Common Errors by First Time Buyers of Specialty Pneumatics
No matter what the technology, the buyer should always be aware that they get what they pay for. As a simple example, recently I purchased a low cost cable replacement for my mobile phone – it was low cost. It lasted only a week. Then I got a more expensive cable, and it still works after three months. It looked the same but was not the same. There were even some more expensive cables but for me, I settled on what I deemed to be a fair price. I based it partially on name recognition but also for my particular needs.
Here is a true story. One of our customers purchased an air knife and was told it would work the same as Nex Flow®, It looked the same and was even about the same cost. However, it did not work properly and was replaced with another Nex Flow® air knife.
It can be the same situation for any industrial item.
Pneumatics is not a technology that is taught extensively.
Much of the knowledge is split up into different sub fields. Air compressor specialists are not always that familiar with filters, filter experts with other parts of the system, and piping experts focus almost exclusively on that aspect. There is little written about specialty pneumatic products such as air nozzles, compressed air conveying and vortex tube technology except by suppliers of these products and most of that knowledge can be traced to really only a few expert companies.
To truly understand that technology you need a long duration of exposure to gain the experience to really use it properly. This means not only knowledge of the product itself, but the installation conditions that effect its use, its performance success and its longevity.
Something as simple as an air nozzle is a perfect example. Several engineered air nozzles may look almost the same on the outside but it’s also the inside that matters. Even performance specifications can be similar but when applied in the field can vary greatly for many reasons.
There are 4 key things to consider when evaluating specialty pneumatics for blow off, cooling or conveying:
- If it looks the same, is it??? Experience.in producing an item as well its design throughout is important. Over the years many replacement part companies have been created and some are quite good but, they usually have a history to indicate competence in producing the part. Often a review of web site content can give a clue. Does the company have a wide range of products and accessories? Have they posted informative articles and examples that are useful? Do they have any special designs and perhaps even patents to indicate a knowledge of what they are offering?
- How quickly does the company respond and do they respond with knowledge? Response time is very important in any request for assistance. Does an email get answered quickly? Does a phone call get returned quickly? Even with remote work in place for many operations, response time is important. The quality of support is not something created in a day – experience, personnel training, application history, all contribute to competent support. How your questions are answered in a call will give clues to the level of competence. We had a recent conversation with a customer in Europe that decided to work with Nex Flow® because we went beyond just offering a sample to test. We discussed the application in greater detail and appled past experience to address it properly.
- Does the product that requires approval either for legal reasons or because of normal and accepted industrial standards have the approvals? For example, all Nex Flow® Panel Coolers have been tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratory to not only meet US, Canadian and international standards, but also to insure that proper material is used in their construction. If something goes wrong on your electrical panel using an untested, non-approved product can be extremely costly on many levels. There is increasing requests for certifications which we welcome. It never hurts to confirm the “value” of the product.
- Delivery is very important and for items like spare parts, it can be extremely important. If it takes unusually long to ship a simple order, you need to question reliability if there is no valid reason.
There can be a wide range of price difference across brands of any particular product. Nex Flow® believes in fair value at a fair price, with good quality and service and support.
Always explore the total cost no matter where the product comes from. Because of our many years of experience in compressed air, and especially with our specialized technology for blow off, conveying and cooling, and because of our approach to innovation as evidenced by our existing patents with more pending, that we can offer our consulting services to address applications more thoroughly and incorporate other technologies with our products.
Nex Flow® has the capability to do special projects others in the industry cannot or will not attempt. It’s never just the product. It’s never just the service. It’s the competence at every level you need to consider from the material, to the manufacturing to the delivery, to the service.
For information on our consulting service use this link: https://www.nexflow.com/products/consultation/compressed-air-application-consulting/