Built to Last

The past few months many of our lives have been altered in some fashion due to COVID-19. Personally, my three daughters began staying home full time and attending school through distance learning.  I myself switched to working some alternate shifts which EXAIR changed to in order to optimize our availability to our customer base as well as protect our team members effectively. I know many in manufacturing that have been furloughed. Even worse, some have been forced to work in unsafe conditions.

All of this has made me thankful I am part of a team that cares about our employees first, and then we all work towards ensuring our customers are taken care of. Our new shift structure has also given me time to reflect on many aspects of my life.

When I was younger, like many kids, I always wanted something I received to be new. I didn’t want an older hand me down bicycle, I wanted new.  Little did I know I would reach a point in life where I prefer things to be a little older, a little more seasoned, even broken-in if you will.  The days are here where disposable is what everyone expects whenever they purchase anything. Repairable is often a thing of the past and or requires specialty tools and or software.  I’ve been recently working on lots of small engines from friends and family members yard equipment and recreational vehicles.

I’ve worked on a 1970’s era Stihl chainsaw that the only safety is the weight of the saw and an on/off toggle switch, up to an imported 4 wheeler that instead of buying a single piece or carburetor kit, most people throw them away and buy new.  Something about the older equipment makes me think I was born in the wrong era. The time of working hard for what you make and taking pride in products lasting a lifetime is often gone from consumer-grade products.  When carburetors are riveted together to make them faster and cheaper to assemble, but also not easily repairable, the chance of someone repairing it 40 years from now diminishes.

It could be that I am closer to 40 than I am to 30, however, I find that being able to source parts direct from a manufacturer as well as being able to get support direct from the manufacturer is something I desire. This could also be because this is how we do business at EXAIR. Our compressed air products all carry a 5 year Built to Last Warranty, we service them, sell replacement parts for them and take pride in their ability to last.

There are few items that I am okay with going a cheap route on, spare screwdrivers, you know the ones you use as pry bars and oil filter punches, and anything I know I am only going to use once and I am okay if it breaks as long as it is worth a laugh.  When I went to repair a weed eater for a neighbor I found the engine casing was plastic, there was barely anything to the motor and the lack of maintenance on his part as well as the ethanol in the fuel with lack of stabilizer had gummed up the entire fuel system.

This was a disposable weed eater and he admitted it wasn’t cheap but he also knew it wasn’t a big brand name. Experiencing this, made me laugh.  I went to my older weed eater that has seen many days. It was bought used at an auction. I gladly started it up for him and offered to loan it out whenever he needed. That weed eater was built to withstand its use. Parts are readily available and it is so popular there are many of the parts reproduced through third party factories pretending to be the company.

Next up on my project list may be the biggest project yet, a tiller that is far older than I am. This again has been brought on by the want for a healthy garden and the ability to also help neighbors and friends when they are ready for their gardens.  Rather than looking new, I started at the old, something I knew was built for hard work, and was ready for the task.  I doubt there is a single piece of aluminum on this thing, it has probably seen more sweat throughout its years than I have in my lifetime.  First, the research though.  Parts, service manuals, and then the negotiation of the purchase. (Both with my wife, and the seller. Separately of course.)

Here at EXAIR, we can get nostalgic over some of our products and processes as well. At the same time, we continuously flex and work with the matters a hand. If you have an old product of ours that you think may not be worthy of use, give us a call. With a few pictures and some information, our team of Application Engineers should be able to help determine if it is in good working order or not.  If we cannot determine from pictures, we can always receive the unit in and inspect it for you. In the event it is not in working condition, we more often than not can refurbish the unit and have you back up and running within a few days.  Our Super Air Knives are a product that often gets overlooked when they get covered in debris from a process. We can inspect them, clean them, and often restore them to flowing like a brand new knife.

Brian Farno
Aging Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

EXAIR Operational Status re: COVID-19 Coronavirus – update 04/03/2020

To all of our valued partners-

The US is just entering the most crucial phase of this outbreak, if the lessons of other countries are any guide.  Many of our distributor partners around the world have told us that they are facing social and business restrictions for the next 2-4 weeks as well.

The state of Ohio issued an amended order yesterday requiring most people to stay at home except for exempt activities through May 1st, 2020.  In large part, it simply extends the original stay at home order that was set to expire on Monday, April 6th.

After reading the amended order, EXAIR continues to be exempt from it as we were from the original order.  EXAIR is involved in nearly every industry listed by the Department of Homeland Security as critical industries, and those guidelines were part of the basis for the details of the order by the state of Ohio.

Many industries that we support like food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment and the like are absolutely critical right now.  Just in the past week, we have had orders and requests for technical help from customers making surgical masks, face shields and neutralizing contamination on personnel when entering a building.  At least one long-standing customer is involved with making COVID-19 test kits.  This is real and it affects all of us.

If they need us, we need to be there for them.  The Governor’s press conferences have stressed how important it is for everyone to keep supply chains moving, especially for critical industries.  EXAIR is part of that chain and will continue to do our part to the best of our collective abilities and we know our distributors around the world will continue to do the same.  Anything we can do to help with this crisis is worth doing.

At the same time, we take our responsibility to try to keep our employees healthy and safe very seriously.  We have modified our operations significantly in order to remain open to serve those who need us in a responsible manner.

  • We have divided our workforce into two different shifts, with another group working remotely.
  • Our two on-premises shifts are not in our facility at the same time
  • Common areas of our facility are sanitized between shifts and again at night
  • Personal work spaces are sanitized at the end of each shift
  • Our workstations are spread out to make sure we observe social distancing
  • We are screening all employee temperatures every day before their shifts

EXAIR operations will remain ongoing for the foreseeable future unless local conditions or government mandates require other actions.  As always, we will keep you up to date if those events occur.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Bryan Peters

President
EXAIR Corporation

EXAIR Remains Open for Business

To all of our customers and partners around the world-

As global and local concern about the current COVID-19 outbreak grows, we’re doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe in the workplace while also minimizing the disruptions to our day-to-day operations.  At the same time, the landscape is changing almost by the day.  New public restrictions are put in place virtually every day.  The US is just entering the most crucial phase of this outbreak, if the lessons of other countries are any guide.  We know that many businesses, especially in Europe, are closed right now.  At the same time, our customers in Asia are beginning to come back online.

Yesterday, the state of Ohio issued an order requiring most residents to stay at home for the next 14 days and for most businesses to close during that time.  That order takes effect tonight, March 23rd.  After being able to read the order, EXAIR is exempt from it.  EXAIR is involved in nearly every industry listed by the Department of Homeland Security as critical industries, and those guidelines were part of the basis for the details of today’s order by the state of Ohio.  We know that is true through our many distributors worldwide as well.

Many industries that we support like food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment and related industries are absolutely critical right now.  If they need us, we need to be there for them.  The Governor’s press conference today stressed how important it was to everyone to keep supply chains moving, especially for critical industries.  EXAIR is part of that chain and will continue to do our part to the best of our collective abilities and we hope that our partners around the world can continue to do the same.

Please take care of yourselves, your families and each other.

Thank you for all you are doing.

Bryan Peters
EXAIR Corporation

EXAIR operational status re: COVID-19 Coronavirus – update 03/17/2020

To all of our valued partners-

As global and local concern about the current COVID-19 outbreak grows, we’re doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe in the workplace while also minimizing the disruptions to our day-to-day operations.  At the same time, the landscape is changing almost by the day.  New public restrictions are in place today that were not in place yesterday.  The US is just entering the most crucial phase of this outbreak, if the lessons of other countries are any guide.

We plan to remain open for business as long as we have the choice.  If circumstances or new government mandates dictate otherwise, we will adjust accordingly.

Here is what we are doing as an organization:

  • We are closely monitoring the situation.  Misinformation and fear can spread more virulently than the virus itself.  We want to discourage false information from circulating. If you’re looking for trusted, up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the specific coronavirus websites of the CDC or the WHO.
  • We have increased the level of cleaning in our facility, both in frequency and intensity, including disinfecting surfaces and touch points in public areas with hospital-grade cleaning solutions.
  • We have split our on-site personnel into two shifts, with a one-hour separation period between the shifts for cleaning and sanitization.
  • We have an increasing number of non-production employees now working remotely.
  • We have cancelled all scheduled business travel for the months of March and April.
  • Visits to customer facilities, even local ones, are now prohibited until such time as conditions improve.
  • Non-essential visits to/from vendors or potential vendors and salespeople are also now prohibited until such time as conditions improve.
  • We are urging our employees to stay home if they are sick or if they have been in contact with a potentially infected person.
  • We have removed all communal food and drinks from our workplace.

In terms of our business, here is where we are right now.  This is always subject to change as conditions change.

  • We are open for business and operations are proceeding on a modified basis to continue to supply our distributors and partners around the world.
  • We have confirmed, to the degree that we can, that we are not yet experiencing nor do we have any clear expectations of severe disruptions in our supply chain.  We do have a couple of items that are out of stock currently, but those conditions are not a result of supply chain disruption.

We hope to continue operating, but our advice to our partners is that this is not a time to run lean on inventory.  Commercial flights are being severely reduced.  Freight carriers have already started to pare back their shipment frequency.  And government mandates could impact these services, our operations or your operations at any time.

If you have need of product, we urge you to get your orders in as soon as possible and take shipments ASAP.  If further restrictions on operations or orders to shelter in place are issued, we will not be able to continue operations no matter how much we are determined to do so.

These circumstances are unlike any we have faced during most of our lifetimes.  Time will tell if the measures being taken are too much or too little.  As the situation evolves, our plan will also evolve.

We will keep everyone informed of the road ahead as it becomes clearer.

Thank you-

Bryan Peters, President
EXAIR Corporation