Ensuring Peak Performance

As a multi-line distributor of pumps and mechanical seals, Gilbert Pump & Mechanical (GPM) 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 Alabama.

As part of the company’s dedication to ensuring peak performance of its equipment, GPM in 2007 began designing a test facility that it believes will be beneficial for customers as well as the company. The new facility, referred to by the company as the “Gilbert Pumper,” was unveiled this spring at the company’s annual open house.

“With this facility, we have the ability to test horsepower (hp) ratings, from 1 hp to 150 hp, with a 600-amp power service and 7,000 gal of water,” said Brian Widman, director of operations at GPM.

The facility can be used to test submersible sewage pumps, submersible turbine pumps, end suction, centrifugal pumps and more using the 16-ft-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 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.”

Elected to Enclose
When developing the test pit, GPM needed several enclosures for its 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, the company 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.”

Widman met with Dean Field, who was at that time the general manager of Flow Technologies at Pentair, Hoffman’s parent company, at WEFTEC.08. After Widman mentioned the test pit project, Field put him in touch with the Hoffman marketing department, which assisted Widman with his enclosure request. The Gilbert Pumper now utilizes seven Hoffman Free-Stand Type 1 Disconnect enclosures, which provide equipment protection and rugged construction.

Designed with a 14-gauge steel body and door, a 3-point latch with heavy-duty handle and a 4-in.-high 10-gauge steel integrated lifting base, the enclosure provides sturdy yet economical protection for electrical and electronic equipment. These enclosures are 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.

Safety & Recognition
Widman noted that Hoffman enclosures also provide the highest degree of safety for GPM’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,” Widman said. “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 GPM has seen from visitors has been very positive.

“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.”

Toni Amenrud is vertical marketing manager, water, at Hoffman Enclosures. Amenrud can be reached at 763.421.2240 or by e-mail at
tamenrud@hoffmanonline.com.

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