Issue Issue 1 2008
Caldaro handles everything
Formed over 15 years ago, Caldaro has expanded to become a major global supplier of customer-adapted control components, to a number of industrial sectors.
Initially part of Bergman and Beving AB, the business grew out of a background in distribution to become a leading OEM supplier of specialised equipment, such as handles, joysticks, pedals touch panels, and sensors. In 2001, Bergman and Beving AB were divided into three groups and Caldaro then became a member of the Addtech group, and began to focus on working closely both with suppliers of technology and end customers, to manufacture high quality, bespoke control solutions.
Primarily located in Scandinavia, the UK and Germany, Caldaro is a renowned adaptor of technology that senses human movement, with the focus on industries that need to establish a connection between man and machine. The company is a recognised producer of customeradapted handles that meet the exact specifications of clients. For example, this approach can be seen in the Viper range that Caldaro developed and released at Bauma 2004, which was designed in conjunction with some of the company’s clients. The organisation has been named as OEM Supplier of the Year many times, and is certified to ISO 9001 and 14001 levels.
Managing director Stefan Aase outlines the growth of the business, and some of the major customers that it works with: “Caldaro was founded in 1993, and we are now part of the Addtech Group. We started as a distributing agent, and from this we have developed into a company that sells value-added solutions, as well as products that we have created ourselves. One of the major customers that Caldaro works with is the John Deere Group, and many of our product solutions are used on the forwarders that they manufacture. They also use our control technology on their range of foresting equipment. In addition, we work with Komatsu UK in developing technology for their range of construction machinery. Finally, another major client that we work with is the BT Toyota Group, in regards to their material handling machinery. These are the three of the main companies that the Caldaro works with, but we also have clients in the offshore, maritime, and medical industrial sectors.
“A normal project that we undertake alongside a customer takes around three to five years,” Stefan continues. “Around 60 to 70 per cent of our products are manufactured in Japan, and we work closely with them to ascertain that we are using and acquiring the right technology. We also have production partners with facilities located in some of the Baltic States, as well as one situated in Sweden. Caldaro mainly deals with high-end suppliers, so we always look for the people that we work with to have quality technology on offer. Technical ability is always an important factor in deciding which companies to work with in developing a successful supply chain. Price is also influential, but technological range and quality are the main factors in choosing suppliers.”
Caldaro’s development from being a distributor to becoming a supplier to OEMs has resulted in the organisation creating its own research centre, as Stefan explains: “The company started as a distributor, but over the years, the need for our own research and development drive has increased significantly. A major part of the growth we have witnessed in revenue is directly linked to the amount of time and resources we have dedicated to innovation and research within the technology we adapt, and its use within industry. Of course efficiency will always be a major factor in how our operations are run – and our Japanese partners are the people who are concerned with manufacturing along specific efficiency guidelines. These techniques are also being implemented at the facilities both in the Baltic States and in Sweden.”
Stefan describes how Caldaro’s scope is focused across Europe: “The company mainly has business and export links across Scandinavia, the UK, and within Northern Europe. We have an office in Germany and UK that gives Caldaro an influential hold in Europe, and allows us to expand our operations in the Netherlands and the Benelux area. Depending on the market area concerned, we are established at a different level of penetration geographically. For example, in Scandinavia, we have a strong general position, and we are very near to dominating a number of market areas. In the UK and Europe, the situation is different, but I feel that through expanding geographically, we can become even more successful.”
The business attended Bauma 2007 in April, where it debuted many new pieces of equipment. Stefan comments on Caldaro’s presence at the exhibition: “We had many of our joystick grips and pedal technological innovations on display at Bauma 2007, as these are our main product ranges. Much of the research and innovation that had taken place over the previous years was on display at the exhibition, and the scope was very broad. The focus has always been on customising the existing technology of our clients’ product range, and to pass on these value-added adaptations to our customers. Bauma gave us a chance to highlight the many new projects we have been involved with, and the final products we have formulated – notably sensors, joysticks, and grips.”
Stefan concludes by describing what separates the business from its competitors in the market: “The main reason for Caldaro’s success is the quality of the products that we adapt. Equally, we pride ourselves on having our engineers available at all times to respond to the needs of our clients. This means that we are fully aware of all of the needs and requirements of specific industrial sectors, and can respond accordingly. We work very closely with all of our clients in producing customised solutions, and this means that they always receive exactly what they request. This approach to dealing with the demands of a number of markets has made us unique in comparison to our competitors.”
Products: Customer-adapted control components
Sites: Sweden, Germany and the UK
Employees: 17 (Sweden)