Despite being on holiday, Tobias Mai's engineering curiosity overcame him and he returned to Frankenthal with news of an impressive discovery. The KSB pumps in the machine room of the enormous ship were fascinating. "And our visit was a total coincidence," explains the degreed engineer who has worked in global sales at KSB for six years. "The weather wasn't great so my girlfriend and I were looking for a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. There was this huge ship moored at the docks and we thought: 'That'll do!'" Equipped with audio guides, the couple wandered around the deck and explored one of Hamburg's premier attractions. Eventually they found themselves in the machine room, where the pumps immediately caught Tobias' eye. "One had even been opened up so that we could see the shaft and the impeller," remembers Mai. "I thought to myself, 'How crazy would it be if they turned out to be KSB pumps?'". And there it was written on the name plate: KSB. His spontaneous reaction: "How cool is that!"
Unassuming heroes: reliable KSB pumps ensure safe shipping
Tobias Mai spoke immediately to one of the volunteers crewing the ship and took photos of the large pumps which work in various cooling and circulation systems, and as bilge and fire-fighting pumps. The equipment was manufactured at KSB's factory in Bremen. "I talked to many members of the ship's crew about the pumps," says Tobias Mai. "We ended up spending almost four hours on board. Before leaving I gave them my card: in case they ever have problems." But this seems unlikely: these KSB pumps require very little maintenance and work like unassuming heroes. As Jens Weber, Managing Director of the Cap San Diego Betriebsgesellschaft mbH, explains: "The Cap San Diego undertakes regular trips with passengers. It is therefore important to have reliable pumps on board – and that is what KSB stands for. The pumps have been in operation here since 1962."
And it doesn't end there: the KSB Group continues to equip ships and offshore platforms worldwide – including the Europa 2 and the Queen Mary 2. 60 percent of all liquefied gas tankers on the world's oceans are also fitted out with cryogenic valves from KSB.
In use across the globe – the fascinating world of KSB
Tobias Mai still has fond memories of his discovery, and is even in mail contact with one of the ship's crew. "I have always been fascinated by technology," he says. "Wherever I may be, I always find myself automatically looking to see if I can discover more KSB products." He has plenty of opportunities to do just that: working for KSB has seen Mai undertake multiple trips to Spain, Abu Dhabi and Las Vegas. He currently works in Shanghai. "That's what makes the world of KSB so fascinating for me," says Mai. "The company has offered me many opportunities and supported me in my professional development, including with my second degree in business administration." It remains to be seen whether he will make more KSB discoveries in Shanghai. There will certainly be enough time: Tobias Mai will stay for three years.
About the Cap San Diego: With a gross tonnage of almost 10,000, the world's largest seaworthy museum ship is the last remaining vessel of a series of six high-speed general cargo vessels built in 1961/1962 for the shipping company Hamburg Süd which sailed until 1981, generally on routes to South America. Thanks to its elegant silhouette and white colour the ship was nicknamed the "White Swan" and is now one of Hamburg's most significant attractions. The Cap San Diego has been a museum ship since 1988, and even became a floating hotel in 2003. It is now moored at the Überseebrücke pontoon facility in Hamburg and makes trips several times a year with up to 500 passengers. Measuring 159.40 metres long, the ship can travel at 21.6 knots on trips that offer visitors a glimpse of seafaring technology throughout the ages.