Sandvik Mining and Construction manufactures underground loading and transport equipment in their Turku factory with over 700 professionals. During the aftermath of COVID-19 at the beginning of the year 2021, the volume of orders reached its previous record – and so did the need for new partners. ‘Stairon is flexible and has premises that are easy to adapt to our needs, as well as strong references from the industry,’ says Sandvik’s production manager Esa-Pekka Kantola, who is responsible for the subcontracting of the final assembly. 

It is often thought that collaboration creates something new, but this time the goal is the opposite: Stairon’s task is to dismantle a brand-new machine that has arrived from Sandvik’s main factory, pack up the components and deliver them to the end customer. 

‘So far, Stairon has successfully disassembled six machines for us and reassembled one. Because underground mines don’t always have a ramp for vehicles to drive into the mine, the equipment must first be disassembled and then lowered by cranes into the shaft. It’s also vital for product testing and quality assurance to have the machine reassembled once at the factory,’ Mr Kantola clarifies. 

An adaptable and trustworthy partner

The opportunities to receive support for manufacture have been ideal for Sandvik when both companies operate in the same city. 

‘No one is ready to work in this profession straight from school – you have to be prepared to familiarise yourself with the details. I’ve noticed that the people at Stairon have applied skills they’ve gained from their time with Valmet and experience in handling large components.’ 

During the year of collaboration, there have been situations where the customer has suddenly changed, and the machine has had to be rebuilt. 

‘In this field, it’s necessary to have an absolutely flexible and adaptable partner who knows how to communicate what they are doing, how the project is proceeding, and if something changes along way. Trust and continuity are born of finishing work on time,’ Mr Kantola emphasises. 

Preparing and equipping for the future 

Stairon is currently working on finishing a reassembly and packing job that will be delivered to the customer in a few weeks. The volume of work Sandvik sends to Stairon has steadily increased. 

‘Courage, adaptability and a continuous hunger for learning are the cornerstones of being a successful industrial professional. Sandvik and Stairon’s modes of operation are a unique combination of these three traits. I thank our customer for their trust, and I have faith that our strong co-operation will continue,’ says Stairon’s sales manager, Antti Reivonen. During his career, he has also gained experience in the quality assessment and process development related to heavy mining machinery manufacture. 

Depending on the market situation, the shared goal for the future is to grow operations and make use of Stairon employees’ multiple skills in, for example, outfitting as well as rebuilding and manufacture. 

‘One of the best things about Stairon is that in addition to being flexible, they are goal-oriented and eager to work with us by developing their expert services on a long-term basis,” Esa-Pekka Kantola concludes. 

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