Michigan Propane Gas Association's Propane Journal

Michigan Propane Gas Association’s Propane Journal Features Blackmer

Michigan Propane 1


Blackmer® pump and compressor technologies have played a leading role for more than a century in optimizing liquid-transfer operations in every corner of the globe, no matter the industry, the climate or the application.

Michigan Propane 2It all started in 1899, when Robert Blackmer was hard at work trying to develop a more reliable, efficient alternative to the rotary gear pumps that were a prevalent pumping technology at the time. Little did he know that what he created that year—a new rotary, self-compensating pumping principle—would become the predecessor to today’s sliding vane pumps and continue to set the standard in reliable, efficient, sustainable and cost-effective pumping performance more than 100 years later.

In 1903, a few years after the invention of the new positive displacement rotary vane pump, Blackmer founded the Blackmer Pump, Power and Manufacturing Company in Petoskey, MI, USA, where it remained until 1925 when it relocated to Grand Rapids, MI. To this day, the company is headquartered at the same site. In 1964, Blackmer was purchased by Dover Corporation, a diversified global manufacturer headquartered in Downers Grove, IL, with annual revenues exceeding $7 billion. In 2008, Blackmer joined with other Dover pump companies to form PSG®, a new Dover company.


LPG Series Sliding Vane Pumps
In 1954, Blackmer designed its first sliding vane liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pumps. Since that time, Blackmer has been the global leader in LPG/NH3 mobile and stationary transfer solutions designed for maximum performance and reliability. These pumps are ideally suited for cylinder filling, motor fueling, bulk transfer in liquid terminals, vaporizers, and on bobtails and transports.

Blackmer LPG pumps, including its LG, LGL and TLGLF models, offer the best combined characteristics of sustained high- level performance, energy efficiency, trouble- free operation and low maintenance cost. In addition, all models are UL-listed.

Oil-Free Reciprocating Gas Compressors
While Blackmer sliding vane pumps have long set the standard handling LPG, in 1980 the company introduced its Compressor Division, which specializes in oil-free reciprocating gas compressors — most notably the HD and LB Series — that have become preferred equipment for the handling of LPG and other critical industrial gases. These compressors are well suited to unloading railcars, pressure vessels, transports and tanks that present poor suction conditions for pumps, where system piping restricts flow and installations require an initial lift to the liquid.

Blackmer also offers its Mobile Evacuation Unit for use for LPG applications. The unit provides liquid evacuation and vapor recovery wherever needed for storage tanks and transports or transferring liquids from tank to tank. Its mobility makes it indispensable for refineries, bulk tank facilities and field service calls. Its mobile design also allows it to deliver cost-effective and profitable recovery of the liquid heel of tanks and vapor recovery.

Regenerative Turbine Pumps
In addition to its line of LPG sliding vane pumps and compressors, Blackmer offers Ebsray® RC Series regenerative turbine pumps. Introduced to the Americas in 2014, these pumps stand out in LPG and Autogas dispensing applications because they have been designed and precisions built for high-pressure transfer applications.

The secret to the success of these pumps is the innovative impeller design, which optimizes hydraulic performance resulting in high differential pressures even at low flow rates. By incorporating state-of-the-art “Ebsray Turbine Technology™,” these pumps feature a smooth, quiet operation and long pump life.


Blackmer and the MPGA’s PERN
Blackmer pumps and compressors are playing a prominent role in helping to ensure the safety of Michigan’s propane industry. In 2009, the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA) created the Propane Emergency Response Network (PERN). The goal of PERN is to supplement the fire training that is offered to the state’s first-responders, many of whom do not have the appropriate training to handle major LPG emergencies.

The heart of the PERN program is a fleet of emergency-response trailers that are fully equipped with Blackmer pumps and compressor units, as well as power units, hoses and other accessories that are typically required for handling propane-related emergencies. The trailers are strategically located in five different fire districts in Michigan. Each consists of regionalized propane teams who are volunteers that have been trained specifically to handle propane emergencies. Working hand in hand with police and fire departments in the state, the goal of PERN is to reduce the response time to any propane-related incident in the state.

Blackmer Tomorrow
PSG and Blackmer are committed to developing new pumps and flow-control system platforms that not only provide solutions for today’s applications, but also tackle the challenges of our time: emerging economies, population growth, resource scarcity and energy consumption, to name a few. One of our goals is to change the world for the better by providing innovative fluid-transfer technologies that are sustainable and make a positive difference in our customers’ lives. Our long-term vision fuels a deep passion to maintain our leadership position as experts in the select markets we serve. We will always strive to make our customers more successful by providing solutions that enable them to become better, faster and stronger.