Water Online Radio: Hendrick Screen Focuses On Reducing Cost And Maintenance
Bob McDole of Hendrick Screen Company talks about the company’s wedge wire screens, their applications, and why they work in a budget-conscious environment.
Todd Schnick: We are coming to you live from Dallas, Texas. This is day three of AWWA ACE 2012 and Water Online Radio. I am your host, Todd Schnick, and joined by my co-host, Todd Youngblood. Todd, this guy looks like he is going to be trouble.
Todd Youngblood: He is. I thought for a minute the fans who were standing out here were mine, but something tells me that they are not.
Todd Schnick: I couldn’t believe the roar of the crowd when we were just doing sound check.
Todd Youngblood: I think that is the loudest roar I have heard. It wasn’t only from up close, it was from way in the hall too. The whole place went nuts.
Todd Schnick: It was unbelievable. Let’s bring this guy on. I want to welcome Bob McDole, who is the General Manager with Hendrick Screen Company. Welcome, Bob.
Bob: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Todd Schnick: It is our pleasure. Before we get started, take a second and tell us about you and your background.
Bob: I have been in the metals industry for 30-some years and have worked with Hendrick Screen now for two years. We are located in Owensboro, Kentucky. We are a manufacturer of wedge wire screens and we serve a variety of industries – obviously water, wastewater, fish diversion, architectural, industrial, petrochemical, mining, food and beverage, and a variety of different industries. It has been fun.
Todd Schnick: I understand. Let’s talk about the water industry as a whole. What are some of the trends that you see coming down the pike in the next 3 to 5 years?
Bob: Municipalities with the budget constraints; providing a cost-effective solution is going to be extremely important. Also, providing a screen that is low maintenance.
As maintenance costs rise, that is very important right now with the budget constraints that people have. I think also service, being able to respond quickly to municipalities and people like that is going to be very important.
Todd Schnick: Bob, you talked about responsive service and I applaud that. That is very important. How about getting ahead of the game and preventative maintenance and that regard? What do you recommend and what are you doing?
Bob: One of the things that Hendrick Screen has is a product called Profile Bar, which we are the only company in the world that supplies that product. One of the things that is really cool about it is that it is low maintenance. It works very well in water applications, and we can supply that at the same cost as resistance weld. We have already made a step in that direction.
I think that is important. Also, our engineering group works hand in hand with our customers to provide them with a cost-effective solution when they encounter a problem or are looking for a new design.
Todd Schnick: You said low cost and low maintenance. What about life cycle? If I have to replace it every five or 10 years, I have a problem. Let’s talk about that.
Bob: That is one of the things that is unique about Profile Bar. We have never replaced one of those screens.
Todd Youngblood: Say that again. You have never replaced one of those screens?
Bob: We have never replaced one of them and they have been in process for several years now. That makes them a little bit unique when compared to resistance weld; however, our resistance weld products are also very, very good.
Todd Schnick: Bob let’s go back to those trends you were talking about earlier. How is Hendrick Screen Company poised to address some of those trends?
Bob: I think new product development is going to be a key as I mentioned to you. That is one of the things that we are very focused on. One of the things that we are just rolling out onto the market is a Profile Bar product with a T-16 wire, which is a much larger design than what we have previously offered.
What you can do is get something that is cost-competitive that will handle more load, more vibration and will hold up in some of the environments that they are putting these screens into. That is a new product that we are currently offering. I think it is going to come back to new product design, being innovative, and working with our customers to come up with solutions.
Todd Schnick: Bob, when I look at the changes and the complexities that are just flooding in to the whole water industry, it strikes me that collaboration among the various different suppliers of screens, the pipes, the valves, the pumps. How on Earth do you help your customers collaborate to bring a total system together?
Bob: Interestingly enough our rep organization, specifically in municipalities, we have about 25 independent rep organizations that represent us across the United States and worldwide, and they offer a lot of different things other than screens, such as valves, pumps and different things. We use our rep organization to help us with that as well.
Once we sit down with our customer and understand what their needs are we can take our engineering group along with our rep organization and come up with a solution.
Todd Schnick: We are here at ACE 2012. What are you goals and objectives at the show?
Bob: One of the things is that we want to get in front of as many people as we can – potential clients, engineering groups, owners, CEO’s and people like that.
At the same time we get the opportunity to talk to existing customers who are here and a lot of our rep organization is here visiting customers and things like that. Leads are very important. We want to try to get as many leads as possible with potential customers.
Todd Schnick: I am curious about your perspective on the reputation of a lot of folks in the water industry being slow to adopt new technologies and new methodologies. What is your spin on that? What are you seeing out there?
Bob: Actually, that may have been the case but I think that it is changing, because it has to change. I really do. Whether you are getting into some type of flow analysis that involves a screen, the data calculations, the drawings, it is all becoming more complicated and I think that has to do with the way that these things are engineered.
I would agree that it has been slow. I think you are going to see a change in the next few years.
Todd Schnick: That is really good to hear. Bob, the area of drinking water treatment is so ripe for innovation. What can we do to get there and make better products to go with that?
Bob: I think it is going to come back to the collaboration and working with the customers and their suppliers. I really do. In terms of drinking water, we work with a lot of different companies all over the world and obviously all over the United States. I think technology is the key.
We have to move forward, not backwards. We are going to have to move fast because, as I mentioned earlier, at the end of the day customers want something that is going to last longer, is cost-effective, and they want it to be low maintenance.
Whatever they are doing with it, whether it is drinking water or anything else, they want it to be the best that money can buy. It is really about total value rather than low cost.
Todd Schnick: Bob, I hate to say it but we are out of time. Before I let you go, how can people get in touch with you and more importantly where can they learn about the good works at Hendrick Screen Company?
Bob: You can contact us at our Owensboro facility at 270-685-5138, or you can go to one of our websites at www.hendrickscreenco.com or www.waterintake.com. You can contact us at the two websites or at that phone number. We would be more than happy to talk to potential customers out there. We really would.
Todd Schnick: Outstanding. Bob McDole, General Manager with Hendrick Screen Company. It was great to have you. Thank you so much for joining us.
Bob: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Todd Schnick: That wraps this segment. On behalf of our guest Bob McDole, my co-host Todd Youngblood, all of us at Water Online, I am Todd Schnick, and we will be right back with our next guest.