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Read editorial articles and press releases from INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG here.

CFD in the wastewater industry

By Press Release

CFD Simulations in the Wastewater Industry: Bridging Theory and Reality

The realm of fluid mechanics is an intricate web of physics, mathematical models, and real-world applications. In the wastewater industry, understanding these fluid dynamics is not just a scientific exercise but a necessity. Enter Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) – a crucial tool that has revolutionized the way we approach and solve real-world fluid mechanics problems.

The Origins of INVENT’s CFD Journey

In the 1990s, the foundation of INVENT by Dr.-Ing. Marcus Höfken signaled the rigorous application of fluid mechanics in wastewater treatment. Having its roots at the Department of Fluid Mechanics of the University Erlangen-Nürnberg under the leadership of Professor Dr. Franz Durst, INVENT was borne out of a genuine passion for fluid mechanics, combined with a rigorous scientific approach.
From its early days, INVENT recognized the potential of CFD simulations, leveraging its capabilities in collaborations with academic institutions. Recognizing its immense potential, the company soon established an in-house CFD department, which quickly evolved to cater exclusively to the intricacies of water and wastewater treatment. From modeling mixers with detailed CAD geometry to multiphase simulations for aerated tanks, INVENT was at the forefront, challenging conventions and elevating standards.

CFD in Wastewater Treatment: Bridging Theoretical and Practical Gaps
But what is CFD? At its core, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the use of applied mathematics, physics, and computational software to model and visualize fluid flows. This becomes indispensable in wastewater treatment.

There are many examples: Aerated tanks, for instance, demand multiphase simulations. Such simulations can help predict the Standard Oxygen Transfer Rate (SOTR), a crucial metric in biological wastewater treatment. Additionally, understanding the movement and behavior of suspended solids and activated sludge is vital. CFD helps in modeling these phenomena, providing insights into particle trajectories, settling patterns, and more.

Furthermore, in stirred tank reactors or in pump stations, the effects at the water’s surface, often marked by turbulent behaviors and leading to vortex formation, can be complex. CFD simulations, by modeling these surface effects, assist engineers in designing and optimizing treatment processes.
As we delve further into the realm of wastewater treatment modeling, the emphasis on particular features and techniques becomes indispensable. Here’s why:

1. Rotating Turbomachinery: One cannot underestimate the importance of precisely modeling rotating turbomachinery. In wastewater treatment plants, these machines play pivotal roles, ensuring efficient flow circulation and solids suspension. Accurate modeling ensures reliable representation of real pumping operation

2. Multiphase Simulation for Aeration: Aeration is critical for the biological oxidation processes in the biological treatment of wastewater. Understanding intricate physics, such as bubble dynamics, is essential. Factors like bubble breakup, their eventual coalescence, and mass transfer are key to reliably predict oxygen transfer rate.

3. Sludge Floc Transport: Sludge flocs, or aggregated particles also require further investigation and careful modeling. When considering the multiphase simulations for their transport, a complex factor comes into play: rheology. As the concentration of these flocs increases, the fluid’s behavior deviates from the Newtonian ideal, adopting characteristics of non-Newtonian fluids. This alteration in fluid behavior, coupled with flocculation effects—where particles come together to form larger aggregates—adds layers of complexity to the modeling process.

However, a significant challenge remains. The behavior of biological compounds in wastewater cannot be explicitly modeled within fluid mechanical equations. This is where the role of a numerical-empirical approach becomes essential. By combine theory with empirical data, we ensure accurate results rooted in real-world observations and validations. The potential applications of CFD in this arena are vast, spanning screenings, hydraulic dynamics, water distribution, and beyond. Think of anoxic tanks, clarifiers, oxidation ditches, anaerobic digesters—CFD has them all covered.

Tools and Collaboration

INVENT is always up to date when it comes to CFD technology. The M-STAR software, with its Lattice-Boltzmann approach for solving Navier-Stokes equations, offers advanced turbulence modeling techniques such as large Eddy Simulation. Powered by GPUs, it permits time-accurate dynamic simulations, providing an unparalleled insight into turbulent phenomena.
Turbulence, after all, is pivotal for mixing. The more accurately turbulence is modeled, the better the predictions related to mixing, a cornerstone in wastewater treatment processes.
Yet, the true strength of INVENT’s CFD department lies not just in its superior software and hardware tools but in its persistent endeavor for numerical validation. By continually comparing simulation results with experimental data, either in collaboration with academic institutions or through onsite experiments at wastewater plants, INVENT ensures the highest fidelity in its CFD simulations.
At the end: the best CFD is much more than a simulation, is also continuous experimental validations and calibration using a numerical-empirical approach.

Conclusion

In a world where precision matters, the use of CFD in wastewater treatment is not a luxury but a necessity. As the industry demands more sustainable and efficient solutions, the bridge between theoretical simulations and experimental validations will be even more vital. INVENT will continue to follow this path and simulate the complex waters in the wastewater industry.

THINK Fluid Dynamix®

Aerobic Digestion

By Press Release

A Strategy for Optimizing Aerobic Digestion: a Cyclical Process

A common misconception for aerobic digestion is that the process must be aerated 100% of the retention time. In redefining this outlook, it has been found that cycling between mixing and mixing while aerating proves to be more effective and energy efficient. By having the ability to turn the air off and on, the system creates aerobic and anoxic phases allowing for further nutrient reduction, improved dewaterability, and increased volatile sludge destruction.

This supports endogenous respiration and nitrification. Many different technologies exist for aerobic digestion, and often multiple types of equipment must be combined to achieve the cyclical process. Fortunately, there are systems that can perform decoupled mixing and aerating with only one device.

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Joint cooking session at INVENT

By Press Release

The perfect lunchbox

The INVENT Health Campaign aims to strengthen the health awareness of our employees and promote their well-being. An essential component of this is nutrition, which plays a fundamental role in a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

As part of this initiative, Antje Bartens, a Diplom-Oecotrophologist and certified nutritionist, visited us. Together with her, we prepared healthy and diverse options for an optimal lunchbox. In small teams, we made a couscous dish, various spreads, assorted salad sides, and much more. We concluded the evening with a shared meal and engaging conversations.

Would you like to be part of INVENT and cook with us? Discover career opportunities now.

Apply now!

Products for Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Industry

By Press Release

Wastewater Treatment for the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Industry

INVENT develops, produces and distributes innovative mechanical equipment, process technology and plants for the treatment of water and wastewater. The company became well known through the development and market introduction of energy-saving and multitasking hyperboloid mixers as well as mixing and aeration systems for wastewater treatment.

INVENT offers a wide range of efficient stirring and mixing solutions for almost every application in the water, wastewater and processing industry. In the field of aeration technology the scope of products includes a variety of membrane aeration systems for biological wastewater treatment which have been developed and optimized for different applications. These are distinguishable by their functional principle, construction and material, so that an optimal solution can be offered for almost all industrial and municipal requirements. The layout and design of an optimum mixing and/or aeration system is a very complex task. It requires a large amount of competence, know-how and experience. In the case of industrial plants e.g. in the oil, chemical or petrochemical industry, it is most important to understand the production process to a certain degree because this significantly influences the wastewater composition.

An INVENT system solution comprises, depending on the customer’s requirements, the plant design, basic and detailed engineering, project management, delivery of the mechanical components, installation of the plant and the training of plant personnel. The mechanical components, such as mixers, aeration systems, filter, pumps, blowers, fittings and instrumentation, control and automation systems, are carefully selected for an INVENT system solution and coordinated with each other. INVENT takes responsibility for the entire scope of the delivery. This approach reduces the number of interfaces and potential sources of failure.

The recently launched INVENT Granular Sludge Reactor (iGSR®) is the first system that fully exploits the potential of granular activated sludge also for large plants: Reduced process times, higher purification performance with a reduced footprint, low energy consumption and reduced life cycle costs, at the same time delivering high reliability. Its modular concept can be adapted to any plant size. Its design offers a higher level of process stability for hydraulic peaks and load fluctuations than any other system. The iGSR® is already in operation in various plants worldwide, with more facilities currently under construction.

INVENT’s engineering and consulting services range from fluid mechanical optimization of hydraulic structures or processes (Think Fluid Dynamix®) to solving chemical engineering problems, flow simulations using CFD or simulations of entire wastewater treatment plants. These tasks are supported by laboratory research, if necessary.

We offer turnkey solutions for your water project in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry!

Check out our iGSR® video!

Efficient iTURBO®-Blower

By Press Release

INVENT iTURBO®-Blower: Tailored Solution for Maximum Performance

Bottom mounted aeration systems are ubiquitous in modern wastewater treatment plants. Essential for these aeration systems is a supply of compressed air to introduce air beneath the water surface. For this reason, INVENT has expanded its portfolio with the highly efficient iTURBO®-Blower to provide an optimal addition to various aeration systems.

Powered by a high-speed PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) with an efficiency of up to 98 percent and frictionless high-performance air bearings, the iTURBO®-Blower operates with an integrated Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). This not only drives the motor but also monitors the torque, power, and speed delivered to the motor, ensuring reliable and low-maintenance operation. The compact and lightweight design of the iTURBO®-Blower also allows for easy installation and features an integrated, low-noise design with motor, turbo impeller, VFD, and control system in a single compact unit. The blower only requires regular replacement of air filters as maintenance work. The interplay of these features can lead to a reduction in operating costs of up to 30% compared to conventional blowers. Furthermore, it features a user-friendly HD touchscreen HMI.

State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Technology

For the production of the iTURBO®-Blower, INVENT has implemented modern manufacturing techniques that allow the blower to be tailored to the specific requirements of a wastewater treatment plant. This technology optimizes energy consumption and perfectly adjusts the operating range to the respective application.

HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System

The iTURBO®-Blower and the widely used HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System in Belgium form a true dream team. The two machines complement each other perfectly, resulting in a reduction of energy costs and maximization of system performance. Due to the wide operating range, this combination can cover a variety of operating points with high efficiency. INVENT can thus offer the complete package and perfectly coordinate both products to optimize overall performance for any aeration task.

With the innovative iTURBO®-Blower and the proven HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System, INVENT offers a top-notch solution for maximum performance in water and wastewater treatment.

Learn more about our iTURBO®-Blower

iSBR®/iGSR®-Process

By Press Release

INVENT’s modern interpretation of the Sequencing Batch Reactor Process

Since the early 1990s, INVENT has been deeply engaged in the Sequencing-Batch-Reactor (SBR) process for the biological treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater. Batch processes offer the advantage of well-defined reactor behavior, consistent conditions, and the exclusion of unforeseen events during the treatment cycle.

With its new innovative interpretation of the SBR process, INVENT delivers maximum process efficiency. The modular design and unique equipment allow for continuous wastewater treatment without the need for large equalization tanks, significantly reducing space requirements.

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INVENT based in Erlangen

INVENT is expanding

By Press Release

Environmental technology: INVENT is expanding

INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG, based in Erlangen, Germany, is experiencing significant growth. In 2022, the company achieved its most successful financial year since the company’s inception. Additionally, many milestones have been achieved which confidently pave the way for the future.

INVENT is a high-tech company with unique technologies for the water industry. Worldwide, an increasing number of wastewater treatment plant, seawater desalination plant, and other water treatment plant operators are relying on innovative technology from Erlangen. The company projects that the greatest potential is in North and South America, the Middle East, and India.

A series of flagship projects underpin the competitiveness of the team led by CEO, Dr.-Ing. Marcus Hoefken. INVENT’s technology can be found in all wastewater treatment plants in New York City, Washington DC, or San Diego, California.

The company’s success can be attributed to developing products for water and wastewater treatment from a fluid mechanics approach – making the Germany-based company a global pioneer. INVENT is the market leader in the fields of mixing and aeration technologies, solid-liquid separation, and system solutions for water and wastewater treatment. Above all, the model series of the HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System with its hyperboloid-shaped mixing body is in great demand worldwide.

INVENT’s services are not limited to the sale of products, but rather offers a complete system solution which consists of plant design, basic and detailed engineering, project management, delivery of the mechanical components, installation and commissioning of the plant, and training of the plant personnel.

Due to the technologies’ robustness and durability, installation of high-tech products requires experience and expertise to ensure that the water is treated as efficiently and effectively as possible. The statement “water is life” is to be taken literally in this sensitive area.

2022’s record numbers

As mentioned, INVENT achieved its most successful year in 2022. The total turnover of the company group reached 28.9 million euros, surpassing the previous record set in 2016. The total number of incoming orders reached a new record of over 35 million euros.

Given the global demand for energy-efficient system solutions in water and wastewater treatment, Dr.-Ing. Marcus Höfken expects dynamic growth for his company in the coming years. The number of secured contracts and collaborations are ongoing and assure the company’s advancement.

Upcoming large-scale project and Joint Venture

In addition to successfully implementing projects in Qatar and Oman, another in the Middle East is charted. After discovering the functionality and quality of INVENT’s technology, engineers decided to use it in the construction of a large wastewater treatment plant in Saudi Arabia. CFD modeling and extensive tests were carried out in the Erlangen laboratory to simulate realistic conditions and to demonstrate the product’s functionality and reliability.

The establishment of a joint venture with JASH Engineering Ltd. India is on the horizon for INVENT. JASH is a globally recognized, specialized manufacturer of various equipment for transport, pumping and treatment of water, wastewater and seawater. “This strategic collaboration was entered into in order to combine their respective strengths and expertise and jointly offer innovative solutions in the water industry,” explains Hoefken.

The joint venture will enable both companies to strengthen their market presence and develop innovative solutions for a wide range of industries; including municipal water treatment, chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, food and beverage, and many more sectors. The CEO adds: “This collaboration will provide Indian customers with groundbreaking solutions, enabling them to more effectively address their water-related challenges and achieve sustainable growth.”

Alternatively in the German market, the granular sludge process plays a major role in water treatment internationally. This is why INVENT’s product developers place a strong focus on it. They have developed the iSBR®/iGSR® system, which allows the combination of several phases of the treatment process in tanks of any size.

Employees urgently needed!

Due to its growth, INVENT needs employees in all areas. While the joint venture with JASH currently employs many in Erlangen, the company’s management is considering building its own production facility in the U.S. as North America is the largest market for INVENT. Meanwhile, at the headquarters in Erlangen – there are considerations for a site expansion. Geppert Ruehrtechnik GmbH, which was acquired in 2016, will be kept as a subsidiary in Erzhausen, Hesse, Germany.

About INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG

INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG is an innovative company in the field of environmental technology with headquarters in Erlangen, Germany and branch locations in the USA, Australia, United Arab Emirates as well as in Italy. INVENT was founded in the mid-1980s by a group of fluid mechanics experts as a spin-off from the department of Fluid Mechanics at the Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen-Nuremberg.

The company was established in its current form in 1995 as a result of a management buy-out led by its CEO Dr. Marcus Höfken. In 2003, INVENT became a stock-holding company. INVENT develops, produces and distributes innovative components and reliable plants and systems designed to clean and treat wastewater energy efficiently. The target group consists both of municipalities as well as industrial companies.

The performance spectrum includes a portfolio of high-performance, high-quality products and services such as mixers, mixing and aeration systems, membrane aeration systems, water filters, flow simulation plus engineering services. A complete INVENT plant solution consists of plant design, basic and detailed engineering, project management, the supply of mechanical engineering components, plant and system installation and commissioning as well as training offered to the system operators.

All INVENT products are developed with utmost care at the headquarters in Erlangen in state-of-the-art research facilities and based on fluid mechanical aspects. This includes an in-house fluid mechanics laboratory and a range of large-scale test facilities.

The objective that INVENT has set is to position itself as the world market leader in the field of mixing technology.

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Aerobic treatment for pulp and paper industry

By General, Press Release, Project Report

Energy-efficient and proven: Mixing and aeration system for aerobic treatment in the paper industry

INVENT uses the example of a large manufacturer of paper and cardboard products for the pulp and paper industry to show why they are the ideal solution for wastewater treatment in this industry.

Some industries are plagued by particularly high energy and water consumption and therefore aim to reduce both sustainably. This is particularly true for the pulp and paper industry. Water treatment plays an essential role here, with INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG providing the best suited products.

An excellent example of the practical use of INVENT technology in paper wastewater can be found in the north of Germany, more precisely in Varel in the district of Friesland. The Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel (paper mill), located on the outskirts of the small town, employs around 600 people on its site. It is not only a major regional employer but also one of the largest production sites in the German pulp and paper industry with a production capacity of around 925,000 tonnes.

The mill has a proud history stretching back 84 years. It mainly produces classic raw materials for the packaging industry and has been progressively modernized and expanded over the decades. As early as 1976, the company was one of the first paper mills in Germany to install a biological wastewater treatment plant. As part of the company’s growth, the plant was expanded to a two-step treatment plant in 1994.

The next expansions – in which INVENT technology came into action for the first time – took place from 2012 through 2014. HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration Systems were installed in stainless steel cages for aerobic wastewater treatment. One advantage of this cage solution is that it can be removed for installation and maintenance and put back in place, even in a filled tank.

The HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System uniquely combines the characteristics of a mixer with those of an aerator, offering very flexible areas of operation and application. Firstly, it provides sufficient oxygen to the activated sludge during the aerobic process to break down the organic load. Secondly, the aeration tank is mixed homogeneously so that both the heavy activated sludge and small particles are kept in suspension.

Due to the energy-efficient operation, high quality and durability of the components the HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System has made a name for itself as the industry standard in the aerobic treatment of paper wastewater in recent decades.

When the operators of the Papier-und Kartonfabrik Varel decided to invest 280 million euros in the production site in 2019, this also entailed a significant expansion of the wastewater treatment plant – and thus an order over another 13 of the trusted HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration Systems with a cage from Erlangen, Germany.

HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration System in the Pulp and Paper Industry

Providing clean water in Qatar

By General, Press Release, Project Report

HYPERCLASSIC® systems provide clean water in Qatar

While star athletes are running on the soccer fields of Qatar, things are also running smoothly at the country’s largest wastewater treatment – thanks to the reliable hyperboloid mixing and aeration systems from INVENT.

The desert is alive! Wherever animals and people settle in the driest regions of our planet, water plays a vital role. The fact that some countries experience an economic boom despite the desert climate comes down to other causes, such as natural resources like oil and gas.

The resources that bubble up each day make dreams come true, build ultramodern cities with trading centers and tourism infrastructure, and even create living spaces in the desert for millions of people. Now more than ever, Qatar is in the public eye as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The capital of Doha and the neighboring city of Al Rayyān in particular is right now playing host to sports-loving businesspeople, media representatives, and private individuals from all over the world. More than one-third of the 2.8 million inhabitants of the desert state live in the city of Doha. Residents and guests need food and in particular water for drinking and domestic use. This is a challenge in the dry, hot climate of the Persian Gulf, and every drop of freshwater is precious.

The city planners are prepared for this. The vast majority of the freshwater is sourced from seawater desalination plants. This is then pumped into the water circulation system and used for human consumption or agriculture. The water and wastewater treatment plants are indispensable parts of this system in this and other modern cities.

The largest in the country is currently the Doha West wastewater treatment plant. Since it was put into operation in 2009, the plant has been expanded several times and is now able to treat an average of 280,000 cubic meters of water each day. Slightly more than 50 percent of the treated wastewater is used for agriculture and around 40 percent is used to water green spaces in the city. The rest is fed into the ground to raise the groundwater level.

To ensure that the plant works smoothly, the client chose technology from Germany – from INVENT, to be precise. No fewer than 48 HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixing and Aeration Systems and 24 HYPERCLASSIC®-Mixers reliably perform their duties in various tanks at the plant each day.

In this way, INVENT technology is contributing to Doha not only being a modern city, but also a green one in which residents and guests can enjoy spending time outdoors and where thriving agriculture is possible nearby. Once the World Cup is over and the next large event is being planned, the HYPERCLASSIC® systems will continue to turn—the final whistle won’t be blown on them any time soon.

For more information, contact our INVENT office in United Arab Emirates:

INVENT Middle East (FZE)
SAIF Office Z3-06
P.O. Box 121720 Sharjah
UAE

Contact INVENT Middle East (FZE) now
IFAT INVENT Stand Übersicht

INVENT at IFAT – A Preview

By Exhibitions, IFAT 2022, Press Release

INVENT Press Release

The focus at the world’s leading trade show for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management from May 30 to June 3, 2022 at the Munich Exhibition Center will be on water and wastewater treatment. INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG will again be exhibiting and is looking forward to welcoming many interested visitors.

Resource management, environmental protection and energy efficiency are the three key factors in a functioning water cycle. With the machines it has developed for mixing and aerating liquids based on fluid mechanical principles, INVENT has been offering highly efficient systems and components for the treatment of wastewater to its municipal and industrial customers for well over 25 years.

As such, the company contributes greatly to the area of water and wastewater treatment. Specializing in aeration and mixing technology, the company will be showcasing its entire portfolio of products at IFAT for visitors to see up close.

With the continuous enhancement of its portfolio, the German technology company has pursued, for one, the goal of boosting the energy efficiency of its products, for example by improving the degree of efficiency. Secondly, the INVENT specialists always strives to be on the leading edge, developing new types of products for problem scenarios, even some that have yet to be solved.

Purification and Education

Dr. Marcus Höfken, President and CEO of INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik AG, considers educating the market to be another meaningful and indispensable task, in addition to developing, manufacturing and selling products for the purification and treatment of wastewater: “A big improvement for everyone would be if we could educate the market a little better so that less accidents happen.”

The expert in fluid mechanics considers it a major drawback that the principles of agitation and mass transfer in water and wastewater treatment are no longer taught at universities. Consequently, companies like INVENT would have to assume this important task. For visitors to the trade show, his highly motivated team has come up with a number of ideas to present the topic of “Process and machine technology in water and wastewater treatment” in a vivid and exciting way.

So at its booth in Hall A2, booth number 327/426, it will offer answers to questions such as “How can I reduce the energy requirement in the biological treatment stage of my plant?”, “What can I do to improve the performance of my wastewater treatment plant using state-of-the-art machine technology?” or “How can state-of-the-art flow simulation substantially boost the efficiency of my processes?”

One of the highlights INVENT will present is its iTURBO®-Blower. This sophisticated high-tech unit is INVENT‘s latest generation of highspeed turbo blowers for water and wastewater treatment, ensuring that tailor-made solutions are developed to meet the requirements of the specific plant. As a result, the high-quality component not only guarantees an effective supply of compressed air, but also optimizes energy consumption and operating range for the particular process at hand.

Expertise is what makes the difference

The iTURBO®-Blower is merely one example of how R&D works at INVENT. It starts by analyzing an existing problem, followed by the scientific preparation and validation of the fluid mechanical processes, then uses this information to design an optimized hardware solution, and finally launches it on the market.

“Our strategy has always been to concentrate strictly on the areas where we believe we can make a difference,” Höfken emphasizes. The pooled expertise, in addition to the existing CFD simulation capabilities within the company, mean that INVENT products are clearly distinguishable from their competitors, even in their design.

Current and prospective customers will be able to experience the product quality and performance for themselves at the trade show booth. From innovative agitation and mixing technology to aeration systems and sophisticated solid/liquid separation, the complete INVENT portfolio will be on display. There will also be detailed information and opportunities to discuss intelligent system solutions, engineering and consulting.

INVENT‘s market-leading and successful strategy has been proven by more than 10,000 agitator installations and tens of thousands aerator installations around the world, with a strong upward trend. Given the background of a continuously growing demand, Höfken is confident that the level of interest in INVENT products will also continue to increase, and with it the need for more highly trained specialists.

There is plenty to do at INVENT. After all, the company follows its ambitious vision “Water needs responsibility!”