Author: Cieana Detloff, Reporting for the Pump Industry
We are living through a unique time when people around the globe are suffering unimaginable losses, and some of us, depending on where we are located in the world, are only now getting a sense of the gravity of the situation. While it’s easy to get mired down, we must aim to let our hope outweigh the worry. Do you know what feeds my hope? Seeing the people and companies that have mobilized to counter the effects of this pandemic. I am uplifted by the work I’ve seen in the past week, and I wanted to share with you some of the amazing efforts underway.
While many people are enjoying the alcoholic beverages they have stocked away, there are a few distilleries that have changed from producing libations to manufacturing hand sanitizer. In Gig Harbor, Washington, the Heritage Distilling Company worked with experts at Beckwith and Kuffel to source a WILDEN® pump from PSG to begin manufacturing hand sanitizer. Similarly, Netzsch pumps is making an offer to support hand sanitizer production, and in my very own hometown of Chicago, the KOVAL Distillery has begun producing this greatly needed commodity. I reached out to KOVAL to learn more about the equipment they are using – as we know, there is a hidden world of pumps, and I wanted to know more about the role pumps and other equipment are playing during this pandemic.
“Around the distillery, we use All-Flo air diaphragm pumps for moving alcohol. We have AMT centrifugal pumps to move water, Kiesel screw pumps for moving hot mash and anything sticky (molasses), and a Kiesel impeller pump for moving cold mash and beer,” shares Mark DeSimone, VP of KOVAL, on behalf of his production team. “For the main processes, it is quite similar to the way we make alcohol in our normal distillation process of whiskey and gin: milling, pumping mash into the still or into the fermenters; pumping alcohol into stainless tanks to make sanitizer (for bottling & barreling whiskey/gin, it’s the same idea); impeller pump for moving donated beer from totes into the still or from fermenters into the still [the donations come from some of our amazing local brewery partners – Urban Renewal, Temperance, Great Central Brewing, Metropolitan, and others]. Once we have the finished sanitizer, it’s filled by gravity into the bottle filler.” If you’re a fellow Chicagoan, I invite you to support KOVAL’s efforts through GoFundMe to support the local medical community, nearby retirement homes, and those on the front lines.
In an effort to develop speedy and cost-effective solutions, the geniuses at mHUB, an innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing, have pulled together a team of engineers and entrepreneurs to work on increasing the supply of ventilators. Additionally, they have offered through their website open source designs for face masks. In Brazil, WEG, a global manufacturer of motors and electrical machines, is utilizing its factories in Jaraguá do Sul, in the state of Santa Catarina, to produce ventilators to support the current need (read that story here).
As we continue to work through this global pandemic, I’d like your help to highlight the pumps, equipment, and PEOPLE that are working so hard to get us through this time. At this very moment, there are 10 Water Operators living at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant to make sure that 50 million gallons of clean drinking water get distributed every single day to people in their local area. These heroes, like so many on the front line, are critical to coming through this crisis. Let’s work together to shine a light on all the good happening in the world. Use the comments below to share your stories of pumps and equipment that are at the heart of keeping people safe and healthy.