Taking Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone

During the warmer Ohio weather months, April through October, my blog posts may include information about taking my motorcycle to some road course tracks (and now even a cold month or two).  I take my bike to open track days where (mostly) amateur riders can get on a proper race course. There are people on the track for the first time and people who race professionally.   They will generally divide the riders into several groups, Novice, Intermediate or Advanced.  The control riders/coaches at the track will help you to determine what group you should ride in and then help you throughout the day.   Below is a video of a control rider that is also a professional rider at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.  (Don’t mind the music, it’s not my cup of tea either.)

For the novice group there are classes after each session, as well as skills practiced in every session.  This is to help teach the beginning track rider that the same habits you use on the street are not meant for the track, as well as how to be as safe as possible while being on the track.  This is the most watched and controlled group due to the fact it generally has the most riders and they are all the newest to the track.

For intermediate group there are optional classes and you just run your own pace.  They step up the skill level by not enforcing you to focus on a skill during each session or requiring you to go to a class after each session of the day.  The pace is considerably faster than novice and the only ways to get instruction are to either ask a control rider for it or if they see something to help you with they will generally stop you and coach you on how to do it better.

The final group is advanced, or race class.  This has the same elements as a professional race minus the grid at start-up.   There aren’t really any passing rules and the control riders are mainly all professional racers or former racers who can still make your head spin as they fly past you.  Similar to the intermediate group the only way you will get help is to ask for it.

For the past two years I have been running in the intermediate group and it is a serious meat grinder.  You will have people in there that are fast enough to be in advanced group, but are too scared.  As well as having people who let their ego and pride tell them they don’t need to learn anything from a novice class and should really be in novice learning as much as they can.  I stayed in Novice for over the first year of track riding that I had done.   Some people choose to never leave the novice group because that is exactly where they are comfortable.  They don’t want to worry about the other classes and are perfectly fine with not even being the fastest person in Novice.  This is perfectly acceptable for some, but I had to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to really enjoy the entire experience.  Even though I have been to the track several times now I am always out of my comfort zone in intermediate because there are always new people showing up and you never know when you will running with a group that should be racing, or a group that should be getting coached in novice.

Here at EXAIR we have customers that could fit into each of these groups also.   The customer who doesn’t know what an engineered solution is and doesn’t understand the cost of compressed air.  The intermediate user who has used some of our products in the past but is encountering new issues and knows that we can help lead them in the right direction.  As well as the advanced users who know exactly what they need and sometimes even request a special unit to fit their exact needs.

No matter the case, we can help as well as coach even the most advanced users of our products on how to use compressed air better.  If you are reading this and you don’t know the difference between a Super Air Nozzle and an open pipe, then give us a call.  We will help teach you the differences as well as make sure you understand the need for engineered solutions on your compressed air system.  It may be out of your comfort zone for the first few calls but we will make sure you get to the level you want to be so you get back into your comfort zone.

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

 

First Track Weekend Down And No Where To Go But Up.

Well, I managed to stay shiny side up for both days of track riding with MCRA at Putnam Park this past weekend.  Out of the five that went in my group, two crashed, one bad enough that he may need some surgery on his shoulder.  Even though he crashed, he is still chomping at the bit to go to Mid-Ohio at the end of June and ride with us again.  A video of his crash is below.  You can listen to the sound in the clip and hear how fast he is going into Turn 1 off the front straight.   Simply went into the turn too hot and wasn’t able to keep it on the track.

The main downfall to the weekend was my personal performance on my race bike.  I didn’t go near as fast as I had hoped and my lack of preparation definitely showed as I wasn’t able to stay out for a full session of riding because fatigue would set in.  Because of this, I wasn’t able to ride as fast as I would have liked and got passed by more people than I should have.

My lack of preparation for the track day hindered my end result of the weekend, much like not preparing for the heat of summer can hinder your company’s performance and production.  Now is the time to be preparing to keep those electrical enclosures cool, not when they are overheating and causing shut downs.

If you would like help sizing the correct Cabinet Cooler System for your enclosures, give us a call.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com 
@EXAIR_BF

Prepping For The Heat. (Not Solar Flares)

Well, the first day of Spring is right around the corner.  It’s hard to believe that the Summer heat isn’t that far out for us here in Cincinnati.  Of course the first thing on my mind is hanging out outside with my daughters, and track days.  What isn’t on my mind is the heat that most production environments feel.  It most likely isn’t on your mind either, and won’t be until the heat is here and the machine is shutting down.

High Temp Cabinet Cooler

Why not be proactive and fill out a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide so that we can help to prevent that down time in the Summer months?  Even though the temperatures aren’t as hot as they will be in a few months, the temperature differential will still allow us to calculate the heat load that is generated within the enclosure.

Sizing Guide

There’s no better time than now to start preventative measures to keeping your machines running.  Whether that is by installing a thermostat controlled Cabinet Cooler System, using a Chip Trapper to filter coolants or a Cold Gun Aircoolant System to keep a cutting tool cool.  All methods will help you to keep production up and lessen the down time and the costly replacements of your equipment.

If you have any questions on how we can help, feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Winter time blues

So after waking up to a nice 16° F temperature outside this morning I am ready for Spring.  Ok, I have to admit, we haven’t even got an accumulation of snow yet.  That doesn’t matter to me, I am ready for some track time on the ole SV.  Everyday I have to look at it sitting in the corner of the garage all surrounded with other warm weather items and then go out into the cold to get into my car.  It absolutely eats at me every single day.  Video below is of what I can’t wait to get back to.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/aTcV8M_dqtc?hd=1%5D

Fortunately, here in Cincinnati we normally start warming up around April.  That means first track day of the season, unless it suddenly decides to start dumping snow in April now.  If it does then I guess all the propaganda is true and global warming is real.

What brought this on is he handful of calls I have received this week about sizing the appropriate Cabinet Cooler System for electronic enclosures.  This isn’t a seasonal product for us like book bags or Easter baskets are for retail stores.  We sell these year round to customers across the globe.   It doesn’t have to be Summer to be getting a heat failure in a cabinet.  The application yesterday was for a new cabinet that was located outside of a heat treating furnace and was already overheating just do to the ambient temperature being around 150°F.  This is exactly why we developed our High Temperature Cabinet Cooler Systems.

They can withstand ambient environments up to 200° F and will still be able to maintain a safe working temperature for your electronics inside the enclosure.  So if you are still operating with the panel doors open on your machine because it’s hot inside and snowing outside the plant, give us a call, email, tweet, fax, or even request a live chat on our site.  With a little bit of information we’ll calculate how much cooling you need and tell you just how we are going to keep that panel cool.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Another Day Another Track

That’s right folks, it’s that time of the year and I really lucked out this time by winning a track day raffle for a day at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course and School. I had a spot for Novice class at the track day school.  I then proceeded to talk two of my good friends that always go to the track into taking off work and going with me.

They had been to Mid Ohio before and ran several times.  I on the other hand had never even seen the track.   I knew it was quite technical compared to Putnam Park but, the school that they put on for first time attendees receives nothing but excellent comments and reviews. Since I didn’t know what to expect I of course went straight to their website and  then to good ole’ Youtube.  I started my research and talked with a few other people who’d been there and was completely amped about going.  A map of the track is below.

My nerves were on high alert and I couldn’t wait to see this historic race course.  As we pulled in I noticed a bunch of large factory sponsored trailers, the track day just happened to be the day before the AMA Superbike Races started.  Because of this we got the luxury of not only pitting on hot pit, but also we go to watch all the pros get setup in the garages and even see a few of them.

Once we got the bikes ready we went to the morning riders meeting where I found out there were only 6 people total in the Novice class.  This  was unheard of, normally there would be 20-30 people, Because of the small numbers we divided up into two groups and each group had a coach rider.  My coach rider was a gentleman by the name of Dennis Myrwold.  He took us through the basics and each session we practiced different aspects of riding the track.  At lunch time he approached me and commented that my lines were looking good and lap times weren’t bad either.  He asked about why I had blown a few turns, I gave him my answer, then he said you should step up to Intermediate.  I was amazed, I had never been commented to by a Coach rider before let alone told I was good to step up my first time at a track.

Needless to say, I declined and stayed with him and the two other people he had under his group.  By the end of the day I was dragging knee on the freshly painted curbs and passing people on bigger bikes on the back straight.  My two friends and I were all packing the trailer and loading up the bikes when I saw Dennis walking down pit row.  He came up to our trailer and once again talked to me about my riding ability stating that I would really benefit from stepping up and that I should definitely come back.  My two friends were both standing there saying we told you that you’d have no problem with this track.  I thanked Dennis for everything he had taught me that day and told him I’m sure I will be seeing him again later in the year.  At this point I went straight to cloud nine, not only had I gotten to do a track day at Mid Ohio which I never thought I would get to, but I had been told by the instructor after my first time to the track that I should step up.   I realize that I am no where near the fastest rider but it took a Coach rider telling me I should do something in order to get me to do it.

The moral of the story is even though my friends and my peers were encouraging me to do something I had to have a person with technical expertise in the field in order for me to listen.  This is the case in a lot of areas, if you go to a car dealer and the salesman tells you the car has zero maintenance issues you may or may not believe them.  On the other hand if there is a service person there and you ask them the same question, if you are like me you’ll take his expert opinion over a commissioned sales person.

This is why when you call EXAIR and have a question on a product or application you speak directly to an Application Engineer.  We are not commissioned sales people and we are all experts in our field of efficient compressed air usage.  We are going to be up front with our recommendations and also back our recommendations up with a 30 day guarantee along with a 5 year built to last warranty on all of our compressed air products.

P.S.   The track day video footage is still being processed.   I’m sure it will makes its way to our Facebook or Twitter feed.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF