By Grigory Fillimonov
Alexander Dashko’s office wall is covered with schemes for Atlant’s structural subdivisions and partners. The deputy chief engineer, who heads the firm’s Department for Technical Development and Production Preparation, explains that great plans for modernisation are afoot. In the centre of the wall, the headquarters of the plant is shown, with manufacturing premises drawn as colourful blocks. The ‘thread’ of assembly lines is supplemented with component ‘squares’. Atlant’s structural subdivision map is nearby, neighbouring BelHol JSC (from Molodechno). There are about a dozen sites.
“We have a unified approach to the establishment of each new production site,” explains Alexander. “Of course, we take the nature of production into consideration, as well as purpose and financial possibilities. However, prospects for development are the ultimate goal and foundation.”
Atlant manufactures white goods and, seven years ago, developed designs for domestic washing machines. The first rolled off the line at the Minsk plant in 2006, with 150,000 machines produced annually. Growing demand pushed the plant to expand production volumes and, by 2010, over 250,000 units were being manufactured, with over half sold to Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Germany.
Atlant’s washing machines rival leading global brands in most spheres; moreover, they’re competitively priced and enjoy steady demand. Now, the Government aims to double its output; in late 2010 (as part of the State Programme for Innovative Development), the plant began modernisation. Staff are especially proud of having developed their own software, which manages assembly and testing, including the tuning of electronics. Atlant keeps data on each product, including model numbers and capacity, and production and dispatch dates.
A complex approach to the plant’s establishment and adjustment, the development and use of unique software have allowed the company to save around 15m Euros. Its other enterprises are to be developed similarly.