MBV Systems' global expansion started modestly. With the exception of a few customers in Finland and Ireland, it was hard to get international sales going. Then a couple of years ago, things finally started to pick up.
The reputation of one of their products spread all the way to Japan. A Japanese researcher was so impressed by the solution that he contacted MBV Systems to discuss it further. The result of the meeting was an extensive order from the Japanese corporation JFE Steel. MBV Systems are now busy planning further growth in new markets.
MBV Systems develops advanced, camera-based measuring systems that can be used to improve the quality of steel.
The product that caught the attention of the Japanese researcher is called 3DPM. This nifty innovation was the result of a collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and IMV in Australia. A unique measuring system, it consists of hardware with laser and a camera plus a software that can analyse the images. The system measures the particle size distribution of materials used in blast furnaces, and can make a big difference to the final steel quality.Smaller companies like MBV Systems need support to get out into the world.
It is not only Japanese steel companies that are impressed by these innovative products. In March 2018, MBV Systems won SIP STRIM's and EIT RawMaterial's annual innovation competition. The prize was a welcome addition to the company research fund. More possibilities to invest in technological development, in other words.
MBV Systems is now exploring the potential in several other markets. This is easier said than done, however, when there are only two employees. As a relatively new and small company, it can be difficult to convince new customers that you have the necessary resources: "We get detailed questions about how we are going to manage maintenance and support, for example", says the company's CEO Lars Lindqvist. He continues, "it is important to be patient and not give up. We address one question at a time and keep going.”
Other challenges include finding out which markets to invest in, how to find suitable customers and partners, and how to get in touch with them.
To continue growing globally, MBV Systems has developed a close collaboration with Business Sweden: "Smaller companies like MBV Systems need support to get out into the world. Our business developer Erik Hagenrud from Business Sweden is like an internal colleague. We work together from A to Z. As we have a confidentiality agreement, we can talk about everything and use Business Sweden as a sounding board for our ideas,” Lindqvist says.
Business Sweden supports MBV Systems in many ways: From market analyses, statistics and evaluation of new markets to finding and introducing potential customers. When visiting trade shows and conferences together, Business Sweden takes the opportunity to arrange customer meetings during the trip. MBV Systems also appreciates Business Sweden’s advice on cultural aspects, such as how organise a business dinner in Japan and how to behave in general.
MBV Systems have a great deal going on at the moment, both in terms of technical development and further internationalisation. They currently have several promising prospects in Japan and Australia, for example.
ABOUT MBV SYSTEMS
MBV Systems was founded in 2003 and had a turnover of SEK 14 million in the last financial year. Although it is a relatively young company, it has already gained solid experience within heavy industry. MBV Systems is 100% owned by Optimation, a consulting company with around 20 employees.
The recent success has opened new doors to both continued research and new markets.