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Founding Generation

  World's First Single-Stage Rotary Vane Air Compressor - Mod. A12
  The Largest Single-Stage Rotary Vane Compressor - Mod. F360
Giacomo HILFIKER (1895-1964), founded Pneumofore in 1923   The A12 (1927) was the world's first
single-stage, lubricated rotary vane air compressor
  Released in 1964, the F360 air compressor was the largest single-stage rotary vane compressor in the world


Jakob (Giacomo) Hilfiker, a cousin of Hans Hilfiker (known for the clock design found in all Swiss train stations) follows the familial bent and trains in Engineering at Winterthur's Technical Institute. After matriculation he works for Sulzer and other leading Swiss technology companies before establishing Pneumofore in Turin in 1923 with partner J. Rehsteiner.

The new firm deploys the rotary vane design in the production of industrial air compressors, vacuum pumps, furnaces and blowers. Focus of R&D during this period is on performance, reliability, and growing capacity. Jakob's lifelong work culminates in what is at that time the first and largest single-stage rotary vane compressor worldwide, the model F360 of 400 kW.

Second Generation

Rotary Vane Air Compressor, Vertical Layout - Mod. UP9   Air Compressors and Recovery Heating   Pneumofore - Intensive Oil Injection Diagram
UP9 with vertical layout, 55 kW, 75 dB(A) from 1987   Recovery of cooling air used for heating, 1991   Intensive oil injection and minimal power need during idle operation


Sons Alfred Hilfiker and Robert Hilfiker, a graduate of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), assumes leadership of Pneumofore in 1964. Work begins on numerous innovations: air-cooled compressors and vacuum pumps, vertical machine layout, tangential vanes, turbobooster for automobiles, and more.

The patented technology of Intensive Oil Injection, developed in collaboration with researchers at the ETHZ, results in high-efficiency air compressors. From 1970s on, Pneumofore experiences strong growth and the development of new markets abroad.

Focus of R&D concentrates on energy efficiency and environmental integration, key cost factors for any industry after the 1980s. Larger air-cooled vacuum pumps are refined in the 1990s to meet the needs of newly-emerging markets.


Present Generation

Air Cooled Vacuum Pump - Mod. UV50   Dual Stage Vacuum Pump with Root - Mod. UV30   Air Cooled Rotary Vane Compressor - Mod. A35.4
Air cooled UV50, ready to use, unique sale proposal, 2000  
Double stage, UV30 with roots pump, 3.700 m3/h, 0,05 mbar(a)
  A35.4 rotary vane compressor, 2,5 bar, vertical, 5 years warranty


Robert's children Regula, Martin and Daniel Hilfiker, also an ETH graduate, join the firm at various points in the 1990's and contribute to modernizing the company's infrastructure. The T and UR Series air compressors are developed to satisfy a growing international demand for units capable of operating in extreme climates.

Focus of R&D extends to reduction of customer's Life Cycle Cost. The Pneumofore Vacuum division produces the UV50, the world's largest air-cooled single-stage rotary vane vacuum pump. Daniel Hilfiker becomes actively engaged with international associations such as Pneurop to determine standards for the pneumatic and vacuum industries. He becomes board member of the council Pneurop and President of Compo for seven years (1997 - 2004).

Daniel Hilfiker succeeds Robert as President and CEO in June 2006.


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simple, reliable & durable

Direct coupling means few moving parts, low rotation speed, low temperature. This virtually eliminates repairs and ensure superior reliability and longevity.

high energy savings

Air cooling through vertical layout, direct coupling, and intensive oil injection can result in up to 70% less power usage than other systems.

designed for extremes

Tested and proven for high performance in desert and tropical climates and available for special requirements like explosive gas or food safety.

low cost of operation

Low maintenance, negligible repairs, high energy savings and high reliability (no production downtime) make this the least costly long-term option available today.

easy to install and run

Ready-to-use turnkey system with optional Variable Speed drive. No foundation or water needed. Compact footprint with heat recovery. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.

first class support

Each unit comes with integration engineering and a 5-years warranty. Extraordinary and regular service by Pneumofore certified professionals is available worldwide.