Today’s Pump Person of the Week is Scott Morrow with Brownlee-Morrow Company (read about Charli K. Matthew’s recent adventure to their Engineering & Service Facility).
Q. How did you get started working in your field?
Scott: I worked summers throughout high school for my family’s business. I’ve worked in many areas, including shipping & receiving, disassembly, sandblasting, repairing, and painting pumps. This started my passion for the industry. The summer work experience helped me understand what degree (Industrial Distribution) I needed to have in order to make a living in the rotating equipment industry. I worked in the application engineering department during the day and took classes in the afternoons and evenings at the University of Alabama in Birmingham – which was the one of the best experiences I’ve ever experienced. Nothing was more gratifying to me than working a full-time job while going to college.
Q. What do you love the most about your job?
Scott: Making end user sale calls. I love the feeling of driving into a steel mill or pulp & paper mill to promote the manufacturers we represent and services that our skilled employees have to offer. I really feel that we have the best manufacturers in the industry on our line sheet, which I thoroughly enjoy applying these products to our customer’s pumping applications.
Q. What are you most proud of?
Scott: I’m most proud of the opportunity to work alongside my two brothers, Chris and John Morrow, in a company that our Grandfather, Gordon Morrow Sr., established in 1952. I’m very proud that our Father, Gordon Morrow Jr., and Uncle Malcolm Morrow, have built this company to what we are today – which is 109 employees that all work together to serve our loyal customers.
Q. What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Scott: If you are still in college, get involved with your local pump company that offers an internship program to learn the basics. This will prepare you to be able to learn faster and not get overwhelmed when you are a full-time employee. Plus, companies that offer these programs generally allocate more resources in training their employees over the companies that do not. If you are already graduated and currently working in the industry, then find a mentor from within your company who has a little grey in his or her hair. Someone that isn’t afraid to tell you what you might necessarily not want to hear, but need to hear in order to be successful.
Q. Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Scott: Recently, we were able to secure a Viking pump magdrive project, which we have been working on for over three years. The customer had always used Viking general purpose mechanical seal pump and competitor’s piston driven pumps, that they had to replace every 6 months for the last 20 years. The customer’s process is set up to be a batch operation, which means the pumps don’t run continuously. They start and stop multiple times throughout a work shift.
During downtime, the product being pumped would solidify inside the pump housing and crystallize over the mechanical seal face. When it came time for the operator to start the pump, the crystallized product would destroy the mechanical seal faces and begin leaking product from the pump. The size pumps at the time being used were not considered economical to repair, which led to new pump orders after each failure. You could imagine how costly this was for the customer.
The customer wanted to improve the life cycle for his equipment, however it had to be justifiable. The magdrives were three times the cost of the general purpose he currently used, so we had to show corporate a return for the investment. Working alongside our Viking Regional Sales Manager, Gus Purcell, and other internal resources at Viking and Brownlee Morrow, we came up with a strategy to beta test 3 Magdrive pumps to see if we could improve the reliability.
The 3 pumps were installed on 3 separate services and performed over a year and half, which was the goal. The customer then wanted to beta test 6 more pumps on other liquids in 2016, and once again broke the 18-month threshold. All 9 Beta pumps are still running today. The key to the success was the customer’s willingness to collaborate with Viking and Brownlee Morrow throughout the entire process. Understanding the plants’ daily production system, understanding the customer’s problems and expectations for a successful solution is why the outcome was so successful. Ultimately, it led to a capital project 4th quarter this year of qty.60 Magdrive units being purchased and installed.
Thank you, Scott, for being our Pump Person of the Week! We look forward to keeping up with you through the #PumpTalk Community!