Fork Talk

New inductees into Equipment Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Thursday, 18 November 2010 ( #488 )
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has announced the latest inductees into the AEM Hall of Fame, which honours pioneering individuals who have invented, managed, built and led the off-road equipment industry.

The 2010 inductees are Dr Hans Liebherr of Liebherr Company and Jim Gorman of The Gorman-Rupp Company. Candidates were judged by an independent panel of industry experts and supporters on how well they exemplify the five principles of innovation, industry contribution, leadership, corporate citizenship/social responsibility and sustainability.

"We are pleased to recognise these individuals whose vision and leadership have contributed greatly to the growth and strength of our industry and of our quality of life," says AEM president Dennis Slater.

According to AEM, Dr Liebherr's drive to innovate was evident early and often. Through his guidance, Liebherr Company has become known for its engineering developments. In 1949, he developed and patented the TK10 tower crane, the key product that became the platform for his new business. He continued to innovate and expand with cranes, and a wide variety of other construction equipment and industrial products, including telehandlers.

The company's focus on fuel efficiency and productivity led to the development of hydrostatic drive systems and Liebherr products led the industry in implementing electronic controls for hydraulics. Dr Liebherr was an early pioneer of high-pressure hydraulics, which still set the highest industry standard in excavators. He also fostered a corporate culture in which innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit propel company progress, and was an early proponent of world trade. In the late 1950s, he built Liebherr facilities outside of Germany. Many factories were located in rural areas, which provided employment opportunities for local residents.

Jim Gorman's achievements include many roles that stretch across seven decades. His father co-founded The Gorman-Rupp Company, and he was on the road at age 15, promoting the Gorman-Rupp products. His foresight to invest early in CAD/CAM design software helped his company lead the industry in construction pumps and water pollution control equipment.

Innovations include creating the first commercially available self-priming solids-handling trash pump, Under Gorman's leadership, Gorman-Rupp became the first American manufacturer to offer a wide line of submersible pumps to meet the demanding conditions of mining environments. He also initiated many socially responsible activities, including the Adopt-A-School program, through which employees provide assistance to local schools.

Since its inception in 1993, more than 35 industry leaders have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The AEM Hall of Fame aims to create a wider public understanding and appreciation of the industry's role in global economic and social prosperity. The achievements and significant contributions of inductees also serve as an inspiration for future industry leaders.

For more information, visit www.aemHallofFame.com.
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