Free Feeders

modern feeder bowl1FREE FEEDERS, REALLY? We all know NOTHING is free these days…really free that is. There is always a catch or small print that contains the minute details of what something will really cost you. Well, the next few paragraphs aren’t going to cost you anything. And the advice just might help you save your company hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and potential headaches well into the future.

In today’s competitive manufacturing world, it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting your money’s worth when you award that feeder bowl P.O. It is equally important to feel comfortable that you are purchasing important high dollar items from a trusted and reliable company; one that will remain in business long after the warranty runs out.

Because times are demanding and a few bowl feeder companies continue to struggle financially, below is a short list of items to consider including in your next feeder bowl RFQ. They are just as important as part drawings and feed rate specifications.

How long has the company been in business?
If they have recently started up, say within the last two or three years, chances are the recent and swift downturn in the economy has hit their small business very hard. A small start-up company is extremely vulnerable to financial problems, causing them to possibly cut corners when filling orders in an effort to get their invoice paid more quickly.

How is their financial credit-worthiness?
Even though this is a very sensitive issue, it is an important one. If you grant a financially irresponsible company the PO and are required to put money down, they will cash that check quickly so they can pay past due bills to suppliers. Then they will sit on your job until they have enough credit to purchase the material they need for your project; in turn delaying your target date. If something drastic happens causing them to become insolvent, you’ve lost your deposit and have nothing to show for it, except for maybe a half-built feeder bowl. (And that is only if you are able to get to your feeder bowl before the bank confiscates it.)

Are the company principals honest and well-respected in the manufacturing industry?
As you well know, a company’s principals are the company’s backbone. If they are dishonest, having difficulty sustaining a positive influence and reputation in the industry, or if their personal financial condition is suffering due to bankruptcy or other difficulties; news story after news story in the papers today supports the fact that their desperation can directly affect the financial stability of the company they lead. It is extremely important that the leaders of any organization be financially fit on a personal level and not be involved in personal litigation that could directly impact the financial health of the company they represent.

Do they have an adequate number of service staff readily available for unforeseen warranty calls so your production is not negatively impacted?
Small start-up companies generally have a limited staff and only a small number of employees who can travel at the drop of a hat to take care of your service needs. They may be so concerned about filling the next order because they need the money, that unpaid on-site warranty work can be significantly delayed. Make sure they have adequate staff to back up their work so you do not experience production downtime.

Is their incoming business stable?
Do they have enough work coming in to keep their staff focused on doing the best machining and bowl building possible? If their business is not stable and work merely trickles in, employees may have low morale and not do the quality work you have come to expect and that your investment certainly calls for.

Do they have an inventory of used feeder systems available for refurbishing if your budget calls for cost-saving options?
Sometimes used parts handling systems can be refurbished and provide equally satisfying results, just like you would receive with a new system. If a company has only been in business for a short time, they probably don’t have an inventory of equipment to choose from to try to help you save some money. Look like a hero and see if a company has compatible used feeder bowls readily available for re-tooling to meet your needs. In some cases you could save upwards of 50% by purchasing this way.

These are just a few samples of things that need to be considered when selecting your feeder bowl manufacturer. The manufacturing industry has really turned around over the last few years. However, it is still important to remember the adverse effect that the economic downturn that occurred just a few years ago has left on many feeder bowl companies. Keep these ideas in mind and talk them through with your sales person before you award that next P.O. Or in an effort to further protect your investment, do some research on the company and its principals to make sure they are honest, stable and financially responsible.

If you need a quote for your project and want to work with a reliable and stable Feeder Bowl Manufacturer, Contact Service Engineering today.