In 1928, a full year before the start of the Great Depression, Penicillin is discovered, Mickey Mouse makes an appearance in Steamboat Willie and the first ever Summer Olympics are held in the Netherlands. It is also the year that the Longhorn (Republic) Portland Cement Company needed slurry pumps for a plant expansion and contracted with A.R. Wilfley & Sons, Inc to supply the remarkable Model C packingless slurry pump. The Model C was the predecessor to the present day Kpro® slurry pump.
Pump serial numbers C4-3392 and C4-3393 were shipped in early February 1929, destined for kiln feed service (61% solids by weight). At the time, Wilfley pumps dominated the aggregate market, with 85% share. The packingless solution does not require fluid flush which saves a tremendous amount of water and energy, especially in kiln systems where water is the contaminant.
As the saying goes, times change; companies and processes are not excluded and must evolve to meet the needs of the market. In the instance of pump C4-3392, the pump was re-tasked in 1977 to transfer sand at the company’s facility (now known as Alamo Concrete Products, Ltd) outside Austin, TX.
According to Kieth Witt, Quarry Manager, the pump has been very dependable to the extent they forget it’s even there. The proof can be seen in the photo where the pump works diligently, untroubled by the disheveled earthen floor – even the suction is covered!
Earlier this year, it became apparent that the case needed to be replaced. After so many years of good service, the question of replacing the pump wasn’t even considered. An order was placed 7 March and the case was shipped 10 April: proof that not only does Wilfley deliver superior pumps, but also superior service.