The Silicon Review
“Our unique products and technology deliver unmatched performance for hi-quality thermal management
applications in spacecraft, airplane, military, and automotive environments.”
Electrical enclosures and their high-performance components are indispensable for the control of today’s production processes. However, it is easy to imagine the consequences when sensitive circuitry and modules become overheated: systems shut down, creating the risk of production losses and the premature aging of components. To ensure that sensitive electronic components continue to function reliably in the long-term, the temperature inside electrical enclosures should not exceed or fall below defined limits.
This exemplifies the effect of perfect thermal management of electrical enclosures – it prevents critical temperature fluctuations, avoids overheating, and protects against the formation of condensates. In this way, it contributes significantly to increasing failure safety and prolonging the lifetime of electronic control units.
APR Technologies is one such firm — a global supplier of leading-edge solutions for thermal management. The solutions offered by APR Technologies are either passive or active and carry several “no-moving-parts” solutions with long lifetime, low power consumption, minimum noise, and minimum vibration levels. All these advantages are offered at a competitive price.
The company was established in 2011 is headquartered in Enköping, Sweden.
In Conversation with Peter Nilsson, APR Technologies CEO
What was the reason behind the genesis of APR Technologies?
APR was setup by three of us (Are Björneklett, Robert Thorslund, and myself) to improve the performance of satellites by developing new products and solutions based on our unique competence. Besides the space applications, we have always been looking at spin-off possibilities — we spun-off some of our developed technology to a new company called Chillwind Technologies, aiming to commercialize that specific technology on its own.
Moreover, APR Technology is unique in a way that it runs a lot of customer-financed development projects who aim to adopt APR core technology to their specific needs and at the same time perform in-designing in their future products.
A well-defined mission and vision statement is the most important phenomenon for any business. Can you explain your M&V statements in brief?
Our motto is to build a company where we enjoy going to work, driven by fun engineering for inspirational applications such as the international space industry together with trying to take a global perspective and do something good for the planet. We aim to improve performance (typically energy-efficiency) for our customers by using our technology and have ABB as a kind of inspiration model.
What is your greatest fear and how do you overcome it?
Running out of cash is the one thing that affects everything; as long as money is available it is possible to focus on the work. The other great fear is to develop something that the planned customer does not want to buy; ensure it by having some kind of customer in the loop as early as possible.
‘It is difficult to start a venture, but far more difficult to maintain it’. How would you and your team interpret this saying?
Listen to and look at others experience but do not just copy their solutions, instead you must adopt it to your unique company, plan, situation, timing and other conditions. Set up long-term goals to ensure you do not relax too much when you have met one of the goals, as the journey is not over yet. Find out what are the driving forces for the employees and make that an important and valuable. When the company grows and becomes more mature, it is important not to lose this enthusiastic and motivating spirit.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business’ success?
Balance between all hundreds of things that have to be taken care of, then try to match the work, tasks, and work environment with what employees are motivated by and making sure that it is driving them with positive energy. Keep an honest environment with a minimum hierarchy where people feel as comfortable as possible. In our company, we have had a unique set of competence in a good collaborative environment and that made it possible for us to solve things that others have failed to solve.
What other leaders do you look up to, and why?
Richard Branson, Bruce Springsteen and Percy Barnevik, especially when expanding ABB globally and creating Hand-in-Hand, are some leaders I look up to. They all break new ground; know what it takes and are not afraid of doing so.
What do you hope to accomplish in the long run and what are your future focus areas and?
We want to use our technology to make a better world, on the ground, and from space. And that shall be done in a manner that ensures employees are happy to go to work, every day.
Now we expand business to improve the performance of tomorrow’s products by entering new markets such as Electric Transportation and Electronics.
The Pre-eminent Leader Behind the Success of APR Technologies
Peter Nilsson, Co-founder: Peter Nilsson is the Chief Executive Officer of APR Technologies. He holds a post-graduate degree in physics with academic experience as an industrial research engineer at Uppsala University.
Dr. Are Björneklett, Co-founder: He has a worldwide industrial experience from electronics including the mobile phone industry. Dr. Are Björneklett has a Ph.D. from Sintef, Norway.
Robert Thorslund, Co-founder: He has a wide experience in semiconductor fabrication processes and a unique understanding of developing new high-tech products.
“Ensure to have some margins but have the guts and let yourself be driven by possibilities in balance with risks, instead of being afraid and controlled by fear.”