By Murray Pollok17 March 2008
In late September Netherlands pump manufacturer BBA spent three days playing host to 180 potential customers from across Europe to unveil the newest addition to its range of pumps.
What they were there to see was a new development of BBA's PT range of double acting piston pumps used for wellpoint dewatering projects. The new PTeconomy versions, available on the mid-range PT 60 and PT 90 models within the PT line, feature a specially modified Hatz 1D81 single cylinder diesel engine with larger oil sump and larger oil filter that lengthens the interval between maintenance checks to 1500 hours.
“It is the unique combination of the BBA piston pump, our E series canopy and the new engine concept which makes the economy line an absolute leader in terms of lowest cost of ownership,” claims Roland Berns, BBA's managing director (sales and servicing division).
A 300 litre fuel tank means the product can run for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to Mr Berns. “That is a huge advantage for the customer, who can run these engines for 1500 hours, 14 days, in fact, without any need for service or maintenance. And when the engine needs field service it is done in Formula One pit-stop time!”
Another feature of the modified Hatz engines is that all the maintenance points for the engine – the oil, air and fuel filters and the oil-changing location – have been moved to one side of the unit, rather than three sides, as was the case previously, says Mr Berns. This makes engine maintenance a lot easier.
The canopy is equipped with BBA's patented E-slide system enabling the full engine/pump unit to slide out of the canopy within minutes, says BBA. “The design of the fully galvanised canopy offers not only a high standard of durability but also a noise level [reduction] exceeding the super silence qualification,” says Mr Berns. “This is done without the use of isolation material in the canopy, which makes high pressure cleaning effective.” The slide out capability also means that you don't need to dismantle and then reassemble the canopy for major maintenance or repair operations, a task that can take a lot of time, particularly on older units.
The PT piston pumps are designed for wellpoint dewatering, and will primarily interest specialist pump renters or dewatering contractors. However, the economy concept, says Mr Berns, is now being extended to BBA's other pump products, including the BA 100, a 4 inch auto prime contractors pump that will be attractive to any general rental company.
The company is also able to offer its rental customers a wide range of submersible pumps through its dealerships with Tsurumi, Pumpex and - most recently – its acquisition of AFEC Europe, European dealer for Tawain's AFEC submersibles (see box story).
But it is in own manufactured pumps that Mr Berns takes most pride; “It takes more than just pump knowledge to make a good unit. We need to know what the customer likes and provide that as much as possible. This fits in with our philosophy - we want to offer the lowest cost of ownership which is what the rental industry is interested in. We think price, lifetime cost and value of the unit when selling it again are the three factors on which rental companies calculate.”
The company also has a clear policy on rental. “Other pump manufacturers rent out pumps as well as selling them”, says Mr Berns, “This is what makes them a competitor with their customers. We did have a rental business until about 15 years ago, when it was sold.
“Rental was a good business for us”, he says, “but we took the decision to focus on design and production, without competing with our customers ... It was a gamble, but within two or three years it brought many customers back to us.”