Grundfos looks to pump up education about water, energy efficiency

Company will capitalize on the need to retrofit existing pump systems to deliver energy and operational efficiency.

04/17/2013


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (center) and officials from Grundfos Pumps Corp. break a ceremonial wall in announcing the company’s move to the Chicago suburbs. Courtesy: GrundfosAs Grundfos Pumps Corp. prepared to relocate its corporate headquarters from Kansas City, Kan., to the Chicago area, company executives toured more than a dozen business suites with the latest in design, lighting, and Internet technology. Company executives wanted a more in-depth look at their new home.

 

“We wanted to see the machine room,” said Soren Sorensen, group executive vice president for Grundfos. “They thought we were kidding. But we went to the basement, and we saw all of these old-fashioned pumps, and we saw a great opportunity.”

 

Grundfos expects to double its U.S. sales by 2017 to $1 billion. To do that, the company hopes to convince building owners, manufacturers, and consulting engineers that the time is right to retrofit existing pump systems to deliver energy and operational efficiency.

 

“There’s not going to be a lot of new building, but we see good potential in energy renovation,” said Sorensen. “If you make an evaluation over the lifetime of the product, we can show savings. We need to educate people, especially on the water infrastructure. We need to educate on how to treat wastewater and stormwater.

 

“We need to have strong cooperation between the public and private sector,” Sorensen added. “They need to understand the value of such infrastructure investments. If infrastructure investments are paying off, even bankers will see them as good investments.”

 

Part of that, said Sorensen, is changing the way building owners and operators, and local governments, view the issue of retrofitting pump systems. “They should see it as a benefit rather than a cost,” he said. “Cost savings and reduction in usage can be capitalized. If you can show that you can save 20% in energy costs, all you need is financing.”

 

Grundfos executives announced the opening of their new corporate headquarters in the Chicago area, and one of the drivers behind the location was the support for water and wastewater management from state government. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was on hand at the announcement of the new headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, and praised company officials for their efforts on energy management.

 

“We’ve got to have 21st century technology,” Quinn told about 100 local business and municipal leaders and company officials at the April 16 dedication. “I think the reason Grundfos had interest in Illinois was because we do have a commitment to the environment. We are going to be a water hub for the nation.”

 

“Chicago is a global thought leader on water,” said Grundfos president Jes Munk Hansen. “This office will not only be a regional center, but a competency center.”

 

Sorensen said the issue of water and pump efficiency in the U.S. is gaining attention. “The American market is still the largest pump market in the world,” Sorensen said. “It’s a $7 billion market. Being a global company, we’re not allowed to overlook a market of that size. But it’s not only the size that matters. We think it is even more attractive in the future. We feel we will be able to sell up to the market and bring in the newest technologies.”

 

The global markets, especially in northern Europe and Russia, also hold promise. “In normalized Europe, there is a transformation away from nuclear to renewable and energy efficiency. We’re seeing about 4% to 5% growth in Europe.

 

“In Russia, the market is booming,” he added. “There is great wealth from natural gas, but they also want to save energy so that they have more to export. Here the water agenda is also important. Their water canals need to be upgraded.”

 

Grundfos sees its role as consultant as well as supplier as the company plans to grow. “We see the glass as half-full,” Sorensen said. “We’ve been listening to our customers about what needs to be done. We want to keep strengthening the education about the value of upgrading through the value chain, from the manufacturing level to the install level.”



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.