Innovation and high tech drive success for Polish trailer manufacturer
Wielton is the leading trailer manufacturer in Poland and the fifth largest in Europe. Back in 1997, the company crossed paths with SSAB, beginning a long-term collaboration focused on technological advances in product development. With SSAB’s high-strength steels, the company can produce 8,000 truck bodies and trailers per year, up from 4,000 since switching to SSAB’s steels.
Located in the small town of Wieluń in southwestern Poland, Wielton was founded in 1991 as a small trading company. In 1996, it started producing its own trailers and steadily began to grow and expand its product portfolio. The Wielton logo proudly sports a camel, symbolizing the animal’s strength, endurance and ability to carry heavy loads over long distances.
2007 saw the beginning of a new era for the company as it became listed on the Polish stock exchange. The high-strength-steel it used became even thinner and stronger. At the same time, Wielton invested in new, modern equipment in order to increase the volume and quality of its products in an efficient way.
“Our main challenges are lean production and to develop lightweight vehicles that can accommodate higher loading volumes,” says Andrzej Szczepek, chief executive. “To achieve this, we cooperate with suppliers and with leading polish technical universities. Innovation is crucial for market leadership — that's why we invest heavily in our R&D department.”
“In 2011, we signed a consignment-stock agreement, which has facilitated our access to the products and steel types we require and enables us to react faster and with shorter lead time in a volatile market environment,” states Szczepek.
Development at Wielton never stands still. In fact, together with SSAB it recently developed a new tipper using Docol 1000 DP. By using this steel and its specially designed side-wall shape (the design is patented), Wielton can now produce an even stronger product.
“Before, we produced the side walls out of several sheets, but with this Docol 1000 DP we reduced the number of sheets to just one,” says Bartosz Strugacz, purchasing manager at Wielton. “So far we’ve sold almost over 70 pieces, and the interest is big in this product.”