Subotica-based ATB SEVER was founded in March 1923, precisely a century ago. It has survived wars and post-war periods, the ’90s and hyperinflation, bombing and transition, as well as an entire series of organisational, technological and ownership changes. And today, in 2023, it is on the road to restoring its former glory
The company’s tumultuous first century of operations is being commemorated in a celebratory mood, while its next century is beginning with the goal of ATB SEVER remaining a leader in the production of high-powered, large-dimension electric motors, as well as remaining active in the segment of hydro-generators for small and medium-sized hydropower plants and in developing electric motors for extreme working conditions.
We would first like to congratulate you on your first 100 years of successful operations and wish for your next 100 to be even more successful, and then to ask you to tell us something about your company’s development path.
Our company, ATB SEVER, is one of the oldest manufacturers of rotating electrical machines in Southeast Europe. We started out as a workshop for the overhaul of electric motors, and by the 1980s we had more than 6,000 workers.
The company was privatised in 2005 and we’ve have been part of China’s Wolong group since 2011. We have preserved our core activity and today have 350 employees and 100% capacity utilisation, and all electric motors produced this year have been sold.
We don’t have any serial production, as we specialise in large motors and generators that are custom made to meet clients’ requests. As an aside, the celebration of the company’s hundredth birthday is planned for the end of May this year, when we will also be joined by the owners from China.
Who are your customers? How far does the reach of your products extend?
Our famous engines used to be found in almost every household, while today they represent an exclusive product that satisfies the most complex technical requirements for electric drives in nuclear and thermal power plants, surface coal and copper mining operations, underground mines, cement plants etc. Believe it or not, but this year, for the first time ever, we’ll deliver 16 high-voltage motors for a cement plant in Thailand and a specialised motor for a mine in Australia, while I would note that more than 70 per cent of our products are intended for the European Union market.
These are mainly special purpose motors, motors intended for nuclear power plants, oil rigs and ship cranes. For instance, one of our large generators will find itself in a hydroelectric power plant in Italy, supplying electricity to more than 100,000 citizens, and I would also like to note that SEVER is the first and only company beyond the territory of Russia to have been awarded a certificate enabling us to produce motors for nuclear power plants according to GOST standards.
We have 350 employees and 100% capacity utilisation, and all electric motors produced this year have been sold
Our employees are also proud of the fact that we’ve worked for CERN, so we are also engaged indirectly in the search for the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle”. Considering that SEVER was founded as a company specialising in overhauls of electrical machines, this is an area of activity that remains an extremely important part of our operations today.
Considering that you are today operating more than successfully, we assume that you’re entering the second century of your existence with ambitious plans…
You are correct! According to our current plans, this year we should increase our turnover by 16 per cent compared to last year, which we will certainly achieve, and according to existing orders, that growth will be even higher. We have ever-more work and ever-more orders, which is why we invest continuously in plants and personnel. Our view is that only a satisfied employee can truly contribute to the development of the factory. In collaboration with the Faculty of Technical Sciences, we are organising specialist work placement training for future engineers, while we also aim to deepen our cooperation with primary and secondary schools, and to continue with the dual education programme.