It all started at a metal processing plant outside Skellefteå called Rönnskärsverken that needed one of their lead furnaces cleaned out. In the 70s, this was heavy and dangerous manual work. Protected by blocks of wood under their feet and masks on their faces, workers were required to crawl into the still hot furnace and chip out slag and brick using handheld tools. In those days, the demolition industry was underdeveloped, until two entrepreneurial brothers, Lars and Per-Martin Holmgren, saw an opportunity to improve upon the safety and efficiency of demolition.
From Prototype to Product
The Holmgren brothers saw a need and envisioned a machine that had the potential to eliminate the risks faced by demolition workers. Their original prototype was pieced together from parts of other machines and became the first in the industry to utilize a remote-controlled system. The ability to control a machine from a distance protected workers from hazardous environments and cut the time needed to complete a job in half.
Over the years our product has been and continues to be upgraded and refined, but many of the original ideas remain constant. These ideas form the foundation of today’s Brokk machine.
How Brokk Got its Name
The company was further strengthened when Börje Hedlund joined the company as a business partner. By this time the Brokk 250 was in production and the company had a commercially viable product to take to the market, but they struggled to come up with a brand name that was as unique and powerful as their machine. Inspired by Nordic mythology, the founders eventually decided to call their new company “Brokk,” named after a dwarf who was thought to have forged the hammer of Thor. The dwarf known as Brokk was small, powerful, and unbeatable, making him the perfect namesake for our machines.
To this day, Brokk machines continue to be utilized at the very same smelter as in 1976. However, the scope of Brokk no longer ends there. Today, there are Brokk robots making workplaces safer and more efficient all around the world.
Brokk 250, the first serial produced Brokk robot.
- 1976: The companies, PE Holmgren & Rivteknik develop the world’s first demolition robot in Skellefteå, Sweden.
- 1981: The first mass produced remote controlled demolition machine, the Brokk 250, hits the market.
- 1987: Another legendary remote controlled machines is released, the first Brokk 100.
- 1994: The first Brokk 110 and Brokk 150 are released. 1,000 Brokk machines delivered.
- 2000: The first international subsidiaries established in the USA and UK.
- 2005: Brokk opens office in China.
- 2006: Brokk acquires Darda in Germany, the world’s leading manufacturer of compact crusher attachments, splitters and other tools.
- 2007-2010: Intense product development, with the introduction of Brokk 50, Brokk 400, Brokk 260 and Brokk 160.
- 2011: The biggest Brokk-robot ever, Brokk 800, sees the light of day.
- 2012: Brokk acquires Ahlberg Cameras, the world’s leading supplier of camera equipment for the nuclear industry.
- 2014: Brokk’s owner, Lifco, is listed on the Nasdaq OMX stock exchange.
- 2016: Brokk celebrates 40 years of relentless innovation.
- 2016: Brokk acquires Aquajet Systems, the world’s leading manufacturer of hydrodemolition robots and equipment.
- 2010-2017: High-pace international expansion sees the establishment of Brokk Australia, Brokk France, Brokk Italia, Brokk China, Brokk Norway, Brokk Switzerland, Brokk Benelux and Brokk Middle East.
- 2011-2017: Industry-leading product development pace generates Brokk 100, Brokk 60, Brokk 120D, Brokk 110, Brokk 280 and Brokk 500.
- 2017: Brokk introduces SmartPower™, the world’s most intelligent power system, purpose-built for heavy duty demolition robots.
- 2018: Brokk unveils four new machines – Brokk 170, Brokk 200, Brokk 300 and Brokk 520D.
- 2018: Brokk introduces Brokk SmartConcept, consisting of the next generation of SmartPower™, SmartDesign™ and SmartRemote™.
- 2018: A new service and support concept reaches the market, called Brokk UpTime™.
- 2019: Brokk introduces Brokk 70, the smallest demolition robot in the range.
- 2021: The launch of Brokk 900, the worlds biggest demolition robot.
- 2021: Brokk Connect, an online platform developed especially for connected Brokk robots is announced.
- 2022: The launch of the online support platform, My Brokk, marks the next step in Brokk’s digital journey.