...stationary pump’s twin engines from synchronizing, and crews worried that it might overheat.

“We didn’t have a good start,” says Kontorovich. Within 24 hours, Sany had sent out a technician to replace and reprogram the motherboard. “It is working fine now,” Kontorovich says.

Aside from computer parts, which come from China, Sany builds using well-established engines, controls, hydraulics and other parts; clients say this gives them easier access to replacement parts.

Eventually, Sany says, it will assemble whole pumps in the U.S. Plans to build a factory near Atlanta are on hold, though, due to the recession.

“We are trying to build an American company, not a Chinese company,” says Wang. “Challenges exist, but we will solve it. It will take time.”

There also are the language barriers. And workers, skeptical that the machine would stand up to the rigors of the big hospital project, harbored early resentment for the “Chinese monstrosity,” Kontorovich says. As they gained experience with the pump, they found it to be exceptionally smooth.

“If everything’s going well, we can get 90 yards an hour,” says Tom Rutkowski, the pump’s operator. “The faster we run the engine, the smoother it pours,” adds Kevin Finucane, superintendent.

Working as a subcontractor to joint-venture construction manager Mortenson/Power, the concrete sub now has used the pump to pour 33,000 of the 23-story hospital’s total 38,000 cu yd of concrete.

As the construction market remains in a slump, concrete firms say they are looking to save on equipment. Will China be their next bet?

“We would love to have the work to continue to buy Sany equipment,” says Frank Aiello, president of Concrete Structures. “The experience has been that good.”