Interview

Brains from Slušovice. Before and today, they arouse respect far beyond the borders

The beginning of this story will sound a little bit strange especially to the youngest generation. The origin of the MGM Compro company, which today is one of the world-renowned experts in the development and production of special electronics in the field of drive systems, speed controllers or battery systems, can be traced back to the United Agricultural Cooperative in Slušovice. What can an inconspicuous town of 3,000 people east of Zlín have in common with innovative electronics and printed circuit boards? At least the person of Grigorij "Griša" Dvorský who has been there for more than three decades. He remembers the times of the "Slušovice miracle" when leading brains from all over the country met in Slušovice and in addition to specialists in cattle breeding, corn growing or food processing, there was also an elite team of microelectronics developers. At a level that exceeded the boundaries common to the countries east of the "Iron Curtain".

 "A narrow group of developers in the Slušovice collective farm was unique within the entire Eastern bloc. The best of the best met there, and we were even able to gain access to Western technologies. And thanks to that, we've all had a pretty big advantage since the early 1990s when we knew the trends and technologies that most people only dreamed of. Many developers of that time still successfully run businesses or large companies. I also obtained a high position in a successful corporation but at the same time I felt that it was not my dream. I have always been attracted especially by the development and production of special electronics,” Griša Dvorský recalls today of the first post-revolutionary years.

From process controllers to aerospace

In 1997, MGM Compro was one of the first companies in the world to start manufacturing processor speed controllers for electric motors. "They were designed for DC motors but they were really above standard at that time. Around the year 2000, BLDC AC motors and controllers came which only about five companies in the world were able to produce at that time. Two were in the Czechia, two in Germany, and one was operating in the U.S. 

"Then, by 2010, there was a growing onset of industrial applications and 2010 can be considered a year of entering the aerospace industry and the beginning of the pioneering years of electric flying. We started cooperation with Evektor and Airbus. Three years later we completed the development of the Evektor SportStar Epos and Airbus E-Fan aircraft which were fully powered by our power unit. In 2016, we launched a two-seater small sports aircraft of Jihlavan Airplanes. The first industrial applications of sophisticated drones for scanning the terrain or powerful drones that can carry heavy loads weighing up to 400 kilograms on construction sites also began to come into play at that time. We are interested in everything related to BLDC / PMSM electric motors to which our controller technologies are directed. Our cooperation in the shipbuilding industry is developing faster and faster. We make special applications in which weight and dimensions play an important role - i.e. special pumps, fuel pumps, machinery, stabilization systems,” adds Jakub Henčl, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the company that serves customers around the world from Zlín.

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MGM GATEMA PCB

Know-how built over the years

"We make comprehensive solutions for electronic power units and they mainly include a controller, electric motor, battery system, battery management system," says Jakub Henčl. 

When we ask about the reasons how a regional company can withstand international competition in a very specific market, we get the following answers from Jakub Henčl: "Griša Dvorský has a great merit in this as he has extraordinary technological know-how and is a visionary. And so is his son Martin who is active in business development and establishing partnerships. It was him who managed to attract the biggest clients such as Airbus or Evektor. Together they form a very strong ownership tandem. Of course, there is also a team of excellent people who can take things further, broaden them and take them to a higher level. Every new generation of controllers combines thousands and thousands of things that - fortunately for us - cannot be copied easily. It is not only technology but above all information from customers that is gradually establishing and improving every detail. We have always tried not to cling to a single branch and not to cut the ground from under our feet in all other branches. We can be variable."

"We are known to be able to make things lighter and smaller vis-à-vis controlled performance than our competitors. We are able to design hardware in a different way than others and through multilayer boards, which play a key role in the controllers, “push through" an incredible amount of energy in a very small place. Thanks to how perfectly designed it is, it has high efficiency, which in practice means less residual heat. We always try to do the very best that is available on the market. We are not interested in customers who are geared to costs. We are not interested in average or cheap components. We want to be the absolute top,” concludes Grigorij Dvorský.

The man who winds like a red thread through the story of the "Slušovice miracle" in the 1980s as well as the globally recognized and respected present under the flag of MGM Compro in the early 2020s.

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Luděk Buchta
Marketing Manager