Versatility Keeps NLB Corporation At The Top of Their Game

NLB Corporation advocates versatility. They offer a variety of convertible high-pressure water jet pumps and hundreds of accessories that are used in a variety of industries. In addition to being modeled for versatility, their products can remove product (e.g., rust, scale, coatings) off a wide range of surfaces, from bridges to chemical tanks to airport runways.

NLB, the brainchild of Forest Shook, has been offering water blasting products since 1971. Several years prior to NLB’s inception, in the 1960s, Shook built a high pressure washer and mounted it in his van. He’d go out and perform jobs that way in and around the Flint, Michigan area, and as he was calling on customers, he realized he needed an even higher pressure washer. That realization led him to develop a pump that could deliver 10,000 psi water pressure, and then to accessories that got jobs done faster. One of the first was the SPIN JET®.

Keith Langham, who has worked closely with NLB for 25 years, says, “The SPIN JET® has rotating water jets mounted inside an apparatus that resembles a lawnmower, and is one of NLB’s big innovations.“ The same principle is applied to removing pavement markings on highways. The water jets are mounted on the bumper of a truck that drives along with a vacuum recovery system mounted on there, as well.

This is the StarJet™ water blasting system, which has the ability to blast the markings off any pavement in a way that is environmentally friendly and increases productivity. NLB knows that using materials such as abrasives or solvent baths can not only be cumbersome and labor intensive, but tough on the pavement and the environment. They use no harsh abrasives, “Water doesn’t do any harm,” Langham says. The StarJet™ is used primarily for highways, but NLB offers smaller units that can be used for parking lots, as well.

The StarJet™ system is tough enough to handle runways, too. The FAA has regulations on how much rubber can be on the runway. When planes land they leave rubber behind and that build up needs to be removed. “Water jetting is a great way to do that,” Langham says. It takes off the rubber and old pavement markings that need to be removed before the new ones can be put down.

Versatility within a single unit is something NLB is proud to offer their customers. In the past, people were using 3,000-5,000 psi systems. As jobs got more varied and more difficult, 20-, 30- and 40,000 psi systems became the norm. And since different jobs require different pressures, people used to have to buy pumps for each pressure. But today NLB offers many pump units that can be converted to operate at different pressures. The NLB 225, for example, can be changed over in about 20 minutes to operate at any of eight pressures, from 8,000 psi to 40,000 psi.

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