Branko Stevanović, Plant Manager MODINE, Commercial and Industrial Solutions

Products For The World’s Markets

Modine is an American company that has factories worldwide and deals with the production of thermal systems and components for heating and cooling systems. Present in Serbia for just over a year and a half, the company already launched the construction and expansion of its production area by an additional 50%

Modine’s aim is to constantly improve its technology and thereby adapt to the demands of the market in order to avoid radical changes and forced operational solutions. Such an approach enables a reduction in the potential risks to clients.

Considering that Modine is a company that has factories all around the world, how would you rate the business environment in Serbia?

Since the start of our development in Serbia – then as part of the Luvata Group – we’ve had really great support from the Sremska Mitrovica city authorities, and that’s still the case today. They are always available for us, and that’s why we’re very satisfied. However, I think the method for attracting foreign investment should be improved, because financial grants are not decisive in all cases. In our case, for example, that wasn’t taken into consideration.

When it comes to enticing investors to start a business in Serbia, I think special attention should be paid to their further growth and development plans, considering that various companies and industrial branches don’t always have the same needs. In that sense, local authorities should initiate dialogue with individual firms and contribute wherever help is desired and required. This would ensure that practically every company received a support programme for its long-term sustainable development in Serbia, tailored to its specific needs and requirements. Investors would thus have the feeling that they are constantly in the focus of their host and would be willing to continue investments that could be extremely significant for the region’s overall development.

I will use this opportunity to invite engineers, technicians, and others who are interested, to join us. I want them to work together with us on the creation of a new factory, the mastering of new technologies and the development of products for the world market

Your parent company has registered more than 2,200 patents during the 101 years of its existence. Does Modine SRB have experts who could invent some new, unique solutions?

Despite the fact that we are personally learning to work in a field that is new to Serbia, we are already seeing interesting production solutions appearing that we can propose for patenting. We are currently focusing our attention on other activities, but I believe that in the future we will be able to boast of some new, improved solutions.
As a company, Modine has a different approach to developing innovation – via the MPS method, among other things, which is based on the Toyota Kata production philosophy. According to that method, the widest possible circle of employees should be included in overseeing and analysing the process, and then also included in the subject discussions that always lead to the emergence of some improvement. You know, people only express great creativity if you give them the freedom to show you what they know. I mentor them in that, supporting them and encouraging them to try even if they make a mistake, which so far hasn’t happened once.

What are Modine’s further plans in Serbia?

Our goal is for Modine SRB to develop, expand and increase production. Proof of that can be found in the fact that we have already started building and expanding our production area by an additional 50 per cent, where three new production lines will become operational this autumn. These investments should enable us to increase the invoiced value by a certain 30 per cent in the next year.

Further development requires the continuation of work on the formation of more stable conditions in the surrounding area, and our constructing of a new factory and launch of new product lines creates new opportunities, as well as new jobs.