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Pentronic's history

Europe’s leading supplier of industrial temperature sensors

The Pentronic of today is the result of an extraordinary interest in temperature measurement stretching back more than half a century.

It all began in Stockholm in the 1960s when three employees of Honeywell, an international company in the field of measurement technology and automatic control engineering, decided that they wanted to specialise in temperature measurement. In 1965 the trio founded a company called Telemetric Instrument.

One of the part owners was Torsten Lindholm (1927–2004), who at that time was probably Sweden’s leading expert in industrial temperature measurement in practice.

Telemetric’s goal was to become the technological leader in its field. The company realised early on that a key success factor was to create customised solutions for specific measurement tasks by means of in-house R&D combined with control of the manufacturing process.

The company began collaborating with a nearby engineering company, Albin Janssons mekaniska verkstad, to manufacture temperature sensors. Telemetric made its own signal transmitters.

 

Torsten SV
Torsten Lindholm’s ideas created the foundation of today’s Pentronic.

 

Pentronic was formed

By the beginning of the 1970s Telemetric had outgrown its premises in Stockholm and the owners decided to relocate.

In 1973 the group that was working with temperature sensors under the leadership of Torsten Lindholm moved to the beautiful village of Verkebäck just south of the town of Västervik on Sweden’s Baltic coast. Albin Janssons mekaniska verkstad came along for the move and was acquired in 1984.

Telemetric’s various divisions began to develop in different directions and finally the Verkebäck operation was spun off and got the name Pentronic.

Pentronic 1980
Torsten Lindholm and his colleagues moved from Stockholm to the beautiful village of Verkebäck just south of Västervik, where industrial premises were available on the edge of the Baltic Sea.
This was the scene at the end of the 1980s.

 

Machinery manufacturers and OEM products

Then, as now, Pentronic focused on advanced temperature measurement for industries and R&D contexts. One growing field was the development and manufacture of OEM products for internationally successful machinery manufacturers.

Demands for temperature measurement precision and documentation increased as energy costs rose and quality- and environmental management systems were introduced.

In 1985 Pentronic was sold to an investment company in order to access resources for continued development and future investments. One such project was a sophisticated calibration laboratory. However, Pentronic did not fit into this new corporate environment and its management bought out the company in 1987.

LP I Verkstaden
Lars Persson took over the position of managing director when Torsten Lindholm retired in 1990.

 

Accreditation and new challenges

A year later, in 1988, the calibration laboratory was accredited by the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, Swedac. Pentronic’s laboratory was now the first one in Sweden in addition to the national testing institute to realise parts of the temperature scale using its own fixed points. Right from the start the laboratory’s performance level equalled that of a number of countries’ national testing institutes.

During this period Pentronic also developed and manufactured ovens for fixed point calibration. Customers included Sweden’s national testing institute.

At that time Pentronic was a classic engineering company, driven as much by expertise as by a passion for new technology. For a while this led the company down a number of sidetracks, which proved how crucial it is to focus on core competency.

When Pentronic’s principal owner, Torsten Lindholm, retired, continuity was ensured when he was succeeded as managing director by the sales manager Lars Persson. However, investment was also clearly required to satisfy growing demand due to customers’ needs for lower energy consumption, fewer rejections and higher quality.

AKL17025v2 Grönlund I Labbet
Pentronic’s laboratory was accredited as early as 1988. It was Sweden’s first laboratory besides the national testing institute to realise parts of the temperature scale using its own fixed points. The laboratory is continually being developed through its work to satisfy customers’ new demands.
 

 

A new owner and a growing market

In 1990 Pentronic was acquired by the Fagerberg Group, which was owned by Catena, a company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (now part of the NASDAQ OMX Group). This time the corporate environment was a good fit. Pentronic was only temporarily affected by Sweden’s financial crisis in 1992. Without temperature sensors industry comes to a standstill, and so the market quickly rebounded.

Pentronic’s current training programme was launched at this time. Courses became regular and are included in a number of customers’ introductory programmes for their new employees.

Another venture designed to raise customers’ expertise in the temperature field was the customer magazine PentronicNytt.

Pentronic’s market shares increased during Sweden’s economic downturn, and this later led to increased demand. The company relocated some of its production to leased premises in nearby Västervik in order to rapidly increase capacity.

In 1993 the entire Fagerberg Group was sold to another company listed on the Stockholm exchange, Hexagon. This made little difference to Pentronic; there was the same sense of group belonging and the new owners saw a well-functioning company that could take care of its own growth trajectory.

Utbildning
Training courses were launched in 1991. A number of companies use Pentronic’s courses in temperature measurement and calibration as an introduction for their own new employees whose work involves these duties.
PNsv 14-1 Pentronic News 13-4
The customer magazines PentronicNytt and Pentronic News were launched to help raise customers’ own temperature expertise. PentronicNytt was launched in 1990 and Pentronic News in 2008.
 

 

More focus and improved production efficiency

Being part of an exchange-listed group of companies led to better-defined routines. Pentronic’s operations became focused on temperature measurement and control, with customer demands as the driver of increasing expertise. The company also focused more on specific industrial segments: energy production, food, automotive, pharmaceutical and medical technology.

For more and more customers, Pentronic became a vital part of their own development work.

Pentronic’s rapid growth required more measures than just expansion. The entire production process was reorganised and became flow oriented. Certification in accordance with ISO 9001 was done in 1998 and with ISO 14001 a year later.

In 2001 Pentronic gained yet another new owner: Indutrade, which at that time was owned by the Swedish investment company Industrivärlden. The new owner regarded Pentronic as a growth company and allowed it to continue investing in its own future.

In 2002 new production facilities in Västervik were inaugurated, and these were expanded in 2011. Today they house the machining department and the manufacture of large volume products. Verkebäck is home to the management, administration, sales, R&D department, calibration laboratory and the manufacture of special products.

The latest expansion enables Pentronic to rapidly increase its production capacity to satisfy future volume growth.

Companylogow 202
In 2001 Pentronic was acquired by Indutrade, which saw Pentronic as a growth company and allowed it to continue investing in its own development.
Pentronic Bilmotor -historik
Pentronic focuses on industries that require a lot of measurement, such as the automotive sector, energy production, food, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology.
Panorama _p2
Pentronic’s production facilities have increased in size in several stages, most recently in 2011. In the latest addition, shown here, subcomponents are assembled into finished Pt100 sensors and thermocouples.
Svarv -vidvinkel
A wide-angle view of the machining department. Most of the temperature sensors’ subcomponents are made here. Products involving unusual dimensions can therefore also quickly be manufactured.