There’s no pumping the brakes on Putzmeister America’s ambition
When legendary broadcaster Casey Kasem exhorted his listeners to, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars,” he could have been describing what Putzmeister America’s pioneering heavy equipment is accomplishing. Literally. The concrete and material placement equipment innovator moved concrete from ground level to the top of the tallest freestanding structure in the world, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. That’s a reach of 1,988 feet (excluding the antenna spire), straight up.
The record-breaking accomplishment used a pair of super high-pressure pumps that pumped more than 541,339 cubic feet of concrete to heights of up to 1,988 feet.
Their concrete and material placing equipment can be found on the job sites of the biggest structures on the planet, where Putzmeister’s global reputation for quality, durability, and innovation is changing the concrete placing industry, making work easier, safer, and more sustainable.
Founded in Bernhausen, Germany, Putzmeister is part of the third largest manufacturer of heavy equipment in the world, China’s multinational SANY Group. Putzmeister develops, produces, sells, and serves technically superior construction equipment to the concreting sector, including truck-mounted concrete pumps, stationary concrete pumps, stationary placing booms and accessories, concrete mixing, pipe delivery of industrial solids, underground concrete placement and excavation equipment, mortar machines, plastering machines, screed conveying, and injection as well as a variety of special applications.
The American division primarily serves markets in North America, Central America, and South America, as well as other regions in the world. “We are the market leader and the technology leader from the safety side and from the efficiency side,” said Bill Dwyer, Putzmeister’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “We lead the charge in the industry when it comes to innovation and product development.”
The company has four lines of business: concrete pumping, industrial pumping, shotcreting & mortar pumps, and underground machinery. Each division serves a plethora of markets; industrial pumping is a necessity for wastewater treatment plants, as well as backfilling in mines, the process of refilling an excavated hole.
“We pump big volumes,” said Bastian Dreher, the company’s Senior Director of Special Applications. “This is useful in renewable energy markets for applications such as pumping sludge to process biogas, for example. We see great future potential there.” The shotcreting division builds smaller machines for spraying concrete – think flooring, screeding, and stucco. The underground division produces different sizes of mechanical shotcreting machines, including ones used in mine tunnels.
The Wisconsin division works hand in hand with SANY to leverage supply chain and sourcing advantages from other Putzmeister entities, including those in Germany and Turkey. Proprietary components are locally sourced and assembled in Sturtevant. Once all parts are accounted for, the actual assembly and delivery of their products typically takes eight weeks.
Reaching new frontiers
Putzmeister’s R&D teams are pushing the limits of possibility with their use of 3D printing for concrete placement equipment. Many industries employ 3D printing, but it hasn’t been seriously considered in the concrete industry. “That tech is just now scratching the surface of what’s possible in concrete placement,” Dwyer said. Putzmeister expects to launch early versions of 3D printing concrete pumps in the very near future.
“We’re always trying to be at the forefront of new technologies and designs, and we’re at the point where we have competitors trying to replicate Putzmeister features because that's what the market wants to see,” he added. “From my perspective, we define innovation as being on the forefront of change for the benefit of our customers.”
It’s not enough for the company to design and manufacture safe, technically superior equipment; they have positioned themselves as real game-changers. They are working to transform the precast concrete industry by increasing the efficiency and ease of use of the equipment used in that sector. Their strategic growth strategy includes creating more solutions for ready mix concrete, batch plants, and mixer trucks as well. Their R&D teams are also developing technology to extend the life of the steel piping through which the abrasive concrete flows. “We’re working to find ways to make pipes last longer,” Dwyer noted.
Putzmeister’s commitment to supporting the construction industry in a sustainable way is absolutely concrete. “We're committed to innovation to help achieve sustainability,” said Dwyer. Much of their current sustainability developments revolve around the electrification of their products, building on their legacy of offering electric versions of certain models. “Electrification changes their carbon footprint considerably,” he said. A series of battery-operated units are in development and scheduled to launch in the coming months.
After a day’s work, equipment can be plugged into a charging station to be ready to use the next day. “This approach eliminates the use of fossil fuels,” he added. While shrinking their carbon footprint is the foundation, electrification also reduces noise pollution. “When we offer these units, they’re especially attractive for some of our underground applications.”
At Putzmeister, customer collaboration is key. In their two-day biannual customer council meetings, users are invited to share their feedback on the good, bad, and ugly aspects of certain products and describe what needs to change. “We space these out over two years because sometimes it might take two years to study, design, and implement changes that are best for the market,” Dwyer explained. Putzmeister customers analyze prototypes of new equipment in the field and provide valuable feedback.
There’s also a healthy dose of whimsy on the shop floor. Every pump is built to exact customer specifications, right down to the graphics and paint colors that appear on the finished products. “We have two dedicated graphic designers that work with the customers to design the exteriors,” said finance director Scott Baran. “We have very detailed paint jobs that help differentiate us in the market as well because the customers know they can get a pump that’s an extension of their brand.”
Culture and community
The company culture comes from shared values of respect, integrity, trust, openness, teamwork, learning, and entrepreneurship. “Values are the clear and strong foundation of our culture,” said HR director Zaida Alvarado. “Putzmeister is a great company with a strong vision and mission. We are continuously instilling high standards of performance in all areas, whether it is leadership, production, customer satisfaction, service, or quality.”
The company is an active member of the Sturtevant community, from being part of local parades and celebrations to volunteering to walk dogs from the nearby animal shelter during their breaks.
Every August the firm hosts a golf outing and fundraiser. Vendor partners and Putzmeister employees take part, and proceeds benefit the local Humane Society, the Racine County veteran’s outreach, and the United Way of Racine County.
The stateside Putzmeister team is very competitive when it comes to doing good. Whether challenging each other to boost donations for toy drives, food drives, or coat drives, they are committed to using that forceful energy to support the community.
Putzmeister prides themselves on being a great employer, too. “We're committed to the community, and we're committed to the Putzmeister family,” said Dwyer. “We try to create a family culture and create a working environment that people want to work here. Instead of people coming here for a job, we want people to know that they're coming here for a career.”
Putzmeister develops, produces, sells and serves its customers worldwide with technically high-quality and service-oriented machines in the following areas: truck-mounted concrete pumps, stationary concrete pumps, stationary placing booms and accessories, concrete mixing, industrial technology, pipe delivery of industrial solids, concrete placement and removal of excavated material in tunnels and underground, mortar machines, plastering machines, screed conveying, injection and special applications.
1733 90th Street,
Sturtevant, WI 53177
Phone Number: 262.886.3200
Fax Number: 262.884.6338
Homepage Link: https://www.putzmeisteramericapresents.com