Argo-Hytos has pushed tech for hundreds of years


One of the oldest businesses in Ohio is operating behind the familiar red, white and blue Argo-Hytos sign
on Interstate 75 in Bowling Green.
Originally built in 1667 by Lánov mayor Krištof Weisz, the company’s oldest facility was originally a
paper mill in the modern Czech Republic. With that construction, Argos-Hytos was on the forefront of
hydraulic and fluid management technology manufacturing.
“We were kind of the overbuilt high quality of the market,” said Patrick Green, vice president and
general manager of the Bowling Green office.
He grew up in the world of farms in Iowa, familiar with some of the vehicles that utilize Argo-Hytos
It all comes down to their precision manufacturing, where hundredths and thousandths of an inch make a
big difference.
They don’t make the vehicles or “cobots,” but they make the hydraulic-related parts that go into the guts
that make the front end loaders, backhoe buckets and other heavy hydraulic powered equipment work.
Christian Kienzle, the CEO​, calls the robotic work “cobots.”
“(Cobots are) a little kinder and gentler than robots. Christian uses the phrase all the time, to
describe robotic automation that also relies on human interaction,” Green said.
The vehicles can be forklifts or earthmoving utility vehicles, with wheels or tracks.
Argo-Hytos has been in Wood County since 1998, but in 2004 moved to the current location at 1835 N.
Research Drive.
Owned by the Kinzle family with more than 1,600 employees worldwide, Argo-Hytos combined the German Argo
and Czech Republic Hytos corporations. Today, they have facilities in 16 countries with headquarters in
Switzerland. While there are manufacturing facilities in Europe and Russia, some of which are former
Soviet Bloc military manufacturing facilities, there are also newer facilities in China, India and
Facilities in the United States are showing some of the fastest growth.
Argo was a German manufacturer that made its mark with its 1952 patent on the magnet-splitterfänger,
which translates directly as splinter catcher. Invented by Argo for the Volkswagen automobile
transmission, it catches steel shavings that might come off the gears due to wear and tear.
They were also making hydraulic valves and oil filters, with increasing precision and quality. By the
1990s the quality was considered too high for much of the automotive sector, but increasing automation
in the agricultural and construction vehicle sector, combined with increases in the size of vehicles and
their safety needs, eventually required the Argo-Hytos specifications.
Specializing in work with mobile off-highway vehicles, for construction, agriculture and municipal
management, they also work in stationary application hydraulics for manufacturing, as well as parts for
wind power applications.
“We’ve gone up more than 20 percent per year, compounding,” Green said.
That kind of growth has been happening for the last decade, which means they will also be needing more
The current building started as just warehousing with reshipment of product made in other parts of the
Work in the United States is currently light manufacturing and assembly, but that is set to expand
dramatically because of the light weight composite tank systems for the compact loader markets.
“It’s not efficient to ship ​empty tanks overseas,” Green said. They will be making the injection-molded
tanks here in the United States, instead of shipping across an ocean.
The tanks look like a gas tank, except this will be for hydraulic fluid. They have a number of different
sized hoses coming in, complete with any filtration system, designed to be an efficient shape for
whatever will need that type of hydraulic application.
“We follow our customers,” Green said, using their own standard called ALMA (Assembly and Light
Manufacturing)​ for in-house production.
Aside from keeping the cost of shipping down, it will also increase the speed to market.​
Expansion to the next building is already planned, with construction, or a move happening in the next
three-to-six years. By that time, they will have increased to more than 30 employees from the current
“​Growing up around farms, being on combines and tractors, it’s kind of nice being on the development
side of large agricultural and construction vehicle manufacturing business,” Green said.

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