Atlas Electrodomésticos Ltda is Latin America’s leading producer of wood-burning ovens. With almost 60 years of experience in the market, the company is still directed by the family that founded it, and continues to be recognized by the industry for its excellence and innovation. Reuben Ford reports on the long-running success of Atlas through the generations.
The seed, which today has grown into Atlas Electrodomésticos, was planted 58 years ago, when Theóphilo Petrycoski established a small workshop for the repair of wood-burning ovens. Soon after this, in 1949, he realized the necessity of broadening the company’s horizons and moved the business to the town of Pato Branco, also in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. A skilled metalworker, he began producing parts as well as doing repairs, which led to making his ovens by hand for friends and neighbors.
Theóphilo Petrycoski e Cia Ltda was a simple company, based in a wooden warehouse, yet achieved its mark in the industry. In 1953, the company was awarded first place for ovens at the International Coffee Trade Fair in the state capital Curitiba. By 1955, 40 ovens were being made every month. The perseverance and continued success of the company resulted in an important change in 1968, when the manufacture of wood-burning ovens became its primary economic activity. Just one year later, Petrycoski purchased enameling equipment for industrial production.
In 1979, a member of the second generation, Valdir Petrycoski, developed the success of the company even further. Changing its name to Indústria de Fogões Petrycoski Ltda (Petrycoski Oven Company Ltd), the company invested heavily in new equipment and technology, as well as improved infrastructure. One of these improvements was the move from the town to an industrial park outside Pato Branco, where the Atlas is located today.
Having assumed direction of the company in 1985, Cláudio Petrycoski intended to discover innovative ways to expand on his predecessors’ work. He added important professionals from the industry to the team, improving the technology used, including that used to produce gas ovens, and involved the company in social programs. Within three years the company was manufacturing 20 gas ovens a day.
EXPORTS AND EXCELLENCE
In 1991, Petrycoski began exporting ovens to Latin America. Its international activities earned not only greater industry attention, but in 1994 the prize for company excellence, awarded by the commercial and industrial association of Paraná state. Two years later the company changed its name to Atlas Electrodomésticos Ltda. The change was accompanied by strategic marketing activities that won the ‘Top de Marketing’ prize from the ADVB-PR (association for the directors of Brazilian product sales in Paraná).
Aimed at a middle-class market, Atlas invested its time and energy in products with a modern design, reasonable, competitive price and high quality. In 1998 the first six-ring gas ovens were manufactured and the Euro and Tropical models were very well received by the market. Atlas continued to produce the wood-burning stoves and two years later when the company commemorated its 50th anniversary, it was also the largest producer of the traditional flame-fired oven in Latin America.
The innovation and evolution of Atlas’ products involved bold new projects, which earned respect and recognition from many organizations. In 2002, the company was awarded the ‘Top de Marketing’ prize again by the ADVB-PR. It was also the only oven manufacturer to score maximum points across the board in tests carried out by the Brazilian trading standards organization INMETRO, and Conpet (the national program for the use of natural gas derivatives).
One year later Atlas acquired Enxuta, a former producer of white goods, and as such began the industrialization of washing machines, dishwashers and tumble-dryers, in Rio Grande do Sul state.
Strategic restructuring in 2006 resulted in the concentration of Atlas’ activities at the facility in Pato Branco. Today, all of the company’s household appliances are produced on the same premises; the Theóphilo Petrycoski industrial park. Also in 2006, Conpet recognized Atlas again for the economical energy consumption and design of its products. Preparation for the award required new investment in infrastructure and again updating of processes and equipment.
The changes resulted in the wood-burning stoves being manufactured by a new division of the company, Indústria de Fogões Petrycoski. The ovens are made from cast and polished metal, with enamel fronts, sides and finish. Depending on the model, the feet, handles and accessories are manufactured in chrome, steel or aluminum. All have drawers for the ashes, and can be adapted to the chimney structure of the building in which they are installed. The traditional style ovens are popular as attractive appliances in a modern kitchen, pool house, guest house or outdoor barbecue area.
Atlas Electrodomésticos manufactures two more product lines: Linha Fogo and Linha Água. The Linha Fogo range comprises gas ovens for domestic use with four or six rings. The Linha Água products are washing machines, which have become a consolidated brand in the industry, due to their high quality and value for money.
Today, Atlas exports to more than 30 different countries and also supplies all the states of Brazil. Selling through a network of representatives to the largest electrical goods retailers, and with a staff of 1,300 people, the company produces 3,000 ovens a day.
Atlas also maintains its prominent visibility through involvement in various social programs. The projects, which support educational (arts and literature) and sports initiatives, encourage new talents on a national scale.
The company also inspired and financed the construction of a piece of artwork in the form of a metal wall at its industrial park. Brazilian artist Nelson Joseffi designed the monument, which pays homage to the importance of metalwork in today’s industry and the founder of Atlas Electrodomésticos, Theóphilo Petrycoski. Another, 12-meter-high sculpture by Kalu Chueiri was commissioned to commemorate those who established the metalwork industry in Brazil.
Atlas’ participation in these social programs reflects the personal touch that the company brings to its business, valuing not only its staff but members of society as a whole.
As current Chief Executive Officer Sócrates Petrycoski affirms: “The history of Brazil’s development reflects the lives of the Brazilians, who through hard work have built great businesses.” It is to this principle that Atlas Electrodomésticos attributes its success; striving from humble beginnings to become one of the leaders in the market today.