Have you ever been in the middle of a new design and found yourself in need of accurate 3D models of your vendor’s part so you can sort out how to interface their design with yours? What is your first instinct? Do you ask the vendor if they have the models readily available? Or do you just draw up your own model?
With EXAIR products, there is no need to go it alone and have to produce your own model. We have 3D models of just about every product we manufacture. For those models we do not have available through our web site, a simple request through our Application Engineering department at email@example.com is all that is needed to begin the process of getting what you need.
When I was in 6th grade, our art teacher, Mrs. C, taught us to draw fruit one day. I was academically gifted (I’d had straight A’s since 1st grade) but I was AWFUL at drawing. I was doing OK with my orange, apple, and even my banana. When it came time to draw a pear, I realized I had 35 cents in my pocket (that’s what milk for snack time cost) so I pulled out that quarter & dime, used them to trace a quarter-sized circle with a dime-size circle slightly intersecting it, erased the middle parts, and “free-handed” little arcs to complete the pear shape. Mrs. C told me I wasn’t allowed to do that and gave me my first bad grade – ever. Now, I LOVE going to art museums and taking in the wonders of those who are far more skilled than I with pen and brush, but I STILL have no aptitude or desire for drawing anything myself….with a pen or brush, that is.
My first job out of the Navy involved some very basic CAD use…mainly making simple changes or additions (and usually just title block text) of existing drawings. As I more familiar with CAD, I realized the method for drawing a pear shape in CAD was, in fact, my own personal grade school method: intersect two circles, trim, and fillet. So there, Mrs. C!
My next job took my CAD utilization a bit further…making assembly drawings of systems, using existing CAD files for the individual components that made up the system. The key word there was “existing” – the First Law of CAD is, “Don’t ever draw anything twice.” So, I’d get CAD files from the manufacturers, insert them into my template, put them where I wanted them to be in relation to the other pieces of my little puzzle, send the drawing(s) to the end user for piping and foundation prep, and as long as the folks in the shop followed my drawings (which is was hard not to), everything worked out great.
Now, this was way back in the 1990’s, so I got most of my CAD files via email, and, occasionally, on 3.5″ floppy disks or CD’s. EXAIR Corporation has offered drawing files for our products in our CAD Library for many years now. You can always find four fundamental file extensions:
PDF – these can be opened with Adobe Acrobat…they’re “just for looking at”. They don’t denote any particular scale, and won’t directly import to a CAD file. They’re useful for quick & easy answers about overall dimensions, bolt hole sizes, thread pitches, etc.
DWG – this is AutoCAD’s “native language.” These files will open seamlessly in AutoCAD, if that’s what you’re using, along with many other programs. But, if it doesn’t.
STP – we’re well in to the 21st Century, and many designers have moved on from the above mentioned 2D files to solid models. Most solid modeling programs are compatible with these files.
SAT – these are, to STP, what DXF is to DWG…a “more friendly” file for certain solid model programs.
With the launch of our new website, we now offer 64 native extensions so you (hopefully) do not have to modify, import, or convert any drawing that would take additional modification – just download the file you need right from our Resources, 3D Models and CAD drawings link. And dare I say, if you can’t find the extension you need, you are using some fairly obscure software – perhaps an SAT or STP file will suit you.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I recently took a call from a customer who was between a rock and a hard place. He had been setting up a new machine line in his facility for the past few months and everything was going as planned. He made sure to place orders for all parts and items needed well ahead of the crunch time and all quoted ship dates were reasonable so he would be able to get the line up and going right on schedule, if not early. Well, everything went fine except the one piece.
The one piece that hadn’t arrived on its ship date was a 96″ Static Eliminating Air Knife. The problem was he hadn’t placed his original order with us, instead he went with another company who had promised a 3 week lead time on the item. At the end of the third week he still had not received the product, and wasn’t able to speak to an actual person at this other company. After three additional weeks of leaving voicemail with them, he decided to contact EXAIR. His call was first answered by a real person, not a machine, then he spoke directly to an Application Engineer, me.
When he explained to me his situation I assured him that we offer a 96″ Super Ion Air Knife, and all accessories to allow for a speedy installation. He ordered our knife with the Plumbing Kit Installed, which will further cut down on the installation time. I then told him we have a 1 week lead time on this item because it is not a standard stock item (Stock items ship SAME DAY). I assured him that if we promise a ship date we will ship the item on that date (or earlier)and he will receive a confirmation and tracking information. Not to mention the fact he will always be able to reach an actual person when he calls. Additionally, I helped him prepare for the installation by sending over CAD files of the exact product he will be receiving along with the installation and maintenance instructions. This means he can have everything laid out to simply mount, plumb, and plug in the Super Ion Air Knife that he is going to receive from us.
The customer was astounded at the difference in customer service between two companies. I saw the 96″ Super Ion Air Knife being packaged and shipped, as promised, one week later.
The best part of this customer interaction is this is not a special case here at EXAIR, every customer receives the same respect, service, and level of commitment from us, to get you what you need, when you need it, and make sure you have everything you need to succeed.