Trust EXAIR…We Provide Solutions

So, Brian Farno wrote a great piece on trust the other day: Why Trust EXAIR? I couldn’t agree more with his narrative of the ways in which trust permeates the culture here, is implied in every transaction (internal and external,) and is CRITICAL to our success…as individuals, and as a company.

I’ve had the pleasure of helping several people just recently by NOT recommending EXAIR products for their application. Now, that may seem counterintuitive, but they were fairly straightforward situations where we know our products just won’t work. For example:

*A conveyance application, unloading bulk material from tractor trailers. The caller needed to move hundreds of pounds per minute. Our Line Vacs have been known to move about 50 pounds per minute in certain circumstances.
*A static problem in an area with volatile vapors. Since our Static Eliminators use high voltage electricity, they can’t be used where ignition of such vapors could occur. Now, they’re shockless to touch, so they’re perfectly safe for use just about anywhere else, just so you know.
*An Air Knife application where their company management is insisting on the use of a blower. Our products are designed for use specifically, and solely, with compressed air. I actually gave them some STELLAR data on the actual costs of operating an engineered Super Air Knife versus a similarly rated blower/fan type device, so I have high hopes of moving this one to the “Win” column. And soon.

These are a few examples where we were able to apply, up front, our knowledge of our products’ capabilities…and limitations. For times when we might not know (yet,) we can find out, right here in the Efficiency Lab. Oftentimes, these are comprehensive tests of existing product, performed in direct comparison to EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products. This is a service we’ll provide you for free, if you want to send in your current product(s) for testing. No cost; no obligation; no wait…we strive to test within a day of receiving your shipment.

Other times, someone wants to know if they can use a particular product in conjunction with another. One such caller was a current user of our Vac-u-Guns, but had a need for a fixed device. They asked about using a Model 6082 1-1/4” Aluminum Line Vac, mounted right where they wanted to suction up debris, depositing it directly into a Vac-u-Gun Filter Bag. I was able to set this up quite easily, and did a little informal test with some coffee grounds, paper clips, and a few coins…it performed superbly with all of these, so they placed the order. I then found out that they were blowing the debris off their part with an EXAIR Model 1100-9318 ¼” NPT Super Air Nozzle w/Stay Set Hose & Mag Base – so this made the application a total EXAIR solution!

A small Line Vac & Vac-u-Gun Filter Bag make for a quick, compact & convenient debris collection system.
A small Line Vac & Vac-u-Gun Filter Bag make for a quick, compact & convenient debris collection system.

We perform testing of this nature all the time, because we don’t want to tell you something if we don’t know it to be true. If you have an idea for, or questions about, an EXAIR product, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Like a Donkey Between Two Haystacks

90Day_Temp

Having been born and raised in the northern climates, for me 80 degrees is hot. So when temperatures soar into the 90’s I really struggle to cope. Bad news is that according to NOAA, we are in store for above average temperatures for the remainder of the summer!

High temperatures are not only uncomfortable for we humanoids, electronics suffer as well. The demand for panel cooling is extensive and my company, EXAIR, produces Cabinet Cooler systems. There in lies my dilemma. I would like to wish for the heat to go away but then that would be wishing ill for my company. I’m like a donkey trying to decide between two hay stacks.

So, I will stay in my air conditioned cubical and calculate cooling requirements for customers. I would welcome the opportunity to assist you with your panel cooling requirements. Give me a call at 1-800-903-9247

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: http://www.exair.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

No Need To Tell Anything But The Truth

Last week, naval & military history buffs (like me) observed the anniversary of the Battle of Midway (June 4-7, 1942). This was a significant victory for the United States, in that it dealt a crushing blow to the Imperial Navy just six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor – a blow that their shipbuilding industry was unable to recover from. It also resulted in the sinking of four of the six carriers that were used for the Pearl Harbor attack. The strategic acumen of the US commanders, as well as the bravery & skill of the men in their charge, is undisputable. But one of the key details in their victory was the fact that they lied their butts off. See, US intelligence had broken the Japanese communications’ secret codes, and had found out that Japanese intelligence had broken theirs. This is where espionage gets tricky: The US played the “they don’t know that WE know that THEY know…” card against the Japanese, and sent out a bunch of false messages about ship locations and logistics conditions, and the Japanese fleet sailed right into one of the most well executed ambushes in military history.

The thing about false information is that it only works out for the party presenting it, and usually not more than once. Bryan Peters wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago, titled “Don’t Be Fooled By Fool’s Gold,” about how we tested a competitor’s air knife, which used more air than they said it did…the obvious problem being that they claimed their air knife cost LESS to operate than ours, but it in fact cost much more.

At EXAIR, we don’t operate like that. Partly because; let’s face it; dishonesty is bad business – what do you tell a customer whose flow meter reveals a gross discrepancy with your published data? THAT’S an uncomfortable conversation right there.

Mostly, though, we just don’t have to. EXAIR has always taken great care in developing the most efficient, most effective Engineered Compressed Air Products that can be made. If you don’t believe it, we can prove it, in a couple of ways:

*Any catalog product comes with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee. We invite you to “put it through its paces” for up to a month. If you’re unsatisfied for any reason, we’ll arrange return for full credit.
*For a side-by-side comparison, we can test your existing compressed air product(s) in our Efficiency Lab. We’ll provide comprehensive data, obtained from calibrated instruments, by (with as much humility as I can muster) highly trained experts in the industry. We’ll even document it with photos and video if you like.

And our products’ tests will show just what we publish. When you make the best, you don’t need anything but the truth in order to brag about it.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

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
President

EXAIR Receives Four Product of the Year Awards from Plant Engineering Magazine for 2012

EXAIR was recognized by Plant Engineering Magazine as a Product of the Year Award winner in four different categories this past Monday evening at a celebration in Chicago.  Readers of the magazine vote to choose the products that they think are the best in each category.

These were the categories and the products that were chosen:

w2012POTYtrophies_600x390

It was a great evening and a wonderful ceremony put together by Jim Langhenry, Bob Vavra, and all of the great folks at CFE Media.  As one person at our table said, “it’s a celebration of great people and great companies that still MAKE things!”  Everyone here at EXAIR certainly is happy to be a part of a great evening for manufacturing. It was an honor to be chosen for so many prestigious awards and recognized along with so many other industry leaders that still believe that manufacturing and innovation have an important place in our changing world.

Here at EXAIR we are celebrating our 30th year in business, and we are proud that our long history of industry leadership, our continuous development of innovative products, and our great people continue to drive us forward each day.

We don’t do it for the awards or recognition – but they sure are great additions to our large collection!

Claims are easy, proof is hard.

Bryan Peters
President

Why NOT Manufacturing?

Did you watch the presidential debate last Tuesday night?  I did, it was the best debate that I’ve ever seen.  Many others with longer frames of reference than me are saying the same thing.

This isn’t a blog where I’m going to analyze the debate and weigh in on who I think won and who lost.  There are thousands of media types and bloggers that have that job, and they are welcome to it.

But there was a moment in the “town hall” debate last Tuesday where one of the audience members asked what the candidates proposed to help college students have more opportunities to land jobs after graduation.  Both candidates included manufacturing in their responses.  It wasn’t the first or the last time that manufacturing was mentioned that night, which is a good thing.

One of the great things about Twitter is that you can read and post commentary about live events as they happen.  It was very interesting to read my Twitter timeline during the debate.  I stopped when an old friend, who happens to be a member of the media (notice I didn’t say “liberal” or “left-wing” media), sent out a tweet saying that college graduates would not be interested in working in manufacturing.  Obviously, that didn’t sit well with me, and we had a bit of back and forth about it yesterday.

One of the other interesting things that I’ve noticed about this election year is the higher level of interest shown by younger people.  My daughter, a high school junior that is too young to vote, has watched all of the debates so far.  And so have many of her friends.  Can you imagine being interested enough to follow presidential and vice-presidential debates at age 16 or 17?  I can’t.  That was a real eye opener for me.

Anyway, my daughter was having Twitter exchanges during the debate with her friends as well.  One of her friends commented that no one should believe that high-wage, high-skill jobs would be found in manufacturing.

So in real-time during the debate exchange on the topic, friends of ours in the media AND a great student were stating their doubt that manufacturing could be part of the jobs solution for those with an education.

Folks, this is the perception that we have to turn around.

If the media doesn’t think we are viable as an industry and as job creators, that’s a big problem.  If students don’t think we are a viable career path, that’s a HUGE problem.  If no one out there is telling the story of manufacturing, and up-and-coming entrants into the workforce won’t give us a look, our days as a viable industry are numbered.  I know, many people have been saying that for years, but I happen to think that rumors of our demise are a bit premature.

 Here are some highlights about the economic impact of manufacturing in America:

  • Manufacturing accounts for 12.2% of US GDP
  • Manufacturing employs 12 million people, or 9% of the workforce
  • Manufacturing unemployment rate 11.5% BELOW the national average
  • Manufacturing annual earnings 36.8% ABOVE the national average
  • 19.4% of all good manufactured globally are made in the US
  • If the US manufacturing economy were its own country, it would rank #9 in the world

Can you believe that we have people that don’t understand the impact and opportunities of manufacturing in this country?  It’s mind blowing.  We have to change the decades-old perception that manufacturing is a dying industry, and we have to do it quickly.

Take a look around wherever you are right now.  Anything man made that you see was MANUFACTURED somewhere.  We really couldn’t live our daily lives as we do today without manufacturing.

We have to get this information out there, by any means necessary, so that the next generation understands that we WANT highly skilled, educated people in our manufacturing businesses and that they have the opportunity to earn ABOVE AVERAGE income in exchange for those skills.

Many others have written about the outreach efforts that are needed for manufacturing but are lacking at present.  Tuesday’s debate crystallized the need as starkly as ever for me.

Bryan Peters
President

Another Top Ten List

This is my first ever attempt at a Top Ten List. I’m easily distracted, and, as such, I’d be lucky to come up with a list of three things on any given topic, on any given day without my attention being diverted…

"Squirrel!"

So, without further ado, and before I start writing about something else entirely, here’s my:

Top Ten List Of What’s Great About EXAIR:

1.  We’ve got it. If it’s in the catalog, it’s in stock, and available for immediate shipment. No waiting…and waiting…and waiting…for product, as Brian Farno wrote about recently. With the exception of some of our long Air Knives, which might take a day or two to assemble, if we get an order by 3pm EST, we’ll ship it today.

2. We stand behind our products. EXAIR offers a 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee on all of our products. As hard as we try to specify the right product for your application, sometimes we don’t know until we try. I’m working with a new customer on a Line Vac project right now, where the Stainless Steel unit I recommended is experiencing unexpected abrasive wear. We’re looking at a Heavy Duty Line Vac, and he was hesitant to send the Stainless Steel one back, because he feels he’s taking advantage of us. He’s not.

3. Tech Help. I won’t say I don’t want to brag about the stellar level of technical assistance we offer, because I am indeed compelled to brag about. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers to almost all of them. And if we don’t know, we’ve got our Efficiency Lab…we’ll find out.

4. Professor Penurious. Not the person, although he’s a good guy that we all respect and admire (and at times, ridicule mercilessly), but the attitude of efficiency and focus on sustainability that we try to get noticed in those outrageous videos.

5.  Social Media. A lot of companies are embracing it as a way to augment and/or enhance the way they do business. We’re one of them, and, it turns out, people notice that we do it well.

6. Quality Control. Statistically, if you never do anything wrong, you’re probably not doing much. As much as we can brag about our low number of defective product returns, we can brag even more about the way they’re handled. Not only do we have a great reputation for righting the wrongs, we have a strong program for making the wrongs not happen again.

7. Innovation. You know, we probably wouldn’t need a new catalog every year if we’d just stop coming up with new, and better, products. We’d also have a lot more room in our trophy case without all those awards that those products keep winning.  Oh, the cost of winning…

8. People. One the first Thursday of the month, the whole company gathers together for a brief meeting. Our President, Bryan Peters, tells us how we did on sales & shipments over the past month…it’s always good to know from whence your paycheck cometh…but he never misses an opportunity to point out WHY we did so well: At every meeting, he’s got a list of praises from customers, on everything from how well our products are designed, to how great our technical assistance and customer service is, to how impressive our website and literature are, and how fast & flawlessly we ship. It is indeed a group effort, and I really like being part of this group.

9. Cincinnati. I grew up here, and as soon as I graduated high school, I joined the Navy to see the world and swore I’d never come back. I’m glad my plans didn’t work out, because this is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Mark Twain may or may not have said “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times,” and yes, our airport is in Kentucky, but I bet somebody, somewhere, makes jokes about where you live too. And you don’t have a Big Red Machine. ‘nuff said.

10. Manufacturing. Specifically, being a part of American manufacturing. Which, we all agree with our friend and co-worker Lee Evans, rocks.

Is that ten? I think that was ten. Until next week,

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair