There was once a cellar. This was where it all started. As is so often the case, it was started by a person who was passionate about his interest, who converted this interest into a company and who went on to set his stamp on the company’s development.
Kent Bengtsson is the man behind SVAB, a company that develops user-friendly control systems for heavy works vehicles. He founded the company as a natural extension of his passion for machinery, hydraulics and the vision that all machine operators should be able to carry out their work in as natural an environment as possible.
His father-in-law had been responsible for hydraulics at Volvo BM, and carried out the odd development assignment at home in the cellar. The young Kent learned more and more, and became increasingly skilful. When the production of Volvo’s combine harvesters was relocated to Hallsberg, he made his first control valve – and his life in hydraulics had begun.
Once SVAB had been established and the business was up and running, the company gradually began to win more and more design assignments within hydraulics. It soon became clear that hydraulics would not be controlled in the traditional manner, but rather with electronics. Thoughts on how to achieve this had existed previously, but it was now time for a technical breakthrough. This breakthrough allowed the machine operators to control forklift trucks and cranes with a joystick. As a result of this, it became possible for them to vary their working positions.
At the turn of the millennium, SVAB was at the forefront with the technology for another major development for all machine operators – proportional control for tiltrotators. After just a year, once the technology had gained a foothold among machine operators, the company sold nothing else.
We have consistently managed to raise the technical level of our products and systems, to the benefit of all machine operators. The idea behind everything we do is to ensure that the operator is subjected to as little load as possible and avoids static working positions that put strain on the body.
We have come a good way along this road, yet there remains much to do. This is a challenge that we are looking forward to. Nobody stands as close to machine operators as we do. We have already proved this, and we will do so many more times in the years to come. The operator environments of the future are constantly in our thoughts. And on our drawing boards.