“Business has really been picking up in every area since we last spoke in 2010,” highlights Joacim Lindström, managing director of Optronic. “All of our customers have been really successful in their respective markets and as a result their volume of work with us has gone up pretty much all across the board. We have also managed to get some new customers in the areas of development and manufacturing. At this time we are establishing our Stockholm office while at the same time researching future markets in the Southern part of Sweden and Europe in a bid to decide where we want to put our foot down in the years to come.”
When Aga Geotronics moved production of a newly developed instrument series to Skellefteå, Sweden in 1974, the company today known as Optronic was born. Bought by new owners in 1987, the company became part of a growth-oriented industrial group with the objective being to provide services that realise the potential of optronics to companies serving international industries. In 1991 the leading players within the optronics industry were invited to the opening of the Optronic Centre, an ultra-modern, tailor-made facility and in 1997 the first sizable order for integrated development and manufacture was received. By 2003 the company had achieved over 11 million euros in sales and in 2008 an expansion of Optronic’s production area doubled its capacity in order to meet increasing demand.
In the past year the company has been working diligently on laying the groundwork for further expansion: “Back in 2010 Optronic was in the process of merging two companies that provided it with a range of PTP service manufacturing equipment like surface mounting, x-ray and optical inspection equipment. So, with that up and running the company has been working on improving productivity, efficiency and quality all over the board,” explains Joacim.
“A really good opportunity presented itself to do this sort of large investment at a time when the overall demand wasn’t really that strong. Nevertheless the company regarded it as a good opportunity and the result has been even better than could have been expected. In the last year practically all of the company’s clients have stayed with Optronic and in turn have increased their volumes. Alongside increased business from established clients, the company has also secured new work, for example with a business by the name of Speed Identity, which is working intensively on gathering biometric data for passport equipment,” Joacim continues.
Having had a major presence at Florida’s PittCon 2010 conference, the company has continued to make appearances as various conventions and exhibitions over the past 12 months, most notably the Photonic 21 event in Brussels. Here the company was able to get a first hand look at the developments occurring throughout the industry thus getting a better picture of where business is heading within the European Union and where future funding will be coming from and going to. These conferences continue to prove fruitful and rewarding for the company both in the short and long term.
“At present the focus of the company is on trying hard to get everybody to be really proactive and on being heavily involved with all its clients,” Joacim states. “The aim is to spend a lot of time with the customer to get to know their specific needs and requirements whilst forming a strong relationship. Since there will inevitably always be problems along the way, having a close relationship with a customer makes it a lot easier to handle these problems when they arise. If, on the other hand, a tense situation occurs and the company has a poor relationship with the customer and has not been as involved in their operations there will be a lot more work to do to get over certain obstacles.”
Looking ahead Joacim points towards the recent work of the company in building itself up internally, even in times of increased activity, as a strong indicator of business moving forward in a positive manner in the years to come: “In February 2011, Optronic acquired its ISO 14000 certification which is a particularly pleasing accomplishment as it was gained during a period of high activity. This achievement is indicative of the way the company will continue to develop its skills within the industry, looking to land several more contracts in the fields of both development and manufacturing which will be located around Oprtonic’s established development facilities in Sweden and further afield in Europe.”
Products: Development and manufacture of optronic solutions