5 metal processing enterprises in Zhmerynka have merged into an industrial cluster. This merger, together with the assistance of PLEDDG, gave the cluster members the opportunity to implement a model of sharing modern production equipment, and thus improve product quality and reduce its cost.

The main stages of the project implementation included:

  • development of an equipment sharing model;
  • purchase of modern production equipment;
  • training staff to work with the new equipment.

Vitaliy Karabarovskyi, project manager, chairman of the Zhmerynka Industrial Cluster Public Association, shared his thoughts about achieving the main goals of the cluster:

“One of the reasons that prompted us, as representatives of the Zhmerynka metalworking industry, to seek help is the lack of available equipment in our city and the need to transport materials for processing to Vinnytsia every time. Today, thanks to modern equipment, a hydraulic bending press obtained and installed with the support of PLEDDG, which we use together, we no longer need to transport raw materials and produce high-quality goods on the spot. Accordingly, the cost of production has decreased significantly, and competitiveness in local and industry markets has increased.”

The attracted grant funding allowed the association members to reduce the cost of logistics, as now, entrepreneurs can process materials directly in Zhmerynka, as well as receive orders for the manufacture of products from surrounding cities and thus expand sales. High-tech equipment, in turn, increased the productivity of enterprises and accelerated production. These three factors together, the increase in the quality of products, the acceleration of their production, and the reduction in costs, have increased sales and exports.

Currently, the cluster includes five partners – representatives of the metalworking industry of the city of Zhmerynka. The procedure for sharing equipment within the cluster is determined by a multilateral agreement, which specifies the time of use of equipment and contributions of association members. Accordingly, out of 250 working days during the year, each member of the association is provided an equal right to use the equipment, that is 50 days.

According to association member Oleh Perepechay, owner of the production of garden shredders and solid fuel boilers:

“In the beginning, many of Zhmerynka’s metalworking entrepreneurs did not believe in the possibility of supporting business with technical assistance projects. I, already having a positive experience of receiving grant support, acted as a partner in the cluster and am absolutely satisfied with the result. Thanks to the modern equipment purchased with PLEDDG’s funding, we have much better product quality, increased production capacity.”

Further plans of the Zhmerynka Industrial Cluster include the purchase of laser metal cutting equipment and pipe benders. This will allow association members to be as independent as possible in the manufacture of a wide range of metal products: gas and solid fuel boilers, equipment for agricultural machinery, equipment for camping and outdoor activities.

Moreover, the initiators of the project actively invite other representatives of the metalworking industry in the region to join the association, because the model of resource sharing has shown its effectiveness and has good potential.

The association of entrepreneurs in clusters does not just give its members the opportunity to share equipment, achieve significant savings on production, and improve the quality of the products, but also develop socio-economic capabilities important for the well-being of the whole region. PLEDDG promotes the creation and supports business associations, as they are based on the principles of both economic efficiency and mutual support, strengthening each other’s members, increasing their visibility and influence at the community or city level.