When technical manager Jens Møibæk at organic Danish dairy Thise Mejeri realised how expensive it was for the company to perform pump service work itself, he opted for a maintenance agreement with Grundfos. It was to prove a decision with several positive side effects, such as being able to sleep soundly at night.
"In the past, three of our own people would try to hoist a wastewater pump out of its well using a forklift truck, only to realise that we didn't have the right seal in store", says technical manager Jens Møibæk of organic Danish dairy Thise Mejeri. "Nowadays, when Jørgen from Grundfos comes around in his service van, he just swings out the crane, lifts the pump safely out of the well, fetches the parts he needs from the van and gets the job done in no time. He's got the knowledge and the computer software it takes to service modern, advanced pumps. He knows our pumps, and us, inside out. In fact, he doesn't even notify us in advance before coming around, he just shows up".
For years, Jens Møibæk has left the responsibility for the dairy's many pumps to Grundfos, and he is quick to applaud the two regular service technicians Jørgen and Frederik who see to it that Grundfos delivers on the maintenance agreements. The reason for having two technicians is that Grundfos does not allow wastewater technicians to work with clean water pumps. There are clear
rules about this.
Much more than security
"It's incredibly important to us that we're completely in control of hygiene and environmental issues. I've noticed how smoothly everything goes when I report to the authorities that Grundfos is handling the pumps", says the Danish dairy professional, adding that he now sleeps soundly at night. To Jens Møibæk, it is a matter of security. Security against expensive downtime, and against environmental problems that could do irreparable damage to the dairy's well-established
brand. But it is about more than security.
The maintenance agreements also ensure that Thise Mejeri has the right pumps, and that the pumps run optimally with minimal energy consumption.
"Jørgen and Frederik have carefully made a note of all our pump solutions. They know exactly when I can save money by replacing
something, and they keep me up to date on new developments. Pumps are only a small part of my area of responsibility, so it's a huge help that I don't have to spend time on getting up to speed," says Jens Møibæk. "Am I worried about being cheated or buying too much? Not at all. These guys are so honest and have so much professional pride that that's not going to happen. Similarly,
they've never said to me that something 'wasn't included in the maintenance agreement'. They know that everything has to work".
Kresten Gammel who is in charge of the so-called lagoon at Thise Mejeri has had the same experience. Here, a maintenance
agreement with the control centre at Grundfos supplies 24-hour surveillance all year.
It must not fail!
The lagoon is a 70 by 70 metre basin. Five metres in depth, it collects approximately 25 million litres of dairy production wastewater over the winter months. Following bacteriological cleaning to remove milk fat at a Grundfos BioBooster plant at the dairy, the water is stored for use in local fields in the spring.
"The wastewater contains many nutrients that are well suited as fertilisers. The solids extracted from the wastewater are used
in biogas production," says Kresten Gammel. "The lagoon is located in open country, and it simply must not fail. That's why we have an agreement with Grundfos. They keep an eye on our operations from their control centre which is manned 24/7".
Savings provide return on investment
Service manager Lasse Mikkelsen of Grundfos is familiar with the arguments in favour of a maintenance agreement emphasised by Jens Møibæk. "Security and no hassle are high on the list, but environmental considerations are also becoming a steadily stronger argument," says the service manager. "Progress happens so fast that it's hard to stay up to date on which solutions are the best. But pumps still account for up to 10% of the world's energy consumption, so a lot of money is at stake here. And energy optimisation is part of the maintenance agreement which makes it a sound investment very quickly".
Lasse Mikkelsen also recognises Jens Møibæk's description of what happens when companies handle maintenance themselves, both as regards the risk involved in working in wastewater wells and the expenses involved in maintaining an adequate spare parts store.
"Well, I didn't choose the agreements with Grundfos because they give me a discount on spare parts", says the technical manager of Thise Mejeri. "The decision was based on other, sound financial reasons. And the prices of the agreements themselves are really quite fair. Just being able to sleep soundly at night makes it worth the investment".