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75 years of KNF

01 April 2021

A technology leader for diaphragm pumps, KNF has grown into an international company group with 17 locations. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, KNF has chosen to honour important stages in its history with a digital timeline which can be viewed on the company’s website.

Flexibility, dedicated employees and adaptability – these are three characteristics which transformed KNF from a small workshop in Freiburg to a world market leader. April 1, 2021, marks the company’s 75th anniversary. 

CEO of the KNF Group Martin Becker is convinced that the company is fully prepared for the future. “Thanks to our own individualised structures, our passionate employees and last but not least our financial independence as a family operation, we are always capable of stepping out of our comfort zone, going our own way and thus continuing the success story that began in a small workshop in Freiburg’s suburbs 75 years ago,” he says.

A trip down memory lane to 1946, the year the company was founded: Amidst the rubble of a war-torn Freiburg im Breisgau, a young man began to establish his livelihood. Kurt Neuberger ground cylinders and repaired motors in his small workshop, later transitioning to a career in machine tool manufacturing. In 1962, Erich Becker joined Kurt Neuberger Freiburg KG (KNF). From these early beginnings a company group was born which would eventually have operations around the globe. And a single customer’s order gave rise to a success story. 

At that time, the Freiburg-based company assembles diaphragm pumps for aspiration and suction units for medical applications as a contract manufacturer. Engineer Erich Becker soon recognised the potential this versatile pump technology had to offer. When Kurt Neuberger died in 1966, Erich Becker assumed the role of general manager and set out on his own to expand the company. With the first corrosion-resistant diaphragm pump, KNF managed to tap into the laboratory and medical technology market. The double diaphragm pump was then developed in the early 1970s, opening up new applications in the industrial sector, in particular in nuclear technology. These technological breakthroughs were complemented by international expansion, which began in Europe and quickly spread to the USA and Asia. 

CEO of the KNF Group Martin Becker
CEO of the KNF Group Martin Becker

Today, KNF’s pumps can be found all over the world – and beyond. For instance, astronauts onboard the ISS rely on these dependable, low-maintenance diaphragm pumps to supply the air they breathe. In fact, the KNF Group’s expertise can be applied to nearly any application in almost any environment, from cruise ships to external ventricular assist devices for infants.

Despite its interplanetary accomplishments, KNF has remained grounded – the company cares for its community, supporting local, social and sustainable initiatives at each of its locations, both with and for its members of staff. Its connection to each location is unwavering – an important factor for success for the internationally successful company. 

“As our journey continues, it has never been quite as exciting as it is right now,” Martin Becker reports happily.

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