Atlas Copco has solidified its position as a global pioneer in sustainable productivity solutions by delivering innovative cutting-edge technology, products and services to customers across Sub-Saharan Africa for over seven decades.
The industrial engineering giant created yet another millstone in its history on 26 June 2019 with the hosting of an annual press conference. Aptly themed to convey Atlas Copco’s new corporate brand message - The Home of Industrial Ideas – the event showcased the company’s vast capabilities in an informal, personal and homely environment.
Frans van Niekerk, Managing Director and Vice President of Atlas Copco Holdings Sub Sahara, took a trip down memory lane and provided a brief overview of the company’s illustrious African history.
Atlas Copco’s South African success story started some 124 years ago when in 1892 two brothers established a Pretoria-based manufacturing company, Gebroeders Delfos (Delfos Brothers) which produced a variety of goods such as printer process blocks and electric lighting plants. They became renowned for their Delfos Jackhammer which steered the business into becoming a rock drill spare parts specialist. Delfos formed an alliance with Swedish company AB Atlas Diesel in 1946 and a decade later became Delfos & Atlas Copco (Pty) Ltd.
Fast forward to January 2014 when the company relocated to its current purpose-built premises in Jet Park, Johannesburg, in a move to accommodate its four rapidly developing business areas, Compressor Technique, Power Technique (then Construction Technique), Industrial Technique as well as Mining & Rock Excavation Technique, under the same roof. Operations are centralised in this state-of-the-art facility that features a 6 100m2 office administration building, the Distribution Centre which contains a 9 600m2 warehouse and a 7 600m2 workshop as well as a 1 100m2 training facility known as the Academy.
The next notable date on Atlas Copco’s evolution calendar is 01 November 2017 when globally the Mining & Rock Excavation Technique business area and the Construction Tools division split from Atlas Copco to form Epiroc. The industrial segment, represented by the three business areas, Compressor Technique, Power Technique and Industrial Technique, continues to operate under Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa (Pty) Ltd. and shares the Jet Park facilities with Epiroc.
The three business areas take the value proposition of delivering world-class, reliable, Industry 4.0 compliant solutions to customers, from a one-man-operation to a multi-faceted plant, so that they can take their productivity and profitability to the next level.
Compressor Technique brings Smart AIR Solutions to industry. This business area’s extensive portfolio includes industrial compressors, expanders, blowers, boosters, air dryers, coolers, nitrogen generators, filters, energy recovery as well as monitoring and control systems. These solutions address across-the-board efficiencies in energy consumption, operating pressures, flow rates, air quality, delivery systems and service.
Power Technique provides trailblazing technology in portable air (compressors), power (generators), light (light towers) and flow (pumps) solutions as well as handheld tools. Encompassing clean drive technology, connectivity and versatility, these product innovations are ideally suited to customers and end-users in the construction, quarrying, oil and gas and exploration drilling industries.
Through its global network, Industrial Technique designs and manufactures advanced industrial power tools, bolt tightening solutions, air motors, airline infrastructure, hoist and trolleys, assembly systems, software and location and positioning solutions, underpinned by superior service support to the mining, oil and gas and automotive sectors.
In conjunction with Atlas Copco’s drive to deliver top-class solutions, the company is passionate about manufacturing products in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. Dedicated to remaining a sustainable productivity partner, the company is constantly searching for new ways to reduce its carbon footprint as well as to assist customers in reducing theirs.
Atlas Copco’s sustainable goals approach includes people, their well-being and safety, ethics, products and services, as well as the environment. Employees are the lifeblood of Atlas Copco and a culture of collaboration, respect, transparency and ethical behaviour is encouraged. With the goal of promoting a healthy working environment, the company regularly offers employee wellness programmes and supports Health Awareness Days. Placing safety as a key priority, Atlas Copco ardently implements an OHS & E (SHEQ) programme.
Also holding vital importance to Atlas Copco are the communities within which it operates. The company displays solid support for community upliftment by providing skills development programmes and supporting various CSR initiatives. Supported by local employees for approximately ten years, Water for All, a non-profit Atlas Copco employee-run initiative, has assisted in providing clean water for disadvantaged communities around the world.
“Atlas Copco has galvanised engineering and manufacturing excellence, environmental consciousness, expert service and customer-centricity into holistic solutions. We are The Home of Industrial Ideas and will continue to enhance our technology, product and service suite in order to remain customers’ preferred productivity solutions provider,” concludes Van Niekerk.