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Milestone chart for 100 years in the UK

In October 1919, Atlas Copco established its first operation outside Scandinavia with a single sales office selling diesel engines in London. It has now grown to become a large organisation employing more than 2,500 people at six manufacturing plants and 15 sales companies across the country.

Initially in central London and then in Wembley the Atlas Copco UK company quickly developed a sales and service operation for the full range of products. Even back then it was realised that innovative products and excellence in customer care was the key to long term growth and sustainable success.

In 1956 the company moved its operations to the recently established new town of Hemel Hempstead. There was a growing population to draw on for the workforce along with excellent transport links. The UK company still has its head office there and continues to be a major, well-known employer in the town.

Some notable milestones have marked that journey. From the introduction of the pneumatic tools during the 1920s, through to the launch of the first rotary screw compressor several decades later, product innovation has always provided a guiding light. This has been bolstered with some high-profile acquisitions, including Chicago Pneumatic and Desoutter in the 1980s and 1990s. More recently, Atlas Copco has acquired other market-leading companies, such as automotive parts manufacturer Henrob and vacuum product and abatement specialist Edwards Group in 2014. Now, Atlas Copco stands ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the next 100 years.

Regional events

On the anniversary itself, 21st October, to celebrate this incredible milestone, Atlas Copco employees up and down the UK stopped what they were doing for 2 hours to gather together to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of being in the UK.

Selection of images from our 100 year regional events

Events were held in 13 locations across the UK. Employees were invited to join the event closest to where they were located, which meant that everyone that works under the Atlas Copco umbrella was involved. There was an interactive quiz, where we discovered how much our employees really know about Atlas Copco! Light refreshments were provided and the opportunity to chat and spend time with others in the business. At 11 am we broadcast speeches from Alex Bongaerts, UK Holding Manager and Mats Rahmstrom to all the events. Alex thanked everyone for their hard work and commitment as we reflected on how the company has reached this impressive milestone. We also attempted a link-up between the events where we could see each event and the teams there gave us a ‘wave’.

Press conference

For the more formal celebrations, we hosted a celebratory press event at an iconic London venue. At this event, we took the time to reflect on the past 100 years but also look forward to the future at a time when megatrends such as digitalization, electrification and artificial intelligence are set to transform the face of modern industry.

Selection of images from our 100 year press conference

We are proud of our long history in the UK, and the future looks very bright. In our opinion, there has never been a better time to be operating in the industrial sector. Digitally enabled technologies are transforming the way we design, build and operate equipment such as compressors. Indeed, Atlas Copco hopes the next 100 years will be as successful as our first century of operations in the UK.

Alex Bongaerts, UK Holdings Manager at Atlas Copco.

Guests at the event heard how Atlas Copco had embarked on a significant process of electrification, with battery and hybrid products expected to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

In the News

Videos

As part of our celebrations, we created a number of videos that share our story. Take a look below:

100 years in the UK - Milestones video

Step back in time and take a look to see how Atlas Copco in the UK has evolved over its first 100 years.

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Atlas Copco in the UK

Some of our employees, past and present, share their memories from the past 100 years of Atlas Copco in the UK.

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100 faces of Atlas Copco

A celebration of the people behind Atlas Copco in the UK today.

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100 Years in the UK animated logo

A creative display of the 100 years in the UK logo

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People Corporate Events United Kingdom