Wolf Metalúrgica has always been a small company with big ambitions. Even as a boy growing up in São Paulo state, the firm’s founder, Flávio Wolf, had a passion for mechanics and dreamed of building machines some day. That day came in 1973, when Flávio founded his own company and began making parts for the automobile and agricultural equipment segments. However, it was a partnership supplying drilling parts to multinational Ingersoll Rand that set the fledgling business, based in the town of Indiatuba, São Paulo, on the path to its future vocation as one of Brazil’s leading suppliers of pneumatic drilling equipment.
A TRADITIONAL NICHE
Wolf quickly came to specialize in perforating drills that bore through rock. The company developed equipment ideally suited for construction sites, tunnels, and the opening up of roads – and it did so astutely, by studying the most advanced and successful technology of its larger competitors and then creating its own exclusive products that brought together the best characteristics of all the others.
“Today, globally, pneumatic drilling equipment is already falling into disuse and, apart from us, few companies are investing in new technology,” confesses Robson Silva, Wolf ’s director of exports.
When the company decided to go global in 2007, Silva was brought on board to head Wolf’s brand new export department. Since then, international trade has not just become a sideline – it’s become a major focus.
EFFORTS THAT PAY OFF
Amazingly, Wolf ’s considerable efforts have paid off – and in a big way. Only several years after going global, exports already represent 50 percent of the company’s revenues.
In terms of production capacity, Wolf is already working full force. Even so, it can’t maintain its stock, which is sold as soon as it rolls off the assembly line (in 2009, the company churned out 20 pneumatic units a month and two hydraulic track drills every two months). In order to keep up with demand, Wolf has purchased a new 33,000-square-foot site in Indiatuba where it has already started building a new plant. Considerably larger than its current one, it is set to go into operation by the end of 2010. Aside from manufacturing facilities, the site will also feature warehouses and new administrative offices.
“We’re currently in the midst of a transition that will give us a more modern corporate structure.” In the meantime, the company has been investing heavily across the board, and is committed to meeting requirements that will allow it to obtain international certification standards such as ISO-9000 and ISO-9001. Indeed, as the company prepares to enter a new decade, it appears clear that Wolf ’s biggest investment right now is in the future.