The History of Pumpenfabrik Wangen
1969. Dr. Herbert Wallbrecher (died 1997) acquires the company and a plot of land on Simoniusstrasse. Pumpenfabrik Wangen starts with a handful of employees who build the first pump, the A-pump, a tank pump with an internal three-way slide valve, for use in agriculture.
1971. "We need to become better known, be more visible. This is why we have to attend trade fairs," was the unanimous opinion. It was therefore decided that the company would attend a major trade fair for the first time: the international industrial fair in Hanover.
1972. The second large trade fair attended by the pump factory was the IFAT in Munich, an international trade show for the waste water industry. After the IFAT show, a pump was developed that would play a key part in the company's success in the coming years: the hopper feed pump, known by the simple designation "R" for its German name "Rachenpumpe". It is a pump with a hopper, in which a screw feeds the feed medium into the pump itself, ensuring a constant supply of material.
1973. Based on the increasing demand, it was decided to extend the building to include a production hall. Following a successful test phase of the hopper feed pump prototype a year before, the "R80" went into production. Waste water technology, industrial waste disposal and – in a hygienic advancement – the food industry, still benefit from this today.
1975. Having grown to employ a workforce of forty five, the Wangen site was now extended to include a metalworking shop. In addition to several trade fairs in Germany, the pump factory also even attended the international waste water fair in Philadelphia, USA.
1977. At the Hanover Fair the previous year, the pump factory stand was visited by a man looking for a particular pump. It was required for an art installation that was going to pump honey. The man displayed great interest and was wearing his trademark hat. He was none other than the artist Joseph Beuys. He had decided to create his installation "Honey is flowing in all directions", which he was going to present at the Documenta 6 in Kassel using a WANGEN pump.
1978. A company near Munich asked Pumpenfabrik Wangen whether it would also produce deep well pumps. These were for a project in Africa, specifically Kanu in Nigeria. A prototype pump was built, which was tested by lowering the pump onto an approx. 30-metre long vertical rod in a deep well. The test went so well that the company received an order for more than thirty of these deep well pumps with a rod of up to 80 m.
1979. Bishop Mwoleka of Tanzania wanted to supply around ten villages in Africa with water, but had to pump that water over a hill into a water basin. From there, he then wanted to supply the surrounding villages and, having heard of the successful deep well pump project, he had made contact with the Pumpenfabrik Wangen. This led to around twenty Tanzanians from Rulenge coming to the Allgäu region of Germany to train as engineers at the pump factory. The idea was that the Tanzanians should be present during the construction of the pumps, as well as during their subsequent installation on site in Rulenge. The project began in 1978 and the pumps were delivered in the spring of 1979.
1989. Let's take a big leap forward in time. Business was going well and the company was growing. Meanwhile, the number of employees had increased to 80 and the production area had gradually doubled thanks to permanent extensions and conversions. Pumpenfabrik Wangen attended the international waste water trade fair in Leipzig. The highlight was the visit made to the pump factory stand by a very prominent figure, former Federal Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl.
1993. Pumpenfabrik Wangen developed a completely new principle: the drive unit was placed direct on the bearing pedestal. The modular principle behind this made it possible to produce them in small series in parts manufacturing at least, despite the increasing number of customised pumps. This KL principle was a resounding success.
1994. One very big risk for the pump factory was an enquiry from Slibdrogerij Beverwijk, the Netherlands. It involved a large-scale sludge drying process. After careful consideration, the project was taken on, and countless hours later, a special hopper silo pump was developed by Walter Gschladt and Rainer Lindner. This type is still sold today and forms part of the WANGEN RS series. It has been copied – but never quite mastered – by many competitors.
2000. With the introduction of a DIN EN ISO 9001-certified quality management system in 2000, the pump factory was able to substantiate its claims of high quality and identify important steps for sustainable quality standards. In 2002, the company received its initial DIN EN ISO 14001 certification for an occupational health and safety and environment (HSE) management system.
2007. The production line for the stators had previously been relocated from Hagen/Haspe to Baierbrun, and now it moved again to Wangen in the Allgäu region of Germany. The workforce increased to an impressive 130 employees. Production was running at full steam, and so the decision was made to build a new production hall. This was completed in 2007.
2010. With a lot of luck, the plot adjacent to the stator plant was acquired and a new CNC hall built in which primarily networked and process-automated machines were (and still are) located, capable of producing high-quality stators in various shapes and sizes up to a total length of 6 m. Up until then, the lack of space in the main building had made their production difficult.
2013. In order to better cover the increasing level of demand in the food, cosmetic, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, an entirely new type of pump was developed for Pumpenfabrik Wangen: the WANGEN Twin screw pump. It extended the range of pump types, which had hitherto comprised only progressing cavity pumps. Since 2018, there has been a successor model, the Twin NG. More information about the pump you will find here.
2014. The bith of WANGEN Xpress. When replacing wear parts in progressing cavity pumps, it is necessary to open up the pump in some way, as the elements that need to be replaced are usually located inside. It is also often necessary to remove the pumps from the pipework system. Competitor systems resolve this by hinging the pump housing. However, this requires a housing of two parts and elaborate sealing. Eliminating this shortcoming would be a real boon. Today, the solution is known by the name WANGEN X-Lift. It was first produced as the WANGEN Xpress, causing a sensation in the sector and generating much enthusiasm and earning many an accolade. The young designer who developed this utterly ingenious solution is Florian Biegger. More information about the Xpress you will find here.
2014. In order to increase capacity and be able to grow successfully, a new hall, PW 4, was opened at the Wangen site. This housed the metalworking shop, service and apprentice workshop.
In order to grow internatinally and going the next step towards global player, WANGEN AMERICA Inc. was founded in 2014. location: Wood Dale (near Chicago), Illinois, USA. Products went on sale straight away in September 2014 at the world's largest trade fair for water and waste water, the WEFTEC in New Orleans.
2017. After the two previous owners stepped down in autumn 2017, Pumpenfabrik Wangen was transferred to its new owner, Silverfleet Capital. Management of the business is now shared by Lorenz von Haller, Jürgen Demke and later, Markus Hofheinz. More Information about the Managemant-Team you will find here.
2018. "The new logo visualises the continued development of Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH, making a clear statement about maintaining and extending the high quality standards. The 'W' stands for Wangen, where the company is based, with the solid shape of the letter representing solid, high-quality engineering. The waves on the left-hand side represent the pumped medium and also suggest motion in the reading direction from left to right, simultaneously creating a positive and dynamic feel. The eye-catching design also makes it very memorable." Udo Pilz, Marketing Manager, talking about the logo he developed.
2019. On April 1st 2019, Pumpenfabrik Wangen took over the progressing cavity pump division (MX pump series) of KNOLL Maschinenbau GmbH. Sales of the MX range will be handled through the entire Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH sales network, as well as through existing KNOLL sales partners. This has enabled Pumpenfabrik Wangen to expand its portfolio in the field of hygienic progressing cavity pumps. More Information about the MX pumps you will find here as a PDF.
2019. Experience and quality for 50 years! Pumpenfabrik Wangen is celebrating its 50th anniversary and looks back with pride on the last 50 years, during which the company has developed from a niche company in the agricultural sector to a global, successful supplier of progressing cavity and screw pumps in many different segments. WANGEN pumps enjoy the highest reputation regionally, nationally and internationally and are in use on all continents.
You can find the milestones of the company's history
in the PDF of the anniversary book.
2022. Part of the Atlas Copco Group: In February, the Swedish Atlas Copco AB Group acquires Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH and integrates the company into the Power and Flow Division within the Power Technique business area. Read all details in the PDF of the press release.