When only the best is good enough
STARCO’s customer, Rosenbauer, is the world’s leading manufacturer of firefighting vehicles. STARCO supplies wheels for the Panther range of airport fire trucks. The wheels are designed to withstand this hugely demanding application, where high water tank loads and high speeds (of up to 140 kph) are necessary to ensure that serious emergencies are dealt with as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
A family-owned manufacturer, Rosenbauer has been a STARCO customer since January 2015. The company, with its specialised, high-end products, is represented in more than 100 countries.
“Our airport customers need maximum safety for their passengers. In order to meet airport safety standards and to allow 100% focus on hazards, we need to secure 100% availability, as well as vehicles that are easy to use and highly functional,” explains Michael Steininger, R&D Manager of Engineering at Rosenbauer.
He adds that the best possible driving and extinguishing performance, as well as extremely high quality standards, are essential in the highly competitive market of Aircraft rescue & firefighting vehicles.
Transferring production to unleash potential and utilise capacity
In 2015, STARCO moved its specialised wheel manufacturing from a small factory in Switzerland, which employed 30 people, to its ISO 9001-certified Croatian manufacturing centre in Beli Manastir. The keys to this transfer were the ability to generate more capacity and to fully utilise its staff of over 200 employees in Croatia. This change has allowed STARCO to actively and significantly develop manufacturing applications for customers such as Rosenbauer.
“We know that our customers need quality and reliability, and with our manufacturing located in Croatia, we are able to meet these requirements. By utilising lean manufacturing philosophies, we are able to offer lead times of weeks, not months. Flexibility is key.” says Sven Holmes, STARCO’s Segment Director for Specialised Vehicles.
Joining forces to explore synergies
A customer like Rosenbauer differs from other original equipment manufacturers due to its relatively low volumes, different wheel and tyre variants (for instance, rim diameter and offset), and special requirements with regard to high speed, cornering speed, high-load and off-road capabilities.
Rosenbauer was looking for a competent wheel partner to involve in the development process of its new Panther firefighting vehicle.
“From a development point of view, we need partners who are experienced in their field and who fully understand our requirements. Our suppliers have to be proactive rather than reactive, while looking for a new solution and supporting us with their knowledge,” explains Steininger, underlining that STARCO is a good partner that fulfils their demands with regard to Rosenbauer’s 20” and 21” wheels.
STARCO has developed many specialised wheel solutions, and has an in-house wheel and tyre engineering team. “We see a great potential in these niche markets – in particular because we are able to build good collaborations with customers and, if necessary, with sub-suppliers to find intelligent solutions to application problems,” explains Holmes, who has 16 years of experience in the wheel and tyre industry.
About Specialised Vehicles
STARCO’s customer segment Specialised Vehicles covers three solution categories:
- Made-to-Measure (MtM) is characterised by a customer demand for a short lead time and high flexibility. Agricultural wheels size: 20–54”
- Dual Wheel Systems are Swiss designed solutions for applications such as tractors. STARCO has various patented solutions and lead the world in the field. Wheel size: 8–54”
- Hi-Tech solutions are developed for high-load and/or high-speed applications and manufactures in relatively low-volume applications. These solutions are often customised, developed and tested in close collaboration with the customers – for instance, manufacturers of military, civilian or industrial vehicles. Typical wheel size: 10–20”.
Rosenbauer is the world’s leading manufacturer of systems for firefighting and disaster protection. The company develops and produces vehicles, fire extinguishing systems, equipment and telematics solutions for professional, industrial, plant and volunteer fire services, as well as systems for preventive firefighting. All of the main sets of standards are covered by products manufactured in Europe, USA and Asia. The Group has an active service and sales network in over 100 countries. This listed family company is in its sixth generation and has served fire departments for 150 years. A strong customer focus, innovative strength and reliability are Rosenbauer’s key assets.
Sarah Møller Lundberg
Communications Manager & Executive Assistant
+45 2067 0077
Segment Director, Agricultural Implements
+49 172 44 63 741
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