Guardair Corporation History
Originally founded in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1942, Guardair Manufacturing Corporation developed the very first “safety air gun” incorporating a safety air shield to protect the operator from "chip fly-back". This feature was patented, as were further technical innovations which followed. Incorporating these advancements into its products, Guardair Manufacturing thrived throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s.
In 1959, the assets of Guardair Manufacturing were purchased by Union Engineering, Inc. of South Hadley, Massachusetts. Several additional patents were awarded to the company as sales continued to expand.
Since then, Guardair has grown significantly. In 2000, to keep pace with our growing market presence and customer requirements, Guardair moved to a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Augmenting our organic growth, Guardair has made a number of strategic acquisitions including Allpax Gasket Cutter Systems (1999), Nortech Vacuum Products (2005), and Air-Spade (2008).
Today, Guardair is the largest manufacturer of safety air guns in the world. Our products are sold through our nationwide network of over 1,200 industrial MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operations) dealers and distributors. In addition, Guardair products are sold internationally into 26 foreign countries including Mexico and Canada.
For nearly 70 years, the Guardair vision has not waivered. Guardair consistently applies superior design, engineering, and manufacturing expertise to incorporate the latest technology, ergonomics, and safety features into our products. The result is the finest line of MRO products available in the industrial market today, all of which meet, or exceed, applicable OSHA requirements. Coupled with unparalleled customer service, and superior technical support, it is clear why Guardair remains the trusted name for your industrial MRO product needs.
Responding to the growing concern over safety in the manufacturing workplace, in 1970, Congress authorized the US Department of Labor to create the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). One workplace hazard targeted by OSHA was the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes. In the early days of OSHA, Union Engineering worked closely with OSHA officials to craft the standards and consequently was in a unique position to introduce the first safety air gun designed to meet these newly minted regulations.
With a relentless focus on worker safety, Union Engineering introduced a number of new, innovative products throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1994, the ownership of Union Engineering changed and the name reverted back to Guardair Corporation -- to more closely reflect the roots of the company and its mission.