Don’t Be Fooled by Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold, or pyrite, is a mineral with a superficial resemblance to gold.

Here at EXAIR, we are always trying to get better at helping our customers.  You can see that in our award winning products, and you can see it in our never-ending quest to improve our service levels.  We are always testing, measuring and verifying our performance, whether it’s our products or our service.  We always want to know how we are doing and that we are delivering what we promise to our customers. 

And, of course, we always want to know how we stack up against our competition.  We constantly benchmark ourselves against others.  In that spirit, we test a LOT of products from other companies and compare them both with our own products and against the specifications promised by the manufacturer.  One recent test was eye-opening, and should point out the perils of trusting in “Fool’s Gold”…

Well, it LOOKED pretty good coming out of the box.  It was shiny.  It had a decent finish, despite some questionable design choices.  It had the appearance of a tool with some utility.  The manufacturer had chosen to publish specifications for this product that were, not coincidentally, slightly better than our specs for that sort of product.  This isn’t surprising – other companies are always trying to match EXAIR, although most fail in that regard.  An unsuspecting buyer who chose to purchase this product based on those specifications would be terribly disappointed once they put this particular item into service, however.  You see, as often happens, this product of inferior design and substandard workmanship couldn’t deliver what its manufacturer had promised.  That is not to say that it delivered LESS than the manufacturer said it would.  No, it delivered much, much MORE than advertised

At an inlet pressure of 80 PSIG, this product consumed 49.6% more compressed air than its manufacturer claimed.  And the noise level?  It was 13.7 dBA louder than promised.  To put that in perspective, the increase in noise level would make the product seem more than twice as loud as one that performs as promised.

Over promising and under delivering are a common problem in many industries.  In this case, the broken promises are bad enough, but these unrealistic performance claims carry along with them very real costs.  This product consumed about 67 SCFM more than advertised.  That means it was wasting 67 cubic feet of compressed air every minute it was in operation.  This equates to over 160,000 cubic feet of compressed air wasted each week by just one unit running during an eight hour shift, five days per week.  That’s over 8 million cubic feet of compressed air wasted each year for every one of these units that are put into operation. 

To put that into monetary terms, an unsuspecting buyer of this sort of inferior product would be wasting nearly $2100 per year per unit in unexpected operational costs simply because the manufacturer could not deliver what they promised. 

Wasting $2100 per year in order to operate a tool that is supposed to save you money is an unwelcome and unwanted surprise.  Imagine that waste multiplied across a plant-wide installation.  Facility managers would be coming with pitchforks if they knew this was going on in their plants.

Don’t be fooled by Fool’s Gold that isn’t what it seems to be and doesn’t deliver what it claims.

Here are some tips from the History Channel to help identify Fool’s Gold.

Claims are easy, proof is hard.

Bryan Peters

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