As it approaches 50 years of trading, Bombas Leão – Brazil’s leading manufacturer of submerged water pumps – continues to prove that it is more than worthy of handling one of the world’s most precious resources. As Reuben Ford discovers, constant commitment, technological innovation and expansion have continued to increase the company’s volume of clients, sales and success.
Since its foundation in 1964, Bombas Leão has maintained a constant flow of water pumping projects, providing high technology and implementing new management, development and production systems. Never one to let an opportunity float past, the company has always been evolving, searching for the expertise to manufacture its products and high quality services. Sailing past competitors in the Latin American market, Bombas Leão is a family-run company, currently in the hands of the third generation and keeping a steady hold on market leadership.
When the three Plaza brothers created Bombas Leão, they seized the opportunity to provide maintenance services for imported pump technology, which were previously hard to find in Brazil. Experience with the equipment and motors used in submerged water pumps soon led to production of their own technology and Bombas Leão became one of the first national companies to make and market its own pumping equipment. “We have been manufacturing our own pumps for 30 years and for the last 15 we have been the main, and largest producer of pump motors in Latin America,” confirms Sales Director Jeferson Plaza.
THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY
With important clients such as Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, Bombas Leão’s power in the market must be reflected in the power of its water pumps. “We manufacture pumps for wells from four inches in diameter, ranging from 0.5 to 270 horse power with a capacity to pump from 0.5 cubic meters to 450 cubic meters per hour,” says Plaza. The volume of water pumped and the exact specifications of the equipment depend on the individual application. “Salt water and fresh water require different types of pumps as does the process of purification to produce drinking water, and applications on petroleum platforms” he continues. The pumps and their motors are manufactured according to strict technical standards and rigorous selection of materials including die-cast iron, stainless steel and bronze.
The executive board employs modern and active methods to follow closely all innovations and techniques used in the industry. Technology is one of the main factors in Bombas Leão’s growing success, and the research and development department work on specific solutions at the company’s laboratories. “Our equipment is projected, designed and manufactured in Brazil,” explains Plaza. “Submerged pumps are part of the public dominion, so the product itself is standardized. Where we differentiate ourselves from competitors is in the productivity, efficiency and performance of our equipment.”
In addition to pumps and motors Bombas Leão produces control panels and complete sets of equipment designed and manufactured to solve all the water-pumping needs of its clients. The projects are mounted and supplied using Leão technology and benefiting from the company’s research and experience. Despite the company’s specialization in pumps and motors for deep well water extraction, the new lines show the company spirit of constant evolution and drive to stay ahead in the industry.
Production machinery and the development of techniques and technology for its products have not been the only focuses of investment.
Strong market performance as well as the marketing support offered to its clients and distributers have achieved excellent results and Grupo Leão has three more companies, in addition to Bombas Leão SA, that facilitate production and distribution. Being close to the consumer, in every sense, has always been a priority, and the distribution network is constantly under scrutiny. When creating the distribution centers, Leão opened Bombas Leão Nordeste, in Teresina, Piauí state. This facility also manufactures some lines (for four-inch wells) as well as increasing the practicality, speed and efficiency of sales in the north east of Brazil. Bombas Leão Recife (in Recife, Pernambuco) was also opened as a distribution center to improve accessibility in the area, and also assembles equipment.
The control panels are now managed by Paineis Leão, which was created to attend the growing volume of business in the department. Thanks to constant investment in processes and technology, the company has grown and consolidated its name in the sector. Today, Paineis Leão is completely focused on its clients and has earned acclaim in Brazil and abroad for its contribution to the industry.
The careful infrastructural organization strengthened Leão’s leadership position. “We currently have a 44 percent domestic market share, as well as a firm foothold in Latin and Central America,” says Plaza. Leão has averaged 10 percent annual growth in recent years, a figure the group aims to pump up to 15 percent in 2011.
Top technology and market position together with a strong relationship with its clients, power Leão into the future with an unstoppable force. While the throws of the industry have pushed others into troubled waters and even caused some to sink, business for Bombas Leão and its clients is undeniably on the up.