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About Us

We are a leading provider of development services for the automotive industry in Czech Republic. Since its founding in 1993, SWELL has grown from a  small design office in a respected development partner of the European automotive manufacturers and their leading suppliers. With a growing team of over 270 employees today as Altran CZ we serve more than a hundred regular customers in 12 European countries. Our company consists of responsive experts born for technology.

Petr Havlík

Executive Director,
Member of the Board of Directors
Altran CZ a.s.

Viktor Čížek

Head of the STYLING & DESIGN Department
Altran CZ a.s.

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Jan Foltin

Head of the CAD Department
Altran CZ a.s.

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Jaromír Kejval

Head of the TESTING & CAE Department
Altran CZ a.s.

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Radek Bulíček

Head of the PROTOTYPING Department
Altran CZ a.s.

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Martin Mihulka

Head of the TESTING FIXTURES Department
Altran CZ a.s.

Milan Kluz

Head of the INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT Department
Altran CZ a.s.

Martin Hobza

Head of the QUALITY MANAGEMENT Department
Altran CZ a.s.

Michal Menčík

Head of the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Department
Altran CZ a.s.

Petr Kulhavý

Head of the FINANCE & CONTROLING Department
Altran CZ a.s.

COMPANY HISTORY

1993-1998     THE EARLY PERIOD

CAD office

Three associates Mr. Lubomir Drasar, Mr. Krois Pavel and Mr. Petr Novotny established SWELL, spol. s.r.o. in Lazne Belohrad, Czech Republic, on July 21st, 1993. The company opened its office in Horice and started first works in the ICEM DDN and ICEM Surf CAD environment.

Within a year, five new employees joined the company. SWELL started to support the OEM Škoda Auto in development of bonnets and body-in-white structures. The new CAD software Catia V4 was acquired for the larger development projects to come.

1999-2005     SERVICES PORTFOLIO EXPANSION

Prototyping workshop

CAE - simulations

Testing laboratory

In 1999, the company acquired one of the production halls from the local welding machines producer Jesva in Hořice and expanded its services with prototyping. Gradually, SWELL specialized in body-in-white structures prototyping, machining of styling models, and the production of tools and jigs.

A year later, the company added numerical simulations (CAE) to the services portfilo. The first projects were realized in the FEMAP and MSC Nastran software. Later on, ANSA was implemented for FE models creation, and MSC Adams for the multibody dynamics calculations. First simulations in PAM Crash launched the later leading expertise in pedestrian protection area. Besides the projects in the ​​passenger cars area, SWELL CAE specialists were involved also in the domestic busses development.

At the end of 2000, one of the company co-owners Mr. Petr Novotný separated with a part of the staff and founded a competing company Airon-Technic. This company is later acquired by the Spanish group Applus Idiada.

Expanding cooperation with Skoda Auto led in 2003 to opening a SWELL branch in Mlada Boleslav, close to the OEM´s technical development headquarters. In 2004, the company implemented Quality Management System ISO 9001: 2001 and has been successfully certified by TÜV SÜD since then.

For the CAE projects, it became the necessity to validate the simulation models and gain new material properties data for them. Therefore, in 2005, the very first material testing technologies were installed in limited facilities of two former garages in the company building. By that, the foundations were set for the future fastest growing part of the company, the testing laboratory. In the same year, the CAD department started the implementation of Catia V5, the later standard design software.


2006-2013     R&D CENTRE

Strengthening of the sales capacities and activities especially with the leading automotive suppliers brought a significant expansion of the SWELL customers base. The existing facilities for testing and prototyping became insufficient for further technologies and personnel growth. In 2006, the company's management therefore decided for an ambitious project to build the new SWELL R&D Services Centre in Hořice, the biggest investment in the company´s  existing history. The new modern facilities were inaugurated on September 12th, 2008, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the company. The project was awarded by the Czech Investment and Business Development Agency  CzechInvest for the greatest technological advantage in 2007.

The SWELL Development Testing Laboratory in the new facilities expanded with new technologies, professional staff, and implemented quality control processes at the highest standards. In 2009, the lab was granted the status of the accredited testing laboratory according to ISO / IEC 17025: 2005 by the Czech Accreditation Institute. Since then, it has been defending the status successfully on a regular re-accreditation base.

The year 2009 was vitiated by the crisis in the automotive industry and meant for the company a challenging period. For a significant decline in the volume of projects, several measures were adopted to minimize the costs, including a temporary reduction in employees' wages. Despite that, the company retained nearly the entire employee base. Thanks to that, it was able to capture the almost explosive growth in demand in the second half of 2010 and in the year after. SWELL regained its position as the leading provider of development services for the automotive industry in the Czech Republic, and continued to implement its development strategy.

In 2012, the SWELL R&D Centre facilities were further expanded with new grounds and technologies for the prototyping and testing services.


2014-2016     THE NEW ERA

By the date of June 10th, 2014, the founders and former owners of the company Mr. Lubomir Drašar and Mr. Pavel Krois passed the baton for further company development to a new owner, the venture capital fund Genesis Private Equity Fund II (GPEF II), managed by Genesis Capital. Mrs. Lucie Baleková joined the company management as the new CEO. Under her leadership, the company continued to implement the growth strategy, announced for the period 2015-2018. At the date of July 1st, 2015, the merger became effective of the companies SWELL, spol. s r.o. and the SPV company Kalgato Invest a.s.,  owned by the GPEF II, into the successor company SWELL, a.s.

During the both challenging and successful year 2015, the company was prepared for further growth era. New processes, internal organization and infrastructure were implemented. The new project of the SWELL R&D Centre facilities further expansion was prepared. The company hired new staff to the total of 150 employees by the end of the year. Due to the high volume of successfully realized projects, the company is about to report the highest revenues in the company´s history.

SWELL enters the year 2016 as a strong and dynamic company prepared for further growth, maintaining its leading position on the automotive engineering services market in the Czech Republic.

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