1948 to 1960
The revolutionary idea
Hawle’s success story began with a simple question: how do you connect two pipes together?
Engelbert Hawle devoted his time to solving this problem while working at the Steyr factories during the Second World War. His job was to keep the water supply running. This simple question led to a revolutionary idea and the foundation of the company in the Austrian town of Vöcklabruck in 1948.
The ground-breaking invention was the ‘spar flange’ – a ring made of cast iron which made it possible to connect two pipes together and seal them. In a workshop that was modestly equipped but abuzz with ideas and passion, the skilled machinist began to produce this spar flange.
With more and more customers demanding wedge gate valves, he drew on his existing expertise in rubber processing and came up with the next revolutionary product in 1958: the world’s first resilient seated valve, also called the ‘Vulkan’ valve. This development cemented Hawle’s position as a pioneer and spurred him on to continue developing products.
Founder Engelbert Hawle
1960 to 1990
Pioneering inventions in the post-war boom
The establishment of the first production facilities in Vöcklabruck in 1948 was followed by the opening of a branch in Frankenmarkt in 1962. Production of the ‘Vulkan’ valve began and Hawle’s passion for innovation was awoken. A wealth of milestones were achieved in the years that followed:
- 1961 ‘ISO’ fitting (thrust-protected push fitting for PE pipes)
- 1966 ‘Combi valves’ (fittings with integrated gate valves)
- 1967 ‘Elypso valves’ (first resilient seated gate valves in DIN short face-to-face length for PN 16)
- 1983 ‘BAIO system’ (first range of flangeless restraint valves and fittings)
- 1985 ‘Combined air release valve’ (first combined air release valve, specially designed for underground installation without shafts)
- 1985 ‘H3’ (first fully corrosion-resistant surface hydrant)
This pioneering spirit was evident not just in the products being developed, but also in the expansion of the business: by 1989, Hawle had already opened a branch in Hungary.
1990s to 2000
Start of internationalization
Once the borders opened up in Eastern Europe, Hawle began to gradually expand its business activities in this region, establishing branches in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Work also continued on product development:
- 1993 ‘System 2000’ (range of restraint valves and fittings for PE and PVC pipes)
- 1995 ‘ZAK system’ (first range of threadless valves and fittings for service connection lines)
- 1998 ‘E2 valve’ (a new generation of valves with extensive connection options)
- 2000 ‘H4’ (a new generation of hydrants)
2000 to the present day
New company structure
Spurred on by the high demand for its products and services, Hawle kicked off the new millennium with a strategy for dynamic growth and established a large number of branches. An organizational restructuring followed in 2012: Hawle Beteiligungsgesellschaft m.b.H. with Hawle Holding GmbH as its parent company now contains almost all companies of the Hawle Austria Group, both in Austria and abroad, as one organizational unit.
- 2003 ‘Hawle A-valve’ (world’s first mono-design gate valve)
- 2006 ‘Hawle FIT’ (refinement of the tried-and-tested ISO fitting)
- 2008 ‘Vario’ (flexible fitting; angular deflections plus length adjustment and adjustable bolt hole positioning)
- 2011 ‘Synoflex’ (the variable-diameter restraint connection for all standard pipe types)
- 2012 ‘Ball check valve’ (the valve for waste water that is easy to assemble
- 2012 ‘Combiflex’ (the versatile modular solution for all outlets)
- 2013 ‘Hawle butterfly valve’ (the high-performance valve and fitting for water distribution)
- 2018 "E3 gate valve": Further development of the pioneering gate valve technology
- 2023 "H4.live": Digital hydrant for real-time monitoring
The evolution continues...
Today Hawle Austria Group is not just among the world's leading gate valve manufacturers. It also offers a wide variety of other types of valves, including butterfly, check, service and air valves, as well as different types of fire hydrants, fittings and pipe connections.
Hawle has developed a clear, long-term strategy for ensuring that the business stays successful in the future. After all, this family-run company knows just how important it is to fulfill its responsibilities towards its employees, customers, partners and suppliers.
Hawle is taking active steps to tap into further growth areas in the water management sector and contribute to the technological developments that are revolutionizing the world. All this is because Hawle is just like its products: Made for Generations.