120 years of innovation! We're marking this momentous occasion with a celebration of our rich history. Generations have built the legacy that shapes our future. Dive into the story of Pentair in Winterswijk (The Netherlands).


G.J. Nijhuis started his career as a folder at a steam bleaching plant in Boekelo, the Netherlands. But his technical passion soon led him to become a mechanic-fitter at a machine factory and foundry in Enschede. On April 5 1904, he co-founded Machine Factory Wolf & Nijhuis with Th. De Wolf, before establishing his own machine shop in Winterswijk in 1912. During the First World War, he pioneered the suction gas engines and ventured into the production of lightweight combustion engines. In 1917, his shop expanded with the addition of a foundry, and in the 1920s, he began production of slaughterhouse equipment and gas oven fittings for gas plants.


The 1930s and World War II

The 1930s marked a turning point for Nijhuis. Nijhuis Pompen rose to prominence in the pump industry, earning a stellar reputation for their expertise, particularly in the shipping and dairy industry. The company also welcomed the next generation – G.J.'s sons, Herman and Johan. Together, they fueled the company's innovative spirit, achieving a breakthrough with the self-priming centrifugal pump. This revolutionary invention received patents in multiple countries, a testament to its game-changing impact.

However, the tides of World War II forced another shift. In 1940, the company's focus turned towards the development and manufacturing of gas engines, a vital technology for wartime vehicles and vessels. After the war, a new era dawned, with a growing population and an increased demand for food and slaughterhouses. This presented a golden opportunity for Nijhuis Pompen to solidify their position in the pump and slaughterhouse equipment market.


The roaring 70s

In 1976, we celebrated a significant milestone by producing our 25,000th pump which was for the Coyo Ballast Company. This pump, designed for the dredging industry, boasted a capacity of seven hundred horsepower and commanded a price of eighty thousand Dutch guilders. Its exceptional performance earned it accolades and laurels, symbolizing our ongoing commitment to excellence.

Furthermore, 1979 marked the 75th anniversary of Nijhuis Pompen. Despite a slowdown in the shipbuilding and domestic slaughterhouse installation markets, we made a strategic investment in a state-of-the-art test facility capable of testing pumps up to 4000 horsepower. This investment paid off when we secured a major contract in Egypt in 1981. We supplied 235 wastewater pumps for the renovation of 85 pumping stations in Cairo. It marked a turning point: 80 percent of our revenue now came from international markets, a notable shift from previous years.

The '80s and '90s

One of the most important decisions in our company's history was made in 1986. That year, we split the company into three divisions: slaughterhouse equipment was moved to Lichtenvoorde (now Marel), wastewater technology was moved to Dinxperlo (now Nijhuis Saur Industries in Doetinchem) and pump production remained in Winterswijk (now Pentair). The pump division, under the leadership of Jan Nijhuis and Jan de Graaf, gained autonomy with its own management structure. Mr. Wim Lemmens was attracted as Managing Director in 1988. 

A year later, Nijhuis Pompen clinched another substantial contract from Egypt. The Alexandria water utility urgently required thirty vertical pumps and spare parts to address issues in their water supply system. Valued at 7 million Dutch guilders, this order marked a significant milestone.

In 1989 we started with our service activities in Winterswijk, leading to the opening of our first service center in Beverwijk. The expansion continued In 1991, with the establishment of Nijhuis Fire Protection, marking our entry into the realm of major contractors, sprinkler contractors and oil & gas companies.

In 1992, we secured a multimillion-dollar contract for firefighting units for Elf Oil Company, followed by a record-breaking order in 1995 from China for a water purification plant in Nanchang. By 1998, we had secured an order for a testing basin in Wageningen, where we produced our largest propeller pumps to date. Moreover in this year, we invested in a new foundry equipped with three electromagnetic ovens boasting higher efficiency. This move doubled our company's casting capacity. 


2000s and looking forward

In 2001, our Service Workshop in Zevenbergen opened its doors, followed by Tynaarlo in 2004. Both significantly enhancing the service capacity of Nijhuis Pompen.

The following year brought forth a challenging task: the expansion of the IJmuiden pumping station with two propeller pumps for the Dutch government. This was an extraordinary job! With a weight of 120,000 kg each and a capacity of 50,000 liters of water per second, these pumps are true giants of vital importance for water management in an extensive area stretching from North Holland to further inland.

The realization of these pumps in 2004 was not only a technical feat but also earned a mention in the Guinness World Records book. It was a tribute to the dedication and expertise of Nijhuis Pompen in delivering innovative solutions for complex water challenges.


As we built upon this achievement, we also celebrated our 100th anniversary in the same year. This milestone was marked by the unveiling of the artwork "Water Carrier," a symbolic representation of the protective role Nijhuis Pompen played in preventing floods and managing water resources.

The subsequent years witnessed further highlights in Nijhuis Pompen's history, including the development of the fish-friendly pump in 2009 and the recognition of our innovation power with the Aquatech Innovation Award in 2011.

Fast forward to 2024. This year we proudly introduced the Xcentric. This innovative impeller marks a crucial moment in our history. And as if that's not enough, we also celebrate our 120th anniversary. Let's celebrate this special moment together!

Mondrian Pump

Mondrian Pump

What do the world-famous artist Piet Mondrian and our pumps have in common? Piet Mondrian lived in Winterswijk from the age of 8 to 20. Our former director, Jan Nijhuis, purchased Mondrian's old residence in 1982 and lived there until his passing. The villa and the two adjacent buildings have since been transformed into the Villa Mondriaan Museum. In 2017, the art movement ‘De Stijl’, to which Mondrian was a key contributor, celebrated its 100th anniversary. We designed one of our exhibition pumps in the Mondrian style to honor this milestone.

Achterhoek pump

Achterhoek Pump

The Achterhoek region has long been renowned for its Manufacturing Industry. As a true manufacturing company from the Achterhoek region, we take pride not only in our company and products but also in our roots. Our company has been based in Winterswijk since its establishment in 1904. In 2020, we introduced the Achterhoek pump as part of our employer branding campaign. This pump shows everyone in our region that there are still many innovative manufacturing companies in the Achterhoek region offering excellent employment, internship and graduation opportunities.

Anniversary pump

Anniversary Pump

In celebration of our 120th anniversary, we introduced the Anniversary Pump. This pump is designed in the colors of the Dutch flag. The Netherlands is recognized globally as a leader in water management, and we are proud to contribute to this reputation with our decades of knowledge and experience. The orange pennant is a nod to our royal family but also winks at our old Nijhuis branding. And the crown? It symbolizes the many successful projects we have completed worldwide over the past decades.

customized solutions

Customized solutions