the history of Thermex Thermatron graphic

History of Thermex-Thermatron

Thermex-Thermatron brings over 80 years of expertise to the Industrial RF Welding and RF Sealing Equipment, Industrial Microwaves and Thermal Press Sealing Systems industries. Our team of engineers is dedicated to improving manufacturing quality and productivity, which results in a better-made product customized to your unique needs.

Thermex-Thermatron is steeped in a rich, extensive history tracing back to 1939, when the origins of the company began.

Early Microwave System

Dielectric Heating Industry Leader Since 1939

The first radio frequency (RF) heating system for industrial applications was produced in Louisville, Kentucky by the newly formed Thermal Engineering Company. Thermex’s microwave and radiofrequency equipment were purchased for use in fabrication, research and development, adhesives, wood-metal bonding, lumber edge bonding, furniture, ceramics, plastics, food and shoes. 80 years later, our equipment continues to be used in these same applications.

In  1941, Girdler Corporation, founded in 1916 by Walter H. Girdler, bought the Thermal Engineering Company. From its techniques, Girdler developed the first high-frequency dielectric heating apparatus. This equipment was marketed as the Thermex line by the Votator division.

Girdler Corporation changed its name to Chemetron Corporation in 1958, a name coined to describe the three major markets served by the company at that time – chemicals, metals and electronics. A new plant opened in Jeffersontown, Kentucky a decade later, which included the Thermex line.

In 1974, The Votator Division of Chemetron Corporation introduced a new food service system, designed to enable hospitals and other institutions to prepare large numbers of meals to individual order and serve them faster than current methods. Key elements in the system were a specially designed serving tray and a microwave oven.

For the next ten years, Chemetron Corporation, including the Thermex division, would change ownership several times before being acquired by Sangers LTD, a UK Company, in 1984.

Early Thermatron System

Pioneers Working Side-by-Side

Thermatron’s history began in New York, 1946, as the offspring of The Radio Receptor Company. Amidst a series of ownership changes within the dielectric heating industry, the Thermatron name remains synonymous with RF heat sealing and welding. 

Willcox & Gibbs Co., an industrial sewing machine manufacturer, purchased Thermatron Co. in 1958. The company grew to include four divisions involved in high-frequency heat sealing, curing and drying machinery. A decade later, Willcox & Gibbs’ U.K. subsidiary, Stanelco-Thermatron Ltd, produced induction-heating equipment for metals and plastic welding equipment. Solidyne Inc. purchased Thermatron from Willcox & Gibbs in 1972. Sangers LTD, which owned Thermex, would go on to acquire Solidyne Inc. twelve years later.

Thermex-Thermatron Today

After the merger of Thermex with Thermatron in 1985, the business significantly increased its customer base with dual applications in RF welding and microwave technologies. While under the ownership of Sangers LTD, Thermex-Thermatron began operating from two manufacturing facilities in the later 1990s in both Louisville, Kentucky and Hauppauge, New York.

In 2004, the Thermatron division relocated from New York to Kentucky. After being acquired by Dyad Partners in 2006, the company became officially known as Thermex-Thermatron, LP. Over the course of the following year, the Louisville facility moved to its current 37,000 square foot location at 10501 Bunsen Way, Suite 102 in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 2014, Thermex-Thermatron launched “ThermaLab”, an in-house laboratory designed to test a wide range of materials and processes, giving our customers the opportunity to test their products before purchasing a new system.  We also launched our first thermal press, “ThermaPress”, which offers customers an option for heat sealing dissimilar materials not suitable for radio frequency processing.

In 2019, Druid Capital Partners purchased Thermex-Thermatron, LP and formed Thermex-Thermatron Systems LLC, as it is known today.

Innovation & Expertise That’s Unlike Any Other Brand

Over the years, Thermex-Thermatron Systems has designed, engineered, manufactured and serviced many of the largest and most sophisticated RF and microwave systems in the world. Our team of mechanical and electrical engineers can provide installation and start-up assistance, customer training in the maintenance and operation of the systems, technical application assistance, stocking and distribution of replacement parts, and maintenance and service for the products and systems manufactured and sold. Our customers include the U.S. and Canadian governments, as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies involved in the automotive, medical and aerospace industries worldwide.

Share this Post