Tautvydas Lukaševičius "Verslo žinios"

When Saudi Arabia announced plans to build a futuristic city called The Line, where about 9 million people will live in an area of 34 sq. km, many likely thought it was just another marketing gimmick best suited for investor pitches.

It is challenging to imagine the planned construction of a 200-meter-wide and 170-kilometre-long structure connecting the northeastern coast, desert and mountains of Saudi Arabia to be built by 2030.

However, Ignas Vosylius, the CEO of Axioma Metering UAB, which manufactures smart water meters in the Kaunas Free Economic Zone (FEZ), assures that the plans of the state of the Arabian Peninsula are plausible.

The country attempts to invest in the latest technologies, which make living a modern life less exhausting for the environment.

Even before the interview with VŽ, the CEO says Saudi Arabia seeks to attract manufacturers of the most modern technologies. Axioma Metering also has expansion plans there. However, until the contracts are signed, we agree to turn the conversation slightly differently.

Have you built another plant in the Kaunas FEZ? How did it go? You must have already hung the wreath.

The building is already standing. Equipment assembly work is now underway. We will start production at the beginning of the year, most likely at the end of January.

The factory is the same as the first one? Is there any difference?

Functionally, it is very similar to the first one. It will simply hold two times more equipment. When we entirely build it, our production capacity in the SEZ will have tripled from the original.

In numbers, it would be?

We will be able to produce about 6 million pcs of smart water meters per year.

Maybe it was necessary to build a bigger factory right away? Didn't you predict success?

We predicted. That's why we bought two plots at once. They are next to each other. In the first factory, we did everything gradually; we started with one production line. It is not necessary to rush to do everything at once. At each stage, we also introduce technological innovations. We are raising the level of automation and robotization. We do not copy-paste; we improve processes. Experience and knowledge come with time.

How much does it cost to install one such line?

One line costs about 10 million euros. Our production is distinguished by the fact that we do everything ourselves under one roof. We do not order anything from outside because the production processes are very sensitive, so it is important to maintain the quality parameters. We want to have complete control and keep the knowledge to ourselves.

In principle, it would be cheaper to outsource some operations, but the intellectual property remains with us.

And the building construction estimate did not inflate?

We worked with a construction company belonging to the same group of companies, so there were no problems. Everything was built on time and within budget. Separately, the construction of the building cost another 13-15 million. Eur. It depends on how you count with or without all the furniture.

Full article (in Lithuanian):  Gamybą Kauno LEZ plečianti „Axioma Metering“ taikosi į 100 mln. Eur klubą ir Saudo Arabiją - Verslo žinios (vz.lt) 

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