ENGINEERING: HSM Comes Out Pumping For Its Rights
Recent Western Cape Business News
ROBOT Pumps have been synonymous with the successful pumping of unscreened raw sewage, sludge, dirty water and liquids containing solids internationally in various countries since 1954 and in the RSA since 1969 when HSM, based in Montague Gardens, acquired the agency.
During the period from 1969 to date, HSM played a leading role in ensuring that the Robot Pump population has grown handsomely, especially in the coastal regions from Cape Town to the Mozambique border.
Most municipalities in this region have Robot Pumps as the majority brand of sewage pumps in their sewage pump stations. The Robot pump success is generally due to their impeller design, their rapid repair turn-around time and to the vast spares complement HSM keeps ex-stock, says the managing director of the company, Peter Hewett.
“Robot Pumps were initially sourced from a production facility in Holland which also used to assemble and supply different branded pumps. Due to HSM’s commitment to the hundreds of Robot users and supporters in this country, they have, along with the company Robot Pumps cc, negotiated a sole Robot agency contract, for South Africa, from a production facility in Milan, supplying branded Robot pumps, and also from another production facility in Holland.
The Milan facility has for years manufactured and supplied pumps with low and high head vortex impeller performances, closely matching those that were supplied from the old Holland facility.
“As a matter of interest, this production facility in Milan used to supply certain pump and accessory components to the old facility in Holland for the production of the old generation Robots,” Hewett says.
These new generation Robot pumps from Milan are able to replace any ‘old’ Robot pump model in terms of shape, configuration and vortex impeller performance. In fact, they are superior in terms of motor class and overall robustness.
They have the identical duckfoot pedestal kits, which makes cross-installation of the old generation and new generation Robots possible and easy for our clients.
It is of relevance that HSM, in the early 1990’s, already commenced importing these pumps from Milan, when they had concerns about the Holland production facility. To date these pumps have given excellent service in the various regions where they have been installed.
Lately some mischief has entered the story, according to Hewett. Some competitors “are fobbing off to the marketplace their products as as-good-as Robot Pumps,” he says, “offering them as perfect replacements for our pumps.”
“This simply is not true. The fact is that their pump hydraulic characteristics are different to the Robot characteristics. Furthermore, the physical configuration of these pumps does not match the Robot configuration in any way.”
“Therefore, where Robot’s many clients have predominantly Robot pumps as their main sewage pump population, the false replacement option will create major operational problems in terms of standardisation, and the very important aspect of standby and interchange-ability options.”
“It is of importance that many of HSM’s local municipal clients have visited our warehouse to view the new generation Robot pumps manufactured in the Milan and new Holland facility. They have compared these to the old generation Robot pumps HSM still had in stock manufactured in the old facility in Holland, and they could find absolutely no difference.”
“HSM has stated, without prejudice, that it is allegedly apparent that certain of their competitors are desperately attempting to get their products installed in new projects where traditionally Robot pumps have for many years been specified, and also installed in the countless number of existing Robot pump stations around the country,” Hewett says. HSM has made the necessary plans to ensure that they will keep spares ex stock for all Robot pumps (old generation and new generation) for at least a period of 15 years from date of first purchase of a particular pump model.
It is of relevance that HSM has the rights to the trademark name ‘Robot Pumps’, including the Robot logo, in the RSA.
“Therefore, any letter or communication sent or published by any individual, company, corporation, or sole proprietor, other than HSM, stating that they have the rights to supply Robot Pumps and accessories, or to appoint Robot agents and distributors, is invalid and in breach of HSM’s trademark rights and ownership rights to the brand name Robot Pumps and the relevant logo,” Hewett cautions.
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