Equipment Protection During Testing Ensures ‘Peak Performance’
As a multi-line distributor of pumps and mechanical seals, Gilbert Pump & Mechanical provides services and repairs equipment for the municipal market—including wastewater, water transport, package lift stations and other applications. For nearly two decades the company has delivered solutions and services for municipalities across the Florida Panhandle and
As part of their dedication to ensuring “Peak Performance” of the company’s equipment, in 2007 Gilbert Pump & Mechanical began designing a test facility that the company believes will be beneficial for their customers, as well as their business. The new facility—referred to by the company as the “Gilbert Pumper”—was unveiled this spring at the company’s annual open house, traditionally called the PIG JIG.
“With this facility, we have the ability to test horsepower (HP) ratings, from 1 to 150 HP, with a 600 AMP power service and 7,000 gallons of water,” said Brian Widman, Director of Operations at Gilbert Pump & Mechanical.
The company can employ the pit to test submersible sewage pumps, submersible turbine pumps, end suction, centrifugal pumps and others using the 16-foot depth pit and/or the flooded suction pit. In addition to performing tests, the Gilbert Pumper utilizes equipment connected to the company’s local server. With this design, the entire system is run from a laptop computer—delivering results in real time that can easily be viewed virtually anywhere in the world through an internet connection.
“We use the test facility to troubleshoot pump issues, certify pump tests and test every pump that we have repaired in our service center,” Widman said. “The Gilbert Pumper saves the trouble and cost of testing equipment in the field, and since it’s a controlled environment, we can feel confident that the pumps we provide are operating as they should.”
When developing the test pit, Gilbert Pump & Mechanical needed several enclosures for their equipment—ones that were rugged enough to withstand harsh environments common in wastewater/municipal areas, including sewage gases, extreme heat, and at times, hurricane force winds. For this, they turned to Hoffman.
“We wanted to use the best equipment available on the market today,” Widman said. “Not only is this a useful piece of equipment, but it’s also an ongoing show piece that allows customers to see what’s available in today’s market. Of course Hoffman was first on our list for enclosures.”
Widman met with Dean Field, who was at that time the General Manager of Flow Technologies at Pentair, Hoffman’s parent company, at WEFTEC in 2008. After Widman mentioned the test pit project during their conversation, Field put him in touch with Toni Amenrud, vertical market manager at Hoffman, who assisted Widman with his enclosure request. The “Gilbert Pumper” now utilizes seven Hoffman Free-Stand Type 1 Disconnect Enclosures, which provide exceptional equipment protection and rugged construction.
Constructed with a 14 gauge steel body and door, a 3-point latch with heavy-duty handle, plus a 4-in. high 10 gauge steel integrated lifting base, Hoffman’s Free-Stand Type 1 Disconnect Enclosure provides sturdy, yet economical protection for electrical and electronic equipment. These enclosures are also available in numerous sizes, provide convenient mounting options and can be modified to meet individual application requirements—making them simple to employ in a broad range of applications and industries.
“Throughout the years, nobody in the enclosure business has gained the good reputation Hoffman has,” Widman said. “We wanted the best, and we knew by using Hoffman our visitors could see that they are the best enclosures on the market today.”
Widman notes that Hoffman enclosures also provide the highest degree of safety for Gilbert Pump & Mechanical’s employees.
“When the enclosure door is open, the incoming power is killed from the power service, making it safe to access the enclosed equipment,” he added. “This disconnect enclosure design is the safest and most effective that we found for this application.”
Since the test facility has been in operation, the response Gilbert Pump & Mechanical has seen from their visitors has been excellent.
“We use the enclosures every time we test a pump, and customers can see for themselves the quality that Hoffman provides,” Widman said. “Our customer base is excited, and the ‘buzz’ is traveling.”