Home' Australian Resources and Investment : May 2012 Contents Volume 6Number 2•AustralianResourcesandInvestment•67
It’s great to be here in
Melbourne and it’s really
great to see so many of
you coming here to listen
to me and hear a bit about
Sandvik and our views
as a sub-supplier to the
mining industry, and hear
of the developments going
Mr Olof Faxander
President and CEO
y name is Olof Faxander, I’ve been the CEO of Sandvik for about one
year – a little over one year – and it’s a fantastically exciting company
to join, really, the Sandvik group, with very, very proud employees and
a very, very high technological standing for all the products we’re involved in, and
that’s one of the core parts of what I think makes us successful as an organisation.
I will talk about the Sandvik Group a bit, and what we do within our mining
business area, which is one of our five business areas within the company, a bit
about what we do here in Australia, and then some key market drivers, as we see
it, for the mining industry going forward.
The Sandvik Group was founded in 1862, so this is actually a special year for
us in the company – we’re celebrating 150 years since our inauguration.
The Sandvik Group was founded by importing the Bessemer process to Sweden,
and it was developed to be a volume producer of carbon steel – that was what
actually led to the foundation of the company.
In 1877, there was already a steel crisis, and there was a lot of downward
pressure on steel prices. The company at that stage started to specialise in steel
products – higher-alloyed steels – and also we started to internationalise our
business. Gradually, we then moved into saws and tools and some people might
have seen a Sandvik saw blade or a file. It’s a business that we sold in the 1990s,
but that was one area that grew a lot in the Sandvik Group.
Then we moved into an area that has been, in recent decades, maybe our
biggest success, which is manufacturing different components in tungsten carbide,
inserts for milling and turning, which is maybe our biggest use of that. But also
what brought us in towards the mining side of the business was making drill bits
in tungsten carbide, so we had a lot of technology and know-how around producing
those kinds of products.
Then, in the mid-1990s, we actually had a bit of a battle with one of our
competitors – another Swedish company called Atlas Copco, and that led Sandvik
to buy an equipment supplier to the mining industry called Tamrock. That’s also
where the orange colour of our machines comes from. That started a journey into
expanding a business area within the mining sector, and that business sector,
which has only 15-plus years within the company, has grown and was last year
in revenue terms the largest business area in the group, so we’ve had enormous
growth within this mining business area in the company.
So, today we have grown over these 150 years into a company that has an
annual turnover of over A$13 billion per year, and we had 50,000 employees
worldwide at around 140 manufacturing sites all over the globe, so we had 50,000
employees working in all different parts of the world.
We are a listed company on the Swedish Stock Exchange and have 113,000
shareholders. Of our shareholding base, about one-third are non-Swedish
That gives you a bit of an idea of the size and picture of our group overall.
We now, as of 1 January, have five business areas in the company. We have a
construction business area, which is closely linked to our mining business area.
We have some equipment that is similar – tunnelling drill rigs and mining drill
rigs have a lot in common, as does crushing technology, and so on. Then we have
our machining solutions business area, where we make inserts for metal cutting
applications – our most well-known brand in that area is called Coromant, and
we’re really a world leader in that industry. Then we still have what used to be
our steel operations, which is now called Sandvik Materials Technology, where we
produce various types of specialty steel products – high-alloyed stainless steel but
also nickel-based alloys and so on, for very, very advanced applications. And then
we have a fifth business area called Sandvik Venture, where we have some other
business units that didn’t fit into these other four business areas.
We own a small mine ourselves, in Austria, mining tungsten, and of course
tungsten is a very important resource for us in both the mining area to make the
drill bits, and in the machining area to produce the inserts. Sandvik buys one-third
of the tungsten exported out of China – China is one of the main manufacturers of
tungsten, so that’s exposure for us there, of course. Having our own facilities for
both recycling and mining our own tungsten is very important for us.
Now a bit about our organisational structure.
Links Archive March 2012 July 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page