The Herco story is an economic miracle
A medium-sized German company
with a global network
In 75 years, Herco has developed from being a pioneering company to a medium-sized enterprise with a global network.
Our products are used in medical technology, make numerous industrial processes possible and provide the basis for pharmaceuticals as well as food and beverage, thus safeguarding our very way of life.
Effective in-house production and customer-oriented engineering make us the best solution provider for your individual challenges in the field of water technology.
A passion for technology
and a trailblazing spirit
Herco was established during the German economic miracle by Willy Herrmann with creativity, enthusiasm for technology and trailblazing spirit and built up as a team together with his wife Luise Augusta Herrmann-von Bary.
His love of technology and his close ties with Ferdinand Porsche were the reasons for Herco's original focus on the automotive sector. The demand for cars was rising sharply at that time and cars became affordable for large parts of the population for the first time as a mass product.
A focus on water treatment
Mixed-bed cartridge and air humidification
With the DESTILLO mixed-bed cartridge, Herco produced fully demineralised water for batteries and thus became a supplier to the emerging German automotive sector.
Other prospective buyers were quickly found for the DESTILLO, such as the German postal service, which used it in large numbers for air humidification.
This marked the beginning of Herco's breakthrough and focus on water treatment. To this day, Herco is active all round the world in the field of water technology.
Registration of the successful DESTILLO product at the patent office
A focus on membrane technology
Specialisation in reverse osmosis
It quickly became clear to the engineers at Herco that mixed-bed cartridges alone were not suitable for handling larger flows.
Herco began using the technology of reverse osmosis (RO), which was still novel at the time, and quickly developed a reverse osmosis unit for various industrial applications.
Due to its simple operation without chemicals, reverse osmosis gradually replaced the ion exchanger units that were still prevalent in industry at the time.
First RO unit for medicine
Pure water for hemodialysis
In addition to industry, medicine was also identified as a field of application for membrane technology.
Hemodialysis as a process has been used experimentally since about 1945, but it was only through technical advances in the 1960s and 1970s that it became possible to establish it as a standard treatment.
In the 1970s, the number of dialyses performed therefore rose sharply. Since ultrapure water has to be used for the dialysis fluid, a correspondingly high number of water treatment units was required.
Herco recognised the demand and began manufacturing multi-stage water treatment units for the strictest hygienic demands, which were used in many dialysis centres in Germany and later worldwide.
Relocation to Freiberg
The Ludwigsburg site was too small
The company headquarters were moved from Ludwigsburg to Freiberg am Neckar. The new administration and production building provided the setting for Herco's further expansion.
Further developments and innovations
RO units for all areas of application
At the beginning of the 1990s, technical advances opened up many possibilities for optimising RO units, for example by using low-pressure membranes to reduce energy consumption.
As always, Herco was at the forefront of these developments, expanding its product range and the areas of application for the units on offer.
New production facility
Further commitment to the site
Due to the great success of the water treatment units, expansion of production became necessary. Herco made a clear commitment to the Freiberg am Neckar site with the construction of a new, state-of-the-art 2,200 m² assembly hall and with additional offices and conference rooms.
The space freed up in the old building was used to set up a large warehouse in order to be able to offer customers the shortest possible delivery times.
Use of frequency-controlled pumps
Early on, Herco focussed on energy-saving measures, even for smaller RO units. By using pumps with frequency converters (abbreviated FU in German), approx. 30 % less energy can be consumed. Depending on the operating conditions, significantly more energy can be saved. Therefore, Herco began to consistently offer two versions of its reverse osmosis units: In addition to the low-cost basic version, customers could also choose the energy-saving FU version. Booster stations with frequency-controlled pumps were subsequently also added to the range.
A global network
Herco becomes part of PWG
The takeover by the Pollet Water Group (PWG), part of the Belgian Pollet Group, was a milestone for the internationalisation of Herco. As a family-run company with a global network, PWG is the perfect partner for Herco.
Pollet Water Group companies develop smart and user-friendly products that treat water for individuals, companies, factories, schools, hospitals and other consumers.
As part of PWG, Herco gains many new partners and distribution channels in Europe and beyond.
Training and further development
Herco Academy is established
As the products became more complex and the portfolio broadened, customers' need for training and further development increased. Intensive training of customers on the units is required for legal reasons alone when it comes to water treatment for dialysis.
Herco responded to this challenge by establishing the Herco Academy, which provides training for customers' sales and technical staff. In addition to theoretical basics, it primarily focusses on practical applications; this is why the technician training courses in particular are carried out directly on the unit.
Herco in-house training courses take place regularly
Relaunch of the UO-S7 KR and UP-S7 series
with PLC Siemens S7-1200
Protecting our water, our most precious resource, is of particular importance to Herco. That’s why it developed the concentrate-staged reverse osmosis UO KR, which achieves up to 90 % permeate yield. This series is particularly suitable for applications with high water consumption, such as the food and drink industry. In many industrial sectors, fully fledged process visualisation, complete monitoring of the measured values and integration into the central control system are also required. For this reason, the KR series, like the UP ultrapure water series, was equipped with the Siemens S7-1200 programmable logic controller as standard for the first time. The new functions were enthusiastically received by customers, which encourages us to continue increasing the networking and digitalisation of our series.
Our water-saving S7 reverse osmosis system
We are proud
We have over 80 employees at our Freiberg am Neckar site, and with Edwin Locker as Managing Director, we look optimistically to the future and celebrate our anniversary.
2022 marks our 75th anniversary
Technology is our passion
Both now and then
The inventive free spirit of back then can still be felt in the company today. You can still feel the precision and passion for technology that the company embodied back then in every product that is produced here on site.
Today, as in the past, inventiveness and excellent technical implementation are closely linked.
As a team, we use all our skills to ensure that our units produce clean water, day in, day out.