Spending an entire Saturday in Honolulu, Hawaii, methodically tearing apart old compressors may not sound like fun, but for Oahu Air Conditioning, a member of The Unified Group, it was a virtual Hawaiian rhapsody.

Some 38 managers and maintenance engineers at the company got a hands-on lesson in what makes compressors tick (or not!) from Bruce Reich, an executive vice president at URI Compressors, a supplier with whom The Unified Group has a purchasing agreement.

Reich agreed to conduct the seminar in Hawaii free of charge when Oahu Air Conditioning expressed interest but was unable to attend a similar seminar stateside due to the travel costs involved.

In preparation for the workshop, United Rebuilders ships old compressors to the site. On the day of the workshop, participants are divided into teams and each tears apart one of the compressors, piece by piece, to determine what went wrong. When finished, they get together as a group to discuss their findings.

“The seminar shows technicians what is actually inside a compressor and what caused its failure,” said Reich, noting that failed compressors are selected at random from their stock room. “We, ourselves, don’t know what caused their failure. By tearing them apart, technicians learn not only what caused the failure initially, but the correct way to maintain a compressor that will prolong its life.

“Most technicians never get the chance to take a compressor apart. In the workshop, they discover things they never knew how to do and may never need to do again, but ultimately, it will help them provide better service to their customers.”

Formed in 1998, The Unified Group has grown to 32 contractors representing over $500 million in annual revenue. The mission of the organization is to enable the individual companies as a group to pursue national and regional business opportunities. In addition, the group provides its members with shared training opportunities as well as forums for information exchange and sharing of best practices. Members also benefit from negotiated purchasing agreements with vendors and suppliers.

To learn more about The Unified Group, or to get information about membership, contact Kristen Compton or Julie Bishop at 888-714-5990 or comptonk@theunifiedgroup.com or bishop@theunifiedgroup.com, or visit them on the web at www.theunifiedgroup.com.

Publication date: 05/19/2003