Posted on

Between Blogs

Profile on Magnaflux & Comet

As a reseller of products and as a sales person, or business development person as they are called today, it is easy to sell products that you believe are as good as any out there. Or perhaps, if not as high quality are a good bang for your buck. However in the NDT industry quality is everything. Our business demands quality. When your job is to ensure quality you better exhibit it or sooner or later someone’s going to question your work.

I remember doing a penetrant inspection job one time and the boss, who was always trying to save a nickel, had stocked up on a new penetrant product. When I got to the job I couldn’t get the can of that product to dispense. It was brand new and out of the box and I looked like an idiot, shaking, hitting and bashing that aerosol can all over the inspection piece. I can’t remember the brand but I remember the mess I had once I got it to work. As I remember it was red and I know by the time I was done it looked more like I had butchered a cow and made an offering to the gods by bathing in its blood than performing a quality NDT inspection. I learned two things that day: try hard not to look like an idiot and use quality products.

When Rob and I first started IR we were the sales team.  While we were on the road we learned two more things: it takes five visits to convince a prospective client you’re not an idiot and you had better be confident about your products. I guess we may have just learned a third thing in hindsight.  That is Rob and I are not very good sales people, if we had to visit one customer five times to make a sale. We may not have been the best in sales but we always tried to be honest. I say tried because sometime we were the victims of dishonest sales tactics. If you want to sell products and you want to be honest too, you better have good quality products. Even a lost sale is palatable if you believe that your product is the right tool for the job.

This brings us to Magnaflux. Magnaflux is a brand that dates back almost 90 years and is still the market leader today. You don’t remain in business that long without doing something right. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Dr. Ing. Volker Deutsch that shows us just how pioneering they were.

“Magnetic particle crack detection was executed even earlier than x-ray testing. The Englishman S.M. Saxby already in 1868 and the American William Hoke in 1917 tried to find cracks in gun barrels by magnetic indications. Real industrial application was made by Victor de Forest and Foster Doane after 1929. They formed a company with the name Magnaflux in 1934…”

You don’t sell Magnaflux, it sells you. We have sold other penetrant products over the years in limited amounts but the one thing about Magnaflux is we never get a complaint about the quality. Test after test, Magnaflux always does the job and it is the standard by which all others must be judged. Sure some suppliers use bigger cans or you may find cheaper pricing, but day in and day out it is the most dependable product and still number one in the world. Used in industries from oilfield to aerospace and nuclear, Magnaflux will never make you look like an idiot.

Along with Magnaflux, IR has also aligned itself with Comet x-ray generators. Comet has been building tubes for 70 years. A Swiss-based company, Comet has a reputation that is hard to duplicate. Providing tubes from 75Kv to 600Kv Comet tubes have the toughness to meet our extreme environments in all seasons, and the finesse to perform in the most stringent of quality conditions.

Several years ago, unhappy with our then supplier, IR was looking at several tube manufacturers. We wanted a spot tube that we could add to our rental fleet and trust it to do the job.  We wanted it to perform in tough conditions with crews who may have limited experience. The EVO is almost automatic in its work flows. It is as easy to run as a toaster. It makes the rules for its warm-up cycle based on its memory of its previous use, which virtually eliminates any user error that may damage the tube. As they are CP tubes there is no concern about using them with DR systems.  In fact, DR is leading the charge and driving sales in this particular product at IR.

Every single IR vendor that I can think of is now using or will offer Comet tubes with their products. This confirms Comet’s place as a top manufacturer of x-ray generators and we handle them exclusively for both resale and as a rental option. You won’t find any other new x-ray tubes for resale in our facilities.  In keeping with our commitment to quality COMET simply has it all: dependability, ease of use, and quality image production in all modalities.  They are as tough as they come.

You may have noticed I said facilities with an “s”, earlier on and you would be accurate to assume that we will have more than one location. Burlington, Ontario will boast an IR store as well. This move will better serve our growing clientele, found across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax. The announcement of our official opening is coming soon.

Robbie VanHoek, our business development manager, has been promoted to national business development manager and has made the move to Ontario.  Pieter Medema will also be joining him. You may think that by sending two of our long-time people to Ontario we may weaken our presence in Western Canada.  But with the addition of Heather Addley and with Jason Hollett coming on board recently, we have strength across the nation. IR and its staff look forward to serving you from coast-to-coast.  We thank you for supporting us and making our company a truly national concern.

Cheers and remember…for the unknown there’s NDT, for NDT there’s IR.

Brian Sargent
IR Supplies and Services