Pump-action Art


Being one of the largest suppliers of engineering services in the North East, Balfour Kilpatrick was one of only a few firms capable of quoting for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts development, opening 2002. To ensure the success of this prestigious project, the company decided to use Wilo Salmson glanded pumps.

Although Balfour Kilpatrick enjoys a large share of the North East construction market, one project will dominate the company’s order books for the foreseeable future. The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts development will not only keep Balfour Kilpatrick busy, it will also become an integral part of the rejuvenated landscape of the River Tyne’s south bank.

Lawrence Ashton, Project Manager at Balfour, describes his company’s involvement in the redevelopment of the south bank area as “very important” and admits the project is incredibly significant to the company. Balfour Kilpatrick has been specifically involved in the development of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts which, Lawrence explains, was once a flour mill devastated by fire during the 1980s. Its survival was secured by local councillors who were determined to preserve the unique brick structure.

During construction, Lawrence says Balfour Kilpatrick relied heavily on Wilo Salmson pumps and booster sets for the provision of a range of building services including low-pressure hot water, domestic water, and chilled water. He describes the reliable operation of the monobloc-construction pumps as vital to the success of the arts centre. He says: “The pumps are the lifeblood of the centre. For example, low-pressure heating and chilled water helps create the right atmosphere for the visitors.”

The standard inline Dpn pumps can process fluids heated to 140°C or chilled to –10°C. They are specially designed to mount directly on to all pipe sizes, possess a three-phase, squirrel-cage, TEFC motor and are constructed from cast iron, bronze and stainless steel. As such, the glanded pumps produce an impressive performance and can operate under 16 bar of pressure up to 120°C and 13 bar up to 140°C.

Balfour Kilpatrick, Lawrence explains, employed a variety of speed-controlled, circulating pumps but specifically allocated Wilo Salmson a contract because the company was able to meet the unique specifications of the project, delivery timetable and price restrictions. Referring to the tender selection process, Lawrence says: “It was fairly easy; Wilo Salmson is one of our ‘preferred suppliers’ and is always on our quality-assured list.”

The particular specifications of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts called for easy maintainence, quiet operation and low running costs which meant the range of suitable pumps was limited. Lawrence explains, after considering numerous submissions by a variety of pump manufacturers, it became clear that only one could meet the requirements of the project. He says: “The Wilo Salmson equipment suited what we needed – they fitted in with our design.”

Thanks to Balfour’s long-standing record, ability to resource multi-million pound projects and proven track record with main contractors, Lawrence says there will be no shortage of work for the foreseeable future. He admits: “We’re always on the lookout for pumps, and when we put a job out for tender, we always make sure Wilo Salmson is on our list.”

For further information, please contact Mark Sowden, Marketing Manager, Wilo Salmson Pumps Ltd, Centrum 100, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 2WJ. Tel: 01283 523000, Fax: 01283 523099. Email: sales@wilo.co.uk or visit the Wilo Salmson web site at:

Source: WILO SE

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