Australian Pump Actuators Defence Support

Generation 3 Electro-mechanical Actuator
Australian Pump engineers install a Generation 3 electro-mechanical actuator on a RAN vessel.

Australian Pump, A focus on cost effective readiness.

Australian Pump Industries is a Sydney based pump manufacturer that has diversified into a wide range of defence support activities over the last decade. Operating from a 2½ acre site in Sydney’s Norwest Business district, the company’s commercial activities have led to the establishment of a specialised defence support group that provides a wide range of essential services to the armed forces.

With a staff of around 40, the company has developed products and capabilities that enable it to deliver services that include the development and maintenance of specialised pumps, valves and actuators for defence applications.

“A really important project for the company has been the replacement of unsupportable valve actuator sets with the latest technology on a number of RAN warships,” said Australian Pumps’ Chief Engineer, John Hales.

“That project entailed the removal of the old valve actuator sets, some of them over thirty years old, and their replacement with an equivalent product with enhanced operating and performance benefits,” he said.

The new actuator valves fitted to the fire main and a number of other essential services provide the RAN with substantially improved reliability and major operating cost reductions. Australian Pump is a subcontractor to Thales, and under the GMC ‘through-life support’ program is committed to providing ongoing maintenance for these vital components.
Australian Pump for a number of years, has been actively involved with maintaining valves and pumps on the Collins class submarines. Now the company is using that experience to play a major role in the Department of Defence AWD project and in supporting ASC.

In addition, the company has been responsible for the introduction of state-of-the-art Envelop covers for a wide range of defence applications, most recently for ground forces. Envelop covers are available for Abrams tanks, Bushmaster armoured vehicles and of course the Army’s new M777 Howitzers.

Envelop covers are a unique product, originally funded by the US Navy, that provided a high tech solution to corrosion problems on top side equipment and deliver subsequent reductions in cost of up to 90%.

The Envelop covers cut corrosion and maintenance costs, improve readiness and allow defence staff to be productive rather than ‘rust busting’. ANZAC and FFG vessels are already using this new product and have reported excellent results.

Australian Pump has been involved in a wide range of projects including the development of stainless steel, self priming potable water pumps for army tankers, a unique lightweight diesel powered portable fire/salvage pump for the Armidale Patrol boat project and a revamp of fire main actuator valves on a number of RAN vessels.

“As a commercial pump manufacturer, our defence exposure has led to substantially higher quality standards that we have applied right through our business,” said Hales. “The consequences of our exposure to Defence work have been wide ranging and have resulted in new product development that we have applied in commercial markets,” he said.

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