Godwin Pumps® Celebrates 40th Anniversary of the Dri-Prime® Pump Line
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Godwin Pumps is celebrating 40 years of production of its Dri-Prime® fully automatic priming pump line. What began as a simplistic venturi air priming system – popular because it had no moving parts and required very little maintenance – has remained at the forefront of the pumping industry through engineering expertise and market-leading performance.
The Dri-Prime pump is an automatic priming centrifugal pump capable of flows to 5,385 m3/hr (23,700 GPM), heads to 188 m (615 ft), and solids-handling to 125 mm (5 in) in diameter. Available in sizes from 50 mm to 600 mm (2-in to 24-in), the Dri-Prime line provides suction lift capability to 8.5 m (28 ft) and continuous uninterrupted operation, even during intermittent dry suction conditions. In addition, its dry running, double high-pressure oil bath mechanical seal with abrasion-resistant solid silicon carbide faces enable the pump to run indefinitely without the risk of overheating or failure.
Since its inception, the Dri-Prime pump has advanced through many stages. The first generation rolled off the production line in 1970 and included the DPC and MC models. In 1980, the original designs were reengineered and a second generation was produced that carried the model names CD for “Contractors Dewatering,” and HL for “High Lift.” The second generation was touted as an “up-market” machine featuring better materials of construction and a new “close coupled” design. The close coupling allowed the pump shaft to directly mount to the engine flywheel. This new design eliminated shaft misalignment previously associated with rental units being abused in the field, and provided more reliability for portable pumps. The third and current generation was released in 1985 as the CD-M and HL-M models. The M, which stands for “oil bath mechanical seal,” was yet another advancement in pump technology. These pumps feature an oil bath mechanical seal mounted behind the impeller. This design limits abrasion by protecting the seal’s working parts from coming into contact with the liquid being pumped, and allows for dry-running without overheating or failure. Since 1985, the CD-M and HL-M design improvements have stood the test of time.
“Over the past 25 years, more than 20 models were introduced. Our development team is constantly embracing technology and engineering larger volume and higher head pumps,” said Godwin Pumps President, John M. Paz. “Certainly, we have led the market in this regard.”
As a company, Godwin Pumps has experienced significant expansion throughout the 40 year period since the Dri-Primes release. In Quenington, UK, the business had a humble start around 1865 as a family-owned house-building company. Over the course of three decades, the company transitioned into well boring and pipe laying, and in 1886, under the direction of Harold Joynes Godwin, began building pumps to support its work. The company carried on under Godwin until the 1960s, when it was sold to the John James Group of Bristol.
“At this time Jack Parker, Managing Director, issued an edict to David Saunders, Technical Director, to begin work on a fully automatic priming system, the foundation of what would later become the patented Godwin Dri-Prime pump,” said Paz.
In 1968, the first prototype was created by Saunders and his development team. They fitted the priming system to a T6/HR2 pump. Over the next two years, the development team engineered the pump for production and in 1970 the first DPC6 and MC3 Dri-Prime pumps rolled off the assembly line and were sold to Scottish Land Development (SLD). In 1975, SLD obtained the exclusive distribution rights to rent Dri-Prime pumps in the UK.
At the same time, John Paz, Sr. and two of his brothers began their entrepreneurial endeavours in the United States. In 1956, Paz Brothers, a heavy-equipment construction company, was formed. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Paz Brothers Inc. took on work in the New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania region that required pumps for jobsite dewatering. Frustrated with the reliability of manual priming pumps used on these jobs, Paz, Sr. set out to find a better pump.
Intrigued by an alternative to manual primers, Paz Sr. and his son John Michael traveled to England in 1976 to tour the Godwin Dri-Prime manufacturing facility. The two men returned to the United States with exclusive North American distribution rights for the Dri-Prime pump. In October of 1976, Paz, Sr. asked John Michael, then in college, to run the pump rental company out of the Paz Brothers offices in Bridgeport, NJ. The new company was given the name Godwin Pumps of America, Inc. and began importing complete Dri-Prime pumps from the Quenington factory.
In 1977, the first 18 Dri-Prime pumps arrived at Godwin Pumps of America’s facility in Bridgeport, New Jersey, US. At the same time, the Dri-Prime factory in Quenington was purchased by the Wolseley Group.
By 1980, Godwin Pumps of America was utilizing the Dri-Prime’s automatic priming feature to lay the foundation for the pump rental market in the United States. While business in America was growing, the UK factory suffered a serious setback. In May of 1980, the factory burned down. Led by Parker, the resilient employees at H.J Godwin rebuilt the factory in 18 months and opened the new manufacturing plant in 1981 on the same site.
Over the next 24, years Godwin Pumps of America and H.J Godwin remained trusted business partners and began working hand-in-hand to develop new models of Dri-Prime pumps. In 1985 John Michael Paz became President and Owner of Godwin Pumps of America, and began heavily marketing the Dri-Prime line throughout his territory along the East Coast of America. “Godwin Pumps created the North American pump rental market as we know it today, and since its inception, has remained at the forefront of the pump rental industry,” said Duke Jurich, Owner of AJ Jurich Inc., a Godwin customer to this day.
By using the Dri-Prime to create innovative cost-saving solutions for rental customers, Paz began to grow the US rental business exponentially. By 1995, the company purchased their first corporate aircraft and Paz set out to grow the distribution business starting with the southeast, mid-west, and California, and eventually securing all of Canada. Throughout the 1990s, Godwin Pumps of America opened company-owned stores to support the rental, sales and service of the Dri-Prime line.
“We were creating market and supporting it through emergency response and 24-hour service. When my father and I started the company, we set a goal to provide the finest customer service in the industry and become the best pump rental company in the world,” said Paz.
Across the pond in the UK, H.J. Godwin’s distribution business was growing. The export department was marketing the range and versatility of the Dri-Prime line and selling pumps to distributors in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and Australia.
“When our HL, or “High Lift,” line was created in 1980, it gave us the opportunity to market the Dri-Prime to mining companies,” said John Miller, Managing Director for Godwin Pumps Limited. “The automatic priming system and rugged build of the machine attracted mine superintendents who needed reliable pumping equipment to dewater their pits. We now ship pumps to mines and quarries in South Africa, Australia, Colombia, Ghana, Kyrgystan, Mali, Mongolia, Canada, the United States and more,” said Miller.
In 2001, Paz, H.J. Godwin’s largest distributor purchased the Quenington manufacturing facility, renamed it Godwin Pumps Limited, and restored the company to a family-owned business.
“Since becoming one company, our US rental business has allowed us to be the biggest user of our own equipment. We are truly vertically integrated. We design, manufacture, service, sell, and rent our own equipment. Our field engineers communicate directly to our design engineers, allowing us to consistently refine our pump designs and materials of construction. This relationship keeps us at the forefront of the portable pump industry,” said Paz.
Experiencing explosive growth through the 2000s, Godwin Pumps introduced more than 10 models of Dri-Prime pumps.
“We grew fast because we have great pumps and great people,” said Paz. “We doubled the size of our UK facility in 2006, adding a new engineering office, test area and production space. At the same time, we were in the planning stages of a new US distribution warehouse to support our North American distributor network that has grown to over 100 locations. In 2009, we opened the 50,000-square-foot building which is now stocked full of Dri-Prime pumps and over $12 million in parts inventory. These expansions continue to allow us to better our service and products, and continue to be the market’s most reliable, responsive and reputable pump company.”
“For this next decade, Godwin will be focused on Latin America and expanding our reach throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with our CD and HL Series Dri-Prime pumps at the forefront of this expansion,” said Paz.
Godwin Pumps, Dri-Prime, Sub-Prime, Heidra, the phrase Think Orange. Think Godwin. Great Pumps. Great People., and the colour orange for pumps are registered trademarks and DBS and PrimeGuard are trademarks of Godwin Pumps of America, Inc. All other marks belong to their respective holders.