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Nov 14, 2012
My dad was a fan of the late Paul Harvey’s, “The Rest of The Story” which aired daily on the radio for about 33 years. As a kid, whenever I was in the car with him and it was on, he’d turn it up loud and make me listen to it despite my objection to switch to the music station. Eventually, I grew to enjoy the story where the conclusion always brought a smile and an enlightened perspective.
That similar experience happens to us when we learn about what our customers are up to.
Take for example, Prefix Corporation, who’s responsible for the exterior paint and trim of the new 2013 SRT Viper. In fact, they have a team (Prefix Coatings) of 125 skilled craftsmen who hand process all the exterior body panels. The process entails a lot of hand sanding and polishing prior to and after priming. The color and clear coat is then applied by hand followed by more hand sanding and polishing to produce a finish second to none. All stripes are applied before the special clear coat to minimize any visual or physical detection of an edge. While this custom paint process may seem a little extreme, it puts the perfect finishing touch on an iconic American sports car. Our fasteners are used to eliminate potential misadjustments on some of their tools.
Roush Racing and Hendrick Motor Sports produce nationally ranked Nascar drivers and pit crews. There’s this ongoing process of refining pit crews, putting them through vigorous physical training and team building in order to perform the pit stop in under 13 seconds consistently. Top athletes with exceptional hand eye coordination are hand selected for this job. In fact, a national Pit Crew Challenge takes place every year, it has become a science and a sport all of its own.
The air powered pit guns actually play an integral part in a successful stop. Not your typical impact wrenches, these are custom tailored for the pit and range from $800-$1,300 each. They are negatively affected by sun, heat, and debris so can malfunction. The O-rings in the forward/reverse switc will soften if the gun gets overheated causing the reverse button to go forward and vice versa during a stop. To prevent them from overheating, the pit guns are placed in a reflected coated fiberglass pouch keeping them as cool as possible during a race. After every stop, they have to be re-lubed, cleaned and then completely replaced after about 50 stops. Since fractions of a second can be the deciding factor between a loss or victory for a driver, the pit guns, lubricants, and methods used by the crew are very important. Once the crew sets the guns to the desired setting, our fasteners keep that setting from being misadjusted.
For most of the general public, we usually see the final product and not the many facets behind a brand’s success. The next time you see the new 2013 SRT Viper or a pit crew working vigorously with their pit guns, hopefully your new perspective brings a smile.