Komatsu Forest Invests in Northern Sweden

Komatsu Forest in Umeå, Sweden, is implementing one of its largest investments in industrial Sweden – a future-proof factory in large format, with a focus on sustainable production. The company’s investment aims to further strengthen the region’s position as a leader in the field of forest technology.

“The forest industry is an industry for the future. The next decade we see how new innovative and climate-smart products will be produced from wood fibre. We want to invest in the future and see that the best conditions for us to do so are in Umeå, says Martin Ärlestig, factory manager Komatsu Forest.

Komatsu Forest has both headquarters and manufacturing in Umeå, where approximately 530 of the company’s employees are located. The new factory will be built on the industrial area Klockarbäcken in the outskirts of the city and the company has done a thorough feasibility study to assess the entire project, including construction and transfer of operations while keeping the high productivity levels intact.

The start of construction is estimated to be May 2019, with the factory likely finished and inaugurated in 2021. The factory will be a unique landmark, with its nearly 40,000m2 divided into an production area on two floors and an associated office building in six floors.

“We will build a future-proof factory, where we can lay the foundation for the next generation of forest machines. In the new premises, we will be able to accommodate both production and development. We are investing in a factory that meets our needs here and now, but also gives us room to grow for the future,” says Martin Ärlestig.

The factory is one of the largest investments in industrial Sweden right now and will have a strong focus on sustainability and IoT. The factory will be carbon neutral in its production, which is achieved through efficient energy supply with solar panels, modern building techniques and geo energy. The location at Klockarbäcken in Umeå is also an important factor, since the proximity to the railway means that an increased share of the company’s goods can be transported by rail.

As for IoT, Komatsu Forest will take a step towards the fourth-generation industry, where the company’s manufacturing process will be connected.

“This means many advantages, including that we can monitor quality, availability and safety in detail and that customers will experience higher flexibility and shorter lead time,” says Martin Ärlestig.

The ambition is also that the new factory will further strengthen the region’s position as a leader in the field of forest technology.

“We are convinced that the initiative will yield regional, national and international footprints in several areas,” Ärlestig concludes.