Pump It Again, Putzmeister
Pump It Again, PutzmeisterPutzmeister Pro-Tech Pre-Owned and Renewed Equipment – An Intensive Rebuild Versus a Quick Fix
STURTEVANT, Wisconsin (August 1, 2005) – Rebuilt, remanufactured, refurbished … they all have the same meaning – adding renewed life to an existing product. According to the Remanufacturing Institute (TRI), remanufacturing grew out of necessity into an annual $100 billion global industry, representing a major force in today’s economy.
As the refurbishment business is a growing trend in America, the rebuilding of truck-mounted concrete boom pumps has obviously developed. According to Steve Rising of Concrete & Material Placement in Wichita, KS, “The full refurb process of a boom pump is an economical and practical way to go when a new unit just isn’t in the cards.”
In the most simplistic terms, the reconditioning process entails components that must be first removed, then rebuilt or replaced, and finally reassembled. However varying standards exist and buyers need to be attuned to even minor remanufacturing differences that may increase unit performance or reduce service problems.
“Our refurbs are not just a quick fix and paint job,” says Dave Adams, CEO and President of Putzmeister America. “The workmanship must be of the highest quality to carry the Putzmeister name, and the fully refurbished equipment that comes out of our specialty Pro-Tech Pre-Owned Equipment Center is no exception.”
What should one expect from pre-owned equipment? It depends on the price tag. Units sold “as is” and “where is” are available at a lower price, but buyers may take a gamble if they’re unsure of the pump’s past history.
Obviously a fully refurbished unit carries a higher price tag than an “as is” one, but it should have undergone a significant modernization process. Buyers can be very confident in a refurbished product when it is clear what is specifically involved in the refurbishing process and they receive a warranty to back it up.
Refurb centers tend to create their own personalized standards, based on past experience of what specifically needs to be reworked or replaced for increased performance and reduced service problems. They also seem to base it on their own desired workmanship level in maintaining a quality image.
“As different levels of refurbs exist, buyers should be aware of these levels up front,” says Jonathan Omer, Putzmeister America’s Marketing Manager. He notes, “Our Pro-Tech Center offers three tiers of service from highest to lowest: Premier, Select and Standard. As a result, customers can choose from the company’s inventory of pre-owned equipment at a level that meets their needs and budget.”
Although intricate steps may be skipped by others along the way, the following outlines the comprehensive Putzmeister program that a Premier “fully” refurbished machine goes through prior to customer delivery.
A Putzmeister Pro-Tech Premier machine is thoroughly inspected upon arrival. Major components are removed, including the entire boom, all boom pipe, hopper, drive cylinders, pump assembly, gearbox and selective sheet metal. Once disassembled, the barren unit is hardly recognizable as a boom pump.
Selective components are rebuilt in-house at the company’s dedicated 36,000 square foot Pro-Tech Center. Trained and experienced personnel completely recondition the hopper, rework the remote control box, and meticulously revise the electrical box.
Connections on the electrical box are checked while the relays, emergency stop, and even the circuit board is replaced, if deemed appropriate. Going one step further, the entire electrical harness is fully replaced to help eliminate potential electrical problems.
Rely on the Experts
Key items such as the Steibel gearbox, hydraulic main pump and drive cylinders also receive an intensive restoration. Putzmeister elects to send these components out to various rebuild centers, which specialize in their respective areas and who have also joined the growing rebuild industry.
“We believe that certain components need to be reconditioned by specialized rebuild centers,” notes Doug Brunet, General Manager for the Putzmeister Pro-Tech Pre-Owned Equipment Center, “as they possess the precise tools, appropriate work environment, and trained personnel who consistently rebuild components on a daily basis. Since that’s their forte´, we take advantage of this expertise.”
For example, Rexroth pumps are rebuilt at the Rexroth factory. This is a logical approach, as whom better than the original manufacturer to rebuild its own products. Brunet says, “We don’t just restore what’s needed, we have Rexroth incorporate all new internal components while maintaining the original shell.”
In addition, a different outside rebuild center updates the hydraulic cylinders. As needed, they skillfully hone the barrels, polish the rods, replace the seals, and pressure test the cylinders. Brunet says, “These extra steps are taken to ensure longer lasting performance.”
Inspected for damage and then also sent to another local rebuild facility, the Steibel gearbox is updated to the highest standards. The main bearing, however, is fully replaced.
So, What’s New?
On a Putzmeister Pro-Tech Premier model, an abundance of new parts are installed. This includes the S-Valve with its spectacle plate, wear and thrust ring; the hopper’s swing-out elbow; grate and vibrator; all deck, turret and boom pipe; accumulator and agitator pump; re-mixer paddles, shafts and bearings along with the end hose and accessories. If slightly damaged, even the material cylinders are replaced.
Other smaller, yet still significant, new parts include elbows and clamps for the boom pipe; piston cups; seal kits for the hydraulic cylinders and motors; front and rear seals and bearings; and even a complete set of safety decals.
According to Brunet, “The boom pump also undergoes a major ‘transfusion’ with all truck and hydraulic pump fluids completely drained from the system and then replaced with new hydraulic or transmission oil. Prior to the flush-out, hydraulic hoses are replaced and damaged hydraulic lines fixed with a series of four new filters installed to catch any tank contamination before the unit leaves the factory. This major step helps ensure reliable performance upon machine delivery.”
The individual testing of repaired, replaced and existing components is also undertaken. For example, checking for proper flow and pressure of the hydraulic pump along with the cylinder and mono-block is performed.
In addition, structural integrity is not compromised, as a certified boom inspection is always performed. Similar to Putzmeister’s process in building a new boom pump, specific load tests, performance tests, and a pre-delivery inspection for functionality are also completed to ensure operational effectiveness.
More than Just a Coat of Paint
After all production work is complete, the unit is destined for the paint booth. Most companies fall short in this regard; however Putzmeister gives the same attention to detail that it provides a new BSF concrete boom pump.
First, the unit is completely pressure washed, which takes about ten hours before even being considered for sandblasting. Once clean, the unit is sandblasted. Initially, the paint is sandblasted off, and the pivot points and boom cylinders are sanded by hand. Then the unit is primed and hand sanded once again.
A top coat of high quality, automotive finish paint is applied by professional painters. They first apply a horizontal and then a vertical painting stroke, resulting in a double coat. Any spots missed are touched up with an artist’s paint brush.
The truck additionally gets a complete overhaul, being serviced and made functional to meet a 119-point D.O.T. inspection checklist. Even the cab seats are reupholstered. The cab is also primed and painted with an automotive finish for an exceptional appearance.
Brunet states, “We’re so confident in our final product that our Pro-Tech Premier equipment includes a warranty against defects in material or workmanship on everything but the truck for six months or 1,100 hours and another six months or 1,100 hours on major components – that’s the best refurb warranty in our industry.”
Put in Writing
Documentation is provided upon request – in particular, Putzmeister offers all test records, D.O.T. inspection, and boom inspection reports. In addition, the company offers the industry’s first ‘certificate of workmanship’ pertaining to refurbished equipment. This certificate documents all items modified, replaced and tested in the vast process so the customer is aware of what alterations were executed. The goal – once it leaves the refurb facility, it looks like new and provides years of additional, high performance working life.
“Basically, the state-of-the-art tools and advanced technology are not very different from manufacturing a new unit,” says Brunet. “However what sets us apart is that we do ‘more’. According to field reports, our refurbs go beyond the typical refurbishment process with more component replacements, more fine-tuning of component rebuilds, and more detailed steps taken during the remanufacturing process to ensure a higher quality end product. However, that translates into more satisfied customers,” says Brunet.
Steve Rising says, “Putzmeister’s attention to detail in refurbishing pumps makes it almost like getting a new unit. I have three refurbs and the workmanship is definitely outstanding. The units arrived ready to work and look great too.”
According to Malcolm Yearwood of Concrete Services & Equipment in Gainesville, GA, “Putzmeister went way beyond our expectations and has surpassed any refurb I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been around pumps for over 35 years. It’s not just a patch and paint job and a bunch of lip service – it’s the absolute highest quality.”