Our business was founded in 1944 by the welder Olof Nilsson in a garage in Jönköping. Today we are the world's largest drying cabinet manufacturer with more than 110 employees, and production still takes place in Sweden, specifically in Hova. In addition to drying cabinets, we also manufacture washbasins, cold mangles and dehumidifiers, as well as various other products for the laundry room.
NIMO is founded on 2 May 1944 in a garage in Jönköping and is named after the initiators behind the new company, Nilsson and Moberg. Initially, the focus was on stainless steel products such as washing troughs, urinals and fittings for commercial kitchens and restaurants. Next came the stainless steel laundry basins, which NIMO was the first to produce, and by the end of 1945 around 3,000 laundry boxes were being produced a month.
Already in the first year of operation, Byggtjänst in Jönköping contacts Olof Nilsson. The company had grown tired of cast-iron bathtubs and asked NIMO to produce a bathtub in thin sheet metal.
“There was an enamel factory next door, so we took care of it," says Olof Nilsson. “We had time to make around 10,000 bathtubs before Gustavsberg started pressing the bathtubs themselves.”
At the end of 1946, Olof Nilsson begins to think in new directions. Motorised lawnmowers and washing machines are in vogue and he wants to invest in a wider range of products.
“More than ten years later, in 1958, we had produced 40,000 washing machines under the names NIMO, Grunda and Trofé. At its peak, 900 washing machines were produced per month.
In 1952, Nilsson and Moberg decide to move production and buy an empty factory in Bodafors, which is expanded. NIMO then becomes one of the major washing machine manufacturers in Sweden, with both ICA and KF carrying the products for sale.
After the move to Bodafors, the production of lawn mowers also starts and the company’s development gradually stabilises. Olof Nilsson buys the rights to a drying cabinet, thereby laying the foundation for NIMO's position and focus today – Sweden's leading manufacturer of drying cabinets.
In 1959, the factory in Bodafors had become too small and they decide once again to move production. They decide to build a new factory in Hova, which is completed at the turn of the year 1959-1960.
Shortly after the move to Hova, the company is sold to the Bergengren family of landowners in Malmö. At the takeover, the stainless steel washbasins, soaking trolleys, lawn mowers and washing machines are the major products, but owner Bergengren wants to streamline production. In 1961, the production of lawn mowers and washing machines is discontinued and the focus is shifted to the development and production of stainless steel products.
At this time, NIMO has 60-70 employees and a turnover of around SEK 3 million.
Production of drying cabinets and washbasins starts in 1961-62. In both fields, NIMO is a pioneer, and it soon becomes clear that the company has hit the mark with its new products. Production is up to 20,000 washbasins per year at the peak of demand a few years later.
In 1963, NIMO starts developing a stainless steel trolley for lifting and tipping, and also invests in stackable salt containers.
Once the drying cabinets became a success, it was not long before they started producing range hoods and domestic ventilation, which is also done in the early 70s. NIMO's main competitor for many years was Futurumverken, both for drying ovens and range hoods. Together, the two companies agree that Futurumverken will drop the drying cabinets to NIMO and focus on the production of range hoods. In connection with this, NIMO is discontinuing the production of domestic ventilation.
In the 1970s, urinals, washing troughs and small washbasins become successful products. They began pressing the products instead of welding them. This is also when things really start to go wrong with the drying cabinets. In the early 1980s, NIMO is the leading manufacturer, both under its own name and as a supplier to other brands. The increase in volume leads to a sharp rise in turnover and by the end of the 1970s NIMO has a turnover of around SEK 30 million.
At the beginning of the 1980s, the company is restructured with the help of a consultant. After the efforts on the drying cabinet side, NIMO continues to focus on the stainless steel side. NIMO is involved in market structuring, which results in a strong expansion, especially on the export side, and the company can further increase its market share.
In mid-1982 NIMO is sold and Göran Bergholtz, Jan-Olov Berglund and Ulf Nilsson become the new owners, Jan-Olov takes over as CEO.
In 1984, NIMO is acquired by Eneqvist companies and develops a catering range adapted to the Gastronorm standard. The range is a success with Electrolux Storkök, which leads to an expanded cooperation.
In 1988, NIMO invests large sums of money in a new powder measurement facility. This is a major environmental improvement both for the company and for the environment in Hova. Solvent emissions are reduced from 50 tonnes per year to close to zero.
In the second half of the 1980s, there is strong volume growth and turnover passes SEK 100 million.
The 1990s begin with a financial and banking crisis. Crises continue to follow one another in the years 1990-1993. GDP falls for three years in a row, by a total of 6%. We get shock interest rates and the Central Bank of Sweden raises the key interest rate to 500%. As a result, many real estate and financial companies are failing. For NIMO, the effect becomes a collapse in sales of construction-related products.
A new law on weapons storage comes into force at the middle of 1992 and Kurt Johansson, one of the employees at NIMO, proposes that NIMO should start manufacturing safety cabinets. Demand becomes be enormous. Previously, no gun safes were available and in the first year NIMO sells everything it can produce.
Managing Director Jan-Olof Berglund retires in 1992 after 10 years as head of NIMO. He is succeeded by Mats Nilsson, who held the post of CEO from 1992-98, who then chooses to hand the reigns over to Timo Taiminen.
NIMO introduces the new energy-efficient ETS 600 drying cabinet, the washbasin range gets a new design, construction gets back on track in Sweden and volumes of construction-related products increase. In 2002, NIMO invests in a fully automated punching line, the investment provides new conditions for increased productivity. Cooperation with Whirlpool in the USA begins and after a few years NIMO exports drying cabinets to the USA.
In 2005, Eneqvist Bolagen sells NIMO to a group of investors consisting of CEO Timo Taiminen, Torbjörn Cardell and Per Thorwaldsson. Exports of drying cabinets begin to take off and marketing manager PG Johansson takes home the company's largest order, a delivery of drying cabinets to Korea.
In 2006 a fully automatic bending line is invested in and in 2007 80 drying cabinets are delivered to South Korea. In the same year, NIMO buys the cold-iron production from Stenestams in Hjo.
In 2008, the first eco-cupboard is launched, the drying cupboard has electronic control with sensor automation. NIMO hires industrial designers from Zenit to develop the company's new range so that the entire product line is consistent.
In 2010, Tenexa in Tingsryd, a manufacturer of dehumidifiers and heat pump technology, is acquired. This lays the foundation for NIMO to develop the market with environmentally friendly products for drying textiles. NIMO develops a drying cabinet based on heat pump technology over two years and launches the NIMO HP in spring 2013. The launch is a success and in the first year alone over 1000 HP dryers are sold.
Over the years, South Korea has been a stable market, and in 2014 a magical milestone will have been passed with over 10,000 drying cabinets delivered there.
In 2014, NIMO carries out a marketing activity by launching the educational drying school under the campaign "You are wrong". There is a great need to educate both the general public and professional buyers about the positive features of the drying cabinet.
In 2015, the graphic profile undergoes a change, a new logo is launched and all marketing communications are given a boost.
In 2016, NIMO delivered over 22,000 drying cabinets to direct customers, dealers in Sweden and international customers. The HP ECO Dryer 2.0 sells 3,000 units, an increase of almost 50 percent over the previous year. During the year, a brand new factory section will also be opened, doubling production capacity, and NIMO will invite the whole of Hova to an opening party.
In 2017, NIMO will start developing the next generation of energy-efficient drying cabinets to be launched in 2019. In December 2019, Timo will hand over the CEO role to Karin Kruse.
2020 In February, three years of work on a new roofed and ergonomic assembly line for the production of small drying cabinets will be completed and a brand new production line will be inaugurated.
In March, everything changes when the world is hit by a pandemic, forcing people to rethink and adapt to the new circumstances. Orders continue to pour in and by all accounts NIMO is doing well.
In 2020, the company will start its efforts on digitalisation and initiate work to increase the presence and spread knowledge of textile care through the NIMOS brand.
2021 will be an eventful year as the company reorganises and starts to work actively on a sustainable corporate culture. Investments are made in production and NIMO installs Europe's first fully automated laser panel bending line. A new digital inventory management system and a new, flexible robotic cell for spot welding will also be installed.
In May, a study conducted by Rise on behalf of NIMO shows that with proper handling, both the common Norovirus (winter vomiting disease) and Sars-CoV-2 (Corona) are inactivated by the heat in NIMO’s Easy Dryer 1900 drying cabinet.
During the summer, NIMO receives an order for 200 custom-made drying cabinets to be delivered to South Korea in September, continuing its global growth. As a further part of the growth efforts, the focus is also on NIMOS' own brand and the digital strategy continues to meet future needs.