Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe exhibitor Makinen specialises in cabin refurbishment, and has worked on tens of thousands of cabins across the cruise and ferry sector, including Celebrity Equinox, Norwegian Getaway, Marella Explorer II, and Celebrity Summit. In this interview we discuss the differences between working on newbuild and refurbishment, Makinen’s current exciting projects, and their LEAN methodology with CEO Jaakko Makikalli – read on below…
Can you tell us a bit about Makinen?
Jaakko Makikalli, CEO: Makinen is a family business that was founded in Finland in the late 1960s. The history of the company and its owners covers over half a century of supplying furniture and services to the cruise and ferry lines and global shipbuilding community. We provide turnkey refurbishment and newbuilding of cabins and public spaces for luxury cruise ships and vessels operating worldwide, with offices in Finland, the USA, and China. In addition, we are a marine-grade furniture manufacturer and supplier with our production facility located in Finland.
What makes Makinen unique is that we were the first company in the world to implement LEAN methods to the project execution of refurbishment projects. We have refined the Makinen LEAN operating model in co-operation with the leading companies in Lean, such as Porsche Consulting. Utilizing our LEAN approach, we have the resources and expertise to refurbish even 200 high-quality cabins per day.
Makinen provides a service for newbuild and refurbishment – can you explain how your services differ to account for the unique difficulties of each?
Our LEAN journey at Makinen began in 2012 with the initial focus on cabin refurbishment projects. After years of studying, learning, and refining our processes, we were able to prove the clear benefits of using LEAN: reduced dry dock time and no delays, fewer project days to completion, more completed cabins per day, almost no claims made, and no contractor riding crews needed, less material and resource waste, and cost savings in materials, logistics, and resources. We have also applied LEAN into our own furniture manufacturing with similar benefits.
The main difference between newbuild and refurbishment projects is naturally the timeline of the projects. By introducing the best LEAN practices from refurbishment, we have reduced the construction time of the interior works for the newbuild vessels. Our newbuild services include turnkey deliveries of all interior works: cabins, public spaces, and galleys. An essential key to working out any difficulties – whether it is a newbuild or refurbishment project – is the transparency and close collaboration with all parties involved: Makinen, the shipowner’s project team, interior architects & designers and the shipyard’s management.
What exciting projects do you have coming up?
We are currently busy on many fronts. At the moment, our refurbishment team is working in Marseille on a major cruise ship cabin refurbishment project with full scope. This project also includes a large-scale delivery of Makinen sofa beds for two vessels, keeping our production site highly occupied. Our newbuilding department will continue its interior turnkey projects for SunStone’s Infinity series in China, with the fourth and fifth ships currently under construction. As the cruise industry and the rest of the world are gradually resuming regular daily operations, we are also making efforts to continually develop and refine our LEAN method and processes to serve our old & new customers better in the future.
Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe is coming up very soon – what are you excited about for the show?
It is great to have the people and companies from the cruise industry get together after a long period of working only remotely using Teams, Zoom, and other apps for meetings. Even though it has been a relief to have all the various tools and the technology to help us communicate, I still firmly believe that nothing will ever beat meeting people face to face. The upcoming CSI Europe gives us an excellent opportunity to meet our clients, designers, and suppliers and contact potential new customers and partners in the exhibition. Combined with the conference discussions and networking events, we expect two days of great encounters, new ideas, and strengthening the spirit among industry peers. Also, as we have the best LEAN solutions in the market to execute cabin refurbishment and newbuilding projects, we cannot wait to share the word about it at Makinen exhibition stand #313!