How has 2018 been for Mirka and what are its plans for 2019?
It’s been a great year, with double digit growth. We’ve launched some innovative tools and abrasives, which, combined, provide effective solutions for our wood sector customers. In 2019, we have further plans to launch new tools and abrasives in quarters 2/3, Our continuous new product development will enable us to maintain our status as a market leader.
What are the key trends that they see leading the way in the wood sector?
There appears to be higher investment in machinery to increase production and provide a dust-free environment for the workforce, and a greater emphasis on quality rather than quantity in products. The UK manufacturers cannot compete with foreign imports and therefore the product portfolio has changed to a much higher level of craftsmanship.
Why was the training centre brought online and what benefits will it bring to customers?
We understand that the sectors we work in are constantly evolving in terms of the processes and products required to improve production, output and profitability, whilst still reducing cost and waste.
As a brand, training is essential for our customers to achieve this, so to take our onsite customer training to the next level we made the decision to invest in our own training centre.
We look forward to ensuring those users who come through our doors will leave knowing they have developed and learned new skills and techniques that will assist them in their jobs and enable their companies to expand their business opportunities.
Mirka Iridium DEOS
What areas of the wood sector will Mirka be potentially looking to supply new solutions to?
We perceive bespoke manufacturers of kitchens and bedrooms to be on the increase and will develop tools and abrasives to assist in what is a multiple array of applications, eg doors, worktops etc.
What issues in the wood sector have been brought to Mirka’s attention and how have/looked to solve them?
Dust control is still at the forefront for many customers and we continue to develop tools and abrasive solutions to assist with health & safety regulations.
HAV (Hand Arm Vibration) is again a key factor when purchasing tools and Mirka is leading the way in the development of technology to monitor vibration using its Bluetooth connectivity and MyMirka App.
Mirka Ultimax wood application
What is Mirka’s plans for wide belts in 2019?
We will continue to promote our Ultimax range of wide-belts, which for many is still new technology and resolves many of the issues that arise during the sanding process.
Further development of our film range of belts for lacquer finishing will take place during 2019 as the machine manufacturers sell more wide-belt sanders for lacquer sanding.
What were the key takeaways from the W Exhibition?
Finally, customers are acknowledging that the way to provide cost downs is not to buy the cheapest product. Products that cut quicker and last longer with additional health benefits are a key part of saving time which for many is the biggest saving to be made.
Mirka Novastar-Multihole DEROS
Can Mirka UK safeguard itself when it comes to Brexit and any of the eventual outcomes?
As with many companies, the outcomes of Brexit are multiple and we cannot plan for every eventuality. However, we are confident that with the plans we have in place we can continue to provide an A1 service to our customers whatever the outcome.
Has Brexit affected the wood sector or has it been business as usual?
It would be fair to say customers are a little cautious about committing for the future. That said, Mirka is growing in what might be termed a stagnant market.
Has Mirka seen more companies come to them asking for solutions to be created for specific jobs within the wood sector?
We continually liaise with our customers both in the UK and our colleagues in Finland to create solutions that are led by demand and not what we perceive to be required. I also think that listening to what the customer wants and developing solutions that meet their expectations has driven Mirka’s continued success over the years.
How will the training aid the development of new processeses?
It’s important to our brand that every customer touch-point is of a high quality and our training centre will enable us to train all our distributors on Mirka products and processes to ensure that they are giving a consistent message and experience to the market place.