A brief history of pumps

Fifty years ago, Trade & Technical Press launched a new magazine to report on technical developments in pumps. The original title of Pumping was short-lived, being soon supplanted by the pan-European Pumps, Pompes, Pumpen in 1965 as the magazine linked up with the fledgling Europump association. Over the next seventeen years, the pump industry became increasingly international and in 1982, the publisher decided to mark this trend by re-launching the magazine as World Pumps.

The thirtieth anniversary year saw Trade & Technical Press acquired by Elsevier Science Ltd who incorporated the magazine into its Elsevier Advanced Technology Division. Since then, a number of editorial changes have brought with them new approaches as the industry matures. There have been reviews of software and web pages, eventually eclipsed by sheer numbers. An annual International Buyers’ Guide has been published since 1997, and is now supplemented by an on-line version. Since 2003 World Pumps has worked with BPMA on the annual prestigious Pump Industry Awards. The magazine now features regular contributions from the Hydraulic Institute, underlining its international credentials.

Man has been using pumps of some type for 4000 years, which makes 50 years a very short time in the history of pumping. Indeed, looking back at the most significant developments in technology, the last fifty years seem relatively insignificant. By 1959, all the major pump designs had been introduced and mostly developed into commercial products. So what has World Pumps been writing about for the past 50 years?

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 aluminium 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 proposeda 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.

A brief history of the pump industry

2000 BCEgyptians invent the shadoof
200 BCCtesibius invents the reciprocating pump; Archimedean screw pump described (but not invented) by Archimedes
1580Sliding vane pump invented by Ramelli; Serviere invents the gear pump
1650Otto van Guericke invents his piston vacuum pump
1674Sir Samuel Morland patents the packed plunger pump
1738Ural hydraulic machinery plant established
1790Plenty Ltd established
 Thomas Simpson establishes his pump business in London Hayward Tyler established
1830Screw pump invented by Revillion
1834Sulzer Brothers founded
1840Henry R Worthington invents the first direct-acting steam pump
1848Goulds Pumps founded
1851John Gwynne patents his centrifugal pump improvements
1853Bornemann Pumpen founded
1856Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon founded
1857Roper Pump Company founded
 Jacob Edson invents the diaphragm pump and founds the Edson Corporation
1860David Brown commences business as pattern maker
 Allweiler founded
 A.S. Cameron invents the first reciprocating steam pump
1862Lawrence Pumps established; Philipp Hilge founded
1866Lederle founded
 Sigma Lutin founded; Stork Pumpen founded Scanpump founded
1871KSB established; Southern Cross established in Australia
 George and James Weir set up the partnership that forms the Weir Group
1872Weise & Monski, Ochsner, Byron Jackson and Wilo founded
1873G & J Weir moves to Glasgow
1875Hodgkin and Neuhaus, forerunner of SPP, founded
1877Ritz Pumpenfabrik established
1878Steimel founded; Hodgkin and Neuhaus becomes the Pulsometer Engineering Company Ltd
1881Halberg Maschinenbau founded
1883Holden & Brooke founded
 A W Chesterton founded
1888Kirloskar Brothers Ltd founded
1890Salmson starts making pumps in Paris; Osna Pumpen established
1893Uraca Pumpenfabrik founded
1894Sero Pumpenfabrik founded
 Peroni founded
1896KSB opens UK subsidiary; Dia Pumpen founded
1897Wirth founded
 Worthington Pump Company and Thomas Simpson amalgamate to form Worthington Simpson Ltd
1901Flygt's forerunner Stenberg founded
1903Rateau founded
1905Leistritz Company established
1906Stuart Turner Ltd founded
1907Mitsubishi Heavy Industries produces its first pump
1909Tristam Pumpen and Pumpen fabrik Ernst Vogel founded
 Ingersoll-Rand enters the pump business by acquiring the Cameron Steam Pumps Works
1910Gilbarco produces its first gasoline pump
 Dickow Pumpen and Hitachi founded
1911Jens Nielsen builds the first Viking internal gear pump, founding the Viking Pump Company
1912Ebara Corporation founded; Duriron (Durco Pumps) founded
1916Hazleton Pumps founded as Barrett Haentjens and Co.
 Worthington Pump & Machinery Corporation acquires Worthington Simpson Ltd
1917John Crane founded; Hydraulic Institute established
 Louis Bergeron invented the concrete volute pump and founded Bergeron S.A.
1918Scanpump and CCM Sulzer founded
1919Torishima Pump Mfg Co and Kawamoto Pump Mfg established
1920Bombas Itur, Wernert Pumpen and SIHI established
1921LaBour founded
1922Midland Dairy Machines founded
1923Peerless founded; Pacific Pumps founded
1924Jung Pumpen established; Leistritz starts making screw pumps
 Rheinhuette starts pump production
1926Arai Pump Mfg. Co. founded
1927Industrial Filter and Pump Mfg Co forerunner founded
 Edur Pumpenfabrik founded
1928Girdlestone Pumps founded
1929Heishin Works, and Houttuin founded
 Pleuger pioneers the submersible turbine pump motor
 Stenberg and Flygt commence their cooperation
1930René 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
1931Imo established by Ingeström and Montelius
 VNII Gidromash research and design organization founded in Moscow
1932PCM founded; Sarlin Pumps founded; Bran+Luebbe founded
1933Bush pump invented; Gormann-Rupp established
1936Robbins & 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
1937Sigmund Pumps Ltd (GB) established
1938Ebsray and Warman International founded
1940Grindex founded; Dresser acquires Pacific Pumps
1941British Pump Manufacturers Association founded
 Smedegaard Pumps founded
1944Franklin Electric founded
1945Grundfos Pumps, Caprari and Flexibox founded
1946Cornell Pumps, Klaus Union, Totton Pumps founded
1947HMD Seal/Less Pumps established; Hyundai founded
1948Abel Pumps launched; Mast Pumpen founded
 Stenberg Flygt AB designs the first submersible drainage pump; Varisco starts pump production
1949HMD supplies its first production magnet-drive pump
1950Batescrew estabIished; Delasco founded
1951Saer Elettropompe, Tsurumi, Netzsch Mohno pumpen founded
1952Lewa and Rovatti founded
1953Nikkiso established
1954Orlita and Sta-Rite founded
 Bell & Gossett opens its Little Red Schoolhouse training facility
1955Wilden and DMW Corporation established
 Borg-Warner acquires Byron Jackson

Flygt introduces the submersible sewage pump

1957Richter Chemie-Technik founded
 Centrilift founded
1958Heishin Works becomes Heishin Pump Works Co Ltd
 SSP Pumps founded
1959World Pumps is launched as Pumping
 ABS and Calpeda founded
1960David Brown Pumps division formed
 Europump established
1961Ingersoll-Rand acquires the Aldrich Pump Company
 Pulsometer Engineering joins the Booker McConnel Group, which had already acquired Sigmund Pumps
1962Acromet commences operations
1964First edition of the Pumping Manual published
1965Nigo's Pumps incorporated in India; Warren Rupp founded
 Sulzer acquires majority interest in Weise & Monski
 Pumping becomes Pumps, Pompes, Pumpen
1966Crisafulli Pump Company founded; ITT acquires Jabsco
1967Scienco founded
1968Johnson Pump International founded
 ITT Corporation acquires Flygt
1969Weir acquires Harland Engineering; Worthington acquires Worthington-Simpson
1970Alma Pompe founded; Weir buys Drysdale; Ingersoll-Rand buys Sigmund Pumps Ltd (GB) in Gateshead, UK
1971SIHI takes over Halberg; Gévelot group acquires Delasco
 Turbosan founded
 Seepex Seeberger founded
1973Crest Pumps Ltd founded
1976Worthington acquires Sier-Bath Pump Division from Gilbarco
1977Ingersoll-Rand buys Western Land Roller Irrigation Pumps
 Sterling Fluid Systems (TBG) buys Peerless Pump
1978Thompsons acquires the pump manufacturing operations of Kelly & Lewis to form Thompsons, Kelly & Lewis
1979Totton Pumps bought by Wolseley plc
 SPP acquires Godiva Fire Pumps
1981Red Jacket and Hydromatic merge to form Marley Pump
 Sterling Fluid Systems takes a half share in SIHI
1982Pumps, Pompes, Pumpen is relaunched as World Pumps Magazine
 Biwater acquires Wallwin Pumps
 SPP is subject to a management buy-out
1984First Texas A&M Pump Users Symposium
 SIHI buys the canned motor programme of Bran+Luebbe
1985Dresser 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
1987Bedford 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
1988KSB 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
1989Elsevier acquires World Pumps; 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
1991Idex acquires Corken; Baker Hughes acquires Geho
1992Ingersoll-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
1993United Dominion acquires Marley Pump
 Vogel acquires Ochsner
 Sterling Fluid Systems acquires LaBour
1994Weir 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
1995Idex acquires Micropump; BW/IP acquires the Wilson-Snyder centrifugal pump business from National Oilwell
 Durametallic acquires Pacseal and then is bought by Duriron
1996Hayward 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
1999Hayward 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
2000Flowserve acquires IDP
 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)
2001SPX 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
2002Gorman-Rupp acquires American Machine and Tool
 Grundfos takes controlling interest in Chung Suk (Korea)
 ITT acquires Svedala Robot (Holland)
 Idex acquires Wrightech (USA)
2003National 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)
2004Howden 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
2005Grundfos 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)
2006SPX 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)
2007Sulzer'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).
2008Weir 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