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Milestones in Pump Technology

With Industry Know-how from Classic Pump Technology to Pump 4.0

| Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Discover the pioneers and trendsetters in the process industry with PROCESS.
Discover the pioneers and trendsetters in the process industry with PROCESS. (Source: ©stockphoto mania, ©pomah - stock.adobe.com)

What makes out a successful pump manufacturer in a technology-focused industry like the process industry? The answer is application expertise, which creates added value for the customer — after all, plant builders and users expect system solutions that are tailored to their individual processes. Industry-specific know-how is and always has been the driving force of innovation at Grundfos.

It all began in 1945 with an order for a small automated waterworks for a farm. Poul Due Jensen, who had founded the company Bjerringbro Pressestøberi og Maskinfabrik (Bjerringbro Die-casting Foundry and Machine Factory) a year before in the cellar of his private villa in Bjerringbro/Denmark, was on the search for an electric pump to pump water from a well. As he was unable to find a satisfactory solution, the pioneer simply decided to develop one himself. The first Foss 1 pump — known as the “pig” — marked the start of the company’s activities in the world of pumps and was the first chapter in an impressive company history. Today, Grundfos is one of the leading developers, manufacturers and supplier of pumps, pump systems, electric motors and electronic components.

Selected Milestones in the History of Pump Technology:

From the outset, the company was guided by the notion that, while standard solutions for everyday problems can be offered by virtually all pump manufacturers, they cannot all offer the same level of knowledge of industry standards and expertise in the area of production processes. This is why industry-specific know-how is and always has been the key to success. By fully exploiting the opportunities and limits of technology and by taking advantage of new lines of thought, manufacturing techniques and pump technology were developed that were subsequently also adopted by other pump manufacturers.

Here is just one example: In 1971, the CR30 pump was the first multistage inline centrifugal pump ever produced. The most revolutionary aspect was that inlet and outlet were placed at the same level, in line with each other. The pump could therefore be installed anywhere in a system without requiring changes to the piping, which was a huge installation advantage. Like many other Grundfos designs, it is now the industry standard.

Another development worthy of special mention is the MGE motor with integrated micro frequency converter, which was first introduced in 1993. Even today, this motor is still a unique feature of Grundfos, as this drive technology, which was developed in-house, offers unrivaled performance in terms of efficiency and integrated control technology. It also forms the basis for Grundfos’ current range of iSolutions pump systems, which can communicate and interact with other systems. With the iSolutions concept, the company now sets the pace in terms of technology on the path from classic pump technology to “Pump 4.0”: pump hydraulics, drive technology, sensors, I&C systems and specific software are all coordinated with each other. With wireless technology and Ethernet buses, pump systems are integrated in the process and plant management.

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