We invest for the future
Åre Skidfabrik, which is Scandinavia’s only alpine ski factory, invests for the future. In 2020 we have made the single largest investment in our 40-year history. This consists of an significant extension with increased production area, an energy efficiency solution with recycling of the production’s excess heat, and two new machines for increased efficiency and even higher quality of the skis. This makes Åre Skidfabrik one of the world’s most modern ski factories. See the video below for a glimpse of our production.
Expansion to meet greater demand
The reason for this investment is a long period of growth for both Extrem Skis and the other ski brands that Åre Skidfabrik manufactures for. These are the three Norwegian brands SGN Skis, Stereo Skis and Moonlight Mountain Gear, which all have been producing skis at Åre Skidfabrik since 2015. The latest ski brand that has relocated its production to Åre Skidfabrik is American Rocky Mountain Underground. The high quality of the skis, combined with numerous international awards that the ski brands continuously win, has created a great demand.
To meet this increased demand, as well as to make the factory even more competitive, Åre Skidfabrik has now expanded its production area by 50%. In addition to greater capacity, one of the main reasons is higher production efficiency, where the expansion provides the opportunity to optimize the flow of production and more room for machines.
Innovative recycling of excess heat
Åre Skidfabrik has always run its business with 100% renewable energy from Jämtkraft‘s local hydropower stations. In connection with the extension, conditions were provided for replacing the old heating system and implementing a major energy efficiency improvement. Together with experts in the field, we have developed a completely unique ventilation solution that recovers the excess heat from the ski presses.
“It’s absolutely fantastic” says Patrik Söderlund, who is the factory manager and co-founder, and continues, “With the excess heat from these two machines, we can heat up our entire factory building during working hours without adding any extra energy.”
In addition to this innovative solution, we have drilled 1000 m of energy holes for a new water-borne geothermal heating solution. The combination of these two energy-smart systems means that Åre Skidfabrik has reduced its energy consumption by 70 % per square meter.
In addition to manufacturing all skis with 100 % renewable energy, as well as running an energy-optimized factory, we meet many other criteria in sustainability.
All production takes place in Sweden with its strict rules and laws regarding working environment, as well as waste and chemical management. In addition, Åre Skidfabrik uses an epoxy system unique to the ski industry, Pre-Preg, which was originally developed for the aerospace industry. This means that all glass and carbon fiber material is mechanically impregnated at the supplier and that no employees need to handle liquid epoxy, which is otherwise normal in the ski industry. In addition to these positive aspects, Pre-Preg also means that the quality of the skis is higher as the epoxy is distributed perfectly in the skis, as well as the skis become lighter in weight.
“If you look at the big picture at Åre Skidfabrik, I do not think you can manufacture skis in a more sustainable way than we do today” says Carl Geijer, CEO and co-owner, and continues “This is something we are very proud of and also something I believe our customers value highly.”
Machine investments for increased efficiency and quality
After several years of evaluating grinding machines, we finally chose the market’s most advanced grinding robot from Montana, Switzerland. This investment means further improvement of the skis’ grinding results and the quality is now among the highest within the ski industry. On top of this the productivity has significantly increased.
To increase the efficiency of ski manufacturing, we have invested in another machine from American Eastman Machine Company, which is the world leader in the manufacturing cutting tables for material production. We uses this machine to cut fiberglass, carbon fiber, running bases and topsheets with the absolute highest precision.
“It’s almost 40 years since we made our first snowboard at home in our parents’ garage. Today we are stronger than ever before and could not be more prepared for the future.” says Patrik Söderlund, factory manager and co-founder.