Vax (brand)

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FounderAlan Brazier
Productsvacuum cleaner, carpet sweeper, air purifier, radiator, Steam mop, Dehumidifier, cleaning agent
ParentTechtronic Industries

Vax UK Ltd is a brand that manufactures electrical goods and cleaning products in the floor-care and air treatment sectors, and which has its headquarters in the United Kingdom. The brand is owned by a company called TTI Co. Ltd Group, which is based in Hong Kong, China. Vax UK Ltd has its main headquarters and R&D centre located in the city centre of Birmingham, West Midlands and a service, warehouse and depot operation in the village of Hampton Lovett, near Droitwich, Worcestershire.[1][2]Vax branded machines are manufactured in China. Vax employs over 400 staff across its Birmingham and Droitwich sites in the UK.[3]


Vax UK Ltd was founded in December 1977 by Alan Brazier, who had prior experience in the field of industrial carpet cleaning. Brazier developed a prototype of a machine suitable for a household but capable of washing carpets and handling accident spillages or flooding. In 1979, Vax launched an "orange tub" multi-functional floor-care machine to fulfil this purpose and initially engaged with consumers by door-to-door sales of the device.[citation needed] This product was a world first.[4]

Trademark conflict[edit]

Although Digital Equipment Corporation's VAX minicomputer was introduced October 25, 1977[5] and Vax UK Ltd was formed months later, DEC (for a while) still had a trademark problem.[6]

Vax products were first offered for sale by high-street retailers in 1982, and the 111 Orange Tub model went on to become a top-selling vacuum cleaning product[7]

James Dyson & beyond[edit]

In June 1990 Vax contracted James Dyson to produce an upright vacuum cleaner aimed at the British market. This deal involved a £75,000 licence. By July 1991, he had left the company to produce this product independently.[8]

In July 2010, Dyson attempted to bring legal action against Vax, over its Mach Zen vacuum cleaner, in the High Court for infringement of design patents.[9] However, in 2011 the UK Court of Appeal rejected this claim.[10]

In 2011, Student Placement Engineer Jake Tyler developed Vax ev, a working prototype of the world's first cardboard vacuum cleaner.[11] This product was featured across a number of tech and environmental online editorials including Gizmag[12] and TreeHugger,[13] and on the BBC Television series Bang Goes the Theory.[14] The cleaner is referenced as a key point in the history of Vacuum Cleaner development by the Best Cordless Vacuum Guide.[15]

In 2014 Vax diversified its product range from vacuums, carpet washers and steam cleaners to include pressure washers, air purifiers and de-humidifiers.[3]


  1. ^ Comdevelopment Ltd. "VAX LIMITED". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Vax invests £1m in new R&D lab in Birmingham city centre". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b Insider Media Ltd. "NEW RANGE HELPS VAX CLEAN UP". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Alan – a man who really cleaned up". Worcester News. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  5. ^ "VAX 11/780".
  6. ^ "The VAX Vacuum". ... legally, if DEC had used VAX in the U.S. before that ..... "reasonable person" has no dfficulty distinguishing between the two uses
  7. ^ "Iconic Vacuum Cleaners: The Vax 111 Orange Tub". A look at the Vax 111 Orange Tub cleaner, which put Alan Brazier's Vax UK Limited on the wet and dry vacuum cleaning map for the last four ...
  8. ^ Against the Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson ISBN 978-0752809816
  9. ^ Rebecca Smithers. "Dyson sues rival Vax over vacuum cleaner design". the Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Vax's Court Battle With Dyson: What You Need To Know".
  11. ^ "Background to Vax ev - Industrial design". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Vax unveils a prototype vacuum cleaner made from cardboard". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Vacuum Cleaner Made From Its Own Cardboard Packaging". TreeHugger. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  14. ^ Bang Goes the Theory.
  15. ^ "Vacuum Cleaner History". Cordless Vacuum Guide. Retrieved 26 March 2015.

External links[edit]