40 per cent of cabin doors are made in Finland
A wide variety of patterns can be printed on cabin door.
Antti Marine, a metals industry company, produces 40 per cent of all doors for large cruise ships globally. In its production facility in Salo in Western Finland, the company has to date produced a quarter of a million doors for 300 cruise ships. All this in just over 20 years.
There is plenty of action in the company’s large factory in Salo where steel plates are cut, welded and bent into doors. Then the finished doors are packed in wooden frames and sent to the Meyer shipyard in Germany for installation in Genting Dream, a large luxury cruiser currently under construction.
It takes about 10 weeks to produce 3000 doors. They are supplied as and when the ship's cabins are built – that is, in a period of six months.
A large project requires plenty of planning in order to remain effective. Commercial Director Markko Takkinen comments as follows:
‘We are devoted to lean thinking. The production time of the doors is short, as we do not want them remain in storage here.’
Strikes are no excuse for delays
The supply chain is extremely effective. The doors leave Salo on Friday, and are ready for installation in the cruise ship in Germany the following Tuesday.
There is one weak link in the supply chain – strikes. CEO Kalle Isotalo explains:
‘Strikes in companies that are part of the logistics chain are very uncomfortable for us. Our international customers are not interested whether stevedores are on strike or not, they want their product on time. It raises our costs if we have to ship the doors at some other time than the scheduled day. We have investigated the road transport option as well, but that is way too expensive.’
In addition to effective production, Antti Marine benefits from so-called ‘tailored mass production’. This is necessary because on one cruise ship there may be 150 different types of doors. In some cases, there are just two or three doors of the same kind. Cheap labour countries have not been able to compete with their mass production.
Tommi Murto-Unkila and Raimo Stolt assemble cabin doors.
The company’s European location is another advantage. Sales manager Toni Leino explains:
‘In the shipbuilding business, additional deliveries are always necessary. That is not feasible from Asia, as it takes too long.’
Designing marine doors require close cooperation with the ship’s architects. The design should be combined with fire and sound insulation. Currently, plenty of photographs and other images are printed on ship’s doors. Virtually any image can be printed on a steel door.
Doors for a billionaire’s yacht
Antti Marine commenced its marine door production in 1992. The company has produced a quarter of a million doors for 300 ships, including Oasis class cruise ships. It has also produced cabin doors for living quarters on offshore drilling platforms, which are quite similar to those of cruise ships. Antti Marine’s doors can be found on Viking Line’s Viking Grace, on Mein Schiff class ships, and on Tallink’s Princess and Galaxy, just to mention a few. One very special vessel in which Antti Marine’s doors have been installed is the Ulysses, a 107-meter luxury yacht build for a billionaire from New Zealand. The Ulysses is to be delivered soon.
Over the years, Antti Marine’s market share has risen to a whopping 40 per cent of doors installed in top cruise ships in the world. ‘We’ve done the right things’, says Isotalo. Around 70 per cent of the production is exported, mostly to Germany, but also to France and Italy. Chile is the most distant export country.
Kalle Isotalo (left), Markko Takkinen and Toni Leino present cabin doors in the factory.
Antti-Teollisuus, which is the parent company of Antti Marine, was founded in 1952 and its main product is grain dryers and handling equipment. The company's turnover last year was some 20 million euros, of which marine doors accounted for about five million euros. It employs 120 persons, of which 30 to 35 people are involved in manufacturing marine doors. Antti-Teollisuus is owned by Kalle Isotalo and his siblings.
Antti-Teollisuus believes firmly in its business, and is currently expanding its production facilities. Last year, the company invested two million euros in new metal machining equipment.
While Antti Marine manufactures almost half of all marine doors for cruise ships globally and can build almost any kind of marine door, there is one type of door it cannot deliver: a sauna door, made of wood.
Text: Marko Mannila/Finnish Marine Industries
Photos: Antti-Teollisuus and Marko Mannila