MIMsafe produces cargo and safety nets for a number of leading automotive brands. Through our partner in Germany, Volkswagen, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai and Mercedes are all fitted with nets produced at our Frändefors plant, located a hundred kilometers north east of the port city of Gothenburg. The plant’s production for the export market is about to increase drastically, thanks to an agreement Mimsafe recently arrived at with the Dutch-based Stellantis Group, whose portfolio includes Chrysler, Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen and Opel.
The work stations producing MIMsafe's safety and cargo nets at the Frändefors plant have seldom been busier.
The two nets manufactured in Frändefors are designed to protect the driver and passenger in the front seat and are used in all kinds of vehicles, from private cars to special vehicles. The nets are custom made according to customers’ specifications.
Monica Albinsson is the production manager at the Frändefors plant. She describes the work as demanding, but also stimulating:
”We hired two new colleagues in 2020 and we will need to bring in more to bolster our 22 strong workforce this year. It’s fantastic of course, and of course demanding. We are having to put everything we’ve got into it!”
The company's CEO Gert Olofsson adds:
”Our production of nets has been showing the same positive growth levels as our dog cages and gates. It’s incredibly satisfying to see both our production units doing so well.”
The increased demand is a challenge all the work stations at the Frändefors plant are facing, not least Per-Erik Johansson, responsible for product development. Per-Erik designs and assembles prototypes for each car model which are then tested by each customer before they are approved for production.
”The work requires a lot of attention to detail and can’t be hurried. Care and patience are key here,” Per-Erik states emphatically.
Most of the workforce at the plant are of course involved in production work.
”And the gender distribution is almost 50/50, which is good in many ways.” Monica Albinsson points out.
There several stages involved in the production of both types of nets.
”We have machine operators, pipe cutters, welders, painters, a bolt department. Then everything must be packed and dispatched as well. So yes, you could say it’s quite resource intensive.” Monica says, with a smile that tells that she’s quite enjoying the challenge.
Bringing all the different strands to form a net together calls for a great deal of welding. Adam Rzepa has worked at one of the plant’s eight welding stations for some time:
”Yes, for some 19 years now and I can’t tell you straight off how many nets I’ve worked on. What I’ve particularly come to appreciate is the opportunity for job development offered by the job rotation the plant applies.”
Adam says that being a welder at MIMsafe is quite a demanding task.
”You need willpower, to stay sharp and a fair portion of competitive spirit. I find it hard not to keep an eye on how my colleague at the work station next to me is doing!” Adam admits, with a smile.
Having a factory this size in the rural, idyllic and quintessentially Swedish Dalsland, has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, finding personnel can be an issue, but it usually works out.
Linda Persson is responsible for "Bulten" (The Bolt) where all assembly kits are sorted and packed. She was born locally and has tried other jobs at, among other places, Kungshamn and Lysekil on the West Coast.
”But it is here that I am at my happiest. 14 years at MIMsafe in Frändefors says it all. I love it out here in the country and having my place of work just down the road is incredible. I'm so privileged.”
Mona Johansson, manning the welding station today, is another long-time employee at MIMsafe in Frändefors.
”I need a moment to work it out... has it been 16 or 17 years? It doesn’t matter really. Because it is a varied job, as you’re able to switch tasks. In my case, on another day, you’ll find at the paint station.”
Apart from nets, the Frändefors plant also manufactures gates and parts for dog cages which are then assembled at MIMsafe's second unit in Trollhättan. In addition, Frändeforsfabriken does has a small amount of contract manufacturing.
Definition: A luggage net stretches from a vehicle’s floor to its ceiling, while a safety net is made to fit from the rear seat headrest up to the roof. These nets, just like all other products from MIMsafe, are crash tested.
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