Thoughtful Manufacturing

Recently we have been doing training in front of large groups of end users and mechanical contractors. During the training we refer to applications, objectives, troubleshooting, and possible preventative maintenance concerns. As a manufacturer's representative it is always satisfying when you see the technician's eye's light up when you present a solution or a product that will eliminate pain points on their job and for the customer. The solutions can be as easy as the proper tool, a different technique or the subject of today's blog "Thoughtful Manufacturing".

In our last presentation we brought in several professionals to explain different facets of the installation, equipment and the required maintenance necessary to ensure a long lasting successful project for the customer. As we worked through the presentation it became obvious that any product that takes the time to consider the installer instead of just the bottom line is going to be miles ahead of its competition. An example of this is Grundfos Pumps. Grundfos is one of the world's largest sellers and manufacturers of pumps in the world. The Grundfos Corporate structure is such that a percentage of the total sales goes directly to research and design every year. Not just .0000001 percent but a substantial percentage (4% min).

That is an extremely large resource to put into "Thoughtful Manufacturing". There are almost too many innovations every year to mention from Grundfos and these innovations have been years in the making before the market ever sees them. Yet every year Grundfos gives the market innovations such as new controls, more efficient pumps, new products, refined features on existing products and its simply amazing.


Cougar USA in Houston Texas is another example of a company that has taken the time to listen to their customers, take knowledge from field experience, and innovation to manufacture a superior electrical panel for the commercial and industrial pumping market. If you look across the country you can find panel shops and manufacturer's that simply put components in enclosures with the bottom line in mind, after-all, most of the components in panels are supplied by similar manufacturers. 

The difference in a Cougar panel is the thought process behind the panel which is what led us to find it "blog worthy". Nema 4X enclosures are standard on most of the panel offering which offers a level of protection to the customer greater than Nema 1,3, 3R. The 4X panel enclosure protects against dust, rain, and sun while offering the 4X rating. Inside the panel you will find simple "Thoughtful Manufacturing" such as DIN Rails mounted at an angle to make it easier to see and make connections, ALL Terminals and Connections are labeled, ALL WIRES are labeled, Special Material Labels (not paper) are inside the panel and under most conditions will last the life of the panel, the serial number is inside that panel and is for a specific unit and is not a generic series number, and extra fuses standard because things happen on the job-site. 



Cougar USA Control Panels are clearly thought out with the installer-technician in mind! Even with all of the great features in the panel my favorite is the QR CODE on the inside of the door. With any Downloadable QR Reader you can access the QR Code on the inside front door of the panel and in an instant get the wiring diagram, sequence of operations, and drawing. 

Try it Now

cougar qr code

Pretty Simple but what a difference this would make on the job site.

"Thoughtful Manufacturing" should be present throughout the entire process. Grundfos considers every part of the manufacturing process from using renewable materials to perfecting the shipping containers to maximize product protection and minimize damage. The Magna3 circulator ships with a foam volute surround that protects the pump during shipping and then can be used as insulation when it is installed. This reduces the amount of insulation needed on the job and keeps the shipping packaging out of the landfill..brilliant.

Cougar Sales of Houston hired shipping consultant to design packaging for their panels on the exterior and inside of the panel. The extra packaging has all but eliminated any loose wires caused by vibration during transportation thus eliminating any call backs or warranties. Alfa Laval, a heat exchanger company, has developed special adjusting nuts with small ball bearings so they will be easy to remove when the plates need to be cleaned. Within the industry progressive manufacturer's are taking a cradle to grave ownership mentality to ensure the best customer experience.

Thank you to everyone who attended our classes this week. If you have any questions or want to contact me directly feel free. Also, All comments are welcome.

All the best,

Devin Carle

Hurley Engineering