MONTREAL – It was 140 years ago Feb. 21, 2013, that Sweden's Atlas Copco began its life as one of the world's leading industrial companies. Today it is active in more than 180 countries, including Canada.
The company entered the Canadian market in 1949 when George Blomdal, a Norwegian engineer, introduced to the northern Ontario mining market the now famous Swedish method – using a handheld rock drill with pusher leg. Today, with 33 locations across Canada and its broad distributor network, Atlas Copco confirms its ambition to be close to their customers and its commitment to support their sustainable productivity.
Last month, Atlas Copco earned a spot on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the world list, the most prestigious corporate sustainability ranking. The Global 100 recognized Atlas Copco for its commitment to sustainable productivity and its work and achievements of doing more with less. For instance, the development of new innovative, highly energy efficient products that save customers money and benefit the environment at the same time.
Atlas Copco's long history is filled with cutting edge product innovations. Highlights include introducing the first light rock drills in 1905, manufacturing the first portable air compressor that same year, introducing the world´s first serial produced hydraulic breakers in 1966, and launching new error proof and low energy tightening tools.
The landmark projects that Atlas Copco has been involved in are almost too numerous to mention. One is helping to build the Mont Blanc Tunnel across the France-Italian border, then the world's longest highway tunnel, in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1980s Atlas Copco got a dinosaur species named after it - Atlascopcosaurus Lourdsi - in appreciation of the equipment and assistance the company provided that helped unearth the skeleton in Australia.
Atlas Copco has steadily expanded its global presence. It's established operations in Kenya 1936, in the United States 1950 and in India 1960, and last year added seven countries including Senegal and Tanzania.
A podcast with an audio history is available for download on AtlasCopco.com/history. On the history section there is also a new e-book describing some of Atlas Copco's many achievements during the past 140 years.