POLES APARTWhat’s up in Poland? A leading automotive company is craving machining expertise, students create a solar powered boat and cross-border collaborations with Russia and Ukraine benefits customers.
SUN AND EXPERTISE — THE ONLY POWER YOU NEED
Students from Poland have won third place in the Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge with a solar-powered vessel they created with the help of Seco.
The students belong to Krakow’s AGH University of Science and Technology, from eight different faculties. The six-meter solar boat that they created for the competition in Monaco, one of the most prestigious solar boat events in the world, is powered exclusively by solar energy, made using carbon composite technology.
“Monaco Solar&Electric Boat Challange is a great adventure that helps us to combine the passion of sailing and renewable energy. It becomes more unique when created in cooperation with the top specialists and companies,” says Monika Wolny, project coordinator for AGH Solar Boat.
The redesign of the propulsion system and its cooling, which required a complicated aluminum machining process, involved close cooperation and consultation with numerous Seco technologists in Warsaw, including Technical Director Janusz Walczak.
“The cooperation with the students from the team shows the way we approach our customers, share knowledge and engage in projects,” says Walczak. “And thanks to such activity, future engineers will be able to work for the industry more confidently, bringing with them gained experience and practical knowledge of process design, machining methods and tools.”
CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION
Customers are now enjoying a more tailored and informed service thanks to the collaboration between Seco’s diverse teams in Poland, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
When Seco Tools Poland became part of the market consisting of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan two years ago, it opened up key opportunities for cross-border cooperation.
Konstantine Nazarov Nenno, responsible for the region at Seco in Poland, says: “In general, this means that our customers are now served by a larger team of professionals with a much broader range of experience, both in terms of the products and various metalcutting operations they have worked with.”
Seco Poland’s office and technical center has been made the hub for customer events dedicated to product demonstrations and sales. This has helped to facilitate the company’s interaction with customers, which has been difficult elsewhere in this market owing to the cooperation and travel restrictions having been applied recently to the former Soviet countries.
This is good news for any customer who has been prevented from meeting the Seco team for a period.
“Customers, distributors and MTB (Machine Tool Builders) from these various countries have been welcomed to attend live demos and product presentations jointly prepared by colleagues in different countries,” says Nazarov Nenno.
Close cooperation between Seco’s Polish operation and a local MTB that exports machines to Ukraine has also enabled Seco to tailor its service to the particular needs of customers in Ukraine.
“These customers are informed of the details of these tool projects from an early stage, and remain involved from beginning to end,” says Nazarov Nenno.
Seco Poland has in turn received help in building its distribution network from Russian and Ukrainian staff with extensive experience of working with distributors.
“This has opened up new horizons for distributor incentives in Poland,” says Nazarov Nenno.
EXPERT SQUAD AT AUTO PLAYER
With the help of an expert team from Seco, American Axle & Manufacturing has gained shorter processing times and production costs.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), a global manufacturer in the automotive industry, manufactures complete drive transmission systems, with most of its production processes associated with machining.
Earlier in 2018 AAM was recognized with the Jaguar Land Rover Supplier Excellence award for the company’s contribution to the automaker’s business. AAM produces axles for the Jaguar F-PACE, XE and XF and the Range Rover Velar.
Since 2014, Seco has been the main supplier of technologies and tools for AAM’s Jaguar Land Rover projects in Poland, involving the production of differentials for SUV and sedan cars.
Seco selected tools, designed and optimized technological processes and developed machining programs — resulting in a reduction of AAM’s processing times and production costs. A team of dedicated technical staff, including ISO and MDT turning tool and advanced cutting tool experts also helped AAM out.
“Seco provides complete and high-quality technical support,” says AAM Engineer Bartosz Browarny. “They are willing to share experience and knowledge about cutting tools. We can always expect professional help in solving problems.”
While Krzysztof Maciuszek, AAM Tool Rental Manager, adds, “Seco tool suppliers have shown a constant commitment to ensuring smooth production and meeting challenges. Seco is distinguished by high technical support and problem solving.”
AAM employees also underwent training programs to help raise their qualification profiles and provide them with a better understanding of processes and the proper use of tools.
“Constant changes in technology and processed materials, and the need to optimize production is a big challenge for engineers in our plant,” says Maciuszek. “Seco training allows us to gain knowledge thanks to which it is easier for us to meet these requirements.”
One of the major successes we had in Poland the past couple of years is winning American Axle & Manufacturing. That was done via extensive tests, price/performance analysis, DCR’s (Document Cost Reduction)etc., which allowed us to achieve a leading share in their local production in Poland and secure it for many years ahead.