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About Ansell

Ansell HistoryHistory of Innovation

A Century of Innovation

Ansell is one of the few companies in the hand protection industry that can trace its history back 100 years, celebrating a century of leadership and product innovations. The Ansell story spans the globe, bringing together companies and technologies to meet specific personal protective equipment (PPE) needs within a wide range of industries.

Although Ansell has long been recognized for its high quality gloves and apparel, the company's history dates back to 1888 when John Boyd Dunlop, a prosperous, Scottish-born veterinary surgeon, invented the pneumatic bicycle tyre in Belfast, Ireland. A group of Irish businessmen recognized the product's potential and worked with Dunlop to form a syndicate to launch "The Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company."

With bicycles the most popular form of transport and cycle racing the most popular sport, the pneumatic tyre was an unqualified success. Yet, in 1899, the Dunlop Company faced financial difficulties and decided to sell its overseas holdings. A Canadian syndicate purchased the Australasian interests and launched "The Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company of Australasia," an Australian company.

Six years later, in 1905, the company made the first of many acquisitions by purchasing its main rival, the Barnet Glass Rubber Company. While examining the two companies' product lines, the decision was made to discontinue condom production and the machinery was discarded.

Eric Ansell, a Dunlop employee, took the machinery and set up his own company, The Ansell Rubber Company, in Melbourne, Australia, manufacturing toy balloons and condoms. The rest is history as Ansell made strategic acquisitions and expansions and invested in the research and development necessary to bring a number of industry "firsts" to market, earning the company its reputation as the industry innovator and largest manufacturer of protective gloves and clothing in the world.

1920s - New Products, New Quarters

Eric Ansell successfully grows his company's product line, adding surgical gloves, household rubber gloves and industrial work gloves to its offerings. His sons, Lloyd and Harvey, join their father after he moves the company to Richmond, Australia. In 1929, the business is registered as E.N Ansell and Sons Ltd.

1930s - A New Name

E.N. Ansell and Sons Ltd. is renamed The Ansell Rubber Company, reflecting the company's continued growth.

1940s - Ansell and the War Effort

After Ansell is declared part of an essential industry and awarded vital government defense contracts, the company increases its research into synthetic rubber compounds, producing gas masks, surgeon gloves and meteorological balloons to support the war effort.

In 1945, Ansell develops the first automated glove dipping machine, greatly boosting its manufacturing capacity. The machine can produce 300 dozen pairs of synthetic gloves in eight hours.

1950s - International Expansion

Ansell acquires the Nutex Rubber Company of Sydney and begins exporting to the U.S. and European markets. At the same time, Edmont, which would later be acquired by Pacific Dunlop, introduces its NEOX®, Redmont™, Snorkel® and Grab-It brands, which are still part of the Ansell line today.

1960s - Decade of Change

1960 - Edmont begins producing gloves at its Canadian subsidiary, introducing its famous "Green Thumb" garden glove to the consumer market. Six years later, Edmont Inc. is acquired by healthcare giant Becton-Dickinson, and becomes the Edmont Division.
1967 - Dunlop Rubber changes its name to DUNLOP AUSTRALIA LIMITED.
1969 - While purchasing a wide range of companies during a three-year period, Dunlop Australia Limited acquires The Ansell Company.

1970s - Age of Opportunities

1971 - Congress passes the Occupational and Safety Act, resulting in a wealth of new opportunities for Ansell.
1972 - The Ansell Corporation is formed to grow the company's market share in the United States. The company is based in Bethel, Connecticut and begins operating out of an old store.
1975 - Dunlop Australia Limited establishes its first off-shore manufacturing operation with an Ansell Glove factory in Melaka. The company completes its production facility in Malaysia, Ansell Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the same year. A year later, the latter facility makes its first pair of household gloves, adding three surgical gloves a few months later. The facility installed a second household glove machine in 1979.

1980s - Growth and Innovation

1981 - Ansell purchases Akwell Industries in the United States, which helps Ansell establish a significant North American presence in the industrial and surgical gloves markets and launches a period of unprecedented innovation and growth.
1984 - Ansell acquires Pacific Polymers, Inc. and re-names the company Ansell Pacific. The acquisition expands Ansell's range of products in the United States, where PPI gloves have an established presence within the Acid Clean Room market.
During the same year, Ansell purchases Aspair Gloves in the United Kingdom, adding a quality unsupported nitrile glove to its product line. The acquisition enables Ansell to enter into the production of chemical-resistant gloves.
1985 - Ansell International opens a new factory in Thailand to produce household gloves and balloons. During the same year, Ansell International acquires Lamprecht, a German manufacturer of advanced technology neoprene industry gloves and Kelga, a Malaysian manufacturer of household gloves. Ansell also constructs new factories in Sri Lanka and Thailand and purchases plants in the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, Germany and France-transferring technology from the U.S. and Australia.
1988 - Ansell acquires the Granet Glove Company, a small, supported dip facility in Snow Hill, North Carolina. This acquisition enables Ansell to manufacture supported industrial gloves.
1989 - Ansell is firmly established as the market leader in industrial hand protection when Pacific Dunlop, Ltd. acquires the Edmont Division of Becton-Dickinson and Company. Edmont, which has 18 manufacturing locations worldwide, is merged with Pacific Dunlop's Ansell International Industrial Division to create Ansell Edmont Industrial.
Edmont, which becomes the core industrial business, is an excellent fit with Ansell's dominance in unsupported gloves. Ansell also transferred the supported glove technology acquired from Edmont to Biyagama (which is in Sri Lanka, close to the city of Colombo), with the first production run in 1992.

1990s - World Leadership

1991 - Ansell is recognized as the world's largest producer and distributor of medical, household and industrial gloves.
1993 - Ansell introduces Nitrilite gloves, which are considered the first viable thin-mil glove for cleanrooms.
Ansell acquires CPP Inc., a North-Carolina-based manufacturer of aprons, sleeves and safety vests servicing the red meat and poultry processing, construction, electronics and law enforcement markets. CPP products add to the small range of protective clothing that is already part of the Edmont product line.
As demand for examination gloves explodes, Ansell moves its household gloves production to Bangkok and Malaysia, with the original household glove machines in Melaka converted for examination glove production. Ansell also acquires Perry, Johnson and Johnson's medical glove business.
Ansell restructures into three strategic business units (consumer, medical and industrial), each with its own technical and research and development facility.
1997 - Ansell solidifies its commitment to the glove industry with the purchase of Golden Needles Knitting, the largest glove knitting facility in the world. Combining Golden Needles' knitting capabilities with Ansell's dipping technology results in the launch of HyFlex® gloves, which offer unprecedented levels of comfort and cut resistance using DuPont™ Kevlar® technology. At the time, Golden Needles is the largest user of Kevlar® in the world in the glove industry.
During the same year, Ansell moves its corporate offices to Red Bank, New Jersey.
Ansell launches Vileda household gloves in Spain, which results from a business relationship formed between Ansell and Vileda, a subsidiary of the FHP group. Expansion later occurs in Germany and Italy, with sales to Portugal and Turkey.
1998 - Ansell's Melaka facility begins the launch of several new products, including synthetic coated gloves.
Ansell medical SBU releases the world's first surgical gloves made with polyurethane.

2000 - Planning for Today...and Tomorrow

2002 - Company name changes to Ansell Healthcare as the result of a strategic repositioning and a concentrated focus on the company's core business: protective products in the broad healthcare context.
2003 - Ansell moves its industrial unit corporate offices to Red Bank, New Jersey.
Ansell transfers its knitting technology — including Intercept Technology — to company sites in Asia and Mexico.
2004 - Ansell launches Vileda brand household gloves in the U.S.
Ansell Introduces SafetyNet™, a proprietary software tool used to map a customer's PPE requirements at the workstation or function level within a manufacturing facility. Designed and developed by Ansell, SafetyNet searches through 18,000 decisions contained in the software to select the optimal hand protection solution.
2005 - Ansell Healthcare is part of a global organization with more than 11,500 employees. The company provides hand protection and safety apparel for a range of industries-from food processing to automotive assembly and general industry.

The Future

With a wide range of products and a strong global presence, Ansell will focus on developing new products and initiatives that will make a difference to its customers. The objective is to help customers change the way they manage their hand protection costs by focusing on the total value of hand protection. During the coming years, Ansell also plans to expand into various new markets-whether emerging markets in Eastern Europe or "virgin territories" such as China.

A History of Product Innovation

Ansell has long been recognized for its leadership in introducing products that incorporate new fabrics and new technologies to provide the highest levels of comfort and protection. Below are some of Ansell's most innovative products:

Sol-Vex® nitrile gloves were considered ahead of their time, combining strength with a high level of chemical resistance.
Sol-Knit™ gloves combine the durability and chemical resistance of nitrile with the strength and comfort of an interlock knit cotton liner
Scorpio® neoprene-coated gloves offer broad spectrum resistance to a range of chemicals. The interlock knit cotton lining and flexible neoprene coating stretch for a snug fit and easy donning.
Hylite gloves offer a better alternative to cotton, light- and heavy-duty leather and PVC gloves. They feature a cotton lining and snag, puncture and cut-resistant nitrile coating
Hycron® gloves are extra tough with a heavy-duty nitrile coating for excellent dry grip and superior service while handling rough, abrasive materials.
TNT® disposable nitrile gloves are durable yet soft for added comfort. They include textured fingers for exceptional grip.
PawGard™ gloves and sleeves, as part of Ansell's Polar Bear® line, provide workers the superior protection of a heavyweight product with the comfort and fit of a lightweight glove.
HyFlex® 11-500 gloves with a stretch Kevlar® liner and foam nitrile coating offer comfort and excellent cut protection for workers handling sharp-edged materials and tools.
HyFlex 11-501 gloves feature revolutionary Intercept Technology®, which incorporates Kevlar® Stretch Armor Technology for incredible fit and dexterity and superior cut resistance. Intercept Technology was jointly developed by Ansell and DuPont® and is marketed exclusively by Ansell.
Vantage™ gloves incorporate Intercept Technology for a new standard in cut protection, comfort and dexterity.
ArmorKnit™ gloves are a safe and economical solution for the pulp & paper and other industries. The gloves have the highest ANSI Cut Rating: Level 5.

The Edmont Manufacturing Company

The year was 1933 when Edward Montgomery began experimenting with fabric gloves in an attempt to coat them with rubber to extend their wear. Montgomery conducted the first experiments in his garage, where he applied tire tube repair rubber to the palms of ordinary canvas gloves and vulcanized them on a hot plate. This soon led to the more economical process of dipping gloves in latex rubber.

In 1934, Montgomery moved his glove production operation to an old foundry building, with the Edmont Manufacturing Company officially incorporated a year later. Early production equipment included a few machines to sew the glove liners, wood forms for stretching the liners for dipping, a tank for the rubber latex and a handmade curing oven.

As demand for Edmont gloves grew, the company moved to Coshocton, Ohio, in 1951, where it became known for producing coated gloves of superior quality and value. Edmont gloves were used in many industries for thousands of different jobs requiring hand protection. Specialized coatings were developed using natural rubber, synthetic rubber and vinyl plastic.

When Becton, Dickinson and Company, a leading U.S. health care corporation, acquired Edmont in 1966, Edmont was recognized as the largest manufacturer of coated gloves. Pacific Dunlop, Lt. acquired the Edmont Division in 1989, merging it with the Ansell International Industrial division to create Ansell Edmont Industrial.

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