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S & Ř, CH KOVO
We are the company S & Ř, CH KOVO from Chroustovice in the Czech Republic. The community of Chroustovice is situated in the Pardubice Region about 15 kilometres. Our business comprises the following: sheet metal cutting, metal bending, die cutting, locksmith’s production, powder varnishing and vapour exhausters (digesters).
The company S & Ř, CH KOVO, s.r.o. was established in 1993 by renting the former Chroustovice Agricultural Co-op subsidiary production facility. At that time, it resumed the hitherto production of vapour exhausters and deliveries to the company of Karosa, a.s.; all the production facilities were rented at that time.
The company started with a staff of 12 workers, one foreman, one accountant, and two management members. The first year of independent business ended with a turnover of CZK 20 million, which we achieved with a staff of 20. In the same year, we obtained the first facility building on a hire purchase basis. In the following years, we repaired and then reconstructed this building to develop a new facility with all the necessary equipment and background.
In 1994, we managed to hire purchase the claims from the agricultural co-op restituents, which enabled us to commence with paying off buildings and equipment we bought from the co-op with a shorter maturity. This also enabled us to substantiate certain investments we would not have been able to otherwise. In 1996, we won the auction of the co-op’s former facility with workshops and a storage space, and acquired respective land from the land fund. We repaired the facility completely and established a paint-shop and a degreasing plant in the existing storage facility. The operation of the new paint-shop commenced in December 2001.
Along with the main facility reconstruction, a sheet metal and semi-finished products storage facility was added to the main building; after its completion, we left the last rented plant. In 2000, we acquired the HOL 080 CNC bending press-brake. Early in 2002, we changed the plan for acquiring another CNC machine; instead of a programmable punch press, we installed, at the end of 2000, the Bystronic laser burner with the power of 2,200 W for cutting sheet metal up to 10 mm thick. A EUROMAC die cutting machine was acquired in 2003. The SAFAN 100 folding press-brake was acquired in 2004. At the same, we acquired the building of a former cattle-shed and storehouse from which, through a reconstruction, we develop a new storage space, locksmith’s shop, machining shop, and the entrance section with a cafeteria. The second floor in the former storehouse was assigned to administration offices. The operation of these new facilities commenced in 2006.
However, by that time, even all these buildings were not enough for satisfying all our demands. This shortage resulted in the need for acquisition of a new laser and necessary space for its accommodation. Other investments focused on developing a new production hall for locating both laser machines. The construction of the hall was completed in January 2007 and, at the same time, the Byspeed 4020 laser was acquired for working sheet metal up to 20 mm thick in extra quality, and 25 mm in common cutting quality. In view of a favourable quotation for the laser machine, a Schröder CNC bending machine was acquired at the same time. During the first half of 2007, the hall was put into trial operation, and the machinery in it expanded with a small Cone 900 folding press-brake.
For operating the new machines in 2 and 3 shifts, the number of their operators rapidly increased. Simultaneously, demands for knowledge in the workers‘ profession were extended to PC proficiency and familiarity with reading drawing documentation. Namely the CNC machine operation requires independency in decision-making while fulfilling work tasks so that the capacity of this powerful technology is fully utilized. Regarding the low employee turnover, the qualified professional staff changed relatively little, and, thus, workers gained a lot of technological experience as a guarantee of quality and low-price products. The majority of workers who started their employment when the company was established are working here to this day.
Presently, the company’s staff amounts more than 100 employees, of those there are six foremen who also work in production, two operation technicians, three CNC machine programmers, two accountants and two management members. The installation of lasers and other CNC machines influenced the pattern of working professions in favour of those with a higher qualification.