At one time or another we all have to enlist the services of a professional.
How do you decide which provider you hire?
Here are few reasons we all may choose one professional over another:
- Reputation / Recommendation
- Advertising ( We may not want admit it, but it does work.)
Choosing a Service Provider for Your Plant’s Compressed Air System
Not saying any of the above reasons are right or wrong, but when it comes to choosing a service provider for your plant’s compressed air system are there other areas that you should consider? After all, the compressed air system is an extremely vital part of any plant. Should you entrust it to the least expensive provider?
The production of compressed air is a dynamic system. Many factors will affect its performance and reliability. Some of these factors may have nothing to do with the air compressor itself – or even be in the compressor room. So the next time you receive a call from a prospecting compressed air provider – or you are looking to evaluate your current supplier – here are a few areas you may wish to consider:
Ask the company to provide training documentation for their sales and service personnel. There are many resources available today for training. The best training would be a combination of both manufacturer and independent sources.
The company should seek a consultative, systems approach to the compressor system.
Most systems do not need a complete overhaul with new equipment; they need the currently installed equipment to work together. A true professional will address these issues systematically and provide real world, affordable solutions.
2. Service Availability
Many facilities operate around the clock. How available is your service provider? Are they available after hours and on weekends?
If so, do they typically stock the components that regularly take down compressed air components? No compressor house will be able to stock every single part ever needed on the service van, but are they making an effort to stock the common parts? Take a look inside your provider’s van next time they are on-site.
3. Ancillary Equipment
As we know a compressed air system is comprised of more than just the air compressor. There are dryers, filters, drains, master controllers and flow controllers. Most every distributor has all of these items and more available for sale.
Do they service what they sell?
But do they work on everything they sell? With something as important as a compressed air system, I fail to understand why anyone would buy from someone who does not service the equipment they sell.
4. System Auditing
This is an area of exponential growth in the last 10+ years. But this type of growth, the end result sometimes gets “watered” down. What was once an area for only the most highly trained individuals, now is available to even the greenest of sales people. Are all audit results the same?
Here a few questions to ask prior to purchasing an audit:
- What training have they received to analyze a compressor system?
- What type of simulation software are they using? (It’s funny how a manufacturer’s software always recommends their equipment.)
- Ask for recommendations and previous audit reports.
- Do they guarantee their performance recommendations?
5. The Ability to Harmonize
I have zero musical ability; so I am always impressed with those who do. Take a barbershop quartet – the harmonization among them is extremely impressive. Does your compressor system sing in harmony? Or does it sound more like me? Most compressor systems are not all the same color (ie: from the same manufacturer). So how can we be sure everyone plays well together?
A distributor’s true colors will show when asked to get multiple compressors from different manufacturers, coupled with various air treatment equipment to operate at peak efficiency and reliability.
For more detailed guidelines for choosing a compressed air system provider, consult the Compressed Air Challenge website at www.compressedairchallenge.org.
Atlantic Compressors is a full-service distributor, offering engineering services, and equipment sales and rentals. Our service department is fully staffed and trained to provide routine and emergency service on most makes and models of air compressor equipment.