A distributor gets to know the ins and outs of a product like no one else. And if a certain distributor has previous experiences with other brands, who better to ask about the specific features and advantages of a product?
At Midpoint Bearing, Dan Vest is a distributor for TM Induction Heating equipment. He has been doing the job for ten years now, so he knows his way around the challenges his customers face. Midpoint Bearing is a bearing supplier which also sells mounting and assembling equipment. And, as we shall learn in the interview, a front-runner in the technical field. Asked about customers who stand out: “We supply the US electric motor repair market directly. These customers are more interested in service than low prices. This is why they choose/have chosen TM equipment.”
“Some of our customers’ equipment has been going strong/running faultlessly for over 15 years. That is what counts in the end. Right from the start, my experience with the equipment has been excellent. Rick Trichka is our US contact, he takes care of training, service demands and technical questions. It is not the type of equipment which moves fast – we maybe sell around a dozen units a year. But even then, near zero issues is really pleasant.”
We ask Dan if there is any project that stands out at the moment. He straightens up enthusiastically in his chair and starts to tell us about the up-tower heaters. “This is a new application for wind turbines.” The smile on his face broadens as he recalls the story. “In recent years, wind turbine techniques have developed so quickly that it is now possible to change a bearing up-tower. We sent one of our heaters to a company in Oklahoma which had issues with other equipment.
They took a 120 volt unit up the tower for testing. It was a custom-built unit, and after testing, they refused to give it back to us! I am telling you, this is a true story!” The customer was apparently so pleased with the unit that they have now decided to order units for all their up-tower teams. “In my opinion, this is a real tribute to the quality of the equipment.”
“If we have a customer with a demand or technical question that we are unable to answer, Rick Trichka is always at the ready to help out. He calls the customer and makes sure no question is left unanswered and no stone unturned in the search for solutions. We find the market being disrupted by people selling through the internet, without any service or back-up, but our support sets us apart for those who value it. And I can assure you, more and more customers do so. They see that support is priceless. Furthermore, the TM units are very easy to operate and to program so they can be integrated into automated production lines. You can use either a time setting or a temperature probe, so operation of the units is really flexible.”
“The adjustment of the flatness of the yoke provides no problem either. After many hours of use, it maybe necessary to do this. All that is necessary to deal with this is an adjustment of the alignment screws, and the yoke is flat. It is a very sturdy unit, and the service is excellent. Both Rick and the rest of the Dutch team respond either on the same day or the day after whenever we have any questions.”
Does he see other markets developing, we ask. “The electric motor repair shops are the up and coming businesses. We have a trade association convention coming up and we expect a very busy show for us there.”
Find out more about Midpoint Bearing on their website: midpointbearing.com