A Reliable, Performance-Driven Solution for Emergency Wildfire Suppression

06/19/2023 | Case Study

Franklin Electric worked with wildfire suppression provider Perimeter Solutions to develop a reliable pumping package that could serve at-the-ready for immediate use in preparation of aerial fire retardants. 


Customer Challenge

Perimeter Solutions is a global company that specializes in helping the U.S. Forest Service and other government agencies and private enterprices slow, stop, and prevent the start of wildfires. They offer a broad range of fire retardants, firefighting foams, and equipment to support live firefighting operations, both on the ground and in the air. These include mobile retardant bases and mobile foam equipment; code mobile multi-chemical systems, mixing systems, and ground application equipment. This equipment is stationed strategically at sites throughout the Western United States, and is often on standby for months at a time until a critical firefighting need arises. When it does, concentrated fire-retardant liquids and foams must be mixed and prepared at precise formulas and pumped into aircrafts for quick depoloyment. High-pressure and high-volume pumping are essential in these situations, as is fast, reliable startup and performance. As wildfires become more prevalent Perimeter Solutions continues to update their equipment, including a standby tanker base at an airport outside of Lost Angeles: Fox Field in Lancaster.



The Solution

Perimeter Solutions uses a combination of company-owned pumps for regular duty as well as rental pumps for backup. This gives them the opportunity to operate different pump configurations and types in a variety of real-life emergency situations. Products from Pioneer Pump®, a Franklin Electric brand, had consistently demonstrated how well it could handle Perimeter Solutions' higher pressure and high-volume needs. Because the Lancaster site offered readily available power, Perimeter Solutions chose a Pioneer Pump 4" ElectricPAK™ for the location. The unit, built on a standard rail, was also custom outfitted with a mounted Franklin Electric variable frequency drive (VFD).

The Pioneer product offered several benefits to Perimeter Solutions, including high-efficiency electric operation, heavy-duty durable construction and greater lift capacity. The robust package design included a rigid, direct coupling that keeps the pump and motor permanently aligned, saving countless hours of service time. Pioneer’s run dry capabilities were also a major benefit. During extreme operational periods, the storage tanks that hold Perimeter Solutions’ fire retardant sometimes run low and potentially cavitate by pulling air pockets. The pumping equipment they use needs to handle these without wear and without stopping. In the past, Perimeter Solutions’ pumps would frequently encounter seal failures due to run dry situations. With Pioneer, this concern would be minimized.

The Results

Perimeter Solutions’ top priority was reliability: would the pump run smoothly and do the job in emergency situations? Breaking down in the middle of an operation was simply not an option. Like all Pioneer systems, the electric package was engineered for performance and serviceability. Since installing the pump, it has consistently handled the mixing capacity of 60 pounds of pressure during testing scenarios and air is easily bled out of the line if needed. These test runs have also helped Perimeter Solutions personnel gain the insight they need to feel confident that when an emergency fire situation arises, they’ll be ready.

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Franklin Electric is a global leader in the production and marketing of systems and components for the movement of water and energy. Recognized as a technical leader in its products and services, Franklin Electric serves customers around the world in residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, municipal, and fueling applications. Franklin Electric is proud to be named in Newsweek’s lists of America’s Most Responsible Companies and Most Trustworthy Companies for 2024 and America’s Climate Leaders 2023 by USA Today.