December 15, marked the anniversary Silver Bridge collapse. The Silver Bridge was an eye-bar chain suspension bridge built-in 1928 and named for the color of its aluminum paint. The bridge connected Point Pleasant West Virginia and Gallipolis Ohio, over the Ohio River. Investigation of the wreckage pointed the cause of the collapse due to a small defect 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) deep in just a single eye bar in a suspension chain.
Eye bar bridges have been built for over a 100 years. Such bridges though were constructed from redundant bar links, using rows of four to six bars and sometimes using several such chains in parallel. The Silver Bridge eye bars were not redundant. Rather than a thick stack of thinner bars of modest material strength “combed” together, only two bars each of high-strength steel were used. The higher tensile strength calculated out to have equivalent loading values but with fewer chains. But with only two bars, the failure of one could impose excessive loading on the second, causing total failure, which proved itself out with the Silver Bridge collapse.
Building great customer service is a lot like bridge building. You cannot depend on a select few to handle the entire load no matter how talented they are. There will be times of overload and a breakdown of communications with the customer. EXAIR employees are all cross trained so as to fill in as necessary. The bridge’s function is to support traffic. Our function is to support the customer. Having our entire workforce customer focused provides us with multiple “strands” of support from the manufacturing floor to order entry.
Need help in conserving compressed air? We would welcome the opportunity to serve you. Call and ask to speak with one of our engineers at 1-800-903-9247.