We produce fluid power solutions


2003 ARGO & HYTOS merged and now operate as ARGO-HYTOS.

On this page the history of ARGO (Kraichtal, Germany) is displayed in black, the history of HYTOS (Vrchlabí, Czech Republic) in red.

To have a closer look at the complete history of the HYTOS part of ARGO-HYTOS in Czech Republic, please click here.

75 years of ARGO-HYTOS

July 2022 ARGO-HYTOS celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
From its foundation in 1947, the company has evolved into a worldwide acting supplier of smart system solutions for Fluid & Motion Control and Filtration technology. Especially in the mobile hydraulics sector ARGO-HYTOS has developed into one of the innovation leaders.

  • New filter element production at Kraichtal
  • CEO / CFO Erich Hofer

Organizational changes within the ARGO-HYTOS Group AG

July 2021:  Mr. Christian Kienzle hands over the position of CEO to Mr. Erich Hofer and will now, in his new role as Chairman of the Board of Directors, focus more on the organizational and strategic orientation of the Group.
"After almost 10 years at ARGO-HYTOS, I am pleased to take over the overall responsibility and to further expand our position as a world market leader in fluid technology & hydraulics." says new CEO Erich Hofer, who will also continue to hold his position as CFO of the group.

December 2020: Stefan Schindler joins the ARGO-HYTOS Group AG as CMO. He is responsible for all sales companies and the sales of the production companies in the Sales & Marketing division. He is thus the central contact person for our customers.

August 2020: The filter element production was relocated to the new Smart L.E.A.F. plant in Kraichtal. After the relocation, production in the new filter element factory has successfully started as scheduled.



With smart production into the future.

2020 ARGO-HYTOS GMBH completes construction work on the new SMART L.E.A.F. filter element factory in Kraichtal after 11 months. Official move-in is scheduled for August 2020

2020 AHCZ receives best supplier award from its important customer TOS Varnsdorf

January 2020 Merging of the Swiss companies FSP Fluid Systems Holding Ltd with ARGO-HYTOS Management + Consulting Ltd to form ARGO-HYTOS Group Ltd

2019 High flow solenoid operated cartridge valve family in size 12
New Filter Element Series EXAPOR®MAX 3: standard redefined

2018 Overcentre cartridge valves family



  • Smart L.E.A.F
  • Award by TOS Varnsdorf
  • Flow valve
  • ARGO-HYTOS goes Augmented Reality!
  • Smart L.E.A.F.
  • Bomag European Supplier Award 2017
  • ARGO-HYTOS s.r.o., Vrchlabí

June 2018: With Smart Production into the future! ARGO-HYTOS invests in new filter element plant in Kraichtal
BOMAG European Supplier Award 2017 - ARGO-HYTOS receives two awards!  

May 2018: Number of employees: 1.400 Turnover: 160 Mio Euro

April 2018: For the first time, ARGO-HYTOS is presenting selected products in Augmented Reality at the Hannover Messe

2018: ARGO-HYTOS s.r.o., Vrchlabí celebrates two anniversaries in 2018: 25 years as a member of the ARGO-HYTOS group and also the 15th “name anniversary” by renaming Hytos a.s. in ARGO-HYTOS a.s.
Screw In cartridge range for High flows up to 150 lpm

Fluid technology has been our passion for over 70 years

07.07.2017 70th Anniversary of ARGO-HYTOS.
Approx. 1300 employees, turnover: approx. 140 million Euro

01.07.2017 After 19 years as Managing Director of ARGO-HYTOS Benelux, Henk Jantzen enters his well-deserved retirement and hands over the position to Anne Bouma

2017 Launch of the first oil service unit UMPC with switch-off function

22.05.2017 Allianz Industry 4.0 awarded ARGO-HYTOS as one of 16 Baden-Württemberg lighthouse projects for the production of the future

April 2017 Distribution of the first hybrid tank to the customer

February 2017 ARGO-HYTOS receives an advisory board  

01.01.2017 Reorganization of the Corporate Board Team: Christian H. Kienzle (CEO), Dr. Marcus Fischer (COO), Erich Hofer (CFO)

2017 New product - proportional valves PRM9-10 and PRM9-06
Load Sensing Kit system for mobile machinery MLS
Extension of product portfolio in explosion proof valves ATEX/IECEx category

  • Oil service unit UMPC
  • 70 years of ARGO-HYTOS
  • Award for ARGO-HYTOS
  • Wear Sensor OPCom FerroS
  • Lightline or High Performance - It's your choice
  • Production of Fluid Management products at ARGO-HYTOS Poland
  • TOP Innovator 2015
  • Opening ceremony of the new building of ARGO-HYTOS, France

We make your products better. Worldwide.

November 2016 After 25 years as Managing Director of ARGO-HYTOS Italy, Marco Bottura enters his well-deserved retirement and hands over the position to Mario Meloni

May 2016 Through a minority stake of FSP Capcellence Beteiligungs GmbH, ARGO-HYTOS has strengthened its competitiveness

2016 Launch of the new filtration and element range Lightline and Exapor Light and of the new portable particle counter OPCount
Start of the production of Fluid Management products at ARGO-HYTOS Poland, switch to extruded housings
Finishing of Screw in cartridge range size up to size 10 UNF
Modernization of modular valves CETOP 05 range

10.7.2015 Opening of the new building of ARGO-HYTOS Forbach, France

2015 ARGO-HYTOS: TOP INNOVATOR 2015 (nominated by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration)
Launch of the new wear sensor OPCom FerroS and the new dewatering unit OPS 550 
Complete new product - MHPS suspension system solution for mobile machines
Robotization of CETOP Product Line

ARGO-HYTOS – We produce fluid power solutions

2014 Introduction of the portable particle counter OPCom Portable Oil Lab
Meeting of business directors from the Association of Engineering Technology at ARGO-HYTOS in Vrchlabí
A complete new product range of valve ATEX/IECEx, Explosion Proof Valves - Implemented a new product range
Hydraulic Drives (Gear Pumps)

25.10.2014 Opening of the ARGO-HYTOS production facility in Yangzhou, China

January 2014 Foundation of a new subsidiary in Istanbul, Turkey: ARGO-HYTOS Hidrolik

12.10.2013 Inauguration of the new company building of ARGO-HYTOS in Zator, Poland

2013 Majority stake in AT Automacao Industrial in Jarinu, São Paulo, Brazil
Market launch of the filter element range Exapor Spark Protect, introduction of the LubMon Connect (Remote Interface) and LubMon Visu (Display Unit and Data Logger)



  • ARGO-HYTOS in Zator, Poland
  • LubMon Connect
  • ARGO-HYTOS Brazil
  • EXAPOR Spark Protect
  • Groundbreaking ceremony, Yangzhou, China
  • Entrance, 2008
  • New corporate building for ARGO-HYTOS Nordic AB, Sweden 2009
  • Production facility, prefabrication area, 2008

2012 Matthias Vorbeck appointed Commercial Director
1200 employees worldwide, turnover: approximately €120 million
Serial production of new proportional pressure valves

2011 OPCom II – Particle monitor for online monitoring of oil purity ECO2 – New filter series for in-line mounting
FNA 110 – New filter unit for gearboxes in wind energy plants
Completion of modular manifold RPEK1-03 development

2010 Dr Marcus Fischer is appointed Technical Director; Dr Wolfgang Mann retires after a distinguished career of service
HYTOS PROTECH headquartered in Ostrava, Czech Republic, renamed ARGO-HYTOS Protech s.r.o.
Successful certification of ARGO-HYTOS PVT. LTD, India, pursuant to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001
Opening of new prototype shop

2009 Ground-breaking ceremony and opening of new corporate building, ARGO-HYTOS Nordic AB, Sweden
EXAPOR®MAX 2 – Innovation in filtration, new generation of filter elements
COPS 010 – New compact drainage device

2008 Opening of new production facility in India
Completion of plant expansion in the Czech Republic
ARGO-HYTOS Company Day in the context of the Czech Association for Hydraulics and Pneumatics



01.06.2007 Conversion of the joint stock company to a limited liability company, the ARGO-HYTOS s.r.o.in Czech Republic

16.03.2007 Ribbon cutting ceremony of the new production hall

2007 Ground-breaking ceremony for new manufacturing facility for ARGO-HYTOS Pvt. LTD., India
UMPC 045 – Mobile filter unit with particle monitor
Founding of ARGO-HYTOS Fluid Power Systems (Beijing) Co., Ltd., China

14.07.2006 Ground-breaking new building
Extension of the production area for about 6000 sqm with high rack storage area and logistics center

2006 Founding of ARGO-HYTOS Polska sp. z o.o., Poland
New return filter series for volume flows of up to 70 l/min
New generation of cartridge valves – designed as slip-in valves
Hydraulic bracket module made from high-quality plastic with integrated suction and air breather filter
PRM7 – Proportional valve with digital on-board electronics and integrated positional feedback
New slip-in valve series

2005 Founding of ARGO-HYTOS Nordic AB, Sweden, as well as ARGO-HYTOS Hong Kong Ltd., China
Opening of new company building for ARGO-HYTOS Inc., USA
First sensor prototype for online condition monitoring of lubricants and pressurised media
Compact filter cooler system FNK, new series of screw-in valves with 3/4“-16 UNF-2 threads
New series of screw-in valves with 3/4“-16 UNF-2 screw thread

2004 Ground-breaking ceremony for new manufacturing, logistics, and administrative building for ARGO-HYTOS Inc., USA
New, high-performance generation of directional valves of the NG 10 series
EXAPOR® AQUA – new water-separating filter elements
New solenoid operated directional valve NG 10
About 350 employees, turnover 60 mill. EUR

2003 Merging of distribution company FSP Fluid Systems Partners GmbH with production company ARGO GmbH für Fluidtechnik; the merged company was renamed ARGO-HYTOS GMBH
Change of name to ARGO-HYTOS a.s.
Open day at ARGO-HYTOS a.s.
10 years part of the FSP-Group



  • New corporate building for ARGO-HYTOS Inc., USA 2005
  • Stand at the Hanover Fair, 2007
  • Opening of new manufacturing facility in India, 2008
  • New directional valve NG 10 (2004)
  • FSP convention booth at the Hanover Fair 1997
  • System solutions promotional poster from 1998
  • Certification in accordance with DIN ISO 14001

From a manufacturer of components to a system provider

2002 Certification of the production area Automotive according to ISO/TS 16949
Solenoid control valve NG3 – large breaking capacity on smallest space
SA-power unit

2001 EXAPOR®MAX – The new ARGO filter element generation with a novel hybrid backing fabric
Extension by prototypes factory

2000 Certification in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001
E 121 – First plastic return suction filter for agricultural machines
Proportional directional control valve PRM

1999 Founding of FSP Benelux B.V., Netherlands
Founding of FSP US, Inc., USA
Extension by thermal deburring

1998 Acquisition of distribution rights for screw-in valves for Integrated Hydraulics Ltd., United Kingdom, for sale in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and the Czech Republic
Segmentation of product range into three areas: Filter Technology & Fluid Management, Control & Regulation Technology, Sensor & Measuring Technology
LS 117 – The first plastic suction filter for industrial trucks



From filter specialists to systems providers

1998 Integration of new Sensor and Measurement Technology business unit
Joint venture with ARTI (ART Instruments Inc., Grants Pass, Oregon, USA) and acquisition of European distribution rights for optical particle counters made by RION Co. Ltd., Japan
Thereby expanding product range to include particle counters for oil hydraulics, water technology and clean room monitoring

1997 Acquisition of Ecotec-Hof GmbH product range by ARGO Ecotec GmbH Systeme für Fluidservice, company of ARGO GmbH für Feinmechanik
Expansion of product range to include oil service devices
Dr Wolfgang Mann appointed Managing Director
50th anniversary
Formation of the subsidiary Hytos Ostrava-Vítkovice spol. s.r.o. by acquisition of VÍTKOVICE - Hydraulika a pneumatika s.r.o. with more than 30 years of experience in project planning and supply of hydraulic systems for divers industries

1996 Start of screw-in valve product line
40 years hydraulics about 320 employees, turnover: about 19 mill. DM
Investment in Varia spol s.r.o, Trutnov, manufacturer of solenoid coils amongst others
Gear control for ZF / AGCO Fendt (for torque-split gears)
Continuous advancement of the wide program of valves, power units and system blocks in all current types and functions as well as proportional valves with the corresponding control electronics. A main focus is the development of customized solutions, relying on approved basic technologies and specifically aligned with the respective demands of the customer.

1995 Founding of FSP-Holding and FSP Fluid Systems Partner GmbH in Kraichtal as a distribution company for ARGO GmbH and HYTOS a.s.
Certification in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001
Construction of the new incoming goods department
Extension of the effective area



  • Ettel paper factory (1772-1851)
  • Machine tool branch factory TOS (1950-1992)
  • First NC processing machine (1973)
  • Company premises in Vrchlabí (2003)
  • Product brochure for release of new return filter „lightline“
  • Expansion of company premises in Menzingen (1991)
  • Dedication of new building (1991)
  • Construction of new reception area Menzingen (1991)

Global expansion

1994 Start of production of Private Label Valves NG 6 for Denison Hydraulics, USA
License agreement with Binder in Villingen for the manufacture of a new magnet for NG 6 valves
Certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001 as one of the first companies in the Czech Republic
President Dr. Ing. Pavel Bergmann, supervisory board chairman Christian H. Kienzle

1993 Company renamed ARGO GmbH für Fluidtechnik
Acquisition of portions of HYTOS a.s. in Vrchlabí, Czech Republic
Start of the distribution of hydraulic filters and filter solutions of ARGO GmbH for fluid technology, Germany
Lightline – First plastic return filter with a new connection design for the return line
Production of small units for adapter ramps

07.07.1993 About 370 employees, turnover: about 3 mill. DM

20.07.1992 Privatisation of the national corporate group and formation of HYTOS a.s. Vrchlabí as Joint Venture of TOS HYDRAULIKA a.s. Vrchlabí and FAG Kugelfischer Georg Schäfer AG (70% FAG, 30% Czech State)

25.08.1992 Dr. Ing. Pavel Bergmann becomes first director and supervisory board chairman

1992 Implementation of the proportional directional control valves PRL1 und PRL2

1991 Completion of new building, floor space expanded from 3200 m² to 9000 m², 260 employees, turnover: over DM 32 million
Heinz Schmidt retires after a distinguished career
Change of corporate form to a joint stock company, the TOS HYDRAULIKA a.s. Vrchlabí

1990 Christian H. Kienzle joins the company as the sole managing director
229 employees, sales of approximately DM 28 million
Founding of ARGO UK Ltd., United Kingdom
Joint venture between FluidTecnica, Italy and ARGO GmbH



Into the future with innovative solutions

1989 After the „Velvet Revolution“ change of name to TOS HYDRAULIKA s.p. Vrchlabí

1987 E 198 – First return suction filter for ski slope grooming equipment

1986 Expansion of the AV building and implementation of autonomous manufacturing

1984 Completion of the new building (tracts of the today’s building of ARGO-HYTOS s.r.o.)

1983 Founding of ARGO S.a.r.l, France

1982 Extension of the product range by servo cylinders. These were awarded by a gold medal on the industrial fair ROBOT 1982 in Brno

1981 Further increase of the performance data, hydraulic components up to 250 and 320 bar

1980 206 employees, sales of approximately DM 17.1 million Expansion of product line – Continuous enhancement and completion of individual model series
Change of corporate form to TOS Rakovník k.p., závod Vrchlabí



  • ARGO convention booth at the Hanover Fair, 1989
  • Advertisement for return suction filter (1987)
  • Sectional perspective of the Exapor® element
  • Expansion of company premises in Menzingen (1970)

From magnetic coils to hydraulic filters

1979 Start of the new building in the open countryside
Construction of a new administration building and production area

1977 Heinz Schmidt, who joined the company in 1954, is appointed the next Managing Director (until 1991)

1976 EXAPOR® – innovative, multilayer filter elements made from inorganic microfibre fleece

1974 Change of name to TOS Rakovník n.p., závod Vrchlabí

1973 First NC-machine

1972 ES 074 – First in-tank suction filter with closed hydrostatic drives

1971 E 103 – First in-tank return filter with integrated air breather filter
Extension of the production programme and increase of the performance data, now pressures up to 160 bar (pumps, hydraulic motors, valves, power units, servo systems)

1970 Expansion of production floor and administrative building
150 employees, sales of approximately DM 8.2 million

We grow along with our products

1968 First production of complete hydraulic units for the whole Czechoslovakian machine tool industry („ZH“ production on order)

1965 Administrative offices moved from Stuttgart to Menzingen, company headquarters now in Menzingen

1960–69 Development of customer-specific filters for gearboxes
First pleated paper filter elements: in the beginning the first pattern was folded using a ruler; the first folding machine was introduced in the mid-1960s

1961 Construction of new building in the Talstraße (now Industriestraße) in Menzingen

1960 Acquisition of current company premises in Menzingen
33 employees, sales of approximately DM 1.4 million

1959 Two-stage pilot controlled valve JHRMT, later on SV4 and SV6

1958 Change of name to Nářadí n.p. Praha, závod 050 Vrchlabí



  • Stand at the Hanover Fair (1957)
  • Production in Menzingen (1961)
  • Company outing, 1961, Lake Constance
  • Brochure program summary (c. 1960)
  • Kienzle splinter guard promotional poster (around 1950)
  • Magnet filter patent certificate from 1952
  • Company outing, 1959, leaving Heilbronn

From Kienzle to ARGO products

1956 Beginning of production of hydraulic valves and pumps up to 63 bar
D 20 – The first flow-through filter

1953 Change of name to TOS Vrchlabí n.p.

1952 Magnetic filter patent

1950s Expansion of product range to include hydraulic filters due to the rapid rise of the German machine construction industry

1950 19 employees, turnover: approximately DM 250,000
Shortly followed by development of an independent manufacturing programme for magnetic and screen filters
Subsidiary of the Czechoslovakian machine building group TOS (until 1992) TOS Čelákovice n.p., závod Vrchlabí
Production of universal lathes (until 1956)



Beginnings in Stuttgart and in Kraichtal

1948 Start of manufacturing of simple sheet metal parts and immersion heaters using machines transferred to Kraichtal during the war, in the decommissioned cigar factory formerly operated by Funke und Huster in Menzingen.
In the first years after the war, production of Kienzle splinter guards, and later magnetic coils for filtering out metallic particles in oil, as well as precision instruments such as vibration recorders, machine monitoring instruments, time recorders and temperature recorders as a supplier to Kienzle Apparate GmbH in Villingen.

1947 July 7th Founding of Argo GmbH für Feinmechanik in Stuttgart by Master of Economics Jochen Kienzle for the production of taxi meter watches and precision instruments, with Jochen Kienzle as the Managing Director and Karl Reichert as authorised representative

  • Administrative offices in Stuttgart in the early days
  • Excerpt from the Trade Register, first register
    entry from July 7, 1947
  • Dr Jakob Kienzle (1887-1954), founder of Kienzle Apparate
  • Kienzle taxi meters sales prospectus (1955)
  • Kienzle Apparate GmbH company site in Villingen (c. 1965)
  • Sales brochures for Kienzle Apparate GmbH

The early years

1945 179 employees
Production of taxi meters under the „Argo“ trademark, tachographs, parking meters, and office machines beginning in 1950

May 1945 61 employees return to work 

April 1945 Cessation of production

December 1945 1200 employees

1945 – 1947 State Administration Production of bearings and gears (until 1953)

Start of 1944/45 Parts of the production process are outsourced due to the war and subsequently transferred to Kraichtal

1939–45 During the Second World War, Kienzle Apparate also produces „war essentials“, such as splinter guards for tank gearboxes

1942 Re-conversion for war purposes into an engine works
Production for the arms industry, Company Friedrich Stolzenberg Berlin, aviation technology and the compagnies Efesko and Jungty

1939 Occupation, conversion of the textile plant into a factory belonging to the chemical industries

1938 Company renamed Kienzle Apparate AG

1929 Dr Herbert Kienzle (1887-1954) resigns from Kienzle Uhrenfabrik due to a dispute regarding the implementation of production line manufacturing and founds Kienzle Taxameter und Apparate AG in Villingen on June 19, 1929
Manufacture of metering devices for automobiles and chart recorders

1928 Manufacturing of the „Autograph“, predecessor of the Kienzle tachograph

1926 Dr Herbert Kienzle takes over as Chairman of the board of Kienzle-Uhrenfabriken AG

The beginning

1922 Company goes public as Kienzle Uhrenfabriken AG, Schwenningen floats on the Stuttgart Stock exchange

1919 Company renamed Kienzle Uhrenfabriken KG, Schwenningen

1914–18 Herbert Kienzle interned in the United States during the First World War, becomes acquainted with Henry Ford‘s assembly line production process

1913 Acquisition of C. Werner clock factory in Villingen by Schlenker & Kienzle C. Werner is the owner of the Argo trademark

1905 Manufacture of pocket watches

1905 Start of manufacturing of taxi meter clocks for use in horse-drawn carriages

1905 Construction of first calculator

1897 Dr.-Ing. h.c. Jakob Kienzle (1849-1935) sole owner of company after the departure of his brother-in-law C.J. Schlenker

1885 Renaming of Johs. Schlenker to “Schlenker & Kienzle”

1856 Founding of C. Werner clock factory in Villingen, manufacturing alarm clocks, regulators and clock mechanisms

1851 – 1939 Textile plant W. Jerie, the plant was bought in 1851 by Willibald Jerie and altered to a textile plant

1822 Johannes Schlenker clock making workshop founded in Schwenningen
Manufacture of wood-spindled watches

1772 – 1851 Paper Mill Ettel, in 1772 Gabriel Ettel bought the plant from the widow of Johan Kiesling

1695 Acquisition of the plant by Tobiáš Kiesling

1667 Formation of the first paper mill in Vrchlabí by Krištof Weisz, mayor in Lánov, on the ground of today’s ARGO-HYTOS s.r.o.



Updated 07/2021
  • Dr Jakob Kienzle (1849-1935), founder of Kienzle Watches
  • Production of taxi meters and tachographs (c. 1934)
  • Advertisements for Kienzle Taxameter und Apparate AG, 1929-1931
  • Kienzle taxi meter plant in Villingen (c. 1932)
Subscribe newsletter