One of the things Hydra-Tech Pumps is known for is our customization – at our website and in our catalog are two long lists of options that are available for both hydraulic submersible dewatering pumps and hydraulic power units, from custom paint to custom design. As we have done before, we wanted to highlight another pair of customer designs.
A brand new prospect contacted us on April 23rd. He works in a pretty serious machine shop down south and was looking for an electric HPU to replace an existing (you might say antique) unit that was supporting a broaching machine. With some pictures of the existing unit in hand we had two maybe three phone calls to nail down the details and provided a quote to this prospect on 4/29, and after some additional changes, a revised quote on 5/1. An order was placed on 5/6 and after the 3-4 weeks to get some of the materials in including the JIC reservoir upon which the unit would be built, we designed, built and tested a one off, multi circuit, custom electric hydraulic power unit in 5 weeks. We would have turned it around in about half that time if not for a recalled electric motor that needed replaced by a supplier.
Speaking of completely custom, we were challenged by a valued, longtime customer to develop a brand new design based off of their very specific needs. In general terms we designed and built a 50 horsepower electric hydraulic power unit in a sound attenuated enclosure that will be used on ships all over the world performing salvage operations.
The customer asked us to perform some pretty significant heat testing. So once the unit was built and ready plans were made and a date for the test was set. On Wednesday July 8th, with personnel from both companies on hand at Hydra-Tech Pumps’ facility, we got started early in the morning with the testing. As the temperature out on the blacktop climbed up to close to 100 degrees we ran the unit for 3 hours under load and monitored oil and motor temperatures and performance.
In case this wasn’t enough, an ever tougher heat test was required by the customer. This unit could potentially be sitting on the deck of a ship at the equator with an ambient temperature of 115 – 120 degrees. To allow us to create this environment for the test, we had to build a temporary structure inside of our building that would allow us to place the unit inside and with the help of some heat lamps and a propane area heater, bring the temperature up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain that temperature for the duration of the test.
The power unit sat in the enclosure with the ambient temperature being monitored. The hydraulic hoses ran outside through a small hole in the wall of the enclosure, out a door and to a pump that was actually moving water against a simulated head in our outdoor test tank. This allowed the power unit to work as hard as it would in a real world scenario to really test the ability of the hydraulic oil cooler. Three hours later and with both tests successfully completed, the customer left our facility confident that the unit we built would be able to survive a worst case temperature scenario and continue to perform while the salvage divers in the water who rely on its hydraulic power could continue to operate their equipment.
At Hydra-Tech Pumps we are not afraid to go above and beyond for our customers. In some cases, that means a lot of time effort and work going into a one off unit that will likely never be built again. In other cases it means that we come up with a completely new design for a loyal customer that will perform under pressure. New designs always bring about a unique set of challenges. New designs aren’t easy – they tend to present new problems in the testing stages. But we see them through to the finish and deliver a system that satisfies a customer’s needs, even if it’s the only one we’ll ever build. Do you have a custom hydraulic power unit design need that no one else will consider? Give us a call and let’s see if we can do it – I bet we can!
Mounted on the side of the hydraulic oil reservoir on any standard Hydra-Tech Pumps Hydraulic Power Unit is the H.C. (or Hydraulic Control) Valve. The only exception to this is sound attenuated units. Since access to the hydraulic oil reservoir is limited, sound attenuated units do NOT have a H.C. valve. Think of this valve as an “on / off” switch for the hydraulic circuit on your HPU. Once an HPU has been started and warmed up and you are ready to send hydraulic fluid to a pump (or hydraulic tool) properly connected with hydraulic hoses, or deadhead the unit (troubleshooting), this valve should be turned all the way clockwise until the handle stops to engage the hydraulic flow. When you are ready to shut the system down, the H.C. valve should be turned all the way counterclockwise until the handle stops to shut off the hydraulic flow. This valve should not be used to attempt to control flow as doing so will generate heat and cause other problems. If you need to control flow or pressure, Hydra-Tech Pumps offers flow and pressure controls for their pumps and an adjustable inline flow control device as well.
- Hydra-Tech Pumps is thankful that through the efforts of our employees we have been able to grow the business consistently since our move in 2007 to the point where we are putting the finishing touches on an 8000 square foot addition. We expect to be using the space in January 2020.
- Hydra-Tech Pumps is thankful that we have never been in a position to have to have layoffs.
- Hydra-Tech Pumps is thankful for our customers, big and small, domestic and international – your loyalty to our pumps and hydraulic power units has helped us to have fairly consistent growth through the years.
- Hydra-Tech Pumps is thankful for our vendors who have supported our efforts and contributed along the way.
- Hydra-Tech Pumps is thankful the our founder, Ken Reim, is still very active on a daily basis and involved in Research and Development, Sales, Technical Support and is such a valuable resource to our whole group.
- Hydra-Tech Pumps is thankful for our employees. As we try to stress at any company event, Hydra-Tech Pumps succeeds or fails based on the efforts of every employee no matter the title or responsibility – we are all tied to the success or failure of the business based on the quality of the product we make, the communication with the customers, and the customers’ perceived value of what we provide to them.
As we celebrate Veterans Day today, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that most people know at least one veteran. A family member, friend, former classmate, I bet that everyone knows someone who has served in a branch of our great country’s military. Hydra-Tech Pumps currently employs 22 people and our group includes four veterans.
Kyle Whittaker, Hydra-Tech’s President, served in the Army for three years and spent time in both Korea and Vietnam. Andy Falco our VP of Manufacturing spent 4 years in the Marines. Darryl Cunfer the Manager of Product Development and Training spent 4 years in the Army. Tim Frye, one of Hydra-Tech Pumps’ machinists, spent 3 years in the Navy and 2 years in the reserves as a Corpsman.
On Wednesday November 6th the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate for the Philadelphia Flyers hosted Military Appreciation Night. Because of our ties to veterans, Hydra-Tech Pumps sponsored 50 tickets for veterans to attend the game. In all, there were over 3,160 tickets donated for veterans to be able to attend the game.
Because we participated in the sponsorship, we were provided 4 tickets to use for the game. We chose to send our own veterans down and three of our four veterans were able to attend. Rounding out the group was Darryl’s grandson, who got to enjoy his first Phantoms game. The Phantoms provided a win for all in attendance, they beat the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins by a score of 4-2.
We would like to thank all active military personnel who are currently serving and all veterans for their service to our country. We are proud of your sacrifices.
Question: Which is the most popular horsepower level from the wide variety of hydraulic power units that Hydra-Tech Pumps offers?
Answer: Our 74 horsepower HPU, delivering a maximum output of 30 GPM at 2900 PSI (other settings available) is far and away the most popular for contractors and rental companies. One of the reasons is it so desirable is the lineup of distinctly different pumps that can be paired with it – we have 10 different pumps offering a wide variety of general and specialized dewatering capabilities that run at peak performance with this 74 HP unit.
So the next question that comes to mind is what could we do to make this combination of products any more appealing? Some of our customers have tried to run our S8T with a 74 horsepower – unfortunately the two don’t play nice together. 30 GPM will spin the S8T’s impeller but customers never came close to the full performance that 70 GPM and 2500 PSI would deliver. The answer to the question is the new Hydra-Tech Pumps S8TC currently in development and expected to be in production in spring.
With a design point of 2500 gallons per minute and a shut off head of 85 feet, the S8TC will be the perfect addition to any company’s service / rental fleet and another great pump to compliment the 74 horsepower hydraulic power unit. The pump will be available in ductile iron first and eventually in an aluminum body option – both versions would feature a stainless steel impeller. Typical of most Hydra-Tech Pumps, the bolt pattern for the strainer on the bottom matches that of an 8” ANSI flange allowing for additional flexibility in how and where it can be used.
We expect to have the S8TC at the ConExpo Show in Las Vegas in Hydra-Tech Pumps’ booth #C31094. As we get closer to production and availability there will be a follow up in the newsletter as well as some direct emails – both will have a spec sheet and pricing when available. Would you like us to put your name on a list of customer interested in the S8TC? Please send an email to email@example.com with S8TC in the subject line and just drop your signature into the email and send. We’ll keep you up to date on our progress and you’ll be the first to receive the spec sheet and pricing when it becomes available.
It shouldn’t shock you to read that hydraulic fluid is the lifeblood of the hydraulic pump, hydraulic reservoir, and perhaps most importantly the hydraulic motor on your Hydra-Tech submersible dewatering pump. Which hydraulic oil should you choose to fill the reservoir on your new hydraulic power unit? Whether you’re using a 6 horsepower or a 400 horsepower HPU, the choice of hydraulic oil is the same for both (but the volume required to fill it will vary significantly.
For Hydra-Tech’s smallest gas and diesel hydraulic power units of less than 15 horsepower, use Dexron ATF. This hydraulic oil offers a wide temperature range and excellent wear properties.
All hydraulic power units greater than 15 horsepower require AW46 hydraulic fluid in the reservoir and lines. This hydraulic oil has anti-wear additives (AW) and is designed for normal climates – it is 20 weight oil (ISO46). The number 46 is a viscosity value measured in centistokes. In colder climates, we recommend using 10 weight (ISO 32) or AW-32 hydraulic oil.
If you will be operating your HPU around lakes, streams or other environmentally sensitive areas you can fill the unit with environmentally friendly biodegradable hydraulic oil. Most manufacturers offer either a mineral based oil like Chevron CLARITY® or vegetable based oil like Mobil EAL224H.
Just like clean diesel is important for an engine, clean hydraulic oil is important to your hydraulic power unit. Simple steps such as wiping and cleaning quick disconnects with a clean rag can prevent dirt and debris from entering the hydraulic fluid system. Always follow the recommendations in the operator’s manual when it comes to service intervals related to the hydraulic system. In general:
- Change the hydraulic return line filter every 250 hours.
- Change the hydraulic oil every 600 hours (larger models can be 1000 hours).
- Every hydraulic reservoir has a suction strainer with an integral magnet to catch any metal that might get into the system. Any time you are changing the hydraulic oil and the reservoir is empty the suction strainer should be removed, thoroughly cleaned (including removing any metal debris from the magnet), rinsed / cleaned with mineral spirits and properly reinstalled.
These are some general suggestions for our whole hydraulic power unit range – consult your operator’s manual for the exact recommended service intervals for these critical hydraulic system components. Dirt or debris in your hydraulic system can damage or destroy major components like the hydraulic pump on the HPU as well as the hydraulic motor on your submersible pump. Hydraulic oil is the lifeblood of your Hydra-Tech Pumps system – make sure to keep it clean for a long and reliable service life!
Continuing on with the product development theme, and referring back to the last blog post and the phrase “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”, here is another story of how one of our pumps came to be developed.
Sometime in early 1990 a customer contacted us looking for a pump to keep dust down on roads that lead in and out of orchards. During dry spells dust would be blown around from vehicle traffic on the dirt roads. The dust would then cover the fruit trees and cause problems. They had a truck with a boom that could extend out 40 feet and wanted to suspend the pump into an irrigation canal that ran alongside the road. They had hydraulics on the truck already, so they could use some of the existing hydraulic power to drive the pump. The pump needed to supply 200 GPM at 100 PSI so they could use a fire nozzle to spray water on the roads as they drove along. Also, the pump could not weigh more than 45 lbs.
Hydra-Tech Pumps had already developed the S3CHL pump (see the last blog post “We Listen Part 1”) but it weighed too much, was more powerful than they needed and required more hydraulic power than was available. The S3CML became a variation that has an aluminum body and requires less hydraulic power to drive it. It was a win/win for the customer and Hydra-Tech Pumps since this pump is now used in many other applications including aviation forest fire fighting (many portable fire fighting applications), barge and cargo ship dewatering, deep well dewatering, tank stripping, irrigation, piling and dock jetting and other high head applications.
The S3CML is available in aluminum and only needs a maximum hydraulic flow of 16 GPM at 3500 PSI for full performance. But like the CHL, what performance you will get! This pump will deliver 460 gallons per minute with no head, but will still deliver 50 GPM @ 380’ of head! Again, just like the CHL, that is a lot of capability from a small pump.
“It pays to listen” and we hear you. Part of our job is to solve problems for customers. Sometimes the solution lies with a combination of existing products, sometimes the solution involves a referral to someone else’s product, and sometimes the solution needs to be developed. Do you have any challenging applications that we can help you solve?
I’m sure you have heard the term “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. For us at Hydra-Tech Pumps it means we are always listening to our customers’ needs and requests for pumps and hydraulic power units that will meet specific requirements. Most of the time this means offering the right combination of hydraulic submersible pump and hydraulic power unit to address a challenging application. Once in a while it leads to something else.
Sometimes these ideas or challenging applications result in the development of new products that we can offer as a standard product. One case in point is the S3CHL pump. Sometime in 1987 a customer in Jacksonville Florida approached Hydra-Tech Pumps looking for a pump that would provide flows over 400 GPM, discharge pressures up to 175 PSI, fit into a 12” deck opening, portable enough to be carried by one person and handle a wide range of water and oil mixtures. This pump would be used for tank stripping and emergency tank transfer on tanker ships. We developed the S3CHL pump to do just that and more. This pump has found its way into other applications such as firefighting, deep well dewatering and irrigation.
The S3CHL is available in aluminum or ductile iron and needs a maximum hydraulic flow of 30 GPM at 3500 PSI for full performance. But what performance you will get! This pump will deliver 500 gallons per minute with no head, but will still deliver 50 GPM @ 420’ of head! That’s a lot of capability from a small pump.
“It pays to listen” and we hear you. Part of our job is to solve problems for customers. Sometimes the solution lies with a combination of existing products, sometimes the solution involves a referral to someone else’s product, and sometimes the solution needs to be developed. Do you have any challenging applications that we can help you solve?
Hydra-Tech Pumps’ building expansion project is getting real as the steel for the addition was delivered last week – the prep work is close to done and the excavation will begin soon. We have teased this in past newsletters but now it is full steam ahead!
We wanted to tell you the story behind the current building and the need for this additional space. When Hydra-Tech was purchased from the original owners in 2005, the plan was to move it to Nesquehoning, PA where the new owners operated another manufacturing business. After considerable searching for a suitable building, the decision was made to buy an existing building, less than 10 years old that was built as a catering facility and restaurant / bar which held special events such as holiday parties and weddings. You can imagine the amount of work that went into converting the space from this kind of business to a light manufacturing facility to accommodate the welding, fabrication, machining, assembly, painting, inventory storage and other requirements to operate Hydra-Tech Pumps. Considerable work was put in and Hydra-Tech Pumps moved into our current building in September of 2007.
The building has served us well for almost 12 years and we have made many adaptations and improvements along the way to accommodate our growth and manufacturing requirements. However with our growth we have simply run out of room. Putting up an additional 8000 square feet will be a huge help. The other benefit we will get from this project is moving our test tank indoors. We will put more frequent updates on social media and keep you posted on our progress in future newsletters as well.
Any well-built hydraulic power unit (HPU) includes a system pressure gauge on the high pressure side. When this HPU gets paired with a hydraulically driven submersible pump, the readings on that gauge can both help the operator reach the best operating point (given current conditions) and assist in analyzing a problem situation when the submersible pump is not moving water.
Finding the Best Operating Point:
In many parts of life, more is better, but when it comes to operating an engine based hydraulic power unit, that is not the case. By using the pressure reading it is easy to find the sweet spot for any particular pumping situation. Specifically, the pressure shown on the gauge is an indication of the amount of work being done by the hydraulic motor on the pump head. The higher the pressure, the harder the motor is working. This working pressure profile can vary for different styles of pumps, but the one thing that is the same across the board is this… when adjusting engine rpm the operator will see system pressure rising until it stops. When the needle stops moving, it means that given the current set up, the system is at its most efficient point. Attempting to increase engine speed in an effort to get more submersible pump flow will only result in burning more fuel; it will not change the gpm output of the head. Of course, as conditions change, that ideal point will change too, so further adjustments will be required to stay at the best spot. By educating your customers and staff about this pressure point, it becomes a win, win, as fuel costs can be cut, wear and tear on engines is reduced and the environmental impact of the fuel burn is minimized.
Problem Analysis Using System Pressure
Because hydraulic systems are fairly simple, they tend to react in the same way when something goes wrong. When using hydraulic power to drive a pump head, we look at three sides to the same problem to find the reason why the pump head is not moving water. If the submersible is not moving water, the operator should first note the pressure reading shown on the gauge on the high pressure side of the system.
If the pressure is above 1000 psi and you can be sure that the pump impeller is turning, then the following conditions are likely preventing the pump from moving product:
- Head conditions are too great for the pump to overcome and a different pump head/HPU should be employed
- The discharge line is kinked, or somehow blocked downstream of the discharge or too much lay flat hose is choking off pump head discharge flow
If the pressure is above 1000 psi and the impeller is not spinning, then the following conditions are likely preventing the pump from moving product:
- The bearings or hydraulic motor are seized and need to be repaired
- The impeller is jammed and the top of the pump may need to be removed to clear the obstruction
If the pressure is below 1000 psi look at the following:
- Dead head the hydraulic power unit and see if it alone is capable of developing 2000+ psi ( FAQ –Is there a quick way to determine if my power unit is providing sufficient flow/pressure?)
- If the HPU is good, the next thing to check for is lack of water in the pump. Is the suction opening and/or the strainer base clogged?
- If the suction is not clogged, the pump may not be submerged enough to begin working. Generally speaking the pump should be in water that reaches to the bottom of the hydraulic motor.
- Once you know if the HPU is good, and the suction side is clear and the pump is submerged enough, it is possible that the pump is air bound. This can even occur with a pump that is continually sitting in water.
- To overcome this problem, check the vent bolt on vortex impeller pumps to see if it clear. This vent bolt is an air escape;
- Pull the pump from the water and before lowering it back down, lay it on its back with the discharge at 12 o’clock,
- Then lower into water
- Pull the pump back out, start the power unit and have the impeller turning when dropping it back in
- If none of the above are true, then it is likely worn parts. The hydraulic motor could be washed out and the oil when under pressure is blowing by instead of doing the work. Or, there may be excessive wear at the impeller and internal parts which is greatly reducing the efficiency of the pump head.
- To overcome this problem, check the vent bolt on vortex impeller pumps to see if it clear. This vent bolt is an air escape;
While troubleshooting can sometimes be a headache with hydraulic pumping systems, going through the process detailed above usually uncovers the cause of the problem. If it does not, feel free to call us, and a member of our staff will be happy to work through to a solution.
Check out the support tab on our website for other useful technical information about our pumps and hydraulic power units.
How much time do you spend on the road or on your commute? How many businesses do you regularly drive by and ask yourself “I wonder what they do in there?” For some members of Hydra-Tech Pumps’ local business community, that question was answered during an event this week. Employees of a number of different businesses are a part of a “Leadership Carbon” class, through the Carbon County Chamber (Of Commerce) & Economic Development Corporation, did a tour of some local manufacturers including Hydra-Tech Pumps. The group visited three companies. The first company manufactures molds for the concrete sound barriers that you see along the interstate, the second company receives and cleans / treats hazardous materials, primarily needles and other medical waste items. The last stop was a visit to Hydra-Tech Pumps.
After a short history and question and answer session we hit the shop floor for the nickel tour. The first stop was the fabrication department where we cut raw steel and weld fuels cells and frames for our electric, diesel and gas Hydraulic Power Units. We worked our way through the production floor past the paint booth where we paint all of our pumps and power units. We saw the final assembly and test area where HPUs are set and tested for proper performance, and every pump is run before it leaves the building. The group was impressed with the sight of our new S30M axial pump and HT400DJV power unit, just back from successful offsite testing for certified curves.
We stepped out of the back of the building for a peek at the sandblasting operation and to see the long line of HPUs ready to be shipped to customers. Back inside we went through the pump assembly department, inventory area and looked into the machine shop where raw castings are converted into finished parts. After the tour there were more good questions before the group departed. For this group of local business people, we answered the question of “What do they do in there?” They finished their day with a better idea of what some of the local manufacturers produce and where in the country and the world that product ships.
For our colleagues, customers and vendors, we enjoy giving the tour and have had the pleasure in our 11 years at this location of welcoming and entertaining visitors from near and far. At the end of October we welcomed our Russian distributor here for a couple of days. A customer called yesterday and reminded me that he had been here (from Indonesia) to visit near the end of 2012. If you’re ever going to be in or around northeast PA and have time for a visit please let us know – we would be happy to show you what we do here in Nesquehoning.
If your company / rental location has Hydra-Tech Pumps in your arsenal, then you probably have a shop where the pumps and hydraulic power units can be serviced and maintained. If hydraulic power units and pumps are new to your organization, what are some of the basic tools that should be on hand to properly troubleshoot and service a hydraulic power unit?
In addition to a basic set of mechanic’s hand tools, a good standard and metric Allen wrench set, pipe wrenches, and clean rags are helpful to have available. Making repairs and doing periodic maintenance to a hydraulic power unit is important and both the service interval recommendations supplied by the engine manufacturer and Hydra-Tech Pumps should be followed closely to insure long life for your HPU.
When it comes to hydraulic power unit set up or troubleshooting, the most important tool that you can have on hand but probably can’t buy locally is a good flow control / flow meter setup. A flow control / meter will allow you to properly test the hydraulic flow of your hydraulic power unit, make adjustments to the hydraulic flow, and allow you to temporarily affect the hydraulic flow and pressure if you had hydraulic pumps or tools that you wanted to test in your shop. Without it you are only able to determine what pressure you are producing through the hydraulic pump coupled to the engine – not the gallons per minute of flow you are getting. This is especially important if you have a variable volume piston pump and want to make adjustments to the flow at a pressure that the HPU is delivering to your submersible pump / hydraulic tools. If you provide too much hydraulic flow to hydraulic motors on tools or pumps, you will most likely damage the motor.
Pictured: Flow Meter Control for 1” connection 0-32 GPM 0-5000 PSI.
Pictured: Close up of 0-32 GPM Flow Gauge and 0-5000 PSI Gauge.
Here are a few things you can do with a flow meter / flow control setup that you cannot do without it:
- The tool / test set shown above allows you to run a loop of hose from the pressure fitting on the reservoir back to the return fitting with an inline flowmeter. With this you are able to see the hydraulic flow and pressure that the HPU is producing. This benefits you in two ways:
- Very basic but helpful, you can verify the max performance (how it is set up – flow and pressure at full throttle) of a power unit. In the rental world, this is especially important if you have received an HPU from another branch.
- If your unit has a hydraulic pump (variable volume piston pump) that allows adjustment, you can change hydraulic pump settings (how the HPU is set up for flow at a pressure) and have instant feedback on the changes that you are making. Some customer will buy a single power unit for two different pumps with two different hydraulic requirements and will change the set up on the HPU depending on which pump they need for the job.
- You are also able to use this device inline to adjust the flow up or down, or simply use it to see what affect changes in the throttle setting of the engine have. The flowmeter allows you to see changes in hydraulic flow (and pressure can be noted on the gauges) as you increase or decrease the throttle on any power unit. For example, the flow control would allow you to see what impact to the flow running an HT13G at half throttle would have.
- You can troubleshoot an HPU more effectively with this tool to determine that in addition to building pressure, your unit is providing hydraulic flow to the devices it is meant to power. One of the challenges we have when helping a customer to trouble shoot a problem with a system (pump and power unit) is verifying hydraulic flow (and as a result, hydraulic pump function). This device allows Hydra-Tech and our customer to verify that the HPU is producing hydraulic flow and isolate the problem with the device you are powering.
Hydra-Tech pumps can put together a setup appropriate for the hydraulic power unit(s) you will be working with. Call today for more information, you will quickly find that when it comes to preventative maintenance as well as other tasks related to your HPU this will be the most valuable tool in your “hydraulic” tool box.
Sometimes in the quest to have blogs that are exciting, unique or educational we overlook the most basic procedures we go through in the daily course of business. So although it might not be the most exhilarating topic in the world, let’s cover the subject of placing an order with Hydra-Tech Pumps. We take purchase orders from our customers any way they prefer, via email, verbally by phone, and by fax.
Orders By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This is the best and easiest way to get an order in our hands, especially if a purchase order is being generated.
Orders By Phone: (570) 645-3779 Anyone who answers the phone at Hydra-Tech can take your order – we’re looking for Item Part Number or Description, quantity, Purchase Order number (if used), and we want to know if you would like an order confirmation sent or not.
Orders By Fax: (570) 645-4061 We still get some orders via fax – this is another good way to get your order in our hands if a purchase order is being generated. Let us know if you would like an order confirmation sent or not.
We are always willing to send an order confirmation with pricing and an estimated ship date – just let us know when you place your order. Keep in mind that estimated ship dates are based on lead times provided at the time of a quote (if one was supplied) and that lead time could have changed depending on the age of the quote.
If your company has specific shipping / freight instructions and carrier preferences please make sure that we are aware of those requirements. We ship smaller orders with UPS and use a variety of carriers for LTL shipments.
Finally we appreciate our customers big and small. Thanks for your continued confidence in our products, our people, and our company. Please let us know about the next challenge Hydra-Tech Pumps can help you to overcome!
With that 400 horsepower John Deere engine humming and 140 gallons per minute at 4000 PSI of hydraulic fluid spinning the vane motor and mixed flow impeller at the heart of the S30M, the water was moving and delivered almost exactly the kind of output we expected. We worked our way up and down the hydraulics input profiles at several head pressure points. Based on the readings, we developed the max curve seen here. Also on site was an independent Professional Engineer who is in the process of certifying our curves for the S30M. Squeezing every ounce of horsepower out of the engine we were moving more than 25,000 gallons per minute of water at nearly 30 feet of head. When pushed to the max, we almost reached 70 feet of head. Check out our curve below.
So where do you put a big boy like this to work for you? Low to medium head applications like flood control, levee work, dam construction are just a few of the potential applications. Our Axial Flow pump line now offers our customers a 6″, 8″, 12″, 18″, 24″ and 30″ pump depending on your needs. Can one of Hydra-Tech’s axial flow pumps move some water for your company?
As “we” (Hydra-Tech Pumps and our customers) make the transition to Final Tier Four engines through the end of 2018 we wanted to put some important information in front of you. There are two key things that you need to know as you begin to operate and maintain hydraulic power units with Final Tier Four engines as their power plant.
Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD)
Final Tier Four (for that matter Interim Tier Four as well) diesel engines require Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel – to be clear the fuel must contain less than 15 parts per million of Sulphur. Anything above this level will impact the performance of the engine and its ability to operate.
Generally speaking, ULSD has been available in the United States and Canada since it was widely introduced in 2006. So for our domestic customers and those in Canada, there is not much concern about running non-ULSD through a Final Tier Four engine. There is a map that updates on a monthly basis the diesel fuel Sulphur levels in every country around the world – this is a nice resource for our international customers who might want to see what the diesel fuel Sulphur content levels are in their country. Check out https://www.unenvironment.org/explore-topics/transport/what-we-do/partnership-clean-fuels-and-vehicles/sulphur-campaign
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
Diesel exhaust fluid is a liquid solution comprised of 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water that is used in the exhaust after treatment system on Final Tier Four industrial engines of 75 horsepower or higher. Basically it is injected into the exhaust pipeline to eliminate nitrogen oxides which are harmful pollutants. The requirement on us as a manufacturer of hydraulic power units is that the DEF tank contain an appropriate volume as a ratio to the fuel capacity. If our HPU has a 100 gallon diesel fuel cell then the DEF tank will need to hold 3-4% of that volume, or 3-4 gallons of DEF – there is some variation of the ratio from one engine manufacturer to another.
As you begin to build Final Tier Four engine based hydraulic power units (and other equipment) into your fleet, make sure that you are filling the fuel cells with Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel and topping off the DEF tanks!
On January 31st, 1963 in the Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard in Gorky, Russia the keel of a Juliett class cruise missile submarine K-77 (also referred to as the Juliett 484) was laid down. Two years later on March 11th she was launched and in the fall of 1965, commissioned into the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet. The submarine was 282 feet long and equipped with 4 nuclear missiles capable of striking targets as far away as 300 miles as well as 22 torpedoes. For 30 years, this submarine patrolled North Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and later in its career the coast of West Africa as well as the Caribbean Sea near the US Virgin Islands – often her time was spent following US Navy aircraft carrier battle groups and other submarines as well. After the end of the cold war, sometime post 1991 the K-77 was decommissioned. By 1994 all of the Juliett class submarines had been retired from the Russian naval fleet.
In the spring of 1993, a Finnish businessman convinced the Russian government to sell him two Juliett class submarines, one of which was the K-77. The K-77 was moved to Helsinki where it became a bar / restaurant and was one year the location for a beauty pageant where a “Miss Submarine” was crowned – (the winner later became the Finnish businessman’s 3rd wife). The bar and restaurant wasn’t a very lucrative endeavour and at some point the sub was leased to a Canadian promoter who wanted to create a tourist attraction and the sub was towed across the Atlantic to Tampa, Florida. This effort never amounted to much and there were a couple of attempts to sell the submarine on eBay.
Eventually the submarine caught the eye of Intermedia Film Equities Ltd., who chartered the sub for $200,000 and had her towed to Halifax, Nova Scotia to be used in the filming of the movie K-19: The Widowmaker starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. The K-77 was modified to resemble the correct K-19 sub for filming.
After filming wrapped in 2002, the submarine was purchased by the USS Saratoga Museum foundation and was towed to Collier Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island. The hope was that the K-77 / Juliett 484 submarine and the USS Saratoga CV-60, a Forrestal-class supercarrier built in the 1950s that served the United States Navy from Vietnam through Operation Desert Storm, would someday be displayed together. During each vessel’s service to their respective nations, they spent plenty of time in the waters with one another. In fact there is a story about the President of the Saratoga Museum Foundation doing some research on the Juliett 484. He was in a bar drinking with former Juliett 484 naval officers when one of them produced a photograph of the USS Saratoga taken through the periscope of the sub further confirming that the two had spent time in the waters together during the cold war playing cat and mouse.
The sub was actively used as a tourist attraction between August of 2002 and March of 2007 and hosted some 40,000 visitors to its deck and cramped interior. Interesting fact – sailors who served on the K-77 / Juliett 484 were required to be no taller than 5’8”. Then on April 18, 2007 tragedy struck. During a particularly vicious storm the sub took on enough water through some off its hatches to sink to the bottom of the waterfront mooring in the Providence River. In the more than 12 months it spend resting in the silt on the bottom of the river, it was determined that it was damaged beyond what could reasonably be repaired.
Unfortunately the sinking brought about the eventual demise of the K-77 / Juliett 484, but it also brings us to the part where we had a hand in her story. On June 2, 2008 divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two in Norfolk Virginia (Navy) arrived and began preparations to raise the submarine. They were joined by members of the US Army Dive Company based out of Fort Eustis, VA and in a unique joint effort, real world training opportunity, almost 100 active and reserve Sailors and Soldiers set about raising the sub off of the riverbed.
First the team sealed the hatches that had allowed water in and led to the sinking in the first place, used 8 hydraulically driven submersible dewatering pumps (some Hydra-Tech Pump models included) to remove the water from the inside of the sub while the submarine was raised via lift bands run under the sub and attached to pontoons.
Once raised the assessment of the interior of the sub confirmed what was feared, that the time spent on the bottom of the river had damaged everything beyond what was economically feasible to repair / restore. Items like the periscope, torpedo tube doors, missile firing stations, engine order telegraphs and other instrumentation and controls would be removed and saved, but eventually the sub was sold to a scrap yard 1000 feet up river and was towed to its final resting placed were the 3500 ton behemoth would be cut apart for scrap metal.
This is going to sound like a repeat of a recent story but it is not – dredging just seems to be an application that Hydra-Tech Pumps are being called on to do more and more lately. This story is out of New Zealand – our friend Doug Kirby, who is two years new to Hydra-Tech Pumps as a representative and distributor of our products, is involved in exactly the kind of dirty jobs you would expect with a name like Slurry Services.
In preparing for a significant dredging project on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand, Doug ordered a 6” Sand / Slurry Pump (S6CSL) from Hydra-Tech Pumps as the key component in their approach to the job. The project they were preparing for involved removing river sediment from a marina to create a channel to allow better access to the ocean for the Coast Guard rescue boat and recreational boats as well. They had been launching off of the beach and this work would prevent this and make the boaters’ lives a little easier.
Doug and his team put together their barge / excavator / pump set up (for anyone who has ever watched Discovery Channel’s Bearing Sea Gold this concept is familiar) and got to work. The biggest challenge was ripping up the bed – a mixture of compacted fine clay and sediment as well as larger solids and debris. They worked to tear up the bed and move the mixture to the pump and operated only when the tide was going out so that the sediment wasn’t coming back to where they were working. The water and solids (less the tree branches and other larger debris) was pumped over 1000 feet away.
Despite the very difficult dredging conditions they averaged 32 cubic yards (86 tons) of solids per hour from day 1. The project was a success and has led to additional opportunities based on their short set up time and efficiency in getting the job done. The next job is on the east coast of the island where the sediment is primarily sand and flows more easily, here over a similar pumping distance they expect to move in excess of 60 cubic yards (162 tons) of material an hour.
Applications like many other things seem to come in waves. Right now it appears as though Doug and many of our other marine / diving customers are putting Hydra-Tech Pumps to work to earn dredging jobs and exceed expectations!
Don Coleman of Blue Diving & Salvage LLC in Mobile, Alabama had quoted a big opportunity and wanted to change how he was going to approach the job. Don’s company provides inland / onshore commercial diving services along the Gulf Coast and had recently submitted a proposal to a condominium association for some dredging work along the inlet to their private marina. The requirement? Remove an average of 30” of coarse sand from an area 220’ x 20’ at a depth of up to 5 feet so that boats aren’t scraping bottom on their way in and out of the marina. Deliver the sand 90’ away and build an area of beach back up where some erosion has occurred.
In the lead up to hearing from the association that he had won the business, Don contacted Hydra-Tech Pumps to help him to determine what different options we could provide to make this job go smoothly. He was familiar with Hydra-Tech Pumps because he has occasionally rented for other jobs through some of the rental companies. After a number of phone calls and emails, Don had information on virtually every kind of 4” pump we manufacture – this was something that he thanked us for later. He said that it meant a lot that we took the time to go through the options and explain the technical differences in features, construction, applications and price on all of the different pumps without rushing him or abandoning him in the learning process. Don placed an order for a ductile iron 4” pump at almost the same time that he heard that he had been awarded the job at the condo association. Hydra-Tech built the pump in three days and shipped it to Blue Diving and Salvage on the fourth.
Within a week they were on site and ready to go. The Hydra-Tech pump was suspended off of the front of the boat – the strainer was swapped out for a flange and fitting to get them to a length of suction hose and a nozzle that the diver would hold. In two and a half days and about 22 hours of run time, the diver and the pump moved over 400 cubic yards of sand or a little over 18 yards an hour. The job was done and Don was happy with his pump and experience. The best surprise was still to come – when he removed the top from the volute to inspect the impeller for wear, it was minimal considering what the pump had been doing for 22 hours.
We hope that Don will be a Hydra-Tech Pumps customer for a long time. If you want to check out his website go to www.bluediverllc.com. How can Hydra-Tech Pumps help your company to get the job done?
Is your hydraulic power unit not working correctly, or how you believe it should be working? Here are a few steps to make an initial diagnosis of what may be causing a low or no pressure situation with a Hydra-Tech hydraulic power unit system.
1) Make sure the hydraulic hoses are not connected.
2) Start the unit with the oil cold
3) Activate the hydraulics by engaging the HYDRAULIC CONTROL VALVE (H.C Valve) by turning it clockwise until it stops
4) Read the high pressure gauge.
5) If the pressure does not build to at least 2200psi (HT25DD and above or 1100psi for HT20G and below), then…
6) Stop the engine, remove the reservoir cover and locate the relief valve
7) Look to find the discharge pipe that comes off the relief valve body and dumps into the tank.
8) Start the unit (with the oil cold) and engage the HYDRAULIC CONTROL VALVE (H.C Valve) by turning it clockwise until it stops.
9) Reach into the tank and feel if any oil is coming out of the discharge pipe off the relief valve.
10) If oil flow IS coming out, the relief valve cartridge may have some debris in it and will need to be removed and cleaned. Or, the steel tubing going from the relief valve to the H.C. Valve may be cracked or loose and needs repair. Or, the aluminum block housing the relief valve cartridge may be cracked.
11) Check and or correct all of these conditions and return to steps 2-9, then…
12) If the proper pressure is not being attained, and/or if no if no oil is flowing from the discharge pipe the hydraulic pump is probably worn out.
NOTE: Noises in the hydraulic system are usually from cavitation due to a bad hydraulic pump. This is usually caused by dirt or contamination getting into the system. When contamination and cavitation occurs, the pump will get hot and the pressure will usually go up and down with the engine speed. If the hydraulic pump is replaced, the reservoir will have to be drained and thoroughly cleaned, the suction strainer will need to be cleaned, the system will need to be purged of any contaminated hydraulic oil, the return filter must be replaced and the case on the hydraulic pump filled with oil BEFORE re-starting the engine.
If your power unit is still not working correctly after this, please contact us for additional help!
There are some applications where using a centrifugal pump is best suited for the job but the suction lift limitations of centrifugal pumps create a problem.
A typical centrifugal pump without vacuum assist priming can reasonably lift water only 15-20 feet before running into cavitation issues and loss of performance. Adding a vacuum assist primer to remove air and lower the atmospheric pressure in the suction line can increase the effective suction lift to an absolute maximum of 34 feet (at sea level).
At these high suction lifts there is still a significant loss of pump performance.
What do you do if the suction lift exceeds these limits?
The Hydra-Tech Solution:
Adding a Hydra-Tech hydraulic submersible pump to lift the water to the centrifugal pump will solve the high suction lift problem.
By lifting the water to the centrifugal pump you also remove the performance loss issues caused by high suction lifts.
Click on this link to see an image of how this works: High Lift S6300
In this application the customer has an offshore fire-fighting platform that is elevated 90 feet (27 Meters) above the sea level. The high-pressure centrifugal pump is the best pump for fire fighting. The light suction lift does not allow the centrifugal pump to pull water from the sea.
By adding the Hydra-Tech S6300 12” pump to the suction line they were able to overcome the high suction lift problem.
Hydra-Tech Pumps provided a Hydraulic Kit that uses the existing engine power to drive the S6300 Pump. This was a win-win for the customer and proves the concept of overcoming high suction lift problems.
The phrase “Made in the USA” gets tossed around quite often but what does it really mean? If you have some free time and are looking for some exhilarating reading go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and you can read pages of detail about complying with the Made in the USA standard. Ultimately what it means is “all or virtually all” product has been made in the United States. How about we tell you what it means to Hydra-Tech.
Hydra-Tech Pumps was founded in 1977 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey and moved to Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania in 2007. We believe in supporting small and local businesses so we use local, domestic suppliers as much as we are able for anything we source from the smallest fasteners and fittings through a huge 400 horsepower diesel engine and all items in between.
The area where we really utilize the Made in the USA statement is castings. Of the approximately 130 cast parts we source to make the wide variety of aluminum, ductile iron and stainless steel pumps we manufacture, almost 97 percent are purchased from foundries within a 100 mile radius of our Nesquehoning location. Anyone who has been involved in manufacturing of any kind knows the significance behind this. Hydra-Tech Pumps could send all of these parts overseas and probably cut parts costs by 50% – 75%. However, challenges arise if a problem comes up when you can’t get in your car and visit a foundry in person and look at a pattern and their processes. Lead times are longer and logistics challenges are more significant when that skid of aluminum volute castings are coming from the other side of the world instead of the next county over. And based on the FTC’s guidelines I’m sure that would mean we couldn’t say “Made in the USA” anymore if went down that road.
All of our 22 employees are proud to promote and live by the Made in the USA phrase. We believe that it still means something to our customer base and to any new prospects as well.
Hydra-Tech wrapped up another great WWETT Show on Saturday afternoon before packing up and returning home on Sunday – thanks to all of our customer and friends who made it to the show and stopped by to visit! For those of you wondering what the WWETT Show is – WWETT stands for Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport. The show was original called the Pumper Show from its inception until about 5 years ago when they made the name change. Originally the Pumper Show was primarily focused on septic tank pumping professionals but the show has evolved through the years to include so many more applications and professions that it was renamed.
Hydra-Tech was one of 624 exhibitors showing their hydraulically driven submersible pumps and power units in the Indianapolis Convention Center for the two and a half day show that drew more than 12,000 visitors. At the show we saw some customers we expected to see, as well as some surprises and new prospects as well. We helped some visitors decide if our pumps would benefit them, and if so, how best to power them and maximize the benefit of hydraulic submersible dewatering pumps. We saw our old friend James Penner from In The Round Dewatering (see our blog post last year about working with James https://hydra-tech.com/one-thing-leads-another/.
While it did rain most of the time that we were in town, we managed to enjoy some of Indianapolis’ great restaurants and bars after the show. We have been to our fair share of trade shows in the last 11 years in a number of different cities. And while Indianapolis doesn’t offer the over the top kind of excitement of the Las Vegas Strip, we have always enjoyed Indy because everything is right downtown within walking distance from the hotel and convention center. As well, like Minneapolis / St. Paul, there are a number of connectors downtown that allow you to move from block to block and cross streets without getting wet in the rain.
We will be back next year for WWETT Show 2019 – will we see you there?
Since its beginnings over 80 years ago, the Contractors Pump Bureau’s primary reason for existing has been to serve pump guys that design, produce, sell, rent and buy portable contractor and dewatering pumps.
You can count among the CPB full members, some of the largest companies and some of the most notable personalities in the pump industry. Gorman-Rupp, Global, Xylem, Holland Pump, Hydra-Tech Pumps, Tsurumi, Mody, Sulzer and Thompson Pump are represented in the CPB by people like Rod Mersino, Jeff Gorman, Sam Mody and Bill Thompson. Associate members are those companies that manufacture some of the major components used by pump companies and names like Honda, Deutz, LOFA Industries and Hatz.
The CPB serves pump people by:
- Developing and maintaining industry consensus standards for pumps and auxiliary equipment.
- Promoting the common interests of the pump industry as a whole
- Creating and disseminating Best Operation Practices, Safety related support documents and informational publications on pump selection.
- Looking forward to find ways to improve customer service and knowledge and make products safer and more efficient.
The following Tools and Standards, as developed by the CPB serve as valuable aids to engineers and others tasked with choosing the correct pump for most pumping situations:
- The Pump Selection Guidebook helps choose both the right style and size pump for the job. And, it serves as an introduction to all types of pumps for those new to the industry.
- The CPB Pump Efficiency standard, when employed by pump producers, allows for more transparent comparisons of pump performance and efficiency as it seeks to standardize the ways in which these technical details are represented on a performance curve.
- The Noise Level Standard, which is included in the Portable Pump Operator Safety Manual, is a long standing benchmark which details the acceptable noise levels for portable dewatering pumps when they are operated in noise sensitive areas.
- Member companies can proudly display the CPB logo on their pumping equipment, and it serves users by providing quick visual proof that the pump they are using is produced to the high standards required by the Contractor’s Pump Bureau.
Membership in the group is open to members of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers who in turn are pump manufacturers or major component suppliers to pump companies. Among other benefits, members of CPB can participate in and use data from the Statistics program which collects and categorizes historical pump sales for the North American market, including Canada and Latin America.
If you manufacture pumps or are a key supplier for one or more pump companies, you can learn about membership by searching the web for the Contractor’s Pump Bureau. Or, if you are a pump buyer, specifier or user, give yourself one less thing to worry about by looking for the CPB logo before making that next investment in a pump product.
Centrifugal pumps, whether submersible or not, are designed for the most part to operate in one direction only.
When liquid enters the center or eye of the impeller it is subjected to centrifugal force that moves the liquid towards the discharge port on the pump.
The path for liquid to flow is determined by the shape of the impeller and the design of the pump body or volute.
If the impeller is run in reverse direction the liquid may still be discharged from the pump due to centrifugal forces overcoming the normal flow path.
This is very inefficient and can cause serious problems including cavitation, loss of performance, bearing and seal issues.
If the impeller is on a threaded shaft it may unscrew the impeller.
It is always good practice to check impeller rotation before you start pumping.
Most (but not all) Hydra-Tech Pumps rotate in a counter-clockwise rotation (looking at the impeller inlet from the bottom).
We mark the Pressure and Return ports when the pumps are shipped.
This assures proper rotation when properly connected to a hydraulic power source.
Click on this link to see how to properly connect our pumps to your hydraulic power source:
Click on this link to see a pump impeller rotating properly:
As we all head back to work after New Year’s Day, we close the books on 2017 and start over with a fresh year before us. Based on conversations with many people in the industry, we don’t think there are many who aren’t glad to put in a good 2017 sales year after a down 2016! We were fortunate enough to have our best sales year ever in 2017, the same year we celebrated Hydra-Tech Pumps’ 40th year in business – thank you to our customers for helping to make that happen. As with the beginning of any year, we reflect on 2017 and look forward to 2018.
We started 2017 off with a change in our pump warranty – moving from a 1 year warranty to 2 year warranty. We made some moves internally to strengthen our manufacturing group and ended the year with a solid group of employees, some seasoned including 3 “originals” and a couple of new hires who are settling into their roles here. Maintaining personnel is a seemingly never ending battle, but we finished the year in a happy place with our group. We built our first 30” axial pump, and with the completion of a 400 horsepower HPU in the first quarter of 2018, we will get it tested, confirm the curves, and have it available in our arsenal of axial flow pumps. Throughout the year we participated in 4 trade shows, numerous customer trainings, and traveled to see as many customers as we could. We also developed a brand new catalog (let us know if we can drop one in the mail to you!). We continued to make improvements to our new website and we are updating and adding information all of the time.
So what’s in store for 2018? One thing that we are discussing is an addition to our building to further improve work flow, receiving and pump testing. We are early on in the discussion, but we all agree that we need additional space to continue to grow and improve our manufacturing techniques for you our customers. For those of you who don’t know / haven’t been to our little corner of the world for a visit, we are in a former banquet hall that we converted into our light manufacturing operation. It has served us well but it is time for some additional space. We have some casting patterns that have challenged us in the last year – we will be investing the money for new patterns where required to address some of these challenges. As with any year, our crew at Hydra-Tech Pumps will work hard to help our customers resolve their problems, whether simply placing a parts order, application help in choosing the right pump or system, or working through a pump rebuild or repair. We are always working to improve our catalog, manuals and other marketing literature, our website, and our products and services.
There is only one trade show on the calendar at this point – will we see any of you at the WWETT Show in February? www.wwettshow.com – we will be in Booth #4104 – please stop by and say hello if you make it to the show. So cheers to a happy, healthy, and successful 2018!
As we continue to celebrate 40 years of business at Hydra-Tech Pumps since Ken Reim started the company, we are celebrating some service milestones at our Christmas party next week. After the ownership of Hydra-Tech Pumps changed in 2005, the business moved in October of 2007 from Mt Holly, New Jersey 123 miles north to Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. It goes without saying that with the exception of Ken Reim, the founder who continues to contribute in all facets to the business, we completely started over with employees.
So in addition to celebrating 40 years in 2017, we also celebrate 10 years (and one month) in our new home. We have 19 employees, 8 of which have been here for the full 10 years since our relocation to Nesquehoning. Across the 19 full time employees we have an average of 7.4 years of service. That means that the people in the office taking your calls, fielding your questions, quoting your needs have the experience to get it right the first time. It also means that the people in production fabricating the frames, machining the volutes and other pump parts, painting, assembling and testing the equipment we provide to you are going to get the job done right.
They say knowledge is power, and while we would never claim to know it all, we certainly have worked hard through the years to learn about you, our customer, your industries, and how and where you use our products. Our job, as individuals and collectively as a company, is quite simply to help you. We want to solve your problem, figure out how to get you the right pump, hydraulic power unit, or complete system to do what you need done. How can our talented group of employees help you today?
Tips for storing your hydraulic submersible pump so when your pump is needed you’ll be ready to go
- Clean any dirt and debris from the pump head
- Check the hose tails and quick disconnects for damage
- Release any pressure trapped in the quick disconnects thus leaving room for expansion
- Remove hydraulic motor and inspect motor lip seal
- Remove top cover from volute and inspect wear parts (order worn parts as needed)
- Check the bearing housing oil level and the condition of the oil
- Store pump in vertical position
Preparing your power unit for cold weather usage/storage
- If your unit uses diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and you plan tostore your unit for the winter you will need to winterize the system, DEF freezes at 12° and expands by 7%.
Switch your fuel to the winter blend to prevent the fuel from gelling, there are also plenty of additives available
- Replace your fuel filters
- Check your coolant level, make sure the engine coolant will work in your expected winter temperature
- Top off your fuel and hydraulic levels to prevent condensation
- Change the hydraulic oil and filter and don’t forget to clean the suction filter at the bottom of the reservoir
- If you choose not to change the hydraulic oil, it should be sampled for condition and water contamination
- Check all the hoses for cracks and chafing
- Charge and disconnect batteries
- Check and adjust your belts
- Check tire condition and pressure
- Check the nuts and bolts for your guarding
- Clean out the hydraulic oil cooler and radiator and hose off the unit
- Replace any worn or unreadable placard
In the world of all things pumping, many frustrated pump rental companies and service and equipment providers have to walk away from certain jobs because they just don’t have the technology to do it right. One of the most common sources of these lost opportunities results from not having an answer when customers need to pump hot liquids.
In cases where fluid temperatures approach 200oF or 95oC, there are few options, especially when the TDH requirements call for using a submersible pump. The fact is that most electric submersible pumps, because of built in protections, will only perform in these conditions for short periods of time before they experience thermal overload and thus shut down for a cooling period. With the pumping action stopped, downstream processes cease, or the upstream influx of hot fluid overcomes the sump or storage vessel, resulting in work stoppages or overflow conditions.
Any savvy business person knows that effectively solving a problem like the on described can open up new customer bases and revenue streams. So, who has the cool answer to this hot question?
To solve this riddle, it is first important to understand the other critical components of a pumping system that must be considered. Beyond thermal overload in motors, the pump’s materials of construction, including the elastomers in mechanical seals, O-rings and gaskets and other non-metal parts must be equal to the task. In the world of sealing materials, the most common “rubber” compound used is nitrile/Buna, and depending on the manufacturer, these pieces are rated to hold their sealing properties up to 210oF (99oC). EPDM and FKM gaskets and seals can offer an extra measure of protection since they are rated for temps up to 250oF/121oC and beyond. Because most pumps made have one of these three seal types built in, this part of the systems offers minimal cause for concern. Then, any wetted part of the pump that contains plastic, including the insulation on wiring must be studied. Because different types of plastic begin to distort at different temperatures, failures could result if the resin compounds inside the pump cannot take the heat.
Armed with the knowledge of what to look for in a workable hot liquid pump, you should consider the hydraulic submersible equipment manufactured in Pennsylvania by Hydra-Tech Pumps.
Hydra-Tech’s submersible pumps, built on non-electric, hydraulic drive technology are not subject to electric motor based thermal overload, and because they have the correct elastomers in the seals and O-rings and because there are no plastic parts, these pumps are built to beat the heat, with one note of caution.
Anyone used to working with hydraulics knows that heat in hydraulic oil is the mortal enemy of any hydraulic system. And, since our pumps are designed to be submersed in the hot liquid, the oil flowing through the pump motor is seeing and absorbing some of the heat from the hot fluid. To minimize the effects of this exposure, we have engineered in to most of our hydraulic power units Air over Oil hydraulic oil coolers which use ambient air flow to remove a lot of the heat. In cases where the pumping job is continuous, or when ambient temperatures are elevated, there is still a chance that the standard on board cooling may be overcome. In these cases, additional cooling methods, from simple to sophisticated, can be employed to make sure oil temperatures remain below 160oF/71oC.
In a temporary situation, it can be a simple as removing heat by putting an extra length of hydraulic hose in to a fresh water bath. If the customer is uncomfortable with that kind of fix, you can reach out to our engineering staff, and we can look at adding additional cooling at the hydraulic power unit. The options here include swapping in a larger oil cooler or building in a dedicated fan assisted oil cooler. In cases where the installation is permanent or semi-permanent, and where a fresh cooling water source is available, a highly efficient tube and bundle type oil cooler can be employed.
So, before you dismiss hot liquid pumping jobs and the new revenue streams they may offer, give Hydra-Tech Pumps a call and we will be happy to help you evaluate the job and come up with a pumping solution.
Very early on Thursday September 7th, Jeff Whittaker flew down to Mexico for short trip to see our distributor and provide training for one of his customers who recently purchased a number of HT11D hydraulic power units and S3T submersible pumps. Little did he know how unique this trip would be?
His flight arrived without delay or problem – he took care of some other business Thursday afternoon and evening and after a delicious dinner he was dropped me off at his hotel. In typical fashion he fell asleep on the bed fully dressed watching the end of the New England / Kansas City game with every light on in the room.
He was shaken out of sleep by the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in 100 years – the magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck 60 miles off the southwestern Mexican coast near the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. 600 miles from the epicenter, the 8th floor of the Holiday in was moving 8-10 inches back and forth, which wasn’t nearly as unnerving and the groaning sounds coming from the building itself. He rode out the end of the most violent shaking in his room and then headed downstairs, almost as if to get confirmation that it was really an earthquake (having never experienced one before). Once outside the hotel, feeling the aftershocks on solid ground was an unsettling feeling – He couldn’t imagine what the people within 100 miles of the earthquake felt. Sadly there was much destruction in the states closest to the earthquake and a number of people were killed in building collapses. The next day he learned that one of the people at the training has a crack in a wall in his house as a result of the quake that happened 600 miles away – He was not surprised to hear this based on his newfound respect for their power.
Back to bed and up in the morning to go and see the customer for the training. Schools are closed on Friday because of the quake so Mexico City traffic was “light”, at least lighter than normal. Because of the recent rains and then the earthquake it took some time for all of the employees to arrive for the training, but once they did they spent an hour reviewing the proper pre start checks, start up and operation of the HT11D hydraulic power units and 3” submersible pump. After fielding some good questions from the group they enjoyed a nice lunch together before departing.
Saturday morning was another early ride to the airport to get on the plane and depart for home as hurricane Katia was moving west across Mexico from Veracruz where later that day it was downgraded to tropical storm Katia. They always say it is nice to come home after any trip, despite good food, good friends and good business in Mexico, he can’t think of many trips where this was truer!
As companies look for more efficient and effective ways to get fossil fuels out of the ground, the use of slurry pumps in cellars and for general mud handling at rig sites has become more common. Past practices included the use of trash pumps or close coupled centrifugal pumps to do this work, but those pumps were not designed specifically for the harsh duty of moving mud with specific gravities up to 2.4.
A few submersible pump companies developed and put to market their own versions of sand slurry pumps. These pumps featured some hardened wear components and in some cases external agitators to help homogenize the fluid being moved. These pumps vastly improved the work flow while at the same time offering better pump life. The start of a win-win.
We at Hydra-Tech decided to take this one step further and offer customers the opportunity to get up to 15% more head capacity and flow from the same size pump. To do this, we partnered with BJM pumps of Old Saybrook, CT and eliminated the limitation inherent in the typical electric motors which top out at around 1800 rpm. Specifically, we took BJM’s robust design and engineered a stronger shaft and bearing set along with all of the required adapters to mate to the lower end of the pump, including the hardened wear parts.
The result…performance curves that consistently and across the range of the curve provide more gallons per minute and a higher head capability. Additional benefits of using hydraulic power include the ability to slow down the impeller speed to meet specific pumping conditions and of course the added safety of not having high voltage electric cable running through water in an area where workers are present. This design is successful to the point where Hydra-Tec Pumps is now private labeling the units back to BJM with the hydraulic drive and this line of pumps is now widely used by the customers of both companies.
Beyond exploration, these pumps have also proven most effective in the Horizontal Directional Drilling industry as those firms transfer mud from the sump at the bore hole back to mud recycling systems.
This story is typical of what we have been doing at Hydra-Tech for the last 40 years; we work to find ways to create the best option for getting work done. That’s why the World Pumps us for Solutions.
This year’s WWETT Show in Indianapolis, Indiana was my 17th show in 18 years and I tell people all of the time that it is my favorite industry trade show. For 25 years or so WWETT was referred to simply as the Pumper Show (because that was really who it served) – in recent years it was renamed WWETT – for Water & Wastewater, Equipment, Treatment and Transport.
WWETT is the most laid back trade show I have ever attended. The casual atmosphere is due in large part to the number of family businesses that both attend and exhibit at the show, Hydra-Tech Pumps included. When I walked into the Pumper Show for the very first time in 1999 in a sport coat, I quickly realized that I was overdressed – overalls or jeans dominate the show floor at WWETT – you won’t see many suits and ties at this show. It is not unusual to see a group of 5-10 people from a small pumper company with a territory of a county or two come strolling down the aisle. Many times the group is an entire family and includes kids or grandkids who are enjoying a trade show for the first time (and especially those booths with the candy dishes!).
One of the companies that Hydra-Tech Pumps has had the pleasure of getting to know this year is AA Septic Service Inc. in Clayton, Indiana. James Penner’s father bought this business in 1984 from another family – more than 32 years later his family business still serves their community in central Indiana some 30 miles west of the Capital.
About 15 years ago James began exploring various septage dewatering equipment for their operation including a belt press, dewatering box, and vacuum pump systems – none of which worked to his satisfaction. At the time he was still able to cost effectively dispose of his septage. With the benefit of hindsight, James now says he should have pressed on because slowly but surely throughout the Pumper industry fewer and fewer municipal wastewater treatment plants were accepting septage. Also increased regulations restricting land application of septage, causing pumpers’ costs for disposal to significantly increase. James decided that the techniques he had tried weren’t working, so he addressed the problem in true American entrepreneurial fashion – he designed and built a complete dewatering system that would allow him to treat his septage.
After 4 years of developing, refining and testing his concept, he spun his idea off into In The Round Dewatering so that he could market and sell his solution to other pumpers around the country and around the world. James’ system is a patent pending dewatering drum that is fed from a storage tank and it processes a batch of sludge and polymer of up to 25,000 gallons.
James had one more challenge to overcome – how could he consistently, effectively and efficiently “feed” his dewatering beast when he needed to? He had access to a digester that was 16’ deep where he could store the septage, mix it into a homogenous fluid, and then pump it to his drum. The little trash pumps he used previously were inconsistent as the level of the water changed essentially affecting head. They also had issues with clogging and generally didn’t hold up for very long before needing replaced. After this year’s WWETT Show James reached out to us to figure out which pump would solve his problems for good. We hooked him up with an aluminum S3T Hydraulic Submersible Pump – James wrote to me a couple of months later to tell me about his experience since going hydraulic:
“The biggest challenge we have been experiencing during our several years of dewatering has been our ability to pump the liquid waste from the digester to the dewatering drum. From the beginning, we have used gas powered trash pumps as they are relatively inexpensive. We would scrap them when they quit and buy a new one. Finally, however, we decided to fix this issue by getting a three-inch submersible hydraulic pump from Hydra-Tech. The results have been amazing because all we do now is turn on the hydraulic flow and we are pumping. We no longer have issues priming or dealing with reduced flow when our tank levels get low. After using Hydra-Tech’s pump for several months, we have not experienced any plugging problems. The ability to increase the (hydraulic) oil flow and thereby have the pump speed up is more efficient because we are able to fill our In the Round Dewatering drum faster leading to fewer man-hours spent filling the drum. Dewatering has truly become much easier with the addition of this hydraulic submersible pump from Hydra-Tech. Additionally, the Hydra-Tech pump is light enough to transfer to other tanks making cleaning and emptying them easy. This pump has become a valuable asset to our operation.”
We hope to help more of James’ In The Round Dewatering drum customers efficiently get their wastewater from storage to drum more consistently, with better control, and with a light, reliable and long lasting pump. If you would like to learn more about James Penner’s serious dewatering drum, check out www.itrdewatering.com. Our thanks to James for his contributions to this story, as well as for his faith in our product – we are glad it did everything you hoped it would!
When choosing the right pump for the job there are always several things to consider. You have to make sure the pump can provide the right flow (GPM) at the total head the pump will have to overcome (TDH). You need to know if the pump is designed to handle solids or if it only needs to pump clear water. You may have an existing hydraulic power source you want to use to drive the pump so it is important that you find a pump that will match the available hydraulic supply. Other things to consider are the type of hydraulic and discharge hoses used for the job and hydraulic fitting selection.
Choosing the right materials of construction can make the job easier and extend the life of the pump. The majority of Hydra-Tech’s pumps are available in aluminum and ductile iron, some are available in stainless steel. Here are a few examples of the thought process behind choosing from different materials:
- Let’s say that the pump will need to handle some solid material from time to time but it is more important that it be lightweight so it can be hand carried to the center of a lagoon. In this case an aluminum body pump would be the best choice. An example of this could be the S4T-2.
- You have a settling tank that needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis and the fluids that get dumped into the tank have a wide range of PH values. To make sure the pump resists the corrosion that can occur in these conditions a stainless steel body, impeller and other parts would be the best way to go. An example could be the S3TSS pump.
- You have a mine dewatering application where the pump will be stationary and you know that there will be solid and semi solid materials (silt, sand, gravel, rocks) passing through and you will need a tough pump to take those hits. Ductile iron is good choice here – an S8T or S10T would move some water and be tough enough to withstand the solids passing through.
- The pump is being mounted on an oil skimmer and will be pumping primarily salty seawater and a mixture of various oils. A marine Aluminum Bronze construction would be a good choice for this application. Our S2TCAL-2 with optional Aluminum Bronze parts could be the answer.
What special consideration does your pump application require? Our technical specialists are here to help you make the informed choice.
Let’s answer the common question we get about seals…“Yes” part number 6715U replaces part numbers 6715 and 6716 on the channel impeller 6” pump head (S6TC). The drop in replacement requires no special machining, no special tools and no cup ring. This uniquely designed 21” manhole pump has been one of our most popular pumps for many years. As we continually try to improve things, we again listened to our customers when they described some of the field problems they experienced. While they understood that the extended oil housing in this pump head helps to keep the oil cool and extends the life of the mechanical seal, customers said it was prone to catching debris and causing seal failure. Our customers asked for a better design that would reduce failures caused by wire-ties, plastic bags, rags, branches and other things that get jammed in the seal area.
We responded by going back to the drawing board to make it better. With our own ideas on paper, we contacted our seal manufacturer to try and find a mechanical seal designed to hold up in one of the toughest of environments-the rental market! The result is the S6TC pump head’s new direct replacement seal, part number 6715U. This seal is also known as a bellows style seal because of its 316 stainless steel closed spring design (see the picture below of the #6715U seal installed).
To make things even better, we also redesigned the extended oil housing casting in new pumps being built today by adding four cast in place kick down lugs which push away the solids in the seal area. And we added a pin to prevent the stationary half of the mechanical seal from rotating. (NOTE: If you are only replacing the seal on a repair it is not necessary to add this pin).
To complete the upgrade, the seal faces are now made of silicone carbide to better hold up to the toughest mud, grit and fluids. The elastomers are made of Viton which resists a wide variety of chemicals and offers broad temperature operating ranges from 0° to 400° Fahrenheit.
The three set screws hold the rotating section in place on the impeller hub. Since the seal height is preset at the factory, the mechanical seal and will be at the correct height when you replace the impeller on the shaft.
As always, we appreciate your feedback on this and all of our products. With your continued support, Hydra-Tech Pumps will continue to make smart and cost effective improvements to our products, to benefit you.
Can I run the pump from a skid steer or back hoe?
Many times we are talking with potential customers and they ask if they can run our hydraulic submersible pumps off of their skid steer or backhoe. The answer is yes you can run our pumps off of your vehicle’s auxiliary hydraulic circuit as long as the hydraulic output (flow and pressure) meets or exceeds the requirement for the submersible pump. Most of our pumps operate at pressures up to 2500 PSI (170bar) which is common to many vehicle hydraulic power supplies. If your vehicle’s hydraulic system is capable of providing more oil flow than is required by our pumps, a flow control can be added to the circuit to prevent over-speeding.
What if my vehicle’s auxiliary circuit is controlled by a directional valve?
If your vehicle’s auxiliary circuit is controlled by a directional valve (spool valve with lever), it is allowable if they are Open Center (motor spool) valves. In an open center circuit, the valve controlling the direction of oil on the submersible pump is allowed to pass through the valve and return to the oil reservoir and allows the pump impeller to slowly wind down. See this hydraulic diagram that shows a typical open center hydraulic circuit.
If the valve has the capability to run the pump in reverse direction, a check valve must be fitted to the return line to prevent reverse rotation. We recommend running the return line directly back to tank (preferably through a return filter before entering the reservoir) to prevent the possibility of reverse operation and to alleviate the concern of whether your valve is open center or Closed Center (cylinder spool).
If you are not sure if the equipment you currently have is a good match for our pumps, just give us a call 570-645-3779.
In a centrifugal pump, the mechanical seal (referred to as the “shaft seal assembly”) prevents the water that is being pumped from entering the bearing housing of the pump or simply the area between the motor face and the volute where the shaft passes through. This is not the same seal as the motor lip seal (or wiper seal), a part of the hydraulic motor that seals the motor shaft at the motor face and prevents any liquid from entering the hydraulic motor.
A picture is worth 1,000 words right?
You can see the different pieces of a mechanical seal, in the picture below – in this case a carbon ceramic seal that would be used in a number of our smaller pumps. It is called a mechanical seal because there are two halves of the seal with flat faces that are pressed together by a spring. A spring presses the primary ring (or rotating face) against the stationary face – the primary ring spins with the shaft and impeller, the seat or stationary face doesn’t move. Tiny amounts of liquid pass between but are typically vaporized by the heat of the shaft and seal before even getting past the mechanical seal – this liquid is actually important to the mechanical seal as it provides both cooling and lubrication.
The motor lip seal and the mechanical seal are the heart and soul of any submersible pump. In another piece we covered the causes of a motor lip seal failure – here we are going to cover the possible causes of a mechanical (or shaft) seal assembly failure. Some are simple and obvious, some might surprise you.
- Mechanical seals do wear out over time. Friction, heat and other factors contribute.
- Improper installation. If the mechanical seal is replaced and the new seal is not properly installed, this can lead to a quick failure of your new mechanical seal.
- Motor lip seal failure. If one of the many situations (see “What happened to my Motor Lip Seal” article 4/13/17) that can lead to a motor lip seal failure occurs, the bearing housing will fill with pressurized hydraulic fluid and push the stationary seat out of its recess (it will likely dislodge the rotating piece as well) and cause hydraulic fluid to flow into the volute.
- Debris in your pump. Something as simple as a plastic garbage bag or piece of rope can wrap around the pump shaft and compress the mechanical seal spring and jeopardize its function. Something like a long bolt with the strength to lock up the impeller can also have a detrimental effect on the mechanical seal.
We will follow up this post with one that covers some of the material choices available in mechanical seals and the pros & cons involved with those materials.
One of the things Hydra-Tech Pumps is known for is our customization – we have written about it before in general terms and have developed a long list of options for both pumps and power units from custom paint to custom design. How about an extreme example of something that started with an idea that we had never built before.
An excellent customer / distributor of ours who works in areas with extremely cold temperatures contacted us in November with an idea for a power unit that would be more appealing to his customers than our normal offerings. Oh, and it has to perform in subzero temperatures most of the time. And by the way Hydra-Tech hasn’t made this unit before. Can we do it? Our answer, as so often is the case, was “Yes, we can do that.”
The unit pictured below is a fully enclosed (although not sound attenuated) 35 horsepower liquid cooled diesel hydraulic power unit with a 54 gallon fuel tank and 30 gallon hydraulic oil reservoir. The unit will provide 14 GPM @ 4000 PSI to a submersible pump or any hydraulic tool and has both adjustable flow and adjustable pressure. For the extreme cold environment we included a 3.5kW Yanmar diesel generator that will power the engine block heater and hydraulic oil heater in the reservoir. It can also be used to power any electric tools required at the job site. The generator can be separated from the HPU by removing two pins and as a result can be used in a different area of the job site than the HPU. Complete access to the inside of the unit is available through the 6 louvered swing doors – 2 on each side and one on each end. To top it all off, every control on this Hydra-Tech HPU is properly labeled in the customer’s language.
This unit shipped about 4 months after the conversation about this HPU got serious enough to become an order. Have a custom hydraulic power unit design need that no one else will consider? Give us a call and let’s see if we can do it – I bet we can!
There are different types of hydraulic circuits used in fluid power applications.
The two types are described as Open Loop (or Open Circuit) and Closed Loop (or Closed Circuit).
Open Loop Circuits:
These are circuits where both the inlet to the hydraulic pump and the motor (or valve) return are connected to a hydraulic reservoir. The hydraulic flow from the pressure port on the pump is directed to the device that it is powering and then returned back to the reservoir. A relief valve or directional valve in the circuit may divert any unused fluid back to the reservoir. Suction strainers and return filters keep the fluid clean.
- Generally less expensive.
- Better for lower pressure applications (below 3000 PSI).
- Simple to maintain and easier to diagnose problems if they occur.
- Could create heat in the system if working pressure exceeds the relief valve setting when using fixed displacement pumps.
- Reservoir size has to be larger for adequate cooling of the fluid.
Closed Loop Circuits:
These are circuits where the motor return is connected directly to the hydraulic pump inlet. To maintain pressure in the loop, the circuits have a charge pump (a small gear pump) that supplies cooled and filtered oil to the low-pressure side. Closed-loop circuits are generally used for hydrostatic transmissions in mobile applications. The reservoir only has to have enough capacity to feed the small charge pump. These circuits are mainly used with higher-pressure piston hydraulic pumps and motors.
- Systems can run at higher pressures with less fluid flow so smaller hydraulic lines can be used.
- Direction can be reversed without the use of valves.
- More control options are available.
- More expensive components are used.
- May require high-pressure filtration.
- More difficult to diagnose and repair.
Many of the Hydra-Tech Pumps systems use open loop circuits with high efficiency pressure compensated hydraulic pumps to help prevent heat build-up while offering ease of maintenance that is so important in the field.
Examples of open and closed loop circuits.
In today’s world economy, it surprises us that many businesses large and small shy away from pursuing international sales opportunities. While the realities of language barriers, shipping regulations, import regulations, letters of credits and wire transfers can appear scary, doing business around the world need not be difficult or risky.
Like any transaction, the key to doing well internationally is to establish a level of trust between the companies involved. These days, most of the communication from foreign clients reach us by way of email. We do not treat these people or opportunities as secondary, rather we strive to answer their technical questions and make commercial offerings with the same accuracy and urgency as we provide to our domestic clients. This quick and clear transfer of information lets a potential buyer know that they are important and that you value their potential business. Because of email and language translate programs, written communication is most times much clearer and more effective than a verbal exchange. As the relationship grows over days, weeks or months, both parties will work through more technical issues, negotiate the commercial side of things and with good faith dealings on both sides put pen to paper on proper proposals and purchase orders.
That sounds easy, but what about the pitfalls associated with commercial transactions and logistics? On deals that are not in the millions of dollars, it is our experience that over 90% of foreign entities accept that a wire transfer between banks participating in the Swift program is both he most convenient and simplest way to complete transactions. The paperwork, fees and risks are minimal when compared to letters of credit or doing business on open terms. Of course as the relationship grows, moving a trusted oversees partner to open terms is something that we have done successfully in places like Russia, China, UK and Australia.
Probably the single biggest key on the logistics side is selecting a freight forwarder that has extensive experience moving product in to the destination country. This may mean different carriers for different areas of the world. Often times the customer desires to direct the freight, so providing them with accurate weights and dimensions (often in kilograms and centimeters) is required. A word of caution here…there are export restrictions placed by our government which forbid the sale or re-sale of goods to restricted countries and business entities. For information on this, it is best to review all federal trade regulations.
It should come as no surprise that the most difficult part of the process is the actual paperwork. Most countries place very exacting requirements on the importers of products; from requiring a license for every item code brought in to fumigated packing materials, to certain types of shrink wrap. While it may ultimately be up to the client to jump through these hoops, cooperation and patience on the seller’s part is required to further cement the relationship and to insure future business.
Because we take the steps outlined above, Hydra-Tech Pumps has been able to share our passion for providing pumping solutions to at least 20 countries around the world. Beyond the lands mentioned above, we placed pumps in Malaysia, Ireland, Denmark, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Turkey and others. So regardless of the political climates around the world, there are many great business opportunities around this growing smaller planet.
Wow. Although Hydra-Tech Pumps has exhibited at the ConExpo / ConAGG show before, this was my first time and the word wow doesn’t even begin to convey the size and scope of this show held every 3 years in Las Vegas. Labeled as the “biggest trade show in the Western Hemishpere” this show earned its reputation. In my 22 years of trade shows, ConExpo is easily twice as big as the next largest show I have attended. The stats: more than 2800 exhibitors whose displays took up more than 2.8 million square feet of exhibit space to show their products to 128,000 total attendees, including 26,000 international visitors from 150 countries. Twenty percent of the visitor came from other countries – the Hydra-Tech Pumps booth saw a steady stream of visitors from Australia, South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East as well as Canada, Mexico and the US.
In our booth, Hydra-Tech Pumps displayed a 16 horsepower Kohler diesel power unit and a 13 horsepower “special” power unit with a Yamaha engine and galvanized frame. We had a 6” Sand / Slurry pump, an S6V sewage pump, an S4T-2 an S4TLPAL, and a stainless steel S3T. Sand / slurry pumping seems to be the hot need right now – it seems as though every other conversation at the show was about pumping sand or grit, dredging, or running a CSL pump in some similar application.
As with any trade show there are so many different aspects to appreciate. We enjoyed meeting many new prospects both local and far flung. Having current customers, distributors, dealers, competitors and vendors come through the booth is always fun. We had the chance to explore the IFPE section of the show to see what new hydraulic technologies can help us build better power units and controls. And I can’t speak for my colleagues, but walking around the indoor and outdoor exhibits took me back to being a kid playing with Tonka trucks in a pile of dirt in my parent’s back yard. Excavators, trucks, cranes, pavers, wood chippers and every piece of equipment used in any aspect of construction and agriculture imaginable. The next ConExpo / ConAGG show March 10-14 in 2020 and I can’t wait to go.
Written By: Jeff Whittaker
In 2017 we celebrate 40 years in business and already, in the blink of an eye, January is in the rear view mirror and we’re halfway through February. Any of those New Year’s resolutions holding up? Both personally and professionally, January represents that fresh start that allows you to reset and refocus on the coming 12 months. It’s funny though how your work can get in the way of, well, your work. Sometimes the day to day busy of taking calls, helping customers, preparing quotes and getting orders out the door while necessary can keep us from the things we should be doing.
We are halfway through our very trade show-centric 1st quarter, with 4 shows in 10 weeks to start the year. The amount of time that goes into all of the details related to exhibiting at a show is significant. Forgetting about the work done in the 8-12 months before the show, we pack the equipment for the trade show, make the pick-up date, fly to a city, unpack and set up the booth at the show, man the show, break down the booth, ship it home, fly home, catch up on the week you missed, get the stuff back from the show and start all over for the next one. The upside is getting the chance to visit with customers and prospects and get feedback (the good and the bad) on our equipment from existing customers. We also look for feedback from prospects on our equipment as well as what they currently use instead of Hydra-Tech equipment. Oh, and St Louis and Indianapolis are lovely this time of year, so there’s that upside too.
Once the dust clears on the trade shows in early March after ConExpo, we’ll catch our breath and begin to plan travel and training for the rest of the year, evaluate potential shows through the end of 2017 and begin working on those we’re committed to in 2018.
When Ken Reim, the founder of Hydra-Tech pumps needed a product that wasn’t available to him to solve a problem for the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, Africa in 1977, he designed and developed the HT8G and S2, the first power units and pumps sold by Hydra-Tech. This was the story with many other products Hydra-Tech has come to be known for in its time in the pump and power market.
In 2017 Hydra-Tech will celebrate 40 years in business and the concept of custom designed and purpose built pumps and power units continues today. Sure Hydra-Tech sells a lot of its “bread and butter” products week in and week out. At the same time, we have never shied away from the calls that start out with “I don’t know if you guys can do this or not” or “I have an idea for something I need – do you think you can build it?”
The amazing thing about Ken is that he is as passionate about these calls today as he was during the first five years Hydra-Tech was in business. He likes that challenge that comes with making something new that we haven’t built before. Might be a hydraulic power unit to run a piece of equipment that we don’t manufacture. This year we built and shipped as many as 10 custom power units to run something other than a Hydra-Tech pump and have a couple more we are working to get out the door in the coming weeks.
Customization of our pumps and power units is always an option – we are wrapping up the development of a menu of options for both types of product and they will be up on the website soon. We had a new customer from a marine diving / salvage business contact us about a week ago with a request for an item that we have never built or offered – an idea to solve a problem he has. We are working right now to take his idea from a sketch on a blank piece of paper through design and fabrication to a finished product. As a smaller organization, this is one of the many benefits we can offer our customers over some of the big boys, who would rather sell what they have and not what they don’t have. Do you have an idea related to pump and power that we can help you with?
As we approach the end of 2016 everyone thinks about their New Year’s Resolutions. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to go back to school. I’m going to be a better person. We all kick around the usual promises and hopefully make one or two stick. As a company we go through some of the same thought processes as it relates to our business and our customers, but on a year-round basis. 2016 has been a challenging year with oil and gas down, domestic mining suffering, and of course all of the fun leading up to (and following) our election in November. Many of our customers have suffered and we have suffered with them.
In 2017 Hydra-Tech Pumps will celebrate 40 years in business since Ken’s filled the first order in 1977 for some pumps and power units for the Peace Corps. Despite the challenges in 2016 we worked throughout the year on a number of things that will ultimately benefit our customers. This perpetual review of everything we do covers the mundane daily administrative tasks all of the way up to which trade shows we participate in and where our sales travel should take us. It is never easy and ever evolving – one particular subject this year was addressed, debated and discussed, and ultimately improved 4 different times between February and this week until we think we got it fine-tuned to where we want it – again with the benefit of the customer in mind during the entire process.
We constantly look at collateral to insure that it is accurate for our customers. Our website was completely redesigned and launched in April with new enhancements like our chat feature. There have been constant improvements made to the new website since its launch as well. Our spec sheets have been reviewed and updated this year. We re-run pump tests to insure that our pump curves are accurate and have begun working with an outside source to certify our curves. In 2017 we will have a brand new catalog available.
So as far as New Year’s Resolutions go, here’s what you can expect from Hydra-Tech Pumps in 2017. We will continue to work hard to earn and keep your business by trying to continually improve as a company to try and exceed your customer service expectations. We will celebrate 40 years of existence. We might not lose weight. Happy New Year to you and Cheers to a happy, healthy, and successful 2017!