Distributors sometimes complain that they lost a sale because the customer opted for a low-cost cabinet, one with a low capacity reclaimer and dust bag. The frequent refrain --- “They aren’t comparing apples to apples.”
Customers who buy the first cabinet that fits their part, soon get a crash course in reclaimer efficiency. Diligent Distributors know they need to be nearby when the cheap cabinet falls short of the customer’s expectations.
A small, poorly designed reclaimer wastes media and pumps dust back into the enclosure. The blast operator can’t see to blast and has to wait several minutes for the dust to clear before opening the door to examine parts for cleanliness.
The dust load may overwhelm a too-small dust collector. The filter elements become clogged, and reclaimer efficiency decreases. Again the cabinet fills with dust.
Help your customer select a blast system that suits the application. It goes far beyond making sure the part fits into the cabinet. (OK, that’s pretty important, too!)
Before you respond to a quote request, do a little homework. Ask your customer for several sample parts in the same condition as they will arrive at the blast cabinet. Make sure you know what the customer expects from the cabinet. Should the parts come out perfectly clean, with a specific surface texture? Do they just need to knock off the rust?
Ask the question – How important is the production rate? Depending on labor costs and other variables, some companies will trade high production for low initial cost.
Be prepared to experiment with media, mesh size, nozzles, pressures, and other variables. If you expect a heavy dust load, clean the dust collector and reclaimer, then measure the dust collected during your tests. This will help your customer estimate disposal costs.
Maintain good records of your sample processing. This saves time and reduces guesswork for future proposals.
Invite your customer to send someone to observe the tests. Let him or her see what you are doing, and be forthright explaining why you are doing it. This person will become your ally inside your customer’s organization and can help sell your proposal to others in the decision-making loop.
Make your recommendation, and include the test results. If the customer needs a 1200 cfm rubber-lined reclaimer and a reverse-pulse cartridge dust collector, the higher price tag is much easier to swallow within the context of a well-written proposal. Including this data will make your competitors’ proposals look suspect by comparison.
If you think your customer has an interest in the lowest cost cabinet available, hedge your bet by including two tiers within your proposal. Explain the features and benefits for both levels – the recommended system to meet the application and desired production rate, then the basic cabinet with bare minimum reclaimer/dust collector for low production.
Armed with more than just a price, your customer can compare apples to apples, so they don’t get stuck with a lemon.
© Clemco Industries Corp.