200 new jobs will be created in Monaghan with the announcement that forklift manufacturer and material handling solutions provider Combilift is to expand its workforce. The announcement was made by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD at the opening of the new €50 million global headquarters and manufacturing facility.
The 200 new jobs, to be created over the next 3 years, will be for skilled technicians, design engineers, logistics and supply chain specialists and those with mechanical and electrical mechatronics skills. Combilift currently employs 550 people for the manufacture of its forklifts and material handling products.
Speaking at the official opening An Taoiseach said: “Combilift is an incredible home-grown Monaghan success story. When the company was founded 20 years ago, it had three employees, a brilliant concept, and the ambition to make it a reality. We need more home-grown companies like Combilift if we are to achieve our vision for a prosperous future for communities living in counties all across the country. Combilift is playing a significant role in the Monaghan’s success, and I would like to congratulate Robert Moffett and Martin Mc Vicar, their leadership team and staff, and everyone at the Combilift on their achievements to date and wish them every success for the future.”
Built at a cost of €50 million, the new 46,500 metres square (500,000 sq ft) Global Headquarters and manufacturing facility will allow Combilift to double production. Established in 1998, Combilift currently exports 98% of its products to 85 countries through its 250-strong international dealer network.
Martin McVicar, Managing Director, Combilift says that the investment will enable Combilift to meet its ambitious growth plans. “We have employed an additional 230 people since we announced our plans for this factory in 2015 and we are planning to recruit an additional 200 in the next 3 years. The combination of this state of the art production plant and a skilled workforce will allow us to double production within the next 5 years.”
Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation pointed to the positive impact of Combilift on the border region. “As one of the most significant employers in Monaghan, the positive impact that Combilift has on the county, the border region and Ireland cannot be under-estimated. Perhaps above all, the company is living proof that you don’t have to be in a big city to achieve global success. As Minister, I am focused on ensuring we have the right conditions in place to encourage job creation right across country, so supporting ambitious companies like Combilift is hugely important. I am delighted that the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, has part-funded the manufacturing facility, which paves the way for this exciting business to double its output and create new jobs in the region. Today is a wonderful day for Monaghan and Ireland.”
Speaking at the opening of the new manufacturing facility, part-funded by Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO said “Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with Combilift from the outset of their incredible journey as a start-up to a global leader today, exporting to 85 countries. Combilift’s success is a testament to the hard work of the team, and to an unrelenting focus on market-led innovation.
These achievements represent the strength of Irish businesses who are achieving global scale and are positioned as global leaders in their own right. Their success has been built on being innovative and being the best in their field. Enterprise Ireland has worked intensively with Combilift to achieve their ambition, scale and phenomenal international growth.”
An acknowledged world leader in the material handling sector, Martin McVicar, Managing Director, Combilift, attributes the company’s impressive growth to mass customisation. “Combilift has set the benchmark for the mass production of customised innovative products. Mass customisation is the new frontier for both the customer and the manufacturer. Increasingly customers are expecting products to be tailored to meet their needs.”
Since 1998 Combilift has been manufacturing customised products tailored to suit client requirements. “The flexibility in our new facility means that Combilift can continue to accommodate any customer request for a customised material handling solution,” says McVicar “The new factory enables us to double production and remain focused on the needs of our customers and dealers. We have become much more than a forklift manufacturer and are transforming the transport and logistics sector with our innovative, space-spacing products.”
Combilift offers a free logistic and warehouse design service. “Our engineers proactively design, plan and produce solutions in collaboration with our customers by offering material flow analysis and 3D animations,” says McVicar.
Growth of Combilift
Established by Martin McVicar, Managing Director and Robert in Moffett, Technical Director, in 1998, Combilift is a privately held and fully capitalised company. It developed the world’s first multidirectional all-wheel drive IC engine powered forklift in 1998. In its first year of operation, Combilift produced 18 units, 17 of which were exported. The company has more than doubled in the last 5 years and now has 40,000 units in operation in over 85 countries.
Combilift’s product portfolio has expanded way beyond its first multidirectional Combilift, with innovative product development and customisation being a cornerstone of the company’s ethos according to McVicar.
The new 46,500 sq. m purpose–built factory is set on a 100-acre site with room for expansion. With 11 acres of roof space, it is one of the largest manufacturing operations under one single roof in the Republic of Ireland.
Incorporating the latest manufacturing processes with a focus on sustainability, thenew factory will enable Combilift to double its output in a single shift across allproduction lines. Four 90 metre moving assembly lines produce a finished truckevery 15 minutes.
30% of its roof space is covered in skylights enabling staff to work in natural daylightwithout the assistance of artificial lighting. Lighting is provided through 1100 LED light with individual sensors. Solar panels supply 185 kW of energy with a 1 MW Biomass plant fuelled by recycled wood (pallets etc) to heat the spray booths and assembly area. 110,000 litres of rain water is harvested for use throughout the facility.
More than 50 truckloads of finished products are dispatched to 85 countries each week. Spare parts are also shipped across the world from Monaghan to the dealer network.
Certified to international quality and safety management standards, the new headquarters and manufacturing facility has been awarded ISO 9001 international quality management system, ISO 14001 Environment Management and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series.