The Kewaunee Scientific Corporation story began in 1906 when a small group of investors came together to create a manufacturing company to deliver a top-notch line of laboratory furniture and accessories. Previously, the United States sourced almost all of its laboratory equipment from Europe, Germany in particular. Kewaunee stepped in at an ideal time to fill the domestic gap.
After the First World War, America’s scientific industry took off and the company flourished. Kewaunee jumped at the chance to grow and expand its dealer organization. By the 1930s, the company had broadened its product line to offer both wood and steel laboratory furniture and accessories.
Kewaunee became a government contractor for the Air Corps and a key supplier for the Manhattan Project during the Second World War. When the United States underwent a massive increase in technological advancements following the war, Kewaunee Scientific Corporation was there to meet the demand for high quality laboratory equipment. The company built a spacious new facility in Statesville, North Carolina to help keep up with orders and remains headquartered in that location to this day. Since then, the company has added direct sales offices in India and Singapore, grew the Statesville location to include three manufacturing facilities to serve domestic and international markets, and opened a manufacturing facility in Bangalore, India to serve the Asian markets.
Today, with decades of experience under its belt, Kewaunee is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and installation of technical, laboratory, and healthcare furniture products. These products range widely, and include everything from fume hoods, moveable workstations, and biological safety cabinets to laminate casework, adaptable modular systems, epoxy resin work surfaces and sinks, and standalone benches.
The company’s clientele has grown along with its product line. Kewaunee supplies industry leaders across multiple fields, including government agencies, research centers, universities, and the healthcare industry. The company offers a full suite of solutions for all of these clients, from design and layouts to complete installations.
In July 2020, Kewaunee Scientific Corporation launched a Technical Service Organization within Saudi Arabia. Established in the capital city of Riyadh, the organization will enable access to diverse local talent and support, and will grow the company’s presence in the Middle East and throughout Africa.
“We expect the Middle East and Africa to be growth markets for Kewaunee over the long term as investments continue to be made in these regions to modernize their respective economies,” Thomas D. Hull III, President and CEO of Kewaunee Scientific Corporation, said in a company press release. “We have invested in building relationships with key customers in the Middle East over the past decade and have delivered some of the largest and most complex laboratory projects in the region.”
B. Sathyamurthy, Vice President of Kewaunee Scientific Corporation Singapore and Managing Director of International Operations, added in the same press release, “Having delivered many prestigious projects in the Middle East, our next logical step was to be closer to our customers so we can better serve them, bringing them Kewaunee’s full range of products and services. Thanks to our enhanced presence in Saudi Arabia, we expect to be more successful in building lasting, recurring relationships with our customers in the region. This regional presence will also help our team offer more tailored solutions for the market.”
The company’s success was showcased in December 2020, when the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) honored Kewaunee International Group for its “Customer Centricity” at the National Conference on Consumer Awareness & Protection in Digital Era.
“Kewaunee International was again recognized by CII as an industry leader in customer excellence, recognizing our team’s unwavering focus on serving our customers,” Sathyamurthy said of the award in a company press release. “As the market leader in laboratory furniture and technical products, we recognize the importance of delighting our customers in all aspects of their dealings with Kewaunee. Earning this award during the coronavirus pandemic makes the award even more special and reflects the resilience of the Kewaunee International team during an unprecedented year.”
Hull added in the same press release, “Everything we do begins and ends with our customers and our desire to repeatedly earn their trust as they invest in projects that require the specialized laboratory furniture and technical products in which Kewaunee specializes.”
In July 2021, Kewaunee’s International division announced a strategic alliance with Schneider Electric that will provide key international markets, primarily in Asia and the Middle East, with integrated, turnkey solutions for market-leading laboratories. “We are proud to enter into this alliance just as the pandemic accelerates the needs of the life sciences and healthcare sectors to reimagine and redesign the operation and functioning of smart laboratories,” Manish Kumar, Senior Vice President, Digital Buildings at Schneider Electric said in a Kewaunee press release. “We envision a future where our technical expertise and Kewaunee International’s prowess in manufacturing and infrastructure will render all-encompassing smart labs to create more sustainable ecosystems for our customers.”
B. Sathyamurthy added in the same press release, “The future of laboratory infrastructure is changing and Kewaunee is investing and building capabilities to lead the laboratory 4.0 solution transformations for our customers. We are excited to partner with Schneider to provide these cutting-edge capabilities to our customers and grow together as future-ready companies.”
In August 2021, Kewaunee Scientific announced a new partnership with NuAire Exchange. NuAire has been manufacturing and distributing a wide array of laboratory and pharmacy products since 1971, making the companies a natural fit for one another. NuAire is known for its market-leading equipment designed for extreme conditions, including ultra-low-temperature freezers, animal transfer stations, animal refuse workstations, restricted access barrier systems, general purpose centrifuges, biosafety cabinets, containment ventilated enclosures, polypropylene casework, laminar airflow workstations, polypropylene fume hoods, CO2 incubators, and more. The partnership will give NuAire access to Kewaunee’s global distribution channels while simultaneously expanding Kewaunee’s product range to include NuAire’s offerings, giving customers more options for superior solutions.
“The global market for products that Kewaunee and NuAire offer continues to grow,” Hull said in the company press release regarding the partnership. “The biosafety cabinet market is growing rapidly due to increased investment in research and development activities requiring the safety and performance of these products. Providing Kewaunee’s customers access to NuAire’s portfolio enhances our value proposition as customers are looking for partners with the capability to provide turnkey solutions when building a new laboratory or modernizing an existing facility. The partnership is a win-win for both organizations, leveraging the strengths of two market leaders.”
In July of this year, Kewaunee launched the EVERHUTCH healthcare brand. The goal is to provide products to healthcare professionals that will organize their workspaces better and increase efficiency. Developed by a team of expert product designers and tested by local healthcare professionals, EVERHUTCH is now available nationally through a dedicated distribution network. Ideal for both healthcare facilities and clinical laboratories, products include specially designed procedure carts, procedure cabinets, utility carts, and tables.
“We have spent the past year developing a portfolio of products and the distribution network necessary to bring this exciting new brand quickly to market,” Hull said in a company press release. “EVERHUTCH leverages more than a century of experience by Kewaunee, producing high quality products which are utilized in demanding environments. The healthcare furniture and storage markets are projected to grow significantly over the balance of the decade as investment is made in facilities requiring these products. I am confident that there is opportunity for Kewaunee to quickly grow market share.”
To be sure, the past two years have been packed with exciting endeavors for Kewaunee, from new partnerships to new product lines. After 115 years of ongoing growth and success, one can only wonder what will come next for this long-lived, market-leading company.