How to Be Positive that Your Compressor Parts are Reliable
After carefully choosing the components you wish to use, finding a product which is as good as the promises surrounding it can be a challenging process.
The quality of each specific part, for example a valve part, is essential to the functionality of the entire system in a processing plant and often they’re the most intensely stressed part of any system. Considering their holistic importance, their reliability is a key concern which your businesses profit margins can hinge upon, therefore, choosing your supplier is a critical stage in the running of a successful business.
To ensure you acquire compressor parts that can be trusted for their durability and performance, there are several fundamental checks that can be made on potential suppliers. This will safeguard against investing in sub-standard parts.
Sourcing Quality Raw Materials
It is impossible to produce premium compressor parts from anything less than the highest grade of raw materials. Not only should a manufacturer claim to use high-grade materials in the manufacturing stages, they should also authenticate this via certifications of conformance.
Another way in which part manufacturers can ensure their materials are of the highest standards, is by producing them in-house. While the raw materials will still need to be confirmed through traceability documentation, the processing of the material into a workable state can be done on site. By performing the injection molding themselves and removing a third-party company from the manufacturing process, a supplier will also remove any doubt that the base material is stress-free before, the parts are shaped and finished into reliable components.
Equipment and Expertise
While new material compositions and improvements in product design have had a positive effect on the quality and reliability of valve parts, the equipment used to create these components has seen the biggest advancements in recent years. New techniques and tools have slowly evolved to replace more traditional methods, with precision cutting from computer-aided machines and laser cutting technologies now widely in use.
3D printing is also becoming a more viable option for manufacturers. One of the most exciting aspects of this new technology is its ability to produce new and specific types of materials that can potentially offer huge advantages to all sectors of the manufacturing industry. Coupled with their ability to work in finite detail and on varying scales, 3D printing appears to be leading the way into the future.
Without control, these new tools are rendered worthless and it’s for this reason that the expertise of their engineers underpins a companies true quality. Choosing the correct techniques to employ and providing attention to detail in the production stages is critical to forming durable and reliable components, however, this can be a hard factor for a customer to judge when looking from outside of the business. Accordingly, the quality control measures put in place by the manufacturer becomes an increasingly important consideration.
Testing and Quality Control
Even using the most modern equipment and production techniques coupled with the use of premium materials, a manufacturer can still produce defective parts for a multitude of different reasons. To ensure that these sub-par parts are not then sold to a customer, a rigid quality control system needs to be put in place to carefully assess and monitor their stock.
There are various methods of testing that can be employed by a compressor parts manufacturer, but whether they carry out sample or batch testing, the tests themselves need to be rigorous. There’s also many specific methods of evaluation including destructive and nondestructive type testing, however, a thorough system will be comprised of numerous tests carried out at various separate stages of manufacture and covering a range of different performance characteristics of the components.
While a membership within a recognized association such as the VMA (Valve Manufacturers Association) is a good starting point, there are various other indicators which can be used to judge if a supplier thoroughly tests their products, and as such, is capable of consistently delivering reliable compressor parts. An ISO certification is another marker to prove that a manufacturer adheres to accepted industry standards, but in general, an important aspect to note is how far above the required specifications the parts are tested.
The Importance of Good Customer Service
A more subtle indication of a company producing high-quality goods can be seen through their customer service department. Not only does this provide a component manufacturer with a respectable, customer-facing image, it also acts as an additional early-warning system to detect any problems with regards to product quality and provides a bridge to the customer to communicate this if necessary.
On a more basic level, some suppliers offer financial incentives towards the assurance of product quality, such as refunding and replacing any faulty components. While this may be viewed as a token gesture after a major failing, it could also be seen as the company expressing a strong belief that the products they sell are entirely fit for purpose.
Arguably the most important role of a customer service department to prospective customers is the transparency they provide with regards to company processes. From documentation relating to the traceability of raw materials being used, to information on the standards, tolerances, and margin of error that they work towards, the customer services department should offer a clear insight into how they operate to help judge their suitability as a business partner.
Build a Good Relationship with Your Compressor Parts Supplier
Once you’ve found a reliable source to purchase your compressor parts from, it’s good practice to strengthen this business relationship for a number of reasons.
By building a good rapport with your supplier(s) you will not only increase the chance of receiving a more competitive quote on future purchases, but will also form a clear and open line of communication. This will help to avoid any issues that can arise from misunderstandings of either your needs or the products and services provided.
Furthermore, a good supplier is also an additional source of expert opinion within your industry. Having a strong bond with an expert who knows your business can help guide you towards innovations and more efficient solutions, while their practical experiences at dealing with a range of businesses on a daily business make this knowledge even more important.
Ultimately, all of this is invaluable to preventing any potential problems which will impact your businesses productivity or maintenance scheduling. The trick, however, is finding the good supplier to begin with.
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