Van Air Systems is for many people in the compressed air and gas industry a go-to source of technical knowledge and application expertise. Certainly the age of our company plays a part in this. Next year will be our 70th anniversary, and we have many employees with 15, 20, 30 and even 40+ years of industry experience. And yet I believe there’s more to it. We field phone calls and emails all day long, addressing every imaginable aspect of compressed air and gas drying. It’s not uncommon to get a call seeking troubleshooting advice for a competitor’s dryer. Why? It’s because we have a well-trained staff of technical people who’re willing and able to answer any imaginable question about compressed air treatment.
Historically product and application training has been very strong at Van Air Systems, both for our own employees, and for distributor sales people and end-users. I spent my first few weeks at Van Air Systems pretty much locked in a room with our then product trainer. He meticulously taught me the ins and outs of dew point, air dryers, the relationship between compressed air temperature and moisture loading, filtration, etc. For years we held quarterly product training seminars, focusing mostly on training distributor sales people, at our head office in Lake City, Pennsylvania. During the recession attendance at these sessions unfortunately but predictably collapsed, as our distributors cut travel budgets. We paused on-site training sessions and replaced them with online and video trainings. But now we are in the early phases of building a brand new, state-of-the art compressed air and gas treatment training center. When that’s completed – hopefully later this year – we’ll resume our hands-on training sessions. Please stay tuned for more information.
In many ways, how we learn today is quite different from back in the day. The advent of web-based learning through videos and webinars makes learning easier on the wallet and eliminates the need to travel. Yet I will always prefer direct experiential learning. There’s no better way to understand a dryer application than to get your hands dirty while touching and operating an actual piece of equipment.
Rock solid application understanding is invaluable to a distributor’s sales people. A sales person is not only expected to know product features but also how the application of a product may (or may not) solve a particular problem. Can a deliquescent type dryer really be used to solve a water problem in a landfill gas application? Does it matter that the operating pressure may be only a few inches of water column? How does a high compressed air temperature affect the performance of a heatless regenerative dryer? Or what would be the dew point performance of our 10BF desiccant in an instrument gas application? Why can a D2 dryer operate outdoors in sub-freezing ambient temperatures? Having the technical knowledge to answer these types of questions gives end-customers confidence and the feeling of being supported.
Technical knowledge also opens new sales opportunities. Take the example of our deliquescent drying technology. This technology has evolved into a modest but important niche product in the overall air and gas drying market, with key uses in portable abrasive blasting, natural gas dehydration, and harsh environment air drying applications. Understanding the technical nuances of these markets and applications is essential. Selling into these markets isn’t like dropping a small refrigerated dryer into a shop air system. It takes some care and application expertise.
We’re glad to be a technical resource for you. No matter who you are. We’re happy to speak with you about solving air and gas drying challenges. It’s what we do.
I suggest spending some time reviewing our numerous product instruction or webinar videos posted on our website. The topics range from the general principles of compressed air treatment to covering the product features and benefits of our core products such as deliquescent dryers, deliquescent desiccants, portable drying equipment, filters, drain valves, etc. Also featured are discussions on natural gas dehydration and new growth markets. Or better yet, register for Van Air Systems next webinar scheduled for June 24th at 11:00 discussing heatless regenerative dryers.