Ace Pump Celebrates 75 Years in Business

Ace Pumps

Employees of Ace Pump Corp. in Memphis, TN, recently gathered around a special birthday cake in honor of the company’s 75th anniversary. Ace was founded in 1945 and continues today as a member of the Annovi Reverberi Group of companies.


Ace Pump Corp., a leading global manufacturer of pumping solutions for the agricultural, off-highway equipment, air conditioning and refrigeration markets, announced a year-long celebration in honor of the company’s 75th anniversary. Ace was founded in 1945 by Roy Bell, Sr., Elmer Theis, and Bob Barry, and continues today as a member of the Annovi Reverberi Group of companies.

Ace Pump’s first product, the Model 450, was a double-diaphragm type pump for farm water systems introduced in late 1945. It featured two relatively new materials – neoprene and aluminum – and could handle sand and other abrasive materials that were often detrimental to the centrifugal and piston pumps of the time.

“Roy Bell, Sr. was not only a true visionary, but a very practical problem-solver,” noted Ace CEO Andy Randle. “Ace Pump combined Elmer Theis’ pump design with Bob Barry’s marketing talents and Mr. Bell’s manufacturing expertise and facilities to form a great partnership. It came at a time when there was a great deal of pent-up demand for domestic products following World War II, so it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the right product.”

In 1948, Roy Bell, Sr. bought out his two partners and became the sole owner of Ace Pump Corporation. In that year, Ace Pump also introduced the Model 48, an improved version of the Model 450. What follows is a timeline of significant milestones in the company’s growth:

  • 1954: Ace enters the refrigeration market with a centrifugal pump for cooling tower applications
  • 1955: Roy Bell, Jr. returns from service in the U.S. Navy and begins working for the company
  • 1964: Ace Pump produces its first tractor PTO-mounted, belt-driven centrifugal pump
  • 1969: Ace Pump produces the first close-coupled hydraulic driven centrifugal pump
  • 1972: Ace Pump purchases ValvTec, a company that produced ball valves for agricultural and industrial applications
  • 1972: Ace Pump acquires Nelson Vacuum Pumps to add to its air conditioning refrigeration product line
  • 1978: Ace Pump purchases Continental Foundry and Machine Co. in Olive Branch, MS to ensure a steady supply of castings
  • 1982: Roy Bell III returns from an engineering position with Boeing in Seattle, WA to join Ace Pump Corporation
  • 1996: Andy Randle joins the company, coming from the U.S.D.A. Cotton Division
  • 1998: Roy Bell III becomes president of Ace Pump Corporation
  • 2008: Ace wins an AE50 Award for its new Oasis™ WetSeal Technology pump innovation
  • 2015: Ace Pump receives the President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting from the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • 2015: Ace introduces its innovative Genesis™ dual pump kit
  • 2017: Ace launches the first of its new pumps with integrated pulse with modulated (PWM) control valves, allowing PWM technology to be implemented on pull-type sprayers and fertilizer applicators
  • 2018: Annovi Reverberi Group of Modena, Italy acquires Ace Pump Corporation and names Andy Randle CEO
  • 2019: Ace receives the President’s “E” Star Award for sustained commitment to export expansion from the U.S. Department of Commerce

When asked about Ace Pump Corporation’s secret of long-term success, Randle stated, “The Bell family always valued its customers and employees and constantly strived to meet their highest expectations. Our management realizes that continued growth depends on both customer and employee satisfaction, and we do everything in our power to make sure our products, service and work environment are second to none.”

While the farm equipment market is in the midst of a mild recession, Randle believes the company’s long-term prospects for growth are very encouraging. “We continue to launch innovative products, including our PWM pumps and new additions to our Oasis WetSeal lineup. We see these products fitting in perfectly with the growing trend toward precision application of liquid fertilizer and crop protection products.”

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