Man has been using some form of pumps for centuries. However, the changes that have been witnessed in this industry over the last half a century are truly remarkable. Today, we have major players manufacturing major quality products such as Durco pumps in large scale and which are available in nearly every corner of the globe.
The industry continues to change in response to customer needs, as well as global and economic changes.
New Pumps Designs
One major trend has been the rising importance of displacement pumps, especially the rotary types. Peristaltic, progressing cavity and rotary pumps are all gaining great prominence as their unique capabilities are being introduced to new world markets as a result improved transport and communication networks. Increasing competition and more products in the market means customers can experiment more as they seek the ideal pump. Far flung markets have also prompted manufacturers to develop innovative pump packing.
Global environmental concerns have also impacted the pump market. Rising levels of environmental awareness are giving a major production boost to pumps without shaft seals, such as some of the special Durco pumps. Canned motor and magnetic drive units are thriving and even being produced as a hybrid that combines these two technologies.
Pump shaft packing and sealing has also seen dramatic changes. Today, Asbestos in packing is outlawed in nearly all countries and a bigger portion of new pumps are now being supplied using special pump packing as well as with mechanical seals. They are in factory-assembled cartridge format designed to avert the risk of face damage during handling and transportation.
New Pump Materials
Pump materials have continued to evolve. Sea-water based pumps have witnessed aluminium bronze and gunmetal being replaced by super-duplex stainless and highly alloyed super-austenitic steels. Tungsten/silicon carbide and ceramics have vastly brought down the wear rates in pumps.
Technology Taking Over
Computers and electronics are literally taking over nearly all aspects of our lives and even the world of pumps has not been spared in the form of condition monitoring equipment and variable speed drives systems. Computer selection software has greatly speeded up the pump selection process as well throwing more marketing opportunities.
Industry Mergers and Diversification
In recent years, the pump industry has witnessed merger talks and takeovers on a wide scale. In fact, over the last half a century there is not a single major global pumps brand that has not seen some change in ownership.
Probably the most remarkable single change seen in the industry has been rapid transition from the local to an international marketplace. About 50 years ago, products like Durco pumps were only available in their original country of production. Today, inter-company relations at the global level have facilitated franchising, making the pump industry today truly globally connected.