Verne Schumann has been around racing since the mid-‘50s. He knows a thing or two about the industry and so does his business, Schumann’s Sales & Service, Inc., an engine parts supplier located in Blue Grass, IA, which Verne founded in 1970.
Now, nearly 45 years later, Verne and his wife are beginning to ponder life after business and are putting the company’s wet sump oil pump program up for sale. Since 1970, Schumann’s has supplied the industry through high performance, OE rebuilders, AERA rebuilders, Ag manufacturers, and the Big 3 car manufacturers. Aside from dealing in oil pumps, Schumann’s also offers valve train parts, gaskets and piston rings, but those areas of the business won’t be up for sale for another year or so.
Verne and Schumann’s Sales & Service got seriously involved in oil pumps about five years ago, and within the past three years the company has gained a good chunk of market share. Technology-wise, Schumann’s holds numerous patents, has patents pending and patents applied for. When Verne and his company analyzed the oil pump industry, they looked at both wet sump and dry sump. Dry sump oil pump systems, however, only constituted about 10 percent of total racecars nationwide and there was a lot of competition in the market. Wet sump oil pumps were in 90 percent of the racecars running and the market only had one major player involved. “I decided to go wet sump,” Verne says.
When Verne analyzed the wet sump industry, it was real evident that over half the sales were small block Chevys. The small block Chevy, when it was invented in 1953, had a couple things that were inefficient within the oil pump portion of the engine. No. 1, the inlet of the oil pump into the valve plate came in below the gears where it should come into the pump at gear level. No. 2, the ability of the bypass valving system was inadequate on a percentage of volume to properly address the pump function. Schumann’s wet sump oil pump program resolved those issues with its dual feed pump, which is a patented product. The oil enters through two passageways – one to the bottom of the gears, which is traditional, and the other 50 percent of the oil comes into the side of the gears. “That’s been one of our mainstay products and it completely eliminates cavitation and aeration so that pump demand doesn’t outrun inlet supply,” Verne says. “That’s why we dominate with that pump. And with our pump the inlet is standard industry so you don’t need to buy a special pan or pick-up to use our pump.”
In addition to its dual feed oil pump, Schumann’s has a patented energy recovery system in which it takes disposable oil that has been pressurized and compressed once already, and through a modulation system, puts that oil back into the intake stream and turbochargers that intake stream. The amount of oil bypass is typically between 20 and 40 percent in a regular pump, so that percentage of compressed oil arriving back into the intake stream already predispositioned at that volume and pressure creates a savings of 20 to 40 percent on the input effort required to get the next volume of oil back out. “People are amazed when they run our energy recovery pump on a test stand how easy it turns over,” Verne says.
Schumann’s produces a national product for national exposure for national acceptance through national distributors. Through all of the company’s endeavors Verne says it has probably developed and brought to market 25 industry firsts. Over the past couple years the company has proven it can compete in the oil pump industry. “We have our fair share of the market place today and we have a larger share of technology,” Verne says. “In the last three years we’ve been a strong player.”
In an ideal world Verne is looking to sell Schumann’s in a merger/acquisition scenario where the business could double or triple in size, but would consider cash offers. The wet sump oil pump program requires 3,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. of floor space and Verne would like to keep the current sales force and distributors in place and add on to them. “In our industry there is a good marriage out there for us, and we’re going to try our best to make the best decision for the oil pump program,” Verne says. “It’s an opportunity for somebody to pick-up a very aggressive, turn key, dominant force in that segment with modern technology and patents.”
For more information call 563-381-2416.