Established in 1797, Höganäs is the world leader in metal powder solutions. Today, Höganäs has about 2,500 employees and offers more than 3,500 products, mostly customer specific, from 18 production centres around the world. Höganäs is the world leader on the market for iron and metal powders with a yearly capacity of 500,000 tons. Together with our customers, we develop tomorrow’s solutions for automotive components, brazing, electrical motors, additive manufacturing and water treatment. The company was founded in 1797 and is owned by Lindéngruppen and Wallenberg owned FAM.
Höganäs' vision is to inspire industry to make more with less. By utilising the endless opportunities of our metal powders, we know that we can improve resource efficiency and lead a wave of change for the better. With people at every level of our organization dedicated to redefining what is possible, we continue to amaze the world with new breakthroughs.
Höganäs short facts
- 3,000 customers in 75 countries
- More than 3,500 products, mostly customer specific, from 18 production centres
- Sales offices and/or operations units in 17 countries
- Around 950 granted patents
- Turnover 2018: 10,360 MSEK
- 2,500 employees
- Established in 1797 as a coal mining company
- Owned by FAM and Lindéngruppen
The entrepreneur and businesswoman Maria Sophia de la Gardie laid the foundations for mining operations at Höganäs back in the 17th century. Maria Sophia ran a large number of businesses in the areas of agriculture and manufacturing, and following the purchase of Krapperup Castle she also became a mine owner.
The Scanian War between Sweden and Denmark rendered mining operations impossible – the workers were called in for military service and Sophia Maria’s property was vandalised. It would not be until the late 18th century that Höganäsbolaget was formed and resumed coal mining on a large scale.
Höganäs is born
Count Erik Ruuth (1746-1820) is a government official, land owner and industrialist with a good reputation. In the South of Sweden, he starts several companies in and around Helsingborg. In 1797, he launches a coal mining company in the small fishing village of Höganäs: “Höganäs Stenkolsverk”. Over the years, the company will be known by many names, eventually adopting Höganäs AB in 1966.
The ceramic era begins
The ceramic era of Höganäs’ history begins when clay, a by-product from coal-mining, is utilized. The first product is brickworks. Ten years later, production of salt glazed pottery commences. Salt glazed pottery becomes significant for Höganäs, heavily used in Swedish homes for many years. Production continues in Höganäs to this day, but on a smaller scale.
Sjöcrona drives expansion
Johan Joakim Sjöcrona is employed as factory manager and goes on a mission to improve profitability. He successfully expands production and improves social conditions for the workers.
Nordenfelt leads Höganäs to international acclaim
Under Åke Nordenfelt (1890-1919), Höganäs expands its operations in bricks and sewer pipes.
Sieurin invents sponge iron method
The Höganäs Method is invented by engineer Emil Sieurin. The method means reducing iron ore with the help of coke, lime and clay. After patenting the method, Höganäs starts production in 1911 and in 1912 a plant is built. Later on, Höganäs will start grinding the reduced iron to powder, sponge iron powder. It is named after what the iron particles look like in a microscope: sponge.
Coal mines close
During World War II, most of Höganäs’ products are in high demand, especially coal. Large amounts are mined and the company makes a good profit. When the war comes to an end, demand drops and by 1961 the mines in Höganäs are closed. 165 years of mining are over.
Iron powder production takes off
The first iron powder plant opens in Höganäs.
Massive tunnel kiln starts producing sponge iron
A new modern sponge iron plant is inaugurated with a tunnel kiln measuring a whopping 265 metres.
A period of strong growth
In the mid 80’s, the Metallurgy area experiences strong growth. Four new products are launched during this period: Distaloy®, Hipaloy®, Somaloy® and Astaloy®, all of them still going strong in Höganäs' offering.
Höganäs is (briefly) privatized
Industrialist Ulf G. Lindén acquires shares and turns Höganäs into a privately owned company. A new group under the name Höganäs-Kanthal is formed. Metal powders form one of five business areas. Divestments and restructuring continue in the group with the aim of focusing more and more on metallurgy. The financial crisis in Sweden 1992 forces Ulf G. Lindén to again introduce Höganäs on the stock exchange.
New Distaloy® plant begins production
A new Distaloy plant in Höganäs is inaugurated. The plant is highly automated including, among other things, automatic carriers that move containers around the plant without the help of human hands.
Production expands in Sweden and begins in China
Demand for increased capacity requires the atomizing plant in Bohus to be shut down. Höganäs acquires a steel works in Halmstad, 60 kilometres north of Höganäs. After rebuilding, the capacity is a staggering 200,000 tonnes.
Equipment from the Bohus plant is transported to and rebuilt in Shanghai, China. Together with annealing furnaces, a mixing station and warehouse, Chinese operations are ready to begin by 1996.
Sharing metal powder know-how
In 1993, Höganäs launches the PM school – a course with the aim of developing the metal powder know-how of our customers.
Organisational shake-up in North and South America
Hoeganaes Corporation (HC) in North America is sold. This is forced upon Höganäs when GKN, one of the world’s largest producers of PM parts, acquires Interlake, 80% owner of HC. Höganäs and GKN agree on the sale of the remaining 20% of the shares owned by Höganäs.
This deal opens up the possibility for Höganäs to sell metal powder in the North and South American markets that had been reserved for HC. In this new quest, Höganäs acquires a Brazilian metal powder producer and founds a new subsidiary in the US: North American Höganäs.
New operations established in US
The first step for the new North American operation is to set up a sales office. Then a steel plant in Stony Creek, First Miss Steel, and an iron powder plant in Niagara Falls, Pyron, are acquired. In 2001, the atomizing plant is inaugurated. Two years later, Höganäs acquires SCM Metals in Johnstown for production of high alloys.
Plant upgrades in Sweden
The Astaloy® plant in Höganäs is refurbished and expanded with more annealing furnaces. The processes are monitored and steered from the control room in the Distaloy® plant.
Setting new ethical standards
Höganäs believes in honest and fair business relationships. This way of working is manifested in a Code of Conduct adopted by the Board of Directors. The Code applies to all employees. A few years later, Höganäs issues a Code of Conduct for suppliers and sub-contractors. This marks the start of a closer assessment of suppliers of critical materials and services.
PoP Centre opens in Höganäs
Höganäs opens a PoP Centre in Höganäs. Here customers, partners and Höganäs engineers come together to develop new application areas for metal powders. By installing equipment and processes similar to our customers’, Höganäs can offer a place to test new materials, techniques and process steps.
Metal powder used to clean water
A research project at North American Höganäs aims to prove that metal powder can clean water. The product Cleanit® sees the light of day and a water lab opens in Johnstown. Cleanit is especially well suited for picking up Chrome 6, a carcinogenic and common pollutant in water wells around the world.
Inventing new applications
Two promising new application areas arise: inductors and electric drive systems.
Under the trademark Inductit®, Höganäs manufactures and sells inductors for inverters for solar and wind power. Somaloy®, Höganäs’ soft magnetic composite, plays an integral part in the design of lean and efficient inductors.
Höganäs’ electric drive system is a powerful motor for e-bikes, scooters and maybe even cars. Somaloy is the key component here as well.
Digital Metal® hits the market
Höganäs acquires start-up Fcubic and brands the new segment Digital Metal to explore the potential in combining 3D printing, a.k.a. additive manufacturing, and the company’s knowledge of metal powders and sintering.
Höganäs privatized once again
In October 2013, Höganäs is delisted from the stock exchange. Once again a privately held company, Höganäs has two equally large owners: Lindéngruppen and FAM, Foundation Asset Management.
Lindéngruppen’s owner is Jenny Lindén Urnes, daughter of Ulf G. Lindén who once streamlined Höganäs into the metal powder company it is today. FAM manages the Swedish industrial family Wallenberg’s holdings in Swedish companies. Höganäs is now one of them.
Höganäs and PMGI present the world’s first PM gearbox
The Powder Metal Gearbox Initiative (PMGI), initiated and coordinated by and 12 other companies, presents the world’s first 6-speed manual transmission car equipped with powder metallurgy (PM) gear technology. The gears are design-optimised solutions that realise the inherent potential of powder metal technology to reduce stress, weight, noise and costs.
ArcX open in Shanghai and Höganäs
Two new ArcX tech centres for surface coating open in Shanghai, China, and Höganäs, Sweden. ArcX are surface coating technology centres committed to supply the best technical services and equipment achievable to the surface coating industry. Here, we support our customers in creating new surface coating innovations to build new business opportunities.
More Höganäs is launched
More Höganäs, Höganäs' current management philosophy, is launched. More Höganäs contains our vision, 'Inspire industry to make more with less', our values - one for each stakeholder (Customers, Employees, Owners and Society) and our principles for how we lead and how we work. The foundation for the philosophy is that we aim to become a sustainable business, or rather the sustainability benchmark in the steel industry.
Digital Metal launches new printer on hot market
Digital Metal, a Höganäs Group company, launches serial production of the industry’s first high precision binder jetting 3D metal printer that can produce smaller and more intricate components than any previous technology.
New head office for the Environmental business opens in Cary, North Carolina
A new office and water treatment laboratory opens in Cary, North Carolina. The facility, that will employ around 60 people, is key in our ambitions to expand within water purification and soil remediation.
Sintering hub inaugurated in Shanghai, China
Höganäs in China opens a sintering hub, which offers state-of-the-art sintering technology and services. Here, customers can perform real life tests and evaluations and take advantage of Höganäs' knowledge and expertise.
Höganäs acquires high-end tooling company Alvier
Alvier is Europe's largest PM tooling manufacturer. The acquisition makes it possible for Höganäs to fully explore the optimal combinations of powder and tool in the compaction process. Alvier plays an important role in our efforts to apply new digital technology in future process and material solutions.
Höganäs enters the ceramic market with the acquisition of STC
The H.C. Starck Group's Surface Technology & Ceramic Powder division, STC, is a leading producer and developer of non-oxide ceramic powders. STC's competent workforce and significant development capabilities will improve Höganäs customer support and help bring new applications to the market.