Innovation that has transformed an industry: The hydraulic breaker turns 50
This month Atlas Copco Construction Tools, Essen, Germany, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the hydraulic breaker. An innovative idea which originated in the German city of Essen half-a-century ago has transformed the construction and mining industries and is now a worldwide standard.
Krupp Berco Bautechnik, acquired by Atlas Copco in 2002, developed the rig-mounted hydraulic breaker and took out a patent in 1963. The first machine, the HM 400, attracted huge interest at the Hannover fair in 1967 and more than 2,000 units were sold.
The first rig-mounted hydraulic breaker in the world: HM 400
The aim was to save time and labour in demolition and mining operations where, at that time, pneumatic tools were widely used, and the new concept was highly successful. It meant that one person operating a rig-mounted hydraulic breaker could do the same amount of work as several operators with pneumatic tools.
This innovation was the start of a major transformation in the construction and mining industries. Today, hydraulic breakers are in general use and dozens of manufacturers around the globe produce machines of this type under a large number of different brands. Tens of thousands of machines are sold around the world each year.
Atlas Copco HB 4100: today hydraulic breakers are in use around the world
Gordon Hambach, Product Line Manager for Power Demolition Toolst, Atlas Copco Construction Tools: “It is our belief that there is always a better way of doing things. That innovative spirit is a vital part of Atlas Copco's identity, a vital part of our way of conducting business. It is also the driving force, which has made us a leader in our industry. Innovation is the ultimate driver for long-term profitability and growth.”
For more information, please contact:Atlas Copco
is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2012, Atlas Copco had about 39800 employees and revenues of BSEK 90,5 (BEUR 10,5 ).
Atlas Copco Construction Tools
is a division within Atlas Copco´s Construction Technique business area. It develops, manufactures and markets hydraulic, pneumatic, and petrol-driven equipment for demolition, recycling, compaction, rock drilling and concrete applications. Products are marketed and sold under several brands through a worldwide sales and service organisation. The division is headquartered in Essen, Germany, and has production units in Europe, Africa and Asia.