Numatic International

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Numatic International Ltd.
Private company
Founded1969; 50 years ago (1969)
FounderChris Duncan
England, United Kingdom
Key people
Chris Duncan
(managing director)
Stuart Cochrane
(Manufacturing manager)
ProductsVacuum cleaners and other cleaning equipment.
RevenueIncrease GB £124.4 million (2013)[1]
Increase GB £10 million (2013)[1]
OwnerChris Duncan
Number of employees
885 (2014)[2]

Numatic International Ltd. is a British manufacturer, primarily making domestic, commercial and industrial cleaning and maintenance equipment for distribution worldwide.[3][4] It is one of the major producers of vacuum cleaners in the UK,[4] and best known for its popular and iconic "Henry" domestic vacuum cleaner and related models, which are canister designs having human names and 'smiling face' appearances.[4][5]

The company was founded in 1968, and is still owned solely by Chris Duncan, who created the compact shape for the cleaner.[3]The smiley face concept, ”Henry” name and colours for the vacuum cleaner were designed by Michael Walsh FCSD. The company owns a manufacturing facility located in Chard, Somerset in south-west England,[3][6] and wholly owned distributors in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and South Africa.[7][8][9][10] The company employs over 885 people and produces 4,500 units per day, over 40% of which are for export.[3][11]


Numatic's Henry vacuum cleaner

One of Numatic's most popular products is a vacuum cleaner called Henry. It is easily distinguishable by the large smiling face on the front of the canister (there's also a 3D clip-on face which has eyes and a mouth, and the vacuum's hose forms its nose in some newer models). A new parking bracket was added in September 2012. Since the introduction of Henry in 1981, over 7 million have been produced worldwide. Henry has merchandise based on him such as plushies and shirts. There is also Henry desktop cleaners for cleaning off desks and tables, which are not made/sold by Numatic.[3] Henry is a well respected machine that is becoming more and more treated like a human, with such events like 'bring your Henry hoover to tesco'.

Henry has numerous models, such as the Henry Cordless, which is run off of chargeable batteries, and Henry Xtra, which is made specifically for carpet and cleaning pet hair. Henry also has many variations of the name that is on the vacuum, such as Hetty, which is pink and leans towards a female audience, Harry, who is green, James, who is yellow, and many others (see "Vacuum cleaners targeting domestic and light service"). Henry is most prominent in the UK where it is manufactured, however they can be bought in other countries.

Vacuum cleaners targeting domestic and light service[edit]

Since Henry's original release in 1981, a whole family of vacuum cleaners has been introduced in different sizes and colours and with different specifications and uses (including a wet and dry model and a multi-functional wet/dry and carpet shampoo cleaner). All the original series are based on British names. The current 2017 range are:

Henry 200 (No longer available in the UK), Henry Cordless, Henry 160, Henry 240 Professional, Henry Xtra, Henry Micro, Hetty 200, Hetty 160, Hetty Cordless, Harry, James, Charles, George, Henry and Hetty Spray Mop, Jack (Tesco Exclusive, Now Discontinued), and Henry PET.

Numatic have also made many vacuum cleaners differing from the 2010 range. Many of them are not sold as 2016. The Henry and Hetty vacuum cleaners have also gone beyond vacuum cleaners. They have since 2010 expanded to desktop cleaners, toys, spray mops, boxes, office file holders and a specially made Airo-Brush head has been made for the Henry. When the Henry vacuum cleaner was first released in 1981, consumer had a sticker placed on the Henry. This meant they had to register to the company for insured life of the vacuum. Accessories include stainless steel tubes, HepaFlo dust bags, an upholstery tool, a crevice tool, a Nuflex threaded hose, a double taper hose/full adapter, a Numatic Airo-Brush Head with rotating bristles(For HenryXtra), a soft dusting brush and an upholstery nozzle with a sliding brush.

Commercial, industrial, and specialised products[edit]

As well as cylinder vacuum cleaners and carpet washers, Numatic also offers a range of VersaCare products and systems. One of the most notable VersaCare systems is an VCN1404 Mini, which is an exceptionally compact surface module designed to be used where the primary object is to clean and to be seen to be clean. This is the objective of mainly all the VersaCare systems, including the VCN1804 All Terrain, which has been developed from the ground up, giving high priority to exceptional mobility, constructional integrity and usability, with numerous optional facilities able to be added to extend the scope of the product to meet different requirements.


Numatic products reviewed by various users on YouTube and other video sharing websites have been given good results.[12][13][14] As a result, some users have even uploaded videos of the Numatic Henry (HVR200-12) vacuuming up industrial waste, torture tests and hard duty with the Numatic Henry (older versions like the HVR200 or the HVR200-22 and HVR200A) and carpet cleaning with the Numatic George[15] and other Numatic carpet cleaners.


  1. ^ a b Philip Beresford Sunday (26 October 2014). "Britain's Top 100 Entrepreneurs 2014: No. 96 – Christopher Duncan, Numatic".
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e Ian Jack, The Guardian, 24 July 2010, Can manufacturing fill Britain's economic vacuum?
  4. ^ a b c "BBC – West Country Cash: Made in Chard: The Somerset factory keeping it local". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Numatic boss praises staff after receiving award". Chard & Ilminster News. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Why 'Brand Somerset' adds value for business". Western Morning News. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. ^ LUNICREA. "Fabrication et la commercialisation de matériel d'aspiration et de nettoyag". (in French). Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Geschichte – Numatic". Numatic (in German). Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Geschiedenis". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  10. ^, Vaimo -. "Numatic History". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  11. ^ Interactive, Haymarket Business. "Britain's Top 100 Entrepreneurs 2014: No. 96 = Christopher Duncan, Numatic". Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  12. ^ GoVacuums (22 December 2011), Numatic Henry HVR200A HVR200 22 Vacuum Cleaner Review & Testimonial Hetty James George Harry Charles, retrieved 18 March 2016
  13. ^ ibaisaic (26 June 2015), Numatic Henry HVR 200-12 Vacuum Cleaner Demonstration & Review, retrieved 18 March 2016
  14. ^ Steve Hart (11 February 2016), Numatic Henry Vacuum Cleaner Review, retrieved 18 March 2016
  15. ^ ibaisaic (19 September 2013), Numatic George GVE 370 Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner Demonstration, retrieved 19 March 2016

External links[edit]