Loader crane manufacturer Palfinger has announced a two-year reorganisation plan which moves production away from group headquarters.

The so-called location optimisation programme involves the relocation of medium-weight crane assembly to the crane element factory in Lengau, Upper Austria, and centralisation of cylinder production in Bulgaria. These measures are aimed at achieving annual cost savings of Euro 10m.

Medium-weight cranes, rated between 10tm and 32tm, are currently assembled at the group headquarters site in Bergheim, on the outskirts of Salzburg. Spare part stores, the Palfinger Equipment Centre, service centres, distribution stores and centres are located at rented sites.

Under the reorganisation, a new after-sales and service centre is being built at Bergheim. When the project is completed the headquarters will be home to after-sales service, marketing, R&D, and a demonstration and training centre. Crane assembly and dispatch will be moved to Lengau where sub-assemblies like the extension systems and knuckle booms are made.

The relocation programme will turn Lengau in the group’s central crane production facility. Palfinger expects that concentrating production, assembly, surface treatment and dispatch in the group’s highest-volume segment at a single site will save costs and improve internal systems for order processing.

The production of hydraulic cylinders, currently located in Lengau and Caussade in France, will move to Bulgaria. Production of the tailboards will be outsourced. Spare parts administration is being moved from Lengau to the spare parts stores in Bergheim.

The group’s other sites will be largely unaffected by this programme. Heavy cranes and special hydraulic systems like the railway equipment, Mobiler container handling systems and Crayler truck-mounted forklifts remain in Köstendorf. The production of light cranes will continue to take place in Cadelbosco, Italy, and the production of all hook loaders in Caussade. Production of the agricultural and forestry cranes remains in Elsbethen, Salzburg. Maribor will continue to specialise in mechanical crane components and preassembly.

Implementation of the project is planned to be concluded in December 2003.