Honeywell is a major American multinational conglomerate company that produces a variety of consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations.
Honeywell is a Fortune 500 company with a workforce of approximately 122,000, of which approximately 57,000 are employed in the United States. The company is headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. Its current chief executive officer is David M. Cote. The company was part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index until it was replaced on February 9, 2008.
Honeywell has many brands that consumers may recognize. Some of the most recognizable products are its line of home thermostats (particularly the iconic round type), Garrett turbochargers, and automotive products sold under the names of Prestone, Fram, and Autolite.
Honeywell came into being through the invention of the damper flapper
, a thermostat
for coal furnaces, by Albert Butz
, in 1885 and subsequent innovations in electric motors
and process control
by Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company
tracing back to 1886. In 1906, Mark C. Honeywell
founded Honeywell Heating Specialty Co., Inc. in Wabash
. Honeywell's company merged with Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company in 1927. The merged company was called the Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company
. Honeywell was its first president, W.R. Sweatt
its first chairman.
Sweatt leadership legacy
W.R. Sweatt and his son Harold provided 75 years of uninterrupted leadership for the company. W.R. Sweatt survived rough spots and turned an innovative idea — thermostatic heating control — into a thriving business. Harold, who took over in 1934, led Honeywell through a period of growth and global expansion that set the stage for Honeywell to become a global technology leader.
For more than 30 years the company annually presented the "H.W. Sweatt Engineer-Scientist Award" to individuals in recognition of their outstanding technical ability and contribution to technical accomplishment of significance for the company and their profession. The award program was canceled after the AlliedSignal and Honeywell merger in 1999.
James H. Binger
James H. Binger
(1916–2004) grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota
. He attended the Blake School
He earned an economics degree from Yale University
and a law degree from the University of Minnesota
. On graduation, he joined Minneapolis law firm Dorsey & Whitney
, where a client was Honeywell.
In 1943 he joined Honeywell, and became its president in 1961 and its chairman in 1965. On becoming Chairman of Honeywell, Binger revamped the company sales approach, placing emphasis on profits rather than on volume. He also stepped up the company's international expansion — it had six plants producing 12% of the companies revenue. He also officially changed the company's corporate name from Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. to Honeywell.
From the 1950s until the mid-1970s, Honeywell was the United States importer of Pentax cameras and photographic equipment. These products were labeled in the U.S. Honeywell Pentax.
Under Binger's stewardship from 1961 to 1978 he expanded the company into such fields as defense, aerospace, computers and cameras.
Honeywell originally entered the computer business via a joint venture with Raytheon
called Datamatic Corp., but soon bought out Raytheon's share and the business became a Honeywell division. It also purchased minicomputer pioneer Computer Control Corporation
, renaming it as Honeywell's Computer Control Division. Through most of the 1960s, Honeywell was one of the "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" of computing. IBM was "Snow White," while the dwarfs were the seven significantly smaller computer companies. Later, when their number had been reduced to five, they were known as "The Bunch", after their initials: Burroughs
, Control Data Corporation
, and Honeywell.
In 1970, Honeywell bought General Electric's computer division. The company was reorganized into two operating units one of which was Honeywell Information Systems, headed by President Clarence (Clancy) Spangle.
In 1991 Honeywell's computer division was sold to Groupe Bull.
Honeywell entered the defense industry in World War II, at first producing aerospace elements. During and after the Vietnam Era, Honeywell's defense division produced a number of products, including cluster bombs, missile guidance systems, napalm and land mines. The Honeywell project, founded in 1968, organized protests against the company to persuade it to abandon weapons production.
In 1990, Honeywell's defense division was spun off into Alliant Techsystems, whose headquarters are in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis. Honeywell continues to supply [aerospace products] including electronic guidance systems, cockpit instrumentation, lighting, and primary propulsion and secondary power turbine engines.
In 1996, Honeywell acquired Duracraft and began marketing its products in the home comfort sector. Today, Kaz Incorporated owns both Duracraft and Honeywell's home comfort lines.
Honeywell’s Specialty Materials business can trace its heritage to a small sulfuric acid
company started by chemist William H. Nichols
in 1870. By the end of the 19th century, Nichols had formed several companies and was recognized as a force in America’s fledgling chemical industry. Nichols’s vision of a bigger, better chemical company took off when he teamed up with investor Eugene Meyer
in 1920. Nichols and Meyer combined five smaller chemical companies to create the Allied Chemical & Dye Company, which later became Allied Chemical Corp., and eventually became part of AlliedSignal
, the forerunner of Honeywell’s Specialty Materials business. Meyer went on to serve in the Coolidge
administrations and to buy the Washington Post
newspaper in 1933. Both he and Nichols have buildings named after them in Honeywell’s headquarters in Morristown, N.J. Andreas Kramvis
is the current President and CEO of the Specialty Materials division.
GE-Honeywell merger attempt
announced in 2000 it would attempt to acquire Honeywell; at the time, Honeywell was valued at over $21 billion. The merger was cleared by American authorities but was blocked by the European Commission
's competition commissioner, Mario Monti
, on July 3
. This decision was taken on the grounds that GE's dominance of the small jet engine market (led by the General Electric CF34 turbofan
engine), leasing services (GECAS
), and Honeywell's portfolio of regional jet engines
, the new company would be able to "bundle" products and stifle competition through the creation of a horizontal monopoly
. US regulators disagreed, finding that the merger would improve competition and reduce prices; United States Assistant Attorney General Charles James
called the EU's decision "antithetical to the goals of antitrust law enforcement.
In 2007, General Electric acquired Smiths Aerospace
, which had a similar product portfolio.
The current "Honeywell International Inc." is the product of a merger between AlliedSignal and Honeywell Inc. in 1999. Although AlliedSignal was twice the size of Honeywell, the combined company chose the name "Honeywell" because of its superior brand recognition. However, the corporate headquarters were consolidated to AlliedSignal's headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey rather than Honeywell's former headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When Honeywell closed its corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, over one thousand employees lost their jobs. A few moved to Morristown or other company locations, but the majority were forced to find new jobs or retire. Soon after the merger, the company's stock fell significantly, and the stock value only regained the pre-merger level in 2007.
In 2002 Knorr-Bremse took over from Honeywell International Inc USA its share of joint ventures in Europe, Brazil and the USA. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems became a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse AG. Although declining in influence, Honeywell maintains a presence in emerging industries, such as Northern Alberta's Oilsands. Honeywell's Plant integrator is currently deployed in some of the most important plant-sites in the Oilsands (i.e Syncrude, Suncor and others).
In December 2004, Honeywell made a £1.2bn ($2.3bn) bid for Novar plc. The acquisition was finalized on 31 March 2005.
Six Sigma Plus
Honeywell International is known for its aggressive implementation and daily practice of six sigma
and lean manufacturing
methodologies commonly referred to as Six Sigma Plus
. Six Sigma Plus
is focused on reducing errors/failures, improving cycle time, and reducing costs. Recently, Honeywell announced the implementation of a corporate philosophy known as the Honeywell Operating System (HOS), which incorporates practices similar to the Toyota Production System
Honeywell Technology Solutions
Honeywell Technology Solutions (HTS) is a research lab within Honeywell dedicated to innovative product research.
Current members of the board of directors
of Honeywell are: Gordon Bethune
, Jaime Chico Pardo
, David Cote
, Scott Davis
, Linnet F. Deily
, Clive Hollick
, James Howard
, Bruce Karatz
, Russ Palmer
, Ivan Seidenberg
, Brad Sheares
, Eric Shinseki
, John R. Stafford
, and Michael W. Wright
In 2006, Honeywell announced that its decision to stop manufacturing mercury switches
had resulted in reductions of more than 11,300 kg, 2800 kg, and 1500 kg respectively of mercury
, and chromic acid
usage. The largest reduction represents 5% of mercury use in the United States.
Honeywell ranks 44th in a list of U.S. corporations most responsible for air pollution, releasing more than 4.25 million kg (9.4 million pounds) of toxins per year into the air. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency
, no corporation has been linked to a greater number of Superfund
toxic waste sites than has Honeywell. In 2001, Honeywell agreed to pay $150,000 in civil penalties
and to perform $772,000 worth of reparations for environmental violations involving:
In 2003, a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey ordered the company to perform an estimated $400 million cleanup of chromium waste, citing “a substantial risk of imminent damage to public health and safety and imminent and severe damage to the environment. In the same year, Honeywell paid $3.6 million to avoid a federal trial regarding its responsibility for trichloroethylene contamination in Lisle, Illinois. In 2004, the State of New York announced that it would require Honeywell to complete an estimated $448 million cleanup of more than 74,000 kg (165,000 lbs) of mercury and other toxic waste dumped into Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, NY. In 2005, the state of New Jersey sued Honeywell, Occidental Petroleum, and PPG to compel cleanup of more than 100 sites contaminated with chromium, a metal linked to lung cancer, ulcers, and dermatitis. In 2008, the state of Arizona made a settlement with Honeywell to pay a $5 million fine and contribute $1 million to a local air-quality cleanup project, after allegations of breaking water-quality and hazardous-waste laws on hundreds of occasions between the years of 1974 and 2004.
Honeywell maintains a very active community involvement program called "Hometown Solutions". Program initiatives include matching employee volunteer involvement with charitable donations, encouraging study of maths and science, re-building after hurricane Katrina and a long-standing partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children called "Got2bSafe". Literature produced by Got2bSafe has been distributed to more than 72,000 schools across America, representing every school district in the U.S. and the program has reached more than 5 million elementary school students.