Who would have thought 60 years ago that a mechanical engineering student would found an internationally renowned company and one of the global market leaders in the concrete sector in his father's garage? Putzmeister's history proves that hard work and constantly striving to be a leader in innovation are all it takes to grow a small idea into one of the leading manufacturers of concrete pumps.
Putzmeister has shown itself to be a successful, innovative and internationally oriented manufacturer of construction machines for 60 years. The merger with Sany Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. in 2012 marked a milestone for a strong partnership, which now continues to grow steadily. Over the years, Putzmeister has developed strongly in the concrete, mortar, industrial and substrate technology sectors. Mobile belt conveyor systems and project-based solutions for precasting works complete the Putzmeister portfolio.
"Close to your business"
Groundbreaking machine technology and outstanding availability combined with an extensive sales network and added benefits with regard to safety and service – these factors are what set Putzmeister apart.
From the outset, Karl Schlecht, the founder of Putzmeister, stuck to a principle the importance of which is often underestimated today. For him, contact with the customer did not end upon delivery of the machine, but was also maintained in the period following delivery.
Closeness to the customers requires a dense and well-structured sales and service network. Putzmeister began establishing its own branches in Germany as early as the 1960s, with sites in Munich, Essen, Hamburg, Frankfurt and later also Berlin and Gera. In the 1970s, the company added subsidiaries and sales offices in other countries – including France, Spain, the UK, the USA, Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan, Russia, India, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Turkey – enabling Putzmeister to act internationally. Furthermore, the Putzmeister Sales team is supported both within and outside Germany by well-trained dealers and services centres around the globe.
Putzmeister mortar machines streamline the sector
With the development of a practical mortar pump (1958), the first continuous mixing pump for gypsum plaster (1965) and a compressed air-based screed conveyor (1965), Karl Schlecht revolutionised the industry in both interior and exterior construction work. These technical milestones made heavy physical work on construction sites not only considerably easier but also more streamlined. Since the acquisition of the “Brinkmann” brand in 2008 and relocation to the Aichtal branch in 2012, the company's market presence is now stronger than ever. Putzmeister Mörtelmaschinen also likes to cause something of a stir with unusual projects. During the European Football Championship in France in 2016, the company installed a beach football pitch in the east hall of Leipzig's central station, available to interested teams in this version of football.
Concrete technology for profitable work worldwide
Putzmeister extended its range of products with the development of concrete pumps in the 1960s. This time, unlike the market launch of mortar pumps, Putzmeister was not the “inventor”, but was in competition with established manufacturers from the outset. Higher pressures, larger pump volumes and even concrete delivery were only possible, in Karl Schlecht's opinion, if previous design principles were fundamentally questioned and new paths taken. With the concept of a hydro-hydraulically driven two-cylinder piston pump combined with the flapper system (1969), Putzmeister, as a newcomer on the market, well and truly stirred things up for the established manufacturers. Having achieved the world record of 310 m in high-rise concrete pumping at the Frankfurt telecommunications tower (1977), Putzmeister finally gained acceptance in the international construction industry. This was preceded in 1971 by the invention of a compression-proof transfer tube in conjunction with concrete pumps driven by hydraulic fluid.
Putzmeister supplemented its existing range with the acquisition of the INTERMIX company and brand in 2012 and the production of the first concrete mixing systems. Today, Putzmeister develops and produces truck-mounted concrete pumps, stationary concrete pumps, truck mixer concrete pumps, truck mixers, stationary placing booms and accessories.
Putzmeister once again garnered international attention in 2017 with the new generation of truck-mounted concrete pumps in the 30-metre class. Staying true to the motto of “close to your business”, feedback from customers across the world as well as comprehensive test results were integrated into their development.
Familiar technology for new applications
Since 1977, Putzmeister has been using its expertise in pumping technology to pump other entirely different media too. Initially the company just made series-produced concrete pumps, which were used to transport sludge from the Aswan Dam to land through floating pipelines, for example, or to transport earth excavated during tunnelling works up to ground level. But Putzmeister soon developed these machines further into powerful pumping systems for transporting high-density solids, systems which could be combined with special supply and metering devices, mixers, silos or discharge equipment.
Typical fields of application for Putzmeister high-density solids pumps include mining and sewage treatment plants, as well as disposal plants for waste, biowaste and special waste. But Putzmeister high-density solids pumps also undertake various delivery jobs in the cement industry, power stations, the oil and gas industries, in water treatment and for land reclamation along the coast.
Putzmeister breaks world records – and often their own
The Putzmeister brand is internationally renowned for its quality and reliability. World records and participation in important construction projects demonstrate these values:
1994: World record in high-rise concrete pumping (532 m) at the “Riva del Garda” power station, Italy 1997: New world record in long-distance pumping with 2015 m in Le Refrain/France 2007: New world record in high-rise concrete pumping at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, with a height of 606 m. The total height of the building is 828 metres. 2008: Introduction of a new truck-mounted concrete pump, placing boom of which reaches a height of 70 m for the first time ever. Another world record for Putzmeister. 2014: A new Guinness World Record for the largest continuous concrete delivery (16,200 m³ concrete in 18.5 hours) was set at the New Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles with 12 Putzmeister truck-mounted concrete pumps, two stationary booms and two stationary concrete pumps. 2016: During the construction of the Geepas Tower in the UAE, a new Guinness World Record was set for achieving the world's largest continuous concrete delivery (19,793 m³ in 42 hours).
Technologies that shape the sector
In addition to achieving numerous world records, Putzmeister has also rewritten technical history many times over through pioneering innovations and spectacular deployments. These include, for example, the pioneering work in developing large truck-mounted concrete pumps with flexible five- and even six-arm placing booms. In 1986, some of these long-reach boom pumps were specially equipped to withstand radiation and, running in non-stop operation, helped construct a protective shell of reinforced concrete around the atomic reactor after the accident at Chernobyl. For the huge project that was the construction of the Channel Tunnel (1988–1994), Putzmeister offered not one but two solutions: Firstly, especially powerful high-density solids pumps transported enormous quantities of excavated material from the tunnels to a landfill site. Secondly, the annulus between the tunnel liner segments and the surrounding mountain was concreted with special two-component mortar using computer-aided injection and filling systems.
Putzmeister has stood out with its innovations in the software area too, for example with the EBC control system introduced in 2001. The simplified remote control enabled concrete placing booms with several arms to be operated easily and safely with just one joystick. Following the introduction of guidelines for DIN EN 12001:2012, Putzmeister developed the ESC (Ergonic Setup Control) support system, which not only complied with EEA regulations but also minimised risks and accidents.
Well prepared for future tasks
In 2018, 60 years after the company was founded, Putzmeister can now boast a finely graduated range of products in the fields of concrete, mortar, tunnel and industrial technology.
The largely independent technical market fields are oriented towards the particularities of the markets and customer preferences. With Sany Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. as a parent company and modern production sites around the globe, Putzmeister is optimally equipped to meet future challenges.
The Putzmeister Group develops and produces machinery of high technological quality in the fields of concrete conveying, truck-mounted concrete pumps, stationary concrete pumps, placing booms and accessories, plant technology, conveying viscous industrial materials through pipes, concrete placement and transporting excavated material from tunnels and below ground, mortar machines, plastering machines, screed conveying, injection and specialist applications. Market segments include the construction industry, mining and tunnelling, large industrial projects, power plants and sewage treatment plants, as well as waste incineration plants, all over the world.
The company is based in Aichtal. With approx. 3,000 employees, the company achieved a turnover of roughly EUR 716 million in the year 2016.