For 90 years Hanovia, tucked away in the Berkshire town of Slough in the UK, has been quietly innovating. From its early days making UV lamps for treating skin conditions to today’s high-tech UV water treatment systems, the company has always been at the forefront of UV science and, at 90, age is no barrier to innovation!
Hanovia is now a world leader in UV disinfection for applications as diverse as food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, brewing, electronics, swimming pools, buildings, ballast water and fish farms.
To celebrate its 90th anniversary the company hosted a celebration at its HQ on November 3 which was attended the Mayor of Slough, Shafiq Chaudhry, Rob Anderson, the Leader of Slough Borough Council, representatives from SEGRO (which runs Slough Trading Estate), journalists and ex-Hanovia employees.
After a brief talk by John Ryan, Hanovia’s Managing Director, about Hanovia’s long history – and looking ahead to the next 10 years – visitors had a short factor tour which was followed by a cake-cutting ceremony and lunch.
It was fantastic to see so many ex-employees on the day – and we were honoured that the Mayor was able to attend. Everyone found John’s talk interesting and the factory tour was the first time some of the visitors had even see a UV system, so there were plenty of interesting questions!
(Left-Right: John Ryan, Hanovia’s Managing Director, Rob Andersen, Leader of Slough Borough Council and Shafiq Chaudhry, the Mayor of Slough, at the cake-cutting ceremony)
(Left-Right : John Ryan, Hanovia’s Managing Director, Shafiq Chaudhry, the Mayor of Slough, Gunvinder Bhogal, Hanovia’s Marketing Manager and Rob Andersen, Leader of Slough Borough Council, during the factory tour)
Before Hanovia – the Slough Connection
Sir William Herschel first discovered ‘invisible radiation’ (infrared rays) in Slough in 1880. His discovery led to Johann Wilhelm Ritter’s discovery of ultraviolet radiation in Germany a year later.
Hanovia and UV
Hanovia’s history goes back to the early 1920’s, when the company started manufacturing UV lamps in Slough for medical treatment. ‘Actinotherapy’ or ‘artificial sunlight’ gained popularity after it was found that it cured rickets and helped in the healing of wounds. From then on, no hospital could afford to be without UV equipment. Hanovia was also one of the innovators of air disinfection using UV.
From those early days, Hanovia has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of UV lamps and systems for water disinfection in the industrial, leisure, building, aquaculture and shipping industries.
1924 – The British Hanovia Quartz Lamp Co Ltd is founded in Slough, holding various patents and manufacturing rights across the British Empire
1925 – The company starts manufacturing UV lamps for medical and other applications
1927 – Hanovia extends its operations overseas, appointing distributors in Australia, India and New Zealand
1928 – UV ‘artificial sunlight’ receives significant press coverage and front page news due to the work Hanovia was doing for medical applications
1931 – Hanovia starts publishing ‘The Quartz Lamp’, a quarterly journal reproducing the best articles in the field of actinotherapy
1934 – The company acquires land in Slough and begins building its own office and factory premises, which are opened in 1935
1935 – The company is renamed Hanovia Limited
1936-1939 – These years see the development of an entire new range of therapeutic lamps and a series of laboratory models based on a new UV ‘arc tube’
1939 – The company introduces ‘low pressure’ mercury discharge tubes for bactericidal irradiation
1939 – 1945 – Hanovia manages to retain its unique team of specialists and continues operation as an ‘Essential Establishment’
1942 – The company designs ‘high pressure’ UV arc tubes for use in high speed photo printing
1949 – By now, food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers across Europe are using Hanovia’s UV technology for bacterial disinfection
1950 – The ‘Biscayne’ domestic sunlamp is launched
1955 – The company introduces a portable fluorescent UV lamp for actinotherapy
1960 – A domestic room heater is launched
1981 – Hanovia is acquired by Halma plc, a FTSE 250 company with subsidiaries around the world, focusing on hazard detection, life protection, personal and public health improvement and environmental protection
1983 – Aquionics begins operation as Hanovia’s North American sales, marketing and service arm
1986 – Hanovia collaborates with the ‘North Sea Sun Oil’ rig to eliminate bacteria in seawater used for downhole injection
1987 – Aquionics installs the first UV system for drinking water treatment in North America at the Fort Benton, Montana Drinking Water System facility
1988 – Berson UV-techniek (founded in 1972) is acquired by Halma plc
1992 – The new low pressure WS 200 Series is introduced
1993 – Hanovia is the first company to gain approval for its technology with dose control from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
1994 – Riverside Leisure Centre in Exeter is the first in the UK to install UV for swimming pool water treatment (supplied by Hanovia)
1997 – Hanovia launches the ‘Photon’ medium pressure UV system with dose monitoring
2001 – The company’s technical expertise is recognised by a Queen’s Award for Innovation for the ‘SuperTOC’, a UV system for removing contaminants from ultrapure water used in electronics manufacturing
2004 – Hanovia launches the ‘CrossFlow’ UV system for municipal applications, which also receives USEPA validation
2006 – The ‘AF3’ low pressure, amalgam UV system is launched for industrial applications such as pharmaceutical and beverage production. The AF3 has a unique ‘L’ shaped UV chamber to optimise water treatment
2007 – Hanovia focuses on industrial applications while Berson UV-techniek focuses on municipal applications
2007 – The company opens a sales and service office in Shanghai, China
2008 – Hanovia relocates to new, larger premises in Slough, giving the company scope to significantly increase production
2009 – Hanovia wins the Ringier ‘Technology Innovation Award’ for the beverage market in China. The company subsequently won the award in 2012 and 2014
2010 – The company partners with Wartsila to produce a ship ballast water UV treatment system to prevent invasive species being transported in ballast water
2011 – PureLine, PharmaLine and SwimLine are launched to support specific market requirements in the beverage, pharmaceutical and leisure industries
2012 – The award-winning, 3rd party accredited PQ (Performance Qualified) range for the beverage and pharmaceutical markets are launched
2014 – Hanovia’s UV Application Centre is opened in Shanghai, China, enhancing the research and development of UV science.
Today – 80% of Hanovia’s business is export, with 20% of turnover coming from China
The future – As it turns 90, Hanovia is now widely recognised as a world leader in UV technology for industrial, leisure, building, aquaculture and shipping applications. The future is looking very exciting for a company that, while staying true to its roots in a small Berkshire town, is a global player.
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