The pump industry is always evolving, and Geiger Pump & Equipment’s Symposium adapts with it.
The 12th Mid-Atlantic Pump & Process Symposium took place this year at Geiger’s facility in Aston, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 13, with more than 300 industry workers in attendance.
“It’s migrated from early on,” Geiger CEO Henry Peck said. “Quickly, we realized that when people came to our facility, people came to learn. We were caught off guard.
“At first, we were modeling our symposium off of trade shows. We would exhibit, showing our products to our customers. But what attendees came for were the classes that we had mixed in our schedule. It was abundantly clear that they were interested in learning and collaborating.”
Peck appreciated that. He intentionally sends his employees to training events much like the ones his company puts on. “We answer to that, the continual process of learning, and I try to share that,” he said.
“We resonated with that,” Peck said. “Today, and for the almost 20 years that we have had our symposium, the centerpiece of our day is the learning experience. The classes are taught by Geiger employees, and most of the company workers are putting on the show while others run the business throughout the day.”
Henry Fominyam has been a trainer at the Upper Occuquan Service Authority (UOSA) in Fairfax, Virginia, for 15 years. He and five co-workers made the trip for the symposium.
“I train, but I don’t really have much experience with pumps because I’m not a mechanic,” Fominyam said. “I’m more like an operator. Since I do a lot of training, I wanted to come out and see what the pumps are. When you have clean pumps (for training exercises), you see a lot more than with dirty pumps (in real-world simulations).”
Attendees pre-registered online at no charge and chose three 90-minute classes. Fominyam’s first class was Centrifugal Pump Assembly & Repair, which was taught by Geiger Senior Sales Engineer Todd Jenner.
“People are thirsty for our hands-on classes. And, we have introduced interactive features to many of our classes this year, and that went very well.” Peck said. “Having hands on, actual pumps and process equipment has appeal. When you get your hands on it and get it on a table with the proper tools, that’s something that I and others have given as a class for decades.”
Other classes included:
? Installation, Startup and Commissioning of Pump Systems
? Pump Fundamentals and Variable Speed Operation
? Hands-on Exploration of Pumping System Optimization
? Installation and Maintenance of Mechanical Seals
? Equipment, Health Monitoring and Vibration Analysis
? Toughest Applications for Water and Wastewater
? Demonstrating Process Equipment
? Fundamentals of Mechanical Seals
The centrifugal pump and repair class has been a mainstay, while many other classes have been added or adapted over time. The class on equipment health monitoring is a newer one.
“Prescriptive maintenance and machinery health are popular themes at our symposium, as you have seen in your magazine,” Peck said, referring to Pumps & Systems magazine, “it’s what’s happening.”
By the end of the day, the tents, chairs and equipment were folded up as if nothing had happened and it was back to business for Geiger on Friday.
Yet again, the symposium left a lasting effect on attendees.
“Training is everything,” Fominyam said. “I tell the new guys that every day when you get out of bed and come to work, expect to learn something different. I believe that the day we stop learning is the day you stop looking forward to anything. I train the guys and make sure that I learn something every day myself. That’s what is important to me.”
Peck said that the best compliments he gets regarding the symposium are attendees saying that they’ll be back, or they will send others from their company to a future symposium.
“Continuous learning will not wear out,” Peck said. “I am honored. It looks like it hasn’t peaked yet. I was surprised how fast it sold out. It was just a few years ago that we didn’t have on line sign ups. We relied on being good at estimating our turnout and we accommodated on our symposium day. Today, we have online registration only, and fill up all of our spaces quickly.”