Lindfors tastes success
In the modern, high-speed food industry manufacturers demand continuously increased production rates, improved efficiency and the highest possible standards of hygiene.
To keep pace with these developments, the production times of the food processing chain must be reduced significantly. Antti Lindfors Oy plays a key role in providing the latest, high-quality processing machines and associated systems, which help customers throughout the food industry meet these demands.
Based in Kauhajoki in Finland, the business specialises in the rationalisation of production systems for the food industry. Antti Lindfors manufactures systems that maximise production output, increase operational reliability, and are easy to maintain and clean to maximise food hygiene. The company’s products are produced entirely from the highest quality stainless steel and specialist plastics, and developed in conjunction with individual customers requirements. Its products are used by customers in the meat, dairy, confectionery and fish processing industries.
Iiro Valtonen, sales manager at the business elaborates: “We have around 25 years experience in the industry, manufacturing equipment such as tray filling machines, box washing lines, cheese manufacturing devices, robots and conveyor systems. One of the key factors in our success is the high quality of all of our products.”
The company’s reputation throughout the industry is enhanced by the emphasis it puts on close co-operation, and long-term partnerships with its customers: “We have a very close partnership with Tetra Pak Tebel, where we design and produce brand name machines for cheese processing. In addition, we supply to a number of companies in Finland, including meat and dairy producers, and we have a close co-operation with a company in Germany that supplies machines to the meat industry.
“Customer service is extremely important to our business as nearly everything that we produce is tailor-made for a specific requirement,” Iiro continues. “This approach to our development process is one of our key strengths. We have a broad standard range of products, which we continuously develop and adapt.”
To further expand its operations, the company is looking to move into new markets in the future: “We are opening a new facility in Estonia in the coming months,” Iiro explains. “The site will initially comprise of around ten people, manufacturing simple, stainless steel core structures. However, in the following years we hope it will develop to have totally automated processes, and to take care of maintenance in the Baltic countries and Russia.
“There is also the possibility of us moving into additional markets,” he continues. “At present we are mainly operating in Europe, but we are looking to expand into Eastern Europe. We recently received our first cheese machine order from a Russian customer via Tetra Pak, and we hope that the site in Estonia will serve this market in next coming years. Many Finnish companies are now investing in the Baltic region and Russia, so there are some definite business opportunities there.”
Iiro stresses the significance of continuous product development in order to remain competitive: “It is extremely important to us, and we do a great deal of R&D work in conjunction with customers and government owned organisations, including the largest government owned research centre in Finland. Part of our important research is based around understanding hygienic food processing, which is one of the key focuses at the moment. There have also been recent developments in tray filling line technology, which has seen a boom in that particular market sector.”
Antti Lindfors is a leading manufacturer of cheese production machinery, including mould handling systems, cheese presses, mould storage and mould washing machines, fully automatic brining systems and packing equipment. The company’s production equipment is suitable for Feta, soft, semi-hard and hard cheeses, together with cottage cheese, and incorporates a high degree of automation.
Iiro elaborates on the current developments in the food industry: “I believe that there are a lot of opportunities at the moment. The last two or three years have been very tough in our business area, but it is stabilising, and I believe that this will continue. The main challenge that we face is that companies across Finland need to expand their business into the international arena, as the greatest developments are outside of the home market, particularly in the Baltic countries and Russia.
“Our chief plan for the future is to concentrate on forming strong partnerships with our customers and partners. We are still a relatively small business, with around 55 employees, so I think that with good partnerships, and close co-operation we can achieve a lot more business. Our relationships with our clients will be the key to our continued success, as we have around ten long term customers that have been with us since the company started, and we hope to be working closely with them into the future,” Iiro concludes.
Products: Food processing machines and systems
Sites: Finland, Estonia