ITT Motion Technologies
“The vision I had when I came to Ostrava was, ‘Turn the trend: from trainee to trainer’ and to make Ostrava the center of excellence for the entire ITT Motion Technologies, by developing and applying best practices to be taught to colleagues coming to Ostrava from different sites for training. Well, after these four years, I am proud to say: mission accomplished. Thanks to our extraordinary performance we have become the benchmark for other ITT MT sites, and this makes me proud.”
ITT Czech Republic General Manager
In 2009, ITT Motion Technologies— part of the US-based ITT Corporation —launched its first site in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) at CTPark Ostrava. Business has grown rapidly, and Ostrava has become the most important multi-business site within ITT Motion Technologies and is a major contributor to company success.
When ITT decided to launch its Motion Technologies business in CEE, Ostrava was chosen as the ideal location because of its competitive mix of skilled labour, cost benefits and proximity to clients and suppliers in Europe. CTP, as the market leader in Ostrava, was the company’s natural choice to deliver a 24,700 m2 custom-built manufacturing centre—later extended by 4,700 m2—for ITT Automotive’s Friction division to launch production of brake pads for automobile manufacturers across Europe.
A year later, based on the rapid success of the new plant, the company expanded operations and launched a second division for its KONI-branded shock absorbers for the railways industry—a decision that was not part of the original plan for Ostrava.
Because of the success of both business lines, ITT’s site at CTPark Ostrava has grown quickly to become a major centre for the company’s European operations. While R&D within the company continues to be centralised in Italy (brake pads) and the Netherlands (shock absorbers), more and more competencies are being delegated to Ostrava.
Both divisions operate fully equipped, state-of-the-art testing and quality control centres for incoming supplies, process control and final output inspection. From an initial employee base of around 200 employees at the end of 2009, ITT now employs over 600 people at CTPark Ostrava. To give a further idea of the scale of ITT’s business activities in Ostrava—as well as its rapid growth—brake pad output has grown from six million units in 2009 to 27.5 million in 2013.
According to Cesare Savini, ITT Czech Republic General Manager and Friction After-Market Director, the company is on target to reach 30 million units in 2014. The KONI shock absorber division is currently producing 80,000 units a year, and the business continues to grow. Output from this separate business line is delivered to ITT customers in the railways sector worldwide. Success at ITT’s Ostrava site is not measured only by output figures.
As Mr. Savini explains, the skill level and work ethic among ITT’s Czech team has meant that the company is able to hire locally to cover all necessary positions. Not only this, the Czech team has now become a role model for best practices within the company as a whole.