Inventor of Concrete Pump: Friedrich Wilhelm Schwing From a Little Craft Shop to the Leading Global System Supplier

In 1934, the then 25 year-old master mechanic Friedrich Wilhelm Schwing founded his handicraft business right in the heart of the Ruhr Area. His products quickly found customers in the mining and road construction as well as in the building industry. Right from the beginning, his passion focussed on the development and the manufacture of concrete construction machinery today’s core business of the company.

Friedrich Wilhelm Schwing was always in search of innovative and progressive products capable of making the users’ work easier and, at the same time, more efficient and more economical. Many of his developments and patents were pioneering feats of engineering far ahead of his own time. In the early years, SCHWING designed also cranes as, for instance, tower cranes which could be transported undismantled, and universal climbing cranes which could take support on the already hardened floor slab below the topmost slab and which could thus follow the building progress.

Inventor of Concrete Pump 1

At the beginning of the fifties, concrete had started its unstoppable march of success on construction sites all over the world. The discontinuous conveyance of concrete by means of cranes and crane skips caused the call for continuous concrete transport to become louder and louder. In the time that followed, different methods were put to the test, among which there was also a pneumatic concrete conveyor from SCHWING developed in the early fifties. While other manufacturers were still clinging to water-hydraulic drives, SCHWING presented in 1957 the first oil-hydraulic twin-cylinder pump ready for production. With this development, the company has gone down in the history of building machines as we know it today. How revolutionary this technological pioneering feat was is proved last not least by the fact that this design principle which was adopted by almost all other manufacturers is still today the standard worldwide.

Inventor of Concrete Pump 2

The Stetter company which originated almost at the same time from a blacksmith’s workshop in Memmingen began already very early to specialize in the design of concrete mixing equipment. In 1958, Stetter rang in the era of ready-mix concrete with the first truck mixer. Two years later, Stetter presented concrete filling stations for truck mixers, and already in 1964 the company was building large-scale concrete mixing plants. In 1965, SCHWING put the first truck-mounted concrete pump on the market which was completed by a concrete placing boom only 3 years later. This was another milestone in the history of construction machines.

Inventor of Concrete Pump 3

The speed with which things progressed can be seen from the fact that SCHWING built the first truck-mounted concrete pumps with a 45 m large-scale placing boom already in 1973. With this machine, SCHWING was once more ahead of their time. In the same year, the newly created product division “Industrial and environmental engineering” started its operations: this was the beginning of the series production of sludge pumps specially developed for industrial applications, a field of activity where SCHWING is counted still today among the leading specialists on the world market. Stetter, too, became active in the field of environmental engineering by putting the first residual concrete recycling plant on the market in 1976.

Inventor of Concrete Pump 4

After a generation change in the management of SCHWING GmbH in 1980, the Stetter company was taken over two years later: this was the birth hour of the system supplier for concrete construction machinery. Since that time, the whole spectrum of products ranging from the production of concrete over transport and placing down to the recycling of residual concrete is completely available from one single source. With now more than 100 subsidiaries and distributors as well as with production facilities of their own all over the world, SCHWING-Stetter has thus finally become the leading global one-stop supplier.


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