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Flexible robot fixes Covid-19 order

Updated at: 18 January 2024
Tobias Hammar, CEO of AQ M-Tech, corona greets Johan Frisk, OpiFlex, who has just delivered a flexible robot solution to AQ M-Tech

AQ M-Tech Supplies Components That Combat the Pandemic

Johan Frisk, CEO of OpiFlex, shared insights on the collaboration with AQ Group, "The whole project started with AQ Group’s management reaching out to us for a flexible robot solution. We are very proud of the response from AQ Group and thrilled to meet their high expectations. As market leaders in flexible robot solutions for the sheet metal industry, we now aim to become the forefront in machining solutions too. The increasing trend towards regional manufacturing and our role in bringing production back to Sweden is particularly gratifying."

AQ Group, which emerged from Aros Kvalitetsplast after a fire at ABB, has evolved into a global entity with 6,300 employees and production units across the globe. AQ M-Tech in Uppsala, under CEO Tobias Hammar's leadership, recently invested in a flexible robot solution from OpiFlex, critical for manufacturing machines to control Covid-19.

Tobias Hammar commented on this strategic decision, "The introduction of the robot led to a significant increase in orders, which might have been outsourced overseas otherwise."

AQ Group's origins trace back to a challenging period post an ABB fire. Founders P-O Andersson and Claes Mellgren expanded the initial venture, leading to the formation of the Aros Quality Group. Today, AQ Group has expanded its reach, establishing a presence in multiple countries worldwide.

"About five-sixths of our employees operate outside Sweden," shares Hammar.

AQ Group acquired a Uppsala-based company in 2001, specializing in the pharmaceutical industry, leading to the birth of AQ M-Tech. Hammar's career progression within AQ mirrors the company's impressive growth. From a fitter in 2003, he rose to the position of CEO, under whose leadership the company's sales nearly doubled.

"AQ M-Tech is unique within the group, focusing on proprietary products rather than contract manufacturing," explains Hammar.

Currently, AQ M-Tech is a system manufacturer, delivering comprehensive solutions for chromatography, essential in biological drug production.

"With the Covid-19 pandemic, there's been an increased demand for vaccines, leading to a surge in orders for our machines," Hammar adds.


The investment in a flexible robot solution from OpiFlex was crucial for AQ M-Tech. "Investing in the robot last December was fortuitously well-timed, enabling us to efficiently handle the sudden surge in orders," Hammar noted. OpiFlex's robot system is unique for its flexibility and safety features, being fence-free yet secure.

"The robot's ease of use and flexibility stood out for us," added Hammar.

Operator Anders from AQ M-Tech also praised the robot, "It was quick and easy to program, significantly enhancing our workflow."

This investment in automation has positioned AQ M-Tech as a key player in combating the global pandemic, showcasing its ability to adapt and respond to global health challenges.

The operator Anders moves the robot to the machine to start automatic production

Smart Move

Johan Frisk, reflecting on the broader implications of this project, remarked, "This is a fantastic example of how competitiveness can be achieved through automation, a topic I'm deeply passionate about. Regional manufacturing has been trending for some time, further highlighted during the pandemic. But it requires investment in automation to gain competitiveness. China, for instance, purchases over 30 percent of all robots, but the cost of robotization is comparable in China and Sweden. This is our chance to bring jobs back home. AQ Group's decision was a smart move that solved their capacity issue immediately."