“Our speciality is to come up with the sorts of things that the others haven’t got,” says Christina Johansson Linder, CEO of Gruvteknik AB in Ludvika.
Gruvteknik (“Miningtechnic”) AB sells pneumatic and hydraulic machinery, spare parts and drillsteel for those working in the mining, constuction, tunneling an quarry industries. The business concept is built mainly around their extensive stock of spare parts, especially for older hardware models from Atlas Copco, Alvenius, Secoroc, SIG and Tamrock. New sales are based on competitive prices and high quality where speedy delivery is important.
“I often joke that, while others talk about recycling, we are a huge recycling centre”, continues Christina Johansson Linder. “For example, we don’t even buy in cardboard cartons for the parts we deliver, but use cardboard boxes we ourselves have received. That is our approach to everything – that we do not waste unnecessarily. The response is very positive: our customers think pretty much the same way. Why buy a new rock drillingmachine when you can make it work just by replacing a part?”
The family-owned company Gruvteknik AB was founded by Lars-Olof Nilsson, who had worked in the mining industry since 1950’s. When the Blötberget mine was shut down on 30 June 1979, Lars-Olof set out to start his company.
After 30 years in the trade, “new and second hand, breadth and expertise” remains the hallmark of the company. Lars-Olof’s children, Christina Johansson Linder and Bo Nilsson, began started to work for their father at an early stage; now they are running the company.
“It’s important for me to carry on in Dad’s spirit”, says Christina. “The fact is that he has built the firm with two own hands, without a penny in his pocket – you don’t just bungle it away. The aim is to continue working as we have always done. Clearly, we are specialists in machines that have gone out of production, and in all those spare parts of ours.”
Customers on every continent
There are Gruvteknik customers all over the world. Scandinavia is the dominant market, but there is a steady stream of deliveries to other countries in Europe, and to Africa, South America, Asia and Canada. Customers, for example, from South America, Africa or Iran want to have simple things that they can repair themselves, rather than sit and wait for a service technician.
“Customers are grateful, it is not so expensive for them”,
Christina continues. “An rock drilling machine is like an old Volvo engine: you can disassemble and reassemble it. You can repair it yourself if you are reasonably handy. Then of course we have customers who do not have the time, but send their machines to us for repair. That’s how Dad worked from the beginning, always recycling – now its time has come.
Business as usual
“It is great to have a lot of work”, Christina says. “We have actually had more jobs than we have time for. When people start counting the pennies, they are more inclined to make do and mend, and buy second-hand,.”.
How do you see Gruvteknik AB in the next five years?
“You only think one year ahead, but not so much further. You think about turnover and staffing. Clearly it is a very satisfying business. There are a lot of very straight and nice people. If you’ve made a mistake you find out right away; if you’ve done something good, it will be praised”, says Christina.
P.S.: Gruvteknik has had customers just about everywhere except the Antarctic – but now that gap has been filled thanks to the pneumatic rock drilling boring stay holes for navigation masts… with spare parts, of course, supplied by Gruvteknik.