AM Acoustics' goal is to deliver quickly, meet customer requirements and work environment friendly. And of course to be in the place where the heart is and to surround yourself with people you like. Therefore Falkenberg is the perfect place.
Patric Gustafsson inserts a sound absorber with a transparent adhesive film and fabric in the laminating machine together with his colleague Jonatan. Carefully they smooth the fabric on each side so that no kinks remain. The absorber will be used to create LOD, one of Akustikmiljös products: shielding rods for office environments. Sound absorption, shielding and decoration at the same time without people getting trapped behind screens.
- The absorber goes through the laminating machine, is heated up to 150 degrees so that the adhesive film melts and the surface layer gets stuck, and then it is cooled down on the other end, Patric explains.
He has done this a few times, to put it mildly. When his father Magnus founded Akustikmiljö 1996 Patric was 15 years and immediately started working on weekends and holidays.
- But it was not demanded that I would be working here full-time. I joined the military service, but had to cancel because of asthma, so I started working here again. After that I traveled and worked abroad for a few years, but seven years ago I moved back home to Falkenberg for good.
The premises at Falkåsvägen where 16 people work is dominated by stacks of absorber slabs and two giant machines; a laminating ma- chine and a computer-controlled cutting machine where the laminated absorber will later be cut into 22 pieces. At the moment it is slowly being fed out of the laminator, perfectly smooth.
- It can also be used to iron fabrics, Patric says. Mom uses it to iron table cloths.
The whole family is involved in the business. Patric’s now the CEO since his father Magnus became export manager last spring and his mother is responsible for many of the textile projects. His brother Sebastian makes his internship at Warner Music but also work with the web. A true family business, all in all.
- The familiar feeling is important, Patric confirms. Everything becomes a little more personal. We’ve also been good at recruiting locally, he says, and begins to recall names: almost all of the production team has played football with or against each other, gone to high school together and grew up in the same neighbourhood, Slätten.
- Because we all know each other, the company has a special atmosphere. Everyone helps out if needed, and it is not difficult to get time off on short notice for example.
Initially Akustikmiljö bought time on a laminating machine owned by another company, but when they moved their production, Akustikmiljö decided to invest in their own machines.
- Our niche is to deliver fast and customized. The machines meant we could do it on a larger scale, and that led to more customers. We’ve always worked with environmentally friendly materials that can be recycled, which has come more into demand with time as well, Patric says.
For Akustikmiljö it is important to always do their utmost for their customers. Patric tells a story of an inauguration of a newly decorated school. The specially designed sound absorbers had been damaged in transit just a few days before the inauguration, but Akustikmiljö put in a higher gear and managed to deliver new absorbers in time.
Behind Akustikmiljös mission is a passionate commitment to great sound. Magnus Gustafsson has tinnitus and knows how stressful a malformed learning or work environment can be. Patric highlights the environmental aspect - it feels good that the children’s preschool uses absorbers that does not contain anything strange or emit particles that are not good.
- Both me and my brother have always been told that the environment is important and of course we don’t want to expose our loved ones to anything that is harmful.
Right now it’s a busy period - it is December, and many schools and communities want their custom tiles delivered in time for the Christmas holidays, but we have time for a short ride down to the ocean. We are driving even though it is only a few minutes walk there, because the weather is gruesomely gray and rainy. Along the way Patric points out subcontractors; Wabeno, Cadi, Eco Paint, Pexymek. Almost all within bicycling distance.
- It’s great. We can quickly go over to them if needed, and it saves time, money and the environment not to be dependent on shipping.
The situation in Falkenberg is perfect in many ways, but when asked about what the best thing about the town is it takes a while for Patric to answer. Not that it‘s hard to come up with arguments, but because they are so many. The network. That you all know each other. That it’s close and easy to get to both Denmark and Gothenburg. The little things, like short distances and no queues, which makes the workday easier. The fact that is Falkenberg is still seen as the small municipality wedged between larger ones means that the living and establishment costs are low.
– And the nature and the freedom we have because we live as we do, so close to the sea.
The sea is calm. No kitesurfing today; otherwise Patric is out there if the wind is good enough. The beach and sea are important all year round, not just those summer months when tourists jostle here.
- Last summer we wondered where we were going on holiday. But then we realized that everyone comes here, so why would we travel? But it may actually be necessary to relocate the business. The premises at Falkåsvägen cannot be expanded any more
- Within five years we probably need to find something new. But we won’t move from here. Rather closer to the subcontractors. We want to be local – if it becomes too large and international you lose the feeling.