Blind spots and …Overcoming them
Despite the generally correct view on the importance of continuing education, and especially learning to do what you’re not presently great at, sometimes (as Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry said), “Sometimes a man’s gotta know his limitations”.
The fact is some of us will never master a skill that most would regard as an essential in our business. The truth is for most of us there’s at least one spot in our quiver of abilities that’s simply not there and maybe never will be. The good news is that generally we’re able to cope with that weakness by focusing on one of our stronger skill to at least somewhat offset that deficit.
Consider someone like Steve Jobs. He wasn’t at all that technically skilled. But he practically brought Apple back from the dead based on his ability to see how a personal computer should work using icons versus typing in the hard to learn keyboard commands PC’s then required. He didn’t write the code that allowed it, he simply foresaw the idea and then found folks who could.
Maybe in your case understanding electrical schematics will always be a mystery. But you can find someone who does and who can offset your weakness. Regardless of the area, chances are there’s a work around and as enterprising types, we just need to find it.
Size matters…and smaller wins
If you’ve ever seen a video of a water jet CNC cutter at work cleanly cutting through quarter inch thick steel plate, you just saw a fast action example of the same process that can erode rinse jets and even wash pump impellers.
We tend to forget that water has both chemical and mechanical impacts on the metal it contacts. The use of brass, stainless steel and even Ni-Resist alloys in those components’ designs can slow the problem, but they can’t stop it.
Brass may offset the corrosive aspect, but its softness is no match for erosion. And the others, while much better on both accounts, still wear. That fact leads to the need for us to be aware of the problem. One thing that we can do is to invest in a set of wire gauges that can be used to measure the diameter of rinse jet orifices to be sure they’re still close to the factory diameter.
Another idea is to make it a practice to replace those jets every few years and to do so especially when we’re making an installation on a new account. That step alone can have a material impact on results and chemical usage – both of which can go a long way in reminding that new account why they chose to make the switch to us in the first place.
Next up: Eyeballing the problem.