Source: eKapija | Sunday, 28.05.2017.| 19:07
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JLB-SOULIER to open new mechanical metal processing facility in Pirot in early June – Additional capacities to increase export

New JLB-SOULIER facility in Pirot
New JLB-SOULIER facility in Pirot
The Pirot-based JLB-SOULIER, one of the three factories within the French industrial group White Technologies, will open a new mechanical metal processing facility in this town in early June.

The new production facility is located in close proximity to the Tigar Tyres factory, which is one of the company’s biggest clients, and the newly built 2,500 m2 will considerably increase the capacities, allowing for increased export from the Pirot factory.

– Until now, we were renting a production hall in Pirot, but, considering the amount of work and the stability of the market, we’ve decided to build our own facility. We’ve already bought two new CNC machines of the Japanese manufacturer MAZAK. We have more than 20 such machines, and we will also equip the factory with a laser and a press in near future – Lazar Vujaklija, commercial representative of White Technologies, says for eKapija.

As our interviewee explains, the construction of the facility has been completed and it only remains to move in the machinery. Although the current needs can be met on 700-800 m2, our interviewee points out that the new facility has been built so that they would have room for future projects.

– The aim is for the factory to start producing early next month, and we are intensively working on commercial activities in cooperation with the consulting company Paxton Equity in order to find new clients. As we are the only foreign industrial group dealing in mechanical processing of metal locally, the Pirot factory wants to act as a low-cost/high-quality structure within the group, but also as a quality partner to companies in Serbia.

White Technologies has invested close to EUR 1.5 million in the construction of the new hall, as well as the new equipment and staff in Pirot, this year. Since they started producing in Serbia in 2012/13, their revenues have been constantly growing, but are still below what they could potentially be, Vujaklija says.

As he points out, even though they arrived to Serbia as a partner of Michelin’s Tigar Tyres factory for the production of spare parts for their machines, they’ve developed partnerships with other clients as well. JLB-SOULIER Pirot now cooperates successfully with other local companies, such as Alfa Plam, as well as a large number of foreign companies – Telsonic from Switzerland, Alstom...

Illustration
Illustration (Photo: bogdanhoda/shutterstock.com)
– We are doing business for numerous sectors, including energy, automotive industry, aviation industry and so on, and we hope that the new production space and machinery will enable us to produce even more for the foreign market. As a company based in Serbia, we have a strategic advantage when it comes to exporting to Russia, but we are also negotiating with several German companies looking for a quality low-cost producer in Europe. Our experience is that Asian companies are becoming less competitive, as Serbia is only a two hour’s flight away from most European cities, and the cultural similarities are making increasingly more companies choose eastern Europe.

Vujaklija adds that they see themselves as the best combination of the east and the west, providing the knowledge and the quality expected from a French company at prices competitive in the Serbian market.

– Our experience shows that big foreign companies producing in Serbia are looking for a foreign partner with local presence, which is exactly what White Technologies offers. The priority in the coming period will thereby be to develop the operations in Pirot. I remind that we are not a single factory, but a group, and that each client is therefore provided with the support of our French colleagues.

White Technologies has taken part in the recently finished Technics Fair in Belgrade, and, according to Vujaklija, they’ve made important contacts with several big companies.

The JLB-SOULIER factory in Pirot permanently employs 30 workers, and new employments are being planned.

– We are very satisfied with the knowledge, experience and professional attitude of the employees in Pirot and we expect that their number will increase considerably next year.

White Technologies has almost 70 years of experience in mechanical metal processing. They possess 120 machines, and the entire group has 80 employees.

I.B.

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