ASIO CELEBRATES ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY … a reason for retrospection and de-liberation as how to proceed in the future

13. 6. 2023

In the turbulent waters of the nineties, a company emerged on the market that was founded as a grass root development (or more exactly in a living room), and due to a certain conjuncture, it (ASIO = in Czech it means ‘perhaps yes’) quickly established itself within the professional water-management community. More than 150 visitors were already present at its first workshop in Brno, at the Observatory (in the pre-internet era). Perhaps unknowingly, the observatory environment facilitated to set the corporate goal - per aspera ad astra. In addition, along with this goal, nevertheless the path has been knowledgeably initiated – to be innovative, international, and reliable. The innovativeness is the very property that characterises the company on the first sight.  Due to its internationality and understanding of trends, the company was instantly on the Czech market the first one with several products and technologies, and it won recognition by its development in products, technologies, and - in the first place  - in the application of the sustainability principle in this sphere. Water should be recognised a precious and protected source.

Case One – Austria and domestic wastewater treatment plants

In the “nineties” Austria decided to make its requirements for discharging of water from decentralised sources more restrictive and so this soon became the standard for the so called „volbiologische Kläranlage“. This was an opportunity for the company to help the Austrians with the development of such equipment. Once clear that it would be more simply to supply such equipment directly, it was decided that to export the treatment plants and acquire thus the development necessary sources in the Czech Republic. Therefore, the trips to the Alps can be linked together with visiting of our treatment plants – there are hundreds of them, and more than often in the attractive environment of mountain chalets. However, time and tide wait for no man, and the company stayed with the domestic plants innovating them continuously. Skipping the membrane types, the last development achievements consist in AS-MOcomp SBR treatment plant with internal sludge processing and extensive plants AS-ANAZON and AS-VERTIKALWETTLAND. By this, the circle has been closed because their development inspired the trends in Austria, where the extensive types of WWTP (wastewater treatment plants) are the most officially approved plants at present. As we - Czechs - are always more conservative, these plant types are still searching for their applications in our country so far.

Case Two – Light-liquid separators

In technical terms, we were have drawn our inspiration in Austria, and placed on the market light-liquid separators – we supplied a lot of them. Many years ago, they represented our most successful product. Unfortunately, the separators serve as an example how it is possible to destroy the market and depreciate the product useful purposes. Vague legal regulations, and on that account a free access to the market for the products five times smaller with alleged (and unrealistic) output values (only the solubility of oil substances is higher than the guaranteed properties), resulted in the market degeneration. In my opinion, this contributed also to the fact that the hydrocarbon quantities are not being reduced in surface water for many years. A functional replacement is still to come, unless the composition of underlying layers under permeable surfaces, absorbing and degrading oil substances could be thought such a novelty. Verifications of such surfaces and layers are the result of the corporate research projects conducted by ASIO. As usual and characteristic for us, we have a new verified technology, but still we have to beat a path for it to its practical use.

Case Three – HDV and blue-green infrastructure

Although our sales in light-liquid separators dropped down, still every deficiency has a positive aspect, and so we were compelled for search of other areas of activities, and this even in more exigent and – at the same time – desirable areas. In France, we were inspired by AS-NIDAPLAST soak away belts and for several years, we were their only supplier in the Czech Republic. Permeable surfaces (and grass pavers) with AS-TTE GRIDs followed along with water recycling technologies and currently we can also offer smart trees AS-SMART TREE. If we add, on top of all this, the utilisation of rainwater offered for more than twenty years (for instance, we have supplied several hundreds of them to Germany twenty years ago), then a major part of our production is aimed, at the same time, to fighting the drought. Our novelty consists of products for rainwater treatment guaranteeing such quality that it is possible to use the water for personal hygiene purposes - AS-RAINMAN.

chytrý strom AS-POUSTR


Case Four - Technology segments and corporate reorganization (split-off)

Apart from the product range, the technology supply segment has been developed as well. From the very beginning, in dribs and drabs, even though the first invoice issued by newly incorporated ASIO was for the supply of neutralisation station for a soda factory. However later on, this development got stronger and the first peak was certainly the supply of plant for underground water treatment as a part of rehabilitation of the ARAL terminal in Ludwigshafen (Germany).

At present, the sales in technology are comparable to the volume of product sales. Due to the different nature of both sales and marketing, the corporate reorganization was a logical outcome, i.e. split-off to ASIO NEW, spol. s r.o., a company dealing in the piece goods development and supply, and to  ASIO TECH, spol. s r.o., a company dealing in the technology development and supply. In this way, a novelty does not need to be a completely new product or technology, but the so-called Eureka effect. In such case, this is the understanding that sometimes it is necessary to divide, in order to understand the customer needs accordingly.

Case Five – ASIO TECH, spol. s r.o. and new trends

Apart from realised supplies of smaller municipal wastewater treatment plants, the most successful range of recent years is water recycling and water purification projects, and industrial wastewater treatment plants. Mainly in the sphere of municipal & industrial wastewater treatment plants, we are already a well-established, long-standing company. The company brought to the market innovations in the sphere of sludge dewatering and (chiefly) in odour control solutions.

However, even the consequent development has not stagnated; for instance, our own R&D Department verified technologies using granulated sludge and processes for municipal wastewater recycling, where we are again the pathfinders, whether it concerns water recycling in public swimming pools, or sludge thickening.

Recyklace bazénových vod AS-POOLREC

AS-POOLREC – Swimming pool water recycling

Case Six – Sustainability and endurance

At the very beginning, it was an implication, i.e. the content of which we did not understand to very details. However, today this is our corporate philosophy and trend supported by research projects, such as those for determination of Carbon Footprint in various technologies. Both companies are thus orientated to sustainable technologies, so that apart from the orientation to natural processes, from the one side of ASIO NEW spol. s r.o. and ASIO TECH spol. s r.o. on the other side, are directed to technologies, where minimum quantities of waste are produced (membrane technologies), and where water is recycled or consumed energy minimised. In this case, ASIO TECH spol. s r.o. offers audits, and it is able to pilot its solutions, thus in the end, those solutions are made-to-measure.

Case 7 – TA (Travel Agency) ASIO

One of the company objectives was to become an international one, because on the one hand the Czech Republic is a small territory, and on the other hand it is simply necessary for improved stability. Apart from exotic tours (Thailand, Yemen, Iraq, Hawaii …), our effort was streamlined to creating trade outlets in the neighbouring countries. The key aspect helping us in the time of crisis, was the fact that we were involved in supplying large treatment plants to Lithuania (we have supplied there even a plant of capacity of 20K PE). At present, the company is active through its satellites in Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Supplies and licenced productions are under way even in other countries.

It is possible to see, from the above given cases that to start in the past and often endlessly continue, it is a logical development and it is important for the company to follow its visions, i.e. meaning that we do not want to be a “one-use” company. On the contrary, we want to be a reliable company with its own R&D, which is responsive to the needs of our society, and thus providing for our stability.

Another of the important elements helping us to overcome harder periods is our corporate culture several times appreciated as innovative and sustainable. Among other things, ASIO has been awarded as the TOP sustainable company. Nevertheless, the company owes for the most successful deed in this sphere perhaps to the fact that it was possible to handover the company, including its visions, to a younger generation and that the new management proves their energy and determination to proceed further on with the business including a load of new objectives. In June, we will celebrate in the Brno Observatory our 30th Anniversary, where we will wish, simply and plainly, to ourselves another 30 years per aspera ad astra.

Ing. Karel Plotěný