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History of Munters

Munters is the original innovator in climate control since 1955. Founded by ingenious inventor and entrepreneur Carl Munters, the company was built around his insights to the laws of thermodynamics in combination with an ability to translate that understanding into groundbreaking technology. During his lifetime, Carl Munters applied for nearly 1,000 patents, mostly within the areas of dehumidification and evaporative cooling. These two areas are core technologies within Munters. Today the legacy of innovation and engineering lives on within the company. The spirit of passionate innovator Carl Munters guides our daily work.

It was in 1955 that the famous Swedish inventor and entrepreneur Carl Munters (1897-1989) founded Munters together with Marcus Wallenberg and two other persons. His initial idea was to develop an air-conditioning system based on the use of evaporative cooling and dehumidification. The development of the key components of the system were the desiccant wheel and the evaporative pads. To the right a sketch of his first rotor, the core of dehumidification. 

Timeline

1920's

In 1922 Carl Munters and Baltzar von Platen invent the first cooling device with no moving parts, with the rights to the invention going to Electrolux. Electrolux used its global marketing organization for vacuum cleaners to sell refrigerators. During his lifetime, Carl Munters was granted more than 1,000 patents.

1940's

In 1947, the laboratory in Stocksund, where Carl Munters lived, goes into service and a small team of employees, led by Carl, begins working on development and inventions related to Munters' operations.

1950's

Refrigeration using heat resulted in the DesiCoolTM project: rotors for dehumidification and heat exchangers and structures for humidification/cooling. The first large-scale dehumidifier took a huge leap from the previous size. The picture above shows the new device being tested in Carl Munters' garden before delivery.


1955
 - Carl Munters & Co is formed. The company was founded together with three other investors.

The investor were:

  • Carl Munters (invested 1,254,000 SEK)
  • Marcus Wallenberg (invested personally 1,254,000 SEK)
  • Carl Gustaf Wicander, owner of Wicander cork factory (invested 396,000 SEK)
  • Erling Berner, engineer and owner of Christian Berner AB in Gothenburg, manufacturer of insulation (invested 396,000 SEK)

At meetings, Munters and Wallenberg had two votes each and Wicander and Berner had one vote each.

Carl Munters had, in his previous projects with the manufacturer of insulating materials such as cardboard and plastic foam, a partnership relationship with Wicander and Berner within WMB Insulation Company.

Carl Munters initial idea was to develop an air-conditioning system based on the use of evaporative cooling and dehumidification. The development of the key components of the system were the desiccant wheel and the evaporative pads. To the right, is a sketch of his first rotor, the core of dehumidification system.

1958 - Breakthrough for dehumidifiers.

The Swedish Armed forces wanted to decentralize their mobilization warehouses and ordered 200 dehumidifiers. Warehouse construction continues through the years and defense organizations worldwide begin using dehumidifiers on a large scale

1960's

Munters starts doing business in Fort Myers in the USA with products for evaporative cooling and closes license agreements for production of dehumidifiers in Amesbury, USA.

1964 - The M100 is launched - the best-selling dehumidifier of all time.

1968 - MCS is developed into a separate business.

Munters logotype is created.

1970's

Munters continued expanding into new markets through subsidiaries and licensees. The company changed it's strategy at the end of the 1970s as some of the patents began to expire. The range of products and applications was gradually extended and the distribution was expanded to most parts of Europe, North America and Japan, largely through licensing arrangement with third parties.

The international agent network is established. The focus is on energy saving applications.

1973 - The oil crisis brings sudden and severe demands for energy savings. The company is facing a completely new market potential.

1974 - Incentive AB takes over Munters. This happens shortly after Carl Munters retired from active management.

1976 - A breakthrough order is shipped to Agfa for dehumidifiers for film production. The technology becomes critical to the manufacture of photographic film.

1980's

Broad international expansion. The modern Munters takes shape via acquisition of agents. Most of the licenses were acquired. The MCS business is expanded in several of the countries where Munters operates.

1987 - Munters begins doing business in Japan.

1988 - Munters acquires a unique Swedish air purification technology. The ZEOL products are further developed with Munters' rotor technology and help to improve the environment by reducing emissions of solvents from industrial processes.

1989 - A new plant opens in Tobo, Sweden, which enables cost-effective production of new rotors with unique characteristics for various applications.

Carl Munters dies. During his lifetime, he applied for close to 1000 patents.

1990's

In the 1990s, Munters expanded and became an international Group with its own organization in over 25 countries and manufacturing in over 14 countries. The business was centered around The Humidity Expert theme. Focus on profitable growth. Environmental issues becomes more important, laying the foundation for HumiCool products. Munters focuses on products rather than core components.

1992 - A new plant is built in San Antonio to concentrate dehumidification applications, e.g., for supermarkets and ice rinks.

1997 - Munters is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

1999 - Munters finalizes its largest acquisition ever of the Italian company Euroemme. Munters begins offering complete cooling systems for the rapidly expanding poultry industry.

2000's

2000 - Munters establishes sales operations in Thailand and Korea and opens a CELdek® plant in Thailand.

2001 - Munters acquires Aerotech, a leading US supplier for the Aghort industry.

2005 - Formation of global divisions in a new organizational structure. Up until 2005, Munters was organized into three regions – Americas, Europe and Asia. Those regions were in turn divided into three product areas. Since mid-2005, the Group has been managed via three global product divisions – Dehumidification, MCS and HumiCool. That change was successful and has resulted in higher gross margins and enabled a more coordinated sales process to be achieved, aimed at international customers. In addition, the new organizational structure has contributed to a more concentrated product portfolio and stronger service offerings.

2006 - Acquisition of spot heater manufacturer SIAL broadens the offering to the HVAC and AgHort customer segments within the HumiCool division. It is follows the strategy of becoming a full climate system provider to agri­cultural customers.

2007 - Munters is more and more becoming an expert in indoor air treatment, rather than the humidity expert. The acquisition of US-based Des Champs Technologies complements the dehumidification product range and strengthens Munters position as a leading supplier of energy-efficient climate control solutions for commercial buildings.

Munters acquires Danish Turbovent Agro A/S and Turbovent Environment A/S. Ventilation companies within the agriculture business.

2008 - Munters acquires Turkish agriculture business distributor, Form, now called Munters-Form.

Munters acquires Toussaint Nyssenne to accelerate growth in Energy Efficient Air Treatment.

2010's

2010 - Munters focuses on the core business and decides to divest division MCS. Triton, a leading private equity firm, bought the division. The transaction was completed October 1, 2010.

Nordic Capital Fund VII purchased Munters at the end of the year. Dec 23, 2010, Munters was de-listed from the Stock Exchange.

2011 - Munters acquires the majority share in the Israeli company Rotem. They are specialized in control and management systems for agricultural and horticultural applications.

Munters and the Chinese company Keruilai signs an agreement of a joint venture.

2013 - Munters completed the purchase of ProFlute AB, along with its subsidiary SAT which operates in the Chinese domestic market. ProFlute is well established as a leading supplier of desiccant rotors to the global OEM market, with good quality products and a respected brand name.

2014 - John Peter Leesi is appointed by the Munters Board as Chief Executive Officer for the Munters Group. John Peter was Chairman of the Munters Board 2012-2014, and acting CEO from May 2014 to December 2018.

2015 - Munters celebrates 60 years of innovations! In July, Munters acquired HB Group and combined expertise and products to provide high quality air treatment solutions to customers. In November 2015, Munters also acquired Reventa, a company specialized in climate control systems for livestock buildings.

2016 - Munters completes its acquisition of Rotem and now owns 100% of the shares. Rotem specializes in computerized control and management systems for agricultural applications and are based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Munters receives its biggest order in history, more than three times the size of its previous largest order. For the first phase, Munters provided 220 x Oasis 200 indirect evaporative cooling modules, along with a package of weather protection canopies, commissioning and service to a datacenter customer.

2016 - Munters Oasis DCiE Data Center Cooler awarded "Advanced Energy-conservation Product 2016” with its innovativeness and energy-saving performance by China Electronic Energy-saving Technology Association (CEESTA).

2017 - Carl Munters named ASHRAE Pioneer of Industry. Carl Munters was honored in November 2016 by ASHRAE for making milestone contributions to the growth of air conditioning, heating, refrigeration and ventilation. Individuals like Carl Munters who are inducted into the Pioneers of the Industry classification, have shown evidence of distinction, either technically or academically.

2017 - Munters Group acquires Atlanta-based MTech Systems, a company specialized in software systems for poultry and swine production.

2018 - Several new products where launched with a focus on optimizing the climate while reducing energy consumption as DryCool® Focus and SonarEcho.

2018 - The Board member Johan Ek is appointed interim President and CEO.

2019 - To capture Munters full potential a three-phase plan on stability, profitability and growth is launched in February.

2019 - Klas Forsström enters the position as President and CEO on August 12. Klas has 20 years of experience holding different senior management positions within Sandvik, including President of Sandvik Machining Solutions, President of Sandvik Hard Materials and Sandvik Coromant.

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