The enterprise was founded in September 2009. “Konko’s original focus was set on the production of steel structures,” explains Andrzej Zukiewicz, general manager of Konko and with the company for five years. Mr. Zukiewicz is responsible for production monitoring, technical design and human resources. “The company evolved from Bucyrus Poland Sp. Z o.o., a holding of the American corporation Bucyrus International Inc., and is now an independent business in terms of finance and organization. Bucyrus Poland divided into the mercantile division of the same name and the manufacturing division Konko Sp. z o.o.”
Konko’s history actually reaches back to 1992 when the joint venture Euro Constructions Poland produced machines and equipment for coal mining. Halbach & Braun, Vandeput Constructies and PRIM S.A. were the partners. Four years later, Deutsche Bergbau Technik GmbH bought shares from H&B and Vandeput.
It soon took over the rest from PRIM S.A., and the former joint venture became DBT Polska Sp. z o.o. With the name change, the scope of production expanded from underground conveyors to hydraulic shield elements and repairs of combines.
Ruhrkohle AG, owner of DBT GmbH, sold DBT Polska Sp. z o.o. to Bucyrus in 2007, and two years after that, Konko took on its current form. At the present time, the Polish company maintains two production facilities in Mysłowice and Oświęcim, the latter being located about 25 km from the company headquarters.
“Together with our 220 employees at both sites, we were able to generate turnover of 15 million EUR last year,” states the general manager. “Our core competences are found in the manufacturing and distribution of welded products for the mining and building industries.”
Concerning this matter, Konko maintains modern machinery to meet the demands of its customers on the domestic and foreign markets. “At the moment, we have more than 2,000 welding hours per week,” says Mr. Zukiewicz. “Amongst others, a CNC controlled oxygen cutting machine with 32 m long portals and four burners is able to cut material up to 250 mm thick. Furthermore, we have three hydraulic presses with 360 t of pressure, a plasma-cutting machine with 3D head, and several cranes with lifting forces between 5 and 20 t.”
Due to high quality requirements of its target audiences, the company places great emphasis on high production standards and certifications. “All welders are certified according to ISO 9001 2000 and ISO 3834-2, and are qualified for group I of the Polish Institute of Welding,” explains the general manager. “These quality standards are required by our clients. At 75%, most of our customers are located in the mining industry. The remaining 25% is covered by the building sector.”
Konko utilizes several means of marketing to address its potential partners. “In addition to our company website, we also profit from our widespread network of contacts,” states Mr. Zukiewicz. “Furthermore, references and our excellent reputation are helpful for our communication.”
Its high acceptance on the market also makes Konko an attractive supplier for customers from abroad. “Our export rate sums up to 80%,” says the general manager. “Core markets are found in Europe, especially in Germany, as well as in Australia, South America and China.”
Such promising tendencies make it easy for Konko to name its factors of success. “In order to be successful, we need to both keep our experienced workers and continue to educate younger employees,” explains Mr. Zukiewicz. “It is our mission to maintain the highest welding standards of the industry, offer the lowest combined costs and the highest quality, and therefore serve as a solid and reliable supplier for our clients.”
In the future, the company strives to enhance its business even further. “In 2014, we want to introduce new products, for example frameworks for the cement industry or steel structures for the energy segment,” states the general manager. “A long-term goal is the building of new facilities and regular upgrades of equipment, machines and tools. In our business, restructuring processes are always necessary in order to comply with future demands.”