Technical and technological development of KONČAR

Knowledge, experience and competencies are key factors in our technical and technological development.

Our development journey is truly fascinating – we started from profiling our factories, specialization, and decentralization in the development of a wide range of solutions, products, and services. We are now in the era of large-scale investment and development that positions us at the cutting-edge of global technology. Quality and technological development enable us to maintain our strong niche in the competitive global markets, and to reinforce our firm position in the international energy sector.

First export licenses to Poland and Italy

It is a little-known fact that we granted the first licence to business partners from Poland and Italy in the early 1960s. The licences were granted for the manufacturing of electrical equipment for marine winches, based on the patent held by Berislav Jurković, an engineer who later went on to become a professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Zagreb. This licence sale was the first industrial transfer of technology in Yugoslavia, followed by  a 1984 licence for current and voltage instrument transformers to India. A series of technology transfers followed, including LV high-efficiency fuses and technology for power transformers to Argentina, catering equipment to Egypt, welding equipment to the United Kingdom, comb switches to Turkey, HV rotary disconnectors to Venezuela, and explosion proof transformers for mining, instrument, araldite, and dry transformers to Brazil.

Flagship export products

Transformers are the pillar of our technical and technological history. Our power, instrument, special and distribution transformers are global leaders. A rough calculation shows that, when taking into consideration the population size, Croatia is the no.1 global transformer exporter. Historically looking, shipbuilding is the only other industry in Croatia that had managed to achieve such results at any point.

This also largely applies to our generators, which have also conquered the world. When we look back at our first HPP projects and the mastery of manufacturing high-power generators, we can confidently conclude that we have participated in the development of HPPs and thermal power plants across the world. Many of them continue to operate today, which is the best confirmation of our quality and business acumen.  

Thyristor locomotive, trams and trains

When we launched our thyristor locomotive in 1981, we joined an elite group of only five global rail vehicle manufacturers who had achieved this feat. This was a triumph of high technical and technological standards and undoubtedly ranks among the most significant achievements of our experts. Over the years, it has won numerous accolades to KONČAR and our people. Tyristorization of diode locomotives opened up new export opportunities for us. 

Mastering the technology for the advanced manufacturing of low-floor electric trams and EMUs in the 2000s is another accomplishment in the high-tech industry. Only a select group of global manufacturers is equipped to keep pace with development. The initial success of low-floor tram export to Latvia marks a new frontier for further expansion and technological advancement beyond our national borders. Finally, we should point out that one hundred and forty-two low-floor trams have completely transformed the cityscape of Zagreb, and low-floor EMUs have significantly contributed to the modernization of Croatian urban and suburban railway transport.

All these achievements speak of a long tradition of applied research of our innovative and creative engineers, who have created and advanced our products and technologies. Over a century of excellence, our engineers have created more than 120 original patented innovations, adopted around forty licences, and enabled KONČAR to place twenty other licences for sale.

Institute - the driving force of KONČAR’s development

Applied research and product development have been the mainstay of our operations since 1920s. Their full potential was realized with the foundation of the Electrical Engineering Institute of RADE KONČAR company on 25 March 1961. Following a restructuring through bankruptcy at the end of 1990, it transformed into the commercial company KONČAR - Electrical Engineering Institute. The market-oriented Institute drives the development of the Group-wide product portfolio, while also developing its proprietary products and services. We have recently commissioned a new Laboratory for Power Systems and Drives, a high-tech testing complex, one of only a few such facilities in the world. LAVESP operates within the Laboratory Centre which consists of eight laboratories internationally accredited for nearly 700 testing and calibration methods.

Digitalization of the energy system

KONČAR’s priorities are aligned with the EU priorities and the European Green Deal. Our continuous restructuring efforts are carried out with the aim of strengthening the renewable sources segment, as well as wide-ranging digitalization of our products and services. KONČAR - Digital spearheads digital transformation at KONČAR, with a focus on the green transition and development of digital solutions for management of advanced networks, critical infrastructure and smart cities.

The digitalization of the energy system has been changing decades-old business models, making way for more automated control and monitoring systems. Successful development of digital solutions at KONČAR comes on the back of 40 years of experience in the creation of digital solutions for the management of power systems and critical infrastructure.