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Getting pumped: manufacturers invest in America, infrastructure


Some of the major players in the pumping industry are investing in the U.S., and its deteriorating infrastructure. Stemming from my visits starting from the last year, I have seen Grundfos, Taco and Wilo USA and Xylem taking giant steps in the future of America. Each company sees an opportunity to grow by concentrating efforts here in the States and with the American contractor. A lot of great industry buzz is coming out of these camps.

• Grundfos recently celebrated the grand opening of its North American Headquarters in Downers Grove, Ill. Grundfos officials tell me that the reason for moving to the Chicagoland area is because of its proximity to the resurging manufacturing sector surrounding the Great Lakes and its open political climate promoting advancements in water infrastructure and sustainability. “The Chicago area is emerging as an important hub for the water industry and is one of the reasons why we’re establishing our North American headquarters here,” said Jes Monk Hansen, president of Grundfos North America.

Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, who recently launched the $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative to protect public health, create thousands of jobs and overhaul the state’s aging water infrastructure, welcomed Grundfos to Illinois. “This announcement will grow our economy and strengthen our water infrastructure, while creating jobs,” said Quinn.

• Taco is committed to the contractor, and its own employees, as evidenced by last summer’s opening of its Innovation and Design Center. The Innovation and Development Center (IDC) is a $22 million investment in the future of each Taco employee and his or her family, as well as the lives of the company's customers. The biggest investment is in the development of job-related skills so that the existing workforce can continually be developed in new, high-tech manufacturing techniques. It's an important element in keeping those jobs in Rhode Island, Taco’s home state, and in the U.S. The IDC is a first class training facility where contractors can learn everything from the fundamentals of hydronics to the latest developments in technology and comfort.

• Wilo USA recently announced the opening of its 60,000-sq.ft. (under roof) distribution center (DC) in Thomasville, Ga. “This new facility allows for a seamless transition of shipping to customers. We now can operate at a near 100% fill rate accuracy,” says Mark D’Agostino, president of Wilo USA.

In the near future, Wilo is embarking on in-house service center, housed by the Thomasville DC. Using a global service concept, this will present Wilo an opportunity to maintain a high level of service all over the world. The new service initiative revolves around the concept that is unique to Wilo: “Caring everyday to make your life easier,” through an enhanced customer satisfaction experience.

• Xylem Inc. hosted media and reps through its Dallas Flowtronix facility in late January — coinciding with AHR. I was lucky enough to join the tour. The Dallas facility delivers top performance in the design and manufacturing of packaged pumping systems, controls, and RO treatment systems for irrigation, municipal, residential, commercial and industrial applications.

Whichever brand to which you are loyal, know this: These companies are committed to bringing you the best products, technology, and service to the U.S. market.

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