The history of FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH is typical for many companies which were founded after the Second World War. However, its origins lay much further back: as far as the founding of Mauz & Pfeiffer in Stuttgart-Botnang in 1912. This company was the oldest German specialist factory for electric vacuum cleaners, and as early as 1926, under the brand name PROGRESS, it developed the first cylinder vacuum cleaner on wheels which soon became a true “bestseller”. By 1938 the company had produced the millionans vacuum cleaner – and only WW2 brought this success story to a halt. In the course of the heavy bombing and destruction of Stuttgart, the company had to move out into the countryside and production came almost completely to a standstill.
After the war, the shareholders soon began to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure of the company in Stuttgart-Botnang. Success proved them right and by 1948, under the umbrella of Mauz & Pfeiffer, the company PROGRESS Verkauf GmbH had already been founded which experienced a resounding boom in the economic reconstruction that had started in the young Federal Republic. Not least against the background of the Korean War did Germany regain its importance as a leading export nation – the “economic miracle” had arrived.
Almost at the same time, several students from the Technical University of Karlsruhe founded the company Phyag KG in 1949. With Nikolaus Laing as managing director they set themselves the goals of developing technical equipment up to series production standard and to achieve growth of the company through the sale of patents and issuing of licenses. In 1950, Phyag developed the FLUX F 300, the world’s first electric barrel pump – on 14 September 1950 it was officially registered and notarised under the patent number 967 424. It also received expert praise: the State Office for Trade stressed the fact that the designers had conscientiously considered all possibilities which could make pumping operations difficult. It was more economical and had a wider range of applications than the old hand pumps which had been used up until then. Furthermore, the product was available in three variations, as FLUX Standard, FLUX Petrol and FLUX Special, suitable for various applications.
The State Office for Trade in Germany advised the Phyag to take on board an experienced partner. Ludwig Hahn, managing director of PROGRESS Verkauf GmbH, got to know the FLUX pump at a trade fair in 1950 and immediately recognised the potential in this invention. He quickly came to a mutual agreement with Laing and already in 1952 he obtained all rights for the new barrel pumps. With this began the real triumphal march of this technology and then FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH was founded in 1955.
The new company experienced a rapid uplift in the 50s. With its innovative pumps it continually set new standards and celebrated great success in the market. It stood out right from the start through products for the widest range of applications, including many custom-made products for the widest variety of branches of industry. The robust electric barrel pump FLUX 300 U, for example, was designed for “raw operation” and for almost any liquid, and the FLUX 400 PMP already had a compressed air motor. The model F 300 Ex represented a genuine revolution – this first explosion-proof barrel pump was approved by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB - Federal German Metrology Institute) in 1953. It was then soon sold in several series versions and is being continually further developed to this day.
The real rise of FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH to become a leading company in its branch of industry began in the 60s. There were three aspects above all responsible for this: FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH became independent from PROGRESS. The production was moved more and more to the production site in Maulbronn. The registered office is, however, still in Stuttgart. In March 1962, Herbert Hahn took over the management of the company. For almost 40 years he was to steer the destiny of the company and symbolise success which, even in the Germany of economic miracles, was unique.
Under his leadership, the Maulbronn production site was continually extended and modernised. As early as 1965, the ever-increasing demand made a new production hall necessary, which was soon followed by others. The small town of Maulbronn had previously been known mainly for its world-famous abbey with attached residential college, the most famous pupils of which included the poets Hölderlin and Hesse. Factors in favour of this choice as a production site were the availability of land and particularly the large offering of workers: Stuttgart was flourishing during these days of economic upturn and there were almost no workers to be found. FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH quickly became one of the most important businesses in the town – verbal misunderstandings such as the following were soon a thing of the past: asked what the company manufactures, the answer given in the local dialect was “Bomba”. However, to the relief of the general public, it soon transpired that this meant “pumps”, not “bombs”.
The history of FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH can be summed up in one word: success. The highly qualified and motivated staff plays just as much a part in this as does the continuous development of new products, which are always a reaction to new demands, needs and wishes. These include high viscosity liquid pumps, centrifugal pumps and centrifugal immersion pumps, together with their high-performance accessories, and equally the “exotic” products for special industries, e.g. flood painting equipment for painters and decorators. Furthermore, FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH has also celebrated its first big successes abroad. As early as 1962, export business contributed one quarter of the total turnover. Herbert Hahn forced this development and additionally won, among others, Austria, Switzerland, UK and France, as well as Australia, the USA and Japan as further important sales markets.
A special highlight for the company was achieved in 1976 with the FLUX 417. This portable barrel and container pump was extremely dependable and suitable for aggressive media, such as hydrochloric and sulphuric acids. It was suitable for use anywhere, from the laboratory and workshop to industrial applications, and not least for this reason the F 417 motor has until the present day been the most used FLUX barrel pump motor world-wide.
In the 1980s, FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH obtained complete independence from PROGRESS Elektrogeräte Mauz & Pfeiffer, which was taken over by the Swedish Electrolux company. The Maulbronn production site was then further expanded, which resulted in 1985 in a new four-storey production building with about 2,600 m² of floor space in the Maulbronn industrial zone. The staffing level was then at a total of 140. At the same time, managing director Herbert Hahn began setting up subsidiaries: FLUX Pumps Corporation in Atlanta, USA, and FLUX Pumps International (UK) Ltd. in Verwood, UK. Both subsidiaries provided further market penetration, and not only in their own countries.
The catchphrases of the 1990s were globalisation, environmental protection and digitisation. FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH also confronted these new challenges and “conquered” the new markets in Eastern Europe, Russia, China and India. The many new developments were increasingly oriented on the principles of sustainability and energy saving – the product range grew constantly and, in a kind of building block system, became increasingly differentiated in terms of performance and applications. Furthermore, at the beginning of the 90s, air-operated diaphragm pumps were introduced to round off the product range.
In 1991, the production area was again increased to more than 4,000 m² followed by modernization to state-of-the-art technology in 1998. Finally, in 1994, FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH, as the first German company in the region, was certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001 by TÜV Südwest – also in this respect the company took on a pioneer role.
On 1.1.2000, Herbert Hahn passed the operative business after almost 40 years to his nephew, Klaus Hahn. During his time he had made FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH the market leader in terms of quality and innovation in the area of barrel pump technology, a position which Klaus Hahn pushed even further. With the takeover of the Cologne company Sondermann Pumpen + Filter GmbH & Co. KG in 2005 and the founding of a subsidiary in France, as well as a participation in Thailand, he reaffirmed FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH as a world-wide operating business. In 2009, FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH demonstrated its zeal for continuous investment and constant expansion of the product range through, for example, the FEM 4070 fully electronically controlled barrel pump motor with four speed stages for precision filling. New FLUX filling sets were introduced into the market in 2010. Combining a pump, a liquid meter and a switching repeater, they provide semi-automatic filling of various media – a very interesting, low-cost alternative to filling robots and stations was created.
In all of these years FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH has remained true to one motto: “To act, and not react”. This and the maxim, “Each a little more” have shaped the company philosophy – the company managements and staff are therefore very upbeat about continuing to set new standards in the future. And, as has always been the case, the business profits from a healthy mix of continuity and innovation – the best prospect for a further successful 60 years!
FLUX-GERÄTE GMBH based in Baden-Württemberg is a specialist in the development and manufacture of pumps for filling and transfer operations. Innovative solutions and high manufacturing quality result in customer-oriented products of the highest quality. FLUX pumps are used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as in mechanical engineering, plant manufacturing, electroplating industry, water treatment and in the foods industry. Pumps are sold in almost 100 countries around the world through the company’s own subsidiaries and through distribution partners.
Tel.: +49 (0)7043 / 101-0
Fax.: +49 (0)7043 / 101-111