It all began in 1977, when a young entrepreneur named Hank Vander Laan and his partners bought Trojan Metal Products Limited – a small company located in London, Ontario, Canada.
Vision, Ingenuity and Unwavering Confidence
Although fabricating metal toolboxes was Trojan Metal Products’ mainstay, what caught Vander Laan’s eye were the patent rights it held on a small UV treatment unit for homeowners to use to purify their drinking water. He was aware of the benefits of UV as a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative to chemical water treatment, and envisioned the potential for large-scale applications. Soon thereafter, development commenced on a commercially-viable UV disinfection system for municipal wastewater treatment. The journey to transform the fledgling metal fabricator into a dynamic global company capable of solving complex water problems had begun.
In 1983, the business was reorganized to form Trojan Technologies Inc. Also, it was around this time that we were awarded our first municipal wastewater project in Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada.
Fueled by early success, we accelerated our investment in research and development, and began developing a full suite of UV systems for municipal wastewater; industrial applications; and small, residential applications.
We experienced rapid growth throughout the 1980s and 90s, especially in the municipal wastewater sector. During this time we were proud to pioneer many innovations that revolutionized municipal wastewater treatment. Over the course of the two decades, we installed thousands of systems in over 25 countries.
By 1993, we were honored to be referred to as one of the world leaders in UV disinfection technology. However, to achieve the next level of growth, access to more capital was required. That same year we launched a successful initial public offering and became a publicly traded company, with its shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
This initial and subsequent infusion of investor capital allowed us to expand our production facilities, streamline manufacturing and diversify beyond municipal wastewater disinfection and into municipal drinking water treatment. The TrojanUVSwift™ immediately caught the attention of municipalities everywhere and, by 2002, we had won important contracts to supply equipment to three large UV drinking water plants (Seattle, Washington; Victoria, British Columbia; and Rotterdam, the Netherlands).
The Growing Group of Businesses
A series of strategic acquisitions allowed us to continue diversification into other important markets.
Recognizing the tremendous potential of the emerging field of environmental contaminant treatment (ECT), Advanced Ultraviolet Solutions (based in Tucson, Arizona) was acquired in 2001. This gave us access to a process called UV-oxidation – an advanced water treatment method that eliminates harmful chemical contaminants, including pesticides and herbicides, while also inactivating microorganisms, such as E. coli, Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
In the industrial UV sector, several acquisitions and alliances in Europe and North America helped broaden distribution, product line and capabilities. From 2001 to 2003, a period of relatively soft growth for the industry as a whole, we were able to expand industrial sales by nearly 350%. Our residential UV sector was also beginning to flourish.
It was also at this time that our municipal UV business identity was rebranded to TrojanUV, which meant that all municipal wastewater and drinking water disinfection, and ECT systems were provided by TrojanUV.
Joining the Danaher Corporation
Near the end of 2004, we joined Danaher Corporation (DHR : NYSE). Danaher is a Fortune 200, global science and technology leader. We are part of their environmental segment and water quality group.
Industrial and Residential UV Rebrandings
In 2005, Aquafine Corporation was acquired. Established in 1949, they had grown to become a leader and product innovator in water treatment for the industrial and commercial market sectors. All of Trojan Technologies’ industrial UV business was then merged and integrated into Aquafine. Going forward, all industrial & commercial UV solutions were provided by them.
In 2008, R-Can Environmental Inc. – a leading manufacturer of residential water treatment/disinfection systems – was acquired. All of Trojan Technologies’ residential UV was then merged and integrated, and R-Can was reorganized to form VIQUA. Going forward, all residential UV solutions were provided by them.
We had built a solid foundation and culture upon which new and eco-efficient water treatment technologies could be discovered, conceived and propelled. Our group of businesses was poised to diversify outside of the UV industry. And that’s exactly what we started to do.
In 2010 we unveiled our Trojan Marinex division. Their focus is solely on the marine industry and providing ballast water treatment (BWT) solutions. Trojan Marinex offers a suite of BWT systems that provide filtration + UV in a single, compact unit.
In 2011, OpenCEL was acquired and became a division of Trojan Technologies. Their focused pulse cell lysis technology applies high frequency electronic pulses to rupture cell membranes, releasing soluble material that can more readily be reduced and converted to energy.
In 2012, Salsnes Filter was acquired. Their filter systems are installed around the world in a variety of applications within municipal wastewater treatment plants and in challenging industrial solids separation applications.
In 2017, we celebrated our 40th anniversary. What started as a single patent and small company located in London, Ontario has grown into what we are today – six businesses and a collective worldwide leader in water treatment technologies and solutions.
As our group of businesses and technologies continues to grow, so too does our history. And we believe that it’s of utmost importance to document our history so that you can see where we began, where we’ve been and where we’re going … so stay tuned.