Afocus on pump system optimization within the entire pumping system has become the strategic vision of the Hydraulic Institute. With the retirement of longtime HI Executive Director Robert Asdal, the direction of the standard-setting organization has shifted recently to reflect new leadership and a changing environment.
After more than twenty-four years under Asdal’s leadership, his June 30, 2015, retirement represented a changing of the guard for HI as longtime association professional Michael Michaud took the reigns.
And with the traditional initiatives and mission of the industry-leading association remaining intact, the new leadership brings fresh ideas with a clear focus moving forward.
“While HI will always remain very focused on its pump supplier base, we are expanding our outlook to include the entire pumping system,” Michaud says. “Our extended focus means that HI has a lot more room to grow along the pump system supply chain and as well as in understanding and serving the needs of pump users. Whether pump users are looking for increased reliability, better performance, or energy efficiency, HI programs and HI members can help them get there.”
The changes will be most visible on the programming side, Michaud says.
“HI’s training program, managed through Pump System Matters (PSM), is increasingly focused on the end user,” Michaud explains. “As PSM continues to grow its portfolio of Pump System Optimization courses, HI will also develop programs and resources focused on helping end users who own, manage, and maintain pumping systems.”
HI’s technical resources will continue to grow beyond its highly-valued standards and guidebooks into areas such as testing, certification, and labeling. Simultaneously, HI’s advocacy work will remain focused on pump-related regulatory issues and shift toward a more pro-active stance, he says.
The Pump Test Lab Approval Program and the upcoming energy rating label are examples of how HI and its members will continue to demonstrate leadership.
“These are just a few examples of how the expanded vision of HI: ‘Advancing the pump manufacturing industry by becoming the world’s resource for pumping solutions,’ will play out,” Michaud says.
Looking ahead to 2016, Michaud predicts a historic year for HI for many reasons. For the past few years, HI has been preparing for the release of the new Department of Energy regulations for commercial and industrial pumps.
“I am very excited about the development of the HI Energy Rating Label which is really an extension of the HI Pump Test standard (HI 40.6) and HI Pump Test Lab Approval Program,” Michaud says. “It will help utilities account for energy savings achieved through pump system optimization and provide incentives for upgrades or new equipment.”
The introduction of more Pump System Assessment Tools for end users is another development for 2016. Pump Systems Matter, HI’s training arm, has expanded the scope of Pump System Optimization courses, from a general platform to one that addresses specific industries such as water/wastewater, utilities, pulp and paper, and, the latest, building services.
“These energy-intensive areas will benefit from pump system optimization,” Michaud says. “As we increase sector-focused training, HI will also develop assessment and management tools to help end users understand the pump system assessment process and create a framework to manage this process internally.”
Michaud says the overall plan is to have all these programs in place by 2017, when HI celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
As end users continue to search for increased energy efficiency and reliability through pump system optimization, organizations like HI must continue to drive regulatory change and influence how pump system owners make purchasing decisions.
“Rather than basing purchasing decisions on upfront capital expense, pump system owners are analyzing the overall operating expense,” Michaud says. “For many pumping systems, the operating expense of maintenance and energy consumption can be five to ten times the initial capital expense. Building this kind of awareness (and efficiency) among pump owners and users is good for everyone, and it also helps the HI community and society at large.”
New leadership can bring new challenges to any organization. Michaud says he plans to work closely with the strong HI Board and Leadership Team during the transition.
“The Institute was well prepared financially, and has a good basic roadmap for the next few years,” he says. “The real challenge will be keeping up with external changes like those posed by a new regulatory environment. We hope to stay ahead by bringing more external perspective into the organization. We will help our members better understand the needs of the end user. And we will focus on helping HI committees consider end user needs as we incorporate them into our standards, courses, and technical resources.”
HI meetings have already included more end-user-focused panel sessions. Several new Partner programs have also been launched to enable more interaction with end-users and academics at the committee level.
In addition, the Media Partner program has been expanded to help HI connect with end users.
“While we continue to create more programs to help end users understand how they can save energy, increase efficiency, and ultimately save money by improving and upgrading their pumping systems, we need to get the word out through different media channels and networking,” he says.
There is also an extended focus on complementing the overall worldwide view of pumping standards with regard to the international pumping systems market.
“When reviewing the programs introduced by HI in the past few months and those in development, you will see the strong foundation of HI standards,” Michaud says. “I expect these standards to continue to drive HI’s growth globally, as well. We have already seen increased demand for our standards and guidebooks outside the U.S. and we have signed on new standards distributors in India and the Middle East (BSB Edge) and Australia (Pump Industry Australia) in late 2015 to respond to the increased demand.” ◆
About the Author:
A professional journalist for twenty-five years, Michelle Segrest is co-owner of Business Discovery Services ( and has covered the pump industry for more than eight years. Reach her at
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