|(1) W.S. Darley & Co. will unveil its Z series of pumps at the 2012 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC)-PTO-driven, midship, engine-driven, and direct-drive pumps rated to a maximum of 2,500 gpm. (Photo courtesy of W.S. Darley & Co.)|
|(2) Rosenbauer builds some of its own apparatus fire pumps-specifically the NH and N models (normal high-pressure and normal, respectively). The model shown, the NH, is rated at 500 to 1,500 gpm. (Photo courtesy of Rosenbauer.)|
|(3) Waterous calls the CMU two-stage midship-mounted pump, rated from 1,500 to 2,250 gpm and up to 600 psi, its most flexible in terms of intake and discharge locations and sizes. (Photo courtesy of Waterous.)|
|(4) Hale Products will introduce its new Qmax XS (extra space) pump, a slimmed-down version of the Qmax with the same flow characteristics, at FDIC 2012. The new pump is Hale's response to fire department's seeking more space on their apparatus. (Photo courtesy of Hale Products.)|
Pump manufacturers have responded to fire departments' fire apparatus pump needs with an array of new products, from high-gallon-per-minute (gpm) PTO-driven pumps to those with new casting designs and attachments, and from slimmed-down popular models that fit in smaller spaces to high-pressure models useful in pump-and-roll applications.
Smaller Pump Box
Hale Products Inc. plans to debut its new Qmax XS apparatus pump at the 2012 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC). The Qmax XS (the XS stands for "extra space") is a redesigned version of the Hale Qmax pump that has the same flow characteristics-1,000 to 2,250 gpm-as its heftier brother.
Dominic Colletti, chief brand marketing manager for Hale, says the Qmax XS addresses the trend among fire departments seeking more space on their apparatus. He cites apparatus manufacturers such as Pierce Manufacturing's PUC pumper, E-ONE's eMAX, and Ferrara Fire Apparatus's MVP as vehicles that minimize pump compartment real estate and maximize compartment space.
Colletti says Hale started down the redesign path for some of its pumping systems after using a "Voice of Customer" initiative to identify customer wants and needs. "Many fire departments liked our Qmax pump, its serviceability, and its ability to move big water. But, they wanted to get it on a smaller-wheelbase vehicle with more compartment space," he notes. "The challenge for us was to get the hydraulics into a much smaller package so we could maintain the flow yet allow the compartment space the fire departments wanted."
Hale's engineers and designers came up with the Qmax XS, a pump Colletti says "is durable and reliable but has a more compact profile than its predecessor and, most importantly, still has the ability to move big water from 1,000 to 2,250 gpm."
He adds, "Using the Qmax XS, truck committees can save critical space on the truck without sacrificing big water pump-flow performance."
Colletti points out the new pump uses Hale's "time-tested impeller assembly components and hydraulics" and has a more open pump body, allowing 12 four-inch discharge ports.
"Opening up the pump body lets apparatus manufacturers put large-diameter discharges where they want, which avoids excess piping that takes up space on the truck," Colletti says.
The Qmax XS will fit in a 34-inch-wide pump box using manual valves and a 28-inch-wide pump box with electric valves. The standard Qmax pump is about seven inches wider than the XS. Colletti says Hale will exhibit a full XS pump body and two XS pump modules in its booth at FDIC 2012 and also that Ferrara will have two pumpers equipped with Qmax XS pumps in its booth.
Matthew Pace, product manager of pumps for Waterous, says his company has focused most recently on redesigning the configuration of various castings and manifolds for its pumps to respond to fire departments' emphasis on budgets and performance.
"Our emphasis is in working with both fire departments as end users and OEMs as builders to make sure we're designing to meet performance expectations, as well as working to take cost of out the products to make them friendlier for OEMs to build the apparatus," Pace says.
Some of the ways Waterous is meeting those expectations, Pace notes, include "designing new castings and attachments to go on pumps, emphasizing more high efficiency, and a smaller space. Computational fluid dynamic analysis is being done in house, so once we design a part, there's no surprise as to what it will flow."
Pace points out that Waterous's two biggest sellers are its CS and CMU series pumps. He calls the CS single-stage vehicle-mounted pump rated at 1,250 gpm Waterous's most economical and the CMU two-stage midship-mounted pump, rated from 1,500 to 2,250 gpm and up to 600 pounds per square inch (psi), its most flexible in terms of intake and discharge locations and sizes.
Waterous also is riding the trend toward pump modules, Pace says, and has been seeing emphasis put on adding more and more elements to the module. "Preconnects are getting lower so they're easier to pack, and the modules themselves are much narrower than they were three or four years ago," Pace observes. "What we're hearing from customers is they need to get more components into a pump module to be more efficient," he says. "It needs to be user-friendly; laid out in an efficient way; have more automation in the pump controls; and have easy access to foam systems, crosslays, and hydraulic generators."
Pace points out that fire departments also are seeking electric controls on pump modules as well as controls with presets. "Those are the kinds of elements that allow us to get more into a module because we're not bound by linkages that need to be in direct line of sight to actuate them," he says. "Firefighters want better pressure management and more accurate gauges and to have them arranged in such a way that one small general area is all that's needed to be able to competently run the pump."
Waterous will unveil a number of products at FDIC 2012, Pace notes, including a new CRU apparatus-mounted pump that is rated at 3,000 gpm. "That pump is most applicable in aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle applications," he says, "and can also be used by large municipalities with extreme aerial devices and in industrial applications."
Pace says Waterous also will introduce new electronic control technology at FDIC 2012. "We are able to automate features within the fire truck and, primarily, the pump system to easily initiate a sequence of actions to take place that allows the firefighters to go after the fire while controlling multiple areas on the apparatus," he notes.
Other innovations to be debuted, he says, include new compressed air foam system (CAFS) pumping systems, a new pump for the international market called the Passport, and an emphasis on compact modules. "We'll be offering modules that are only 34 inches wide from the back of the cab to the front of the body," Pace says. "They're rated at 1,500 gpm and have had the control systems repackaged for use in a much smaller area without taking away any discharges or intakes. With our new castings, valve packaging, and electronic technology, we're able to offer a smaller module package."
Pumps and Electronics
Jim Darley, national sales manager for W.S. Darley & Co., says Darley will introduce its full line of Z series pumps at FDIC-the ZSP (PTO drive), ZSM (midship), ZSE (engine drive), and ZSD (direct drive). The Z series is rated to a maximum of 2,500 gpm.
Another new pump line to be introduced is the Darley Solution Series, single-suction pumps that sit low inside the frame rails so they don't take up precious real estate on the vehicle. The Darley Solution Series is similar to the Hale Sidekick, Darley points out, and is rated to a maximum of 1,250 gpm.
Darley also will roll out its Smart Panel at FDIC, an electronic control system, Darley says, "that can control virtually all the functions of a pump-the pressure and pressure governor, the rpm, the water flows, and opening and closing electronic valves."
Darley says his company is excited about a new Muncie FR66 PTO designed for the Ford 6R140 (six-speed) automatic transmission, which will be available on F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 chassis cabs and pickups. "This new PTO can be used on a 4x2 Ford F-550 to drive a small Darley 1.5AG PTO pump with an automatic transmission," Darley says. "It's a big deal for the right customer who previously would have had to consider driving this pump hydraulically." The 1.5AG pump can put out 40 gpm at 275 psi or 125 gpm at 150 psi, Darley adds.
A fire apparatus manufacturer that builds some of its own fire pumps is Rosenbauer, according to Donley Frederickson, Rosenbauer's national sales manager. Frederickson says Rosenbauer builds pumps in its N (normal) and NH (normal high-pressure) models, rated from 500 to 1,500 gpm.
Scott Oyen, Rosenbauer's vice president of sales, says the NH pump will flow 125 gpm at 600 psi. "It's a four-stage pump with two-stage output at the same time," Oyen says. "What's unique about it is that it's a normal pump with four additional impellers that step up the pump to high pressure."
Oyen notes that the biggest niche for the NH pump is in interface pumpers that are running pump-and-roll operations. "They can put that high pressure through a small turret or booster line that can handle 600 psi and get a tremendous output at any rpm," he says. "Bumper turrets can deliver 125 gpm at 500 psi, but departments also can set them up for 35 to 50 gpm at high pressure that gives them a tremendous reach."
Frederickson adds that fire departments have reported the NH pump putting out more than 100 gpm at 100 psi at the end of 150 feet of booster line. "The high pressure overcomes the resistance of the hose," he observes. Rosenbauer also has a foam system that works with the NH pump to put foam into the line to get better firefighting capabilities than CAFS yet with the same reach, he adds.
Oyen says Rosenbauer will introduce the N pump in two 1,500-gpm versions (split-shaft and PTO-drive) at FDIC this year. The pump is PTO-driven with no gear box, he notes, which makes the pump quiet, reduces maintenance costs, and provides ease of operation. Both the NH and the N pumps are available in 500-, 750-, 1,000-, 1,250-, and 1,500-gpm versions, Oyen says.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based freelance writer and is a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.