Industrial and Ship Cleaning Services Hans Langh has produced cleaning services for the shipping, building and manufacturing industries since 1973 continuously creating new and more efficient solutions to serve the clients.
History of our companies
Where it all began
Hans Langh – the father of ideas and invention
The work of Hans Langh, founder of the Langh companies, is characterized by innovation and the desire to find new solutions to practical problems. Whether in agriculture, seafaring, transportation or industrial cleaning, Hans will tirelessly pursue a problem until a solution is found – and he applies this operating principle throughout all the Langh companies.
Great responsibility at an early age
Hans Langh’s business career began at the age of 15, when, after his grandfather fell ill in 1964, he assumed responsibility for the Alaskartano farm near Turku, Finland. His grandfather died the following year. Hans’s own father passed away when Hans was two years old. With help from his mother, Hjördis Langh, Hans managed 96 hectares of farmland, half of which was fields. Today, the estate covers some 500 hectares, 300 of which is field, all reconditioned with sub-surface drainage.
Drying company Makarlan Kuivuri Oy paves the way
In 1964, the same year that he began overseeing the farm, 15-year-old Hans also took on the responsibility of managing an unfinished grain drying facility that was completed that year. Young Hans designed the facility’s machinery and the boiler by himself, which, by all accounts, made the grain drying facility the most efficient and likely the most technologically advanced in Finland. Makarlan Kuivuri grew into a local business enterprise serving farmers and co-ops in the surrounding area.
What else could be improved?
In his efforts to utilize as much of the drying facility’s capacity as possible, Hans purposefully set out to find other produce to dry and soon found grain, soy, rice and corn that became wet during shipping. Often, hundreds of tonnes of grain, which when dried is suitable as feed for livestock, could be found at the bottom of cargo holds. Using a grain drying facility in this way was very uncommon, and Makarlan Kuivuri Oy was one of the few companies in Finland to do so. At the end of the 60s, Hans expanded the company’s operations to offer farmers a complete package that included harvesting, delivery to the dryer and drying of the grain, and later also reception and storage on behalf of the grain buyer. Even back then, the complete service package offered to farms was a typical example of Hans Langh’s innovative and, above all, customer-focused way of thinking.
Industrial and Ship Cleaning Services Hans Langh
Hans Langh washed here
The history of Industrial and Ship Cleaning Services Hans Langh can be said to have begun in the early 1970s when Hans Langh sold gravel to construction companies in the Turku area, during which time excavators and wheel loaders became familiar.
His inspiration for setting up a cleaning service company came to him from the dirty excavators and wheel loaders that required thorough cleaning before maintenance. Thorough cleaning was particularly important for machinery companies who dealt in earthmoving equipment, as it increased their resale price. Chicken coops and big pigsties became increasingly common in the 70s, and cleaning and disinfecting services were needed for the production spaces.
In 1973, to supplement his farming, Hans Langh founded a company that would offer high-pressure cleaning under the trade name Hans Langh. Right from the start, mobility was a fundamental part of the company’s principles, which is why Hans developed a fully equipped cleaning truck that was ready for use as soon as it reached the worksite. Nowadays, the cleaning units are firmly installed inside a thermally insulated truck or, for example, in a container to be loaded onto a ship, which means that it can be used even on the coldest of winter days.
After the first two years, the company moved away from agriculture and land building and began to serve shipyards, oil refineries and the manufacturing industry, as well as shipping companies. Later, the company also became specialized in the cleaning needs of the construction industry.
Langh Ship – Multipurpose cargo fleet
The first investment in the shipping industry was when Hans Langh bought in 1980 a share in a company that was established to restore a ship that had been damaged in a fire. Hans bought his first ship, a three-year-old 3,100 DWT cargo vessel he named m/s Laura (formerly Lavola), in 1983. Three new vessels of 4,400 DWT came into operation in 1989 and one new vessel of 4,500 DWT in 1991.
These ships were designed, as the first in Europe, with a cleaning system for the cargo hold that enabled fast cleaning of holds after unloading of dirty raw material cargo (such as coke, coal, kaolin and salt) with hot water even in temperatures way below the freezing point. That technology was developed in the cleaning company and was thus adapted by Hans to ships.
Thanks to the system, it is possible for a ship carrying raw-material cargo to be unloaded in the evening and have its hold cleaned and dried, ready to receive new highly processed cargo the very next morning. With the air-drying equipment the hold can be kept dry even during travel time. Nowadays the same system is used on all vessels of the Langh Ship fleet.
The fleet grew again in year 1996, when the shipping company accepted three new ships of 6500 DWT. In year 2007 the fleet size of the company grew again when two new ships of 11500 DWT were taken into operation.
The fleet today consists of m/s Aila and m/s Linda built in year 2007 and m/s Hjördis, m/s Laura and m/s Marjatta built 1996.The overall fleet size is 42500 DWT
Langh Cargo Solutions
Innovatinevess in steel transports
Langh Ship’s vessels built in the 1990’s mainly transported steel. Steel transportation in ships, however, involves stability problems. A sufficiently reliable securing method had not yet been developed for heavy cargo so that a vessel’s cargo could be loaded optimally in terms of stability.
Heavy cargo low down in a ship’s hold makes the vessel overly stable and in rough seas this causes extreme rolling, which could potentially cause the steel coils to move around and sustain damage. Hans once again seized the opportunity and soon devised a solution to the problem.
In order to stow the coils at an optimal height, Hans had the idea to build pontoons with cradles to keep the coils securely in place.
Superior in steel transport
In addition to the cradle cassettes and cradle tween decks, the broad product family nowadays also consists of various cradle containers, bulk containers and containers with supporting stanchions. Intermodality has been taken into consideration in the development work, which means that the units can be used on vessels, railways and roads.
Hans Langh’s inventions have been granted a number of international patents and they have won both Finnish and international awards.