INDUSTRY AND MANUFACTURING
Brokk - a global giant in its niche
Did you know that the world's leading manufacturer of remote controlled demolition robots is located in Skellefteå? With more than 90 percent of its sales coming from exports and a turnover of more than SEK 1 billion with good profitability, Brokk is a giant in its niche.
- We are proud of our journey and of remaining in Skellefteå where it all began, says Joakim Furtenback, head of Brokk's marketing department.
It started with the demolition of a lead furnace at Rönnskärsverken in 1976. And since then, development has been accelerating. With a strong focus on innovation and product development, Brokk has constantly found new applications for its robots, which are now used by customers in a wide range of industries. From the construction industry and civil defence to demolition in subway systems and work in underground mines.
- We also have very creative customers. Many buy machines for one purpose, but then find other areas where they can use them. This helps us to see where our products can be useful," says Joakim.
The Skellefteå company's robots have been involved in several giant international projects that have attracted worldwide attention. Ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar, a new metro system was built using Brokk's products. The restoration of underground tunnels in New York after the attack on the World Trade Center and the rescue work during the Fukushima disaster are two other examples where Brokk's remote-controlled machines have been used.
- A chartered plane from Luleå took four robots directly from us to Fukushima. We were one of the companies involved in ensuring that the consequences of the disaster were limited," says Joakim.
Brokk has 15 subsidiaries with their own sales and service engineers, but the most important functions such as marketing, purchasing, development and engineering are located at the head office in Skellefteå. This is also where more than 100 out of a total of 300 employees work.
- We are proud to remain in Skellefteå. We have loyal staff who have been with us for a long time and we value that expertise highly. We also cooperate with several local contractors from whom we buy components, and worldwide it is important to have a product that comes from northern Sweden, says Joakim.
For a long time, Brokk was one of the few players in its niche, but since the end of the 00s it has been increasingly challenged by competition. The Skellefteå-based company has responded by stepping up production development. In the spring of 2018, Brokk carried out its biggest product launch ever with four brand new robots.
- We have never been more active than we have been in the last ten years. We are investing heavily in everything from more efficient assembly to sales and product development, and we need to hire even more people," says Joakim.
Skellefteå an exotic place
Ahead of the record launch, Brokk invited its distributors and subsidiaries to a conference in Skellefteå where 75 people from 35 countries attended.
- They think Skellefteå is an exotic place on earth and many of our customers and partners also come here privately. They appreciate the peace, nature and fresh air. We have visitors who get up early in the morning just to take a walk by the river. We've been good at selling Skellefteå," says Joakim.
THREE EXAMPLES WHERE BROKKS MACHINES HAVE BEEN USED:
After the Fukushima disaster
The machines were used to clear the way to one of the reactors so that it would be possible to access and install cooling and prevent meltdowns.
After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center
After the World Trade Center collapsed, several Brokk machines were used to repair tunnels that had been damaged under New York City.
Sculpting the Crazy Horse monument
In South Dakota, USA, work is underway to sculpt a monument called "Crazy Horse". When completed, the monument will depict an Indian on a horse and will be 195 metres long and 172 metres high. Brokk is being used there with various tools to produce this sculpture.
- Senast uppdaterad:
- 2 March 2023