Major investment promises product innovation and growth by Sanden Manufacturing

A manufacturing company based in Polkowice, south-west Poland has been able to introduce innovative technologies to its compressor production business thanks to a major investment from the ERDF. Sanden Manufacturing Poland (SMP) has used the funding to start up production of re-designed PX compressors for use in automotive air conditioning systems.

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In addition to helping the company innovate, the project promises to make SMP’s production line a catalyst for economic development in Lower Silesia, increasing the region’s competitiveness and income levels. More specifically, the investment provides a boost to the region’s automotive sector.

Expanding production

SMP manufactures refrigeration and ventilation equipment, as well as pumps and compressors. This investment allows the company to increase production capacity from 1.6 million to 2.8 million compressors per year; and 8.95 million to 25.24 million compressor components per year.

The project also allows for an expansion of the SMP research and development department. This will help the company to optimise production processes and ensure best selection of raw materials, which will improve overall product quality. In the longer term, the department also aims to develop and test new, environmentally friendly products.

Greater efficiencies

The new production lines and equipment paid for by this investment makes it possible for SMP to develop two innovative technologies. The installation of special spray heads ensures the efficient use of lower quantities of lubricants during the die-casting of compressor components. Meanwhile, applying new electro-servo drive technologies means that two pistons can be welded to the compressor head at the same time. This method is more efficient than other systems which can only handle one piston at a time.

The factory expansion and new technologies give SMP the opportunity to produce better quality compressors which are lighter and more reliable and need less fuel to run. For example, improvements to the die-casting of compressor components delivers harder, more resilient parts, which contributes to improving overall product quality. In addition, improving cylinder head production methods reduces noise disturbance from the new PX components.

The project has created around 250 new jobs, including 16 new research and development posts.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Introduction of innovative technologies to the production of compressors by Sanden Manufacturing Poland Sp. z o.o” is EUR 17 437 768, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 14 822 103 from the Operational Programme “Innovative Economy” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority “Investments in Innovative Undertakings”.

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