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One hundred years of undisrupted, constant production is an unquestionable success of The Capital Group FASING Plc. This is the power of tradition, of which characters from the past emerge as well as the history of company’s transformations.

Few years later Alfred Wagner bought the plant. Following an iron foundry erection the name was changed into Machine Factory and Iron Foundry. 1930s’ crisis did not go unnoticed for both the plant and its owner. The factory was collapsing. At the end of 1933 it was put up for an auction. At this very moment of company’s history the first noble man emerged. The man, who in those days has created a large-scale company out of a small business.

Gustaw Różycki was a wealthy man during the period of Alfred Wagner company collapse. Therefore, he decided to invest in poorly developed, at that time, machinery industry and bought Wagner’s company. Since that time, apart from the name Machine Factory Iron and Non-ferrous Metals Foundry the name MOJ has begun to be used as well. On October 17th, 1933 in time when Różycki has been buying the company the world crisis slowly began to defuse. In Poland it lasted for over two more years. Nevertheless, the new owner managed to establish the company, which after six years was employing 800 people. He built a new forge, amenity building with baths, recreation room and a student workshop. The factory has been carrying a massive production and was still developing. Apart from air duct fans and generators it manufactured the power generation stations for shelters, chainsaws for wood cutting and electrical sirens of up to 15 km cover-up range. Rapid development of an automotive sector, for which Różycki had a passion, has been a determinant for those days. He started the production of car starters for FIAT. Annually, the factory has been producing 2000 starters, which was a considerable achievement. Nevertheless, it has still been too little for the ambitious owner. In February 1937, Gustaw Różycki presented a new Polish motorcycle under the name MOJ during the special show for reporters. Its uniqueness was defined by nearly all Polish made parts. The next motorization plans in form of a car factory building in Sandomierz were foiled by the war. The land has already been purchased, when September 1st, 1939 came.

The war has ruined expansion plans for the company. In September 1939 the factory was taken over by a trustee on behalf of German occupation authorities. Three years later inż. Alfred Wagner was designated as the company’s president and he ran it until January 1945, the moment of liberation from Nazi occupation. At that time the factory has been primarily producing goods for an occupation army. Grenade and shell heads were among the manufactured items.

It must be admitted, that Krzanowski had a flair for business. After he had moved the company’s headquarters to a different location at 7 Jadwiga St. he then built: a company’s Board house together with his own flat, drawing machine building, forging shop and foundry within three years time. He employed 55 people. The factory had a lucrative market for its products as it manufactured spare parts for buses of Silesian Bus Lines, cast-iron grates for steam engines and iron castings of electric motor bodies. He had also been doing quite well in the mining industry, for which he produced drill bits and rotary percussive crowns. It was a fact, that his company had been manufacturing 35 tonnes of castings a month. At that time 70 tonnes of steel had been arriving to the factory. And one more time the development of such highly promising company was erupted by the war.

The invader changed the company’s name into “Rapid Industrie – Anlage Hohenlohenhütte”. The number of employed has been increased to 120 people. As it may be assumed, the factory has been used for the production of war demands. Kentledges, hermetically closed manholes for submarines and bomb fuses were among the produced goods. The initial machining of propeller mountings for planes has also been conducted.

Shortly after the war ended a plenipotentiary Sławomir Peszkowski became a boss in a Factory in Załęże. Following a short episode of the period between October and November 1945 when Gustaw Różycki held CEO position Julian Sawicki took it up after him. Then Stanisław Skomorski came, and following four years Edmund Brzozowski replaced him to occupy the Director’s office for two years. The successive CEO was Robert Herich, who was replaced by Stanisław Jankowski in April 1956 after three year time. He was yet the last director of the autonomous plant in Załęże. Whereas, since April 1945 Edmund Brzozowski had been a director in Wełnowiec. When obtaining a director’s position in 1951 in Załęże, he left the plant in Wełnowiec to Wacław Bokacki, who was managing it for the next 11 years. Moreover, Bokacki has become the director of two integrated companies – the one in Załęże and Wełnowiec. And since 1963 he has been running them uninterruptedly for 18 years until 1981 when he retired. It is worth to mention, that this long-standing director has been an inventor concurrently. Together with Eugeniusz Bojemski and Tadeusz Opolski he invented a mining drill for rotary drilling, which was called BOB in honour of the inventors. The proof of it still remains in the Patent Office. Wacław Bokacki also takes the credit for other patented inventions such as connecting links. At the same time, he has been holding the position of the President of GKS Katowice Club.

While the plant ran the production of simple drill bits for coal, three types of cutter bits, Flotman drills, tool points and drill bits for “Demag” equipment in 1945, for the next few years these obsolete tools have been withdrawn from the production. Despite many political changes the company, since its establishment, has not changed in one field. It constantly tried to keep up to date. New and best solutions have been sought continually, as well as, new inventions have been designed. In 1974 the biggest FASING investment was launched, GONAR Mining Tools Plant under licence of Swedish Fagerst. Even then, most of the machining equipment was numerically controlled. The machines were performing in the air-conditioned, glazed and spacious production hall. Right next to machine tools the massive palm trees grew and the human traffic was performed by scooters to save time. It was the first stage of the planned company’s development. The next one involved erection of the much the same hall, where MOJ plant had been planned to be moved. The financing of building was possible owing to expanding product export (GONAR – 60% of total production, RAPID – 50%, MOJ – 20%). Bull market lasted for the whole period of 80s’. It was a great paradox of those times, resulting from the fact of goods being exported to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Comecon member countries. The trade was accounted for transfer rubels (1 USD = 0,7 of transfer rubel). The common name for this currency among salesmen was “transfer sparrows”. The company has also been exporting its products to so-called second region, meaning capitalist countries – according to nomenclature of that time. The co-operation with Kenametal started in rotary tool production. Mining chain and shearer tool export to People’s Republic of China was blooming. China settled in Swiss francs in foreign trade and at that time was counted to “the second region”.

The products have also been exported to many countries, including USSR, Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Chechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. It is worth to mention, that the direction of actions taken at that time has crystallized and allowed for the plant to become a world-class chain manufacturer. 

The economy following the first half of 70s’ investment boom has been dependent on import of the materials as well as semi-finished products made in the West. Whereas, martial law introduction on the 13th of December, 1981 did completely cut off our country from help of Western European countries as a result of imposing economic sanctions against Poland. As a consequence it lead to an industrial production slump. It also influenced Gen. Karol Świerczewski Mining Tools and Equipment Factories in Katowice. There was a lack of materials, the investment development was hold, the quality of produced goods decreased. That difficult state lasted until 1989, the time of major political and economical changes in Poland.

The company could manage with supplier unreliability or some other companies’ methods of monopolistic activities. In general, there was no other way out. It was to be or not to be for the company. Everyone realized that – counting from the Board members to the lowest level employees. Unfortunately, many other businesses did not handle well new reality. FASING, on the other hand, got through from that period unscathed. The company maintained the production and was selling its products – the most significant – it was able to remain 1500 job positions. The number of employed at the beginning of 90s’. Then, the year 1989 came. The export to Soviet bloc countries has collapsed because of political grounds. The export to China cracked because of numerous reasons. FASING was left without any export possibilities and shrinking internal market. At that time 30 coal mines were shut down. The Company entered the new millennium both with massive debts, which financed investments and new market position in the form of a foreign competition. Furthermore, political distortions appeared. Polish State has begun to depart from nationalized businesses. It needed funds for massive loan repayments, as a result of purchasing in dollars and selling in ‘transfer sparrows’. Therefore, the time of selling the state property came. In order to simplify the process, the companies have been transformed into state owned businesses. The beginning of 90s’ was the time of liquidation of the state central offices and independence transfer to companies. In 1991 the then Director Jerzy Kostyrko submitted a request to the Ministry of Industry for transformation into a joint-stock company. It was then when a single-member company of the State Treasury began to function. Jerzy Kostyrko was its first President, whereas the appointed Board members were: Aniela Kostowska and Piotr Baron. Furthermore, Henryk Karaś was appointed the first Chairmen of the Supervisory Board, followed by Michał Hewig.

When the plant gained the statute of an independent company under the name of Mining Tools and Equipment Factories FASING at the beginning of 90s’ it was transformed into a single-member company of the State Treasury. It has also entered the General Privatisation Programme and was included in The XI National Investment Fund. Few years later the Company’s privatization process began. FASING as a big multi-company body could be successfully bought by the Western competition, which at that time only had a capital. As a rule, Polish companies were purchased in order to close them down and then enter the market with its products. It was a simple method to get rid of the Polish competition. That danger could be avoided in one way, divide the company into several smaller businesses and search for new owners among Polish investors, who only started building up their capital. That is how FASING was saved, providing job positions for the people and possibility to conduct business activity under new, healthy regulations. New, separate companies have been established: Transfas, FASING – MOJ and FASING – GONAR. In 1998 two more entities were set up: FASING – Technology and FASKOP. The company also purchased 60% of PRG BYTOM Plc. shares. FASING manager personnel have been constantly learning the rules and regulations of new economic reality. When an opportunity to purchase something arose and later on to sell it with a profit, it was not squandered.

In January 1999 the Company’s Board decided to sell 100% of shares to FASING - GONAR entity. Just under one year later 63% of FASING shares were purchased by PPH Karbon 2. Simultaneously, it has become a strategic investor owing to which the 100-year long tradition company turned out to be the world leader of chain manufacturing.