It’s been a manic month for Optimum with plenty of new clients arriving. Our main focus between September and November has been dry ice blasting rotor and stator windings for a major blue chip company who are involved in the energy and utility sectors (no companies mentioned here, I have business paranoia!)
The job went better than expected, both for us and the customer, and finished well within the timescale set. The customer led me to believe that previous contractors failed to remove 100% of the contaminant. At the time we weren’t sure how this could be possible, as our machines made easy work of removal at only 10 bar of pressure with a splitter disc in the ice flow.
Then we discovered why the previous company struggled. They were using plant air rather than their own compressors. We hooked on to the plant air just to see what pressure we would get. 4 bar was the maximum. We then showed the customer the results when trying to blast with 4 bar and he soon realised why previous results weren’t satisfactory. I could have done a better job using a hairdryer! In fact he informed us that if our process wasn’t any better than the last contractor, the customer was considering sending the stator over to France to use a specialist stator/rotor cleaning company.
It is quite unbelievable that for a year (and 6 stator cleans) that the incumbent contractor was ready to accept that their results were passable. I can only presume that they had under-priced on the contract and didn’t factor in compressor diesel usage, therefore using plant air to try and save a few pennies!
This is another example of shoddy work practice by a single contractor condemning the whole industry and I’m sure it won’t be the last time we here of such mistakes.
But on a positive note, Optimum have now gained another vital contract due to another company’s bad workmanship. Keep messing up folks, we will be glad to step in!
By Ian Reynolds