What does ACV stand for?
Ateliers de Construction d’Appareils de Chauffage et de Ventilation, which translated is ‘Heating and Ventilation Equipment Workshops’.
When was ACV established?
In 1922, after the first World War, a small group of Belgium engineers in Ruisbroek who worked for ACEC, who specialised in the manufacture of electrical equipment, decided to start their own company. The new company’s focus was in the manufacture and sale of radiators, boilers & condensers. After a rocky few years, in 1928 three men rescued ACV; Joseph Heureux, Cornelis Joannes Van Griethuysen & Albert Buchet.
One year later, Albert Buchet took leadership of ACV, with ambitious plans for the company and soon became the go-to supplier for home comforts in Belgium.
How did WWII affect ACV?
In May 1940, the Germans started their offensive against Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg & France. In Ruisbroek, Albert’s wife, Adèle Buxin, was left to guard the abandoned workshops until Albert returned from France in September.
Belgium was now occupied by the Germans, and in order to avoid the workers being sent to Germany, Albert took the difficult decision to keep a limited production under the supervision of Germany. Because of this, Albert was brought before military court after the war, accused of having been a collaborator. However, the complaint was not sustained.
After the war, unlike prosperous competitors such as Antwerpia & CERAC, ACV was left with nothing and had to start the company from scratch. In true innovative spirit, Albert started up production again by hiring an ambitious, young workforce and had plans to modernise his workshops.
Liberation from the Allied troops brought new opportunities to ACV’s doorstep. The Americans introduced new, unknown services including dry cleaning and launderettes. These services required large amounts of hot water and steam but were housed in small buildings that could not accommodate the large boilers available at the time. Albert Buchet and the team seized the opportunity by designing and supplying small 24 litre boilers to meet the new demand, which could be installed in different combinations
How has ACV grown over the years?
In the 1950s a new world was blossoming with more people investing in home comforts, renovating properties and building new homes.
Mignon boiler range
ACV have always strived to be at the forefront of innovation in home comforts. In 1957, ACV introduced the Mignon range, a new generation of wall-hung and floor-standing boilers with an integrated tank. The success of this range meant that the Buchet family had to sacrifice their home in order to expand the factory.
Pressed bottom plates
Most pressed bottom plates were produced by hand by heating the plates and shaping with a hammer. In the 1960s, ACV invested in 3 LVD presses to perform this process. This enabled the production of 70,000 tanks a year using 280,000 pressed bottom plates.
Stainless steel and tank-in-tank technology
In 1965 ACV launched their first stainless steel range and in 1970 they brought the famous Tank-in-Tank system to the market. This Tank-in-Tank technology is still providing reliable DHW performance today.
Electric and oil boilers
ACV’s decision to move to premises in Seneffe opened a new window of opportunities. In the 1980s the factory started producing electric and oil boilers which were a hit for the French, Spanish and Italian markets.
Today, the Seneffe and Nova Dubnica factories still manufacturer all ACV’s stainless-steel water heater and boilers. There remains a strong focus on innovation at all ACV production sites with outstanding R&D facilities in Seneffe and Dworp to meet the challenges of the future. Take a look inside the factory here.
Is ACV a family business?
After Albert Buchet took charge of the company in 1929, ACV continued to be a part of the Buchet family. Albert’s sons, Pierre and Louis, worked with their father to develop the business and the subsidiary companies before taking sole ownership in 1973. Pierre’s daughters joined the family business to focus on the commercial side, Véronique in 1982 and Maryse shortly after in 1991.
After 40 years of successful business collaboration, sadly Louis passed away in 1998 and Pierre came out of retirement to return to the business. Louis’ shares were briefly sold to a large private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners. In 2005, Pierre along with his daughters bought back the shares from CVC.
ACV remained as part of the Buchet family until 2018 and they built ACV International into a global specialist in heating and hot water solutions. Today ACV work together with several brands under the Groupe Atlantic family, who, just like ACV, have a strong inventive heritage.
Which countries sell ACV Products?
The ACV brand is present all over the globe, with the first subsidiary of ACV established in France in 1971 and shortly followed by The Netherlands in 1973.
In the 1980s ACV entered the American market started with ACV Dynatherm before building a relationship with a small family firm Triangle Tube Phase 3, who became the sole distributor in the US. Today Triangle Tube is still a subsidiary of ACV International which was acquired by Groupe Atlantic in 2018.
ACV UK was incorporated in Edinburgh on the 3rd April 1991.
Today there are 11 subsidiaries of ACV International and a large network of distributors covering over 40 countries including Chile, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain.
When did ACV join Groupe Atlantic?
The acquisition of ACV International by Groupe Atlantic was announced on 31st May 2018. All ACV subsidiaries including ACV UK join several brands under the Groupe Atlantic family. The design, manufacture and development of all ACV products continues in the head office in Belgium. In the UK ACV joins the following brands to make up Groupe Atlantic UK, ROI and North America Divisions:
Hamworthy Heating https://www.hamworthy-heating.com
Ideal Boilers https://idealboilers.com
Ideal Commercial https://idealcommercialboilers.com
Triangle Tube https://www.triangletube.com