KOVI - Start-up in the midst of crisis


Despite many difficulties, many SMEs in Vietnam are constantly making efforts to contribute more value to society and affirm Vietnamese brands.

Welding materials are one of the most important industrial goods for life. Over 10 years ago, Vietnam still had to import an enormous amount of Welding materials, and so, that's the main factor that has pushed up prices of domestic products. According to projections from VSA (Vietnam Steel Association), the domestic demand for welding materials will witness robust growth in the near future. In 2018, Overall production for iron and steel in domestic consumption are reach nearly 21.75 million tons. And the Welding rods in particular, have accounted for 3 - 5% of total consumption, That presents the demand of this item is very big. However, Welding rods production from Vietnam producers just only about over 52 thousand tons in 2017 (Data from Vibiz - the Market research company)

Que hàn KOVI, sản phẩm của Công ty TNHH Bảo Chi. Ảnh: BCC.
KOVI Welding rods, the product from BAOCHI ®Co., Ltd (BCC). Image: BCC.

Be aware of the chance in a fascinating niche market, Mr. Ngo Van Trong (BCC's Founder - Mechanical Engineer) said that The chance came to him at the beginning of 2019, while He was informed there were the Korea welding rod Manufacturing wanted to turn it over to the other by his professor. 

Mr. Ngo Van Trong

He admits that he didn't have any idea about welding rod manufacturing at that time and even he had never seen the process of how to make welding rods even though he was well-schooled in welding technology from Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST). After conferring with his colleagues, he also decided to take the chance regardless of many risks and challenges. 

kovi production area in BCC Manufactory.  (Image: BCC)

In the very beginning, when the production systems were transported to his manufacturing, It was driving him confused because of looks like a pile of scrap metal! All the time later, he and his team worked tirelessly to make it all possible. They did everything step by step from beginners to learn how the welding rod is made, The primary principle in the welding rod production systems, buried in R&D day by day...

"In order to have complete control and to maintain this system, we had damaged again and again so many times," - Mr. Ngo Van Trong admitted. But after 2 years in constantly trials and errors and improves, by the countless amount of support and help of his friends and his staffs who have more experiences with this field, The Welding rod production line came officially into operation with capacity of 400 tons/month even it can approach 600 tons/month.

"kovi" Welding rods have outstanding quality with such advantages: 
- Facilitates a quiet arc that is readily maintained with minimal spatter loss
- Stable arc
- High weld quality
- Reduce weld fumes
- Reduce weld spatter
- ..etc
In addition, Mr. Trong and His Team have been constantly looking at how to improve their products with the purpose is to make a kind of welding rods that have more user-friendly and easy-to-use for whom whether they are professional or not.

"Even kovi, the name itself just a result of an accident." Mr. Trong said. And He admitted that in the very beginning he just had an idea of the name combines of Viet Nam-Korean or vice versa only. But anything may also happen, the whole world is mostly impacted by the appearance of Covid-19. And so, this is the reason the name "KOVI" be born and it is also pronounced similar to COVID as a reminder of the terrible event in modern life of human history.  In the other position, "KOVI" has also marked an important step forward for BCC to have complete control of welding materials in other units such as Welding and Restoration Service (D-Services), Manufacturing the Wear-resistant Plate, CCO Plate, Wear Part (D-Plate, D-Parts),... and to become a Welding Material Manufacturer & Supplier. Mr. Trong hopes it will get 200 tons/month at least in 2022, and provide employment for more than 30 people..etc

Mr.Trong himself really admired Oscar Kjellberg(1870-1931)- a Swedish inventor who is remembered as the father of Coated Electrode and owned 2 world-famous engineering companies:  Elektriska Svetsnings-Aktiebolaget (ESAB, based in Sweden) và Kjellberg Finsterwalde (Germany). And Mr. Trong still always cherish a Plan for Development of the Export Market in the near future, for many of "his sons": 
KOVI (welding rods) , D-Plate (Wear-plate) , D- Parts (Wear-parts), BCM (Automatic Welding systems), Hibest (Industrial Abrasive products).

It affirms Vietnamese brands are possible to make any kind of products for supporting industries with quality can match with any other country like Japan, Korea, Taiwan... But the greatest immediate opportunity comes from the domestic market first.

Chú thích

1. Ngày 27/06/1908, Oscar Kjellberg được cấp bằng sáng chế No.231733 tại Đức cho phát minh “Que hàn và quy trình hàn điện” (Electrode and procedure for electrical soldering). Trên cương vị tổng giám đốc ESAB (hoạt động từ năm 1904), năm 1921, Kjellberg cho thành lập thêm công ty Kjellberg Elektroden GmbH tại Berlin cùng 6 cổ đông (toàn bộ là người Đức và Thụy Điển) để sản xuất và thương mại hóa que hàn điện.

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