11/08/2011 | Editor: Marcel Dröttboom
Dunlop Conveyor Belting is bucking the trend by making the biggest single investment in its history. The new investments, totaling some EUR 6.4 million, are designed to increase current capacity as well as adding a brand new product to its range of rubber multi-ply belting.
Drachten, The Netherlands – The first phase, costing some EUR 2.5 million, is the addition of a new, 12-metre long ‘double-daylight’ press, which will produce rolls of up to 4 metres in diameter (20 tonnes) at a width of up to 1400 mm. Director of production, Michiel Eijpe, says that the press will be at least twice as efficient as current presses. “We urgently need to improve our capacity to keep up with customer demand, particularly our ability to make more 800 to 1400 mm wide belts,” explains Michiel.
The second part of the programme is an investment of EUR 3.9 million to build a new, 100-metre long production hall on the existing site. Here they plan to install a steelcord production line that will be linked to their newest press, which itself was only installed as recently as 2009. According to Dunlop, the new production line will be used to produce steelcord belting for the first time ever in Holland.
Although actual production is not expected to begin before September next year, Sales and marketing director Andries Smilda already has eyes on winning new market share. “This will create a whole new dimension to our sales efforts. A great many of our customers use steelcord as well as rubber multi-ply belting so we have a ready-made target market to attack”.
Up until now, supplies of steelcord belting for their existing customers have largely been produced by Fenner USA. “Although the quality is excellent ” explains Smilda, “The limitation on sales is mostly due to the shipping costs from North America, which puts us at an immediate price disadvantage. With our own steelcord production located in Europe we will be able to be much more aggressive and responsive”.
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