The beginnings of Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH go back to the early fifties of the last century – when Austria still was occupied by the Allies and the „Staatsvertrag“ lied ahead.
It started in a street store in the fifth district of Vienna – the technical chemist and consulting engineer Dr. Franz Böhm began the production of „Stone dissolving and preventing agents“. And soon the very positive business development required the construction of a warehouse, namely on the ground of the today fully developed Atzgersdorfer street, near today’s Hietzinger bath.
The first products of Böhm company have been KALZOLIN (later renamed CALCITIN / KALZITIN) as a stone and scale dissolving agent for descaling of steam boilers, and the scale preventing agents AQUAPURIT and PHOSKOLLON for water treatment in steam trains of the ÖBB (the Austrian Federal Railways) and steamboats of the DDSG (the Austrian Danube Steamship Company). Finally a stone preventing agent called MINIPOL was developed additionally, for cooling water treatment in sugar refineries.
Following a continuous upward trend a tenement with affiliated office building was mounted on the stock ground area in Hietzing, Vienna, in 1959 – now the head office and laboratory could be relocated here.
In 1964 an estate in Himberg near Vienna was bought and the whole business was shifted to Himberg – and in 1968 the first thatched storage area for hydrochloric acid could be put into operation. In 1969 office rooms, common rooms, warehouse, sanitary facilities and a garage were added – now it was possible to thoroughly produce and store the then main products Aquapurit and Calcitin in Himberg.
In June 1970 the until then active single-member company of Mr. Dr. Franz Böhm was turned into the Dr. Ing Franz Böhm, Manufacturing of Chemical Products Ltd. (limited company) and recorded in the general ledger of the Commercial Court Vienna under the number FN124200v.
At this time the company had essentially two divisions: On the one hand the main product AQUAPURIT, a boiler scale preventing agent, which was used in the steam locomotives of the ÖBB and in the steamships of the DDSG to a constantly increasing extent. And on the other hand, chemical cleanings of boilers of every description were carried out, in a minor division.
In course of the following years the young company had to overcome profound changes. Because of a comprehensive upgrading of the Atzgersdorfer street the warehouse in Vienna had to be cleared and the warehouse in Himberg had to be enlarged accordingly; a new production hall, a new power house and a bigger garage became essential.
Immediately after that the quick end of steam locomotives at ÖBB brought about yet another big „shock“ – the turnover dropped down dramatically: In 1975 the need for boiler scale prevention in ÖBB steam locomotives decreased within shortest time almost to zero, and so the turnover. Nothing was left of the up to 400-tons-a-year-demand in peak periods and the leading position on the market.
But the junior boss, Walter Böhm, having become doctor of technical chemistry in the meanwhile, was already keeping himself busy with the development of new products – the most important of these new products was a protection agent allowing to descale galvanized water pipes or boilers without affecting the zinc. In 1975 a patent was granted und the product’s name „ZINKOFIX“ was protected via mark designation in Austria and Germany.
Additionally the portfolio of descaling agents, cooling water products and corrosion inhibitors for boiler and heating water was broadened intensively within a little while only. Moreover the pool program of Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH for swimming pool water care was newly developed; and several industrial cleaning agents made the sales portfolio round. Thus the range of products increased from initial 10 to more than 100.
Within only one year the above mentioned „turnover-shock“ was overcome and the course of business was back to a consistent growth rate.
During the following years the range of products was increased continuously likewise – with more and more in-depth knowledge concerning corrosion protection the main product lines AKORRIT (boiler water), FLUTREN (heating water), MINIPOL (cooling water) and IMPHOS (drinking water) have been supplemented with tailor-made products; and this is continuing until nowadays.
In 1995 a time of international relations began for Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH. Out of an accidental encounter during a specialised fair in Vienna developed, as a first tender plantlet, a business relationship to the far east – the Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH has probably been one of the first Austrian companies which had a substitute in China, long before the China boom of the last 10 years.
In this year the intense cooperation with the company KALLE Wassertechnik in the Black Forest started, whereby the products of Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH definitely reached the German market.
But the focus was still lying on the home market. Already in 1976 Dr. Walter Böhm had taken over the responsibilty as director from his father und bought an undertaking in the field of water technology in Salzburg.
In this way our location in Bergheim near Salzburg, with office and storage capacity, came into existence. Thus the western Austrian market could be compassed and provided with technical service features much better.
During the following years contacts were established with Hungary, Slowenia and Kroatia; from 2008 onwards a permanent representative in Serbia took root.
Since no in-family continuation of the company was on the horizon and Dr. Böhm reached retirement age, he started search for a successor and layed in this search emphasis on the request to persue further business in his spirit – and finally found Dr. Axel Schernhammer, a chemist like him, who took over the company Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH then in 2014.
In 2015 the sustainable capture of the Austrian south started – storage facilities in Graz were rehired, to operate Styria and Carinthia better.
In the same year the high quality standards in manufacturing its products were confirmed and became apparent outwards by the successful third party certification of the Dr. Ing. Franz Böhm GmbH according to DIN EN ISO 9001.
Besides the extension of the protection agents portfolio the offering of components for service water systems was stabilized in 2015 too, by taking over sales representations for drinking and heating water filters (KÖPP and KRONE).
Today the company engages itself still in developing and manufacturing of descaling agents, water treatment chemicals for drinking, process and swimming pool water, in manufacturing of antfreeze agents and other industrial chemicals, in the analysis of water samples and associated technical guidance – and provides meanwhile devices for water softening, filtration, demineralisation and dosing (of corrosion protection agents) too, as well as in measuring and controlling of the corrossion protection.
In particular successful during the last years emerged services related to water treatment, as for example the filling of heating systems, the rehabilitation of system waters of all kind, according to given standards, or a continuos monitoring of boiler, cooling and drinking water.