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Sandvik is a high-technology global engineering firm named after the Swedish town Sandviken where its headquarters are based. The company is involved in the manufacturing of mining and construction equipment used primarily in hard rock excavation. The other two business areas include cemented-carbide tools and tooling systems for metalworking applications, and specialty steels such as stainless steel, special alloys, resistance heating materials, and process systems.

The company’s tooling business is operated under the umbrella of Sandvik Coromant and Sandvik Hard Materials. Mining and construction equipment is sold through Sandvik Mining and Construction and steel products through Sandvik Materials Technology.

Sandvik Mining and Construction offers a wide range of equipment used in hard rock drilling, excavation, demolition, recycling, and other types of bulk-materials handling. Products include rock tools, drilling rigs, loaders, and trucks used in mining, as well as various types of crushers, screen plants, and conveyors.

Its products are used by a broad cross section of industries including aerospace, mining, construction, chemical processing, pulp and paper, and the oil and gas industry. About two-thirds of all the products manufactured are used for industrial consumption while one-third of products consist of investment goods.

Sandvik’s commitment to new product development is evident in the amount capital invested in research and development. In 2008 three percent of all invoiced sales were spent of research—approximately SEK 2,811 million in total. An area of recent heavy investment has been on the development of cemented-carbide rotary drill bits used by the gas and oil drilling industries.[1]


[edit] History

Sandvik was founded by Goran Frednik Goransson in 1862 as Hogbo Stal & Jernwerks AB. Goransson was reputed as the first person in the world to succeed in using the Bessemer process for steel production on a mass industrial scale. The company’s early product range includes drill steel for rock drilling, tires for railroad cars and locomotives, and propeller axles for steamboats. In 1866 the company went bankrupt and then was later registered under the name of Sandvik.[2]

[edit] Wire Operations

Throughout the 1870s the company became involved in developing cold-rolled, u-shaped wire for umbrella ribs. The product, called Sandvik Paragon, was produced until 1951. The dominant market for the company’s products in the early 1870s was Russia. By 1876 the company was engaged in wire-rolling and cold-drawing operations when a mill was built. Wire used in watches, screws, bicycle spokes, and springs were produced at the plant. In 1883 Sandvik branched off into the production of cold-rolled and hardened strip steel as well.[3]

[edit] A Push to Product Expansion

By the mid-1880s Sandvik was incorporating the use of steel into the development of other products. In 1885 the company delivered its first hand saw to the market followed by steel conveyor belts in 1902 and hollow drill steel for rock drilling applications in 1907. In 1900 the company’s founder, Goran Frednik Goransson, died. In 1901 the company was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.[4]

[edit] Manufacturing to a Global Market

Ongoing product expansion steered the company towards large-scale electrification of operations by 1903. Sandvik also acquired a majority share of a company in Switzerland that developed springs for pocket watches. It marked the company’s first attempt to manufacture products outside of Sweden. Sandvik quickly established subsidiaries in the U.K. and in the U.S. called Sandvik Steel Inc. In 1920 the company began producing electric steel followed by stainless steel in 1921.[5]

[edit] A Shift to Cemented-carbide Steel

By 1947 Sandvik had abandoned the production of Bessemer steel to focus exclusively on the production of tools made from cemented-carbide. In 1942 the Coromant brand name was established. Sandvik also started to manufacture the first cemented-carbide-coated rock drills in 1942 and the first cemented-carbide-tipped rock drills in 1944. Other products introduced included ceramic cutting materials and drill rods used for drilling deep holes in the 1950s. By 1969 the company became the first in the world to also offer surface-coated cemented-carbide inserts. Plants were opened in the U.S. and Canada in 1971. The following year, the company changed its name to Sandvik AB. Production of cemented-carbide also began in Japan in 1976.[6]

[edit] New Ownership

In 1958 Sandvik was taken over by the Kinnevik Group. By 1983 a new Swedish company, Skanska, would succeed Kinnevik as the company’s owner. The company would change owners once again in 1997 when the Swedish investment company, Industrivarden, assumed majority ownership.[7]

[edit] Acquisitions and Partnerships

In the 1940s Sandvik established a cooperative agreement with Atlas Copco in the rock drilling field. This partnership was terminated in 1989. Two years later Sandvik acquired 25 percent of Finnish rock-drilling equipment manufacturer Tamrock, followed by Bahco Tools in 1991 and CTT Tools, the world's largest manufacturer of high-speed steel tools, in 1992. Sandvik also became the first company in the world to introduce industry scale diamond-coated carbide-cutting inserts through its acquisition of Russia’s largest cemented-carbide plant. In 1996 the company also acquired 42 percent of Kanthal AB, of which it became a majority shareholder in 1997. In the same year it also acquired all shares of Tamrock.[8]

[edit] Corporate Restructuring

By 1998 the company formed its business area for mining and construction. It also sought to divest its saws and tools business, focusing instead on the core three business areas it still presently serves: tooling, mining and construction, and specialty steels.

[edit] The Company Today

Today, Sandvik trades under the ticker symbol SAND on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Its present-day business activities and products have representation in 130 countries. According to Sandvik’s official global website, the company had 50,000 employees and sales of SEK 93 billion at the end of 2008.[9]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  2. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  3. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  4. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  5. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  6. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  7. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  8. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.
  9. Sandvik Official Corporate website. 16-06-2009.