Over the last two and a half decades, Weiss Technik UK has achieved a myriad of things, from global collaborations and strategic alliances to the development of ground-breaking technologies. The journey encompasses not just technological milestones, but also the stories of dedicated individuals who have contributed to the company’s growth and success.
1. Before we became Weiss Technik UK, our history dates back to 1956 when Karl Weiss was founded in Giessen, Germany with the aim of developing and manufacturing physical measuring devices.
2. Prior to the acquisition of Design Environmental and Weiss Gallenkamp, which merged to form Weiss Technik UK, Andrew Winch, Business Development Manager, joined as the company’s fourth member of staff in 1987. Since first joining as a UK Sales Manager, he has gone on to work across all business sectors in Europe and Scandinavia before returning to the UK in 2019.
3. In 2004, Weiss Technik acquired Sanyo Gallenkamp, which saw us move to our current headquarters in Loughborough. The decision to relocate our head office signalled a positive turning point for the business, with sustained strength and growth following the move.
4. We’ve led the way with many notable installations, including the Cold Development Centre at Dunton in 1999 – one of the UK’s foremost automotive technical centres. At the time, this was the largest installation of its kind globally, with 15 drive-in test chambers. The chambers were designed to simulate all weather conditions, subjecting cars to temperatures between -40C to +55C. The chambers could also simulate pressure and altitudes from 300 feet below sea level to 12,000 feet above, as well as forming winds of up to 100 miles per hour.
5. Richard Fleming joined the business as an Apprentice in 2000. Richard’s journey embodies the ethos of Weiss Technik and the Schunk Group as a whole, where we invest in our employees and provide opportunities for advancement. 24 years later, Richard is the Service Manager, responsible for the largest team in the UK business.
6. We’re proud to have a number of dedicated team members with over 20 years’ service individually, including: Peter Oakey, Anil Makwana, Tim Cunningham, Shaun Mitchell, Andy Winch, and Richard Fleming. Thank you for your commitment!
7. Although developed by Germany, the UK team played a crucial role in developing the new R469a refrigerant in 2014 – a chemically stable, low global warming potential (GWP) gas mixture that is non-toxic and non-combustible, and graded in safety group A1.
8. Having been with the Weiss Technik business in Germany from 2008, Karina Engel relocated to the UK in 2018 and now serves as a Business Development Manager for Weiss Technik UK. We are particularly proud that Weiss Technik employees can enjoy the benefits of being with a global business, and that in the UK we can also benefit from the knowledge and experience that comes with intercompany transfers.
9. Achieving ISO 9001:2015 accreditation in 2018, ISO 14001:2015 accreditation in 2020 and ISO 45001:2018 accreditation in 2023 reflects our dedication to maintaining high-quality standards.
10. The introduction of LED lighting in plant growth systems showcased our commitment to innovation, particularly in collaboration with the University of Liege’s (ULG) world leading research facility in Gembloux.
11. Highlighting our strength as the technological market leader, our Heat Technology Division developed a high-performance Weiss Technik oven specifically for the curing of lenses in the ophthalmic industry. We’ve gone on to supply over 40 pairs of ovens to our partner customer, across four manufacturing sites across the world.
12. In 2023, we pledged to support a different charity annually, so we can give back in as many places as possible. Last year, our charity partner was Falcon Support Services, a Loughborough-based charity dedicated to helping homeless and vulnerable people transform their lives and enable them to live independently, healthily and positively contribute to their community.
13. In 2022, to complement our existing activities, Weiss Technik UK began operating in the Cleanroom and Dry Room solutions sector. To drive this forward, we hired a Business Development Manager with over 35 years’ experience in the Cleanroom industry, Bob Davies.
14. Weiss Technik UK believes in planning for the future and, with that in mind, in 2023 we welcomed our first Apprentice in a number of years, Matthew Ellaway. Matthew’s development is being guided by our Service Manager, Richard Fleming, who has prospered in the business having himself began as an apprentice.
15. In the UK, we continue to support the needs of the expanding Life Sciences community, specifically developing new and innovative solutions for plant growth, insect quarantine and stability; to name but a few.
16. Peter Oakey, Technical Manager, and his team developed and built the Athlete Test Chambers for high-performance sports people, for Napier University in Edinburgh, Loughborough University and London Southbank University. This allowed athletes to train in various simulated humidity and temperatures, helping them to perform at their highest level.
17. We have the largest team of Service Engineers in the UK, currently totalling 17, exemplifying our commitment to provide high quality and timely service to clients throughout the entire UK. These dedicated service engineers bring a wealth of expertise and experience, ensuring that our customers receive the very best support.
18. We’re not afraid to push the boundaries! To complement our existing solutions for Battery Testing at Weiss, we’ll shortly be launching the new ExtremeEvent chamber for abuse testing of batteries, cells and modules: expose batteries to extreme influences in order to gain important insights into their safety
19. Outside of work, our team have had some memorable experiences in the past 12 months. One of our Service Administrators, Nicolette Paterson, has not only taken a tandem skydive, but has also enjoyed a trip of a lifetime to Namibia to work on a conservation project.
20. In 2016, we were honoured to be chosen by the University of Sheffield as the turnkey supplier of a multi-million pound test facility integrated into the “Laboratory for Verification and Validation". This significant venture, funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, stands as a major acoustics and vibration testing facility. Designed to exacting standards, the facility provides testing of structures, sub-structures and components under environmentally realistic conditions.
21. We launched a competition for universities in the UK, offering the chance to win a state-of-the-art Fitotron plant growth chamber on a free loan for a specified period. Both the University of Leeds and the University of Glasgow submitted outstanding applications, earning them a Fitotron chamber that helped to shape the future of their life sciences programmes.
22. Weiss Technik UK supplied Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire Campus with a sports science room as part of their Exercise, Sport Science, and Sports Centre, which was completed in 2010. The chamber spans 50 m2 and features a fully vapour-sealed, insulated room. The chamber also extends to a remote plant module positioned two floors above in a purpose-built plant room. The facility was officially opened by football legend Sir Bobby Charlton, CBE!
23. We provided a second drive-in test facility at MAHLE Powertrain in Northampton, who specialise in the design, development and testing of electrified powertrain systems. Our chamber was installed to work alongside their existing altitude test facility, aiding the development of drive systems and components for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
24. Last year, we implemented our Lifelong Learning initiative. We wanted to invest in our employees’ development, and so offered to cover the cost of any course of their choosing related to their professional development. A number of team members enrolled in a diverse range of courses, spanning from marketing to management, as they seized the chance to enhance their skill sets and advance their professional growth.
25. From Spring 2024 we will be operating from our new premises in Loughborough. This exciting move will provide a superior working environment for our team, space and scope to continue our growth, and a much improved customer experience. Come and visit us!
As we celebrate 25 years, these milestones collectively narrate the story of Weiss Technik UK, a company that has not only embraced change, but has also consistently set the standard for excellence in environmental test chamber manufacturing and service in the UK. Our journey is testament to our unwavering commitment to our customers, providing innovation, quality and to our people who make it all possible. So, let’s raise a glass as we embark upon our next chapter!
If you would like to know more about our environmental test chambers, please get in touch and we will direct you to our specialist team. Call us on 01509 631 595 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.