One of civilization's earliest inventions, pump technology has not changed much through the years. Since 200 B.C., pumps have moved water and other viscous materials from Point A to Point B. No matter the consistency of the liquid—whether it's peanut butter or oil—there is a pump that can suck, push or lift it to its destination.

However, the pump industry continues to be innovative, evolutionary and intelligent in the advancements of technology surrounding the pump. Because of constant developments, Pumps & Systems covers instrumentation, monitoring and controls in every issue. And as manufacturers continue to see the monetary and energy-saving value in pump system optimization, “Smart Pumping” is revolutionizing the industry.

“From the cell phones we carry to the cars we drive, technology advancements over the past few decades have transformed the way we live,” explains Dan Kernan, manager of monitoring, controls at ITT Industrial Process. “On-board intelligence and digital communications make the machines we use every day more efficient.

“But if you work with industrial machines, walking onto the shop floor can be a step back in time. Some pumps being sold today have barely changed in 50 years. That's because too many pump manufacturers have been slow to integrate digital and interactive technologies with their products.”

ITT and other companies are working to change that, as you will learn in this month's cover series on Smart Pumps. “Our process pumps all ship with onboard digital sensors—the pumping equivalent of a “check engine” light to warn of temperature or vibration issues,” says Kernan.

The PumpSmart® drives pictured on the October cover are the digital version of an automatic transmission, adjusting pump speed to process conditions. ProSmart™ condition monitoring is similar to auto safety systems, such as OnStar®, that assess conditions remotely and use wireless communications to provide help when needed.

P&S will be on the road this month. I hope to see you at WEFTEC, TurboMachinery, ChemInnovations/ISA and at the Permian Basin Show.