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Many things have changed since the company Atlas was first founded in 1873, in Stockholm, Sweden, but the spirit of innovation remains. In the early days, we provided Swedish Rail with all types of equipment for building and running the nation’s new railway. However, as the world evolved, and our customers’ needs with it, we expanded into compressors, tools and rock drills needed to industrialize the world. Today, we have left rock drills behind, but hold leading positions in many of the same industries and have added additional segments.
In parallel to delivering equipment to the railroad industry during the late 1800s, we took up regular production of pneumatic tools in 1901 and established a pneumatics department. In 1917, we merged with Diesels Motorer, a manufacturer of marine engines and stationary diesel engines. The merged company was named Atlas Diesel and during the 1920s, all operations were moved to Sickla, just outside Stockholm, where we are still headquartered today.
In the 1940s, the diesel engine business became less and less profitable and in 1948 we stopped making diesel engines altogether. The company’s operations now focused on pneumatic tools, compressors, and drilling equipment. A new name was sought that would reflect and better unite the company’s operations. In 1956, Atlas Copco was launched, derived from the original Atlas name and combined with that of a Belgian subsidiary – Compagnie Pneumatique Commerciale.
In the 1970s, the world economy was in recession and production costs grew everywhere. We made a series of strategic acquisitions to broaden our product portfolio, targeting closely related products and brands, and aimed to specifically grow the company’s footprint in Asia. This strategy of internationalization has continued ever since.
Today Atlas Copco is a company with expertise and services divided into four business areas – Compressor Technique, Vacuum Technique, Industrial Technique and Power Technique – to support customers in some 180 countries. Our innovative products, solutions, and services enable everything from safe medical treatment to the production of renewable energy – improving the everyday lives of people everywhere.
As we in 2023 look back on 150 fantastic years, we recognize that we wouldn’t be here without the work of our passionate people – employees who never cease to be curious and strive to learn, who come up with ideas for new technologies and services. Together with our customers, we develop new products that meet the always higher standards we set for ourselves: on how we use natural resources, on safety, ergonomics, and productivity. This is how we ensure that the Atlas Copco Group will continue to play a leading role in shaping the future.