The Slovenia Times

Family-run business making it in robotics and automation

Andrej Orovič, the founder of Robotehnika. Photo: Vida Toš/STA

Having built its core business around mechanical processing, the family-run company Robotehnika has been increasingly branching out into mechanical engineering and automation and robotics. After only five years in business, the company is planning to expand its capacities to meet the growing demand.

Based in the village of Nova Vas pri Markovcih near Ptuj in northeastern Slovenia, the company relies on mechanical processing as its main source of income, but plans for the future are even more ambitious.

Currently, they are planning the construction of a new plant on a 4,000-m2 plot near the existing facilities to further focus on robotics and automation, Robotehnika founder and director Andrej Orovič has told the Slovenian Press Agency.

As a result, one of the leading Slovenian companies when it comes to hydraulic systems, automation and CNC machining will provide low-cost production based on customers' designs as well as mechanical engineering with higher added value. The latter will be mostly marketed in Slovenia.

The company has mastered the combination of mechanical engineering and mechanical processing, as they manufacture all the necessary parts themselves, and so control and optimize the production of robots, while at the same time allowing mechanical processing to provide them with a stable source of income.

Orovič believes luck always plays a part in success, but in the case of his company customers were key. "They were 'pressing' us, and whenever I noticed that they needed more of our products, I bought a new machine. So we were buying five or six new machines a year."

Andrej Orovič, the founder of Robotehnika, at his company. Photo: Vida Toš/STA

The moment they struck gold was when they stepped up their cooperation with the German company Interroll, the leading manufacturer of electric motors in Europe. At the beginning, they supplied Interroll Germany, but now they also cooperate with its subsidiaries around the world.

Robotehnika plans to use more and more robots in manufacturing in the coming years, but workers will still be a crucial part, Orovič says.

In cooperation with the Slovenian company Lestroj they developed a pioneering robotic woodworking cell. They have also developed robotic cells for major Slovenian companies, such as sports equipment manufacturer Elan and glassworks Steklarna Rogaška, the newspaper Dnevnik wrote in the company profile when Robotehnika was nominated for the regional Gazelle Award.

Orovič founded his first company at the age of 20, having recognised the perpetual need for farm machinery repair. He never ran out of work, but since repairing old machines was not exactly profitable, he decided to go work for Talum, a major aluminium producer in the region.

His experience as head of mechanical processing there came in handy when he decided to go his own way more than five years ago. However, his company's origins date back to 2007 when Orovič registered a part-time business of the same name - Robotehnika, to earn extra money after work and carve out an entrepreneurial path of his own.

In the first year of business, Robotehnika posted €50,000 in turnover, but then the figure grew by €1 million every year, the founder says. Last year, the company generated some €5 million in turnover and €550,000 in profit.

At the very start, there were two employees, and now there are 36. Today Robotehnika supplies some 20 companies, most of them are from Germany, but also from Austria, Slovenia, the US and Switzerland. They export 60% of their products.


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