For Fristam Pumps, Mutual Trust is Key to 20+ Year SF&E Partnership

When you walk through a grocery store, anything that is contained in a bottle, can, or tube most likely utilized a pump in the production process. From the milk processor removing milk from a tanker truck to the toothpaste manufacturer filling tubes, pumps make it all possible. Fristam Pumps is the leading manufacturer of high quality, sanitary stainless steel pumps, blenders, and mixers in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. Their pumps are designed, manufactured, assembled, and tested in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Fristam enlisted Stainless Foundry & Engineering (SF&E) more than 20 years ago to produce sand and investment castings for their proprietary pump parts, which come with critical requirements. Some of the requirements are related to specialized alloys – different variations of 316L stainless – and some to a high-level interior finish. The requirements are in place to ensure long-lasting quality and avoid the potential for bacteria accumulation.

“When it comes to performance and efficiencies of moving material, we offer a very high end, precise pump that is cleanable, durable, and serviceable,” said Gary Ehnert, Materials Manager for Fristam Pumps. “We cannot put ourselves in a situation where we have to question the integrity of the casting and the metal that was used to produce that casting as we are building a pump.”

Fristam Centrifugal Pumps
Fristam Pump Part

Fristam’s Centrifugal Pumps have been the sanitary industry’s benchmark for quality and performance and are available in a variety of sizes, weighing anywhere from 15 pounds to 400 pounds. Their Positive Displacement Pumps come in rotary lobe or twin-screw styles and have a true clean-in-place (CIP) design where the pump can be thoroughly cleaned without removing any parts.

SF&E and Fristam work together to achieve measurable surface finish in order to determine if any defects are acceptable or unacceptable, and if unacceptable, whether they are repairable. Collaboration is needed because although there are standards, inspections can be subjective. SF&E needs to be able to leverage its expertise to meet and exceed Fristam’s expectations for quality.

Fristam Pump Impeller
Fristam Pump Part
Fristam Pump Impeller

“Stainless Foundry is as familiar with the industry standards as we are – probably more so since we only work in a limited number of markets,” Ehnert said. “With their knowledge of standards and alloys, they can design their process for building a pattern in such a way that the expected anomalies or defects in a casting occur in areas where they will not become a concern or problem.”

The key to the strong partnership between Fristam and SF&E is mutual trust, according to Ehnert. Collaborating, problem-solving, and if needed, making the quick drive to Milwaukee to solve an issue together in person. This partnership embraces mutual trust every step of the way – from developing a new part together to working through pricing and delivery.

Fristam Pump Part
Fristam Pump Part

“SF&E knows when I tell them that I have an issue with the delivery date, it really is an issue – I am not just putting pressure on them for no reason. If they tell me they are doing everything they can to address something, I have to be able to believe they are doing everything they can to address it,” Ehnert said. “True partnership is when you can trust the information you are sharing back and forth and work through challenges by coming up with the best resolutions that you can.”

For more information on SF&E’s alloy experience, high specification capabilities, or commitment to lasting partnerships, reach out to sales@stainlessfoundry.com.

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