All hands to the pump

Published:  01 March, 2018

The world record for the highest pumping capacity fire engine has been broken with the aid of Darley’s new 2ZSM, a water pump whose design was conceived, developed and manufactured in a matter of months.

The High Flow Industrial Apparatus manufactured by Pierce is not only the new Guinness World Record holder for the highest pumping capacity fire engine; it is also the first application of the Darley 2ZSM water pump, a pump designed to provide industrial firefighters with a more effective tool for tactical fire control and suppression.

“With an ever increasing need for water, an industry-leading flowrate was the design target.  The aim was providing a product that adequately supplies water and other suppression agents, in order to cool industrial structures, suppress fire and provide additional means for firefighter safety in the event an incident,” explains engineer Kyle Darley.

Considering that the new world record has been broken with a flow rate of 21,785.04 litres (5,754.9 US gallons) of water per minute, from draft, the mission would appear to have been comprehensively accomplished.

The creation of the highest performance vehicle-mounted fire pump of all time was a daunting task in itself, but adding to that challenge was a highly unforgiving timeframe: just six months from ideas to validated product. “This was necessary due to a customer order driving demand.  Essentially, the customer needed to understand the pump’s input requirements - horse power and speed - to obtain an NFPA rating. This had to be completed in advance of the finished apparatus design. As a result, the company had to expediently process the development,” says Darley.

How the challenge was handled was in no small part aided by the firm’s well established culture of cross-departmental collaboration. “From machine operators to pump test technicians, many of whom are active members of the fire service, to engineers and on to the executives, virtually everyone at Darley has a hand in developing the finest pumps in the fire service,” says Darley.

The engineering team, programming team and production team began the process by coming together to establish a systematic approach that would enable the 2ZS pump components to be designed and then manufactured on their very first production run. No small feat, considering that the development and prototype phase included components with features and designs that had never before encountered in the company’s manufacturing processes.

This stage took place over the course of two months, with all three groups heavily involved in the design, pre-planning, and final planning phases. “As the innovative designs moved through the manufacturing process, you can bet the entire team was there to ensure everything went according to plan,” remembers Darley. ”The continual communication, especially in the development process, enabled the rapid change and agile development.”

It was not an easy task to engage hundreds of people in the design of the new product, recalls Darley, but the end result was worth it when the Pierce High Flow – which carries a 2ZSM - was unveiled in autumn of 2017 at the Texas A&M (TEEX) industrial fire school. “Its true beauty was a spectacle for all to see. The pump had a stream profile that was tighter, longer, and more controllable than many seasoned operators have ever seen.”

Below: Darley's 2ZS flowing over 37,000lpm (10,000+ US gallons) from a single 12-inch pressurised source.

  • Operation Florian

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