Grundfos History

This is a story of relentless innovation and a belief in better since 1945. How all we do is rooted in our sense of duty and responsibility to our customers and our environment. How by respecting, protecting and advancing the flow of water, we see the possibility in every drop.

The 1940s

When Poul Due Jensen couldn’t find a pump of sufficient quality to irrigate a local farm, he developed one himself in his basement. After just five years, he was exporting his pumps internationally.


A new company
Poul Due Jensen founded a small company in Bjerringbro in 1944 called Bjerringbro Pressestøberi og Maskinfabrik (Bjerringbro Die-casting Foundry and Machine Factory) in the cellar of his private villa. The name Grundfoss was originally a product name but became synonymous with the company during the 1960s. In 1967 an ”s” was removed and the name Grundfos we know today was a reality.


A new direction
Poul Due Jensen and his few employees engaged themselves with services of a smithy and heating and sanitation in 1944. But Poul Due Jensen received an order in 1945 for a small automatic waterworks and when he couldn’t find an electric pump of satisfactory quality, he decided to develop one himself. The year 1945 marks the beginning of the company’s pump activities and is therefore the celebratory year for Grundfos’ anniversaries.


The first pump
In 1945, Poul Due Jensen received an order for a small automatic waterworks for a farm in the area. At that time he was unable to obtain a pump of satisfactory quality, prompting him to develop his first pump Foss 1, nicknamed ‘the pig’ because of its design. Foss (running water) was a shallow groundwater piston pump, designed to pump water from wells up to 7 meters deep. It was a double action pump, which meant that it pumped water at both the forward and the backward motion of the piston. A total of 26 pumps of this model were produced and sold.


First pump for deep groundwater
The first Dybfoss pump was produced in 1947 and was a deep groundwater piston pump, designed to pump water from wells more than seven meters deep.


Export begins
The company had since its beginning sold its pumps to large parts of Denmark and was during the 1940s beginning to look beyond country borders. The first export was a reality in 1949 and the importing country was Norway. Other countries soon followed and the first foreign exhibition was thus in Sweden in 1953.


The 1950s

The company changes name to ‘Bjerringbro Pump Factory’ and uses the Archimedes screw logo for the first time. Central heating circulators and the first pumps for wells deeper than 7 metres are launched.


The multistage centrifugal pump
Production of the CP centrifugal pump began in 1952, and was the first Grundfos pump to use the centrifugal pump technology. The Grundfos piston pumps had a very high capacity, but were heavy and consumed a lot of material. The centrifugal pumps were a lot smaller and consisted of mostly round and cylindrical components which made it possible to rationalize the production. The piston pumps were soon replaced by centrifugal pumps.


Dybfoss BP is introduced
Grundfos’ first logo was introduced in 1953 and was an abbreviation of the ompany name Bjerringbro Pressestøberi (Bjerringbro Die-casting Foundry) with the letters B and P. The logo was used the following years as the company name changed to Bjerringbro Pumpefabrik (Bjerringbro Pump Factory). However, in 1955 an employee presented Poul Due Jensen with an illustration of Archimedes’ water screw which had a remarkable resemblance with the inside of the centrifugal pump CP. The water screw has since been the symbol of Grundfos and has during the years seen various designs.


Symbolic company logo
Grundfos’ first logo was introduced in 1953 and was an abbreviation of the ompany name Bjerringbro Pressestøberi (Bjerringbro Die-casting Foundry) with the letters B and P. The logo was used the following years as the company name changed to Bjerringbro Pumpefabrik (Bjerringbro Pump Factory). However, in 1955 an employee presented Poul Due Jensen with an illustration of Archimedes’ water screw which had a remarkable resemblance with the inside of the centrifugal pump CP. The water screw has since been the symbol of Grundfos and has during the years seen various designs.


The first circulator pump - VP 32
The VP 32 circulator pump was launched as a pump for central heating circulation as well as circulation of domestic hot water. The pump had a stainless steel rotor can and hard metal bearings which could not become worn by the processes normally occurring in a heating system. The bearing system was extremely reliable and some pumps of this type are still in use.


The 1960s

The company is now named ‘Grundfos’. Innovative circulators, submersible pumps, and even production line machinery take shape. Social responsibility and employee development becomes a priority.


First subsidiary
The first subsidiary was founded in the small town of Wahlstedt in Germany. The company was both a sales and production company.


Employee education
In 1962, it was decided to establish a night school for the employees as expansion and global trade became more and more relevant. The first education was courses in different languages and math.


Launch of the VP 35 circulator pump
The VP 35 was basically the same as the VP 32, but the design had been completely changed and the weight reduced. The innovation was the hydraulic adjustment feature, which made it possible to ‘turn down the pump’ using an internal bypass. This offered several advantages such as the resistance of the system did not have to be calculated very precisely, and the system could be changed and expanded without problems.


Submersible pumps in stainless steel
The SP pumps (Submersible Pumps) were a big breakthrough since they were made entirely of stainless steel. Used for pumping unfiltered water for water supply, irrigation, and groundwater lowering. The stainless steel meant that pumps had a much longer lifetime, even in aggressive water. The SP pumps filled a niche with a significant demand, as the piston pumps were long outdated.


Social responsibility
In 1968, Grundfos was the first private company in Denmark to open a sheltered workshop for employees with special needs. The initiative was taken in 1964 and was a collaboration between Grundfos, the parish council and the national welfare system.


Invention of production machines
Because no standard production machinery could be found to mass produce the Grundfos circulators, Grundfos started to design and built its own production machines for the circulator pumps. The machine was called the ”carousel” and processed parts for the circulator pumps which lead to significant time savings.


The 1970s

Innovation continues as key product lines are established, winning industry awards. Poul Due Jensen’s son Niels takes the reins, recognising Grundfos’ responsibility to make the world a better place through energy efficiency.


Centrifugal pumps go inline – CR30
The CR30 was the first inline multistage centrifugal pump ever produced. The most revolutionary aspect was that inlet and outlet were placed at the same level, in line with each other. The pump could therefore be installed anywhere in a system without requiring changes to the piping, which was a huge installation advantage. Like several other Grundfos designs, it is now an industrial standard.


First overseas subsidiary
Grundfos’ first overseas subsidiary was established in 1973 in the USA. The official inauguration however, didn’t take place before 1976 when the company had a better foothold in the new market.


Production of submersible motors
Grundfos started the development of own submersible motors in the late 1960s and the production started in 1974. The submersible motors were made of thin sheet stainless steel to avoid corrosion. This meant that the motors were cost efficient as repairs and replacements were infrequent.


The Poul Due Jensen Foundation
In 1975, Poul Due Jensen established the Poul Due Jensen Foundation which was given the mayority of Grundfos shares. The Foundation became the new owner of Grundfos and could ensure new investments and growth in the company.


Introduction of standard motors
Grundfos started the production of own standard motors. The first standard motor received the Danish award for industrial design, the ID award the same year.


The Jet pump is introduced - JP
Before the introduction of the Jet Pump, pumps were usually installed at a fixed place where they operated from. The Jet Pump was a portable centrifugal pump developed and designed for universal applications, such as small-scale water supply, boosting, car washing, swimming pools, farms, liquid transport, and industrial plants. Easy and simple installation, reliable and quiet operation and long life were some of the advantages. The Jet Pump was equipped with a built-in ejector, which made it self-priming and it was a very handy, efficient and innovative pump which also earned Grundfos its third ID award (Danish award for industrial design) for its innovative design.


The new generation
In November 1977, Poul Due Jensen passed away at the early age of 65 years. His son Niels Due Jensen, who at the time was 34 years, was placed in charge of the company. Niels Due Jensen succeded as head of management in 1978


The 1980s

Revolutionary production techniques make custom-made pumps possible for customers, while innovation in electronics, computer programmes and solar pumps drive forward our vision of efficiency.


Electronics development
The production of electronics in Grundfos had existed since the 1970s but with the world wide focus on climate and energy savings a new project started to evolve in 1980; the development of a frequency converter which was controlled by a microprocessor.


Solar driven pump systems
During the 1980s a broad interest in climate change and sustainability started to manifest all over the world. Grundfos started to investigate the possibilities of a solar driven pump around 1980 and when UNDP launched a solar pump system competition in 1980, the work really took off. Grundfos introduced their solar driven pump system to the world in 1982 and won the UNDP competition.


The first wastewater pump – KP
With the introduction of the small and handy KP drainage pump, Grundfos entered the market of wastewater. The pump stator was embedded in composite, and the rest of the pump was made completely of stainless steel. The pump was suitable for a great variety of purposes involving drain water or grey wastewater and it was very easy to clean with simple hand tools. The KP drainage pump was the first of a wide range of reliable, high-quality wastewater pumps to be introduced by Grundfos in the following years.

CAPS- Computer-Aided Product Selection tool
Grundfos invented CAPS, the first pump calculation program for commercial use in the world, for use on an “Apple 2” computer.


Grundfos equals quality
In 1989, Grundfos A/S, as the first pump manufacturer in the world, was certified according to the quality standard ISO 9001.

Grundfos uses a revolutionary technique
Using the so called “core melting technology” Grundfos was the first pump manufacturer that was able to produce complicated shapes in composite, such as special pump housings for OEM customers. Grundfos was now able to produce custom-made pumps in a much more efficient and accurate way.


The 1990s

The world’s first intelligent pump launches, alongside pioneering advances in all-in-one pump and motor technology. Our belief in environmental responsibility is reinforced with ISO 14001 certification.


The Technology Center
The Technology Center was established to continue the massive development work in production technology, optimization of production processes and research in new materials and designs.


The intelligent pump
The development of a micro frequency converter began in the mid-1980s. The extensive research and development resulted in the launch of X99 in 1991. X99 was presented in the circulator pump UPE which made it the first intelligent pump in the world. The X99 resulted in enormous energy savings and was subsequently an integral part of many Grundfos pumps.


The JetSub
The introduction of the JetSub in 1992 was revolutionary, as it was the first submersible pump with built-in electronics encapsulated in the motor. Due to the X99 micro frequency converter, the pump could reach a higher speed of rotation and the pump’s dimensions could therefore be reduced to match a 3” borehole while still delivering the same performance as a conventional pump.


Introduction of the MGE motor
Grundfos was the only pump manufacturer that produced its own electric motors and electronics. With the MGE electric motor a micro frequency converter was, for the first time, built into a standard electrical motor as an integrated unit. Because of this, pumps with a variable need for flow and pressure, ventilators and other appliances could be speed controlled, making huge energy saving possible.

The Business Development Center
Connected to the Technology and Development center by a glass footbridge, the BDC was inaugurated. All business related activities and departments are now located in this futuristic building.

A compact all-in-one booster system: JetpaQ
The JetpaQ was revolutionary with frequency converter, pump, pressure sensor and tank all built into one integrated unit. The pressure and water flow was automatically regulated through the integrated electronics and combined with its small size it was possible to install virtually everywhere.


The first stainless steel sewage pump – AP
Grundfos introduced its first stainless steel sewage pump – the AP pump.

The new generation of MGE motors
Again Grundfos took the lead in technology by introducing a 3-phase standard motor with a built-in frequency converter that could also be adjusted via a remote control.

Pumps with remote control
Grundfos introduced the remote control R100 in 1995, which allowed electronic pumps to be configured, diagnosed and serviced using a remote handheld device. The device communicated to a small printer which printed vital pump statistics. This made the R100 completely unique in the world of pump technology.


Environmental responsibility
Grundfos received the international environmental certification ISO 14001.


The 2000s

As Niels Due Jensen steps down as CEO, the new millennium brings a digital revolution to society and Grundfos. Energy-saving innovations abound and sustainability is at the core as our ‘Innovation Intent’ is introduced.


The first Digital Dosing pump
Grundfos introduced its first Digital Dosing pumps. Based upon the patented revolutionary step motor principle, digital dosing pumps are able to deliver very exact quantities of dosing fluid.

Dosing made digital
Until Grundfos introduced Digital Dosing, it was a slow and difficult process to reach the exact dosage required for dosing systems to be economical and safe. Grundfos Digital Dosing introduced completely new drive principles in diaphragm dosing pumps, supplemented with direct electronic digital control from push-button control panels.


Inauguration of The Poul Due Jensen Academy
The education of Grundfos employees began in 1962 with the introduction of a night school, and has developed over the years. With the inauguration of the Poul Due Jensen Academy all education and learning was gathered in one place with all new education facilities.

Be Think Innovate, Branding and eBusiness
The branding project was initiated to communicate the essence of the fundamental values to customers, employees and other partners.
The objective was for current and future customers to prefer dealing with Grundfos because they were aware of and appreciated the company values. An additional objective was for the employees to choose Grundfos as their workplace because they agreed with the values and philosophy – and wanted to play a part in maintaining and consolidating them. Be Think Innovate became the new corporate payoff.
Simultaneously, the Grundfos eBusines department was founded with the objective to strengthen existing partnerships by adding electronic services to our existing activities. The Grundfos Extranet and WebCAPS are examples of projects that have been developed. The present day eBusiness department concentrates on “e” Innovation, especially in Sales and Marketing.

A customer adapted pump – Magna
Prior to its introduction, user focus groups contributed with a list of things they would like to see in a new and approved circulator pump. This resulted in a pump with automatic adaptation to system characteristics, night-time reduction, user-friendly operating panel and other features required by customers. The Grundfos Magna was also equipped with a permanent magnet motor, ensuring significant energy savings. In addition the concept of automatic speed control was further developed in Grundfos Magna, which was a breakthrough in state-of-the-art circulator pumps in 2001, just as the VP pump was in the late 1950s.


Flexibility in power supply – SQFlex
The SQFlex is flexible in its power supply and is therefore ideal for remote areas where there is either no power supply, or where the supply is unreliable. The pump can be run by for instance solar or wind energy or run on a generator or batteries. Like the solar pump systems developed by Grundfos in the 1980s, the SQFlex is virtually maintenance-free.

Grundfos introduced WebCAPS, the first online web based pump calculation programme.


New CEO without the Due Jensen name
Niels Due Jensen (son of founder Poul Due Jensen) left the responsibility to the first CEO without the Due Jensen name: Jens Jørgen Madsen who had his entire 30-year career at Grundfos. During his career he was Chairman/Member of the Board in more than 25 Grundfos companies, and became a member of Group Management in 1991. Jens Jørgen Madsen resigned as Group President on 30 November 2006.

A new generation of sewage pumps – SE1 and SEV
Grundfos introduced the SE1 and SEV sewage pumps which also received the ID award for their design.


The revolutionary energy saving pump – ALPHA Pro
The ALPHA Pro was the first low-energy pump based on a permanent magnet rotor and built-in micro frequency converter. The stator was segmented, the frequency converter control was based on hall sensors and the production capacity was limited. Automatic control ensured that the pump’s pressure and flow was constantly adjusted to current needs. The pump automatically adjusted itself to summer or winter, night or day. The ALPHA Pro paved the way for low-energy pumps globally.


Grundfos A/S receives the EFQM Award
Among 27 finalists, Grundfos A/S won the EFQM Excellence Award – Award winner and the EFQM Excellence Award - Prize winner for Corporate Social Responsibility and EFQM Excellence Award - Prize winner for People Development & Involvement.
The organisation behind the prizes is EFQM (The European Foundation of Quality Management). Its raison d’être is to inspire and help companies throughout Europe to Foundation of Quality Management). Its mission is to inspire and help companies throughout Europe to participate in improvement activities ultimately leading to excellence in customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, impact on society and business results.

Grundfos NoNOx Urea Dosing System
In 2002, Grundfos NoNOx A/S started development of a dosing pump for SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction), for heavy-duty diesel engines. The SCR process removes the poisonous nitrogen oxides (NOx) from exhaust gases by dosing a precise amount of a reducing agent, urea.

The NoNOx system represented the first step for Grundfos in the automotive segment and it was launched in Europe in 2006 for Cummins Euro 4 applications.


Carsten Bjerg becomes Group President

Carsten Bjerg took up the position as Group President after Jens Jørgen Madsen. He Joined Grundfos in 1997 as Director of International Production. In 2000 Carsten Bjerg became member of Group Management overseeing production and logistics, Research and Technology, eBusiness and Quality. In 2004 he was appointed Group Vice President before becoming CEO and Group President in 2007.

Grundfos BioBooster
Grundfos Biobooster was introduced in 2007 as a decentralized wastewater treatment system. The technology enables industrial manufacturers to treat wastewater on site. This reduces the load on municipal wastewater treatment plants and minimizes the need for heavy investments in infrastructure. The system is compact, has minimal carbon footprints and is odourless so it can be situated in residential areas.


Innovation intent
In 2008, Grundfos introduced the Innovation Intent which focuses on the long-term innovation efforts.
The common denominator of the Innovation Intent is to put sustainability first, to be there for a growing world, and to pioneer new technologies - in brief: Concern, Care, Create.


Grundfos LIFELINK is a business unit with a social purpose, which was established with the purpose of developing sustainable water systems, primarily for rural areas in developing countries. The arrangement is made possible by various organisations donating the system to a village. The villagers then pay for the water by mobile phone, and these payments covers the maintenance of the system. The first system was established in Kenya in 2009.


The 2010s

The iconic submersible pump celebrates its 50th anniversary, while next-generation circulators and new magnet motors lead the way in efficiency. Grundfos is recognised at the UN for its commitment to making water and sanitation available for all.


Energy savings with new motor
Grundfos introduced their first pump with permanent magnet motor, ensuring significant energy savings of up to 70% compared with other pumps of a similar size.


A new generation of circulators
The ALPHA2 and MAGNA3 hit the markets.
The new ALPHA2 offered the highest efficiency for any domestic circulator in the industry with an EEI of 0.15- 20% EuP benchmark level. Designed from the inside and out its new features make installation, control, and optimisation easier than ever before.
The MAGNA3 is more than a pump. It is a full range of intelligent, high-efficiency circulators for heating, cooling, ground source heat pumps systems and domestic hot water applications.


Expansion in Hungary
Grundfos inaugurates new facilities in Székesfehérvár. The state-of-the-art facility is home to production, testing and D&E and is the fourth production site in the country.


Mads Nipper joins as new CEO
After a long and successful career at Lego, Mads Nipper joins Grundfos as new Group President and CEO.


Grundfos Olympics - Bigger and better than ever
1,200 Grundfos employees from 55 countries met for the Grundfos Olympics, held in Bjerringbro and its surroundings under the banner of ”Teambuilding and Friendship”.

UN climate award goes to Grundfos
Grundfos won the prestigious United Nations’ Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award in the ICT category. The award was given for the Lifelink water solution that provides reliable and sustainable water supply in developing countries.


The 2020s

After 25 years at Grundfos, Poul Due Jensen, grandson and namesake of the founder, becomes CEO. We continue our promise to protect, respect and advance the flow of water.


Poul Due Jensen is our new CEO
Crucial to the appointment is Poul Due Jensen’s global experience, strong results, leadership qualities and values. He has been an invaluable part of Grundfos since the turn of the millennium, and since 2015 he has been a central part of the Group Management.


Grundfos to the power of four
Grundfos organises into four Divisions with full end to end accountability to accelerate innovation, become easier to do business with and become a more rewarding place to work, learn and grow. The Divisions – Commercial Building Services, Domestic Building Services, Industry and Water Utility – form one Grundfos, united by our purpose and values.

Get to know Grundfos even better

You’ve explored the history, now’s your chance to get to know us better. Read about the Grundfos Foundation, meet the people we work with and see the possiblities to visit our facilities.