26/02/2021 – The history behind the businessman
A portrait of Lämneå Bruk’s President
Jonas Hagstedt has a positive outlook into the future. Jonas believes that the general trend goes towards the demand for more automatic machines and that is why Lämneå Bruk constantly develops innovative and top-notch fully automatic lines.
Jonas’ fascination with the wire industry stems from his early childhood as his parents owned Lämneå Bruk. So, when 7-year old Jonas was asked what he wanted to become when he grows up, he would have answered: “President of Lämneå Bruk AB.”
Swedish wire machinery manufacturer Lämneå Bruk has a longstanding history and is a family-owned and run company for nine generations. The current President’s, Jonas Hagstedt, fascination for the wire industry therefore literally runs in his blood. He is sharing a few insights into his life and Lämneå Bruk’s more than 100-year history in the wire industry. Lämneå Bruk goes all the way back to 1727 when the company received the permission and stamp from no one else but the Swedish King to produce iron. Around 100 years later, Lämneå Bruk already started manufacturing machines for the wire industry and stopped with the iron production completely in 1873 to focus solely on wire.
A big steppingstone was when Jonas’ father Lars acquired Lämneå Bruk in 1958. From his early childhood years, Jonas was always around in the company. So, when 7-year old Jonas was asked what he wanted to become when he grows up, he answered: “I want to become the President of Lämneå Bruk AB.” And that dream became a reality in 1989, when Jonas and his brother took over the entire operation.
But to get to that point, was a long and winding road and required hard work. As a teenager, Jonas started with low-profile jobs, working as a janitor or warehouse keeper, and later in the production department. When he was as young as 12 years old, his parents sent him to the US to learn how to draw wire and manufacture dies as well as to improve his English. In the early 80’s, Jonas then advanced to Sales Engineer and became responsible for the American and German customers. He was even based in Germany for a few years, where he started up machines for German customers, drew wire, and acquired valuable German language skills.
Jonas is a true entrepreneur with a vision to build a strong, stable, and competitive company to provide a safe place to work for the people in the region. To achieve this goal new machine solutions had to be developed. So in 1992, the company then launched the first version of one of their bestselling machines, the “No Twist Coiler” (Pail Pack), the start of a real success story.
Already in 1994, the focus was set on modern machinery and all machines have been equipped with modem connections for remote troubleshooting and access.
In 2007, Jonas then took over Lämneå Bruk as the sole owner and developed a new strategy to lead the company from a financially struggling entity to a successful, world-known, reliable supplier of wire machinery with strong focus on innovation. Jonas understands that the success the company has experienced over the years, was only possible with a dedicated, knowledgeable team supporting him.
In the following years, Lämneå Bruk has launched new machines and continuously improved the existing machine portfolio. In 2008, the “Automatic Precision Layer Winder” was introduced, now already in its 2nd generation, as well as the “Automatic Spooling Machine”.
The wire drawing machine portfolio has been completed with the “Straight Line Wire Drawing Machine” in 2010. Also, in the same year, all machines have been built with an internet connection as standard feature. This allows to do remote start-ups and troubleshooting which has been proven extremely beneficial during the current Covid -19 pandemic.
In 2013, the “Automatic Precision Layer Winder” has been launched for smaller 5kg spools. Since 2017, Lämneå Bruk has been developing a highly innovative “No Twist Coiler” concept, which according to the Swedes, can truly revolutionize the wire industry. This machine basically combines “Take-Up” and “Pay-Off” in one as it acts as take-up for the wire machine while the inverted carrier is used as pay-off in the next production step and placed directly on the floor. The latest machine developments are a new “Sandpaper Descaling Machine” as well as a “Rod-Pay Off”.
Conquering the Covid-19 pandemic with innovation
During the on-going Covid 19 pandemic, Lämneå Bruk’s focus on digitalisation has paid off. As all machines are equipped with an internet connection, machine commissionings have been done entirely remotely over video conferencing devices and augmented reality for customers in many different countries.
Furthermore, Lämneå Bruk has successfully launched online “Factory Acceptance Test” (FAT) where the customers are dialed in live via video conference calls and can observe the test -run of their machine. The team has set up 4 cameras at different crucial points, so the customer could see the critical parts from all angles. To allow the customer to focus on one point at a time, he/she can easily choose which camera to look at first or switch between the different views.
Autonomous work processes, fact-based decision making, flexibility, and a strong focus on teamwork and customers are the pillars of Lämneå Bruk’s fruitful business model. On top of that, Jonas is proud to say that all machines are manufactured in their own workshop and therefore they are truly “Made in Sweden”. Having control over the entire production chain allows for more flexibility and quality-assurance. Another major success factor is the strive for constant technological development to use the engineering resources in the best possible way.
Looking back over the years, Jonas Hagstedt is proud of what he has achieved. According to him, Lämneå Bruk has a major competitive advantage as they are purely focusing on the wire industry and this is where the passion and expertise lays due to their long history. Another major factor is that the team truly has knowledge. They know the details of each machine and process. For example, the sales team can actually draw wire which equips them with hands-on experience that is extremely valuable to understand the process and to advice the companies’ international customer base.
Despite the current pandemic and resulting economic crisis, Jonas Hagstedt has a positive outlook into the future. Jonas believes that the general trend goes towards the demand for more automatic machines and that is why Lämneå Bruk constantly develops innovative and top-notch fully automatic lines, such as the “Fully Automatic Precision Layer Winder” that can now be purchased together with an automatic palletizing robot – an invention that will make the customers’ life much easier.
The company’s major focus more is next years is certainly the “NTC Concept”. This concept allows not only for a streamlined production line, but also decreases power consumption to produce the wire pack significantly and even enables trouble-free pay-off without any power. Allowing the customers to save space and money. Apart from this, with the NTC concept it is possible to produce very big wire packages, even with extremely thin wire. This is something special and has not been possible before. Another focus for Lämneå Bruk is to launch effective and energy-efficient rod-preparation equipment and to make rod cleaning and preparation more environmentally- friendly.
Looking back, Jonas Hagstedt is extremely satisfied with what he has achieved and built up with Lämneå Bruk so far. But it does not end there and Lämneå Bruk is planning further innovations to enrich the wire industry from a small town in the centre of Sweden.
The author is Ann Kathrin Hassenburs, Lämneå Bruk AB.