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Case: Moelven

Good day-to-day dialogue – the key to stable collaboration

At Moelven, working with us saves money. It also makes production more efficient, as each machine is matched with the right lubricant and the right expertise. This has laid the foundation for a partnership in which day-to-day dialogue is pivotal.

Moelven have been working with us for 15 years. During that time we have been the sole supplier of lubricants for their plants in Norway and Sweden.

“We are one of Europe’s biggest woodworking companies, working with sawn and planed wood products, panels, beading, glulam, construction timber, modular concepts and much more,” says Per Børke, Logistics Director at Moelven.

Technical knowledge vital
In the collaboration products are delivered to some 40 plants in Sweden and Norway, and around 20 of these are sawmills and planing mills.

“Lubricants are vital in our machinery, and that’s why we’ve chosen a supplier who knows our industry and the needs we have at Moelven. We also want to work with someone who has their own engineers and specialists,” says Per.

When it comes to quality, he stresses the significance of good products and a high level of service. In concrete terms this could entail products with a longer life, and engineers who use their knowledge to minimise the risk of downtime.

Nowadays chain oils for sawmills are by far the biggest product, accounting for roughly half of delivery volumes. Other major products are hydraulic oils and transmissions oils.

“Under our agreement, we also carry out regular follow-ups on each unit. We review the lubrication schedule and procedures, and generally make sure the work process is rational,” says FUCHS’s Key Account Manager, Thorsten Korsmo.

“One example relates to the range, where we work together to bring the number of products down. The aim is to achieve a small, effective range that virtually any sawmill can use,” says Lars Alsterbo, a FUCHS Sales Engineer.

“We also work on energy savings, for example by switching to synthetic oils in the many gears found in a sawmill,” he continues. “This makes the gears run more easily and use less energy, particularly during the winter.”

Regular technical meetings are on the agenda, and these are attended by application engineers and other specialists who answer questions and make sure everything’s working.

“We recently also carried out customised training for new personnel at some of Moelven’s Swedish sawmills. Here too we focused on their practical issues, but also based the training on the Lubrication Academy we offer to all customers,” says Lars.

Dialogue is vital
Everyone agrees that dialogue between the companies is an important key to a functioning collaboration.

“It’s important to take a giving attitude, as you get so much back. That way, an everyday customer relationship can develop into more of a partnership,” says Lars. “I also try always to be available so that the people at Moelven can reach me if they ever have a question, even during evenings and weekends.”

Per Børke highlights the knowledge and experience of each employee.

“They’ve helped to build strong relations with Moelven,” he says. “The way our contracts are managed is also positive and builds trust.”

Thorsten Korsmo says that the companies have linear organisations which makes contact easier. And what’s more, both Moelven and FUCHS take a long-term view of the collaboration.

“Last but not least, openness is important. By that I mean we don’t have secrets, we keep each other updated about what’s going on,” he says.

The close dialogue paves the way for efficiencies and other improvements that save time and money for Moelven.

“On several occasions we’ve had products suggested that have reduced costs,” says Per. “And when we need it, FUCHS help us to identify the products that are best for the environment.”

He also mentions the importance of delivery times in ensuring the collaboration is friction-free. This was a matter that caused some concern a few years ago, when lubricant production in Norway was being closed down and relocated to Sweden. How would that affect Moelven?

“But looking back, everything has worked fine,” says Per Børke. “Thanks to the logistical solutions, we have the same availability and delivery times as before.”

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