Volume 8 | Issue 4 | Year 2005

Aging infrastructure that acts to process and move water is of vital concern, especially in areas in which the rate of growth has placed additional burdens on already delicate piping networks. Staring at hefty replacement costs, municipalities must turn to the experts to meet the challenges ahead. Among the circle of professionals that has staked its livelihood on the design and fabrication of state-of-the-art solutions is the Patterson Pump Company, a major supplier of pumps for water supply, wastewater, drainage, heating and fire protection. Patterson Pump has an extensive heritage of quality, innovation and reliability in manufacturing, beginning more than 80 years ago as Thomas & Smith, Inc., contracting and manufacturing engineers in Chicago. Its successor, Economy Pumping Machinery Company, actually created the Patterson pump line. The company became known as Patterson Pump Company in 1979.

The first in the series of technical advances in the Patterson pump line was the steam powered piston pump introduced to the water and wastewater marketplace. The company developed its first horizontal split case pump in 1920. This pump is engineered to move clear water and low viscosity clear liquids more efficiently and economically than any other type of pump. Between 1920 and 1940 the company vastly increased its product offerings to encompass end suction, condensate and axial flow pumps, as well as other related products. Through strategic acquisitions in the 1940s and 1950s, Patterson Pump moved manufacturing locations to Ohio and Pennsylvania. During this period, the company became a major supplier of pumps for water supply, wastewater, drainage, heating and fire protection. By 1970 both small pump and large pump lines had been consolidated at the Toccoa, Ga., international headquarters location. In 1988, Patterson Pump Company was purchased by pump manufacturing giant, The Gorman-Rupp Company, and was designated a wholly owned subsidiary.

Challenges ahead
At present, in the municipal market, the company is responding to two dominant trends: privatization and infrastructure replacement. “While the majority of water purveyors in the U.S. is publicly owned, the number of investor-owned water and wastewater utilities is growing,” comments Vice President of Marketing Darrel Snyder. “Municipally owned systems are keenly aware of this trend and have responded by launching benchmarking programs to demonstrate their efficiencies and effectiveness. Highly efficient Patterson pumps have been, and continue to be, a major part of these effective operations.”

One of the top challenges facing water utility managers today, he explains, is the replacement of critical, but aging, infrastructure components that obtain, treat and deliver clean water to customers. Some older urban areas have water pipes that are 100 years old. Many pump stations date from the end of World War II and will soon need to be replaced. “Bigger challenges come with how to conduct the necessary upgrades and expansions while continuing to supply clean water to customers, and how to pay for them,” Snyder adds. “Costs for the entire U.S. could reach well into the trillions of dollars. Again, the quality, efficiency, reliability and longevity of Patterson pumps will be an integral part of these challenges.”

Additionally, a major trend in the pumping industry – the movement toward better training, particularly e-Learning – is also affecting Patterson Pump’s business. Because the industry has been significantly impacted by the current economic climate, resulting in downsizing of staff, and the retirement of more experienced engineers, “learn on the job” mentoring is becoming limited.

Patterson has supported the Hydraulic Institute and other allied associations in offering eLearning curriculums. Patterson has been unique through the years in providing formal, coordinated training in proper operation and maintenance of pumping products at its modern training facility in Toccoa.

This facility also offers highly trained machinists who operate the latest high-tech, computerized-controlled machining centers, vertical turning centers and computerized lathes, offering high-precision workmanship in less time for faster delivery. Plate shop personnel are fully qualified in accordance with Section IX of the ASME Code for all types of approved welding. The facility also features one of the industry’s largest and most comprehensive test laboratories.

In addition, a wholly owned subsidiary of Patterson Pump Company, Patterson Pump Ireland Ltd., is headquartered in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. Here the company builds, fabricates, assembles and tests all types of Patterson fire pumps for the European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern markets, in line with increasing demand. Flo-Pak, a business unit of Patterson Pump Company, has recently opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Buford, Ga., for producing its Aqua-Flo-Pak plumbing booster system, along with HVAC systems and UL control panel products.

Patterson’s modern test facility in Toccoa offers a complete, closed-loop system under ideal research conditions. This fully instrumented test laboratory is capable of verifying every design and performance specification of Patterson pumps, including cavitation testing and model testing. “With the facility’s enormous capacity, pumps can be tested for a wide variety of simulated field conditions in installations throughout the world,” Snyder says. “That’s because a significant number of sizable and very diverse custom pumps are manufactured for worldwide customers.”

Setting industry standards
These operations give comprehensive support to Patterson’s full line of modern, high-performance pumps for water and wastewater duties that set the standard for the industry in both domestic and international markets. The company is Six Sigma and ISO:9000 certified, which attests to its world-class quality and dependability.

Industries served by Patterson water and wastewater pumps include municipal, industrial, commercial, irrigation and flood control. Major water and wastewater products include industrial and commercial pumps; horizontal and vertical centrifugal pumps; non-clogging waste and sewage pumps; axial and mixed flow pumps for flood control and irrigation; multipurpose vertical turbine pumps; municipal vertical turbine pumps; end suction pumps; general service pumps; and prepackaged pump systems.

Also, Patterson Pump continues to be the industry leader in prompt delivery of all standard model fire pumps worldwide. The company has consistently shipped fire protection pumps to between 60 and 70 countries each year for the past six years.

The company has recently extended its expertise in the fire, water and municipal arenas to the HVAC industry. Its hands-on systems and applications expertise in solving thousands of problems in urban water and waste, storm water and flood control, arid desert reclamation, ecological balancing and fire control, made the company instant world-class contenders in the HVAC arena.

“James B. (Burt) Rishel, a major consultant for over 50 years in every pumping market segment, particularly HVAC, lent his personal endorsement to Patterson’s official unveiling of the new HVAC line at the AHR 2005 Expo in Orlando in February,” notes Snyder, who quoted Rishel as saying: “Patterson Pump may be the new kid on the HVAC block, but they are the grandfather of high quality, efficient pumps, such as 48-inch diameter, split case pumps operating at 91 percent efficiency.” As further proof of its dominance in the field, Patterson Pump has consistently been among the top four manufacturers in both the water/wastewater and fire pump markets for a number of years, Snyder adds.

Aiding its efforts to reach a broader customer base, Patterson is promoting itself in the marketplace by a “Look No Further!” campaign, which stresses that the search for a pumping solution ends at Patterson’s door. Having provided thousands of pumping solutions, Patterson Pumps, Snyder says, knows how best to approach every unique problem. “Patterson’s pump designing know-how, efficient production capability and careful attention to testing details ensure that each Patterson water, wastewater or fire pump, and each prepackaged engineering system will perform its intended function efficiently, economically and reliably,” Snyder says.

Working under the motto “Pumping Technology for Tomorrow’s World” the company’s design engineers continually make incremental improvements throughout the entire production line, developing new products and engineered prepackaged systems to take advantage of leading-edge pumping technology.

“From its first day in business, Patterson Pump Company has been committed to producing superior products that meet or exceed individual needs of its customers,” Snyder says. “That commitment is even stronger today in this fast-changing industry, and is evidenced not only by the increasing growth and diversification of the company, but also in the continuing loyalty of the many urban centers and industrial companies that we serve.”

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