Many milestones have been reached during the life time of HERZ – for a period of 120 years from the turn of the century with the valve factory in the 10th district of Vienna with 12 employees, to an international full-service provider with approximately 2.600 employees in 24 production facilities worldwide.
Franz Gebauer and Viktor Lehrner founded Gebauer & Lehrner and started valve production with 12 employees. The product brochure from 1908 already contained several thousand products from sanitary and precision valves, heating and gas valves to racks for bars, bathtubs and boilers.
Even before the First World War Gebauer & Lehrner employed over 300 people who produced not only valves for gas, water, heating and bathrooms but also fittings for springs and taps for serving beer and wine.
KR Viktor Lehrner (1874-1969) was one of the founders of Gebauer & Lehrner, now known as HERZ Armaturen.
The subsequent difficult political and economic situation during the First World War and the inter-war years could not halt production but the staff shrank to 120 employees.
Gebauer & Lehrner were forbidden to produce valves. The company was excluded from activities in that sector during the war. It continued in a very restricted way and survived on small armament orders. (Torpedo ignitions)
The reorganisation after the Second World War brought great changes and a total restructuring for the company. The restructuring at management level brought modernisation of production and went hand in hand with rationalisation of the product range. For the first time, articles were catalogued and drawings were standardised. At the end of the 1950s came the specialisation in heating valves because of the requirements of market policy and the company was given a strong export orientation.
The production equipment was modernised and precision in production became a corner stone of the success of HERZ products. The first major export successes came in 1964 – a total of 800,000 heating regulation valves were sold internationally. Back in the time of heating systems being regulated by manual valves, HERZ was the first with the development of the "Rekord" regulator valve and the market introduction of the HERZ DR double spindle valve that brought the company further major success.
Research and development were given impetus and the marketing concept bore fruit. 1.8 million valves had already been sold all over Europe by 1970. In the end, increasing awareness of energy and other costs and ever-increasing demands by users for luxury, accelerated the development of the thermostatic valve. The first HERZ thermostatic valve came out of the factory back in 1972. Today thermostats are still constantly being developed and improved. In 1973 the name HERZ was adopted as the name of the firm and from that date the firm of Gebauer & Lehrner KG has been called HERZ Armaturen AG.
In 1986 the firm moved to new headquarters in Richard-Strauss-Straße in the 23rd District.
In 1983 HERZ Armaturen developed a single-room temperature controller TOPTHERM.
HERZ-ETC (7900) is a single room temperature static controller with PI behaviour for automatic regulation of the room temperature. Supplemented with the synchronised time switch (7910 – day programme, 7915 – week programme), it could regulate the temperature at any time.
HERZ also developed actuators (7711 and 7712 – angle pattern), as well as room temperature regulators for radiators and under-floor heating.
In the 1990s the wind of change brought new ownership at the company and in 1996 HERZ Armaturen AG was converted to a limited liability company. Today HERZ Armaturen Ges.m.b.H. has 5 sites in Austria, 3 sites in Europe (Poland, Romania, Slovenia) and 1,500 employees in Austria and abroad. It is the only Austrian manufacturer, and one of the most important internationally, of products for home technology in the fields of heating, air conditioning and domestic water supply.
HERZ focuses on growth and European quality with its commitment to develop continuously and Central European roots. Since its foundation in 1896 HERZ positions itself as a reliable partner for all industrial areas of the construction industry.
In 1995 the next generation of the thermostatic heads DESIGN was presented by HERZ (9230 and 9260).
An attractive design of the HERZ thermostatic heads has been developed in co-operation with Porsche Design GmbH, Ferdinand A. Porsche, of Zell am See, A-5700. This series is offered not only for HERZ thermostatic valves, but also for the valves of other manufacturers (D, H). The models with remote control (9330) or remote sensor (9340) complete a range of the products. HERZ DESIGN thermostat is a basic model for all HERZ DE LUXE thermostats and valves.
In 2003 HERZ extended the range of balancing valves, for example, the highly successful models 4117 and 4217, alongside with differential pressure controllers 4007.
For proper functioning of automatic valves, in particular for two-pipe heating systems radiators and pre-set thermostatic valves (HERZ product lines TS-90-V, TS-98-V and TS-99-FV), a differential pressure controller is required. With this important addition HERZ today supplies a full product range also for the installation and renovation of district heating systems.
In 2011 in the area of building control HERZ extended its product range for high quality control valves. A new control valve HERZ SMART 4006 is a compact addition to the series of fully automatic pressure-relief control and regulating valves of the series 4006.
This volume flow controller with integrated actuator utilizing a thermo-electric continuous drive HERZ 7990 is an ideal choice for the optimized energy-efficient control of the room temperature. By means of these products (HERZ 2117, 2137, 4006, 4037, 7760, 7762 and 7763) the company offers a complete and attractive product line.