By the end of the next month, to be precise, on October 21, Elka will celebrate 80 years of its business activities in cable production. During its existence Elka has passed a long way from a relatively small factory at the outskirts of town to a leading cable producing company in the region. Starting with some 70 employees and 80 tons of produced cables and insulated conductors, nowadays we have over 500 employees and a yearly production of approx. 25 000 tons in our plants in Zagreb and Zadar.
Elka’s production started in 1927 under the name of “ELKA – Association for electrical engineering and cable factory d.d. Zagreb” in what was then Bačvarska Street (nowadays Martićeva St.) at the outskirts of Zagreb. The period before and after the World War 2 was marked by a permanent growth not only of the factory, but also of our capital, and the working area of the factory has soon become too small for a successful further development. Because of that in the ‘60s of the last century stated a gradual relocation of the factory’s machineries to the present location at Žitnjak, and the previous area in Martićeva St. was completely abandoned in 1986. It has to be mentioned that in 1972 Elka opened a plant for micro cables production in Tugonica, and in 1979 Elka took over Metal ropes Zadar, formerly a part of what was then a Textile plant Otočanka, whose present production range covers steel ropes and overhead conductors. Following a decision of the Supervisory Board of Elka d.d., in the year 2003 was founded Elka kabeli d.o.o. as the affiliate company in the 100 percent ownership of Elka d.d. whose business activities stated on the first day of the next year.
At the very beginning of its business activities, back in 1927, Elka was producing installation insulated conductors, workshop cords, low voltage rubber insulated wires for bells, and connecting accessories for lighting installations. From those modes beginnings till now Elka has widely extended its production range, adding numerous innovations and novelties. Looking back it is necessary to point out some key moments in the development of technology and production in the past 8 decades.
At the beginning of ‘40s Elka had had extended its production by implementation of aluminium conductors for power cables, and soon after began the production of enamelled and dynamo wires for shipboard cables with rubber insulation and lead sheath. The year 1947 needs to be mentioned too, because it was then that a three-shift operation was first implemented and it remained in force till now.
In the years ‘50s Elka had been the first cable producing factory in the former state which has applied PVC granulate as insulating material.
In the following decade we have developed and produced the first 10 kV power cable with aluminium conductor and PVC insulation.
Elka’s seventh decade is important because in that years started the development of telecommunications cables with thermoplastic insulation and it is also marked by the beginning of production of low voltage and medium voltage cables and implementation of steel ropes and overhead conductors into our production range. In ‘80s of the 20th century we register the beginning of fibre optic (optical) cables and sets for long distance, local and internal networks.
The end of ‘90s characterizes the beginning of production of halogen free flame retardant and fire resistant shipboard cables and development of cross-linked insulation of medium voltage cables by a dry procedure. As a proof of our long-year quality pursuit, in 1997 was certified the Quality Management System acc. To ISO 9001, and a few years later also the Environment Management System pursuant to ISO 14001 standard.
At the turn of the century Elka has kept its trend of innovation and implementation of new cable types through development and certification of almost all power and communications cables for the British Rails, and through development and testing of the new generation xDSL pair telecommunications cables and special new cables for tunnels. In the last two years were successfully terminated testing, production and delivery of antiballistic cables and the new 20 kV cable featuring a possible optimisation of cable power transmission. At the same time was also produced a new generation of flame retardant and fire resistant shipboard cables.
To meet the increasing requirements of our buyers in the country and abroad, Elka continues to develop and improve its existing production range. It can be expected that we shall accomplish our objectives and obtain new successes in the area of technological development for the purpose of maintaining our leading position in the region and entering the new foreign markets.