At BOFA, we strive to be good listeners, because we know this is how all positive long-term relationships begin. Listening leads to a better understanding of the challenges faced by industry sectors or end users…and shapes the application of BOFA engineering knowledge and scientific resources to provide solutions.
This three-step process – listen, learn, apply – is at the heart of BOFA customer onboarding, because although our portable fume and dust extraction systems are designed to be ‘plug & play’, achieving the best possible extraction solution often means a deep dive into complex engineering challenges.
Customer onboarding means working closely with OEMs, distributors and end users drawn towards BOFA by reputation, market leadership, technology portfolio…or recommendation.
Whatever the motivation, the process starts with listening because every project is different in some way, even in the same industry sectors. For example, in laser coding, speeds are increasing all the time and can now reach more than 100,000 cans per hour. As a result, extraction technology needs to evolve to ensure that higher velocity laser generated particulate are captured within the process area to prevent potentially harmful airborne dispersal.
The need to remain agile on behalf of customers is paramount. For example, in additive manufacturing markets, there are multiple production technologies being employed in a wide variety of industry sectors. Consequently, extraction systems need to be carefully matched to each methodology and to the materials being worked.
The take-away here is that while the underlying BOFA architecture might be the same, the fundamental elements – airflow management, filter capacity and filtration media – can require design innovation to ensure no potentially harmful emissions enter the breathing zones of operatives and no debris contaminates expensive equipment. These twin objectives are the fundamental start points for any new customer engagement.
Onboarding usually begins with BOFA being approached about a specific challenge. It can be about the performance of an existing (non-BOFA) extraction system, a changed process involving new materials, faster production requirements, new technology or the need for more flexible manufacture.
This is where BOFA’s expertise in application engineering, research and development, and access to world-class scientific resources come to the fore. By examining every element of the new process – including material data sheets, duty cycle, speed of operation etc – an effective extraction system is designed, developed and tested for compliance. In this way, BOFA ‘designs-in’ its ethos of ‘right first time, every time’.
Of course, a successful application is just the beginning of a customer relationship. From here, the aim is to ensure customers feel that joining BOFA is the best business decision they’ve ever made by developing an enduring relationship founded on open lines of communication.
Moreover, the onboarding process is the same for every size of customer, whether for small distributors, global OEMs or end users. The aim for BOFA is develop and deliver trusted advisor status when it comes to fume and dust extraction.