Atlas Copco was founded in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, in 1873. Initially, the company made products for the burgeoning railway business, but over the last 140 years Atlas Copco has expanded into new sectors and now leads the world in the production of rock drills, tools and compressors.Read More
Atlas Copco was founded in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, in 1873. Initially, the company made products for the burgeoning railway business, but over the last 140 years Atlas Copco has expanded into new sectors and now leads the world in the production of rock drills, tools and compressors.
The company is now divided into four different divisions: manufacturing compressed air and gas plant; construction and mining machinery; assembly systems and industrial tools.
Over the years, Atlas Copco has been responsible for many innovations. Although the company no longer makes its own diesel engines, it was heavily involved in developments in the early life of the diesel engine. In 1901, for example, Atlas Copco designed the first totally Swedish diesel engine. This was a small and lightweight unit with an excellent power-to-weight ratio for the time. This engine is regarded as being an important milestone in the development of the diesel engine. In 1906, Atlas Copco invented a diesel engine with a reverse gear that was ideal for use in the large ships that were becoming more common at the time.
Atlas Copco is still famous today for its compressors, and that reputation has been built on the foundation of more than 100 years of experience. In 1904 they produced their first piston air compressor, which was quickly followed by the first portable model in 1905. Air-cooled units were developed in the 1930s and 1940s, and in the 1950s Atlas Copco developed a totally new concept in compressors in the form of the screw compressor. Electric compressors arrived in the 1960s, and from then on the company established itself as a leader in the field.
Atlas Copco was instrumental in the development of drilling techniques, including the Swedish method in the 1940s. It has constantly invested in R&D and innovations in the field have been frequent, with features such as automation, computerisation and hydraulics being added to more modern machines. As time has moved on, so has the range of Atlas Copco drilling machines, with the latest generation based on modular designs and with new standards of automation and efficiency.
Atlas Copco has also been hugely active in the construction and demolition markets, almost from the beginning. In 1905 it introduced the first machine for stone working, which was rapidly followed by pneumatic breakers to break up hard aggregates. Breakers, hammers and compactors still make up an important part of the Atlas Copco business today.
Atlas Copco’s industrial power tools and assembly equipment can be seen as another vital part of the company’s business. In 1901 it started with pneumatic hammers, chippers and riveting machines, and these have evolved over the years into the sophisticated units we see today. These software-managed and battery-powered tools are found everywhere in modern assembly plants and deliver the kind of precision and efficiency now required in modern manufacturing techniques.
In 2013 Atlas Copco celebrated its 140th birthday, and it can look back proudly on a history of achievement that has seen the company come to dominate its core business areas.