History

History

IPU was founded as an independent institution on May 23, 1956 as a collaboration between the then Productivity Commission in the Ministry of Commerce, the Professors Ove Hoff, K.V. Olsen, Bredahl Sørensen, and Vagn Aage Jeppesen; the latter initiating the establishment.

Since then, the main objective of IPU has been to translate The Technical University of Denmark DTU's knowledge into consulting services and products that strengthen the development and competitive ability of the Danish industry.

The first products

In the beginning, the challenge was to find the right tasks, which were adapted to realistic needs. Among the first products was e.g. a motorized vehicle, adapted for a disabled person, which was powered by a moped engine, a rotary mower powered by a moped engine, attempts were made with water-conserving china production, a window-opening device for skylights, and a drawing table with a drawing board with a variable setting feature. From these, the drawing table project was sophisticated and became an industrial product, the balancing system was patented, and the project was sold under license to a company, which sold the table for a number of years.

Invention breakthrough

1959 saw a significant breakthrough with the invention, development, and patenting of a press and molding machine used to produce sand moulds for iron casting. The machine was later known as the Disamatic. The machine became a great success for IPU and Disa A/S (today known as Disa Industries) purchased all patents and rights to the machine. They sophisticated the prototype for the Dismatic casting machine, which significantly helped increase the productivity of foundry plants from the early 1970s and onwards.

Separation from dtu

During IPU’s initial years, the number of employees varied significantly and depended on the major projects at hand. Through the 1960s and 1970s, IPU evolved into an engineering company with approx. 20 employees all working with mechanical technology.

The need for a more contemporary organizational structure became increasingly urgent, and this culminated in a significant modification of the articles of association in the beginning of the 1980s. This dissociated IPU from DTU at the administrative level. The dissociation was completed with a new set of articles of association on June 1, 1984.

Sustainable industrial production

In 1996 the number of sections was adjusted and in the 1990'ties IPU put more resources into the interdisciplinary subject areas, and the collaboration with the new disciplines Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, and IT Technology resulted in particularly interesting synergies.

One of the interdisciplinary endeavors in the 1990s was environmentally sustainable production, including the implementation of cleaner technology, environmental impact assessments of products, and environmentally safe construction. IPU’s work in this field won the Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize and EU’s Danish Environment Prize for dedicated effort in developing environmentally safe products (Udvikling af Miljøvenlige IndustriProdukter (UMIP)) in collaboration with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the Confederation of Danish Industries, Bang & Olufsen, Danfoss, Grundfos, Gram, and KEW.

New Initiatives

Globalisation, digitalisation of products and production and circular economy are trends, which drastically change the boundary conditions for Danish industry and probably of the same scale as the postwar industrial wave in the 1950’ties (where IPU was founded). IPU assists our industry clients in facing and embracing these enormous opportunities (and threats) within new disruptive technology solutions and related business opportunities to the benefit of society.