UK pump manufacturer Selwood is redesigning its H series high head pumps and thinks more rental companies should be renting them. Murray Pollok reports from the company's head office near Southampton. Plus, we report on the latest rental pumps.
UK pump manufacturer and rental company Selwood has long been known for its Seltorque S range of vortex pumps - these form the core of its sales and its own pump rental businesses.
Now, the company wants to replicate the success of the S series with some of its other ranges, and it is the high head H range that is now undergoing a redesign that the company describes as "most significant pump development since 2003" when it introduced its ‘super silenced' range.
Tony Killing, market support manager and a 23 year Selwood veteran, tells IRN that the company looked at the S range, "our best selling product, and asked, what do we need to do to replicate that with some of our other ranges. A better performing H range will be well received in the UK and in export markets."
The first new H model is the H100. The new version uses a slightly more powerful 82 kW engine (Cat, Deutz or Perkins - the latter for its own rental fleet) but performance has been greatly improved: capacity is increased from around 200 m3/hr to 225 m3/hr but the delivery head increases from 80 m to 120 m, by virtue of a more efficient hydraulic design.
Mr Killick says redesigned versions of the H80 and H125 models will follow in November this year with the larger H150 and H200 models ready for the Conexpo exhibition in Las Vegas next year.
One consequence of the launch is that Selwood will rebuild all the old H series pumps currently in its fleet - around 114 units - with the wet-end replaced.
Although the S series models are the core pumps in the 4000-unit rental fleet (which includes submersibles), Selwood believes that the redesigned H models will be able to play a more important role. "We would want the H range to sit alongside the S range in our fleet", says Mr Killick, "The new design will put us in that position."
Selwood will also encourage its dealers in Europe and elsewhere to add the H models to their rental fleets. "The model is that our distributors run rental fleets", says Mr Killick, "If they don't rent, we try to encourage them." Dealers who do rent include Abin in Spain, DMTP in France and SE Power in Australia (which now covers the whole of Australia for Selwood)..
Mr Killock says the company is making a push to promote in continental Europe the use of diesel pumps over the more accepted electric submersibles; "Diesels are self-contained, easy to use, and you have your own power source", says Mr Killick.
Selwood has, of course, been hit by the recession like every other equipment supplier. However, it has been fortunate in winning some major orders outside the construction and rental fields. Last year, for example, it won a US$3.5 million contract for 181 pumps from Ecuadorian oil company Petro-Ecuador, and earlier this year it supplied around 300 of its PD75 Spate models to help in the Florida oil spill clean-up operation.
If the H range redesign has been the big project for Selwood, it has been making other technical changes as well. For example, the company is using close coupling on its super silenced S100, S150 and S200 models and also on the super silenced versions of the high volume, limited solids handling D range, including the D80, D100, D150 and D200.
Close coupling is a much better way of connecting the pump and engine shafts - with a bell flange on the pump bolting directly to a flange on the engine, eliminating the need for a flexible rubber ‘tyre' between the two. This reduces noise and vibration and extends the life of the coupling, says Selwood.
The company is meanwhile investing in its own pump rental fleet, sales to which represents around 30% of all its UK pump sales. In addition to the investment in rebuilding the H units, there will be more conversions of open units to enclosed super silenced models, continuing a trend in the pump rental sector that has been clear for over a decade.
"That is the way the market has gone", says Mr Killick, "We have had [partially enclosed] super silenced pumps in the fleet since the mid-90s. In 2003 we launched the fully enclosed units." He says capital expenditure on the pump rental fleet in 2010/11 will be to switch the mix of super silenced to open from the current 40/60 ratio to closer to 60/40.
The refurbishment program started this year with 100 units and Mr Killick says "The demand for super silenced is speeding up all the time." Adding a full enclosure adds around 45% to the cost of the unit.
Changing engine emission regulations are an issue not just for manufacturers of mobile equipment, but also for producers of gensets, compressors and pumps.
Dale Conway, vice president of engineering at Thompson Pump, the Port Orange, Florida-based pump manufacturer, seller and rental company, tells IRN that adding to the technical complications is the fact that some US states, such as California, are over-riding Federal exemptions that allow companies to phase in new machines over time.
For Thompson, which has a nationwide rental business with 2000 pumps representing over half of its business, this will have implications for what pumps can be used where, and may lead to the company having ‘state fleets' in some areas.
Still, Thompson has 40 years experience in the pump market, so has the technical know-how to adapt to new regulations. The company manufactures its own pumps and imports a variety of other models from Europe, including self priming centrifugal pumps from Italy and specialist well point pumps from the Netherlands and Denmark.
Mr Conway, who recently celebrated 25 years with Thompson, gives some examples of recent pump innovations. One of these is an oil free, dry-prime vacuum pump, where the traditional oil cooling system has been replaced with an oil-free system that reduces emissions and smoke, and requires less maintenance.
Like European pump manufacturers, fully enclosed pumps are becoming more popular. Dale Conway tells IRN that Thompson has developed a modular solution allowing a choice of three sound attenuation enclosures offering 30 dBA (at 7 m), 20 dBA or 10 dBA of sound reduction.
This means that a traditional 90 dBA pump can have its noise output cut to 60 dBA. "In rental now, the majority of pumps built new have enclosures", says Mr Conway.
ITT + Godwin
On 3 August ITT announced the completion of its acquisition of Godwin Pumps, the US-based pump manufacturer and rental company. The deal will combine ITT's Flygt and Grindex submersible pumps with Godwin's automatic dri-prime units.
IRN asked Andy Hilton, communications director for ITT Water & Wastewater in Sweden, about the deal:
IRN: Godwin has a massive pump rental business in the US. Do you plan to use this as a model for similar rental operations elsewhere in the world?
Hilton: Absolutely. They have an outstanding rental business, which is an area we see opportunity for growth around the world. Wherever we can, we will look to leverage the skills and expertise of the Godwin people and their diesel-driven product portfolio, which is essential to be successful in rental. Of course, in some global markets, we have a healthy rental business today, which we hope to only improve by integrating the Godwin products into the offer.
IRN: How will the existing ITT pump rental business fit alongside Godwin's rental operation?
Hilton: ITT has a worldwide pump rental business. The size, rental models, approach to the market, etc. differs a lot. Once the transaction is final, we will have to do the hard work of evaluating - market by market - the best way to serve our customers using the assets of ITT and Godwin.
IRN: What is the strategy for the three brands?
Hilton: Our goal is to expand distribution to offer customers a complete range of dewatering products. We will have three strong brands - including the top submersible and a leading dry prime brand.
This, combined with Godwin's excellent coverage in the US and ITT's in the rest of the world, will give us a nice position in the rental and pumps sales markets.
Tsurumi says rental demand returning
Tsurumi Europe reports demand for its pumps from rental companies is starting to recover after a quiet two years.
Takanori Yoshida, assistant marketing manager at Tsurumi Europe, says that "following the global financial crisis, the majority of rental companies focused on the maintenance and repair side of their business.
"They looked after their current rental fleet and customers, rather than purchase new equipment.
"From the beginning of 2010, however, the rental market has been on the rise and companies are once again investing in the latest pumping equipment to expand their range."
At the start of the year the company - which sells the submersible pumps manufactured by its parent company in Japan - announced an agreement with Australia's Sykes Group to sell its Primax automatic self-priming diesel pumps in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Milan-based TowerLight is now selling its contractors pumps under the TL Pumps brand. The range encompasses 4", 6" and 8" versions as well as latest addition, the 12"/300 mm MVSS-460, which has a 1080 m3/hr capacity and the ability to cope with solid material up to 90 mm in size.
The pumps are sold internationally from TowerLight's sales and marketing office in Milton Keynes, UK, led by pump specialist Martin Dickson. The MVSS-460 is "whisper quiet" at 65 dBA (at 7 m), weighs 3300 kg on a twin axle trailer, and will run for 8 hours on a single tank of fuel.
Ralspeed, the UK company that specialises in motor control and ‘soft start' systems, has launched the Power Cube panel that will control multiple submersible pumps. The panel replaces up to six ordinary control panels and is available in two sizes covering 1-15 kW and 15-60 kW.
It houses four soft starters, a distribution panel and an ultrasonic/GSM panel in a IP65 enclosure with a rain canopy and a rigid mounting frame. Ralspeed says the Power Cube "greatly reduces the amount of wiring needed on site, it also minimises the time it takes to get pump control systems up and running."
This trash pumps is one example of the range of small contractors pumps manufactured by Fuji Heavy Industries in Japan and sold in North America by Robin America, Inc and in Europe by German-based Robin Europe.
The centrifugal-type pumps - branded Robin in Europe but Subaru in North America - are available in models with 2", 3" and 4" discharge outlets, powered by Subaru overhead cam or overhead valve petrol engines.
The 2" PKX201T is powered by the EX17, a 6.0 hp (4.4 kW) overhead cam engine, and delivers 185 gallons/minute (50 m3/hr), while the 3" PKX301T is powered by the 9.0 hp (6.6 kW) EX27 engine, and has a discharge capacity of 314 gallons/minute (85.7 m3/hr).
The 4" PTV405T has an 11.0 hp (8.1 kW) EH34D overhead valve engine and a delivery of 528 gallons per minute (144 m3/hr). The 2-inch model can handle solid debris up to 3/4 inch, and the 3- and 4-inch models can handle solid debris up to 1-1/4 inches.
Wacker Neuson has introduced a new sub-group of submersible pumps in its PS series. The new PSC pumps can handle clear and trash water as well as waste water and liquid containing fibrous particulate matter.
Integrated cutting equipment breaks up larger pieces of solid matter. In addition, the company has launched aluminum DC submersible pumps as a lightweight option for use in construction.
SPP Pumps has launched a dedicated Parts division, operating separately from the Service division and with almost double the previous workforce. SPP said the aim was "to provide genuine SPP parts but to be recognised as a supplier for the whole pump package, whether that be an engine, a gearbox or pipework components. Whatever the part, SPP can provide."