In addition to organic growth, Sandvik's expansion has also involved a series of company acquisitions over the years. Recent examples include Kanthal, which manufactures metallic and ceramic resistance materials, and Tamrock, the Finnish manufacturer of rock-excavation machinery - both of which were acquired in 1997.
In 1999, the Saws and Tools business area was divested and Sandvik's operations were concentrated on three core areas: Tooling, Mining and Construction and Specialty Steels. The last mentioned business area changed name to Sandvik Materials Technology on 1 January 2003.
The Sandvik Group currently has 47,000 employees with operations in 130 countries and annual sales of approximately SEK 83 billion. The head office is located in Sandviken, Sweden.
Interesting dates in Sandvik's history
1858: On July 18, Göran Fredrik Göransson succeeded to produce steel using the Bessemer method for the first time in the world.
1862: The company was founded in Sandviken by Göran Fredrik Göransson. (Högbo Stål & Jernwerks AB)
1863: One of the largest steam hammers in Europe was taken into operation (it was used until 1920 and from 1933 displayed in the head office park in Sandviken).
1860s: Tyres for railroad cars and locomotives as well as propeller axles for steamboats were some of the company's specialities and dominant products. Drill steel for rock drilling was another important product. The first agencies were established in e.g. Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, Russia, Germany and France.
1866: Högbo Stål & Jernwerks AB went bankrupt.
1868: The company was re-established under the name Sandvikens
1868: The Sandvik name was registered.
1870s: Cold-rolled, u-shaped wire for umbrella ribs was a major seller. The product, Sandvik Paragon, was manufactured until 1951.
1872: Sandvik participated in the Moscow Exhibition. Russia was the Group's dominant market during the first half of the 1870s.
1876: Wire rolling and cold drawing operations were started.
1876: Sandvik participated in the World Fair in Philadelphia, USA. Sandvik was officially used as a brand name for the first time. The first sales of Sandvik products were booked in the U.S. through an agent.
1876: A mill for cold-rolled steel rod was built. Wire for watch manufacturing, screws, bicycle spokes, springs and other products were produced at the plant.
1879: President (and the son of the founder), Anders Henrik Göransson received approval from the Swedish Board of Commerce to use the trademark "Fisk och Krok" (Fish and Hook).
1880s: More refined products were introduced. Western Europe and the U.S. increased as markets. Russia declined. Production of carbon-steel springs and seamless tubing was started.
1883: Production of cold-rolled and hardened strip steel was started.
1885: Sandvik's first hand saw was delivered.
1886: Blooming mill started up.
1893: A large, new billet mill was built for production of wire, strip and tube.
1897: Sandvik participated in the Stockholm Exhibition, Sweden.
1898: The use of open-hearth furnaces was initiated.
1900: Göran Fredrik Göransson, founder of Sandvik, dies.
1901: Sandvik was introduced on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
1902: Sandvik started to produce and deliver steel conveyor belts.
1903: Large-scale electrification of operations was started.
1907: Production of hollow drill steel for rock-drilling applications was started.
1909: First manufacturing outside Sweden. Springs for pocket watches are produced by a company in Switzerland in which Sandvik acquired a share majority.
1914: The first subsidiary was established, in the UK.
1919: Sandvik Steel Inc., the Group's first subsidiary in the U.S., was established. A new forging mill was built, equipped with a large hydraulic press (2,000 tons). Electric smelting in induction furnace was introduced in Sandviken.
1920: Production of electric steel was started.
1921: Production of stainless steel was started.
1924: The first seamless, stainless steel tubes were introduced on the market.
1929: The first electric arc furnace was taken into operation.
1930: Electrical power from Lanforsen, an affiliated company, was linked to the mill.
1933: A separate building for electric smelting was built.
1934: The first pilger mill was taken into operation.
1937: The South Mill for wire and saw production was taken into operation in Sandviken.
1938: A saw blade production plant was acquired in Italy.
1942: Coromant brand name established. Cemented-carbide-coated rock drills developed. Subsidiaries in Italy and Finland started own production.
1943: First cemented-carbide tools for metalworking manufactured.
1944: Cemented-carbide tipped rock drills was used for the first time
1947: Production of Bessemer steel was discontinued.
1948: Plant for production of integral drill steels established in South Africa.
1950: Hot strip mill and East Mill for tube production were taken into operation, spearheading a widespread, post-war modernization era of the production facilities in Sandviken.
1950s: Ceramic cutting materials were introduced, as well as extension drill rods used for drilling deep holes.
1951: Production of cemented-carbide products was started in Gimo, Sweden. Sponge iron plant and a new rock-drilling workshop were taken into operation in Sandviken. Plant and office inaugurated in the US.
1953: Construction of a cemented-carbide production plant was completed in Västberga, Stockholm, Sweden. Production of cemented-carbide was started in Fair Lawn, NJ, in the U.S.
1954: The new blooming mill was taken into operation in Sandviken.
1957: Premiere showing of T-max insert holder in US.
1958: The Göransson family's role as dominant owner was taken over by the Kinnevik Group. Indexable technique with exchangeable cemented-carbide inserts was introduced by Sandvik in Europe.
1959: A larger new, electric arc furnace was installed in Sandviken.
1960: The foundry was closed.
1960s: Comprehensive investment activity in Sandviken: tube mill 60, press mill 62, tube mill 63, pilger mill 64, cold-rolling mills 61, 63 and 64, electric arc furnace 64, high-vacuum electric arc furnace 64, hardening plant 65, tube mill 68, among others.
1961: Plants opened in India and Mexico.
1962: Plant opened in Brazil and 100th anniversary celebrated in Sandviken.
1968: Group's annual sales exceed SEK 1 billion. Regional warehouse established in Singapore.
1969: First in the world with surface-coated cemented-carbide inserts.
1970: Guldsmedshytte Bruks AB was acquired.
1971: Plants opened in the US and Canada.
1972: The company name was changed to Sandvik AB from Sandvikens Jernverks AB.
1973: Sandvik acquired 65% of all shares in Seco Tools AB. (1986 100%, from 1989 62%)
1976: Production of cemented carbide was started in Japan.
1979: The blast furnace in Guldsmedshyttan was closed, thereby terminating all production of pig iron.
1980: First Rotoform equipment developed. The Block Tools System for turning was introduced.
1981: Open-hearth production was discontinued, thereby marking the end of all ore-based steel production.
1982: Sandvik acquired production of hollow drill steel from Fagersta.
1983: Swedish company Skanska succeeded Kinnevik as principal owner of Sandvik.
1984: A new decentralized organization was introduced within Sandvik that included the parent company, separate business areas, regional companies and service companies. Avesta Sandvik Tube (Sandvik 25%) and Fagersta Stainless (Sandvik 50%) were established.
1985: Representative office opened in Beijing, China.
1989: Cooperation with Atlas Copco in the rock-drilling field is terminated (started during the 1940s).
1990: Sandvik acquired 25% of the Finnish producer of rock drilling equipment, Tamrock. Introduction of Coromant Capto for turning, milling and drilling.
1991: Sandvik acquired Bahco Tools.
1992: World's largest manufacturer of high-speed steel tools, CTT Tools, was acquired.
1994: Sandvik first in the world to introduce industry scale produced diamond coated carbide cutting inserts. Acquisition of Russia's largest cemented-carbide plant. Plant for cemented-carbide tools inaugurated in China.
1996: Sandvik acquired 42% of Kanthal AB.
1997: Swedish investment company Industrivärden becomes new major owner of Sandvik (next largest owner after Robur Investment Funds). Sandvik becomes majority shareholder in Kanthal. Sandvik acquired all shares in Tamrock. Sandvik acquired Precision Twist Drill, an American manufacturer of high-speed steel twist drills. Production of cemented-carbide powder was started in Gimo. A new cold-rolling mill was opened in Sandviken.
1998: Sandvik formed the business area Mining and Construction. Investment in a new Tube mill in Sandviken.
1999: Sandvik divested business area Saws and Tools and concentrated its operations to three core areas: Tooling (Sandvik Coromant, Sandvik CTT, Sandvik Hard Materials), Mining and Construction (Sandvik Tamrock, Driltech Mission, VA-Eimco, Roxon) and Specialty Steels (Sandvik Steel, Kanthal, Sandvik Process Systems).
2000: Sandvik aquired Austrian drilling equipment manufacturer Böhler, German steel belt manufacturer Hindrichs-Auffermann and Australian service company Beltreco, active in the mining industry. A new plant for production of solid-carbide tools was opened in Gimo, Sweden. Guldsmedshytte Bruk was divested.
2001: New distribution center for cemented-carbide tools opened in Singapore. Stock buyback program approved at AGM. Crushing and screening operations acquired from Svedala Industri AB. Agreement with US company Smith International to set up a jointly owned company for roller cone bits (Sandvik: 50 percent). Acquisition of majority shareholding in German company Walter AG.
2002: Lars Pettersson succeeds Clas Åke Hedström as President and CEO. Hedström named new chairman after Percy Barnevik. Decision to shut down production of stainless spring wire at Gusab Stainless in Sweden, production of cemented-carbide seal rings and wear parts in Denmark and production of coal-mining equipment in Bluefield, USA.
Acquisition of North American tool company Valenite. First acquisition in Japan made through purchase of Mazda Earth Technologies’ brand Toyo in the mining and construction industry.
2003: The business area Sandvik Specialty Steels changes name to Sandvik Materials Technology. Inaugurations: In Shanghai a plant for the manufacture of processing systems and steel press plates; in Pune (India) a plant for the assembly of crushers, feeders and screens; in Stockholm a research center for materials development.
2004: Sale of German company Walter’s machine division. Several relatively small company acquisitions in the cemented-carbide area, in Germany and other countries, and one acquisition in the materials-handling area in Brazil.
Major investments in production capacity in the Sandvik Tooling business area – the development toward fewer and larger plants continues. A new distribution center for Sandvik Materials Technology opens in Venlo, Netherlands. The Annual General Meeting approved the Board’s proposal to extend the mandate for repurchase of shares in the company.
2005: Disbursement of approximately SEK 4 billion to shareholders through redemption of shares.
Sandvik acquires Smith International’s 50% interest in jointly owned Sandvik Smith AB, and the company becomes wholly owned. Acquisition of 10% of the share capital in Chinese metal powder producer Gesac. Sandvik implements compulsory redemption of the 3.56 percent of shares outstanding in German company Walter AG.
2006: Acquisition of four companies within mineral exploration: Swedish-Japanese company Hagby-Asahi, SDS Corporation and UDR Group in Australia, and the Chilean company Implementos Mineros (Implemin).
Acquisition of powder metallurgy company Metso Powdermet.
5:1 share split of Sandvik share (record date, 12 June).
A new Group Staff, Group Assurance, has been assigned by the Board of Directors to evaluate the Group’s corporate governance, internal controls and risk management.
2007: Acquisition of operations in the medical technology area: JKB Medical Technologies, a unit owned by Medtronic, in the US, and Doncasters Medical Technologies, in the UK.
Acquisition of the North American company Diamond Innovations, a manufacturer of diamond-based materials.
Acquisition of the Australian company Hydramatic and Shark Abrasion Systems active in the mining and construction sectors.
Acquisition of the UK-based companies Extec and Fintec, manufacturers of crushing and screening equipment.
Acquisition of Rexam’s tool production in the US.
Divestment of Sandvik Tobler in France and Sandvik Sorting Systems, with operations in the US, Italy and Japan.
Divestment of Sandvik’s share in Outokumpu Stainless Tubular Products.
2008: Acquisition of the German company Aubema, a manufacturer of crushing equipment.
Acquisition of Corstor, a South African supplier to the exploration industry.
Acquisition of a minority share in the US-based tool manufacturer Precorp.
Acquisition of UK medical technology company Eurocut.
Acquisition of Norwegian tool manufacturer Teeness.
Divestment of Swedish tube supplier Sandvik Calamo.
Divestment of construction division in Sandvik Nora.
Sandvik announced significant reductions in production capacity and costs due to extremely weak market trend and global overcapacity.
2009: Acquisition of UK tool-manufacturing firm BTA Heller Drilling Systems.
Additional action programs implemented to reduce costs and capacity: consolidation of a number of manufacturing units, inventory reductions, decrease in the number of employees and shorter working hours.
Profit warning in June: Low volumes and nonrecurring costs put pressure on earnings.
Acquisition of Austrian tungsten producer Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten.