I’ve blogged about the fact that I am married to an amazing woman and we have been blessed with three incredible daughters before. My wife and I are constantly being reminded of just how different raising kids in this digital and rapidly changing world is compared to when we were kids. And, just writing those statements makes me realize I have truly entered the next (I’m old) chapter of my life.
My oldest, who is 12, is at that point where she is gaining some independence at middle school, and at the same time is getting sucked into social norms where she can easily be consumed by social media and screen time. The challenge I took on was to find something analog that we could both pick up and enjoy, maybe even challenge each other with. Enter a classic that I was never able to master, and still can’t without the aid of another (my 12 year old), the Rubik’s Cube. I was honestly shocked when she took the time to review a video from our library and learned the patterns to solve the cube. Turns out a few of her friends are even able to solve them and thus the education began.
What I once thought was an impossible task was broken down into patterns and a logical path to correct and straighten out the tangled squares. The are a number of methods to solve the standard 3×3 cube. No matter what, the pattern has to be recognized, implement the steps to solve, and then improve through repetition. Not many people pick something like this up, solve it once and then sit it down. It becomes a process of continuous improvement and that is exactly what my daughter took on. For me, it reminded me of Lean Manufacturing and every process I have ever looked at professionally. It was truly rejuvenating for me to see her take on the challenge and then have an urge to improve her process time.
When I came into work the next day, it clicked. That same process of methodical movements could all connect to our Six Steps to Compressed Air Optimization. Each of these steps is solving another layer of a mixed up cube. While at first, the process of optimizing a compressed air system can easily seem out of reach it is easily broken down into steps that result in a solution. Then, instead of taking all of that new found knowledge to only conduct the six steps once, you can easily make this a recurring event. Because even though your facility may not change, the air system will, new leaks may appear, items on the supply side may wear, demand side application may change as processes are added or modified.
Continuous improvement is a method that propels a system forward toward efficiency and improved outcomes and it is something that is needed to stay relevant. Even with the methods of solving a 3×3 cube, those methods continue to evolve and the main level of improvement is often on the person spending time with the process. If you want to discuss a compressed air application in your facility that could stand some improving or maybe you want to share your solve times on the 3×3 cube, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
With having three young children, puzzles are a very popular item in my house. Whether it is a wooden puzzle where you are matching different color fishes into their corresponding recess on a board, or maybe a classic Rubik’s Cube that I will get half way through solving when one of my daughters wants to help mess it up. (Which I absolutely love to help them do because I watch their face as they turn each side and it is simply a look of pure joy and amazement. No matter the case, the puzzles always get solved and then they are guaranteed to be done again.
Here at EXAIR, I look at nearly every application I come across as a puzzle. Sometimes, we have the exact piece that has a precise place and fit. This could be a Cabinet Cooler System to cool and overheating electrical panel. More often than not, it’s not that easy. We spend a good margin of our time creating a picture in our head of what the customer’s application is and we try to find that missing piece to the puzzle that will complete their needs.
This is one of the great things about the Application Engineering Department here at EXAIR, each one of us has a very diverse professional background and very different life experiences which permits us to cover just about any scenario you can throw at us. If one of us hasn’t experienced it, there is a good chance we have someone outside of our department who has and we will bring them in on the problem solving. It’s not too uncommon for certain applications to even make it into the eyes and ears of the President of EXAIR due to his extensive background with many industries.
The point is, if we can’t figure it out, we know who to ask, if they don’t know, we’re going to try our hardest to get you the right product to fit your needs and exceed your expectations the first time. If not, we honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products and will take the product back so you know that we have exhausted all options. We’ve even been known to call former customers back when we come out with new products that will fit their needs we weren’t able to meet.
If you think you have a hard to solve compressed air application, contact us.
Earlier this week I was watching a show on cable (which I don’t have at home) called Duck Dynasty. I’m pretty sure a few of you have probably heard of it or seen it. This family has made quite a name for themselves and their family business over the past few years. In this episode Willie, the son who runs the business, replaced everyone’s old desks with all new standing work centers. The employee reactions ranged from appalled to appreciative. Completely different reactions when all Willie was trying to do was help the employees be more efficient and more comfortable while they were there.
Here at EXAIR, I have a rather nice work area that is quite comfy. While it is not a standing desk, nor is it wrapped in camouflage, it’s a great setup for the work that we do here. It did get me thinking though, what are the benefits to a standing desk? (I can see one pitfall, no roller chair to have chair races with.) So I started to read up on a few blogs that I have found and it does sound like a standing desk would be worth trying out. However, there isn’t a desk company that will let you try something out for 30 days. That also got me to wondering what the ultimate cubicle / office would look like. (A few examples below)
Then that brought me to my next thought, it’s one that we really like to stress. That is the fact that we honor a 30 day guarantee on all stock products. This means if you aren’t sure whether we are going to be the right fit for you application. There is no harm in trying. We will take the product back and issue you a full return as long as you let us know within 30 days from the date of purchase. On top of that, if it doesn’t work, we will most definitely try to help you find something that will fit your needs. But here is the secret, our website, our Application Engineers and the amount of information we offer to help make a purchasing decision result in a low frequency of orders coming back; the vast majority of applications are successful!. We are confident you will be pleased with the service, quality and results our products can produce within your facility whether you are trying to decrease energy use, increase employee comfort or improve efficiency.