- We have a great history but the future is our way
Christian Backer – the inventor
Christian Backer was the inventor of the revolutionary Backer process. With this invention the world received a new heating component that was easily adapted to many different heating requirements, from households to industry, known as the Backer element.
Christian Backer was born in Flisa, between Kongsvinger and Elverum in the Hedmark county in Norway. He began to study at a young age, and was interested in research. After his school leaving examination in Kongsvinger he was an assistant to a professor at the Technical University in Trondheim, where he was also able to continue his studies. The professor was working on obtaining pure magnesium from sea water.
Christian Backer soon saw the possibility of using pure magnesium, which had good electrical conductive properties, to form magnesium oxide. It is one of the substances with the very best insulating properties, and it is also an impressive heat conductor, even at high temperatures.
With a spiral of resistant magnesium wire inserted in a protective tubing, the central function and basic components were established. Now it was a matter of converting the electrically conductive magnesium into an insulator. Christian Backer did this by introducing steam under very high pressure in an autoclave. Under this pressure the magnesium was dissolved, and magnesium hydroxide was formed. In a subsequent heat process, the magnesium hydroxide was converted into magnesium oxide and water.
Christian Backer’s unique and fundamental idea was named the Backer process. The original patent dates from 1921, and has continually been expanded and refined in a series of subsequent patents. Christian Backer’s objective was to develop a product which could be used as the heating element in an electric cooking plate. His idea was that the electric cooking plate could become an alternative to the gas stove.
Christian Backer emigrated to Canada, and in Ottawa he built up facilities where he could carry out experiments and develop his patent further. In Canada, Christian Backer also developed a total concept for production facilities and began to sell licenses for the production concept.
After World War II, Christian Backer also wanted to start a factory in Sweden, especially since his wife, Elsa, came from a Swedish family. The landowner, Nils Bernerup at Stora Bernstorp, and Erik Nilsson from Svalöv, Member of the Riksdag, were strongly interested in the business, and in 1949 Backer Elektrovärme AB was established in Sösdala in Scania, Sweden.
The main factory of Backer Elektrovärme AB (now Backer BHV) is still in Sösdala, and in 1999 the company celebrated its 60-year jubilee. Norske Backer was established in Kongsvinger in 1969, and celebrated its 40-year jubilee in 2009.
Acquisition of the mechanical section
In the autumn of 2014 Backer acquired the neighbouring company, Wictek, and expanded into mechanical production. Wictek was started in 1991 as a mechanical company. We have merged the company into our mechanical section. Since the acquisition, we have developed as consultants and versatile providers of services in industrial automation. At present this section has the equivalent of ten full-time employees.
We are located in the Siva industrial area, with production facilities specially designed for our requirements and those of our customers. The facility consists of 1500 m2 of buildings.
The mechanical section aims to promote growth and increased efficiency in our customers’ businesses. We make every effort to contribute to their progress and success, and today we work together in close partnerships with our customers on mutually profitable assignments.
The Backer Group
The Backer Group is owned by Nibe Elements, and is part of Nibe Industries, located in Markaryd in Sweden. See www.nibe.com for more details.
Backer BHV in Sweden is the parent company, with its head office in Sösdala in Scania, Sweden. In addition to operations in Norway and Sweden, the group also has production sections in Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy. The factory in Sweden manufactures most of the group’s products with focus on major customers for components. It specialises in aluminium elements, load resisters and elements with integrated temperature regulation and temperature limiters.
In addition to general capacities, Norske Backer – which is located in the Siva industrial area in Kongsvinger – specialises in explosion-proof products for the offshore, oil and gas industries. The Backer Group are market leaders in Scandinavia in their product area.
The group is also one of the leading manufacturers in Europe. Products are sold as components to a large number of sectors and to meet industrial needs. Long-term relationships are formed with most customers, and an important element of working up the market is to take part in customers’ development processes at an early stage. Close links are forged with customers by building up delivery systems to reduce quantities of goods tied up in stocks and increase flexibility.
The Backer Group carries a complete range of components and systems for electric heating for the European market. The group is represented locally, and customers range from smaller industrial customers to major buyers of components. This strategy calls for an organisation with technical end commercial expertise, experienced employees and machine facilities for cost-efficient production and high productivity.
FOUNDATION OF BACKER
Backer was starten in Söstala in Sweden
FOUNDATION OF NORSKE BACKER
Norske Backer was started and began operations in Kongsvinger with mass production of heating elements
DEPARTMENT IN PYROX
Norske Backer took over a department in Pyrox, and started production of EX-certified heating products.
DEPARTMENT IN MOSS
We took over the department in Moss, which was oriented toward the plastics industry. Among other things, production of Mica elements was started.
TERMOS IN OSLO
Acquisition of the competitor, Termos in Oslo, which manufactures heating batteries.
FAVORIT IN OSLO
Backer took over Favoritt in Oslo and started production of steatite elements.
We moved from Langeland in Kongsvinger to SIVA, Kongsvinger. All volume production was also transferred to Backer OBR in Poland.
Backer took over Wictek in Kongsvinger, and thus all their mechanical production.
FINNED PIPE OVENS
Backer took over Proko in Oslo and started production of finned pipe ovens.
We have signed the UN Global Compact. This means that in running our business we follow the internationally recognised principles to meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and we expect our business partners to follow the same basic principles.
All Backer employees must know our values, business principles and working methods, which are set out in three leaflets and available in fourteen languages. These leaflets set out the framework for all our business activities and apply to all our employees around the world.
Find your global partner