Scanfiber Composites is team work
International defence cuts hasn’t been good to Scanfiber Composites but brighter days are ahead of the Danish armour company
Sindal is a small and distant village in rural Denmark but also the home of Scanfiber Composites, a leading manufacturer of just about any kind of armour for land, sea and air vehicles. The company was founded in 1996 but the armour foundation was laid some years earlier. Founder, owner and CEO Erik B. Christensen explains:
- I graduated as engineer in 1989 and that same year I got my first job at a local company in the high-tech fiber products business. They hired me to develop new products and build up an armour business for the military based on the company’s extensive knowledge on fibers. The new business area came off to a good start and a major costumer were the Danish Navy that supplied its entire fleet of Standard Flex ships with armour. But the market dried up and in 1992 the military business was shot down.
Cash in transit
Erik B. Christensen moved on to the wind power business and kept working on fiber solutions but privately, he still had ambitions and ideas about armour and protection.
- I had some good contacts in Norway and Sweden from my first job and the idea of establishing a company based on protection of cash in transit materialized in my head. In 1996, I left my well paid job and established my own company, the Scanfiber Composites CEO says.
The Norwegian contact was just about the only costumer for the first two years but in 1998, Scanfiber Composites saw its first international sale. The sale was to Hong Kong and the costumer is still there, now that Scanfiber Composites sells around 90 percent of its products abroad, UK and Scandinavia being the biggest markets.
Navy is key
After three years Scanfiber Composites received its first purchase order from the military when the Danish navy needed upgraded protection on the corvette fleet. Erik B. Christensen elaborates:
- During the first Gulf War a Danish corvette was send to the Gulf. Since the ship had no other protection than the hull itself, it was upgraded with armour and I was a part of that upgrade in my first job. Seven years later that armour needed upgrade and I was a part of that also and this time with my own company. I liked that feeling.
The future looks bright
20 years after its establishment Scanfiber Composites is supplying just about any kind of armour apart from body protection to meet the increasing needs in both armies, navies and air forces. Everything is produced in house from pressing, water cutting to coating, all is delivered the each costumers specific needs. There is still only one owner of Scanfiber Composites, but Erik B. Christensen makes it very clear:
- This company is teamwork, without each and every of my employees there would be no company at all!
Most of the employees in the Danish defence company have been there for 10 or 15 years and although Scanfiber Composites is situated in the countryside all positions until now is occupied with the right qualifications and the future looks bright:
- Scanfiber Composites holds a strong position in a key market that is growing. The Ukraine crises has changed the political mindset on our major markets, recently we received a quote from the Finnish Navy and I firmly believe that Scanfiber Composites are on a solid growth path, the Scanfiber Composites CEO ends our interview.
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