For the love of tinkering

Interview with Håkan Gustavsson at SVIA

Out on SVIA’s shop floor, the sound of advanced automation is heard. There is humming, clicking and swishes as robotic cells are tested. Håkan, the assembler, is also there. He’s 100 percent focused on assembling a robotic cell. He’s been doing it for almost 20 years. He loves to tinker with things.

When Håkan Gustavsson brother-in-law Ari Kesti founded SVIA in 1997, Håkan had worked at a fan factory and a ventilation sheet metal shop for a total of 14 years. Ari offered him a job as a robotic cell assembler at his new automation company. Håkan leapt at the opportunity and has never regretted his decision.

– I constantly get fun projects to work on.

Nothing is the same. I’m currently working on a robot cell for one of our regular customers in Borås, Müller Mekaniska AB.

The robotic cell is a copy of the customer’s previous EDM cell, and includes a mix of standard components unique for the customer. It includes two EDM machines, a drying station, light bars on both the right and left sides, and conveyor belts in and out.

When Håkan is finished he does a check with the project manager.

Logic and courage

Despite his satisfaction Håkan found the beginning of his career at SVIA demanding.

– I’m glad that Ari believed in me – it’s good to make use of new talent – but if you want to assemble robotic cells, having a good foundation to build on is an advantage, especially when it comes to layout. And then you have to combine what you’ve learned with common sense. You can go far that way, and the chance of making mistakes is reduced.

Håkan emphasizes young people’s ability to see products from a new point of view.

– They give us veterans suggestions for new solutions we wouldn’t have thought of.

Håkan values logical thinking, but he also appreciates the courage to accept challenges on a large or small scale.

– We need to be understanding, not least because the projects are always different. SVIA has standard solutions for most things, but something always gets changed, moved or remade.

Clients give fun challenges

Today, Håkan enjoys large and complex assembly orders.

– A completely different challenge, which I also enjoy, is going to a new customer to install their first robotic cell.

During one of Håkan’s first installation jobs a cheerful older man with a cane showed up, knocked on SVIA’s attractively designed robotic cell and asked critically: “Is this the machine that can see?” The elderly man turned out to be the founder of the company. His son had just taken over and the father was skeptical. Today the company has several robotic cells in operation.

When he’s not putting robotic cells together, Håkan enjoys spending time with his grandchild or working on the large garage he’s building for a number of cars. He likes to build and tinker with things, even in his free time.

3D picking is the future

He believes the next big step for SVIA will be 3D.

– The demand for 3D sensors is going to increase and we’re already far ahead/very advanced. 3D picking direct from the pallet is the future.

PalletPicker™ is an example of an automation system with 3D picking directly from the pallet that SVIA is fine-tuning to perfect precision.

– We will never be satisfied. Everything can be done better

That said, Håkan Gustavsson, robotic cell assembler at SVIA, has no reason to regret the “yes, thank you” he said to Ari Kesti almost 20 years ago. He keeps on tinkering.



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