Establishment and Development of the Company
The company was founded in 1950 when it formed a part of Tatra Kopřivnice national enterprise. Soon after, the excavator Škoda D500 left the production line in 1954. Gradually, the production programme incorporated the production of construction machinery and special engineering products. On the 1st of January 1955, the Czechoslovak Minister of Engineering granted permission for PPS to start trading independently. The name, Podpolianske strojárne, was first used for the company.
Products and Company profiling:
1954 – first product of the enterprise – the Škoda D 500 excavator.
1955 – Start of operation in the production hall 3 (22,000 m2).
1958 – Establishment of a development centre and prototype workshop, giving rise to the D 031k excavator. The core production programme of the enterprise was established by the launch of the OT 810 armoured personnel transporter. The production programme gradually settled on the production of machines for construction and defence equipment.
1960 – The company introduced the HON 050 hydraulic rotary loader to the market. With several improvements (HON 051 and HON 053), the loader became the best-selling product manufactured under the PPS brand. This loader was produced until 1974.
1962 – Production of the track personnel carrier OT 62 started. It soon became a favourite with customers, and was a very successful export product.
1966 – Start of production of the SATUR 035k telescopic excavator. Its design was revolutionary in the construction machinery market.
1970 – A new type of loader UNC 151, a result of PPS developers, was introduced in the segment of construction machinery. In the special production portfolio, production of the BVP-1 armoured tracked vehicles was started. This vehicle represented the world’s best and is still comparable with the technology used by the army in this category.
1974 – Launch of UN 050 loaders in cooperation with the Research and Development Institute in Zvolen. This loader was manufactured with various modifications until 1995. 30,000 units have been sold. It’s considered a unique achievement in the area of construction machinery.
1978 – Podpolianske strojárne Detva changed its name and the company became known as Závody Ťažkého strojárstva, š.p. Detva since the beginning of 1978.
1980 – Launch of the UNC 200 large-volume wheel loader. The modified UNC 201 was produced until 1998. The innovations are focused on industrial robots (OJ 10) and welding manipulators (OM).
1989 – A cooperation agreement was signed with HANOMAG AG, Hannover, Germany. This can be regarded as a turning point for the current strategic focus of PPS, a partner of the original manufacturers of brand name equipment (OEM).
1990 – A license agreement to produce forklifts was made with the Italian company CESAB Spa Bologna, and a cooperation established with the American company CET Salt Lake City to develop a new type series of CET loaders.
1990 – 1991 – The conversion of the armaments industry and the associated expansion of the manufacturing programme in the field of construction machinery gave rise to a new production line. It included loaders steered by wheel slippage, and the expansion of the articulated loaders Detvan 500, 650 and 850 models. The manufacturing programme was expanded by a new generation of machines – field telescopic handlers, the production of hard drive axle and harvesters was introduced. A cooperation with JOHN DEERE, BITELLI and SIMA was established. Several subsidiaries were founded abroad, as well as a PPS KRIVBASS joint venture in the Ukraine.
1997 – 2003 – The PPS Detva national enterprise was transformed into the PPS Detva plc. public limited company and progressively integrated into DMD Holding, a.s. (a joint stock company) However, instability on the traditional markets and the consequences of the conversion in special production resulted in the insolvency of PPS Detva, a.s. (a joint stock company) in 1997 and its transformation to PPS Detva Holding, a.s. (a joint stock company), which took over the administration of the company, alongside a part of its debt. Low flexibility in the light of changing conditions and lasting problems with payments of debts led to intractable economic problems in 2002, which resulted in the declaration of bankruptcy.
The year 2003 represents a significant qualitative change for the company. Since September 2003, the company has operated under its new business name PPS Group a.s. (a joint stock company).
Its core manufacturing programme is aimed at producing complex welded steel components – frames, arms, booms, other kinematic components and steel structures for prestigious manufacturers of mining, construction, handling and forestry machines and mechanisms. Additional manufacturing programmes include the production of jigs.
The milestones in modern history:
2003 – Atlas Copco entered into PPS Group, a.s. (a joint stock company)
2004 – Production of arms and booms for all major European producers of construction equipments.
2007 – Detva Industrial Park – the strategic investment intention of the company was to create and then increase the capacity in Detva Industrial Park, situated directly at the PPS site. Start-up production of the loader HON 200.
2010 – Expansion of the product portfolio – production of Siemens wagons.
2012 – Expansion of capacities – investments into new technologies (Blasting robot B20CS, Painting box TURBOINDUSTRIALE “T” – 1, Horizontal boring machine WRD 150 Q, Plasma cutting machine Omnimat 5000). Production of the HON 200 loader was finished (22 loaders have been sold).
2013 – Development of strategic partnerships with new customers.
2014/2015 – Expansion of the product portfolio – production of construction for injection moulding machinery, mobile and special cranes.
The company has continuously invested into advanced technologies to increase its competitiveness. The company has adopted a quality management system EN ISO 9001:2008, environmental management system EN ISO 14001:2004, a welding quality system STN EN ISO 3834-2 and DIN 18800-7, and others. There is an accredited calibration laboratory operating within the company to ensure the highest quality of production.