Foto7 J Appels WaVo

15 years of online water monitoring

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Instant CONTROL of water monitoring for 15 years.

microLAN makes the monitoring of water quality and water security as easy as ABC with its online warning systems for algae, bacteria and chemicals: the ALGcontrol, BACTcontrol and iTOXcontrol. This is how we control the monitoring of water quality. Literally and figuratively we bring light to the water quality of our customers: light and fluorescence form the basis of our technology: microbiological Luminescent Analysis Netherlands. As a Dutch family SME with father, son and grandfather (and a solid technical team) we have become the market leader in microbiological online warning systems.

And it all began in the Dutch military service 35 years ago. Discover our roots and the start of microLAN 15 years ago.

Full circle
It is 1984. After studying analytical chemistry, founder Joep Appels has to do military servicein the Army of the Netherlands. He is assigned to the water supply division, as part of the Royal Engineers which supplies troops with drinking water. Here, his fascination with water technology is born, although it is limited to using active carbon to clean the water, chlorine to disinfect it and quick tests to do the analyses. This was water quality monitoring on a small scale. Ultimately, what microLAN customers do on a large scale.

Now, 35 years later, microLAN supplies advanced equipment for water quality monitoring to the Dutch UN mission in Mali. It has come full circle.

At the cutting edge of marketing and technology
After a short period in the organic lab at Staal Chemie in Waalwijk, freedom entices him out of the fume cupboard, moving into sales of biotechnology for New Brunswick Scientific. He likes the commercial side and a marketing study follows.

With the switch to Euroglas/Thermo Fischer Joep returns to water technology. Then follows an excursion to a purely managerial function in the packaging industry. But missing water technology makes him unhappy and he decides to set up microLAN, the first working day being 03.03.2003.

From a trading office to manufacturer
microLAN starts as a distributor of microbiological lab analyses for toxicity. Via Waternet (the water utility of Amsterdam), it establishes contact with a German university where online monitoring has been developed but the commercial know-how is lacking. Thus, microLAN takes up the idea and together with HWL (Het Water Laboratorium) / Waternet continues the development. After Waternet come Vitens, Veolia, 3Valleys (Suez) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) among others.

From Europe to the Far East
The Far East also shows interest. The Olympic Games in Beijing brings the breakthrough in China. Due to the high security demands surrounding the event, water security monitoring becomes essential. microLAN with the iTOXControl guarantees safe drinking water for the Olympic Village. The same applies for the World Expo in Shanghai two years later. The name is established, the distribution network in China is growing and a Chinese partner comes on board.

Expanding the range
The take-over of the patent of bankrupt Austrian company MB Online makes the technology for online bacteria monitoring available. Again, the marketing vision prevails: the client’s wishes are of utmost importance, the BACTControl becomes the (literally) the viable option. Questions about algae monitoring are also some of the most frequently asked by clients. And the ALGControl is just the right answer.

With 3 technologies and plenty of plans for more applications, microLAN offers international customers the possibility to maintain control over water quality and truly can support its motto and passion:

ALGcontrol, BACTcontrol and TOXcontrol

Be in CONTROL of your water quality.

Joep Appels, Managing Director/Founder of microLAN BV

“From a marketing vision, together with technicians converting innovative technology into easily usable, valuable applications, that’s my passion.”

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