Jeff Fenner with Fusion Inc talks industrial services and how their services aid the compressor industry in Houston.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Texasbusinessradio.com is the website down here at the George R. Brown Convention Center, at the 46th Turbomachinery and 33rd Pump Symposia. This show is brought to you by the Turbo Lab at Texas A&M University. We’re talking about rotating equipment of all types and flavors here this weekend. I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry had something better to do this weekend. We’ll catch up with him next weekend. In the meantime, get your calls in, 844-814-8144 is our 24-hour call-in line. Call in now, call in in the middle of the night. Whenever you get your calls in, we’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. We also monitor #TBR on Twitter, or you go to the website and get your questions in that way. We’re talking to some interesting products and services here at the show. One of which is a grinding and coatings company out of Houston called Fusion, Inc.. Jeff Fenner is a outside salesman, customer service rep for them. Jeff, welcome to the show.
Jeff Fenner: Thank you. Appreciate being invited on.
Matt Register: Fusion, Inc., what do you do? Who do you do it to?
Jeff Fenner: Well, primarily we are an industrial coating and grinding company that repairs rotating or reciprocating components, primarily for, say the chemical plants, refineries, wind generation, coal generation, such as NRG.
Matt Register: Now, these are big parts, right? Talk to me about some of the sizes?
Jeff Fenner: Correct. They can be small plungers from a small compressor unit, it could be small impellers, the borers, they get wore out when they’re right on the pump shaft. The pump shaft itself can get wore out, damaged. That’s where the service companies or even the end users can bring their components back to us, and we will undercut the damaged area, put a coating on, finish grind it, hone it, and so on and so forth. They can get the components back to them, get them back in the unit, and get it back to whoever their customer is.
Matt Register: Sure. Get them back in service and get working, right?
Jeff Fenner: Correct. It could be gearbox as well, large or small pinion gears or bull gears, anything that rotates on a bearing or has a seal fit, the probes. They have probes for vibration. We grind [inaudible 00:02:36] all those.
Matt Register: Now, talk to me about some of the coatings you guys do. What are some of the different flavors of coatings you guys apply?
Jeff Fenner: Primarily we are HVOF, which stands for High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel. Essentially, it’s a powder coating. You have a carrier gas [inaudible 00:02:55] the gun, fires it out on to the part, builds a mechanical bond.
Matt Register: Now, why would you put that coating on a part? What does that, the coating supposed to achieve?
Jeff Fenner: It extends the life of the life and/or the bearing. Because you’ve got situations where a bearing might fail and they’ll damage that. If it’s on a base metal, it’s not going to last as long. You can extend your preventive maintenance periods by having the coating on it. Because the coating can act as a wear resistance for that.
Matt Register: Got it.
Jeff Fenner: You can get a better finish on the coating than you can on the base metal.
Matt Register: Okay. Interesting. The coatings are for wear resistance. What other reasons would you put coatings on a part?
Jeff Fenner: Corrosion resistance, erosion resistance, internal pumps. A lot of times they have cavitation, and you’ll have areas that wear out prematurely. We can come in and put a coating on, and do a coat only, build it up a 10, 12,000 thickness. That will buy time by extending the life of the internal components. Whether that’s the volutes, or housing, or the impeller.
Matt Register: Well, I know one thing for sure, if you go by your booth and see that video of your coatings booth, I want one. You have an awesome coatings booth, robotic controlled coatings booth that you apply these coatings into. Talk to us a little bit about some of the capabilities there.
Jeff Fenner: We get a lot of positive comments on that. People stand there and stare at it. They might not even be from the industry, don’t know what it is, but they just stare at it.
Matt Register: They don’t know what it is, but it looks cool, right?
Jeff Fenner: Yeah. It could be found on our website as well. Essentially, what that is doing is last year, we built our largest coating booth to date. It’s 51 feet long, by 16 feet, by 13 feet.
Matt Register: You need big parts from these things.
Jeff Fenner: We do big parts. We also do small plungers. We can do very small parts, and sometimes it comes down to just coat only and very small parts for the pipe testing industry.
Matt Register: Interesting. Now, what you guys are probably best known for though, is that quick turnaround.
Jeff Fenner: Correct. It is one way that Fusion has built its name and reputation over the last 30, 40 years, for something being turned around in … If you have a line shut down at a plant, it can be a million dollars a day.
Matt Register: I got it. Being able to get that part turned around, turned around fast, get it back into-
Jeff Fenner: Get it be … Correct.
Matt Register: That’s right. That certainly has value, and that’s not something that every other shop has the ability to do, right?
Jeff Fenner: Yeah. There’s a lot of good shops out there, no doubt about it. We tend to go the extra mile when it comes to getting you a quote back very quickly. That’s where we shine. Then also our reputation is quick turn and doing a quality product.
Matt Register: Good. Well, interesting, yeah. They’re here at the show, Jeff Fenner, customer service and outside sales for Fusion Inc.. Their website is fusionhouston.com. We’re going to have that linked right there from texasbusinessradio.com, if you’re driving and can’t take notes. Jeff, thank you very much for joining us.
Jeff Fenner: Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity.
Matt Register: Unfortunately, we’re out of time. We’ve got to go pay some bills. We’ve got to go to a quick break. We’ll be back right after this, with a whole lot more from the 46th Turbomachinery and 33rd Pump Symposia, down at the George R. Brown. We’ll be back right after this.
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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.