Countering the Costs of a Caustic Environment
When Bill from ChemCo called, he seemed like he was completely stressed out. So I did my best to calm him down. “What can I do for you?” I asked in my best sympathetic voice.
“I’ll make it quick,” he replied – and I could tell he was relieved to be in good hands. “We have a problem with the metal fans we use to vent corrosive fumes out of our labs. The fumes are so corrosive we’re finding we have to replace our fans every year or so. And we have lots of fans…the costs are killing us. I need to have a solution in place by next quarter.”
I knew just what Bill needed. “So you need better fans,” I summarized. “Off the top of my head I’m thinking we swap out your metal fans with Verantis CH/CHP Series FRP fans, which are highly corrosive resistant. They last 20, 30 years in even the toughest corrosive environments. ASTM C582 and 4167.”
Bill got it right away. “So if I’m following you, you’re saying…”
“With our FRPs, you’ll probably never have to replace another fan,” I finished smiling, because with Verantis, it really is that easy. Bill got the solution he needed, which is my favorite part of the job.
And to make a long story short, 150 or so FRP fans later, the folks at ChemCo are a bunch of happy campers. No more fan problems – because our FRP Fans can take the most corrosive environments they can throw at us.
Simplifying a High-Maintenance Relationship
It was a typical day. I took a few minutes off from working on quotes to eat lunch at my desk when the phone rang. I always eat lunch at my desk. And the phone usually rings. And I always answer it.
“Verantis. This is Woody.”
“I’ve got a fan problem!” Mike got right to the point.
“And I’m sure I’ve got a solution. That’s why I’m here. What’s the problem?”
And he launched into his story. He had this fan…not one of ours…and he needed to replace a worn shaft. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem, but like I said, it wasn’t a Verantis fan and as it turns out, I think he was sorry he made that mistake. This particular fan was designed so that in order to replace the worn shaft you also have to replace a bunch of parts that aren’t worn…including the impeller. As you can imagine, a design like that makes routine maintenance pretty darn expensive – and he had several of those fans in service. To make a long story short, the maintenance costs were eating right through his budget.
“Here’s your solution,” I said. “Let’s replace those maintenance budget killers with Verantis FRP Fans.”
“I’d love to,” Mike said. “But I don’t have the budget for it.”
Boy, do we hear that a lot. We understand that it might not always be possible to replace all the fans in your manufacturing environment, even for significant long term savings. We try to be flexible though, and I explained this to Mike. Instead of replacing the fans, we met them halfway by modifying and retrofitting every fan in the plant, saving them thousands of dollars over the life of the equipment.
I’m glad we were able to help Mike and his company…but I still don’t get it. Why buy a maintenance unfriendly design when you can get a Verantis fan? With ours, if a part wears out, you just replace that part. And that’s a lot easier on your budget and on your maintenance staff. Next time I’m pretty sure Mike will call me first!
And You Thought Your Cup 'a Joe was Strong...
“Woody, I need help!”
That’s a sentence I hear most every day. That and “Who took the last cup of coffee and didn’t make a new pot?” But since this was a customer calling me at work, I was pretty sure we weren’t going to talk coffee etiquette.
“We are going through metal fans like nobody’s business,” he told me, confirming my suspicions. “We’re using this proprietary saturated Chloride solution and it’s eating through our fans like they were candy. We tried specially coated fans, but that didn’t work either. I’m really hoping you can help us out. ”
Now he really had my attention. “Mind if I come and take a closer look at your situation?” I asked. “I’d like to see exactly what’s going on so that I can think about what it’ll take to solve your fan problem.”
“Sure. Come on over,” he said. “But if you take the last cup of coffee, make sure you make a fresh pot.” Apparently, my reputation precedes me!
So I went. We tested and we talked. Then we retested and checked specifications. Then we put on our engineer hats and sat down at the design table. And when the smoke cleared…
…we had custom-created a fan with special seals and gaskets. And we topped it off with Verantis’s Nexus coating, which is even more chemically-resistant than our standard, no-nonsense surface veil coating. That’s something our competitors don’t do. We always take the time to make sure our solution works in your particular manufacturing situation…and our competitors don’t always do that either.
Why Tighten Your Belt, When You Can Save More by Tossing It?
Jack called wanting to know if I could convert his fans to a direct drive system. He was concerned because his maintenance budget kept getting tighter, and he was under tremendous pressure to make his fans operate more cost-effectively.
“Good call,” I told him. “Direct Drive is more cost effective and maintenance friendly. The beltless design runs a lot smoother which, as I’m sure you know, greatly increases the fan’s lifespan. If you can give me the model number…”
“It’s not a Verantis fan,” he interrupted. “And worse, the fan OEM refuses to help me.”
“Sounds like you could use some good news,” I said in my most cheerful, don’t-worry-I’m-going-to-dig-you-out-of-this-hole voice. And then we dug him out – by converting all his fans to Verantis Direct Drive fans.
I know Jack and his company were happy with the results, but no one was happier than the maintenance staff, who suddenly found themselves free to spend their precious time and money elsewhere.
Junk In = Junk Out
In my desk, I have a junk drawer. But unlike the junk drawer at your house, mine isn’t filled with shoe string, doorknobs, old watches and things you can’t remember putting there.
My junk drawer is full of badly written specs. And I don’t mean typos or misspellings or dangling participles or even written in crayon. I mean specs that don’t account for what goes into creating the right fan for the right applicaiton. It’s a lot more than just “stick a few blades here” and “put an impeller there.” The only thing some of these designs will get you is a visit from the fire department.
The best I can say for some of the specs in my junk drawer is that they wouldn’t work at all. No danger to themselves or others.
That’s why people should call me – or anyone else here at Verantis. We understand the whole process, from selecting the right components to visualizing what the fan of the future’s working environment will be.
So when customers send in requests for bids, I encourage them to let my fingers do the specifications walking. That way they’ll get a fan that sings.
This expert engineering examination is one of the value-added perks we offer here at Verantis. We don’t have any interest in selling you a fan that won’t meet your needs, so we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you get something that works in your manufacturing environment.
When Time is of the Essence, Take the Time to Do It Right.
I was getting ready to leave when the phone rang. I’d like to say this was unusual, but it’s not. It’s like the phone can see me start to put my coat on – I know it can’t; it just seems like that sometimes. I was tempted not to answer it, but I resisted.
“Verantis. This is Woody.” I put some pep in my voice so they wouldn’t know I had one arm in a coat sleeve.
“Woody, this is Sue,” she said. “I’m working on this RFP for the county waste water treatment plant. If I send you our submission, could you throw together some specs?”
“I’d like to help, but I’m afraid I can’t,” I replied.
“Is it because you’ve got your coat halfway on?” she asked. Maybe my phone really could see.
“Not at all,” I said quickly, shaking my arm out of the coat sleeve. “It’s just that I don’t throw specs together. And even if I did, I wouldn’t for waste water treatment customers – they’re really price sensitive and paperwork intensive.”
“Tell me about it,” she said. “And don’t leave your coat lying on the floor there.”
So I told her about it. I assured her we had the knowledge and the experience to circumnavigate through the morass of paperwork. I explained how we custom create complex specs specifically for each system – no cookie cutters – and then build them ourselves. I also detailed for her how all our materials and processes are certified…and verified in the field…so a Verantis spec is just as good as a Ceilcoat fan – it just weighs less.
Then I told her I’d be glad to help her with her RFP…but that I wouldn’t “throw anything” together!