough preparation of technical documentation, consulting etc.
The company provides both theoretical and practical foundation for assembly agencies employed for facility building.
When we get a statement of work, we start developing the technical solution and sourcing equipment. Upon request, we can provide a 3D model of the project to facilitate project discussion and show the advantages and capacities of the planned grain elevator. At first, we work on the technical part, and then I do preliminary design calculations. We put it in our project for the customer. After that, I negotiate the technical part,
— explains Vitaliy.
Vitaliy Fitsyk, Project Manager of TORNUM LLC Ukraine, about working on elevator projects
A project manager is also supposed to handle assembly and starting-up emergencies, issues with forming spare part storages on top of dealing with customs, brokers and transport companies.
As part of establishing TORNUM AB presence in Eastern markets, our team provided staff training and technical support for facilities in Cambodia, Thailand, Russia,
— says Vitaliy.
The main responsibilities of a PM are, however, feasibility study of the future elevator, development of tailored technological solutions, and control over the project realization starting with the customer's application all the way to the handing over. Vitaliy uses a rational Swedish approach at all the stages: he sources equipment considering its productivity and arranges assemblies based on sequences.
Due to optimal equipment sourcing and right technical solutions we manage to minimize the costsmaintaining the high quality.We do the piping, calculate the overall length of the transporting system considering the best logistics. All of this allows the customer sufficient economizing,
— explains the project manager.
Project engineer Vitaliy Danilov has been working for TORNUM LLC Ukraine since 2011. Vitaliy graduated from National Aviation University with a degree in Gas Turbine and Compressor Stations. He also has a degree in Economics.
I came to work for the company right after the graduation. I saw a job vacancy and thought: "What does a Swedish company have to offer our agrarians?" I was very enthusiastic because my parents and friends are farmers,
— says Vitaliy Danilov smiling.
Today Vitaliy is a world-class specialist. He participated in many projects including the ones for overseas agricultural producers. Vitaliy confesses that he had to learn designing elevators by doing.
Vitaliy Danilov, Project Engineer of TORNUM LLC Ukraine, about working for the company
One of the most memorable moments for Vitaliy was working on the project for the Romanian colleagues. The Ukrainian team got the elevator drawing and they were supposed to complete it with a gravity flow system.
The challenge was that this system was the last part of the project. It already included transportation equipment, passages, stairs, doors and windows. The gravity flow system was not to cross all of that. When we work on a project in Ukraine, we design it from beginning to end. The design was almost done, we needed to fill it in with the missing element. In the end, everything was assembled just right and it works really well which makes me as an engineer very happy,
— says Vitaliy.
Vitaliy admits that there were many interesting projects over his career. That list is growing longer every week. Being an engineer, he is primarily interested in innovative solutions, like the one his team designed for LLC "SP Agroprommash" in Myrcha (Kyiv region).
In the future, he intends to stick to the faster–better– stronger –more scheme. Mr. Danilov is always willing to share his experience with those who need it.
A 3D models creator
Andrei Gavrysh is a project engineer at LLC TORNUM Ukraine. He joined the team at the end of October 2014 and went to an elevator field trip AgroExpedition organized by Elevatorist.com in partnership with TORNUM.
It was a baptism by fire. I started my work here with a practical mastering of elevators,
— recalls the specialist with a smile.
Andrei graduated from National Aviation University with honors majoring in Gas turbines.
I had to retrain a little and ask my colleagues – two Vitaliys – a lot of questions. They eagerly shared knowledge with me. My desk is placed between theirs, so all information flows by me in either direction," laughs Andrei, "On a serious note, it is easy to get any technical information from anyone, including the General Manager, in TORNUM. I used to work for a state project institute, it wasn't like that there.
Seeing Vitaliy at work, we have realized that not only the location of his desk and the information flow between Vitaliys make his workspace special. It is also his desk.
I use this desk to work on drawings and 3D models of elevators. It was brought here from Sweden. By simply pushing a button, I can lift it up and work standing or lower it down and continue working sitting. It is very comfy. This way there are no back or leg cramps. I manage to do more during the day compared to when I work at a regular desk. I stay healthy, and the company and customers get more quality projects,
— explains project engineer Andrei Gavrysh smiling
During the three years he has been on the team, Andrei worked on many projects. Working for the company gives him much positive experience.
The latest interesting project was for LLC Rentcom. It is extremely pleasant to see your 3D model come alive. Rentcom is going to build 2nd and 3rd phases of grain storage elevators outlined in the project. When I come to the location and look around, I know where the dryer or the cleaning machine will be because I designed and calculated all that. I created a 3D model of it all,
— says Andrei Gavrysh.
Andrei Gavrysh, Project Engineer of TORNUM LLC Ukraine, about an elevator project creation
Communication is power
To upgrade its customer relations, LLC TORNUM Ukraine hired a sales representative. Meet Aleksei Drozdov, deputy director.
Aleksei has been holding the position for half a year but he has a vast experience. He graduated from Kyiv International University with a degree in International Public Relations. He also obtained a second degree in Intelligent Decision Making Systems from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Besides, he has over 8.5 years of experience in sales.
Aleksei used to work in the building industry but decided to switch to the agricultural industry as a more promising one.
Andrei's clients include large agricultural holdings and small farms.
Our company has a wide range of equipment which fits different purposes. The variety is so large that every agricultural holding or farm of any size can find something suitable,
— assures Aleksei smiling.
He says he always tries to create positive relations with clients so they want to tell their colleagues about their excellent experience with the company.
Among such satisfied TORNUM clients is the owner of Druzhba elevator in Poltava region. Aleksei often takes potential customers who want to see elevators in action to his facility.
Aleksei Drozdov, Deputy Director of TORNUM LLC Ukraine, about clients
The most mistrustful customers are offered a trip to the factory in Sweden.
Nowadays markets overflow with Chinese merchandise. Many people simply cannot believe that all TORNUM equipment is manufactured in Sweden. We take them to the plant, they see the manufacturing process of dryers and conveyers, how the shipment overseas is arranged etc. These trips give people more reasons to choose our equipment,
— tells Aleksei Drozdov.
TORNUM plans on modernization and digitalization
TORNUM is one of the few world companies focused on constant improvement of its product. Special attention is being payed to IT.
Digitalization is the new trend on the elevator market. TORNUM is moving in that direction. We will implement fuller and more flexible technological solutions in automation, inspection and management. TORNUM has been working on it for a while. Intelligent dryer control systems have already appeared on the world market but the company has developed new innovative systems which will soon hit the market,
— promised Vyacheslav Kovalenko.
Apart from that, according to Mr. Kovalenko, TORNUM will modernize its factory equipment this year. It was planned 15 years ago. Despite the fact that the machinery is not yet outdated, it will be replaced with modernized models. This will take the quality of the products to a new level.
If you want to see it for yourself and meet the LLC TORNUM Ukraine team in person, come to visit the company's stand 33 V at the international exhibition "Grain Tech Expo" on February 21-23, 2018 in Kiev. The TORNUM team will be happy to talk to you about the company and its projects.