Great Cars, Great Cause

This past weekend I had the joy of taking my father and my second daughter to a local car show here in Cincinnati. Because EXAIR is a sponsor of the show, we are fortunate enough to have tickets available to us if we would like to attend. This is not your run of the mill car show where there is a swap meet on one side and the general time frame of the cars is from 1955 – 1980. This is the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance. The cars that were there ranged from Pre-War era to modern Super Cars. Very few cars had not been immaculately restored to near new condition. This year the weather was perfectly sunny and around 90°F. (Honestly, it was down right humid and hot as can be.)

1960 Ford Thunderbird Nascar
1960 Ford Thunderbird Nascar
Driver's Side - Now that is what I call a roll cage!
Driver’s Side – Now that is what I call a roll cage!
No normal plates here.
No normal plates here.

One of my favorites was this 1960 Ford Thunderbird NASCAR. The car was the only NASCAR-spec 1960 that actually never ran in competition, at least legal competition. Also, was one of very few cars produced with manual transmission, steering and brakes. Most drivers nowadays wouldn’t even know what to do with a car that doesn’t have an automatic transmission. Let alone power steering and brakes.

Look at that motor!
Look at that motor!
Have to believe this is true.  I would say this was the exception to never being entered in "competition".
Have to believe this is true. I would say this was the exception to never being entered in “competition”.
It always feels great to work for a company that gives!
It always feels great to work for a company that gives!

One of the best parts of going to this show is seeing the EXAIR logo next to a very deserving charity. The show is in it’s 38th year and continues to benefit the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation. Yet another aspect of the show is that a good majority of the cars will do a parade the week before the show and take children from the foundation with them in their cars. While this doesn’t help their physical condition, I can’t help but think what kid wouldn’t be happy getting to ride in a car like a Ferrari or even one that you have to crank by hand in order to start it.

Take a look at the website for the show and you will see the history behind the show as well as some of the other vehicles you may see there. As always, I truly love the fact that I work for a company that not only values the employees it hires but also gives to so many charities as well.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager

Experience Counts

In the beginners mind there are many options, in the experts mind there are few.  As I am encouraged and polished by the senior application engineers I find this statement to hold true in many ways.

There are, however, certain fields in which I am already an expert in my own right.  As an automotive technician for nearly a decade, an array of master certifications and advanced level competency certificates give weight to what many would call expertise.  Scarred hands and busted knuckles prove that any knowledge gained has been done so through perseverance and personal time on the job.  People can wonder why someone would want to do this, but in all fairness I liked cars before I liked girls.

I used to open up all the operating parameters on each sensor input and watch them on the scanner during diagnosis.  Over time, you get an idea of what is normal, what is acceptable variance, and what is erroneous (in addition to what the books and charts say).  I would also scope these outputs onto a digital oscilloscope to watch the sweeping patterns of the electrical signals.  Sometimes this is the only way to find a glitch when it’s momentary because the readout screen of the scanner doesn’t respond fast enough.  (Thank you propagation delay!)

This experience and a willingness to help with any car related problem has always been a good thing for me and yesterday it proved worthwhile once again.  I answered my phone in the application engineering department of EXAIR and was greeted by a fellow engineer.  Unbeknownst to me, this gentleman was an engineer for an automotive parts supplier.  They were working with a new prototype sensor that needed a specific cycle time to heat up and cool down to simulate on-the-road conditions.  We went through the parameters of the application and as each specific came to light it sounded more and more familiar.  Sometime during the conversation I stated this sounded like the “___”.  There was silence.

“Uhh…  Yeah that’s pretty close…

“I used to see these scope out faulty on the twin turbo ___ engines”.  (Still do)

“Oh WOW!  That’s… Well… I can’t say much more without giving away the farm.  This project is of high level interest to the company…”

As it turns out, this engineer was working on a new and improved sensor for which I had spent significant time watching the readouts.  Repeated failures of the same part often led me to ponder the root cause of failure.  Perhaps the metals used to surround the pickup points had not been configured correctly and as a result the longevity was compromised.  Or perhaps normal operating conditions varied too widely across different regions and the expected values to the controller software were too stringent.  It’s not often these questions can be fielded by the (ex) technician directly to the engineers designing the parts.

So as the conversation went on I found it quite enjoyable to listen attentively and my colleague found my experience to be quite helpful.  We found a solution using the EXAIR Vortex Tubes, and I’m eager to learn the results of testing.

This level of service and dedication is something in which we take pride at EXAIR.  Whether its machine setup and operations, manufacturing design, process control, efficiency implementation or automotive product prototyping, we’re here to help.  If you need a hand with your application, give us a call.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer