Custom Air Slides Saves Equipment Manufacturer Time, Money

Ron Cowell had a challenge: it took 16-18 weeks for his supplier to deliver the custom air slides that he uses in the machines that his business, T-ROC Equipment LLC, sells to customers.

Founded in 2000 by Ron Cowell and partner Tim Dehoff, T-ROC Equipment manufactures automated packaging equipment for organizations like ALCOA, JC Penney, Williams-Sonoma, and even the U.S. Navy. Their machines automatically cut and fold corrugated cardboard to make nearly any size box—ideal for packaging and shipping applications.

The air slides are a critical component of the machinery that T-ROC sells to its customers. When the lead time on the custom air slides increased to 16-18 weeks, he knew he had to make a change. So Cowell called IBT Industrial Solutions.

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“I’ve been working with IBT for almost 30 years now, through 2 different businesses,” Ron said. “I’ve used them to source everything from bearings to shafting.”

Mark Glad, an Outside T ROC article2Sales representative at IBT, and David Leffert, a Fluid Power Product Specialist at IBT, visited Cowell’s plant in Kansas City to observe how the air slides were used. After a short analysis, they worked with Fabco-Air to design a specially modified air slide that would not only perform better than the old ones—but also cost less and ship faster.

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“We felt that the quality of the original air slides he was using could be improved,” David said. Mark agreed. “The new air slides will not only eliminate many of the previous failures they had, but also give them more flexibility to change their equipment designs down the road,” he added.

IBT has a long-standing relationship with Fabco-Air, which provides a wide variety of products in the pneumatic industry—such as air cylinders, actuators, boosters, crimpers, and grippers. “We use Fabco-Air to make a number of specifically engineered products,” said Brent Hanson, the Business Group Director of Fluid Power at IBT, who works with Glad and Leffert. “We’ve had great success with them in the past.”

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The result? A better-fitted, more flexible air slide for T-ROC’s packaging machines—that costs less, and can be delivered in under 6 weeks.

“After 30 years, I still enjoy working with IBT because their turnaround time is great,” Ron said. “Their inventory is superior to other suppliers, and they really take care of their people and customers. I’ve also worked with the same representatives there for years, which is nice.”

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Need a component delivered faster? Or a custom component?

Call Brent Hanson, the Business Group Director of Fluid Power at IBT Industrial Solutions, at (913) 261-2125 or bhanson@ibtinc.com.