Can you help us keep our history of pumps up to date? (Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.)
Can you help us keep our history of pumps up to date? (Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.)

Since this time line was published five years ago, we have received various updates and comments – many of which have now been incorporated where possible. Suggested additions should be as brief and accompanied by a date.

To help us bring this time-line up to date, please leave your message in the 'Comment on this article' box at the foot of the article, but you must be registered and logged in first.

Driving trends

One trend has been the increasing importance of niche positive displacement pumps, particularly rotary types. Peristaltic, progressing cavity and rotary lobe pumps have all risen in profile as their capabilities have been introduced to new markets by improved communications. Increasing competition has meant that users have been more inclined to experiment in the search for the ideal pump for difficult duties.

The trends that have affected all of us have also had their impact on the pump market. Increased environmental awareness gave a real boost to pumps without shaft seals. Magnetic drive and canned motor units have thrived and even produced a hybrid combining the two technologies. Pump shaft sealing has also changed dramatically. Asbestos in packing is outlawed and today the vast majority of new pumps are supplied with mechanical seals, often in factory-assembled cartridge format to avoid the risk of face damage during handling.

Materials have also developed. Sea-water pumps have seen gunmetal and aluminum bronze replaced by highly alloyed super-austenitic and super-duplex stainless steels. New non-metals have made possible tiny pumps for human implant. Ceramics and tungsten/silicon carbide have vastly reduced wear rates in pumps of all sizes. Even large sub-sea variable speed super-synchronous drive motors for pumps are now possible.

Overtaken by computers

Electronics and computers have overtaken all our lives and inevitably have entered the physical world of pumps in the form of variable speed drives (VSD's), SCADA systems and condition monitoring equipment. Integral VSDs on in-line pumping units now dominate the building services market. Pump selection software has speeded up the process of choosing a pump, as well as opening opportunities in marketing. For the designer, CAD and CFD have reached new heights. They can now interact but they still have some way to go before they fully replace personal expertise.

Life cycle costing has become a part of everyday life and has shown that energy costs usually eclipse all other lifetime costs. Vast savings are frequently realised by system improvement but appropriate legislation is practically impossible to formulate. Although pump efficiency improvements give relatively small returns for large outlays, legislation for raising efficiency now exists in Korea and China. The European Commission, as part of its Energy Using Products Directive, has targeted the raising of efficiencies of water pumps. Europump has been instrumental in assisting the EC in this task and has proposed a method for eliminating bad performers.

We are all aware that in recent years, discussions about the pump industry have been dominated by talk of mergers, takeovers and disposals. Indeed, as we consider the major pump makers of 2009, it is hard to name one which has not changed markedly since 1959.

Comings and goings

ITT, IDP, Sterling Fluid Systems, Grundfos, Wilo and ABS have changed almost beyond recognition. Established independent makers like Harland, Flygt, Worthington and now Weir Pumps have disappeared, whilst newer names like Textron, Constellation Capital, IDEX, Pentair and Flowserve have arrived on the scene, continuing the trend for the biggest companies to get bigger.

Other interesting changes include diversification. For example, after more than 50 years of providing submersible motors to pump makers, Franklin Electric has ‘pulled the plug’ and now buys pump companies to produce its own units.

Mind you, it is also interesting to note from the chronology of the pump industry listed below, that even in the early years of this magazine mergers and acquisitions were not unknown and ever since there has been a continuous environment of change.

Global marketplace

Probably the biggest single change in this industry has been the transition from a local to a global marketplace. Fifty years ago we had only national trade associations but today the significant impetus in inter-company relations is at intercontinental level. The Europump Association has grown massively in stature and effectiveness in its 49 years, and now works in close partnership with the Hydraulic Institute in the US. This partnership reflects ever closer cooperation between pump manufacturers' associations, a development that mirrors this magazine's evolution from national through European to global coverage. ♦



200 BC

  • Ctesibius invents the reciprocating pump
  • Archimedean screw pump described (but not invented) by Archimedes

1580

  • Sliding vane pump invented by Ramelli
  • Serviere invents the gear pump

1650

  • Otto van Guericke invents his piston vacuum pump

1674

  • Sir Samuel Morland patents the packed plunger pump

1738

  • Ural hydraulic machinery plant established

1790

  • Plenty Ltd established
  • Thomas Simpson establishes his pump business in London Hayward Tyler established

1830

  • Screw pump invented by Revillion

1834

  • Sulzer Brothers founded

1840

  • Henry R Worthington invents the first direct-acting steam pump

1848

  • Goulds Pumps founded

1851

  • John Gwynne patents his centrifugal pump improvements

1853

  • Bornemann Pumpen founded

1856

  • Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon founded

1857

  • Roper Pump Company founded
  • Jacob Edson invents the diaphragm pump and founds the Edson Corporation

1860

  • David Brown commences business as pattern maker
  • Allweiler founded
  • A.S. Cameron invents the first reciprocating steam pump

1861

  • Allis Chalmers Manufacturing. Co, Milwaukee, WI., USA founded

1862

  • Lawrence Pumps established
  • Philipp Hilge founded

1866

  • Lederle founded
  • Sigma Lutin founded
  • Stork Pumpen founded Scanpump founded

1871

  • KSB established
  • Southern Cross established in Australia
  • George and James Weir set up the partnership that forms the Weir Group

1872

  • Weise & Monski, Ochsner, Byron Jackson and Wilo founded

1873

  • G & J Weir moves to Glasgow

1874

  • Herborner Pumpenfabrik found by J H Hoffman

1875

  • Hodgkin and Neuhaus, forerunner of SPP, founded

1877

  • Ritz Pumpenfabrik established

1878

  • Steimel founded
  • Hodgkin and Neuhaus becomes the Pulsometer Engineering Company Ltd

1881

  • Halberg Maschinenbau founded

1883

  • Holden & Brooke founded
  • A W Chesterton founded

1884

  • Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co. builds world’s largest centrifugal pump

1888

  • Kirloskar Brothers Ltd founded

1890

  • Salmson starts making pumps in Paris
  • Osna Pumpen established

1893

  • Uraca Pumpenfabrik founded

1894

  • Sero Pumpenfabrik founded
  • Peroni founded

1896

  • KSB opens UK subsidiary; Dia Pumpen founded

1897

  • Wirth founded
  • Worthington Pump Company and Thomas Simpson amalgamate to form Worthington Simpson Ltd

1901

  • Flygt's forerunner Stenberg founded

1903

  • Rateau founded
  • Blackmer founded in Petosky MI, USA

1905

  • Leistritz Company established

1906

  • Stuart Turner Ltd founded
  • André Petit invents the eccentric disc pump, Mouvex founded in Paris, France

1907

  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries produces its first pump

1909

  • Tristam Pumpen and Pumpen fabrik Ernst Vogel founded
  • Ingersoll-Rand enters the pump business by acquiring the Cameron Steam Pumps Works

1910

  • Gilbarco produces its first gasoline pump
  • Dickow Pumpen and Hitachi founded
  • OSNA established by J. Hartlage

1911

Jens Nielsen builds the first Viking internal gear pump, founding the Viking Pump Company

1912

  • Ebara Corporation founded
  • Duriron (Durco Pumps) founded

1913

  • Myers Gog Gear enables the pump user to retrieve water from the down stroke as well as up stock with 40% less effort

1915

  • Gaso (reciprocating pumps) formed in Tulsa, OK, USA

1916

  • Hazleton Pumps founded as Barrett Haentjens and Co.
  • Worthington Pump & Machinery Corporation acquires Worthington Simpson Ltd
  • Wheatly (reciprocating pumps) established in Kansas City, Missouri, by Frank Wheatley Sr. and his brother
  • Gaso Burner Manufacturing Company formed – designs reciprocating piston pump for oil

1917

  • John Crane founded
  • Hydraulic Institute established
  • Louis Bergeron invented the concrete volute pump and founded Bergeron S.A.

1918

  • Scanpump and CCM Sulzer founded

1919

Torishima Pump Mfg Co and Kawamoto Pump Mfg established

1920

  • Bombas Itur, Wernert Pumpen and SIHI established

1921

  • LaBour founded

1922

  • Midland Dairy Machines founded

1923

  • Peerless founded
  • Pacific Pumps founded

1924

  • Jung Pumpen established
  • Leistritz starts making screw pumps
  • Rheinhuette starts pump production

1926

  • Arai Pump Mfg. Co. founded

1927

  • Industrial Filter and Pump Mfg Co forerunner founded
  • Edur Pumpenfabrik founded

1928

Girdlestone Pumps founded

1929

  • Heishin Works, and Houttuin founded
  • Pleuger pioneers the submersible turbine pump motor
  • Stenberg and Flygt commence their cooperation

1930

  • René Moineau receives a doctorate for his thesis which will lead to the invention of the progressing cavity pump
  • Ensival starts selling centrifugal pumps
  • Reda Pump Company founded

1931

  • Imo established by Ingeström and Montelius
  • VNII Gidromash research and design organization founded in Moscow

1932

  • PCM founded
  • Sarlin Pumps founded; Bran+Luebbe founded

1933

  • Bush pump invented
  • Gormann-Rupp established

1934

Floway Pumps started as Fiese & Firstenberger Munufacturering

1936

  • Robbins & Myers acquires North American license for the Moineau progressing cavity pump
  • Mono Pumps Ltd formed to manufacture and distribute Moineau's pump design in the UK

1937

  • Sigmund Pumps Ltd (GB) established

1938

  • Ebsray and Warman International founded

1940

  • Grindex founded
  • Dresser acquires Pacific Pumps

1941

  • British Pump Manufacturers Association founded
  • Smedegaard Pumps founded

1944

  • Franklin Electric founded

1945

  • Grundfos Pumps, Caprari and Flexibox founded

1946

  • Cornell Pumps, Klaus Union, Totton Pumps founded

1947

  • HMD Seal/Less Pumps established
  • Hyundai founded

1948

  • Abel Pumps launched
  • Mast Pumpen founded
  • Stenberg Flygt AB designs the first submersible drainage pump
  • Varisco starts pump production

1949

HMD supplies its first production magnet-drive pump

1950

  • Batescrew estabIished
  • Delasco founded
  • Vanton Pump and Equipment develops all-plastic pump for use in conjunction with the first heart-lung device

1951

  • Saer Elettropompe, Tsurumi, Netzsch Mohno pumpen founded

1952

  • Lewa and Rovatti founded

1953

  • Nikkiso established

1954

  • Orlita and Sta-Rite founded
  • Bell & Gossett opens its Little Red Schoolhouse training facility

1955

  • Wilden and DMW Corporation established
  • Borg-Warner acquires Byron Jackson

1956

  • Flygt introduces the submersible sewage pump
  • Watson-Marlow founded in Marlow, UK, to exploit the peristaltic pumping principle

1957

  • Richter Chemie-Technik founded
  • Centrilift founded

1958

  • Heishin Works becomes Heishin Pump Works Co Ltd
  • SSP Pumps founded

1959

  • World Pumps is launched as Pumping
  • ABS and Calpeda founded

1960

  • David Brown Pumps division formed
  • Europump established

1961

  • Ingersoll-Rand acquires the Aldrich Pump Company
  • Pulsometer Engineering joins the Booker McConnel Group, which had already acquired Sigmund Pumps

1962

  • Acromet commences operations

1964

  • First edition of the Pumping Manual published

1965

  • Nigo's Pumps incorporated in India
  • Warren Rupp founded
  • Sulzer acquires majority interest in Weise & Monski
  • Pumping becomes Pumps, Pompes, Pumpen

1966

  • Crisafulli Pump Company founded
  • ITT acquires Jabsco

1967

  • Scienco founded

1968

  • Johnson Pump International founded
  • ITT Corporation acquires Flygt
  • Falcon Seabord acquires Wheatly

1969

  • Weir acquires Harland Engineering; Worthington acquires Worthington-Simpson
  • Mouvex launches the first seal-less rotary pump not based on magnets

1970

  • Alma Pompe founded
  • Weir buys Drysdale
  • Ingersoll-Rand buys Sigmund Pumps Ltd (GB) in Gateshead, UK
  • Allis Chalmers Mfg. Co. designs and builds the first world’s largest high head centrifugal pump

1971

  • SIHI takes over Halberg
  • Gévelot group acquires Delasco
  • Turbosan founded
  • Seepex Seeberger founded

1973

  • Crest Pumps Ltd founded
  • Tesoro acquires Wheatly

1976

  • Worthington acquires Sier-Bath Pump Division from Gilbarco
  • Valco founded in Marostica (Vicenza) Venice Region, Italy

1977

  • Ingersoll-Rand buys Western Land Roller Irrigation Pumps
  • Sterling Fluid Systems (TBG) buys Peerless Pump

1978

  • Thompsons acquires the pump manufacturing operations of Kelly & Lewis to form Thompsons, Kelly & Lewis

1979

  • Totton Pumps bought by Wolseley plc
  • SPP acquires Godiva Fire Pumps
  • Geosource acquires Wheatly

1981

  • Red Jacket and Hydromatic merge to form Marley Pump
  • Sterling Fluid Systems takes a half share in SIHI

1982

  • Pumps, Pompes, Pumpen is relaunched as World Pumps magazine
  • Biwater acquires Wallwin Pumps
  • SPP is subject to a management buy-out

1984

  • First Texas A&M Pump Users Symposium
  • SIHI buys the canned motor programme of Bran+Luebbe
  • Moorco Internation acquires Wheatly

1985

  • Dresser Industries acquires Worthington Pumps
  • KSB acquires Pompes Guinard
  • Scanpump acquires Pumpex
  • SIHI buys the pump programme of MAN
  • Pentair acquires FE Myers
  • Goulds Pumps acquires Lowara
  • SPP acquires Henry Sykes plc
  • Goulds Pumps acquires Gaso Pump and Burner Manufacturing Company

1987

  • Bedford Pumps launched
  • BW/IP formed by management buy-out of Borg-Warner's Industrial Products subsidiary
  • Weir buys Mather and Platt Machinery
  • SIHI France buys Schabaver
  • Dresser acquires Pleuger Pumps

1988

  • KSB acquires a majority stake in Georgia Iron Works
  • Scanpump acquires Pompes Lefi
  • Idex Corporation founded
  • Weir buys the large pumps business of WH Allen & Gwynnes from NEI
  • BW/IP acquires United Centrifugal Pumps
  • Braithwaite acquires SPP and sells off Godiva Fire Pumps

1989

  • Elsevier acquires World Pumps magazine
  • Scanpump acquires ABS
  • Pearce Pump Supply founded
  • TBG acquires SPP Ltd as part of Sterling Fluid Systems
  • Dresser Industries acquires Mono Pumps Ltd
  • Ingersoll-Rand acquires Scienco Ltd
  • Watson-Marlow bought by Spirax-Sarco
  • Formed as Wheatley Pump and Valve, the company acquires Gaso Inc from Goulds Pumps Inc, forming Wheatley Gaso Inc

1991

  • Idex acquires Corken;
  • Baker Hughes acquires Geho

1992

  • Ingersoll-Rand and Dresser Industries merge their pump businesses to form Ingersoll Dresser Pumps (IDP)
  • Warman acquires Girdlestone Pumps
  • Idex acquires Pulsafeeder and Johnson Pump (UK) Ltd
  • Weir buys Floway;
  • BW/IP buys ACEC
  • Ebara establishes state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Italy

1993

  • United Dominion acquires Marley Pump
  • Vogel acquires Ochsner
  • Sterling Fluid Systems acquires LaBour

1994

  • Weir acquires EnviroTech Pumpsys tems
  • Warman acquires Barrett Haentjens
  • Idex acquires Hale Products
  • Goulds acquires Vogel
  • ITT buys Richter Chemie-Technik
  • Sundstrand acquires HMD Seal/less Pumps
  • General Electric enters pump business by acquiring Nuovo Pignone (Italy)
  • Dresser Industries acquire Wheatly Gaso Inc

1995

  • Idex acquires Micropump
  • BW/IP acquires the Wilson-Snyder centrifugal pump business from National Oilwell
  • Durametallic acquires Pacseal and then is bought by Duriron

1996

  • Hayward Tyler sold by Sterling Fluid Systems, which buys the remaining half share in SIHI
  • Grundfos acquires Interdab
  • Pump Industry Analyst launched
  • BW/IP acquires Stork Pumps' engineered pumps business
  • Johnson Pumps International acquires the modular pumps business
  • Durco and BW/IP merge to form Flowserve Corp
  • ITT Industries acquires Goulds
  • Idex acquires Blagdon Pumps
  • Textron acquires Maag Pump Systems
  • Spirax-Sarco acquires Bredel
  • Pentair acquires General Signal's Pump Group
  • Constellation Capital acquires Imo
  • David Brown acquires Union Pump Company
  • Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon buys Wallwin Pumps from Biwater
  • Textron buys David Brown Union Pumps
  • Constellation Capital buys Allweiler
  • Glynwed acquires Friatec
  • Sundstrand acquires Ansimag and Masco
  • Weir buys Schabaver

1997

  • Blackmer acquires Mouvex

1999

  • Hayward Tyler acquires APV Industrial Pumps
  • Ebara acquires Cryostar cryogenic pumps
  • Howard Anderson buys Pullen Pumps
  • Sterling Fluid Systems acquires QVF Engineering (Germany)
  • United Technologies Corp acquires Sundstrand
  • Textron buys KSB Annecy (France)
  • Weir Group acquires Warman International (including Girdle stone Pumps)
  • United Dominion Industries acquires Bran+Luebbe; Ensival merges with Moret 2000 Flowserve acquires IDP
  • Halliburton acquires Wheatly Gaso Inc 

2000

  • ABS acquires CH&E Pumps (USA)
  • Cat Pumps (UK) buys Ram Pumps
  • Grundfos acquires Myson and Sarlin Pumps
  • Sulzer acquires Ahlstrom Pumps
  • Watson-Marlow Bredel acquires Alitea (Sweden)
  • Roper acquires Abel; Blackmer buys Chesterton's System One pumps
  • Sulzer (temporarily) decides to leave the pump business
  • Sundyne acquires Caster (Italy)
  • National Oilwell acquires Wheatly Gaso Inc

2001

  • SPX acquires United Dominion Industries
  • Godwin Pumps of America acquires Godwin Pumps (UK)
  • Lightnin (of SPX) acquires Plenty Group
  • Metso acquires Svedala
  • Idex acquires Versa-Matic

2002

  • Gorman-Rupp acquires American Machine and Tool
  • Grundfos takes controlling interest in Chung Suk (Korea)
  • ITT acquires Svedala Robot (Holland)
  • Idex acquires Wrightech (USA)

2003

  • National Oilwell acquires Mono and Corlac (Canada)
  • Wilo acquires EMU
  • Weir Engineering Services acquires Allen Gwynnes pump business
  • Kirloskar acquires SPP Pumps
  • KSB acquires controlling share in Bombas Itur (Spain)

2004

  • Howden pumps merge with Orbit in South Africa
  • Flowserve acquire Thompsons, Kelly & Lewis
  • Armstrong Pumps buy Holden Brooke Pullen, Baric and RMI
  • Grundfos take control of Philipp Hilge
  • Dover Resources acquire Almatec

2005

  • Grundfos takes over Tesla (Italian submersible motor maker)
  • National Oilwell merges with Varco International
  • Interpump acquires Hammelmann
  • Weir acquires Pompe Gabbioneta (Italy)
  • Wilo acquires majority holding in Mather & Platt Pumps and Fire Systems (India)
  • Grundfos acquires Brisan Turbo (South Africa)

2006

  • SPX acquires Johnson Pump
  • Franklin Electric acquires Little Giant Pump
  • United Components acquire ASC Industries (USA)
  • Wilo acquires Circulating Pumps (UK)
  • South Bank UK acquires Hayward Tyler Group
  • Sulzer Pumps sells Paco to Grundfos
  • Pentair acquires Jung Pumpen (Germany)
  • Lowara buys Mercury submersible motors (Italy)

2007

  • Sulzer's proposed acquisition of Weir Pumps falls through
  • Clyde Pumps (part of Clyde Blowers) acquires Weir Pumps
  • SPX acquires APV
  • Grundfos acquires Peerless Pump
  • Wilden Pump acquires Griswold Pump
  • Franklin Electric acquires Monarch Industries pump division (USA)
  • Weir Group acquires Multifl o Australia and SPM Flow Control (USA)

2008

  • Weir Group acquires CH Warman Pump Group
  • Franklin Electric acquires Industrias Schneider (Brazil)
  • Flowserve complete acquisition of Niigata Worthington (Japan)
  • Dover Corporation acquires Neptune Chemical Pump to join its Pump Solutions Group (Wilden, Blackmer, Griswold, Almatec)
  • Weir Group acquires Mesa Manufacturing (USA)
  • Hamilton Sunstrand acquires Marelli Pumps (Spain)
  • Clyde Blowers acquires Textron Fluid and Power division (including Maag Pump Systems and Union Pumps)
  • IDEX acquires Richter Chemie-Technik.


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