Moventas is geared up for success

Moventas is one of the world’s leading suppliers of mechanical power transmission technology to the energy and process industries, focusing primarily on wind gears and industrial gears.

It aims to enhance the reliability and value of its customers’ production machinery through the provision of customised solutions and after market services.

“We have two main business areas,” explains Ilkka Hakala, president and chief executive officer. “One is focused on the wind turbine industry, in which we are a leading gearbox manufacturer and count most of the key players in wind turbine manufacturing as customers. The second area is specialised in the industrial gear business with many applications, for instance in pulp and paper industry, mining and minerals, renewable energy, cement, sugar, and water treatment plants. We supply highly customised mechanical transmission gearboxes for different industrial applications, and provide services throughout the whole lifetime of each product.”

Established in April 2005 when Metso Corporation sold the company to funds managed by CapMan, the company has decades of experience in mechanical power transmission and Moventas continues this long history of customer focused services and cutting-edge expertise set out by its predecessors, Metso Drives, Santasalo, Valmet Power Transmission and Sauerwald. A private equity investor, Industri Kapital, acquired the majority of Moventas in 2007 and the company operates in nine sites across Finland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, the US, and Singapore.

Moventas is known in the wind power industry for providing reliable power-transmission solutions in wind turbines all over the world. Its wind gears are characterised by low noise and vibration levels, which have been minimised by analysing tooth parameters, tooth modification and housing design, and combined with high quality materials and advanced production techniques FE analysis and on-site testing by means of modal analysis are used to eliminate any harmful resonance from the gear housing and to achieve smooth noise spectrum.

The company has invested 100 million euros over the past year developing products and machinery, and improvements will continue throughout 2007. “We have started to grow fairly aggressively and we need to make sure that we have adequate capacity to meet the demand,” says Ilkka. “We invested in all our bottleneck areas starting with assembly and testing facilities and then moved onto the entire key component manufacturing equipment, heat treatment, grinding, and so forth. Quality measurement equipment was part of the investment programme, so the improvements are raising our capabilities to deliver according to the customers’ demands.”

As a world-leading company, Moventas knows the importance of understanding the way in which gearboxes operate under both static and dynamic loading conditions, and its reliable solutions are a result of its complete examination of tooth contact in all loading conditions. For wind turbine applications, the company focuses particularly on predicting the dynamic behaviour of the meshes and understanding extreme loads. Field measurements and prototype tests in Moventas’ modern testing facilities of up to six-megawatt class ensure that the company has a thorough indepth knowledge of wind turbine operations.

Moventas has recently signed a 150 million euro supply agreement for substantial deliveries of wind turbine gearboxes to Spanish turbine manufacturer Acciona Windpower. The contract signifies Acciona’s faith in Moventas as a manufacturer of reliable, technically advanced gearboxes and the three-year agreement will strengthen the longterm partnership that started in 2003 when Acciona first began turbine production.

The company’s strategy emphasises strong growth in the service and after market business. In 2006, net sales amounted to 207 million euros and Moventas aims to double that figure by 2010 in order to support sustainable profit development and to further strengthen its global position. It offers services aimed at long-term maintenance from application engineering of new machinery to modernisation projects, and Moventas’ service covers the entire lifecycle of its power transmission equipment.

The ongoing success of the company depends heavily on R&D, says Ilkka: “Moventas is founded on offering high-quality products for highly specialised and demanding applications so in that sense R&D is our core competency. We understand the customer processes and the value chain so we can adjust our products accordingly to what customers need. We also have special features, which are designed to make our products more reliable and durable, and we are developing more intelligent products that mean diagnostic capabilities will become a larger part of our product offering.”

Moventas’ competence stretches to creating customised solutions, developed to exact specifications. Ilkka says: “Our whole strategic approach is value creation so when we are serving our customers the main aim is how we can add value to their business. We are not producing huge volumes of standardised products – our products are more customised to certain applications, so it’s very important that we understand the customer, which is why we focus operations on selected sectors.”

Ilkka believes that Moventas’ primary strength is its attention to customer satisfaction, which extends beyond initial contact into a long-term strategy: “Firstly, I think that our customer orientated approach sets us apart from our competitors and that kind of philosophy or attitude is very important. The service minded way in which we operate means that we support customers throughout the whole product lifetime. Another fundamental strength is our ability to consistently produce quality products and our ongoing top priority is to ensure we have skilful people, highquality key components and sufficient capabilities to continue supplying year-on-year.”

In terms of future plans, Ilkka thinks the company is in a good position to expand: “I believe that all of the sectors in which we are involved show good growth potential, but in particular the wind turbine sector is growing tremendously and this will be a long-term trend. The market is very active and we will continue to capitalise on all different possibilities, as well as provide added value to our customers. Our aim is to strengthen our position in our selected sectors to become an even stronger leading player and a major component supplier of those industries. Moventas is a fairly new name but it is based on a long history and we’re aiming to build upon excellent past practices to succeed long into the future.”

Products: Mechanical power transmission technology
Sites: Finland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, USA and Singapore.
Employees: 1000