Pump company goes ahead with expansion plan

April 19, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Despite a roof collapse during the March blizzard, Ingersoll-Dresser Pump in Taneytown is moving forward with expansion plans tied to the company's merger last fall.

Ingersoll spokeswoman Mary Yohe said the company is planning a state-of-the-art, 50,000-square-foot building on the site of the destroyed facility. Original plans had called for adding 4,500 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of shop space to the old 30,000-square-foot building.

Dresser merged with Ingersoll-Rand in October, making the company the third largest pump manufacturer in the world.

"We will be reconstructing what we lost in the storm and adding the extra space," Ms. Yohe said. "We're hoping and praying we'll be able to start construction in four to six weeks, as soon as we get clearance from the insurance company."

Ms. Yohe said she was unsure of the cost of the damage that occurred when a 300-foot-by-25-foot section of the roof collapsed under 6 feet of snow March 14. The collapse broke a water main at the plant and drained Taneytown's two water tanks.

Functions formerly housed in the damaged building -- making shafts and column pipes for turbine pumps, and the shipping and receiving operation -- have been moved to 40,000 square feet of space in the former Telemechanique building in Finksburg, she said.

"They will remain down there until we get the final [insurance] assessment," Ms. Yohe said. "We're expecting to hear within two weeks."

The company was able to deliver 98 percent of its orders for completed pumps and 86 percent of its parts orders in March, even though the items were buried in snow, she said.

"The parts got buried in the avalanche and were harder to find than a whole unit," Ms. Yohe said. "[The percentage] is a remarkable performance. It's testimony to the kind ofpeople we have here."

Plant expansion will accommodate a product exchange with a former Ingersoll-Rand plant in Nebraska, she said.

All the agricultural pumps formerly manufactured by the Taneytown plant will be produced in Nebraska. The larger vertical turbine pumps -- used in snow making, turf irrigation, mining and petroleum refining -- will be built in Carroll.

"The small, vertical turbine pumps went out to Nebraska and the big ones came here," she said.

Ms. Yohe said she was uncertain how many new jobs the product transfer might generate.

"It's hard to tell," she said. "It's a real good product, but it depends on how good a job we do. Time will tell."

The only new employees are about 10 engineers who are working on the large turbine pumps. They were transferred from Nebraska.

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