23 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Fan-maker keeps spinning at 100

The fan-maker Fläkt Woods is celebrating its centenary this year. The Colchester-based company was founded in 1909 by Maurice Woods, originally to manufacture electric motors. It moved to its current site in the town two years ago and now employs 260 people producing 150,000 fans a year. Its current projects include the London Olympics stadium and the Delhi Metro.

GEC took a controlling interest in Woods in 1945, and became its sole owner in 1964, when the Woods family sold their remaining interest. In 2002, Woods merged with Fläkt (previously owned by ABB), and the combined group now employs more than 3,200 people in over 30 countries, and has a turnover of more than €650m.

Allan Hurdle, managing director of the UK fans business, attributes the company’s long-term success “to a continual emphasis on technology, innovation and unparalleled customer service”.