14 March 2023
Humidity control specialist Condair is celebrating its 75-year anniversary. Having been founded in 1948 as Defensor AG in Switzerland by chemist, Dr Bernard Joos, the company is marking the occasion across its many offices around the world.
Tony Fleming, managing director of Condair Limited in the UK, said: “75 years is a wonderful milestone to achieve as an organisation. Condair’s longevity is testament to its ability to innovate and proudly develop market leading technology and deliver it with expert knowledge and service support. The company has always been at the forefront of the humidification sector and continues to lead the field in engineering excellence.”
The first product offered back in 1948 was an air spray disinfection system, which “defended” against cattle infections, hence the company name at the time of Defensor. It was soon realised that the humidification properties of the atomiser were greatly beneficial in several manufacturing sectors, particularly cheese ripening rooms. Through the fifties and sixties, Defensor continued to develop humidification technologies in fierce competition with the other main player in the market, Plascon. Spray and evaporative humidifiers were advanced by the two companies, along with the invention of the electrode boiler steam humidifier and the pioneering use of resistive element heaters to boil water and humidify the air.
In 1975, a Swiss importing business, Walter Meier, looking to diversify its portfolio acquired Defensor and entered the humidification market. Then in 1981 it also acquired Plascon, bringing together the two leading humidification companies. The 80s also saw expansion into North America with the acquisition of Nortec, a significant distributor for both Defensor and Plascon, along with the rebranding of Plascon to Condair.
The organisation continued to develop throughout the 80s and 90s, until in 1995 the world’s largest humidification company was formed with the fusion of the Defensor and Condair companies under the new name of Axair. Further acquisitions in the sector resulted in a total of 12 humidifier companies being owned by the Walter Meier Group by 2012. The decision was then taken by the principal shareholder, Silvan Meier, to consolidate operations under the motto of “one brand, one company” and bring together all its interests in the humidity control sector under the banner of Condair.
Tony Fleming added: “Today Condair operates sales and service organisations in 23 countries, has distribution partners in a further 50 regions, and manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe and North America. The company has been the driving force in the sector, having invented systems such as the electrode boiler steam humidifier, which is probably the most widely used type of industrial humidifier in the world.
“The company continues to innovate with new smart features such as IoT connected devices, ensuring the end customer gets the very best support directly from the manufacturer. Also with innovative new products, like centrally managed, whole-house residential humidifiers, controlled by a phone app, which are again pushing the boundaries for the industry.
“Condair also champions the positive purpose of the sector. The company’s claim “Humidity for a better life” communicates both the health benefits of maintaining an optimum indoor humidity, alongside the more traditional manufacturing benefits. We deliver solutions that protect people’s health and we’re committed as a global organisation to increasing awareness of this, and to fulfil our duty to make the built environment healthier. We are very proud of our company’s values and heritage, and we are all delighted to wish ourselves a very happy 75th anniversary.”