The reason Paratherm, and other responsible heat-transfer fluid manufacturers, put so much value on fluid analysis is because it’s an objective and scientific evaluation.
Yes, there is a wide range of test values between brand-new fluid and fluid that has reached its end of life. And a discussion of the test results with a trusted expert allows the system operator to make informed choices in maintaining the equipment and the fluid itself.
But a useful tool like fluid analysis can be misused in some circumstances. Occasionally we hear about a competitor using hot-oil test results to sell to sell more fluid, in a questionable, even unethical, way.
“I’m Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC, and I Think You’re Lying to Me”
There’s a familiar formula for investigative television programming, routinely used on shows like 60 Minutes, Dateline, and 48 Hours, where the producers trick dishonest plumbers and car mechanics into revealing their sneak tactics for selling brand-new (but unneeded) water heaters and transmissions to the unwary.
Let’s face it, these television newsmagazine programs confirm an uncomfortable truth that we all would prefer not to believe; there are a lot of rats out there trying to rip us all off. Yes, there are good honest mechanics too, but if we’re to believe what happens on Dateline, you’ve got about a 50/50 chance of drawing a rat when you start a new relationship with a home contractor.
But what about industrial commerce? Heat Transfer Fluid? It can’t happen here, right?
Yes it can. Once a year or so, in fact, we hear about a customer being told to replace their total fluid volume when they don’t really have to. Sometimes it’s one of our customers, and sometimes it’s a case where we’re being asked for a second opinion.
In this blog, we try to keep our posts relatively short, so we’re not going to present a lot of detail here, but if you want the whole story with all the ugly details, give us a call.
And consider a rule of thumb; if two companies differ on an important sales recommendation, whether for fluid, equipment, or service, consider which one has the most to gain in the short-term, and evaluate accordingly.
And for that evaluation process, you don’t have to go it alone. Try thinking outside the box, or looking inside the box. These days there are online industry forums where people can ask questions and get answers; there may be competent, objective, and discerning pros on your own staff (or sister plants) that could weigh in; and there are seasoned, experienced engineers out there editing professional journals and running LinkedIn groups who would probably be happy to evaluate a real-life, real-time puzzler.
And one other thing… notice the single glaring circumstance all those televised scam examples seem to have in common; the victim in every case has no pre-existing relationship with the contractor scam artist.
Bottom line: Develop a network of suppliers and servicers that you can trust, and stay with them.
And if you think any supplier is trying to sell you something the easy way, slow it down. Ask questions. Make ‘em work for it.