In an area like emergency flood operations, you can never have too much experience or knowledge.
So when the Japan Association for Pump System Engineering travelled to Tennessee for a tour of the Memphis District W.G. Huxtable Pumping Plant last week, members of leadership were eager for the opportunity to share and exchange ideas.
The tour included an introductory meeting with Memphis District leaders, an overview briefing of the Huxtable pumping plant, a business card exchange, and finally some barbecue before hitting the road to tour the plant.
“The presentation and tour went very well,” said Project Manager Jairus Stroupe. “The members from the Association of Pump System Engineering (APS) showed great interest in the functionality and maintenance of our facilities. There are many shared challenges between our two organizations including maintenance tracking, maintaining a skilled workforce, and funding challenges.”
Some key items of concern for APS included maintenance methods and technology, failure management, and facility operations.
“In Japan, aging drainage pump stations are increasing rapidly,” said Shops Chief Marvin Roddy. “The increase in sudden failures and costs required for maintenance and renewal are becoming real problems. Therefore, proper maintenance methods and renewal and repair cost reductions become primary areas of interest.”
While the Memphis District provided a lot of information to these important guests, our team spent some time asking some of their own questions as well.
“Visits like this one provides us a glimpse of how our counterparts are combating manpower shortages, equipment maintenance, and other challenges that go along with operating a pumping station,” noted Roddy.
Among other ideas, the APS shed light on some innovative automotive operations systems they use.
“I believe there will be further discussions concerning updates to operations and maintenance manuals with regard to inspection and maintenance procedures,” said Stroupe.
Stroupe concluded his thoughts on the tour saying, “Visits like this are not just important to showcase an amazing facility like W.G. Huxtable Pumping Plant, but to put into perspective how valuable this asset is to the region from flood control to the huge economic impact to local agricultural and industry.”