“We’ve found that distributors of hose product also run into customers that require pneumatic connectivity,” he said. “So what we sell is product that connects pneumatic systems to valves and cylinders from the compressor. We have fittings, and quick disconnects, valves and cylinders. The fittings themselves are designed to be universal, so that the fitting can go into any type of thread form that you want it to. Our quick disconnects are designed to be universal in that they can connect to all the different types of plugs that are in a manufacturing environment. What we try to do is we make it easy for the maintenance guy to not have to identify the type of thread or identify the type of plug that they run into.”
Quinn said that they soon discovered that if the hose distributor is selling the fitting, they’re also missing out on the opportunity to connect the actual instrumentation.
“We’re starting to carry that now. We’re focused in on the pneumatic and automation side of things,” he said.
As far as markets, Quinn said they sell into the packaging industry a lot, along with some additional focus areas.
“Any food products, anything you see in a store that has erected boxes and packages that are formed by pneumatic automated systems, we’re involved there. An example is food production, so these are process environments where you’re filling bags of any type—from salt to wood chips. We also get into oil and gas, so there are lots of valves involved with that, and you have to connect those with the pneumatic portion that controls certain things. As you go from the OEM side to the MRO side, any large factory that makes anything has compressed air in it,” he said. “You know, even in medical, they use a lot of our products—there’s dosing systems and other types of small medical devices that use compressed air, compressed nitrogen, all types of compressed gases.”
On the packaging side of things, Quinn said that OEMs are looking for a product that they can easily put into their assembly.
“Either they going to want to aftermarket or they’re going to want their customer to find the product easily. With ISO cylinders, all manufacturers use the same footprint, so they’re interchangeable. An OEM designer or engineer will take that product and say, ‘I’m going to use this type of cylinder in my system to make sure that when my customer buys their machines, and we ship it over to Europe, or they ship it back here to the U.S., they’ll have no problem finding another cylinder or replacement cylinder. They can certainly buy it from me but I may not want that after market,’” he said. “On the flip side, some of the OEMs will come in and say, ‘No, we want a very specialized cylinder. It’s going to be this shape, it’s going to mount right here.’ That locks the customer in.”
Quinn said AIGNEP manufactures both types.
“We’ll do specials, but we will also do the standards as well. For the standards on the MRO side, the maintenance guys are saying, ‘I don’t want to have to worry about the thread type, I just want a fitting that’s going to fit no matter what I get. I want a cylinder that I don’t have to worry about if I buy it from this guy, or this guy, or this guy,’” Quinn said. “It’s all about delivery at that point in service. Most maintenance people don’t worry about price, they worry about: Can I get it today and will it work?”