Excellent international teamwork!

“Strong and powerful” is the meaning of “Forte”, part of the name of one of the largest European furniture manufacturers. In 2016 Fabryki Mebli Forte ordered a particleboard plant from Siempelkamp, which was started up in Suwalki, Poland in 2018 – a strong and at the same time fast performance. On the occasion of this milestone, we spoke with Klaus Dahlem, member of the board at Fabryki Mebli Forte and responsible for investments, purchasing, technology, research and development.

Fabryki Mebli Forte is a respected and established furniture manufacturer based in Suwalki and four other locations. Why did you decide to produce your own raw material?

Klaus Dahlem: Forte in Poland is a listed company and one of the largest flatpack furniture manufacturers in Europe. We had several important reasons for investing in the construction of a particleboard plant. On the one hand, we want to ensure the future supply of materials to our four furniture factories in Poland. On the other hand, we now also have the means to manufacture exactly the products we need for the respective furniture production plants. This means that we can produce the required qualities for the required applications. We change the weight per unit area of the particleboards and optimize the dimensions of the boards to tailor them optimally to the required order. These were the decisive factors that prompted us to invest in our own particleboard production.

The planning and realization of a complete wood-based panel plant is a very extensive undertaking with great challenges. What were your considerations in the choice of a supplier for this investment – and what were the factors underpinning your decision afterwards?

Klaus Dahlem: First and foremost, Forte is a furniture manufacturer, as already mentioned. The decision to invest in our own particleboard production meant breaking new ground with many risks involved. To invest such a large sum as a newcomer was a great challenge for all of us. In Siempelkamp we found a competent partner who had already put their trust in us in this orientation phase. Siempelkamp supported us very much in the course of project planning for in the end, it was not only a decision about technology and its price, but also a question of mutual trust.

The wood-based panel plant was started up extremely quickly. What was your impression of the cooperation between the Forte and Siempelkamp assembly teams in the assembly phase and during startup?

Klaus Dahlem: On completion of project planning we started assembling the plant in the middle of winter – and completed the entire project very fast. In some areas this was a record-breaking achievement and, of course, only possible in perfect cooperation. There was excellent cooperation between the local construction companies and all the persons who managed everything on a daily basis. I can still remember very well a cold day, minus 20° C: nobody ever thought of closing down the site, everybody carried on. This was only possible because the international cooperation worked so well. We didn’t have any problems with the different languages either, sometimes there were interpreters present, and we had such a great time despite the hard work.

You require certain material particleboard qualities for your furniture factory in order to meet the high quality requirements. How long did it take to stabilize and optimize the plant to ensure these requirements in flawless shift production?

Klaus Dahlem: After pressing the start button, I think it still took us some months to really get familiarized with the system, to develop a safety scheme and to detect hidden faults. Our employees were new-comers who had never worked in particleboard production before, so it took a certain amount of time before we were able to manage the settings in a targeted manner in order to handle the different board qualities. Hardly a day goes without us gaining new experience. There’s also a big challenge in reducing the amount of raw materials for the differ-ent product qualities as well as the panel emissions. We have already learned a lot here, but this is an ongoing process that is being optimized again and again to perfection – and we do appreciate our partners at Siempelkamp supporting us in every way.

In addition to Suwałki, Forte manufactures at four other locations, in Ostrów, Mazowiecka, Białystok and Hajnówka. What made you go for Suwałki to be the site for your raw material production?

Klaus Dahlem: There were several reasons for choosing Suwałki. At first, we had other possible locations in our sights, but one of the biggest customers is our local furni-ture factory here, about 10 km away from this board fac-tory. Another reason, of course, was the area rich in com-mercial forests as we are on the outskirts of Masuria. There are very large forests in three adjoining countries, Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.

In retrospect: Finally, can you name some outstanding points from the cooperation that have made a lasting impression on you? Were there outstanding personalities in the Siempelkamp team who, in your opinion, gave the whole project momentum?

Klaus Dahlem: Of course there are outstanding personali-ties, but it would be wrong to name just a few now because you might forget to name the many project members who played decisive parts in this project. It was the entire team that always accompanied us through the whole process. The fact that new friends were made here, is an indicative of the quality of the overall team performance. 

Siempelkamp's technological concept for Fabryki Mebli Forte

Customer magazine


Scheduled dates

Scheduled dates


Our locations
Contact person Xing LinkedIn Facebook Search

Your contact at Siempelkamp

Your contact person