Josef Taprogge, born 15 November 1914 in Duisburg in the Ruhr region of Germany, studied engineering at Aachen University. After graduating, he worked as an engineer at Siemens KWU in Erlangen. At the end of the 1940s, he started to work for the Bergisch Electricity Board (BEV) at the Essen-Kupferdreh power station. He initially assumed the role of a plant engineer, but very quickly rose through the ranks to the position of plant manager. In addition to the duties he had to perform as the manager of the power station, he focused his attention very early on to the issue of condenser cleaning with the support of the management board who were in charge at the time.
In response to this task, he invented a system that would clean the condenser tubes when the condenser was running. His system removed incrustations and coatings from inside the cooling tubes through the use of circulating sponge rubber balls. From the moment the first system was put into operation, it quickly became clear that it didn’t just increase the availability of the turbine condenser, it also considerably reduced turbine energy use. Josef Taprogge therefore succeeded in creating an extremely useful piece of technology that would pay immense dividends – the “TAPROGGE System” was born!
It was his brother Ludwig Taprogge, born 18 September 1920 in Duisburg, who saw the potential in turning this technical concept into a commercially viable solution.
Ludwig achieved his goal on 1 March 1953 when he was still a student. From his parents’ house in the Angermund district of Düsseldorf, he founded the company he called “Ludwig Taprogge Dipl.-Kfm, distributor of supplies for surface condensers and other heat exchangers”. Unfortunately, his brother Josef died at a young age and only lived to see the TAGPROGGE company during the early stages of its development. Ludwig continued running the company on his own.
Under his leadership, the company launched the “TAPROGGE System” and other innovations, such as the “TAPROGGE Cooling Water Filter” onto the power station market with great success. He was also able to ensure that the company’s products would become essential components in thermal power stations and thermal seawater desalination plants.
He used his considerable business acumen and sense of entrepreneurial responsibility to successfully steer the TAPROGGE company through its start-up phase to become an invaluable partner recognized for its technological expertise in power stations and seawater desalination plants all around the world.
As the years went on, TAPROGGE developed from a “single product/single market” company into a “multiple product/multiple market” company.
A large research and development department ensured that this remained the case well into the future, supported by businessman Detlef Taprogge who joined the management team in 1987 and represented the second generation of the founding family.
He was the energetic driving force behind the company’s internationalization strategy, opening up new markets and strengthening TAPROGGE’s global presence by opening up further TAPROGGE operations in locations all around the world.
His continuous efforts to develop new business areas have resulted in numerous additions to our product portfolio and have enabled us to develop completely new fields of application. We can certainly look to the future with a great deal of optimism.