100th Anniversary of the Factory in Polička

 17. 06. 2020      category: Events

Exactly 100 years ago, on April 28, 1920, the First Military Ammunition Factory in Polička was founded, the history of which together with the legacy of the Czechoslovak industry we commemorate this year.

The newly-established Czechoslovak Republic was very well aware that its existence is not self-evident and the preservation of democracy in a small state in Central Europe will be possible only with a well-equipped army. That is why an ammunition factory was built in the safe zone, away from the state borders, in Bořiny near the town Polička. Its main task was to ensure a sufficient supply of military material to the Czechoslovak army and to increase the republic's defences.

Delaborace munice, okolo 1945, Polička
Picture: Unloading ammunition, 1945, Polička | archive of the STV GROUP

The very first product of Czech construction and production in the First Military Ammunition Factory in Polička was manufactured already in 1921 - a defensive hand grenade. In the inter-war period, the factory did not focus only on hand grenades, but its main program was the production of large-caliber artillery ammunition and the demolition of old ammunition stockpiles. Even now, decades later, the Polička factory still has the capacity and ability to produce domestic large-caliber ammunition so that the Army of the Czech Republic would not need to rely on imports from other countries if necessary. After World War II, the Polička plant was restored as Military Factory 1 and later passed under the engineering plant Adamovské strojírny (ADAST) with a special and civilian research and production program. The breakthrough products for civilian use at that time were Polička's measuring and pumping equipment, which were supplied for example to petrol stations in the entire “Eastern bloc” of that time.

Výroba - kolem 1985
Picture: Production, 1985 | archive STV GROUP

After the year 1989 came with privatization, the Polička factory became a private company again. Along with the opening of the market, the licensed production of pneumatic elements had started, which soon became an economic and technological powerhouse of the company with its own development capacities. Nowadays, the Polička factory is a company with an international reach in this sector and we can come across its pneumatic products practically every day. All you have to do is take the bus and the pneumatic system of its door will most likely come from Polička. Similarly, the original pneumatic cylinders, drives, heavy-duty parts or control valves of the design department of the Polička plant can be found in many industrial applications in the field of automation and robotization of production all over the world. An essential part of the production program is also custom engineering production and also measuring and pumping technology.

Příjezd do továrny - nyní
Picture: Entrance to the factory, present | archive of the STV GROUP

After 2015, the extensive premises of the factory became the base of the STV INVEST group of companies, which focuses mainly on providing repairs and supplies of ammunition and other equipment for the armed forces and security forces, and whose portfolio also includes the factory in Polička. It was under the leadership of the STV INVEST holding that the whole area has come to life and has been overflowing with various activities. On the shop floors, we can come across heavy military equipment, undergoing modernizations and overhauls, both for the Army of the Czech Republic and for foreign customers. Not only tank and artillery large-caliber ammunition come off the production lines, but also small-caliber ammunition for sports shooters, which also reaps success and awards overseas. An important part of production are the TNT boosters and plastic explosives, which are used for special blasting work, especially in the armed forces. The rich history of the factory is accompanied by the ecological disposal of obsolete or surplus ammunition.

stv foto
Picture: On the shop floors, we can come across heavy military equipment, undergoing modernizations and overhauls, both for the Army of the Czech Republic and for foreign customers. | archive of the STV GROUP

What was established only as an ammunition factory has grown into a technology centre manufacturing high-quality product for both the civilian and defence sectors. And even now the factory Poličské strojírny, STV GROUP and other companies of the STV INVEST group with more than 500 employees belong to the main employers in the region. We have something to build on, we are proud of our history and we look to the future with optimism. Just like the founders of the Czechoslovak Republic and the production plant in Polička-Bořiny.

 Author: Martin Šiška