Matt Olivieri, product manager for mining, rental and construction products, Gorman-Rupp Co., talks about the Diaphragm Primer, full turnkey pump set ups, electric pumps, and the right people for rental.
RER: What are the latest products and developments in your company’s pump production?
Olivieri: One of the latest developments in our Gorman-Rupp product line is the addition of the Diaphragm Primer. This is utilized over the Venturi/Air Compressor combination allowing the pump to evacuate air more quickly, therefore giving you less priming time. The Diaphragm Primer also uses less horsepower than the Venturi/Air Compressor design allowing the unit to be even more fuel efficient.
One other development is the addition of the eradicator solids management system to be used in our 4-inch and 6-inch engine-driven units. For jobs that have stringy solids that can clog at the eye of the impeller, this new design can help move the stringy material away from the eye of the impeller allowing the serrated edge of the wear plate to help break it up into smaller pieces, sending it out the discharge.
RER: Are there any particular trends you expect to see in pump production in the coming years?
Olivieri: A growing trend that we see is companies offering a full turnkey pump set up. The rental company will set everything up so that the customer can just come in and start the system up. The customer has piece of mind knowing that the job is set up correctly and they can focus on their part of the job rather than maintaining the pump set up. This also give the rental company a new source of revenue. Many people do not want to hassle with setting up the pump, so rental companies can charge for the setup.
RER: It seems that pump rentals -- as illustrated by the growing “specialty rental” segments of major rental companies – have grown a lot in recent years. Do you have any insight into why this growth has occurred?
Olivieri: The infrastructure of the nation is growing older. From worn out piping, failing bridges, and even common utility work, pumps are needed in a large majority of these jobs. Pump rentals can be a major source of income for a rental company that knows what it is doing. Many companies that offer pumps also will offer a complete “turnkey” solution providing piece of mind for the customer and additional revenue for the company.
RER: In many types of construction machinery, especially earthmoving and aerial machines, lead times have increased significantly, as along as 18 months to two years in some cases, often caused by supply chain issues and the difficulty in obtaining certain components and materials. Are you finding the same issues in pump manufacturing?
Olivieri: As with other companies, we have dealt with supply chain issues. No one is impervious to this. It has affected many different markets. To help combat these supply chain issues, we have also increased our stock to be able to have parts available to build up new pumps.
RER: There has been a significant growth in electric-driven machines in other product segments the past few years and this trend is likely to continue and accelerate. Is the same trend occurring in pump manufacturing and usage?
Olivieri: Yes. Just like electric cars are becoming more and more popular, electric pump sets have become more popular too. It can be more cost effective to drop a power line for the pumps rather than expensive price of the diesel in today’s world. There are other benefits to using electric as well, such as lower cost of maintenance, and not having to worry about regeneration issues on Tier four final engines.
RER: Do you have any particular tips for pump rental companies to serve their customers better?
Olivieri: My advice is for you is to make sure that you have the right people in place to make your pump rentals succeed. Knowing how to apply pumps in the correct application(s) is essential for the customer and for your return on investment along with maintenance costs. Applying a pump correctly will allow more repeat business from your customer base and allow the pump to perform as it should for many years to come.