Norwegian equipment firm to hire more staff and build new factory in Fredrikstad

Norwegian marine equipment manufacturer Sleipner Motor welcomed Prime Minister Erna Solberg to a company presentation and tour of its factory in Fredrikstad last month.

The Prime Minister had already heard about Sleipner and was interested to learn how the company has maintained its world-leading position as a manufacturer based in Norway, with ever-present and tough competition from other lower-cost manufacturing countries.

“We have tried to source parts and components from low-cost countries, but they just can’t deliver the level of quality and the consistency we need in the relatively low individual volumes that is the challenge in our industry,” Sleipner CEO Arne Kai Skauen explains.

“When we manufacture parts in-house, using our own modern CNC machines, we have total control over the whole procedure and can ensure the necessary quality associated with our brand is always achieved and continually maintained.”

Now in its 110th year, Sleipner is also reporting strong growth and has significant plans for the future. “We continue to focus very hard on innovation. Our in-house R&D department currently consists of 18 employees, in addition to also actively using several external specialists for particular leading-edge technologies that are needed in our very exciting research projects,” says Skauen. “We are also actively seeking to expand our in-house development to some 22 people now.”

During the Prime Minister’s visit, Sleipner presented plans to build a new factory by the water in Fredrikstad. “We are in need of much more space to realise our research projects and to streamline our production requirements for the future,” said Skauen. “The proposed new factory will house both administration, R&D and manufacturing, as well as a dedicated test station, built out into the sea and a rigging station for our 58ft test vessel.”