Editors Note: This is part of our ongoing series of customer profiles right here on the ServInt Source. Want to take part? Tell us your story!
Here’s a quick lesson in electrical engineering that you should never attempt.
Take an old hair dryer from the U.S., preferably something pre-1985, and plug it into a Chinese power outlet. After a small explosion, you’ll have experienced the difference in international power grids first-hand.
While there are many reasons for this, one of the primary causes of these issues is related to the different voltage and frequency standards all over the world. In North America and Japan, 60hz is the norm, while in much of the rest of the world 50hz is the standard. Large ships such as naval vessels and cruise liners, commercial and military airplanes, and even some small research facilities use the 400hz frequency.
While that might not mean a lot to us end-users, it means a lot to the countries with different electrical frequencies that often produce electrical equipment for export. For example, how many of our consumer electronic products are made in China? Devices that convert one frequency into another are an important tool in the manufacturing process, helping manufacturers ensure the products they are making are safe to use and fully functional when they arrive at your friendly neighborhood electronics store.
That’s why Georator, a ServInt client, has been in the frequency conversion business for more than 50 years.
Georator manufactures frequency converters, devices that, well, convert frequencies. These machines allow manufacturers to thoroughly test the gadgets and appliances they make before they send them our way. As you can probably imagine, this is an incredibly specific and somewhat esoteric industry. For decades, Georator sold its products through catalogs and referrals, relying on decision makers in manufacturing to make recommendations to their peers or catch a glimpse of an ad in an industry magazine.
Hoping for someone to notice isn’t exactly a great sales strategy, and that underscores the difficulty that companies with unique and difficult-to-define products like Georator had prior to the web.
A few months ago, we visited Georator’s manufacturing plant in Manassas, VA. While giving us a tour of the plant floor, Georator CEO George Ripol mentioned, “Almost overnight, we became an internet company.” The internet exposed Georator to an entirely new generation of potential customers, and ServInt’s services were an integral part of that success.
While we were there, we snapped a few photos of the manufacturing facility and the equipment they use to make their products. Below are just a few of the photos, we’ll post even more up on our Flickr page.
Photo by Angelo DeSantis