Six Years At EXAIR: What I’ve Learned

Yesterday, I went “over 6” as an Application Engineer at EXAIR Corporation, and I’m still loving every minute of it! I came here with a fair degree of mechanical engineering & technology know-how, but, in reflection, I’ve learned an even fairer degree…some of which I’d like to share with you, dear reader, on the occasion of this ‘work-iversary:’

*Time spent doing something doesn’t always equal “experience.” If you work at something for, say, 20 years, and never learn anything new after your initial training, you don’t really have 20 years’ experience…you have one year of experience, 20 times. Big difference.

*Teamwork is critical to success.  The Patrol Method works.  The value of a “lesson learned” multiplies exponentially when it’s shared with others.  Design Engineers have a universal law of CAD that says “don’t ever draw anything twice.”  Application Engineers “don’t ever test anything twice.”

*Sometimes, there’s one way to find out.  That’s why we devote the resources we do to the Efficiency Lab.  If you want to know more about the performance of your current compressed air products, and how they might compare to one of our quiet, efficient solutions, so do we.

*A picture is worth a thousand words.  We prove this every day, whether it’s a photo (or short video even) of an application, a photo of a product or system for troubleshooting, or a photo of a nameplate or device for product comparison.  I’m old enough to remember doing business before email & digital photos, but I swear I don’t know how we ever got anything done.

*There’s always a ‘better mousetrap’ – and that’s the unofficial motto of EXAIR’s Engineering department.  That’s why we have so many more Atomizing Spray Nozzles than the did six years ago.  And Heavy Duty HEPA Vacs, long Super Air Knives and more product accessories.

*Relationships are vital.  At least a couple of days a week, I spend more time with my co-workers than my wife & kids.  We’re all in this together, and the more we help each other, the better off we are ourselves.

Next week, I’ll be back to blogging about a super cool compressed air product application. If you come up with one in the meantime, I’ll be happy to talk about it with you.  The conversation might just make it into next week’s blog, because one more thing I’ve learned is, when you’ve written 300 or so weekly blogs, “writer’s block” is a very real & present danger!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Find us on the Web
Follow me on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

Communication Is Key

Effective communication is a key interpersonal skill and learning how each of us can improve our communication is beneficial to all. Communication is a two way process, so improving communication involves both how we deliver and listen to the message. To best service our customers, EXAIR has many ways to share and receive information.

There are the standard methods, of course, that have been around for years.  Phone and fax are still very useful, and everyone has noticed that fax is slowly becoming less utilized. As dreaded as it may be, email is certainly a valuable way to communicate, especially as it allows ‘attachments’ such as photos, which as the saying goes, are definitely worth a thousand words. If video or 3D models are exchanged I am certain the number of words increases.

The newest technology for communication is via ‘chat’ which can be accessed from the EXAIR website. Here, you can chat with an Application Engineer and do something as simple as confirming a part number to something more involved like sizing a Cabinet Cooler System.

chat
Chat Live with an Engineer ‘Button’

The US Postal System is still a valuable communication tool, as we send out the EXAIR Catalog (currently volume No. 30) and the EXAIR-Mail (Number 109/Fall 2016 issue just went out), and some Purchase Orders still are dropped off by the Postman.

Another method of communication is face to face.  We have what we call the ‘Demo Room’ here at the factory in Cincinnati, OH.  In this room, we have every type of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products, in just about every size offered, ready for demonstration and testing to your application.  We’ve had visitors from all over the world come in and share face to face their applications and collaborate with us and test out the EXAIR solution.

exair_facility

There is also the EXAIR website, where we provide a plethora of information regarding the EXAIR product lines, CAD and PDF librariesCase StudiesPresentations, and the Video Library just to name a few.  Also, here is where you can Request a Catalog, Sign up for E-News, and Check List Pricing.

Lastly, and since you are reading this you already are familiar with the EXAIR Blog – a great way for us to share with you our musings and thoughts, in a way that makes it a personal take on the EXAIR products and our interactions with our customers.

blog

Effective communication is very important to us and what we do here every day.  Feel free to utilize one or more of the Contact Us tools to communicate with us and we’ll be in touch!

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

What Video Would You Like To See?

Over the past several years we have posted nearly 75 videos to our YouTube channel.   Our channel has just received a fresh new layout to help you better find the videos you are looking for.   The videos on our YouTube channel vary from Featured Product Videos, Professor Penurious videos, and all of the Application Engineer’s Tips and tricks videos that span across all product lines.

The EXAIR Corporation YouTube Channel
The EXAIR Corporation YouTube Channel

The ideas for the A.E. Tips and Tricks videos are all spawned from our daily conversations with customers.   So that brings me to ask you, our reader: “What would you like to see next?

If there is a certain EXAIR product you would like to see more of, or maybe you aren’t sure if you are using your EXAIR product to its full potential, let us know through comments, tweets, calls, emails or even faxes.  We’ll see what we can do to make a video that will help you, as well as see if we can’t help while we are in contact with you.

So shoot us a message and we will do our best to help as fast as we possibly can.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Informal Videos

video capture 2
Air Wipes, How They Work Video

A customer from the Czech Republic contacted me earlier today and was interested in our Super Air Wipe product. They produce vacuum hoses and need to blow water from one of their extruded profiles. They asked me if they could get come catalog data and a video showing one of the Super Air Wipes in action.

The catalog data was no problem. All of that information is contained on our web site under our PDF Library as Catalog product sections. It is easy enough to go there and download whatever you might need whether it be the catalog, our Blowoff Guide, Installation & Maintenance Guides or our price list. They are all arranged there in tidy PDF files that can be downloaded at a moment’s notice. Very convenient.

The part I was wondering about was whether we had a video showing our Super Air Wipe in action. I knew we haven’t produced an official EXAIR video on them yet. But I wondered whether we had an informal video showing one in action. Turns out my colleague Dave Woerner put together a concise video showing available types and sizes of the Air Wipe and showed how a wetted pipe was blown completely dry by one of the Super Air Wipes.  Awesome!  I enjoy answering customer inquiries about our products, but I really love it when we are able to leverage each other’s efforts to produce such good and informational videos about the products to make our replies back to our customers that much more engaging.

So, if you need to know how to operate our Ultrasonic Leak Detector, change a shim in a Super Air Knife, or perhaps you need to know how to clean and rebuild your Reversible Drum Vac to get it up and running again, don’t hesitate to search the EXAIR Blog for these highly useful videos. They help us every day. They can help you too.

Searching the phrase “video blog” and the name of the product will be the first step toward finding the helpful video.

Neal Raker, International Sales Manager
nealraker@exair.com

Video Blog: Measuring Surface Temperature and Air Temperature Requires Different Tools

IR Temperature Guns are a great tool for measuring surface temperatures, but not the best solution for providing the air temperature data EXAIR needs to size a Cabinet Cooler system for your electronic cabinets. This brief video illustrates the differences between using an IR temp gun and a regular thermometer when gathering temperatures to determine Cabinet Cooler system specifications.

Make sure to print out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide before you get started so you can easily fill in all the needed data.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

EXTRA! EXTRA!

I’ve always been a little hesitant to post certain personal things like “checking in” at a restaurant or letting the world know that I will be on vacation for the next 7 days, but sometimes it’s difficult to hold back when you have great news.

My wife and I are expecting our 2nd son in the beginning of April and couldn’t be happier!!! We originally decided to only tell our families, close friends and co-workers because we wanted to make sure there were no complications. While it was difficult to hold back our excitement (convince my wife to restrain herself – some people have coffee first thing in the morning, she has her news feed), over the weekend my wife made the announcement on her FB page. The amount of positive feedback was amazing. We heard from extended family, friends, former classmates and co-workers all congratulating us. We even had people offering some of their gently used baby gear, which will come in handy since we just donated most of our gear last spring.

Its a boy
“Mini NIC” due to arrive April 8th

At EXAIR, we have also use social media to get out some announcements. Whether it’s our Facebook page, Twitter feeds, Youtube channel, E-News, blogs or our press releases, we make it easy for you to stay up to date with our latest announcements or promotions. Take for example our January 12th, 2015 press release announcing our expanded Long Super Ion Air Knives, up to 108″ in single piece construction, an industry first! Or @EXAIR_BF’s latest tweet on our current promotion for our Static Eliminators.

Of course, you can always give us a call at 1-800-903-9247 too!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Stork Boy image courtesy William Arthur. Creative Commons

It’s The End Of The Year As We Know It

That’s right, I think I can successfully use the great R.E.M. song,(as long as you switch world with year) which has been used several times throughout this blog’s life.

The fact of the matter is, 2014 captured us in its vortex and carried us right into 2015.  It was a wild ride both at the office and home.   To start the year off right we continued releasing new products and kept it up for every month of the year.   2014 product additions are listed below with a link to their Press Release:

January – Long Ionizing Bars started off the year with lengths up to 96″ long, now available up to 108″ long!
February – 1″ High Power Flat Super Air Nozzle blew away the competition.
March – The 110 Gallon Heavy Duty HEPA Vac made a clean sweep and left the air clean and breathable.
April – Small NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler Systems resisted the heat and dirt that pester electrical enclosures.
May – PEEK 3/8″ NPT Super Air Nozzles kept solar panels nice and clean during production.
June – Longer length Super Air Knives cover up to 108″ in a continuous length of laminar blow off.
June – Expanded sizes of our Digital Flowmeter product line
July – Catalog #27 hit the streets as our best catalog yet.
August – PEEK Pico Super Air Nozzles assured precise non-marring blowoff for delicate surfaces.
September – High Power Stainless Steel 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzles saved space and money in hot corrosive environments.
October – No Drip Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles positively stop the flow of liquid.
November – Mini Swivel Fittings for our Precision Super Air Nozzles made precise blow offs easy.
December – Reversible Drum Vacs now sweep up fluids with CE Compliance.

Keep your eyes open for continued new products throughout 2015.

On top of all the new product releases, we had quite a bit of change in our offices as well.   In February, I was appointed as the new Application Engineer Manager, this was made possible by Kirk Edwards becoming the Director of Sales and Marketing.  In March we welcomed Justin Nicholl as a new Application Engineer to the team.  In April we said goodbye to one of our most experienced Application Engineers with Joe Panfalone retiring (HR has had it easy ever since).  Then in October we welcomed John Ball to our International Application Engineer department.  So needless to say we have been busy here.

At home, I recently welcomed my third daughter into the world the weekend after Thanksgiving and the house hasn’t been the same since.   If you notice I start to blog more about unicorns and glitter, then you will know that I haven’t gotten out of the house that much.

For the 19th consecutive year we recorded a 99.9% on time shipping record (it was actually 99.97%!) and we have to thank all of our customer service, production and shipping/receiving folks for all they do to keep our performance at that level – amazing!

Our social media efforts included 269 blogs, increasing our YouTube channel videos to 52, started a G+ page, and even kept Professor Penurious (and his videos) around for another year. We expanded our website Knowledge Base by adding 6 more case studies, increasing our FAQ’s and updating the PowerPoint presentations available for download.

All of this action made for a fantastic 2014. We thank all of you for doing business with EXAIR and appreciating our quirks (aka Professor Penurious/our individual Twitter accounts).  May your 2015 be a great year.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF