HMF turns 70

In 1945, Arne Bundgaard Jensen had to sell his Nimbus motorcycle and borrow money from his father to buy the bicycle and auto repair shop at Oddervej in Aarhus.

In 1945, Arne Bundgaard Jensen had to sell his Nimbus motorcycle and borrow money from his father to buy the bicycle and auto repair shop at Oddervej in Aarhus. Since then, Højbjerg Maskinfabrik A/S, today known all over the world as HMF Group A/S, has not looked back. And this year, HMF has achieved the best results ever.

With its 550 employees, HMF is one of the world's leading suppliers of truck-mounted loader cranes. For many years, the company has established itself as an international player with a worldwide distribution network and regular customers in more than 50 countries. The success was created through continuous innovation and not least an uncompromising focus on quality and service from the outset.

 

Modernisation has borne fruit 

Now, 70 years after the foundation of Højbjerg Maskinfabrik, the company has achieved the strongest results ever. And, according to Ove Trankjær, Group CEO, this is no coincidence. The company is currently reaping the fruits of many years of targeted investments in product development and production automation. These have resulted in a comprehensive, modern crane range and shorter delivery times to the company's many loyal customers.

- In 2007, we invested in a massive expansion of the Aarhus factory. Production was standardised through new, state-of-the-art robotics, for which we won the DIRA Award from the Danish Industrial Robot Association. We have also invested heavily in product development and now have an innovative product line. With all these improvements, we are now extremely competitive. 
At the same time, our lead times in Assembly have dropped from three to four weeks down to three days, Ove Trankjær explains.

Modernising the factory has also given a significant boost to our environmental efforts and improved working conditions for our employees. Employee job satisfaction is particularly near to Ove Trankjær's heart. Much of the staff have worked at HMF for several decades and are an important part of the company's special culture. There is room for differences of opinion and plenty of smiles, and Ove Trankjær would like this to continue in the years to come so that the company can retain the "old" employees and attract new ones.

 

Stability monitoring patent 

Functionality and safety are important factors in all HMF's product development. Having a close dialogue with its customers is part of the company's DNA. Customers are usually invited to contribute their input already when the first lines are to be drawn at the drawing table. In 1998, this close dialogue with the hauliers resulted in a patent on HMF's EVS stability monitoring system. According to Ove Trankjær, this gave the company an important quantum leap in terms of technology.

- Our unique EVS stability monitoring system can be fitted on all HMF cranes and provides maximum stability and lifting capacity in the full operating range of the crane. This coupled with radio remote control allows the crane operator to focus fully on the lifting part of the job. This is something completely unique in the industry and a major reason why HMF is growing and ready to face the challenges of the future, says Ove Trankjær.
The patented HMF InfoCenter collects data from all relevant monitoring and safety systems and outputs values on a display, keeping the crane operator informed of the load on the crane and the vehicle stability. EVS ensures that the vehicle does not topple, and RCL protects the crane from overloading.

 

Product development at full speed

HMF has a clear ambition to continue to set the agenda in the industry. It must continue to develop new products in close cooperation with customers and distributors – based on market needs. The trend is for even lighter cranes with minimum weight in relation to lifting capacity, and here, the EVS technology will play an important part. HMF's product range already boasts 90 cranes, but product development and new product launch will never stop. According to Ove Trankjær, this is crucial for the company to continue its impressive growth curve.

- We are known for being able to use high-strength steel optimally, and we are constantly working to optimise in this respect. The crane's tare weight and chassis space requirements are important parameters in the development of the cranes of the future. The strong results we have achieved using high-strength steel combined with hydraulics and electronics mean that I'm not afraid to promise our customers that the future will bring many exciting cranes from HMF with the "power to lift", Ove Trankjær explains.

 

Success built on strong values

HMF's products are known for being extremely durable and user-friendly. But Ove Trankjær stresses that this is not the full story behind the company's strong customer loyalty. The aftermarket network with service centres and service partners all over the world also play an important part. Hauliers always have within their reach a trusted supplier with spare parts in stock for delivery 24/7. 

Until his death in 2000, Arne Bundgaard Jensen was in charge of delivering the goods. He always insisted that HMF's expansion should be based on quality and a rock-solid economy. Today, his sons, Hans Bundgaard and Ingvar Bundgaard Jensen, have taken over the ownership of the company and carry on the old traditions.


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