The Imperial Systems Story

The Imperial Systems Story


[music]>>JEREMIAH: It’s really important for us
and something that we stand pretty proud on is that we’ve always been a systems company And that our engineering, and that our support,
and that our equipment has been designed from that point of view all the way through from
the beginning [music] Yeah it was in October 2001 that I founded
Imperial Systems [music] When we take our first call initially we’ll
start out talking to the engineer, maybe the owner And its always been my priority to talk to
the operator along that process The operator is the one that on a daily basis
runs the machine They know what the real problems are Where they stand in relationship to the fume
or dust If the operator is happy and has some input
along the way then the operator makes the system work better in the long run So its key and its just part of our approach When you design a system from the beginning And you’re personally responsible for it Now the dust collector just becomes a small
portion of the overall system The problem is as soon as you connect ductwork
to it You take into account for velocities, you
take into account for hood capture Those are the things that actually make the
system work The system itself, the dust collector, can
work well or it can work poorly based on the system design For several years when I started I was a rep
for a large European dust and fume collection company And you know they’re a good company, good
people, in the early days I had a lot of fun But early on the industry would have a term
they would throw around called filling holes And this was the practice of selling dust
collectors that were undersized in order to get the job Regardless of how long the filters lasted And would the systems work well to begin with? Absolutely they would. But after six months or shortly after the
filters would start to plug up and the customer would be stuck with that product And I just never really felt good about that It didn’t work with who I was and what we
were doing With that being said I think that at some
point in time it made sense for us to get into building a vertical style dust and fume
collector>>CHALMER: I think it was 2009, you said,
and it kind of came out of the blue, like “I think we’re going to start building
cartridge collectors.” And we started down the road of planning what
that was going to look like And it was everybody in the plant late one
night putting this thing together because it had to ship the next morning And we were all learning from our experiences
of starting to build this thing>>JEREMIAH: There are a lot of good stories
behind that first collector we built Our first vertical style cartridge collector
was for all intents and purposes a direct copy of our competition In the end we found that it was a mistake
to do that Because it didn’t give us any differentiators
or make us a whole lot different But that’s what we did and that’s kind
of part of our history But I remember when we did that the amount
of bolt holes that collector had in it It was like a five gallon bucket of bolts
for a 24 cartridge dust collector And I’ll never forget that the bolt holes
weren’t lining up properly And after the collector was installed and
we went to go visit the customer The customer handed me three crescent wrenches
and a bucket full of bolts And said “We found this up in the clean
air plenum. You’re not getting the tools back but you
can have the bolts back.” So those were lessoned learned in the early
ages of starting the business What happened to us being young in the business
at the time and into some products What we learned in the process was that we
really couldn’t differentiate ourselves In the fact that we had another “me too”
collector And so the problem with a “me too” collector
is that you can lay two quotes on the table and customer is going to say “why would
I buy from you when I can buy from another brand that’s more well known and has a name
in the industry” And all you’ve got going for you at that
point is price So that was a tough lesson that we learned
early on>>CHALMER: I think its important that we
talk about how we listened to what our customers said And they made suggestions and we were open
to hearing those suggestions Because if we weren’t open to hearing those
suggestions We wouldn’t have come up with the ideas
maybe to make ours better And to make the changes we made And to set ourselves apart Because what we found was we were improving
upon problems that our competitors might have been having And we were open to making the changes As a small company we were able to do that And that has kind of gotten us to the point
we are now with the design of the CMAXX>>JEREMIAH: Yeah, and it was at that point
we said “lets change the air header Lets make the air header slightly different” And so we came up with a new air header with
manifold mount valves It was quieter and better functioning It took less psi It took less air consumption And it made us better So it was at that point where we said “boy,
that’s nice” Now we have something that is better but it
also looks better on paper It looks better to the customer Theres an advantage And so I think that was when the idea was
born that our strength is in our differences And from that point we’ve never really looked
back So when we had a change to change the door We didn’t just change the door to make it
look different We made a change on the door to make it better The most significant change we made over the
years with the CMAXX is the elimination of the bolt holes And with that you remember we had the customer
in Florida with the water standing on the roof And we had all those bolt holes on the roof And the customer said “why don’t you just
weld the roof solid” Well we can’t weld the roof solid its a
modular design “Well if you still made the sign panels
where you could unbolt them and put them back on then you could still be modular” Well that’s a good I never thought about
that So why don’t we do that So that was when we first developed the fully
welded modular roof It was the first of its kind You know after eliminating all the bolt holes Our door was actually the first door in the
industry to have no internal ledges on it so when you open the dust collector door up
you don’t have a pile of dust fall on your feet Or down on the workers below you. That was one of the big innovations we made A more recent one we did was developing the
first ever anti ramping lift rails Where when you slide the filter in the other
filters can’t slide up on top of them That’s truly protecting the safety and health
of the workers Because if you’ve got a filter in there
that is not seated properly You could have toxic dust or fumes go by And hurt somebody so we’re pretty proud
of that The innovation of the domed roof, CrownTech
technology, is pretty exciting No rain, no dust build up on top of it We felt pretty comfortable coming out with
the first 15 year warranty on a dust collector Because we just knew that with that innovation
there is no way you can see any leaks in the collector So we always felt pretty strong about that
new design change Theres just a lot of good things coming out
of this plant>>CHALMER: The word got out that we were
listening to what people were saying and we were listening to the problems they were having It really spread by word of mouth>>JEREMIAH: It really was the new beginning
for us The CMAXX really is the most innovative dust
and fume collector on the market It really holds true to our mission statement Which is to improve the health, safety, and
quality of people’s lives by building the best dust and fume collectors on Earth How do you guys feel about that mission statement>>RUSS: I’m excited to be a part of it I think that we have a very good product We’ve spend a lot of focus on innovations
to stand us apart across the industry>>CHALMER: We build a dust collector so that
people who work, people who have families, people who have children, people who have
wives or husbands They go home at the end of the day as healthy
as they were when they showed up at the beginning of their day And I take a lot of pride in knowing that
I’m helping make workplaces across the country safer for people That their lives and the quality of their
lives is better because of a piece of equipment that’s made here in Mercer Pennsylvania And that means a lot
to me>>JEREMIAH: I can’t really tell the story
without talking about my granddad And how it all started So for me its all I remember from an early
age We spent our summers in the sheet metal shop My brother and I, my cousins, and my family,
my mom, my dad, we were all in the family business My grandad, super loving man, while he was
running the business also had his grandkids running around the place In the offices and the property I always wanted something to do So a funny story I remember my grandad asked
me to go in there and slag parts So after the parts were cut they would need
descaled or slagged And I didn’t want to do that job I wanted to be rolling ductwork or welding He obviously knew better than I did and knew
I was too young to be doing that But I remember throwing a fit and crying actually
out in the field next to the shop And I was hiding and he came and looked for
me I just didn’t want that junk job I wanted
to be right in the mix right in the heart of it And that was the early days of growing up
around that type of environment I remember a lot of Christmas gatherings you
know getting together Thanksgiving It would always be the guys talking about
shop talk I remember always wanting to be part of that
conversation Always kind of creeping into that conversation And asking questions and just kind of listening
in general Today is really no different Today I still love talking about fabrications I could talk about it nonstop I do talk about it with my kids and they understand
it as much as they can at nine and ten years old I bring them into the shop some Its great I still love walking into a fabrication
shop no matter where I’m at I still always learn something Every single time I walk into a fab facility
whether its a woodworking facility a plastic facility a metalworking facility I still learn something every time I go into
one [music] I think we’re at a pivotal point right now
at Imperial Systems The future is super bright We just hired a new sales and marketing director We restructured our sales team With that more important than anything is
we have ServiceMAXX now We refuse to grow at a rate we can’t service
our customers And we’ve seen where a lot of people have
failed big time with that Some of our current competition is suffering
right now because they grew to a point where they can’t service the very products that
they build So we decided a while back That we were going to take the stance that Service is our number one priority when it
comes to our customers>>RUSS: Yeah and we focus on going in front
of the customer and servicing their existing collectors And it doesn’t necessarily have to be our
collectors that we service We will do whatever we can to make their existing
systems work for them When they do need new systems they do look
to us>>CHALMER: We do focus on providing value
to maybe a small shop that this is a huge investment for them And they need it to work And they need it to protect their employees At the end of the day when we go home and
say “We did the best we can” that’s something we can all be proud of And I think that that’s how I feel being
involved at Imperial Systems That we’re doing the right thing That we’re consciously focusing on trying
to do the best by people that we can

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