Posted: 23.04.2024 16:10:00

They grind until it shines

New machines and joint projects with Russia — what the Orsha-based Krasny Borets Machine-Tool Plant puts a stake on

Krasny Borets Machine-Tool Plant
In the context of the sanctions and trade restrictions faced by machine tool enterprises, increased efficiency of import substitution was the number one issue on the agenda. To this date, supply problems related to critical imports for the machine tool production have been solved both through the production at the Union State enterprises and thanks to supplies from friendly countries. The Belarusian machine tool industry has succeeded in adapting to the new realities, not only having maintained but also having increased the previous production volumes, and showed its readiness to cater for additional customer demand. The stake put on quality has yielded fruit. OJSC Krasny Borets Machine-Tool Plant, one of the industry leaders, has maintained its position in the market and is actively engaged in the production of high-demand high-tech products.

Meeting market needs 

Krasny Borets is a dynamically developing enterprise today producing metal-cutting machines. It specialises in grinding equipment that encompasses a wide range of over 100 models. This is complex and high-tech equipment, with the share of innovative products as part of shipment making 50+ percent. Thus, the simplest modern grinding machine consists of 2,000 parts, whereas the nomenclature of the Orsha-based enterprise contains more than 100,000 items. The entire machine manufacturing process from development to production takes about a year. The demand for products is enormous, and 80 percent of them are exported. The major consumer is Russia. Belarus-made machines are also actively bought in Türkiye and Kazakhstan. Over the entire history of the plant operation, grinding equipment has been supplied to 115 countries. It is even used in Australia and New Zealand.   
The key direction of production activity, along with the mass-produced range of surface grinding and milling machines, is the manufacture of customised grinding machines against the order designed for performing specific operations in small-scale, serial and mass production. The plant has also mastered the production of highly automated equipment with technological flexibility and accuracy regardless of the worker’s qualification, which has made it possible to fully solve the tasks of modern production. 
“The major sales market in 2023 and under the concluded contracts for 2024-2025 have been the enterprises of the JSC United Engine Corporation of Russia,” noted Vitaliy Krutko, Director of the Krasny Borets Machine-Tool Plant. “The products of these enterprises include turbine engines for aircraft, sea vessels, and space rockets. Our turbine blade grinding machines are particularly in demand, they are used in large numbers in the manufacture of aircraft engines and gas generator units used in power plants.”  
Over the past two years, Krasny Borets has been actively stepping up co-operation with one of the world’s largest developers and manufacturers of rolling stock for railway and urban rail transport. This company is the only developer and manufacturer of medium-speed engines in Russia, a major manufacturer of casting for railway transport.  

For the common good 

Vitaliy Krutko, director of Krasny
Borets Machine-Tool Plant 
Anton Stepanishchev
The director of the Krasny Borets Machine-Tool Plant has confirmed the fact that in the current geopolitical conditions, there is no point in counting on collaboration with western companies. Therefore, the stake is put on co-operation with Russia. His wristwatch with the flags of the two allied states on the watch face testifies to the well-established relationship between the countries. Let us remind that in September 2023, Belarus and Russia signed a roadmap for the development of machine tool industry. “Regarding this programme, co-operation ties between enterprises of Belarus and Russia engaged in the development and manufacture of critical imports are being worked out. Some of the positions are ball screw assemblies, linear guides, numerical control systems,” Vitaliy Krutko pointed out.    
In addition to the production of individual components and assemblies, the production of an ‘allied machine’ is envisaged. In other words, it implies the equipment consisting of the components manufactured on the territory of the Union State. The novelty will be unveiled at the Metalloobrabotka International Exhibition–2024 [the largest in Eastern Europe and the CIS trade show of global machine tool industry and state-of-the-art metalworking technology] in Moscow, in May.  
“We are going to showcase a circular grinding machine made using Belarusian and Russian components. This will demonstrate that we can replace critical import components in mass production. The major basic parts will be produced in Belarus. It is a multi-purpose machine that is in demand at every medium and large enterprise. Thus, the entire workshops of plants such as Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ trademark) and Gomselmash [Belarusian manufacturer of agricultural machinery based in Gomel] can be equipped with these machines,” the director shared the plans.  
In 2023, OJSC Krasny Borets Machine-Tool Plant manufactured products worth Br33m. The growth to the level of 2022 amounted to 132 percent. The company supplied products worth $8.5m to foreign markets. Exports to Russia account for 94 percent. The enterprise employs 580 people.  

Anton Stepanishchev

High-quality approach to the matter

The Orsha-based enterprise has paid great attention to the quality improvement issues since its foundation. The plant leadership understands that it is impossible to successfully compete in the global market without high quality standards ensured. Therefore, they chose ‘Quality is the key to competitiveness and flourishing’ as their motto. Back in 1966, an ultrahigh-precision surface grinding machine model 3711 was awarded a gold medal, and in 1967 it was the first among metal-cutting machines in the USSR to be awarded the State Quality Mark. Since 2015, the company has used an integrated management system that combines quality management, environmental management and occupational safety management systems.
“In the Year of Quality, we have focused on increased customer satisfaction with product quality, as well as on reduced level of defects in manufactured equipment. Our efforts are regularly rated high. Thus, we have recently become holders of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee award for achievements in the field of quality in 2023,” Vitaliy Krutko emphasised.

With confidence in the future

We asked the head of the plant to shed light on the company’s future plans. “If we talk about the short-term period, we have a development programme until 2025. It envisages growth rates for key indicators, including wages. We intend to introduce a new software product for efficient production management. In addition, an investment project will be launched this year partly implemented at the expense of the Russian state loan. It is aimed at increasing output. It is planned to purchase 32 units of equipment for the amount of $7.5m in equivalent. Its investment part will be completed in 2027, while we expect to reach the design capacity in 2030. In general, we will annually earmark up to 10 percent of our revenue for investment purposes. It is also planned to develop new products,” Vitaliy Krutko revealed the details. 



By Vladislav Sychevich