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In this connection the high standard attained in Sweden in precision and fine mechanical work and, connected therewith, the manufacture of engineering and scientific instruments should be pointed out. In the case of physical and nautical instruments the Instnimentfabriks A.-B. Lyth of Stockholm has an old reputation for good designs and accurate execution. Of more recent origin is Roses Inslrumentfabrik of Uppsala, which specializes in optical goods. In regard to surgical instruments A.-B. Stille-Werner of Stockholm occupies an important position.
The following manufacturers of various kinds of technical measuring instruments deserve mention. Scales are manufactured by Nya A.-B. Stathmos of Nynashamn which have found a large market and enjoy a good reputation for accuracy. Caleulating machines are made by A.-B. Original Odhner, Gothenburg. Taximeters and similar registration apparatus are manufactured by Fabriks A.-B. Haldataxametern, Stockholm, and others. Svenska A.-B. Navigator has placed on the market an original ship log. Another similar design has been brought out by the Jungner-company, referred to below.
Testing machinery for various materials is manufactured as a speciality by A.-B. Alpha of Sundbyberg. To this field Swedish invention has made considerable contributions. Reference is made to the Brinell ball test machines known all over the world.
A well known Swedish invention is the Jungner accumulator, an electric storage battery built on the so-called alkali principle. It is distinguished in comparison with the lead accumulator by great insensibility to rough treatment and has therefore found use for illumination purposes especially on ships, railway and other vehicles and for wireless telegraphy, miners' lamps etc. It is manufactured by Svenska Ackumulator A.-B. Jungner and is placed on the market under the name the »Nifc» accumulator, which has found its way also into foreign markets.
Of electric smelting furnaces there are several important Swedish designs to be noted. The successful Swedish electric blast-furnace type originated with A.-B. Elektrometall was designed by the three founders of this firm, the engineers A. Grbnwall, O. Stdlhane and Dr Phil. A. Lindblad. The type has also been used abroad. This same company has also evolved a furnace for the manufacture of steel. A Swedish type of steel furnace which has been taken up abroad is that invented by Rennerfelt and manufactured and placed on the market by A.-B. Elektriska Ugnar (Electric Furnaces Ltd).
Electric welding apparatus of ingenious and efficient design are manufactured by Elektriska Svetsnings A.-B. of Gothenburg and Stockholm, and by A.-B. Wex of Stockholm. A particularly pretty piece of engineering of national-economical importance has been done by Apparat A.-B. of Stockholm, and its leading men, the engineers //. Bergstrbm, G. Magnusson, S. Sandberg and G. Snndblad. The company supplies apparatus and equipment for the wood pulp and chareoal industries and has put in some successful work on the improvement of the mechanical methods for realizing heat economy and transport problems in these industries. This work has given specially good results on the chemical side in connection with the extraction of fuel and other valuable products from the waste liquors accruing from the manufacture of sulphate and sulphite pulp. The company has designed and built furnaces for the carbonization of wood, which show a great saving in fuel both for large and small outputs, and has devised good processes for the economic recovery of by-products such as lubrication oils, transformer oils, retene from the wood tar, etc. The company has further worked out several important designs of apparatus for chemical industries such as column rectifiers, evaporation plants on the compression system, and it also manufactures electric boilers both for high and low tension currents. The Apparatus Company (Apparatbolaget), mentioned above, has made considerable contributions to the development of Swedish chemical industries by its designs. The neighbouring countries have also benefited by them very largely.
A venture which can be classified in the same category is A.-B. Vaporackutnulator of Stockholm which is also mentioned elsewhere. It has only been active for a year or two but has nevertheless proved to be of such importance that its designs appear to be well on the way to conquer the world market. The steam accumulator was invented by Dr J. Ruths, C. I., and its object is to store up steam over water in a container. This apparently simple principle is made use of in combination with certain cleverly devised regulators to bring about remarkable economic results in various kinds of manufacturing works such as pulp factories, other chemical factories, iron works, electric power stations, etc. By the storage of steam one gains firstly the advantage of an even load on the boiler system and in consequence a reduced demand in regard to their capacity and a better utilization of fuel. A further advantage is the possibility of making use of excess heat such as that contained in blast furnace gases and it also forms an ever ready reserve in electric power stations etc. In pulp factories - a number of Swedish sulphite factories have introduced the apparatus — a valuable increase of production and improvement of quality is also obtained by the smooth and even operation of the whole plant.
A.-B. Ljungstroms Angturbin, Stockholm, has designed and placed on the market an air-preheater arranged in a particular way, and which appears to be able to give an effective saving of fuel by recovering the waste heat in flue gases, etc. in various kinds of works and plants. Great interest is attached to the work of the same firm by the two distinguished inventors, Birger and Fredrik Ljungstrom — on the construction of a steam turbine locomotive.
In connection with the improvement of fuel economy the Mono apparatus, constructed by the engineer 0. Rodhe and placed on the market by A.-B. Mono, fulfills an important requirement. The apparatus automatically analyzes the flue gases — principally CO, and CO — and registers the result. In this way control over the fuel feed is obtained which is of first importance for the attainment of economic fuel consumption. The apparatus, which has found a great demand also outside Sweden, has in an ingenious manner been adapted for the analysis also of other gases (hydrogen, methane etc.) which is of interest in special cases such as the running of gas generators, etc.
The »Area» regulator is the name of a cleverly designed regulator invented by the engineer R. Carlstedt, which apparatus has also obtained a distribution in Sweden and abroad which is likely to increase in future. The apparatus, which is placed on the market by A.-B. Arcaregulatorer, allows the automatic regulation of, for example, steam pressure, gas pressure, water pressure, electric furnace electrodes, temperature, atmospheric humidity, electric and mechanical power, etc. It is based on the principle of a regulating member in which the choking of a fine jet of water forms the sensitive element. The delicate operation of the apparatus, its simplicity and considerable power are likely to make it useful for a number of different industrial purposes.
A number of branches of Swedish metal-working establishments not here mentioned could be counted as special industries. Thus in this connection the manufacture of electric lifts, a speciality of Graham Brothers A.-B., deserves mention. The manufactures of this company have, owing to their superior qualities, found a market all over the world. Further may be mentioned the manufacture of machinery and equipment for pulp and paper mills, which form a special manufacture of A.-B. Karlstads Mek. Verkstad, which firm is the greatest manufacturer of this type of machinery in the north of Europe. In regard to the manufacture of guns and armour plate at A.-B. Bofors of Bofors, certain inventions in artillery practice and the quality of Swedish steel co-operate to create an industry with markets far beyond the home country. The superiority of Swedish steel should be an important factor in stimulating a branch of manufacture such as the automobile industry. This has, however, not yet reached an important output in Sweden in regard to quantity. A.-B. Scania-Vabis of Stockholm and Tidaholms Bruks A.-B. of Tidaholm, (the latter specializing in commereial and fire-brigade vehicles) have, however, gained a reputation for distinctive and strongly built vehicles.
A place of their own is occupied by the Eskilstuna industries, which have grown up on the basis of the ancient iron industry of Sweden. Especially the manufacture of edged tools, knives, scissors etc. has gained a world-wide reputation. Among the more notable factories in Eskilstuna today may be mentioned the following, who manufacture tools, fittings, etc. of high quality: Aug. Stenman A.-B., Eskilstuna Jernmanufaktur A.-B., Ldsfabriks A.-B., E. A. Bergs Fabriks A.-B. and A.-B. C. V. Heljestrand.
Axel F. Enstrom
Electrical Industries of Sweden
It was during the eighteen-seventies that the foundations were laid for the modern electro-engineering industry, by the fundamental inventions which then were made: the dynamo machine, the incandescent lamp and the telephone. It did not take a long time before these inventions were taken advantage of in Sweden. As early as the early eighties a manufacture of goods in this category began, so that the Swedish electroindustries can now look back upon forty years of activity. Certain natural characteristics of Sweden, of which some are mentioned below, have supported the establishment and development of this branch of industry. The wealth of water power gave rise to a demand for the transmission of power electrically, the first step towards the realization of which was the invention of the dynamo machine; the northerly position of the country, with the long dark winters in the northern parts resulting therefrom, constituted a natural field for the introduction and development of electric illumination, and the great area of Sweden, with its long distances, formed an equally natural field for that improvement in communications towards which the telephone contributed. Last but not least, the technical aptitude of the people made the country particularly suitable for electro-technical manufacture, where a highly developed engineering art and skilled industrial labour are particularly important fundamental requirements.
It did not last more than one decade before the products of Swedish electrical industries began to find their way into the world market. From the first years of the nineties there has thus been an export of goods in this category which, it is true, has never reached a very large proportion of the total value of Swedish exports, but it has on the other hand represented a not inconsiderable portion of the electro-technical manufacture in the country. It will be found that the total value of electrical goods exported during the last period of thirty years amounts to almost precisely 30 % by value of the output of Swedish electro-industries during the same period. Apart from the initial years and one or other abnormal year this proportion has remained remarkably constant during the same three decades.
Even if, perhaps, the expansion beyond the home market during the first years may be attributed to a survival of the old Scandinavian Viking spirit, the above mentioned results of this expansion must, however, be ascribed to other and more weighty factors. One must remember that there are several conditions unfavourable to the development and maintenance of a Swedish export trade in the electro-technical as well as in many other spheres: the situation of the country involves high freights to transoceanic countries; a number of necessary raw materials for this industry are not obtainable within the country, a state of affairs which brings with it high costs for obtaining such materials, and, last but not least important, the climate is quite severe and necessitates a high standard in regard to food, housing and clothing, resulting in a high level of wages.
That the electro-industry of Sweden under such conditions has been able to remain an export industry can only be explained by the fact that, independent of economic changes, it has maintained or improved the technical quality of its products. This again is connected with the high standard of Swedish engineers and the pronounced skill of Swedish workers, cireumstances which already above have been mentioned as a fundamental factor for the establishment of any Swedish electro-industry at all. The names Wenstrom, Danielsson, Ericsson, Cedergren and Jungner, all pioneers in the electro-technical sphere, have also become well known and respected far beyond the boundaries of the country. Swedish specifications and standards are in their own way representative of the high qualitative requirements for electrical material in Sweden.
It may be predicted that the world standard in regard to these products will always remain high for the reason that the powerful natural foree, the control and use of which are the objects of electro-engineering, will have too great possibilities of causing destruction to life and property unless the means for its employment in the service of humanity are of first class quality. It would not be surprising if, having regard to the continual increases in tension and power in electric practice and to the more and more universal use of the electric current, it should be found necessary to raise the standard of the products emplayed. So far as can be judged this is a guarantee that the electro-technical exports from Sweden, presupposing an unchanged or improved quality of Swedish products, will always be able to defend their position in world competition, although outside influences, economical and political, may change from one extreme to the other.
This export scareely shows any geographical limitation. On the contrary, its products have found their way to the most distant markets and new markets have regularly been recorded, not least after the world war. The war caused the loss of several important markets which lost their purehasing power owing to the collapse of their exchange. That the Swedish export in this branch, in spite of this, has not only been maintained but has improved to a maximum never reached before, speaks well of both the quality of its manufactures and of the efficiency of the export organization.
Electro-technical production in Sweden now includes practically all important articles belonging to in this branch of industry. For several of these goods the export has long been established but some new manufactures have been taken up during the war and the export of these is of more recent origin. A list of the principal Swedish export goods in the electro-technical line is, however, rather comprehensive.
Before such a survey is given it should, however, be pointed out in regard to this export in general, that it reflects the increased importance which developments in electroengineering have given to the use of strong-current in comparison with weak-current. The main portion, by value, of the exports consisted until a few years after 1900 of weak-current material, i. e. telephone and telegraph apparatus with accessories, but after this time material for strong-current, i. e. machinery, transformers, etc. began to take an equal position in the export statistics and became during the war of dominating importance as far as values are concerned.
Electrical machinery, transformers and apparatus for strong-current, are therefore now the most important export goods in this branch. The principal industrial concerns engaged are Allmanna Svenska Elektriska A.-B. (ASEA: Swedish General Electric Company), Luth & Rosens Elektriska A.-B. and Elektriska A.-B. Eck, of which the first named is the oldest and largest. This firm has attained special fame through its gigantic machines, of which several represent at any rate European records in their branch. Also in regard to material for very high tensions the Swedish factories