Speaking at the opening, Manitowoc CEO Glen Tellock explained that the new plant would play a role in bringing MCG closer to its customers: “Two of our core goals are to achieve manufacturing excellence and differentiate ourselves through customer proximity. That means establishing premium manufacturing processes and providing close and dedicated sales and service support. You will find both here at Baltar.

“Three new models have been produced in Portugal these past three years. That has caused to an upsurge in demand and we are adjusting our manufacturing capability accordingly. We have invested heavily in customer service and sales provision to ensure we have the on-the-ground support our customers deserve.”

Operations at Baltar, and its sister plant, Fanzeres, will be split into upstream and downstream functions. Baltar will handle upstream tasks such as cutting and welding, and Fanzeres will be responsible for downstream functions, including painting, assembly, testing and shipping.

The new plant will also be the Europe, Middle East and Africa centre of excellence for the company’s EnCORE repair and refurbishment programme for tower cranes and self erectors. The programme is designed to allow customers to extend the working life of their cranes. The EnCORE facility at Baltar will cover 7,500 sq m and includes seven work stations, and separate testing zones for self erectors and top slewing towers. It can refurbish complete cranes, mast sections, motors and reduction gear boxes.

Potain’s new Baltar plant Potain Baltar Inside Potain’s new Baltar plant Inside Baltar