BALTIMORE — Founded by Mads Clausen in his parents’ farmhouse in Nordborg, Denmark, Danfoss is celebrating 80 years this September. The company began as a solo enterprise and now employs 23,000 people and sells its products in more than 100 countries.

"The global market has been a cornerstone for Danfoss, long before anyone even talked about globalization, and this has provided us with an international position we can be proud of,” said Niels B. Christiansen, president and CEO of Danfoss. “We were one of the first to get out there in the large emerging markets and have worked purposefully to build up good relations with our customers and business partners. Going forward, we will continue to focus on our main markets and the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China, while also putting more efforts into new growth markets such as Turkey and Indonesia, where we have already gained experiences.”

Clausen's company began with his original invention — an expansion valve to regulate refrigeration systems — and today has close to 50 different product lines. According to Danfoss, it invests around 4 percent of its net sales in new product innovation focused on saving energy in food refrigeration, air conditioning, heating buildings, regulating the speed of electric motors, and in powering mobile machinery.

The company began exporting to other European countries as early as 1939, and in 1949, Danfoss set up its first foreign sales company in Argentina. During the 1950s, Danfoss established itself in USA and Germany, and when globalization began to pick up speed in the 1990s, Danfoss was prepared, with factories and sales companies in both Russia and China. Today, these four countries are Danfoss' biggest markets.

"We are highly focused on ensuring our product development is based upon customer needs; specifically, that our customers are involved in product development from start to finish, ensuring that products are placed precisely in that field with greatest significance to our customers,” said Christiansen. “In China, for example, we have developed a new series of products targeted to the needs of the Chinese market."

For more information, visit