Wielton, like many other Polish companies have become successful because they have dared to invest.
“Wielton, as it looks today, was formed barely twelve years ago when a few people decided to start making truck bodies and trailers in-house. Prior to that, Wielton was a small company that repaired truck bodies and trailers,” said Bartosz Strugacz, purchasing manager at Wielton.
The company is today Poland's largest manufacturer of truck bodies and trailers. At the facility in Wielun, located in southwestern Poland, 700 units for six different segments are completed every month. That is 8,000 truck bodies and trailers per year. The majority, 70 percent, is exported mainly to neighboring countries.
Wielton has used SSAB's high strength steel in their products since the inception. Mainly Domex but also Docol, Hardox and Weldox.
“We sell about 5,000 tons to Wielton per year. More than half is Domex, followed by Hardox, both heavy plate and strip products,” said Lukasz Piechal, regional sales manager for SSAB in Poland.
The facility in Wielun currently employs more than a thousand people, the production runs around the clock except for three shifts, the Sunday shifts.
Wielton use subcontractors for cutting and bending, but manufactures in-house. The storage facility is large and well stocked. The cutting of the plates takes place in the first hall. In the next hall, the air is thick with welding smoke and the noise level is pretty high. This is where the various truck bodies are built. In the third hall, the truck bodies are painted in large chambers. There are also robots that weld.
Wielton almost doubled its production in the last two years and has thus outgrown their premises, which is clearly visible outside where truck bodies awaiting painting are lined up between aisles of axles in storage.
SSAB's high strength steel is used in all truck bodies and trailers that Wielton manufactures. Domex is used both in the supporting parts of the trailer frame and the walls of different kinds of truck bodies like beds and tippers. Hardox is used, among other things, for the bottoms for tippers.
“Wielton's business idea is simple, it's about meeting the customers' high demands and that is where SSAB's high strength steels play an important role,” said Maciej Kaczor, head of the design department at Wielton, and continued.
“In addition to that we can reduce our products' weight considerably by using high strength steels; they become stronger and last longer. Moreover, we can reduce welding and have a more efficient production.”
Wielton works closely with both Tech Support and the Knowledge Service Center, mainly for welding. Anders Ivarson, welding specialist at the Knowledge Service Center, assists regularly with his expertise.
“This involves both evaluating and analyzing weld samples that Wielton has done, as well as holding seminars on site for their welding engineers,” Ivarson said.
Maciej Kaczor agrees and believes that the close cooperation with SSAB is a critical factor for Wielton's success.