Wilden Celebrates 60 Years
A flood at a steel factory led to the invention of the air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump.
Wilden®, part of PSG®, a Dover company and a worldwide leader in air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump technology, has celebrated 60 years in business. Jim Wilden began the company in a walnut grove in San Bernardino County, Calif., in 1955. As the legend goes, the company was born when a large water pipe ruptured several feet below ground, flooding a shop at the steel factory where Jim worked. Amid the chaos, a cool-headed foreman surveyed the damage and told Jim, “You would make a million dollars if you could invent a pump to get this stuff out of here.” Jim would go on to invent the AODD pump.
Jim’s AODD pump was based solely on the need to create a pump tough and reliable enough to handle the harsh demands of the mining and heavy construction industries, which have an ongoing need to pump water, slurry, and other finely divided substances. He developed a new type of pump that featured the right air valve and diaphragms needed to perform in these types of applications. After a few years of trial and error, he began successfully manufacturing and selling M16 and M14 model AODD pumps.
As Jim continued to further refine his manufacturing processes, he hired a salesman so he could focus on his strengths: engineering, design, and production. By 1964, the air valve, which once took six hours to produce, could now be made in 60 min; the entire pump, once a 40-hour project, was reduced to less than four hours. These manufacturing improvements and the hydraulic-fluid efficiencies his pumps delivered allowed Jim to innovate and develop new products, including the M8, which are reportedly the basis for the current models available today.
Denny Buskirk, managing director for Wilden, says, “We are extremely excited to be celebrating our 60-year anniversary at Wilden. As the inventor of the AODD pump, Wilden is a company founded on innovation and, therefore, is constantly introducing new technologies that will help bring AODD pumping technology into the future.
“Throughout our 60-year history, we have made a commitment to the pursuit of excellence, customer satisfaction, innovation, research and development, and market knowledge. It is this commitment along with keeping alive the innovative spirit and customer-focused culture that Jim Wilden left behind that has undoubtedly made Wilden one of the market leaders in our industry. Celebrating 60 years in business is a testament to the dedication shown by both our employees and channel partners.”
In addition to inventing AODD pump technology, Wilden developed the first ball valve pumps, AODD pumps with plastic housings, food-processing pumps with tri-clamp connections, groundable plastic pumps, PTFE diaphragms, TPE thermoplastic elastomer diaphragms, lube-free pumps, equalizer surge dampeners, PCM pump cycle monitors, and bolted pumps with flanged connections. Wilden’s innovations were recognized in 2007, when it received Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year award for its Pro-Flo X ADS. In 2013, the product was recognized as a Breakthrough Product of the Year from Processing Magazine. The Pro-Flo SHIFT also received Flow Control magazine’s 2014 Innovation Award.
To celebrate 60 years, Wilden hosted a distributor meeting and Hall-of-Fame Dinner in conjunction with its annual golf tournament.
For more information, visit www.wildenpump.com.