The Inventor of Infrared Radiant Heating: Günther Schwank

Carl Benz is to the car industry what Günther Schwank is to the heating industry – the inventor of infrared radiant heating.

Günther Schwank had a passion for research and was also a great inventor, but most importantly he had strong vision and was one step ahead.

He was born in 1905 in Hamburg, Germany and was involved from early on with the heating effects of electromagnetic wavelength on people.

After receiving his university degree in engineering at the age of 27 he started working as a project engineer, in his free time though he was researching in a small laboratory on the ideal flame carrier for the production of hot surfaces.

Only seven years later, in 1939, Günther Schwank was satisfied with his results and registered his patent, the now worldwide renowned Schwank ceramic tiles.

With the innovation of the ceramic tiles he built the foundation for the heating industry, which back then, today, and in the future has and will continue setting the standard – The gas-infrared heater.

The potential of the tiny ceramic tile was enormous; the booming industry recognized its value as an energy efficient way coupled with high radiant efficiency.

Initially, licensed partners produced the first infrared heaters. However, the quality standards did not meet Günther Schwank’s expectations. As a perfectionist he sought first-class products, even when it was difficult to keep up with demand.

As a result, he decided in 1951 to start producing heaters himself. Almost simultaneously he established subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Italy, England, France, and Monaco. 

The once handicraft business developed into a worldwide operating company. The business in Hamburg was soon becoming too small and was moved to Cologne in 1952.

In 1955, Günther Schwank died unexpectedly at the age of only 50; the heating industry had lost a major leader, but also someone who had brought a boost to industrial heating. An obituary wrote: „The obsession of his invention has led Günther Schwank to initiate enthusiasm everywhere.”

He was able to drag his co-workers along into a fast pace arena of high accomplishment. Besides all the achievements of Schwank, humanity was always kept unbroken in order to keep the drive and not to suffocate his associates in cold rationalism. 

The founder’s ideas and philosophies are still alive and vibrant today. Already being in the third generation, infrared and radiant heaters are still produced in Cologne, Germany.

Today’s Schwank infrared heaters still share the basic principle. By now, they have evolved technologically highly advanced products.

For those who might think that the Schwank technology is a mature creation is wrong; the demand for heating solutions from Schwank has been unbroken for more than 60 years!

Even today the associates of the Schwank Group have kept the enthusiasm for their systems in the same way as Günther Schwank did. 

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