Until today Sole AS has mainly supplied the water heating industry and the offshore sector in Norway, but now it is clearly focusing on expanding geographically. “We think that we can do well throughout Europe. Germany in particular seems to be a highly promising market for our components and solutions,” points out Managing Director and owner Thor Reidar Braathen. It was his grandfather who started the family business in 1965. Sole AS began to manufacture agricultural machines, which came into operation at its farm.
Due to increasing demand, the company started to produce tubes and heat exchangers and gradually expanded its portfolio. In 1972, its production facilities covered an area of 1,000 m2, while today this figure has risen to 7,000 m2. “We have become a unique partner to industry, as we have the right solutions,” points out Mr. Braathen. “Most of our products are custom made. We are not limited to the water heating industry. In the past years, we have worked hard to introduce technology that can be transferred to other markets, for instance to the offshore industry. At the moment, this business line has been gaining momentum. And we are convinced that its share in our annual turnover of 55 million NOK, or the equivalent of seven million EUR, will increase in the near future,” says Mr. Braathen. For many years now, Sole AS has been introducing new ideas and patents to the market.
“We are the market leader in Norway when it comes to manufacturing tubes of up to 36m in length as well as stainless steel heat exchangers. Last year alone, we produced some 50,000 heat exchangers,” stresses Mr. Braathen. “In addition, we have the appropriate equipment for bending and endforming at our disposal and are able to bend various metals. Our turning machinery for components in metals, including steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, brass and aluminium, enables us to turn components in various sizes.”
Sole AS is present at fairs in Scandinavia as well as in Germany, including the Tube & Wire in Dusseldorf or the ISH in Frankfurt, where it exhibits its competence in component manufacturing for the water heating industry. “We hold more than 100 patents for nozzles and valves and are best known for our individual approach,” points out Mr. Braathen. Besides international expansion in Europe and the USA, Sole AS will focus on expansion at home in the coming years.