As a hydraulic swivel (rotary unions) Design Engineer at United Equipment Accessories (UEA), many of my projects begin as an email with an attached Request for Quotation (RFQ) Form filled out by a potential client. Other times it may be an email I receive with details from our Sales Manager with basic specifications for a new swivel listed in it.
Once all requests are reviewed my assignment begins and I start to model the new swivel using all the information I have. As the modeling process continues, occasionally, I may need to contact the client to request additional information. This information may include operating pressure, RPM, port size and/or application of the swivel for mounting requirements.
Typically, because of convenience for the client, requesting this information is usually done via email. In some cases a phone call or two are made until the design is ready to present to the client.
Presentation is completed via email with a detailed approval drawing and a .STEP file of the specified swivel model. The .STEP file is then used by the client to put into their layout design to verify that the swivel is a proper fit in all aspects of their application. As a Design Engineer, my goal is that this swivel fits perfectly the first time. If not, both the engineer and client regroup through more communication until the swivel is a proper fit. When the swivel is approved the approval drawing is signed and dated by the client and returned in an email back and the project continues
At this point, the quoting process begins in which a formal quote is presented to the client.
As time goes on and the client begins to put the new swivels into their prototype or production application, more communication might be exchanged requesting improvement changes until client satisfaction is achieved.
It is quite often that our satisfied clients request additional new designs and this process begins again!
Through all of these communications I hear a voice, but many times wish I could put a face with the person(s) I’ve spent so much time talking with in developing an outstanding product.
I recently had just this opportunity! I began working with a client last year and have been able to become a part of the design process with him on several new swivels. Over this period of time, many emails and phone calls have been made, but I finally had the opportunity to meet him in person a couple weeks ago. This client traveled almost 350 miles to meet personally with the Hydraulic Team here at UEA. He was able to meet with team members who had a part in making his products. Many words of satisfaction and appreciation were spoken for efforts towards improvements as they were given a tour of UEA’s facility. He was able to see how much experience, quality and cleanliness standards are put into each and every swivel produced at UEA. He was given a seal kit replacement demonstration and discussions were held on future forecasts. This visit was appreciated and a great experience – especially considering I got to put a face to his name.