Dana Lim can trace its history back to the spring of 1928. That was when Kai Leopold Hansen conceived a revolutionary new and strong type of adhesive. Since then, Dana Lim has become a household name in Denmark, the rest of Scandinavia and Europe as the leading manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and fillers that set new standards for functionality, quality and user-friendliness.
There was nothing to indicate at the time that Kai Hansen would dedicate his life to the world of adhesives. After the death of his father, he had helped his mother to run the Hotel Postgaarden in Køge. The years went by…
But one spring day in 1928, something happened that would change his life forever. One of the town’s most respected citizens was to celebrate his silver anniversary, and Kai’s mother asked her son to repair a couple of well-worn chairs in the dining room.
He quickly found that the glues available at that time were not up to the job, and had already been used several times to repair the same chairs. So instead of using them once more, he nipped over to the neighbour who worked at a rubber factory. Kai thought they might have adhesives there that were sufficiently strong - and he was right. A little later, he returned home with a small tin of glue.
It was from Germany, and had a very strong smell. Kai had never seen anything like it, and by the next day, it was apparent that this was something of a miracle glue - easy to use, fast and with impressive adhesion.
At that time, Denmark was in the middle of the post-war crisis that crippled agriculture and industry. Unemployment rose and money was tight. Buying anything new was a rare event. Everything had to be repaired again and again.
It wasn't long before Kai began to form an idea. He began to experiment with used film and acetone, but the smell of the solvents was not something conducive to the running of a hotel He retired quickly to the wash house where he spent the next few weeks experimenting with different recipes and bits of wood.
The day dawned in the early summer when he made his breakthrough. And as it happened, a local journalist dropped by at just the right time, allowing Kai to tell the story of his new invention. Dana Lim was launched in a blaze of publicity - in Køge at least.
Glue factory at Postgaarden
With a little help from his friends, Kai set up small-scale production in one of the hotel’s outbuildings. And the following year - 1929 - the Dansk Limfabrik was founded at Nørregade 56. Kai was in no doubt as to what his new invention should be called, as it was a Danish product through and through. ‘Dana Lim’ was born, quickly followed by its familiar yellow tube that became one of the country's best-known brands.
Dana Lim became a nationwide hit in record time. Its motto was descriptive, but hardly modest "The easiest glue to use. The strongest glue in existence". The world recession that hit Denmark in the mid-30s meant yet another boom for the Dansk Limfabrik. Danish products were more popular than ever, and Kai continued to add new products to the range.
WWII brought difficult times for Danish industry, and the Dansk Limfabrik was no exception. Production was kept going despite the often chaotic situation for the supply of raw materials.
From wash house to the global market
Production of the highly inflammable products in the centre of Køge was a risk, and Kai decided to build a totally new factory to the north of the town, where Dana Lim is still made to this day. The factory was opened in 1948, but Kai was unable to enjoy the continued success of his life’s work.
He died suddenly on 30 October 1952, leaving all his worldly goods - including the business - to his childhood sweetheart Anna Margrethe Hincheli. She later decided to set up the Kai Hansens Fond, to which Dansk Limfabrik was transferred and which remains the sole owner of the business.
Under the ownership of the foundation, Dansk Limfabrik grew steadily, until expansion really began in earnest in the 1980s. New products, expansion of the R&D and Sales Departments plus the building of modern production facilities heralded the start of a new golden age for the old glue factory.
The acquisition of companies in Denmark and Sweden, plus the setting up of subsidiaries and sales organisations throughout most of Europe, meant that Dana Lim was ready to be launched beyond the borders of Europe by the new millennium.
And new chapters continue to be written in the exciting story of Dana Lim, a company that grew from the wash house to the global market.