in Vol. 7 - January Issue - Year 2006
A Global Innovator For Over 100 Years!
Randy Hudson, President and CEO of Pangborn
Pangborn Corporation offers a variety of new equipment designs. Shown above are, clockwise from the left, 1.) a large continuous barrel machine 2.) a pass through and 3.) a spinner hanger design.
Looking at the peening and blasting industry, Pangborn® Corporation is certainly one of the world's best known brands and established their good reputation during the whole of the last century. MFN always wanted to interview a member of the board of this company. Randy Hudson, President and CEO of Pangborn® Corporation took some time out of his busy schedule to answer MFN's questions.
(?) MFN: Can you please tell us some of Pangborn’s history?
(!) R. H.: The Pangborn® Corporation was founded in 1904 when Thomas W. Pangborn developed the process known as sandblasting which combines compressed air and sand to clean metal by particle impact. This later evolved into wheelblasting or shotblasting. Pangborn became a pioneer in the use of labor saving abrasives for cleaning the surfaces of metals. Today, Pangborn® is one of the most widely recognized brand names in shotblasting and surface preparation equipment, and the Pangborn® name is synonymous with shotblasting. Over the past 100 years, Pangborn® has developed and nurtured relationships with a diverse number of customers throughout the world.
(?) MFN: What are the primary markets for Pangborn products?
Pangborn® is a full service company that currently markets its products: blast cleaning and peening equipment, integrated surface preparation systems, associated replacement parts, and service programs throughout the world to industries that prepare the surfaces of metal and other products. The primary markets for Pangborn’s products are manufacturing companies including foundries, primary metals manufacturers, automotive related manufacturers, aerospace, machinery manufacturers and general metalworking.
Principal applications for these industries are scale removal and surface preparation for the application of coatings, blasting for subsequent operations, cleaning castings, and peening of parts such as gears, springs, and aircraft parts.
(?) MFN: Can you explain what you mean by full service company?
(!) R. H.: Pangborn® has numerous ways in which we can apply our engineering technology and focus on quality and support to assist our customers to meet their goals. In order to respond to our customers’ needs, our business has been divided into several business segments. They are:
New Equipment - New equipment sales are composed of multiple designs of machines. Pangborn® supplies machines that do batch work such as barrels, tables, and hook type machines. Also, we have pass through machines utilizing a variety of conveying devices like wire mesh belts, rollers, monorails, work cars, etc. to maximize production efficiencies. Our blast equipment utilizes compressed air or a motorized wheel (Rotoblast® wheel) to propel steel shot or grit for deburring, descaling, peening or removing sand to prepare metal products for further processing. The Company’s primary focus is in the application of motorized wheel blast equipment where, because of the greater velocity achieved in hurling abrasives, wheel blast equipment yields higher levels of productivity. Pangborn® also offers a complete line of airblast systems. If requested, the Company can act as an integrator and plan manufacturing processes located before and after the blast machine. Pangborn® also supplies a line of dust collectors that complement the operation of blast machines.
Replacement Parts - Because our equipment is critical to revenue generation by our customers, we work with our customers to predict when replacement parts will be necessary and to have them available when and where needed. We have designed our parts to be wear resistant and to be installed with minimal effort by our customers or by one of our service technicians. Again, the focus is to minimize downtime so that our customers can maximize their production and revenue generation by utilizing our equipment.
Rebuilds - A quality rebuild of a Pangborn® machine offers a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new machinery, allowing our customers to maximize the life of their current installation while maintaining optimum productivity. This also allows our customers to take advantage of new products and enhancements that have been developed in Pangborn’s R&D department.
Retrofits - Pangborn’s retrofit process provides improvements in customer production time and operating costs by applying every appropriate innovation to competitors’ equipment in order to improve operating efficiency and reducing or simplifying maintenance. A prime example is replacing a competitor’s wheel with our new Rim-Loc™ wheel. We believe that the Rim-Loc™ configuration provides the ideal combination of high reliability and the shortest time to replace wear parts in the industry.
Services – Pangborn® offers preventive maintenance, rebuild, retrofit, installation and inspection services of blast equipment. Our service engineers coupled with authorized mechanical contractors provide the many services users of blast machines require. Pangborn® also offers extensive training services to customers’ machine operators and maintenance personnel.
(?) MFN: What are the major industries served by Pangborn® Corporation?
(!) R. H.: Pangborn® serves the following industries around the world:
Cleaning engine blocks, heads, manifolds, brake drums, axles, gears and peening wheels for primary manufacturers of automotive parts.
Cleaning sand from metal castings and the reclamation of foundry sand.
Descaling billets, rods, plates and structural steel.
Cleaning pipe valves and fittings, and engine blocks.
Cleaning anode bars and blocks; deflashing die castings.
Shot peening and peen forming parts.
Descaling and cleaning fabricated components.
Buildings and Infrastructure
Descaling beams, rods, and pipe.
(?) MFN: You previously mentioned Pangborn’s global scope. Can you tell us how Pangborn® markets its products?
(!) R. H.: While our recent focus has been on North America, we have always maintained an active position in Europe and other parts of the world through our subsidiary, Pangborn UK, located in Chester, England and through our network of reps throughout Europe and the rest of the world. In the past year, we have increased our focus on customers located outside of North America and we have been delighted to see the way in which our increased sales and marketing efforts have been rewarded.
(?) MFN: It is a fact that technology and applications engineering advancements have always played an important role at Pangborn®. Can you tell us more?
(!) R. H.: For years, Pangborn® has been known for its engineering expertise and innovation. Throughout the years, Pangborn® has collaborated with numerous customers who have brought projects to us that were very complex and required unique solutions. Issues such as how a component enters the blast stream, determination of the optimum blast stream, production output, and exiting the blast stream are topics that we deal with on a routine basis. Electrical options, floor and ceiling space limitations, maintenance procedures, ergonomics, work flow, life cycle costs, and safety requirements are all factored into every project that we tackle. Much of this collaborative work is carried out in Pangborn’s Customer Technology Center (CTC). The CTC contains a unique array of multi purpose blast machines to test wheel types, sizes, positioning, abrasive operating mix and other variables. Any operation can be simulated from a small airblast operation to large multiple wheel blast combinations. The CTC provides our customers with actual finished end products rather than depending upon a computer enactment. The process starts with raw products supplied by our customers so we can prove that the proposed solution will work. We can jointly test different processes to find the one that meets final customer requirements. Also, by having the CTC, Pangborn® has been able to develop the most extensive offering of wheel designs in the industry.
(?) MFN: Speaking of wheel designs, what are some recent developments where Pangborn® has impacted the market?
(!) R. H.: The development and success of the Rim-Loc™ blast wheel has caused a major reaction in the market. The Rim-Loc™ design provides unparalleled cleaning efficiency while allowing for quick vane changes. This same design is utilized in the new 265DD-2RI wheel and more wheel designs that will be announced in 2006. Since the conception of the wheel in 2001, it has been sold to over 20 industries and many customers are now reordering machines and specifying the Rim-Loc™ design.
We have many other new products that we will be introducing in 2006. Customers who have worked with us during their development are anxiously awaiting their introduction to the market.
(?) MFN: What components of Pangborn’s past represent the culture at Pangborn® today?
(!) R. H.: Pangborn® Corporation continues the tradition of being an engineered products company, as started by Thomas Pangborn in 1904.
Engineering strengths created our blast wheel technology which is second to none, and will be further complemented by more developments at Pangborn®.
Engineering also is utilizing today’s technology to enhance blast machine performance. PLC and other electronic controls are commonplace on blast machines. Metallurgical advances to create better wear resistant materials continue to be designed. Lastly, material conveyance improvements are included as part of Pangborn’s Research and Design Group.
But, the true strength of Pangborn® lies with its employees. We have a dedicated group of people who have worked together for a long time and are responsible for our success. Our Engineering group in particular has built up an extensive knowledge of blast equipment and the most efficient way to apply that knowledge to meet our customers’ needs. Pangborn® Corporation has always been home to long term employees. At this time we have a number of employees with over 20 years of service. Linda Ward, one of our Inside Sales Representatives has 43 years. These people have seen many changes but their loyalty to the Company continues at unprecedented levels.
(?) MFN: Tell us what to expect from Pangborn® Corporation in the future.
(!) R. H.: Globalization presents opportunities and challenges for all companies in the blast and peening industry and for our customers. We are taking the steps necessary to capitalize on global opportunities and to minimize the challenges.
In the short term, we will continue to focus on expanding our global presence and improving our internal processes while reducing costs. This is vital to extending the level of success that we have experienced in the last few years.
Expect more announcements in 2006 about new and exciting products including new equipment designs and new blast wheel technology.
In the longer term, Pangborn® will diversify its market presence further by becoming more active in other surface preparation markets. We will seriously consider expanding into the vibratory, impact and scarifier finishing systems.
Overall our future in the blast industry has never looked brighter and we will continue the innovative tradition set by Thomas Pangborn over 100 years ago.
We at MFN would like to thank Randy Hudson for this interview.