Posted by Matt Register

Aaron Cichon, Salesman for Machine Saver, & Colton Bach, Sales Manager, talk about equipment maintenance and how to reduce operating costs.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Matt Register: Hey, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. We’re down here at George R. Brown. We’re at a turbo show. We’re talking about rotating equipment. I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry, he had something better to do this weekend. We’ll see him again next weekend but we’re holding down the fort this week.

Now, anytime you have rotating equipment there is a need to make sure that it’s operating efficiently, right? Make sure that it’s operating well. Machine Savers, a company that monitors vibration in rotating equipment and making sure that your engineers know when it needs repair, needs replacing. Colton Bach is a sales manager from Machine Saver and Aaron Cichon is a machine reliability specialist. Welcome to the show guys.

Aaron Cichon: Thank you for having us.

Colton Bach: Thanks, Matt. Appreciate it.

Matt Register: Tell me about Machine Saver. What do you do? Who do you do it to?

Aaron Cichon: Machine Saver is a company based out of Houston, Texas. We have been in business for about five years. We work with rotating equipment of all types, specifically for balance and plant equipment, motors, pumps, fans, compressors et cetera. There’s two types of products that we work with, case matted sensors and proximity probes. Our main customer’s oil and gas, petro-chemical, food production, and the like.

Matt Register: Sure so very expensive piece of equipment running, you’re making sure that you get sensor data off of their sensor data streams that can then be analyzed and be able to send an alert to somebody should there be an issue with the equipment. Is that the bottom line now?

Colton Bach: That’s it. Yup.

Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about some of the changes you have coming up because from what I understand we talked briefly during the break, you got a new product coming out in January. Talk to me about what that new product is.

Colton Bach: Yeah, it’s not exactly, it’s a new spin on old technology, right? I always had proximity probes on these larger, 100 mega watts steam turbines, to have a machinery like that, super ultra critical machinery. What we’re doing is we’re putting a digital spin on it. We actually were working with a group at Texas A&M to develop this … Basically, again, a new spin on old technology where we can put in a proximeter that can take in multiple probes so it’s going to cut down on cost there. Usually with probes, you’re going to have, to have a single signal conditioner with each probe and then from there we’re able to also work with various shaft materials with this kind of sensor because back on the backend we can correct for electrical run out, all those kinds of problems you run into when gapping probes. We have a green light that comes on when you gap probes instead of having a digital vault meter on the other end. This also sounds like mumbo jumbo but to people who’ve done it before they’re going, “Wow! That’s amazing. That’s really cool.”

Matt Register: The bottom line is it’s cheaper and it gets more reliable data coming out on the other end, is that accurate?

Colton Bach: Right. You need less pieces so it’s much more per point it’s a lot less expensive solution than the old stuff.

Matt Register: Why in the world would somebody that owned some of this equipment want to spend the time and energy and money to monitor that closely? Is there that much cost savings associated with knowing when things are going down?

Colton Bach: Absolutely. There’s millions of dollars at stake if you had something like that steam turbine go down. You’re not just losing a 10 million dollar machine, but you’re also losing that production time so it’s unbelievably expensive compared to the hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars you spend on vibration monitoring to stop that from happening.

Matt Register: Got it. So this is a growing business for you guys it’s not a-

Colton Bach: Oh, it’s huge, yeah. It’s very niche market but it’s a growing business and more people are starting to take reliability seriously. Maintenance officials are really looking at doing this and having permanent vibration monitoring on all their equipment, large and small, which is where we got our start on the smaller equipment for case matted sensors.

Matt Register: Now talk to me about the software side of it because not only are you guys getting the data streams right out of the sensor but somebody’s got to make sense of this, right? Talk to be a little bit about software side.

Aaron Cichon: For both of our case matted sensors and our proximity probes that information is fed into what we call our web portal. It’s an online virtual server that customers can log into using any internet connected device, phone, PC, tablet, what have you. From that log in they can see their time wave form, their spectrum, their trend, “The trend is your friend”, as they say. You can see how that machine has been operating over time. From there, we have analysts that can help make sense and turn heads from tails from what’s going on with that equipment.

What’s valuable about having remote monitoring is that your customers, our customers, can have information being fed to that machine from anywhere in the world and our analyst can see from Houston, Texas exactly what’s going on. A lot of time saved from having to get on a plane, having to fly there or from driving there and we can also have those remote alarms fed to our analysts and have that information there so they can know even before perhaps those vendors know what’s going on that we can have that pinpointed.

Matt Register: You can expect the phone call right? Because you know what’s going on.

Aaron Cichon: Right.

Matt Register: Wonderful well Aaron, what’s the easiest way for somebody to learn more should they want to learn more about this?

Aaron Cichon: Machinesaver.com we have a introductory video and we also have a lot of valuable information on machinesaver.com. We can go there and learn more information about us.

Matt Register: All right, Colton Bach, Sales Manager for Machine Saver and Aaron Cichon Salesman Extraordinaire for Machine Saver. Thank you so much for joining us. We are out of time. We got to go take a break and pay some bills. We’ll be back with a whole lot more from the 46th Turbomachinery and 33rd Pump Symposium down here at the George R. Brown. We’ll be back.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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