With a turnover of NOK 350 million, Wonderland is one of the largest bed manufacturers in Norway. The Åndalsnes based company is planning to increase exports to Europe and is being helped by Innovation Norway.
A high-tech robot production line ensures that the foam rubber, springs, and other components are correctly positioned and become a ‘sleeping surface’ at the other end. The first foam mattress was made 50 years ago, and Wonderland now produces more than 90,000 mattresses a year at the factory in Åndalsnes.
“The robot production line has the capacity to produce two to three times as many mattresses should the market so wish. We think that the growth will come from exports, where the Nordic region and parts of EU will be our priority,” says the CEO at Wonderland, Lars Stenerud.
The bed manufacturer can look back on five decades of changing ownership, demanding markets, and tough competition. Wonderland has fared well and now wants to grow further. It already has some exports to the Nordic region, although it now wants to increase exports to Europe. Participating in Innovation Norway’s export development programme, Global Gateways, guarantees it close follow-up throughout the entire export process. We contribute expertise, advice, and networking to ensure faster access to new markets.
Getting fast robotic arms to put together the soft components is a challenging task. The robot production line, which was designed to help streamline operations and improve products, was realised thanks to a loan and grant from Innovation Norway and loan from DNB.
“We approved the funding for this investment for several reasons. Wonderland is developing well in terms of both growth and finances, it is an important employer that employs a lot of full-time equivalents, and the company has capable owners and management,” says Magne Aarsnes at Innovation Norway Møre og Romsdal.
He underlines the importance of having a cooperative bank on the team. The bank has contributed with flexible funding for operations, in a good dialogue with Innovation Norway. Stenerud elaborates on the signiﬁcance of this:
“Every company looking for a technological or market boost needs healthy, secure funding. Thanks to investment support and loans, we have realised important investments in IT infrastructure, robotised production, and the necessary structural building measures,” he says.
Sustainability is a key factor in Wonderland, and its products are designed to be good for both you and the environment. Washable textiles, reversible mattresses, adjustable zones, and the fact that sections of the beds can be replaced all contribute to ensuring the beds have a longer service life.
The company uses sustainable materials and works with local subcontractors to ensure that production is as local and efficient as possible.
“We are now midway through a large research project that is developing the knowledge base for future investments in people, products, production, and markets. The project was co-funded by the Research Council of Norway and includes the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and SINTEF, as well as the entire value chain from raw materials via environmental companies to new raw materials. When this knowledge is translated into products and value creation, it will provide the basis for new applications to Innovation Norway,” says Stenerud.