Technology from Småland
The history of Flexator
The company now known as Flexator first came into being in 1956, under the name Oresjös Fabriker. Its founder, Sigge Oresjö, was a man with extensive experience of traditional wooden house building. On a trip to the USA he had been fascinated by the new prefab homes, which meant that the workforce could move fairly freely across the huge country. And thanks to new panel materials such as plywood it had become efficient and financially viable to industrially manufacture whole buildings in modular form.
In the same year the company was founded, Sigge had a factory for modular buildings constructed in Anneberg outside Nässjö. The National Labour Market Board was a dominant customer in the early years. Sweden’s modern infrastructure needed building up and the Board had been instructed to arrange relocatable dwellings for all workers building new roads, installing telephone lines and constructing power stations. In light of this it’s no wonder that Vattenfall and Televerket were also soon placing large orders.
At that time, of course, there were no defined templates for module production. Consequently, in Anneberg they had to figure things out for themselves as they went along. However, as everyone knows, Smålanders have a remarkable ability for solving problems and spotting opportunities. A large percentage of the technology used today within Swedish modular construction originates from Oresjös Fabriker in the 1950s and 60s.
Lessons learned from schools
At the same time things were progressing at a rapid rate in Sweden. A rising birth rate and a flourishing economy meant a constantly increasing demand for housing – and it was needed fast. Soon our factory began successfully manufacturing modular preschools, schools and office buildings.
This has continued ever since, and today we have thousands of projects to our name. It’s no exaggeration to say that we have been part of building the efficient Sweden that we see today. And it’s not without a certain degree of pride that we can state that our schools and other buildings can be found in practically every municipality all the way from Ystad to Kiruna. Furthermore, we have also learned a thing or two along the way.
Change with a fixed point
Our buildings have always been equipped for flexibility and change. And the same is largely true of ourselves. As a result of reorganisation and acquisition, Oresjös Fabriker became first Oresjös Sektionshus, then Sektionsbyggarna, and finally Flexator in 1990. And even though modular construction has always remained at the heart of our operations, our focus has shifted somewhat with economic conditions.
We now also have operations in Gråbo, east of Lerum, and in Eslöv in Skåne. In Gråbo we manufacture around 1200 modules and site huts every year for companies such as Temporent, Skanska Maskin, Cramo and others. The modules are repaired and reconditioned in Eslöv, where we also produce accessories and components for our other buildings.
However, a large portion of our manufacturing still takes place in Anneberg, where it all began more than half a century ago. It’s comforting to have a fixed point amidst all the change.