Übach-Palenberg, Germany

NEA and HOERBIGER – A Proven Partnership

[ Published in HOERBIGER@MOTION 01/2011 ]

Customers from the refinery business, the petrochemical and chemicals industries, as well as from the field of natural gas applications rely on the company's experience: for more than 100 years, NEUMAN & ESSER (NEA) has been a leader in reciprocating compressor technology. The company offers a product portfolio featuring compressors in a wide range of sizes and designs for solutions that are tailored to the customers’ needs and maximum requirements. Compressors with 100,000 Nm³/h volume flow, 30,000 kilowatt drive power and 1,000 bar pressure form the benchmark of the performance spectrum. HOERBIGER has worked with this well-established firm for 50 years.

Reciprocating compressors play a key role in chemical and petrochemical processes, which require them to function reliably–around the clock. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Absolute reliability is therefore the highest maxim of NEUMAN & ESSER’s corporate philosophy–flanked by quality, flexibility and fairness towards customers and peers as well as a historically grown sense of tradition.

Founded in Aachen, Germany, in 1830, the company has been owned by the Peters family since 1891, now in its fourth generation. The original portfolio–hydraulic presses, rolling steaming presses, oscillating steam engines and shearing machines–was expanded around 1900 to include piston steam engines, compressors, as well as vacuum and liquid pumps. Slow-running reciprocating compressors for applications in mining and in the process industry gradually developed over time into the strongest area of operation. Today, the company offers a product portfolio featuring compressors in a wide range of sizes and designs.

Just as important as reliability is technological leadership: it has always been the performance goal of the NEA brand to be one step ahead of the competition. The central department for research & development, for example, the Central Engineering Division, has ten employees in order to spur on developments independently of projects for the sole purpose of constantly advancing the existing portfolio–culminating in completely new developments in the context of product innovations.

A business partner who has helped to carry forward NEUMAN & ESSER's advances in technology since the 1950s is HOERBIGER Compression Technology. Compressor valves are–apart from unfinished castings and forgings–the only key components that NEUMAN & ESSER does not manufacture in-house. During operation, they are the most sensitive component of the compressor. The design and functionality of the valves crucially determine the performance of the compressor. The requirements that are placed on the partner are accordingly high.

The collaboration has long gone past the classic compressor valve. At the end of the 90s, NEUMAN & ESSER was the first manufacturer to equip its compressors with the electrohydraulic HydroCOM control system developed by HOERBIGER. In the following years, NEA compressors made a significant contribution to the worldwide distribution of the HydroCOM system–with large quantities not only in Europe, but in key markets such as the USA, Brazil, China, and India.


The collaboration between NEUMAN & ESSER and HOERBIGER began with the delivery of steel plate valves. Today, numerous compressors built at NEUMAN & ESSER are equipped with valves from HOERBIGER. Beyond this, as many as 20 of the large compressors built every year are fitted with a HOERBIGER HydroCOM system, which regulates the capacity of the compressor by actively influencing the closing of the anti-cavitation valves. Moreover, NEUMAN & ESSER is working on introducing the RecipCOM monitoring system in its new equipment. The system enables continuous condition monitoring of all critical compressor components, and if necessary, additionally provides reliable machine safety cut-off within seconds.

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NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP (NEA) is a leading manufacturer worldwide of reciprocating compressors for refineries, the petrochemical and chemicals industries, and natural gas applications. In addition, NEA compressors are used in air separation as well as in the steel industry. Originating from the group headquarters in Übach-Palenberg in Germany, NEUMAN & ESSER operates 19 companies at ten international locations. Worldwide, the group has approximately 850 employees.


For 50 years, the NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP and HOERBIGER have been associated with each other: HOERBIGER Ventilwerke in Vienna, Austria, established itself as a premium supplier for compressor valves for the traditional company over this very long collaboration. Specialists from both sides exchange ideas - especially when it comes to difficult applications requiring special solutions.