Over-engineering is a term we are hearing more and more when it comes to pump enclosures.
In fact, we recently had an inquiry for a pump enclosure that was not “over-engineered.” The customer requested we provide them nothing more than the enclosure or “shell,” as they put it. No custom features were needed.
An enclosure (or pump cover) is critical if you’re trying to protect pumps. They help keep vandals from damaging your equipment and the weather from destroying it. Many clients need a custom pump enclosure, but oftentimes just the basics will do.
The customer I mentioned wanted no add-ons: No wall louvers, no fixed louvers, no lights, exhaust fans, receptacles, windows — nothing. This got me thinking as to why a customer might only want a “shell”? And when might a pump enclosure become “over-engineered” and more expensive than necessary?
WHAT IS OVER-ENGINEERING?
When something is over-engineered, it typically has too many bells and whistles. Webster’s Dictionary describes over-engineering as the designing of a product to be more robust or complicated. The product has more functions, capabilities, etc., then are necessary or desirable.
It can be done for safety or functionality reasons, or because of design errors. Sometimes companies will over-engineer a product to make it more marketable. In the end, you’re just paying for things you don’t need. A lot of times these add-ons don’t necessarily make the product better.
WHAT IS AN OVER-ENGINEERED PUMP ENCLOSURE?
Items like wall louvers and exhaust fans are typically a necessity when covering pumps. They’re added to pump enclosures to keep your pump system from overheating during the summer months. Many of our clients also like access panels to make it easier to get to their equipment for testing and repairs.
Heaters are also a must-have in colder climates to keep things flowing. But what about add-ons like lights, receptacles and windows? Do all pump enclosures need to be fire-rated and have large steel doors? Of course, there are many applications where all of these features are necessary, but in a lot of cases, it’s just costly overkill.
In the case of our client’s request, I asked them why they didn’t need any of these features. They said they were only interested in the enclosure because not all of their projects require all the bells and whistles, and it provided them more flexibility when designing the pump package.
They also said their shop was capable of adding items such as fans and wall louvers themselves, which cut down on costs, rather than having a third party do it. They said the most important thing was that the enclosure was well-made and had quality design. As long as the enclosure allowed them to modify it without damaging it or reducing its integrity, they preferred to make modifications themselves.
AVOID OVER-ENGINEERED PUMP ENCLOSURES
It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Pump packaging companies and OEM’s see a large variety of unique designs and applications every day in the marketplace. By utilizing just the enclosure shell without all of the typical features, they have a blank canvas to work from and can customize it as the project calls for it. It also cuts down on the expense of buying something that has way more features than they will ever use. It’s like buying an expensive luxury car with a bunch of fancy options that you find you never use.
Although there are many pump enclosure applications that need a lot of features, you may want to think about that blank canvas first. Consider what you are ultimately trying to achieve with your pump enclosure. There’s a chance you may not need all of those fancy, expensive options. A well-designed, well-built enclosure may be all you need.
You may find utilizing one or two of these features is all you really need to keep your pump equipment running, secured and protected from the elements and weather. If you’d like more information on how to design the perfect pump enclosure, take a look at our pump cover checklist. This new checklist is designed to walk you through all the necessary steps for designing and buying a custom enclosure. It's quick and easy and the whole list is only a few pages long.
We want you to have the best pump enclosure that fits YOUR needs. Contact us today.