If at First You Don’t Succeed Try, Try Again!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been going back and forth with my phone provider over some technical issues I’ve been having with the device. After some troubleshooting, we were able to conclude that the antenna has likely become loose, leading to the phone periodically not receiving service. Naturally, we’re outside of the 1-Year “Warranty” period that covers a defective device. I paid my insurance deductible and received a “refurbished” phone the following day. Unfortunately, this refurbished phone was unable to take pictures with the front-facing camera. I know what you’re thinking, how on Earth can I take selfies without a front-facing camera? So it was back to the phone provider to get another replacement, fortunately this time they sent a brand new device.

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get something to work right out of the box, only to experience issues. Whenever a customer is having an issue with a particular product, there’s a certain progression that we go through in order to assess the problem and determine the root cause. In some cases it is something simple, others it can be a few individual problems that are compounding each other. I recently assisted a customer that was having problems with his 110 Gallon Reversible Drum Vac System. He was having difficulty pumping water out of a container and into the 110 gallon drum. He stated that he just received the unit and was unable to get it to work.

RDV pic

EXAIR’s Reversible Drum Vac installed on a 110 Gallon Drum

This is a call that we get from time to time, and is generally remedied pretty quickly. Our first step is to check the air pressure at the inlet of the Reversible Drum Vac while it is operating. We recommend an inlet pressure of at least 80 PSIG for proper operation. By installing a pipe tee with a pressure gauge directly at the unit, we can not only verify the inlet pressure but also that the Reversible Drum Vac is being supplied with an adequate volume of compressed air. If the pressure on the gauge begins to decrease once the unit is in operation, we can conclude that the volume of compressed air to the Reversible Drum Vac is insufficient. This can be due to the use of restrictive quick disconnect fittings, improper line size, or a compressor that is undersized.

If the air supply is sufficient, we then inspect the system for vacuum leaks. If the drum does not have a complete seal, the system will not function. If there’s no vacuum leak and there is an adequate supply of compressed air, the Reversible Drum Vac likely needs to be cleaned. It took us a few tries to get there but through a little bit of trial and error, we were able to determine that this was exactly the case in this scenario. Even though the system was new, it had been supplied with compressed air that was not properly filtered. Some scale, rust and debris from the customer’s supply lines made its way into the body of the Reversible Drum Vac, impeding the flow of air. Here is a video that shows the cleaning procedure for the Reversible Drum Vac. Over time the Reversible Drum Vac can accumulate debris inside of the plenum chamber. Regular maintenance of the unit will ensure that it stays within specifications for when it’s needed most!

If you have an EXAIR product that’s not performing as well as it used to, give us a call. One of the Application Engineers will be able to walk you through the steps to ensure that you’re getting the most out of our products!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: tylerdaniel@exair.com
LinkedIn: @EXAIR_TD

A Good Example of Dedication and Commitment from the First Grade

This year, my oldest daughter started First Grade.  My second daughter will be starting preschool two days a week, and the youngest, well she just has no fear and doesn’t see the consequences of her actions at this point in life.   To say the least, the past few weeks have been extremely busy, as I am sure it has been for most of us.

A Great Message For School. (Not On Our Schools)

A Great Message For School.

I went to the parent – teacher introduction night with my beautiful wife and we got to meet the first grade teacher who definitely has her work cut out for her.   The amount of effort and care this teacher has poured into this class is already apparent in the first week of school.   She sent us all her personal cell phone number, sends out updates through a smartphone app, and has even told all parents that if a child in her classroom is involved in an activity outside of school that she will attend one of these events because she wants to see the children in their element and see what makes them happy.  All of these “extra” things the teacher does, she doesn’t get paid for, and is strictly doing out of her love for teaching and the children she teaches.  She legitimately loves her job and wants to see each of these students succeed in life.

There are people who teach that go to their job and give the bare minimum to not get let go and to merely collect a paycheck.   There are also a great number of educators that go above and beyond every day of the school year.  When it comes to teachers, so far my oldest daughter has been extremely blessed.  She had an amazing teacher for both Preschool, Kindergarten, and now even First Grade.   Each of these has also been at 3 different schools where she has thrived and I could not be happier with our school district.  I even mentioned to my wife, who is a former primary teacher, that I do not look forward to the year that one of our three daughters has a teacher that she does not agree with.  (That is going to be an extremely long year.)

Just as I noticed the level of dedication from the teachers I have had the joy of meeting, I have also realized that in order to succeed and thrive, there has to be dedication and going beyond the minimum.  This is what I see everyday when I walk through the doors here at EXAIR.  Whether I am walking through the front offices or the production areas, we by no means have a single team member that gives the minimum.  Every person here cares about whether or not the other succeeds, and we all work together with the same goal, blow our customer’s expectations out of the water.  This is just one reason we continue to release new products, offer the best means to contact us, as well as ship stock products same day, and provide order confirmations and install support for every single order.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Photo Credit: Jdog90 – Flickr – Creative Commons https://flic.kr/p/awAXzv

 

 

Excellence Is Not An Act, But A Habit

“We Are What We Repeatedly Do. Excellence, then, is not an Act, But a Habit”

In my twitter feed I often see the aforementioned quote that is attributed to Aristotle. As this blog points out, the quote should really be attributed to Will Durant author of The Story of Philosophy, because it is his interpretation of what Aristotle would have said if he spoke English. While writing this blog I found out Aristotle didn’t really write the quote. In retrospect, clearly he didn’t write, if he did it might look something like this “Είμαστε Τι επανειλημμένα Do. Αριστείας, τότε, δεν είναι μια πράξη, αλλά μια συνήθεια”, but I digress.

Working with customers, resellers and catalog houses, I’m amazed at the different company cultures. Some customers will come to me six months before a project comes up to talk about the applications. They ask us for drawings, specifications, and certifications for the products that we recommend for their applications. They want to analyze all possible scenarios and plan for every eventuality.  These customers greatly appreciate our fully loaded knowledge base and availability of technical information.

Other customers call me for a quote and confirmation. They spent some time online, downloaded a CAD model and created a working plan, but before they pull the trigger, they want to run it by someone else. These customer greatly appreciate the fact that the phones are answered by human beings and we have a fully staffed Application Engineering department with engineers who are always eager to discuss applications and possibilities.

Finally, we have the customers, who I never spoke to before that need a product NOW and are willing to do anything to get. Shipping companies love these customers, because we have our products on the shelves ready to ship, but it will cost you air freight and a flux capacitor to get it there yesterday.

 

At EXAIR, our culture expects excellence. And no matter the kind of customer who contacts us, we know you are all trying to achieve it too – we are just trying to help. When our customer calls in to ask for something yesterday, we will already have it on the shelf ready to go. Unless it is a custom product, our production staff has already machined, built, and tested our product to our excellent standard.  I’m constantly amazed at the effort and continued excellence put out by customer service, engineering, marketing, and production. When the customer calls in to ask for product yesterday, 99.98% of the time I’m able to say that the shipment will be at the dock waiting for the shipping truck by 3:00 PM EST. We can typically do that without an extraordinary effort, because we practice excellent customer service everyday. It’s a habit we are not trying to quit.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

 

 

Customer Service?

Recently I was having some issues with my cell phone dropping calls and frequent undelivered texts, emails and voice-mails so I placed a call to my provider to see what could be done. From my previous experience with cell phone providers, I knew this was going to be a tedious process but was hoping for the best since I have been an 8+ year customer. So I contacted the company last week and explained my situation. They advised that the service in my area had been acting up and they would need to open a file on my line that could take 7 – 10 days before I would receive a response. The VERY next morning they called to tell me that there were issues with the coverage in my area but it had been resolved.

So as the week went by and I was still experiencing the same issues, I called the company back. This time I was transferred to the technical department so they could troubleshoot my device – after a 2 hour phone call, they could provide no reason as to why I was having issues and offered me no course toward a resolution. Now frustrated, I decided to visit their website and participate in their chat option to see if we could get to a resolution. No such luck, I now had to elevate the situation and speak to a manager.

funny-cell-phone

After 17 phone calls to customer service and a total of 5 online chats, I finally got the one person who was actually willing to help. After reviewing the notes on my account, she offered me a free upgrade, without extending my service contract, shipped the replacement phone for overnight delivery and waived the $40 activation fee for the new device. Of course I was pleased with this resolution but asked why it was necessary to jump through so many hoops about the same issue – “it really depends on who you talk to and if they want to do the work or not”. In my opinion, that’s a pretty sad approach toward servicing a customer.

At EXAIR, our main focus is customer service and we will make every attempt to provide assistance and handle your request(s) in a prompt and thorough manner.  The fact is, a sales person can sell just about anything once.  It is the service that you are provided – that installation and maintenance guide or 3D model that can be easily downloaded – that takes a company with amazing products over the edge.   We strive to ensure you have every possible way to reach our Application Engineers.  We are here to help you not only determine which product will work best in your application, but also to help you troubleshoot your existing product, determine what air savings you have gained from installing an engineered solution, as well as figure out ways to make your operating area a safer, quieter place for your employees.

Here are some very recent comments we have received from customers:

  • “Super fast service. EXCELLENT!” – Joe, industrial laser manufacturer
  • “I called your customer service line and Vikki Foley was very helpful and even though it was late Thursday afternoon, she sounds like she enjoys her job.” – Mark, rapid prototyping and product design company
  • “Fantastic service. Very fast responses and concise information.” – Chase, display technology manufacturer
  • “Russ Bowman was an excellent help. He was respectful and went out of his way to find information that I requested. Would definitely recommend working with Exair. Outstanding customer service!” – Kathryn, engineering consultant

We can’t ask for anything more than that. We want to do the work, we want to make it easy for you.

Please feel free to contact us – via phone @ 800-903-9247, by email techelp@exair.com or our online chat for assistance with your compressed air application today.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

 

 

 

Troubleshooting 101: Super Air Knife

Yesterday, I was working with a customer on troubleshooting a Super Air Knife. He had brought the knife into EXAIR’s demo room so I was able to verify a few items very easily.  When trouble shooting air knives there are no moving parts, so it is very small list of items to check.

  1. Check the Air Supply

  2. Check the plumbing

  3. Check the inside of the Air Knife for debris

The customer had a 36″ Super Air Knife ,and he was seeing some weak spots in the air flow as well as a gradient in flow from one side of the knife to the other.  The first thing I did was to install a pipe tee with a pressure gauge in both ports on the bottom of the knife.  This would allow me to monitor the pressure we were supplying to the knife to calculate the air consumption and ensure the our piping was not starving the knife for air.

IMG_3735

Feeding the knife with equal pressure from both sides, is necessary for any air knife 24 inches or longer. The customer immediately noticed that the flow from the knife lost any sort of gradient, once it was fed in (2) locations. Still the air knife exhibited a spot in the flow where air velocity significantly decreased.  Since we were getting correct pressure and supplying enough air, we decided to remove the cap from the Super Air Knife.  Under the cap we found a variety of debris and one dreaded piece of PTFE plumbing tape. The plumbing tape was suppose to prevent air leaks throughout the compressed air system, but a piece had become lodged in the air gap of the Super Air Knife preventing air flow through a small portion of the Super Air Knife.  As you can see, once we followed a few simple steps to ensure proper installation of the Super Air Knife, it was quick and easy to narrow down what caused the lack of performance. This is yet another reason to make sure you have clean and dry compressed air, as well as use a point of use filter separator.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
Davewoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW

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