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          The legendary story of Torbjörn Edmo

          EdmoLift’s founder Torbjörn Edmo grew up in Ramsele at the end of the 30 - century in a large family. School was never really interesting during his youth, the interest to work at his father’s brickyard took over hand, whereTorbjörn primarily worked with one of his brothers. When it was good weather he moulded bricks, if it rained he was free. However, days of no work were not many. The machines at the brickyard were old and worn-out so it was many hours of repairs to keep them working. In winter, it was time for logging in the forest and the work was really heavy. The upside to this was that it lead to the design and production of two customized forest machines that would get up in the tough terrain.

           

          After some time Torbjörn came to the insight that a few years in school may not be so hard anyway, in comparison with the work at the brickyard and in the forrest....

           

          He sent an appliction to Hola Fokhögskola and was accepted. One year of studies followed before one year of military service in the Engineeerings corps in Stockholm “interupted”. Directly after the service Torbjörn applied to the Technical School in Sundsvall. The earlier uninterest in school work and studies led to a very though first year as he had a lot of cathing up to do in order to follow the plan of studies. He sacrificed everything and decided to pull through the 2 ½-year education no matter what. The goal was reached and the award was an engineering exam. Torbjörn got a job right away, in Örnsköldsvik at Ari Maskinfabrik. He designed and made drawings for different machines and installations. The time at Ari was not for long, just after a six-month Torbjörn got job at Holmen Mekaniska in Härnösand. A job that consisted of designing and doing drawings for machines and equipment. Torbjörn also worked as assistent to the plant manager. There were around 30 employees at the company and it had a lot of work for the Swedish defense. One product was different models of dome shaped roofs for bunkers.

           

          At Holmen Mekaniska Torbjörn came in contact with various lifting devices, including hydraulic jacks, Torbjörn was more interested in hydraulics and started thinking about solutions on his own for lifting devices where the technology could be used. Holmen’s products were sold during this time by a company called Nordiska Vacuum. After a year they came with a request for lifting tables. Torbjörn started drawing and made a quotation. It lead to a business deal and soon were 5 lift tables produced and delivered.

           

          That was how lift tables and Torbjörn crossed path for the first time...

           

          Holmen Mekniska ceased with their business and Torbjörn faced a crossroad. He applied for several other jobs at companies in the same industry but felt he had a lot of own ideas that he would like to accomplish. Therefore he created the company Torbjörn Edmo AB at the 1st of April 1964. The first period he was working as a self-employed and concentrated in developing a special crane. Torbjörn got help with the manufacturing of the crane from an old colleague from the Holmen time. Nordic Vakuum had the crane in its range and the demand was high. The Production Workshop was too small to manage the demand of the crane and related companies where contacted to help with the production but unfortunately the whole thing ran out of steam after a few years.

          Torbjörn had as usual a number of irons in the fire and he had over the past few years begun to design more and more on other things including the lift table and he decided to start producing a few units.

           

          Along with marketing efforts from the sales company Nordic Vakuum, the sales began to take off and Torbjörn started to out place jobs at several workshops. Torbjörns father and brother who lived in Ramsele, were building the power packs and the final assembly did Torbjörn himself at home. It was many hours around the country with the “company” packed in the trunk of his Volvo PV. Among the customers were companies as Tellus Maskin, Moving and Systembolaget. Thus, some of the model designations was founded, eg. TM and TS.

           

          Later on Torbjörn came in contact with the company “Bispgården Svets och Smide” and Knut Nilsson. Together they both went to the Hannover Fair in 1969 to find inspiration. With impressions from the fair they decided that they would engage in the pallet handling business, which was becoming increasingly common in Sweden, the need to lift pallets was a new market! First and foremost you had to get on and off pallets of the trucks that was carrying them. Torbjörn therefore took upon himself a royalty assignment to design a solution to this. (Something Torbjörn also believes that more designers should make even today!) The Workshop really needed jobs and the result was a tail lift who could both lift and tilt, which was unique at that time. The tail lift was a complete unit and could be mounted directly on the trucks which made it very successful. Sales took off and after only four years the company had an annual production of about: 125pcs/year. Torbjörn continued as a consultant and he still had he’s own production of lifting table on the side. The company that produces these tail lifts today is named ZEPRO and has an annual production of approximately: 12 000 pieces per year.

           

          After a journey to the United States in 1976 Torbjörn had a brilliant new idea, a Sky lift that runs all by itself. At that time you couldn’t find such a solution in Sweden. Torbjörn was spending many hours in drawing and construction, but the project came to an abrupt end. During a test the Sky lift fell over and Torbjörn, who was in the basket when it tumbled to the ground, suffered serious injuries.

           

          The risks were much lower with a lift table so Torbjörn focused more on that. Sales of lift tables continued and in the early ‘70s they were distributed by two former employees of Nordic Vacuum, under the name Translyft, from a house in Stockholm. Business was going pretty well and to keep up with the pace of production, Torbjörn had to invest heavily in his own premises and the right equipment. This risk exposure forced Torbjörn to start looking for a sales organization that could start selling the lift tables, ensure control over the whole production chain and achieve vertical integration.

           

          In the corresponding time it was very turbulent at Z-Lyften due to a change in ownership structure and Torbjörn came in contact with Bengt Moström, Magnus Wistrand and Anders Wahlqvist who were at that time employees of the company management. They had an open discussion meeting from which mutual interest arose and a new meeting was booked to continue the discussions.

          This meeting took place at the Stockholm International Fairs in April 1989. Anders, who had recently become a father, had some cigars with him; in the cigar fog, these gentlemen formed the outline for what was later to become EdmoLift Sales AB.