• Workshop manager Max Lauterbach posing at the company's wind tunnel, designed to test the quality of the company's fans. The time is around the mid-1960s.

Akronmaskiner - from 1935 and forward

From bicycles to cutting machines

1935 the brothers Åke and Helge Abelsson started a bicycle repair workshop on the family farm in Järpås on the fertile plains between Lidköping and Vara. They were young men with ambition and from the bikes they quickly moved to car and tractor repairs.

In 1939 they built a new workshop for manufacturing of equipment for agriculture. The first major series production were hand tools like rakes and picks. At most they produced about 35 000 implements each year.

The agriculture mechanization in the period after the second World War made the company change direction. In 1946 they introduced a new product; cutting machines for straw and green fodder. Despite the fact that the cutting machine was a bit of a fad - the production ceased alredy in the 1950's - it became very popular and spare parts were sold for more than thirty years.

The family company products were marketed in the early 1950s under the name Akron. In 1963 they took the plunge and changed the name to Akronmaskiner. Acquiring a new company sign was easy since an old Monark plate was found. Monark was a Swedish bicycle brand, and the plate was apparently left over from the bike workshop. The plate was cut to pieces, the 'M' was put aside and the other letters moved around, and the sign was ready. The design of the logo has changed over the years, but today the old design from the Monark plate is back.


60 years of augers, fans and driers

In the mid-1950s development was started of many of the products which are still marketed to this day. Akron were very early with manufacturing of grain augers, the first of which were promoted already in 1954.

Manufacturing of axial fans was inaugurated in 1957. During the startup process it was clear that Akron needed a thorough understanding of heat and air flow physics. Using this knowledge, the first internally designed grain drier was manufactured in 1958. To this day, complete grain plants with both heating, storage and drying functions are a key product for Akronmaskiner.

In 1969, the Abelson brothers sold the company to Sven Johan Persson, who had for several years supported Akron with product development. Sven Johan headed the company for more than 35 years, until the role of CEO was passed on to his son Erik Hellsvik in 2007.

Many of the products required electrical motors. Akron soon started importing motors through the subsidiary Jansin AB, which was consolidated into the main Akron body in 2003. At most, Akron imported 50 000 motors in a single year.

In 1992, bankrupt competitor Svegma was acquired. With it came the Svegma drier, which was developed by Sven Johan Persson in the 1960s, and a number of other products, among them the Nirvana range of milling equipment. Järpås-based Fors Port was acquired in 1994, and provided a second workshop where large-scale welding and painting could be performed.

During the 1960s and 1970s, several types of field machinery were either manufactured inhouse or imported and sold on the Swedish market, but since the 1980s Akron has been fully focused on grain and biofuel handling, storage and drying and high-efficient industrial fan solutions.


Akron in the 21st century

The Akron of today is the result of decades of new product development, adjustments to the market needs and a high sense of quality. There are few similarities with the bicycle workshop of 1935. The three main business areas of today are the following:

  • Industrial fan solutions for mining, tunneling, wood kilns and other high power uses.
  • Grain handling, storage and drying solutions of world class, for all customer types and sizes.
  • Solid biofuel storage, drying and heating solutions, with express focus on improvement of drying process heat economy.

Additionally, Akron is committed to support existing products with spare parts and support, while constantly investigating possible new developments within the key areas.