Air Conditioning Parts
Michael Milazzo, CEO of Simon-Aire, considers working with a metal-parts supplier such as DureX, which initiates suggestions, highly unusual.
“I’ve worked with many sheetmetal fabricators over the years and they often are silent (when it comes to making suggestions),” says Milazzo. “They just keep moving forward without stopping to say, ‘listen, if you do this, you can save yourself 12 passes,’ or ‘the weight of the sheetmetal is too heavy, but if you use a lower gauge, you can reduce your costs.’“
Simon-Aire Inc. manufactures packaged terminal air conditioners, self-contained HVAC systems commonly found in hotels, senior housing facilities, hospitals, dormitories and apartment buildings. The company also supplies parts and accessories, including replacement chassis, hydronic heat assemblies, louvers, wall sleeves, room enclosures and control components. For these products, Simon-Aire requires a variety of metal parts and components from DureX.
“I’ll get a phone call from DureX saying ‘have you thought about this?’” says Milazzo. “That’s a good phone call to get. I’m not billed for that, and it doesn’t make DureX more money. It’s just part of the relationship.”
Milazzo adds that his company benefits greatly from working with a parts manufacturer with experience across the metalworking spectrum. “I get to pick DureX’s brains on every little ‘what if’ that I’ve been considering,” he says. “The company can pull from their experience with a customer that makes rifle components, and one that makes a hot dog cooker, and another that makes a sign for a donut chain, to arrive at a technology that I can use in my air-conditioning business.”
That happened recently when Milazzo pursued a project with DureX that helped him reduce the amount of warehouse space required for a volume of large, bulky products in inventory.
“Many of our sheetmetal components are basically boxes, so they take up a lot of dead air space,” explains Milazzo. “If you have hundreds of them, that means a lot of money to store them.”
DureX developed a knockdown box that could be stored flat until final finishing and assembly, allowing 50 or 60 components to be stored in the same space that normally fit about 12.
“That saves a lot of space, which in a warehouse translates into money,” says Milazzo, adding that it also provides him with a competitive edge over his much larger competitors.
Milazzo stresses the importance of having a good, collaborative relationship with metal-parts supplier such as DureX. “The cooperation that exists between our company, our engineering, our research and development and DureX’s inhouse engineers is very good,” he says. “I’ve come to depend upon the company as if they existed under my roof.” MF
Information for this article was supplied by DureX, Inc., Union, NJ; 908/688-0800, www.durexinc.com.
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