INA Lanškroun is a 100% owned subsidiary of the German Schaeffler Group. Schaeffler is a family-owned enterprise that develops and manufactures precision products for everything that moves – in machines, equipment and vehicles as well as in aviation and aerospace applications. The company was founded by Wilhelm and Georg Schaeffler in 1946 and since then has advanced to become a world-leading manufacturer of bearings and a renowned supplier to the global automotive industry – with three recognized brands: INA, LuK and FAG.
“The INA brand achieved an industrial breakthrough in 1949 with the development of the needle roller and cage assembly,” explains Jan Golán, managing director of INA Lanškroun. “Today, almost every modern passenger car contains INA engine and transmission components.” Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Schaeffler employs more than 79,000 people at over 170 production, research and development, engineering and sales locations in 49 countries across the globe. In 2013, the publiclytraded company turned over 11.2 billion EUR.
Schaeffler is divided into two divisions: Automotive and Industrial. The Automotive division offers a wide range of products both for OEMs and the aftermarket, including everything from energy efficient solutions for conventional drive trains with internal combustion engines and products for hybrid vehicles through to components for all-electric vehicles. The Industrial division supplies rolling bearing and plain bearing solutions and linear and direct drive technology for approximately 60 different industrial application sectors.
The portfolio comprises more than 225,000 products, ranging from miniature bearings for dental drills to large size bearings for wind turbines. The Industrial division includes an Aerospace business unit which manufactures high-precision bearings for aeroplanes, helicopters and rocket engines.
INA Lanškroun is a pure manufacturing location specialized in tool making and plastic components for the Group’s other production facilities. The company was established in 1999 and started with a workforce of 165. “Since then, we have grown to 550 employees,” says Mr. Golán. “We are going to hire another 100 in 2014/2015, and within the next five years, the objective is to increase the number of staff to 800.”
INA Lanškroun generates sales of one billion CZK, or approximately 25 million EUR. In addition to custom-engineered tools and high-quality plastic parts for internal production requirements, the company manufactures thermo-management modules for an external customer. “We took up the production of thermo-management modules in 2013 which we supply on an exclusive basis directly to Audi in Germany,” states Mr. Golán. Just like the tool making and plastic parts business units, the thermo management segment is benefiting from growing demand from the automotive industry. “Though we have just started the new product segment, there are already a number of other car manufacturers other than Audi showing their interest in sourcing thermo-management modules from us,” says Mr. Golán.
The tools and plastic components supplied by INA Lanškroun are not only used for automotive applications. “They are used for everything that moves, from cars and commercial vehicles to industrial machines and aircraft,” states Mr. Golán. Currently, tool making and plastic components account for 90% of the company’s overall sales. But this might change if INA Lanškroun is successful in winning additional customers for its new business unit. The manufacturing plant in Lanškroun is equipped with Europe’s most up-to-date tool making facilities and offers the latest production technologies – thanks to comprehensive investments in the plant in recent years. 200 people are employed in the tool-making division.
“With manufacturing tolerances of a mere 2 μ, we guarantee highest levels of precision and quality,” explains Mr. Golán. Besides state-of-the-art equipment, INA Lanškroun offers two further strengths: an excellent reputation as a high-precision manufacturer and the company’s highly qualified and motivated staff. “Our skilled employees are our most important asset,” says Mr. Golán. “This is because it takes five to seven years until a trained worker knows everything through and through.”
In hiring new staff, INA Lanškroun cooperates with various technical universities in the Czech Republic to ensure it keeps abreast of the latest technological developments in both tool-making and plastic processing. And to keep in line with growing demand, the Czech Schaeffler subsidiary has plans to significantly expand the plant in Lanškroun. “We shall purchase additional machinery and also build a completely new production hall,” states Mr. Golán.