For the past 20+ years I have designed, specified, purchased, assembled, implemented, maintained, and repaired auto lubrication systems. From my work history, it appears that no matter how hard we try to fit a “standard” solution into an application, there is always a required change to accomplish the goal. This is true of most “bolt-on”, “turnkey”, or “plug-n-play” solutions available in this world.
In an interest in actually supplying a solution to my clients. I have taken a different approach to system design. I start with simply testing everything that’s available, to failure. I discard anything that raises a potential to create more work for those tasked with maintaining not only the system, but the equipment of original concern for service life. I strive to design and re-design continually to make the most complete and simplistic solution possible. As with any designer, I attempt to implement wisdom and value the experience from historical concepts in any industry, both successful and failed.
I was recently approached by a machine builder with an application that required custom configuration of standardized components. The lead time was short, there was no history of success (as this was a new design specific to one task), and I felt eager to not only take on the challenge, but pride myself in the outcome. What happened was an eye opener.
My usual clients are in the Food Processing and Food Production industry. With that comes concerns of water ingress, acid resistance, temperature extreme variances, and resilience to welding and frequent plant layout changes. This client had none of those concerns, but they also didn’t have a 3A/2B Stainless Steel budget and had packaging constraints and a limited lead time.
And with that, 3 weeks later we have an elegant, cost-conscious, clean solution that fits the parameters of the client precisely. They won’t suffer from budget solution failures as all the functional items are the same proven designs used in all our previous applications. They simply get the items they need, nothing else, configured specifically for their client with a custom user manual and wiring schematic all within their parameters.
If you are a machine builder, have a one-off, extreme condition or unusual application, please feel free to reach out. The industry we recently served was not even on our radar and you never know what relationship this may develop. It’s always great to have an open mind and a proven set of tools to tackle what life sends your way.