More electricity… More details
So, what’s a relay, or a contactor anyway? And why is there a transformer in that machine’s control box? Oh, and what’s with that “normally open” or “normally closed” stuff? Well those are just some of the basic terms of what goes on behind that stainless electrical panel cover.
First relays, (or as they’re sometimes called, contactors) are simply switches. But they’re switches that’re actuated by electricity versus a toggle that gets flipped. The current “toggling” them is called the “control circuit”. And that transformer’s reducing the incoming 240 (or higher) voltage to provide that lower control circuit current.
Contactors or relays have one or more electromagnets inside that when powered by the control current make one or two sets of contacts close. When they do so line voltage flows across them to a device. A relay can be either normally open – that is its’ contacts are not closed when it’s unpowered. Or it can be a normally closed, meaning that control circuit voltage power must be applied to open its’ contacts.
Relays are part of a more complex system of interconnected devices that are mapped out in a schematic on the inside of that electrical cover panel. Here’s an example of that interconnectivity: A magnetic door safety switch engages when the door is closed. It’s contacts are switching low voltage current that’s part of a circuit that allows control voltage to flow elsewhere (to include the start switch) and eventually to the electromagnetic coil of a “normally open” relay which closes allowing 240-volt current to flow to a wash pump, heater, or other device.
It’s unlikely that most of us will totally understand that schematic, or troubleshoot every electrical gremlin we encounter, but armed with the basics, we have at least a fighting chance of pointing things in the right direction. And maybe avoid disappointing a customer who ends up paying a $200 service call to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker!
Awe and amazement… And reawakening it
Remember way back when you first you saw that concentrated degreaser demo of a 1:5 solution? And how amazed you were when the “demonstrator” poured out most of the solution in that bottle, refilled it with water and then repeated that demo with the same dramatic result? Well, what we tend to forget is that for a lot of our customers and prospects, that same amazement is there waiting for us to stimulate.
But all too often, probably because we see the “wonder” of our products daily we’re a bit jaded over such stuff and tend to simply accept it as an everyday matter – which, of course, it is. But not to everyone – especially to a lot of the buyers we’re hoping to sway.
The point here is that while we accept as absolutely normal that a three tenths of a one percent detergent solution in a wash tank will remove encrusted food soils and greasy residues, it isn’t unimpressive to the uninitiated. And if we present that idea creatively enough it could be downright game changing.
Take the idea of washing a load of overnight lodging linens with just one ounce of a product like Autograph. What if you filled a small bottle with that one once and handed it to a prospective buyer to hold as you explained just how concentrated that product was.
That might just alter the buyers’ perception and maybe awaken that same sense of awe you felt when as an absolute newbie, you watched in dropped jawed amazement as that 1:5 and then 1:25 solution magically removed that nasty buildup from a work counter, or a greasy floor tile.