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Innovation sharpens an edge in water pump technology

Article - October 18, 2012
Global demand for inventive pumping solutions from Hidrostal has lead to expansion plans
Over the past half century, water-pump manufacturer Hidrostal S.A. has focused on innovation and quality assurance to develop its business into a global, ISO-certified enterprise. Today, increasing local and global demand for innovative pumping solutions has the company looking to expand its plant in Lima and to look for international collaborators.

“Hidrostal started out on a foundation of hard work, inventiveness, and in the interest of always making high quality products; that was the impetus and its momentum has always been maintained,” says Pedro Luksic, General Manager of Hidrostal.

Seven years after establishing the company in Lima in 1953, founder Martin Stähle invented the screw-type centrifugal impeller, an invention that was key to the development of the fishing industry in the 1960s. Key features of the innovation include easy adjustment, high pumping capacity, and energy savings of up to 50% compared to conventional centrifugal pumps.

Maintaining a continuous research and development (R&D) program has given Hidrostal a technological edge in the industry. The company has expanded to offer its customers a wide range of pumping services: engineering expertise, installation of equipment, startup and functioning of technology, repair and maintenance services, and hands-on training programs.

“We invest a lot in R&D; 5% of our sales go to R&D, and we are constantly improving products and always creating new products every year. We have the same technical engineering programs that are in more advanced countries. We also focus on teaching and training people,” Mr. Luksic says.

Hidrostal now exports its centrifugal pumps, electric motors and vertical turbine pumps to more than 40 countries worldwide.

“Ours is a quality product. We are focusing on markets like the U.S. and Europe,” says Mr. Luksic.

Demand for Hidrostal’s products and services comes not just from companies involved in the water and waste industry, but also in sectors such as aquaculture, brewing, food processing, construction and civil engineering. Some of its major clients include Pfizer, Exxon, Nestlé, ICI, Wemco and Texaco.

“Our products cannot be mass produced because they are targeted at specific sectors. We have to go directly to each sector; we approach our customers directly. It is not a matter of advertising; advertising is good for mass-produced consumer products,” says Mr. Luksic.

Hidrostal relies on local, licensed distributors of its products; for examples, its U.S. representative is located in Utah, and distributes the company’s products across the entire country.

“We are not interested in exporting everything we make,” says Mr. Luksic. “Rather we have selected some products for export to countries where we really have a technological advantage over others in the world.”