Selling to the “Middle Man” vs. “End User”

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2013 in UEA Blog

Recently I was sent on a service call to a company having some slip ring issues. This company was not a UEA customer but the end user of our product. Relationships like this tend to be more problematic due to the lack of information being passed on from our customer to the end user. Since the product is specified and ordered by the original customer, all of the specifications, maintenance, mounting and installation are communicated between UEA and this customer. In some cases this information does not get passed on to the end user.

In this particular application, there were a few problems due to a lack of communication. First of all, the ring was mounted incorrectly, causing the slip ring to bind. This put a lot of added stress on the bearing, as well as causing the brushes to ride incorrectly on the ring. Secondly, the ring had required a few of the brushes to be replaced at some point. The end user did not receive correct information on what brushes needed to go on what rings. In this case, 2 silver graphite brushes were needed for the data circuits. They were replaced with copper graphite brushes causing an increase in resistance and failures. Lastly, the rings were being cleaned improperly and at the wrong intervals.

All of the issues this company had been experiencing could have been avoided if the information would have been forwarded properly. In the end, I was able to fix the issues and give the customer a better understanding of slip rings in general. My hope is this will help them avoid similar issues in the future. Please don't hesitate to contact UEA if you are experiencing problems in the field. It might be due simply to a lack of communication.

Jesse Shearer

Design Engineer