Prototype pumps up Torres’ exports

Torres Pumps new Puma Food Pump'Ken and Dawn Torres with their newly developed pump
Torres Pumps new Puma Food Pump'Ken and Dawn Torres with their newly developed pump
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Specialist pump manufacturer Torres Pumps is celebrating an early export success for its newly-designed stainless steel food pump.

The Sheffield company, which also maintains as well as manufactures and installs pumps, developed the food quality rotary piston pump in a bid to answer the shortcomings it discovered when repairing other companies’ models.

The order, from Belgium, came thanks to founder Ken Torres’ longstanding contacts with leading UK food manufacturers and tanker operators and came as a bit of a surprise for the Brightside Lane business.

“We made the prototype a while ago, but never tried to sell any as we were so busy with other work that we didn’t have time to build up a stock of spares,” says Mr Torres.

However, the Sheffield company’s hackles were raised when they were invited to quote to supply pumps for the tankers which will carry liquid glucose and sugar to food plants ranging from confectioners to brewers and found a foreign manufacturer’s designs were being specified. Torres decided to raise the profile of its stainless steel prototype pump – all the more so, since this year marks the centenary of Harry Brearley’s discovery of stainless steel in Sheffield

Suddenly, it found itself with an order to supply 15 of its pumps in under two months.

The food industry success comes hard on the heels of a 10-year deal that will see the Made in Sheffield mark company’s pumps installed on all the refuelling vehicles for civil and military aircraft, made by a leading French firm.

And it means more business for Torres’ Sheffield City Region-based suppliers as the firm works flat out to complete both orders.

Ken Torres says the company he founded 32 years ago has never been busier.

He puts the success down to its ability to provide tailor-made solutions to problems from clients who include international petroleum companies like Shell, chemicals companies like Croda and food firms like Cadbury. Torres is currently in the running for contracts from Spain and Indonesia.