Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Confusing or genius? You decide!

In introducing our ESM301 motorized force test stand, we decided to do something revolutionary for the force measurement industry. Instead of forcing customers to choose from one or two or more pre-configured models which include a “hard-wired” selection of features and specifications, we decided to give the power to the people!

The ESM301 test stand is designed on a modular platform that lets users select only those features that are required for their testing purposes. We started out with a solid mechanical structure – a 300 lb (1.5 kN) capacity frame, fully enclosed, with digital controller, speed selection, basic controls, and emergency stop. Then we added a slew of available options to increase the test stand’s capabilities – features like expanded speed ranges, programmable cycling, programmable travel limits, PC control, and more. Customers can customize their test stand to suit their requirements, and pay for only what they need.

Why is this important? Consider the following application example: XYZ Company’s Quality Lab requires a test stand with a speed range of 40 in/min and the ability to set a travel distance limit. The solution from another manufacturer: a prepackaged test stand with a price tag of around $7,000. That same test stand also includes a number of bells and whistles, which are indeed important for some customers. But to XYZ, they would be forced to purchase a test stand with more features than they actually have a use for, at a price that reflects that sobering reality. With Mark-10 in the picture, XYZ’s lab manager could custom-configure an ESM301 test stand to include the high speed range extension, travel indication feature, and programmable travel limit feature. The total price: around $4,000.

To address the possible need for additional features down the road, most features can be enabled in the field through a simple activation code.

The last time you bought a car, you probably went through the car’s options list and selected only those features you had an interest in. Maybe you ordered leather seating and a sunroof, but left out the navigation system option. Similarly, in the computer industry, Michael Dell revolutionized the PC industry by allowing customers to custom build their computer according to their needs and budgets.

If that’s the way you buy cars and computers, why should your force measurement equipment be any different?

To learn more about our configurable ESM301 test stand, click here.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to post!