More than 400 people attended the inauguration of Manitowoc’s new factory in last week in Brazil. The facility is located in Passo Fundo and is the company’s first crane factory in Latin America.
The factory will initially manufacture a range of Grove rough-terrain cranes. The cranes produced at Passo Fundo will comprise 30 percent locally-sourced components with the other 70 percent imported from the United States. Manitowoc said its goal is to reverse these figures over the next three years. Currently, 55 staff members are employed full-time at the facility.
Manufacturing will begin in mid-April, and the first deliveries from the factory will take place in mid-June. The design of the factory is tailored to local manufacturing methods and materials, but it also includes operational elements and best practices from Manitowoc’s other Grove production sites in Shady Grove, Pa., and Niella Tanaro, Italy.
Heading up the new factory is Mauro Nunes da Silva, general manager of operations. He said the biggest challenge in preparing the factory was the short timeline for construction.
“Once we received local government approval to build our factory in Passo Fundo, we wanted to start making cranes as soon as possible,” he said. “Overall, it’s been less than 12 months between the signing of initial agreements and this inauguration. The construction timeline was very tight, and we encountered delays from severe weather along the way. But we achieved our timetable and it’s all thanks to the fantastic efforts of the team here.”
Nunes da Silva joined Manitowoc in 2006 serving in roles in finance and control before taking on the job at Passo Fundo. He said the goal of the new factory and its team is to continue to strengthen Manitowoc’s reputation in the local market.