Had the pleasure of meeting with Richard Bull, Regional Product Marketing Manager–Americas, of Norgren Inc. in our Cleveland offices last week. Bull brought a sample of the company’s new IVAC product; that stands for Integrated Valve and Actuator Control.
IVAC is a new product that takes traditional components and rolls them all into one product. So instead of a valve, cylinder, switches, tubing, etc., you have one simply integrated package. The resulting efficiencies of reducing all the tubing, connector points, etc. is that energy use is cut dramatically—as much as 50%.
Bull said that in engaging with about 150 customers as the product was being developed, each company was asked what their primary concerns were for new products.
“Energy consumption was always in the top 5 of just about everybody,” Bull said.
I found this not all too surprising—but it was interesting to hear that in Bull’s experience, when that question was asked to customers seven to eight years ago, energy wasn’t on most people’s radar. Bull explained that not only is energy a major issue today (because saving money is important), but his customers want to be able to talk about how green they are to their end customers.
The other fascinating thing I came away with is how customers like the washdown version better. It’s a bit more expensive than the industrial version, but it also looks more finished, let’s say more high tech even. Bull has found that a lot of designer feel the washdown version makes their machinery look more high end. And that likely translates into better profit margins.
And who said product design wasn’t important?
Filed Under: Pneumatic Tips