Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, forklift manufacturer and material handling solutions provider Combilift has officially opened its new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Monaghan, Ireland. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Irish Prime Minister An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD congratulated the founders Robert Moffett and Martin McVicar on their incredible success to date.
Built at a cost of €50 million, the investment in the new 46,500 sq. m. (500,000 sq. ft) facility will allow Combilift to realise its ambitious growth plans. Martin McVicar, Managing Director said: “The combination of this state of the art production plant and the planned expansion of our skilled workforce will allow us to double production within the next 5 years.”
Combilift developed the world’s first multidirectional all-wheel drive IC engine powered forklift in 1998 and there are now 40,000 units in operation in over 85 countries. Martin McVicar attributes the company’s impressive growth and its status as an acknowledged world leader in the material handling sector to mass customisation. “Combilift has set the benchmark for the mass production of customised innovative products.
The flexibility in our new facility and our substantial investment in R&D (7% of annual turnover) means that we can continue to accommodate any request for a customised material handling solution. We also see ourselves as much more than a forklift manufacturer and are transforming the transport and logistics sector with our innovative, space-spacing products and our services.”
Combilift’s portfolio has expanded way beyond its first multidirectional model. Between 2008 and 2018 the company diversified its product range by developing a number of innovative space saving warehouse and heavy load handling products; the Aisle Master articulated truck and the Straddle Carrier (Combi-SC) respectively.
Pedestrian products were introduced into the range in the last five years, enabling Combilift to gain a foothold in this growing market.
The Combi-WR, Combi-WR4 and the Combi-CS all incorporate Combilift’s unique patented multi-positional tiller arm technology. “There is a growing demand for pedestrian trucks, driven by safety concerns where customers and/or employees are in the vicinity of operating forklifts,” said McVicar. “It is our intention to significantly expand this range, as can be seen with the launch of the new high lift capacity Combilift Powered Pallet Truck (Combi-PPT).”
The new purpose–built factory is set on a 100-acre site with room for future expansion when required. With 11 acres of roof space, it is the largest manufacturing operation under one single roof in the Republic of Ireland. Incorporating the latest manufacturing processes with a focus on sustainability, the new factory will enable Combilift to double its output in a single shift across all production lines.