A Powerful One Two Punch: High Quality Components and Service
OEMs in the market for pneumatic components may not always make high quality components a priority when it comes to product selection, but they should.
And, for the record, high quality encompasses far more than the product itself. High quality also can describe the OEM’s experience when it comes to dealing with suppliers.
Pneumatic system components selected because of their quality component construction and the level of service the vendor provides can make all the difference when it comes to end user performance.
The Argument for Quality
OEMs may consider the various products or components they select to make up their pneumatic builds as more or less commodities, with little difference between them. However if they encounter a problem with those pneumatic components, their opinion is highly likely to change.
Leaky fittings, unreliable valve assemblies and tubing combinations that don’t withstand working conditions are just a few of the issues that can arise when OEMs treat their pneumatic components like commodities. Even worse is having to wait weeks for replacement parts from suppliers without strong distribution and supply systems.
In the event of problems like these — or in the interest of preventing them — OEMs may realize their pneumatic components should be treated not as commodities, but instead as high quality, engineered solutions selected because they meet and surpass a list of end user criteria.
Considering the dynamic and highly automated tasks OEMs ask of their equipment, to prevent problems like these, they should expect specific performance attributes from both their products and their suppliers.
This explains why, even though there are numerous competitive products available, it’s likely only a select few suppliers will deliver both the quality of service and quality of components that can meet and surpass typical working criteria.
Workmanship and Craftsmanship
High quality products, in terms of component construction, craftsmanship, and workmanship, offer OEMs and their customers a number of benefits, even if these parts cost a little more than competitive brands. Top quality workmanship, for example, offers OEMs and their customers a level of robustness they are not likely to find in substandard brands. This means the components have the ability to perform under overload conditions, such as pressure surges and spikes, without immediately failing. They can perform to their intended and certified specifications and are built to handle those plus a bit more when it comes to robustness, performance and safety.
Features to expect include consistency from part to part and built-in durability even under stress or high load situations. Higher quality fittings, for example, offer consistent threads from part to part to prevent leaks and loose fits. And cylinders with precision-machined tooling plates and self-centering piston rods will deliver extended service life, particularly under more demanding loads.
Quality can also become a concern when buying pneumatic parts from unfamiliar sources. In this case, there is always the risk that purchased components are counterfeit products, or that they will fail to meet the even the minimum ratings or standards indicated.
Name brand parts sold through authorized distributors, on the other hand, deliver assurances of quality, performance, and availability. OEMs who purchase their name brand parts through authorized distributors can be confident that the parts are authentic and will meet the graded standards.
Integral to product quality is the vendor’s ability to deliver a high quality experience, either directly or through authorized distributors. Both can foster a high quality experience by making sure products are available when needed and by standing behind their products when questions or problems arise.
A prime example of this high quality service is the product warranty. Extensive or extended product warranties with few stipulations can translate into fewer worries for OEMs and their customers. In addition, warranties that guarantee the product’s useful life bring peace of mind to both the OEM and end user and will also help end users to remain productive and avoid unexpected costs.
Another aspect of quality service for OEMs is access to resources and assistance when it comes to component selection and compatibility. For example, some manufacturers have published compatibility recommendations for pneumatic fitting and tubing combinations, eliminating guesswork for the OEM. In this way both OEMs and end users can be assured that the fitting and tubing combinations they select will be able to meet the working and washdown conditions demanded by their applications.
Delivering the High Quality Experience
When high quality products are backed by high quality service, OEMs and their customers receive a better overall product experience, higher productivity, and lower unexpected costs. They also are likely to encounter fewer performance issues, faster response times, and proper assistance when and if there are component-related concerns.