TWINSBURG, Ohio—FD Johnson, a longtime distributor of lubrication pumps and systems, has developed a new pump it claimed is an upgrade to the traditional pumps on the market that are used in rubber mixers and other applications.
The Twinsburg-based firm is working with Lubrication Scientifics L.L.C., which will manufacture the pump, according to officials from both firms.
FD Johnson and Irving, Calif.-based Lubrication Scientifics have worked together for more than two decades, said FD Johnson President Brian Robson. He added that plans are for the pump to be tested and on the market somewhere around late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of this year.
Robson is a fourth generation family member of FD Johnson, which was founded in 1933 by his great grandfather Frank Johnson. The Johnson family for many years also ran a manufacturing firm under the Trabon name separately from the distribution firm. But the family at some point sold Trabon, which lives on as a brand owned by Graco Inc.
Mixers normally have two types of oils, one for the process and one for the lubrication, said John Powell, FD Johnson product manager for lubrication, who designed the new pump. “This is the pump that takes the oil from the supply and pumps it through the divider valves out to those points of lubrication,” he said. “It's a motor driven, piston pump. We've simplified the design and put in a lot of features that aren't available on any other pump.”
Powell has been at FD Johnson for 22 years, and has worked in the past for both Robson's father and grandfather, in either the distribution or manufacturing businesses.
Robson said one of the biggest problems with the current pump out there is with making adjustments. “With the current pump, you have to open the side of the pump and then work inside while it's operating, putting screwdrivers and other pieces of equipment right near moving springs,” he said. “One of the largest design changes was the external adjustability that we have now.”
Another issue with the pump that currently is the market leader is that not all of the components are produced by the firm manufacturing it, and this has led to supply issues in some cases, claimed Richard Hanley, president of Lubrication Scientifics. Other than a seal and a roller bearing, the entire pump is produced at his firm's factory in Irvine, “so the supply chain is more reliable because of the vertical integration of our plant,” he said.