This edition of 'The Finish Line' includes:
- Meet Charles "Doug" Craig
- RMS Website Update
- Taking Care of the Customer by Alex Tetlow
- Please welcome, Blake Hodges!
- Built in Quality by Marc Rubino + Barry Nicholson
- Parts Requirements by Mark Koerner
- The Art of Creating a Quote by Beth Vetovitz
- Oil Free Screw Compressor Training by Bill Egan
- Part 1: Delaval B12/12 Compressor Overhaul by Steve Kaulius + David Owens
- RMS Customer Virtual Quality Control Check by James Weider + Amanda Rodriguez
- Toolbox Meetings [New section!]
- New Hires
- The Lighter Side: Danny Meyer [New section!]
- Turbo Toons
Meet Charles "Doug" Craig
Our new Product Director of Centrifugal Compressors
My career in rotating machinery started in 1982 when I joined Ingersoll-Rand as an application engineer in their Sales Division. Since then, my career has taken me to organizations like CONMEC, AC Compressor, Ethos Energy, and—now—Rotating Machinery Services.
Working in the rotating machinery industry has allowed me to meet some incredible individuals including many of the people that make up the RMS organization, and I look forward to working with them again as the Product Director of Centrifugal Compressors.
Rerates aren't just for compressors!
If you've visited the RMS website within the last week, you may have noticed some big improvements from our previous site. We made changes focused on improved navigation, searchability, and quicker access to the things that matter most to our customers.
If you see anything that looks off or could be improved, reach out to us!
Taking Care of the Customer
Alex Tetlow, Vice President of Sales
RMS enjoys the opportunity to work with a diverse customer base spread across the globe, each with a unique set of needs and challenges. Thanks to decades of experience servicing critical rotating machinery with quality solutions, RMS understands the importance of customized engineered solutions for a positive customer outcome. That is why you will never find a one size fits all solution here at RMS either from the equipment we manufacture or the sales force, we know the importance of developing a strategy for every customer.
Supporting critical rotating machinery demands a hands-on approach when it comes to our customers. In fact, it is common for RMS' sales force to have an individualized plan for specific sites and machinery within an account, instead of just assigning an overall strategy.
Creating custom plans down to this specific level is very time consuming, but it is worth it. The rotating machinery industry is defined by custom solutions, and RMS offers customer-centric support that meets the rigorous needs of our customers. Promoting a more hands-on approach with our customers is crucial to improving the lifetime value of each customer as we work to forge long term relationships.
RMS' sales team doesn't focus solely on the next order but instead on the long-term relationship that can result from the delivery of a quality engineered solution. Here at RMS, we don’t just focus on the next order, but the next 10 years' worth of orders as relationship building is our main focus.
A long-term working relationship is a mutually beneficial endeavor that allows RMS to gain a deeper understanding of a customer's needs which leads to the best possible outcomes. Growing RMS' reputation means ensuring our customers are always treated well. This type of reputation building has to be earned. Reputation is not given through sales alone but is developed with smooth execution and excellent engineering work.
We have to succeed with customers as a team!
Jeff King - NE US Account Manager
Mike Spangler - Regional Sales Manager
Andy Jansen - Regional Sales Manager
Brandon Welch - Gulf Coast Account Manager
Colin Barker - Account Manager
Curtis Fondon - Account Manager
James Lucas - Regional Sales Manager
Jonathan Calhoun - Lead Account Manager
Dave Stewart - Vice President of International Sales
Kurt Diekroeger - Regional Sales Manager
Nick Schneider - Account Manager
Blake Hodges - Regional Sales Manager, Louisiana
Please welcome, Blake Hodges!
Blake joined the RMS team in early November as our 'Regional Sales Manager, Louisiana'.
I have over 25 years of extensive OEM turbomachinery experience in Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Power, and other heavy industrial processes. During this time, I’ve worked as an individual contributor, mentor, and team leader – all in customer-facing roles. For the past 11 years, I’ve led the aftermarket sales effort, working for and supporting teams that covered both the Western US and Southeastern US, responsible for all service products – shop repairs, field service, engineered upgrades, revamps or rerates, and service parts.
I received my Bachelor’s degree and MBA from Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge and Shreveport). I’m married to the mother of my 2 grown boys, with a beautiful 3-1/2 yr old granddaughter. I’m an avid LSU sports fan, a novice woodworker, gardener, and chef. I love to travel and spend time in the great outdoors.
I choose to work at RMS to support their ambitions to grow their presence in the Louisiana area. RMS’s goal for a permanent presence in the LA, coupled with my experience and standing relationships along the Gulf Coast, creates a good fit for both of us. As an OEM to AC Compressor and CONMEC, I share the vision of RMS, a company determined to support not only its legacy brands but also able to support turbomachinery operators' needs on all their rotating equipment, regardless of the nameplate. Equally, I am excited to represent a company that has established itself as an industry leader in Axial, Centrifugal, and Oil Free compressors, Steam Turbines, as well as FCC and Nitric Acid expanders.
When it comes to my customers, I look forward to continuing to support an existing customer base who I’ve worked with for many years. They know when I’m in the field, I represent RMS with honesty, integrity, and great vigor. Most importantly, the same customer knows, as their advocate within RMS, I represent them with the same honesty, integrity, and vigor.
I’m excited about this opportunity to join such a well-known company like RMS and being the first Louisiana-based employee. I see a bright future here at RMS and look forward to expanding the existing RMS footprint into Louisiana, with more present and frequent sales support.
Built in Quality
Marc Rubino, Principal Engineer | Barry Nicholson, QC Manager
The performance of a supply chain can dramatically help or hinder a company’s quality performance. At RMS, part of our vision statement is:
“Responsiveness is a culture, developed through people who are passionate in their work, backed by top-quality vendors and a network of expert resources.”
Supplier quality is determined by the supplier’s ability to deliver goods or services that will satisfy the customer’s needs. RMS devotes significant effort into identifying, qualifying, and working continuously with our suppliers so that they understand our requirements and we understand their capabilities. Our supplier quality management system is based on a proactive and collaborative approach to working with our potential and existing suppliers so that they can achieve the quality we need. It all begins with the vetting of supplier candidates using a process designed to qualify for selection of those potential suppliers that can provide product or services that will satisfy our quality requirements. It continues through the entire life cycle of a product and for the duration of the relationship with that particular supplier. At one time, it was fairly common to use multiple suppliers for the same commodity or service, usually due to concerns about depleting inventory or a desire to facilitate cost negotiations. This has evolved into working more closely with a smaller number of suppliers in more long-term, partnership based relationships.
At RMS, supplier candidates are required to submit a document packet detailing their company’s information and capabilities. They are also required to provide their equipment lists, any applicable quality certifications, and a copy of their Quality Manual. Depending on the candidate’s responses or the criticality of the product they will be supplying, the RMS supplier qualification team will determine if an on-site audit at the supplier’s facility is needed. If so, the team conducts a supplier qualification audit and sends a report to RMS management with supplier approval recommendations. Depending on the acceptability of the supplier candidate’s document packet and/or a qualification audit, an Approved Supplier List Acceptance approval is issued by the RMS Quality Manager and Director of Materials and the candidate is added to the Approved Supplier List. Purchase orders can now be issued to this supplier for products and / or services.
Continued active status of the approved supplier is contingent on quality and delivery performance periodically monitored by the supply chain team. An excessive amount of late deliveries or nonconformities will result in a review by the supply chain team of that supplier’s justification for continued approved supplier status. Nonconformities are formally documented and sent to the supplier to prevent any misunderstanding of why product or service quality is not acceptable. If needed, actions will be taken such as supplier meetings, visits, conference calls, audits, and documented corrective actions in an effort to help the supplier with process changes to improve performance. Ultimately, if the changes are not successful, the supplier will be formally removed from Approved status.
At RMS, a good supply chain is critical to our (and our customers’) success. We believe that providing parts and service on time and of good quality starts with The Right Stuff.
Meeting Spare Parts Requirements
Mark Koerner, Vice President of AC Compressor Business
The ability to supply spare parts in a timely manner to support a customer’s critical need is paramount if you want to be a top tier service provider. It is common to receive spare parts requests during outage planning or to replenish stock inventory following overhaul. Of course, unexpected events occur. When a customer finds they are without critical stock, it is imperative that the spare parts team responds with urgency. To track this, the RMS has a dashboard of metrics used to drive cycle time out of our process and achieve continuous improvement.
RMS classifies Flow Part Inquiries as Simple or Complex depending on the customer requirements. We have assigned Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track our result vs target. Through staffing and process improvements, the team is now issuing proposals in under 3 days on average, regardless of complexity of the part or number of line items requested. Proposals are often issued on the same day as the request for quotation is received. In October, parts proposals were 83% on-time. RMS will continue to drive down cycle time against increasingly challenging targets to meet our customer’s needs.
Lead Proposal Specialist - Regions: Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia, India, Middle East, Russia-CIS (to make it short, everywhere minus Americas)
The time zone is the biggest challenge about working with international customers, mostly when you have to close a deal last minute before the end of the month or the quarter, or set/get calls at any time of the day and night if necessary.
Sometimes the language can be an issue, being bilingual (I’m Italian) is greatly helpful when I have to deal with Italian customers or simply when among the customers’ representatives there are Italian people to deal with; psychologically we tend to trust more who speaks our mother language, we feel comfortable talking to someone without any stress of misunderstanding or misinterpretations due to lack of vocabulary. Even if English is an international language, it can become challenging when talking to customers with different backgrounds and accents, however these issues are often solved working via e-mail or text messages.
Working with international customers is not only a challenge, it’s also fascinating to get to know all the different cultures, holidays, approach, with the time and experience you learn to be flexible and “adapt” to the different cultures, customers appreciate doing business with people with an open mind, where they feel understood and inclined to cooperate; this is the basic of building trust and a strong relationship with both our end users and local channel partners.
Every day is a new day at RMS when we work with our International customers. We recognize when working globally that is important to have clear indication of what is expected from each other, open communication, understanding of culture and languages. We also comprehend the many challenges we will be facing when working internationally. It is from this, that trust, stamina, understanding, learning and overall a strong business relationship thrives the most. RMS assures our International customers that we are always available to assist in any way possible.
Lead Proposal Specialist
When we prepare a quote, we also write in our emails clarifying notes as needed for better understanding of their request. In some cases procurement in the customer site does not have full information and we help them to assure that the parts requested are the correct ones.
Some times more technical information is added as well as drawings of the compressor and Bill of Material to confirm that all the parts needed are requested. Our main focus is that customer have in inventory all the parts needed during their outages and minimize the cost of emergencies or rush orders.
When updating information to a customer we will highlight any relevant information and ask for any required clarification. We would also include some information on additional items that might be needed and add relevant lead times information to help with customers’ planning.
It’s a pleasure working with our customers. In a recent phone conversation with one of customers, I had the opportunity to share a few laughs before discussing equipment concerns and delivery time. He noted, even during this time of COVID-19, he appreciates the personal touch of a phone call over an email.
I enjoy talking to our customers to get a better understanding of their needs and how we at RMS can make purchasing equipment easier and more timely all while fostering and building a relationship. Our customers are essential to us at RMS and it feels good to connect and continually build a strong relationship.
The Art of Creating a Quote
Beth Vetovitz, Senior Applications Engineer
At RMS we take a great deal of pride in providing first class proposals to our customers, and with the support of the best team in the industry, we offer innovative solutions for each customer’s individual needs.
Upon receipt of each inquiry, a proposal number is assigned, entered into our database and a notice is sent to our team to communicate the customer’s specifications and requirements. We thoroughly review each request to determine what resources are required to proceed, and if additional information is needed from our customer.
Once we have confirmed that all the essential details have been received, we proceed with drafting the proposal. Resources such as RMS’s Intellectual Property, Historical Data, Work Instructions, Inventory System, and Shop Schedules are reviewed to assist with preparation of the proposal workscope. To secure optimal price and lead time, we inquire with multiple suppliers who have been preapproved by our Quality team.
In cases where an expedited time frame is critical, we work with our Project Managers, Product Managers, Shop Management and Suppliers to assure that we meet our commitments to our customer.
To ensure that we are offering the best technical solution at a competitive price, each proposal is reviewed and approved by the Product Manager prior to submission by the Territory Sales Manager.
We strive to offer a competitive response to each customer’s inquiry that is unique to their needs.
RMS Oil Free Screw Compressor Training
William (Bill) Egan, Technical Director Oil Free Screw Compressor Engineering
Connecting with customers and end-users who are as passionate as I am about Oil Free Screw Compressors is one of the main reasons I enjoy my job at RMS. Over the years, I have been involved with all aspects of Oil Free Screw Compressors, including design, manufacturing, testing, and field service.
Thanks to my unique position at RMS, I have the opportunity to connect with customers on a daily basis and help their solve problems, share past experiences, and develop cutting-edge solutions.
Customers who are interested in learning more about every aspect of oil free screw compressors can reach out to RMS today to schedule a (detailed or specific) custom training course to fit your needs. The highly technical sessions help equip oil free screw compressor end users with knowledge that will help with operation and troubleshooting of their machines. To ensure trainings are effective, we prefer smaller interactive groups where attendees can ask questions and be a part of the conversation.
Training course content can vary greatly and range from general overviews to in-depth technical sessions focused on a specific aspect of oil free screw compressors. Session sizes and layouts are also very diverse, as we can hold trainings for entire departments or smaller groups.
The most important aspect of an effective training event is a genuine connection. We want to make sure that attendees are gaining the most benefit from the training.
Questions, suggestions, and interactions are critical when it comes to an effective training session.
Thanks to RMS’ use of digital platforms, we have the opportunity to connect with customers around the globe. Without the need to spend time traveling, we can spend more time connecting and sharing our expertise to further your knowledge of these compressors.
Part 1: Delaval B12/12 Compressor Overhaul
Steve Kaulius, Director - Centrifugal Compressor New Business | David Owens, Project Manager
RMS was contacted by a natural gas pipeline customer who needed help increasing their supply to meet growing demand. The RMS team worked with the customer to evaluate their options and formulate the best possible plan. The plan resulted in a need to refurbish the customer’s Delaval B12/12 Compressor, which had been stored in a boneyard for the last 20 years.
To cover the complete overhaul of this centrifugal compressor, RMS is planning a multi-part article series that will be featured in upcoming newsletters to allow you to follow along in our progress and final delivery.
This Delaval B12/12 is a beam style compressor with inline nozzles design to be placed in-line with a natural gas pipe. The entire compressor skid—including, the compressor, auxiliary drive gearbox, lube, and seal oil system—was delivered to GJ Oliver, a New Jersey-based shop that is assisting RMS in the disassembly of this compressor.
The team at GJ Oliver will remove the compressor from the skid and send the entire assembly to RMSs Bethlehem, PA shop for overhaul work. The gearbox and turbine starter, which is attached to the gearbox, will be sent to RMS' Houston shop for overhaul. This combined effort will ensure the quickest possible delivery while leveraging experience representatives across the nation to produce the best possible results.
Every component of this compressor train will be stripped down and repaired to better-than-new condition under the guidance of RMS Engineering support.
This compressor has been sitting in the elements longer than the iPhone has existed.
In other words, we have a great deal of weathering to overcome! We look forward to sharing an update with you in the next edition of 'The Finish Line'. Stay tuned!
RMS Customer Virtual Quality Control Check
James Weider, Project Manager | Amanda Rodriguez, Projects Assistant II
As standard practice for the creation of new kit boxes, or restocks, a quality inspection is conducted by RMS with a customer witness present at the RMS facility. To meet the current travel restrictions posed by COVID-19, the RMS team transitioned the traditional in-person QC check to a virtual conference to promote safety while also meeting our customer requirements.
To ensure the safety of RMS employees and customers, a video conference was setup through Zoom. The virtual conference call allowed the customer to see and communicate with the quality inspectors and project team in real-time. The customer witnessed the RMS inspection process, the verification of the inspected parts to the RMS drawings, and could ask questions and immediately receive an answer. The use of digital communication tools allowed RMS to achieve the intended purpose of the customer witness inspection while adhering to the travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic.
After a few initial technical challenges with the meeting software were resolved, the inspection went forward without any issue.
RMS’ ability to continue to preserve quality procedures in the wake of external factors is critical to customer satisfaction.
RMS is pleased to offer our customers the option to witness critical QC checks virtually and ensure projects are completed promptly while adhering to RMS’ commitment to quality and safety.
At RMS, we understand that safety is the most important part of running an effective shop. To keep safety top of mind, we start every day with a Toolbox Meeting in both our Bethlehem, PA and Houston, TX shops, where the team gathers to discuss safety initiatives, lessons, and ideas for future programs to promote the safest shop operations possible. RMS’ greatest asset is our experienced staff, and we work every day to keep our shop team safe.
From the Team:
Ryan Butkowski, CNC Programmer/Supervisor [Bethlehem Shop]: “At RMS, Toolbox Meetings are conducted on a regular basis to educate workers on safe work practices and stay compliant with regulations regarding safety and training. These are important elements to building a strong safety culture and reinforcing RMS' commitment to protecting our workers. Holding regular meetings prevents our workers from getting complacent and taking safety for granted.”
Bill Velekei, Manager of Manufacturing [Bethlehem Shop]: “Safety of our employees is our number one concern. With the present situation involving COVID-19, wearing masks, social distancing, and washing our hands is top priority. To date, we have not have anyone test positive in the Bethlehem shop; a tribute to shop employees following the guidelines. The Toolbox Meeting is another avenue of promoting safety in the shop. It keeps the employees aware of possible hazards and steps taken to mitigate them before an accident can occur.”
Matt Miller, Director of Operations [Houston Shop]: “Toolbox Meetings are a great way to communicate specific safety-related topics in an efficient manner. They also provide an interactive format to discuss ongoing health and safety programs, employee concerns, and opportunities for improvement.”
Robert Tabb, General Manager [Houston Shop]: “Here at RMS, safety is our number one concern. We want to make sure the team in the shop is producing the best possible results while remaining safe. In the shop, we hold daily Toolbox Meetings to make sure our team is keeping safety top of mind.”
Pictured at left: Michael Thorne, Design Engineer
Herbert Rodriguez, Mechanic — Herbert joins RMS with 14+ years of experience working on rotating machinery. His experience managing the inspection, overhauls, and assembly of various types of rotating machinery makes him at great addition to our South Houston shop team.
Andrew Clark, Machinist — Andrew has 40+ years of experience running and setting up a variety of machining tools to manufacture engineered materials. A US Navy veteran, Andrew worked aboard a nuclear submarine, where he helped keep the submarine’s systems working at peak efficiency. Andrew’s depth of experience make him a critical addition to our South Houston shop team.
Richard Bowman, Machinist — Rick started his career at Ingersoll-Rand as a machinist where he worked from 1978 until 2001. Since then, Rick has continued to develop his skills as a machinist, working in lead machinist roles where he worked to read engineering drawings and manage the ordering of shop tools and materials. We look forward to having Rick join our South Houston shop team.
Andrzej Kapiciak, Machinist — Andrzej started his career in America at Chrysler in Detroit, MI working as a machinist. From there, Andrzej shifted his career and began working on rotating machinery at Elliot Group, where he worked on machining parts for turbines and compressors. Andrzej moved on to work at Hydrotex as a machinist before joining the RMS team.
Austin Bont, Rotor Balancing Technician — Austin joins RMS with 40+ years of rotor balance experience during his time at Dresser-Rand. Austin started with Dresser-Rand as a Turbo Technician and oversaw the repair and startup of rotating machinery across the globe. Austin trained in the art of rotor balancing at Schenck Balancing School. He became an expert at balancing centrifugal compressors while at Dresser-Rand. We look forward to having Austin join our South Houston shop team.
Eloy Garcia, Mechanic — Eloy has a wealth of experience operating CNC machining equipment while maintaining documentation essential to ISO 9001 certifications. Eloy joins RMS with 26+ years of rotating machinery experience working at Dresser Measurements, Rolls-Royce Energy, and Baker Hughes. The wealth of experience Eloy brings to RMS is a welcomed addition the South Houston shop team.
Blake Hodges, Regional Sales Manager – Louisiana — Blake has 25+ years of OEM turbomachinery experience in Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Power, and other heavy industrial processes. During this time, Blake worked as an individual contributor, mentor, and team leader – all in customer-facing roles. Blake looks forward to expanding the existing RMS footprint into Louisiana, with more present and frequent sales support.
Jeremy Landry, Mechanic — Jeremy has a wealth of experience working with critical rotating machinery in both field and shop settings. With experience overhauling rotating machinery and using precision measurement equipment, Jeremy’s experience is a welcomed addition to RMS.
Michael Thorne, Design Engineer — Mike comes to RMS with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College. Mike previously worked as a design engineer within Air Products’ Rotoflow turbomachinery business, where he worked on new equipment projects for centrifugal cryogenic expanders. His experience there included finite element analysis (FEA), rotordynamics, and seal system design. We look forward to having Mike continue his career at RMS.
Peggy Blackwell, Accounts Receivable Specialist — Peggy joins the RMS team with 20+ years of experience in credit and collections. In her most recent role, she was responsible for collections of over 150 active accounts for two divisions with average monthly receivables totaling over $20M.