A Cautionary Tale about Small Details

Have you ever had one of those moments when you were thinking on a particular topic, when you thought briefly about a small detail? After the brief thought, did you then do nothing to ensure that this one detail would not sabotage your future endeavors?  After all, it’s a small detail, right?

I had one of those moments recently while going through my checklist of things to deal with before taking our boat to a lake not so nearby our home. I thought diligently about having a spare tire, making sure all the tires were inflated to maximum PSI, and also about making sure the axle hubs were topped off with grease. Everything is good, right?  Well, not really.

As it turned out, I experienced a blow-out with one of the wheels on my boat trailer. I thought that if this were to ever happen, I would simply use my truck jack to lift the trailer to change the tire. I even had that fleeting thought to check that out to make sure it would work while I had the boat in my garage, but that was where I didn’t act to be 100% sure. So, on the side of the road, on a 110 degree day, 4 feet from the white line where 80,000 lb. trucks are blasting by at 80 mph, I find out that my truck jack is too tall to fit under the axle of the boat trailer and too short to jack up the trailer frame high enough to get the spare onto the hub. And I have nothing solid enough to sit the jack on to get in the right range of height. I had to call a family member still at the lake house to bring me a piece of material solid enough to bear the weight of the trailer and boat. He brought a length of 6 x 6, wood which worked wonderfully to allow me to finish the tire changing job and be back on the road in less than 15 minutes. Now, I don’t leave home without that piece of wood stowed in the back of the truck.

So, where am I going with this story and how does it relate to EXAIR? It is the small details like:

  1. Lots of little air leaks all round your shop that add up to as much as 30% of your compressor output. Fix them using an Ultrasonic Leak Detector.
  2. The nuisance overheating of that control panel in the really hot part of your facility. Get a Cabinet Cooler to keep it cool enough to run at 100% capacity again.
  3. The home made, smashed copper tubes you use for part ejection. They are not OSHA compliant, use a ton of air and are so noisy that hearing protection must be worn in the area. Invest in some Super Air Nozzles to bring the application into compliance, save on air use and lower the noise to a more reasonable level.
  4. The old mechanical vacuum pump that you are using to draw a vacuum in your process. The unit is loud when it operates and is very expensive to maintain. Don’t just keep doing the same old thing of fixing it every time it breaks down. Consider replacing it with an E-vac which has no moving parts to wear out.

They are small details that catch our attention briefly, but we do nothing about them until it is too late and we are in break-down mode. Think about the details and act on them so you are 100% sure you have your bases covered. Otherwise a very unpleasant and unsafe condition awaits you down the road.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

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