Written by: Flavia Brancato
The pioneer spirit has always been a part of Civil Construction Equipment’s philosophy. The first backhoe loader was developed in the small town, of Uttoxeter, England, the founder of JCB, Joseph Cyrill Bamford. Today, the backhoe loader is regarded as one of the three world leading manufacturing companies of civil construction equipment. 20 years later, the creation of the world’s first telescopic handler was developed.In addition to achieving global leadership in the sales of backhoe loaders and telescopic handlers, JCB currently has some of the best engineering facilities in the world, manufacturing over 300 models of machines.
Along its 67 years of success, JCB has always made massive investments in research and development, with quality and innovation ahead of the market. Today, the company has 23 factories, over 10,000 employees spread across four continents, and its products are proudly marketed at 2,000 points of sales in 150 countries.
ARRIVAL IN BRAZIL IN 1995
The Chairman of JCB in Brazil, Carlos Hernández, says: “we stand out from the market because innovation is in our DNA and we follow our founder’s restlessness. We are never satisfied. We always want to improve processes so our customer receives the best products and services”. It happened naturally, due to hard work and market acceptance. The trading of products in Brazil started in 1995, and the first backhoe loader factory was opened some years later.
A forerunner in the development of technology for handling materials in infrastructure works and farming, JCB invests to better serve the customer with excellence and sustainability. With this in mind, the Brazilian branch has recently merged the operations of two factories (backhoe loaders and bulldozers) in to one modern manufacturing unit, with investments of nearly 100 million dollars, in a 200 thousand square meter area, with a built area of 33 thousand square meters. “We seek to serve the civil construction, mining and agricultural markets with excellence, and we invest to offer the best specialized after-sale, close-to-customer services”, explains Hernández.
The strong investment made by JCB in Brazil is not limited to the manufacturing plants. A good example is the modern technological infrastructure installed in the unit in Sorocaba, which has one of the most modern IT environments, with a cutting-edge system and state-of-the-art equipment fully designed and sized to meet all the operating needs.
The chairman further points out that “unlike other companies that focus specifically on the production, JCB places all of its bets on Brazil and understands that, to that end, it would be necessary to create optimal conditions to support the business, according to JCB vision and mission.” Demonstrations go from the advanced Data Center, with systems of physical and logical redundancy, fire systems and digital telephony, to an important integrated SAP system with high integration and control levels that provide accurate information for correct decision-making purposes.
CIVIL CONSTRUCTION MARKET
As the material handling market grows, both in civil construction and in agriculture, cattle raising, and urban maintenance, the sector demands more versatile machines with a high level of automation and technology, providing fuel saving and high productivity. Hernández is confident, stating “JCB is ready to serve this market, offering high performance machines that are references of quality worldwide, such as the telescopic handler.”
Another strategy, according to the chairman, involves the methods the company uses to overcome challenges of the sector. “Every sector nowadays faces difficulties in the economic scenario, with public works and real estate market slowdown, however JCB keeps placing its bets on the Brazilian market.” One example to boost sales was the promotion of two models of front-end loaders – for the sectors of civil construction, mining and agriculture - which will be manufactured in the country with an investment of BRL 5 million. In the manufacturing sector, as a rule, the engineering department is responsible for projects for adjusting the assembly line and also the products to the Brazilian market reality to obtain the highest productivity for the manufacturing process and for the customers.
QUALITY AND INVESTMENT
One of JCB main priorities is the health and safety of collaborators and service providers. Among several programs earmarked for such factors, one of the highlights is the so-called Near Misses. The program is linked to potential accidents. . Thus, every time a Near Miss is reported, the team meets to solve the problem, thus avoiding possible accidents in the future. Hernández further assures that “every collaborator plays an active role in this program, in such a way that the most active ones are recognized for their contribution. Our goal is Zero Accident,” he concludes.
The search for sustainable development is another relevant issue in the company procedures. In addition to following the environmental guidelines governing the proper disposal of waste, reuse of rainwater, capture of sun energy and a space set exclusively for collection and separation of recyclable materials, other initiatives of social and environmental responsibility are well underway. Examples include the reforestation of about 20 percent of the 200 thousand square meter land of the new factory. In partnership with the Centro de Orientação e Educação Social de Sorocaba (COESO), JCB takes part in projects that provide work for families that live in the surrounding areas.
Hernández states that ongoing investments represent one of the main factors that keep JCB a global leader. “Last year we opened our painting plant, which received a BRL 20 million contribution.” The company is a pioneer in building up a powder painting plant – a method that assures more durability for the pieces and reduces the environmental impact of the process, in comparison to conventional methods. “In the coming years, we want to keep working on the nationalization of more models and keep on growing,” Hernandez concludes.