A brief history of Wynn Marine Wipers.
Mr E.D. Wynn, the founder of the company, was a development engineer during World War II for Rotol Ltd, a Cheltenham based aircraft component production factory that eventually became part of the TI Group.
In 1948 Mr Wynn left Rotol to set up a company using an abundant supply of aircraft instruments bought from the Royal Air Force. He established an instrument laboratory where, along with a team of 10 personnel, he overhauled, tested, and certified aircraft instruments which were then sold to overseas markets. Wynstruments was officially founded in 1950.
Through various contacts Wynn discovered that the Royal Navy was having difficulties in keeping the ships bridge windows clear in the extreme weather conditions faced at sea. Ship design changed after World War II, open bridges gave way to enclosed bridges similar to those on commercial ocean going vessels. In 1956 through an associate company, “Wynn Developments Ltd”, he decided to go into the design and production of electrical control systems for the heated bridge windows, which were designed to prevent ice build-up and reduce visibility problems.
In 1958 the Royal Navy decided that a strong window wiper was needed, which could wipe the entire window surface area of the standard naval vessel. Within a month, the first prototype of a Straight-line window wiper was designed and tested. This proved to be highly successful and the navy ordered the Type 76 wiper, a production model that went through rigorous environmental testing. At a similar time the RNLI also requested a rugged wiper with commercial features capable of withstanding capsize and storm conditions.
By 1960 production was well under way for the Royal Navy, as well as marketing efforts to gain further orders from other foreign Navies. The first commercial sale was made to British Rail Cross-Channel Ferries. From the mid 1960’s it was decided to concentrate on exporting, which offered the biggest potential for growth. To support this new market a network of world-wide service agents was created.
Early in the 1970’s Wynstruments Ltd became involved in markets outside the marine field. An electrical motor division was established and fractional horse power motors were designed, manufactured and supplied for all kinds of industrial applications, some examples being Rank Xerox Photocopiers, tobacco rolling machines and medical process instrumentation. It also enabled the company to produce the high quality induction motor required for its marine window wiper division.
The drive for export orders was so successful that between 1963 and 1970 the percentage of exports grew from 0% to 55% reaching 70% by 1984. This success has been increased still further, by the recent move into the US and Asian shipbuilding markets. Wynstruments now has the major proportion of the world-wide market for window wipers for every size and type of vessel, in addition to other specialist applications which include offshore and rail.
In 1983 the private company that was owned by E D Wynn was sold and became part of West Industries plc, a publicly quoted group. In 1992 Wynstruments was acquired by the private Hoplite group and commenced trading under the “Wynn Marine” name. In April 1994 Wynn Marine moved premises from its Staverton address to the current site in Cheltenham.
In 2004 B Hepworth & Co Ltd bought Wynstruments Ltd and Mr Wynn’s original philosophy of investing in technology and staying ahead through innovation and new product development remains a core Wynn strategy under the leadership of Jonathan Eddy as its Chief Executive.
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