B. Alden Smith and Compere Loveless founded Smith & Loveless Inc. in 1946 as a sales engineering firm representing several manufacturers in the wastewater industry. Early in their association, Smith & Loveless recognized the opportunity for complete, factory-assembled pump stations. Their first three stations were built for the City of Salina, Kansas. These units were fabricated in a converted barn less than three miles from the present world headquarters location.
As demand grew, Smith & Loveless built their first manufacturing plant – a modest structure a few miles from the present plant site. Sales increased rapidly in the1950s, and within a short time, Smith & Loveless maintained distribution throughout the United States and Canada. Because of this rapid growth, it was necessary to expand the manufacturing plant five times in a four-year period.
Smith & Loveless moved its present world headquarters and primary manufacturing facility to Lenexa, Kan., a Kansas City suburb in 1958. The present plant, which itself has been expanded several times, covers more than 100,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space.
In 1959, Smith & Loveless was acquired by conglomerate Union Tank Car of Lincolnshire, Ill (later known as Trans Union). While the acquisition complemented markets served by other divisions of that firm, it marked a period when additional capital for expansion and research and development ensured Smith & Loveless’ leadership in the wastewater industry.
Following a 1981 Trans Union merger with the Marmon Group, the executive management of Smith & Loveless engineered a management buyout by purchasing the company’s assets. Reborn as Smith & Loveless Inc., the newly privately held company renewed its commitment to maintain its role as a leader in the water industry. Its strategy was simple: design and manufacture quality equipment and provide superior service.
In the 1980s, expansion strengthened the company’s leadership position. In 1984, Smith & Loveless, purchased two firms: SCIENCO®, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri, and DI-SEP® Systems International, Inc., of Santa Fe Springs, California. In 1985, Smith & Loveless added another subsidiary by acquiring St. Louis Marine Systems, Inc., and renamed it FAST® Systems, Inc. Later, Smith & Loveless’ St. Louis operations were merged into SCIENCO/FAST® Systems while still serving their diverse markets. In 1987, Smith & Loveless made another step to provide additional capabilities in water treatment by acquiring K-W Industries of Omaha, Nebraska, and absorbing its product line.
In a move to both broaden Smith & Loveless Inc.’s water product line and expand into the European marketplace, Smith & Loveless Limited, an affiliated company of Smith & Loveless, Inc., acquired the majority interest in Kalsep Limited of Camberley, England on March 29, 1995. Licenses granted allow Smith & Loveless products to be sold by Kalsep Limited and Kalsep Limited’s water products to be sold in Smith & Loveless’ markets.
In 1996, in a move to specially develop, manufacture and market wastewater treatment systems for the on-site residential marketplace, an affiliated company, Bio-Microbics, Inc., was formed. Today, Bio-Microbics has expanded its product offering to include other transfer and treatment devices and components for clustered residential wastewater infrastructure, high-strength commercial applications, nitrogen reduction, wastewater aeration and mixing, stormwater applications, grease removal, cooling tower water treatment, renovation of failing septic systems and various screening/filtration devices.
Further international expansion occurred in the late 1990s when Smith & Loveless New Zealand Ltd. obtained licenses to market and sell Smith & Loveless Inc. technology and equipment in New Zealand and Australia. In 1999, Smith & Loveless Limited – UK began to more actively market and sell Smith & Loveless, Inc. technology in the UK.
On the domestic front, Smith & Loveless Georgia Inc. was formed in 2000. This allows the Company to provide superior pump station sales and service for its Georgia customers.
Ever growing and advancing, Smith & Loveless purchased the assets of the BIOMIXER Corporation of California in 2003 to obtain innovative aeration and mixing technology. Then, in 2015, S&L acquired SCHLOSS Enineered Equipment, of Aurora, Colo. The move further enhances S&L's full line of headworks and wastewater treatment equipment.
Smith & Loveless actively pursues the patents of its inventions. The Company currently owns more than 60 active U.S. patents, holds foreign patents in 15 different countries, has several patent applications pending and has more than 25 domestic and foreign trademarks.
Smith & Loveless has actively engaged in R&D. Smith & Loveless’ approach to research and development is both the search for new applications of existing product lines, as well as development of completely new concepts. Through these efforts, Smith & Loveless has been able to enter previously untapped markets. The company’s products are sold mainly through manufacturers’ sales representative companies, with more than 150 such contract companies located worldwide.