DREAMER, INNOVATOR, MARKET LEADER
Jim Wilden pioneered a revolution, inspired a generation of innovation and created an entire air pump industry. Wilden Pump & Engineering Company was founded in 1955 on the sketches of a unique but reliable, utilitarian pump, the Air-Operated Double-Diaphragm (AODD) pump. Today Corporate ownership and regional local management provide Wilden with the clarity and focus needed to produce quality products. Wilden products are engineered to meet today's industrial and commercial demands.
Wilden's commitment to the customer is undoubtedly the reason why we are the market leaders in our industry. We listen to the comments of engineers, maintenance personnel, and end-users to develop general and specialized products to meet your needs. Wilden is constantly in the pursuit of excellence, always innovating and designing new products.
Wilden, Where Innovation Flows
Conceived out of necessity, born in the arms of innovation and inspired by sheer will and determination, Wilden® Pump & Engineering Company began in a walnut grove in San Bernardino County, CA, through the genius of Jim Wilden.
The epiphany began in 1955 when a large water pipe ruptured several feet below ground, flooding a shop at a steel factory. Amid the bedlam, a cool-headed foreman surveyed the inundated workshop and drenched workmen and yelled out to “Slim,” Jim Wilden’s nickname, "Hey, Slim, you would make a million dollars if you could invent a pump to get this stuff out of here." And thus history was set in motion, changing the landscape of industrial and commercial processes forever.
Jim Wilden went on to invent the air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump based on the need to create a pump tough enough to handle the job of pumping water, slurry and any other finely-divided substances, such as cement. His engineering genius developed a new type of pump that had the right air valve and diaphragms needed to meet the stringent demands of the mining and heavy construction industries. After years of trial and error, Jim began successfully manufacturing and selling M16 and M14 model AODD pumps.
During the 1960s, Jim Wilden began to refine his manufacturing processes and eventually hired a salesman to sell Wilden AODD pumps. This decision allowed Jim to focus on his strengths: engineering, design and production. By 1964, the air valve, which once took six hours to produce, could now be made in 60 minutes; the entire pump, once a 40-hour project, was reduced to less than four hours. These manufacturing improvements and the hydraulic-fluid efficiencies his pumps delivered allowed Wilden to innovate and develop new products, such as the M8, which are the basis for the current models available today. As the company's success and growth continued, the old metal building in the walnut grove proved inadequate, so a new 10,000-square-foot building was constructed to house the operations of Wilden Pump & Engineering.
The 70's were a time of political and economical turmoil that would test the values of Jim Wilden. During the 1974 recession, Jim was faced with lean economic times and tough decisions. As the country was implementing mass layoffs, Jim’s main concern was for the welfare of Wilden employees, and he ultimately decided against any layoffs. He creatively reallocated resources and used the workforce to make internal improvements such as refurbishing and repainting the Wilden plant. As the U.S. slowly crawled out of the recession, Wilden began to expand its operations and product lines, improving business and adding to the legend of Jim Wilden.
The 1980s and 1990s
The 1980s and 90s saw unprecedented growth in many areas. Wilden began expanding its operations globally, practicing lean manufacturing principles and introducing new air distribution systems (ADS) to extend its lead in the AODD pump market. Wilden established a global distribution network that spanned more than 160 countries with more than 180 distributors worldwide. Sadly, Jim passed away in 1989, right before he could see the full stride of the new product lines take hold in the chemical, sanitary and pharmaceutical industries. In his stead, Wilden continues the tradition of innovation and product development designed to lead markets into areas they never thought possible.
2000 and Beyond
The new millennium has turned out to be just as innovative and productive as the past decades. With a global shift towards energy-efficient pumps and best production practices, Wilden’s focus has evolved to address these concerns while still maintaining the high performance, quality and customer satisfaction for which it is known. With the advent of the revolutionary Pro-Flo X™ and energy-efficient Pro-Flo® SHIFT ADS, Wilden promises to keep alive the innovative spirit and customer-focused culture that Jim left behind. We look forward to being part of your pumping application when selecting a trustworthy solution partner.