It all began quite modestly at the Basle Dye Works in 1957 where wooden cylinders were employed for the dyeing process. These kept splintering and deforming after some time putting the expensive textiles at risk. Seeking a suitable replacement for the cylinders, the factory’s engineers developed a centrifugal casting method using glassfiber reinforced plastics (GRP). Thanks to the method and material, they achieved perfectly concentric cylinders with a precise outer diameter and smooth surface – just as required.
GRP had previously been used for shipbuilding, automobile and aircraft industry. However, its resistance to both corrosion and chemicals also made the material highly suitable for other applications. The Swiss, renowned for their vision and pioneering spirit, recognized its benefits and soon employed centrifugally cast pipes for conveying water – the pipes laid at that time are still in use today. Step by step, the pipes have been improved, the manufacturing process has been automated, the product range extended, and tailor-made fittings have been added during the subsequent years. A new company was born: Hobas.
The Hobas technology is owned and licensed by the Amiblu Group. In 2017, the two market leading companies for glassfiber reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes, Hobas Europe as part of the Wietersdorfer Holding GmbH and Amiantit Europe, have combined forces to form a joint venture company, Amiblu. Amiblu’s headquarters is in Klagenfurt, Austria, and the company has production facilities in Germany, Spain, Poland and Romania. It has a R&D centre in Norway and employs around 1,500 people.
|1957||First production of centrifugally cast GRP pipes in Switzerland|
|1984||Joint venture of Hobas and the Wietersdorfer Group|
|1987||Hobas opens pipe plant in the USA|
|2003||First production of non-circular GRP pipes in Germany|
|2007||50-year anniversary Hobas|
|2016||Wietersdorfer (owner of the Hobas Group) and Amiantit Europe announce the companies’ intent to merge their European businesses|
|2017||EU Commission approves the merger and Amiblu is established with ownership of the Hobas technology|
|2018||Amiblu opens a state-of-the-art production facility for GRP fittings in Poland|