Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reducing Coupling Downtime in Brazil

Guest Post: Doug Durham (Lovejoy, VP of International Sales)

A large multinational manufacture of household products in Brazil approached one of our distributor partners with an coupling problem. They had an array of roof mounted pumps that were exposed to all the elements of hot summer sun and torrential rain in the winter months.

These extreme climactic swings were causing the metal hubs of the original equipment couplings to rust and corrode making the coupling changes very difficult. To replace the elastomeric elements you would need to move the hubs along the shaft. This was becoming more and more difficult as time went on. 

Lovejoy Jaw In-Shear Coupling Diagram
The Lovejoy solution was to use a Jaw In-Shear style of coupling. This would allow the element to be changed without the hubs being moved. The customer was ecstatic and changed all five over the next two months. Even though the cast iron hubs of the JIS couplings were still exposed to the elements and would rust, the element and the stainless steel ring would not rust or corrode. This allows for easy replacement and limited down time. 

The maintenance manager of the facility has stated that the JIS element change takes less than 30 minutes where the old system was down for at least 24 hours. The end customer has written this up their companies best practices and will consider the JIS style coupling for all the pumps in his facility. 

On a closing note, the life he is getting from the Lovejoy JIS coupling is a minimum of three times what he was experiencing from the original OEM couplings. 

To learn more about Jaw In-Shear, you can:
- Read a blog article: Jaw In-Shear Couplings - A Straight Forward Value Add
- Visit the Lovejoy Jaw In-Shear Product Page
- Download the Lovejoy Jaw In-Shear Product Catalog
- Look up Lovejoy Jaw In-Shear Product Part Numbers

To source a Lovejoy coupling in Brazil, please visit visit Setax or a Setax approved distributor. For other parts of the world, please use Lovejoy's Find a Distributor tool.
About the Author: Doug Durham has several decades of power transmission engineering sales expertise. To tap into Doug's rich industry knowledge and experience, please contact him through the Lovejoy webpage and/or find a highly qualified Lovejoy distributor through Lovejoy's Find a Distributor tool. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Need Coupling Help? - We've Got 50 Answers & Counting

50 Coupling Answer Blog Posts

Just a few days shy of Thanksgiving in the United States, and those of us blessed enough to serve the power transmission industry on behalf of Lovejoy give thanks to our countless partners, end users, and supporters who allow us to help them turn the world forward through the use of our flexible couplings.

This blog was created with the vision of being a quick go-to resource for those seeking answers to specific power transmission coupling questions. If you have a question that this blog has not directly or fully answered, or perhaps you're just not sure... please do not be shy about raising the question to us.

As unique as you may feel your question may be, the reality is likely that, if you are looking for it, there are almost certainly hundreds of others also seeking an answer to the very same question. 

Whether you question pertains to elastomeric coupling types (couplings with rubber, urethane, or other non-metallic flexing element), or metallic types (gear, grid, disc, etc.) the Lovejoy team is well equipped to field it. 

Unless you are in your late eighties (or older), Lovejoy has been making flexible couplings since before you were born. Couplings are in our blood, and it's an honor to be entrusted with your business, questions, and concerns. We are excited to have reached the 50 blog post milestone, and look forward to serving you well and answering your questions for many posts to come. Best wishes to all!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Coupling Spacers - How Long Can or Should They Get?

Gear Coupling Spacer
As evident in the photo at right, spacers for couplings can get quite large. The spacers in the shown photo are approximately 20 feet in length and mate up to two size 9 flex-rigid gear couplings for an application installation in Asia. (This photo was taken at Lovejoy's Downers Grove, Illinois facility with Lothar G├Ądtke of R+L Hydraulics from Werdohl, Germany serving as our guest human model. Thanks Lothar!)

While coupling spacers can get quite long, it is important to remember that they do create an additional overhung load, and the power transmission system's bearings must be able to support the weight. (Weight is a major reason why long spacers are sometimes designed out of lightweight composite materials.)

Longer spacers also cost more, given more material and manufacturing time is needed, with composites costing considerably more.

Due to weight and cost, best practices generally dictate that equipment being connected by a coupling be located as close to each other as possible (while still allowing adequate room for coupling installation and removal). However, there is one benefit of longer spacers that is often overlooked... and, that is misalignment handling capability. 

Lovejoy 4 Bolt Disc CouplingGiven two flexing planes and a set distance between them (as pictured in the 4 bolt disc coupling at left), it is the distance between the two flexing planes that largely determines how much parallel misalignment the coupling can handle. As the distance between the two flexing planes increases, so does the maximum amount of parallel misalignment that they system can handle. 

Note: While couplings are designed to handle a certain amount of misalignment, and larger spacers can provide for increased maximum allowances, broadly speaking, the best solution for managing misalignment and maximizing system life is to actually eliminate or reduce misalignment in a system should be minimized. (Just because a coupling can take a certain amount of misalignment, doesn't mean you should accept that amount of misalignment in your system. This is somewhat analogous to "just because your car is designed to handle and survive potholes... doesn't mean you shouldn't try to avoid driving through a bunch of them".)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Test Stand Couplings - Go Disc or Go Home!

Guest Post: Bob Johnson, Lovejoy Field Sales Representative

Lovejoy is well known for its test stand disc couplings across a number of customers and sales territories. Specific to me, the attached photo shows a Lovejoy disc coupling being used in a gearbox test stand application that is capable of full load testing up to 2.5 KW.

This test stand is used to ensure that rebuilt gearboxes are properly assembled, bearings and gearing are working properly, and that the unit is operating oil tight.

The shown disc coupling comes complete with shrink disk hubs for fast disassembling and reassembling.

About the Author: Bob Johnson has many decades experience in the mechanical power transmission industry and has been a longtime supporter and champion of Lovejoy coupling solutions. To find a Lovejoy representative in your area, please visit Lovejoy's Sales Representative Search Tool.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shaft Keys & Keyways - "Be aware of the little details”

Guest Post: Jim Mabrey, Lovejoy Field Sales Representative 

An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) reported having issues with the Lovejoy SX6 Disc Coupling, specifically citing that a coupling vibration existed and it appeared to be leading to premature bearing failure on a 250Hp AC Motor driving a Blower. 

The immediate assumption was that the disc coupling hubs were not sufficiently balanced and that they needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, upon replacement, the freshly balanced hubs did not eliminate or address the vibration issue at hand.

Lovejoy SX6 Disc Coupling
Lovejoy SX6 Disc Coupling
Diving deeper, the question was then asked about the shape of the keyway. It was at this point that it was discovered that the OEM was using a square key provided by their Motor OEM on the motor shaft. 

The prevailing North American industry bore standard (ANSI/AGMA 9002-B04), used by Lovejoy, is to supply hubs with a chamfer key slot in order to reduce the stress on the hubs. Unfortunately, the square key used by was distorting the hub enough to make the coupling unbalanced. Once an ANSI/AGMA 9002-B04 compliant shaped key was used, the problem went away. 

The Lovejoy OEM disc coupling user now requires all keys provided by motor manufacturers to be made with a chamfer per ANSI/AGMA 9002-B04. 

Jim Mabrey About the Author: Jim Mabrey has many decades experience in the mechanical power transmission industry and has been a longtime supporter and champion of Lovejoy coupling solutions. To find a Lovejoy representative in your neck of the woods, please visit Lovejoy's Sales Representative Search Tool

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LH Series Couplings Solves Customer Failure In Large Hydraulic System

Guest Post: Randy Greenwood, Lovejoy, OEM & Hydraulic Sales Director

A customer in southern California was experiencing frequent coupling failures using a competitor’s straight jaw coupling. The application was on a large industrial hydraulic power unit, with the couplings installed between the electric motors and the hydraulic pumps.

The jaws were cracking at the base of the teeth. I got a call from our distributor asking me if we had an interchange for a competitor's product. Their customer was failing couplings in 3-6 months on a repeating basis. customer stressed that the replacement coupling had to be retrofittable in the existing installation, and must be easily serviced. The solution we quoted was a LH700 series which was a dimensional interchange with respect to OAL (overall length).  

We quoted and sold the LH700’s to the customer, with the end result being that the LH700 couplings have been in service for 3-1/2 years without a single failure. (The LH700s were installed in early 2011.)

The secret for the LH700’s success is the design of the coupling, which allow for significantly higher torque loads to be transmitted relative to the installed competitor's design. In some competitor cases the LH capacity is 2-3 times that of competitor designs.

In addition, the spider in the LH700 is an open center design, and the outside design is “open” which promotes heat dissipation and makes monitoring the condition of the spider easier.

About the Author: Randy Greenwood has over 30 years of hydraulic sales expertise and has been service customers and end users on behalf of Lovejoy since 2009 . To tap into Randy's rich industry knowledge and experience, please contact him through the Lovejoy webpage or reach out to him directly on LinkedIn

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Low Cost Couplings

The concept of going with a low cost flexible couplings has a wonderful ring to it, but it is critical that low cost is defined over the life of the coupling & coupling application, and not the immediate upfront product cost. Relative to the total cost of a power transmission system or application, the coupling is a relatively small component, and, as such, the cost of the application going down (even if only for a few hours) can quickly dwarf the total cost of even the most expensive up front coupling option. 

A top quality coupling manufacturer is top quality for a reason. They are relentless in ensuring their products are always the best of the best, inclusive of a design perspective, material quality, production tolerances, and product support.

Low Cost Coupling Regret
So, can paying a bit more for a best in class coupling actual yield real and lasting cost savings over the long term?

Absolutely, and this logic does not only apply just to couplings. A few years back I took a risk and bought a low price space heater for my home (passing up the respected brand which cost a bit more). This was a huge mistake. When it failed shortly thereafter, I had a product that I could get no support or service for. In fact, the company who made it wasn't even still in business. Because it was filled with oil, it took me forever to figure out how to properly dispose of it, and, yes... I did go back and purchase the more reputable brand. Fortunately, the cost of downtime for my space heater was relatively low (I threw on a sweater and made due until I could go out and get a new space heater.). 

In the case of couplings, the cost of going down can be astronomical. A coupling going down can shut down an entire production line, costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars per hour. Fortunately, there is a best in class coupling company that can get you back up and running fast with their Quick Ship program, but wouldn't it cost less if you had just went with a more reliable best in class product from the start?

Rather than a space heater, I see couplings more similar to the tires on your automobile (an integrated system). There is always a low cost alternative tire available at the tire store, but do you really want to put you and your family on the road and trust you lives to a brand you've never heard of?

There are a whole host of issues that can arise when using a low quality coupling (poor misalignment handling, poor dampening, coupling concentricity issues, tolerance issues, premature bearing wear), with coupling failure being only one of them. With all the very real costs associated with using a suboptimal coupling, we highly recommend that coupling users stick with a brand and product that is well known and trusted for their world class quality and product support. We believe that to do otherwise would be penny wise, and dollar foolish. You and your company deserve better.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Can a good coupling protect against ignored maintenance?

Guest Post: Fred McWilliams, Lovejoy Canada

Early one dark rainy morning in early 2010, I received an irate phone call from the head of production at one of the steel mills I support. He wanted to know why our disc coupling had come off a 250hp motor shaft in a catastrophic failure at 4.00 am that morning.  

Disc Coupling Failure
While, fortunately, no one was injured in the failure, his production has stopped and he wanted me to visit his plant immediately. He was too “hot up”, for me to get any further information. I told him I would come right away.

While driving to the plant, I received a call from a fluid coupling manufacturer's representative, who told me that he had also been summoned, as his fluid coupling had also been part of the failure.

 As Lovejoy Canada supplies this steel mill with SX255-6 Disc coupling assemblies (consisting of 3 hubs and 2 disc packs), that bolt either side of a fluid coupling at this facility, I now could understand why the fluid coupling representative was also involved in this issue. 

Bent Motor ShaftUpon arriving at the job site, both the fluid coupling manufacturer's representative and I were astonished to see the condition of the 250 hp 449T frame 3 ¾” diameter shaft. It was bent almost at a right angle and there was severe heating scars on it.

Upon talking to the maintenance crew, we found out that this particular motor had been making “grinding noises”, for some time and nothing had been done to find out why this was occurring, due to being unable to have Production stopped.

Both the fluid coupling representative and I suggested that the motor be thoroughly examined to see if there was a reason for the bent shaft. It was obvious to us that there had been a failure within the motor that must have caused excessive overheating to the point that the motor shaft had deformed and stopped suddenly, causing the fluid coupling assembly to come off the shaft and break through the coupling guard.
Bent Motor Shaft - Zoom
Lovejoy Canada, the fluid coupling manufacturer, and the motor supplier were asked to replace the damaged parts ASAP so that production could be re-started as quickly as possible.

Lovejoy Canada had our coupling components on our shelf in our Mississauga Ontario warehouse and they were shipped to the customer that afternoon.
Within a couple of days the drive assembly was completed and installed.

A report on the motor found that a rear bearing had seized, causing excessive overheating and deformation of the motor shaft. The new assembly has now been running successfully for over four years, and is “Red Flagged” for regular maintenance. A crucial maintenance/production lesson has also been learned.

While I never did get an apology from the Head of Production for his irate phone call, I did derived a great deal of satisfaction from being able to help him quickly troubleshoot the failure and get his production again.

So to directly answer the subject question, “Can a good coupling protect against ignored maintenance?" The answer is obviously and unfortunately "No". While no equipment will last very long if it is neglected and abused, using high quality products within their designed working envelope (like the Lovejoy SX255-6 disc coupling) will help keep equipment running for a considerable length of time. Again, using quality products should never be an excuse to ignore regular system maintenance.

Fred McWilliam About the Author: Fred McWilliams has served as Lovejoy Canada's Eastern Accounts Manager for well over a decade. To tap into Fred's rich industry knowledge and experience, please contact him through Lovejoy Canada or reach out to him directly on LinkedIn

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Herculean New Gear Coupling is Born!

Yes, the rumors are true. Technology has proven that further significant design improvements are indeed possible in this legacy well established product category with the release of a revolutionary new gear coupling line. 

HercuFlex Gear Coupling logo

Briefly taking a step back in time, most of today's legacy gear couplings have their roots in a time well before modern computing (and CNC machining). The engineers who designed these legacy products were no less brilliant than today's engineers. It was these engineers who laid the groundwork and framework for today's engineers (who are now blessed with and equipped to the gills with super-fast computers capable of running hundreds upon hundreds of finite element analysis models in a very short time period).

Flanged Gear CouplingIn hindsight, the result of the early gear coupling engineers' efforts and their slide rules was absolutely magnificent. A handful of extremely effective work horse designs that could transmit a major amount of torque in a relatively small footprint were born, and, to a large degree, continue to be relevant today. In working with American Gear Manufacturing Association these early pioneers created standards (namely today's AGMA 9008-B00 - Flexible Couplings - Gear Type - Flange Dimensions Inch Series-Revision of AGMA 516.01) that, while not calling out the specific tooth configurations, provided external mounting dimensions that allowed these major players to remain half coupling compatible through size 9 for flanged sleeve couplings.  

Note: Continuous sleeve gear couplings hubs are generally not interchangeable between manufacturers, because gear tooth dimensions are not standardized by this AGMA document. Also, while European and other foreign (non-major North American brand) gear couplings generally follow AGMA standards, they do drift, so it is always important to verify a gear coupling meets AGMA 9008-B00 standard. 

Gear Coupling ImageOver the past few decades, various gear coupling players have claimed specific accolades (largest bore in certain size ranges, most torque in certain size ranges, most durable, etc.), and a few creative marketing approaches to published ratings have been explored to claim such ratings (i.e. - increasing the service factor multipliers to compensate for higher coupling ratings, calculating max ratings under different misalignment conditions), but only one manufacturer (to our knowledge) has spent the past two years using the latest engineering design and modeling software in concert with physical testing to prove out a clean sheet optimized gear coupling.

Building on decades of success selling its extremely robust and proven legacy Sier-Bath gear coupling line, Lovejoy has just released its brand new HercuFlex full line gear coupling for public review and it is being very well received. (A whitepaper has also been published covering the development and testing of this product in greater depth as well.) 

HercuFlex Gear Coupling
In launching, Lovejoy also revealed that it had already pre-signed up its first stocking distributor: Allied Bearing of Harahan, Louisiana. What got Allied Bearing immediately so excited about the HercuFlex design is that it offers industry leading max bores, industry leading torque, and improved seals while still adhering to the AGMA  9000-B00 standard for flanged couplings. Furthermore, the HercuFlex flanged and continuous sleeve couplings were designed to accommodate a common hub and seal design which results in substantial inventory reductions for stocking distributors.

In addition to providing a minimal inventory solution to interchange half for half with most major gear couplings installed in the field, the HercuFlex was also designed specifically with original equipment manufacturers in mind. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) want and need the optimal solution for their product, and aren't interested in paying for weight or material they don't need.

By offering an industry leading max bore while still providing industry leading max torque carrying capability, the HercuFlex may allow a machine designer the opportunity to downsize a coupling from one they were previously using or had considered using. A smaller coupling not only saves on cost, but also saves on coupling weight. Given coupling weight is an overhung load, less weight means less burden on the shaft bearings and the two systems the shaft coupling is connecting. 

FX Gear CouplingTraditional proven legacy gear coupling designs have survived the test of time, and they will continue to prove relevant to users who need their dense power design... but, for those looking for a best next generation solution that can interchange, that can rationalize inventory, and can save on weight... that solution is now ready and available.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top 10 Social Media & Web Takeaways from the PTDA Industry Summit

Between Philippa Gamse’s fantastic Bricks to Clicks presentation and PTDA Next Gen’s Social Media Learning Lab, there was a ton of great information and lessons learned for me to take back and apply to my own business in Downers Grove, IL. Reflecting back on the event, I (Elliot Wilson) created a top 10 list of key social media takeaways… as well as a self-reflection on each takeaway.
I would love to hear if those who were there agreed with my key takeaways, and what, if any, key takeaways they had that I might have missed. For those of you that weren’t there, hopefully my Top 10 will provide you much of the content you missed out on… and, hopefully, we’ll see you in Chicago next October for the 2015 PTDA Industry Summit!

10. LinkedIn Is A Force To Be Reckoned With! Philippa Gamse cited a report showing that LinkedIn was the #1 social media site for B2B lead generation, #1 social media site for B2B content distribution, and #1 social media site for B2B traffic back to blogs and sites.

Inside one of the Social Media Learn Lab groups, Mark Tomalonis made the point that there are better times to post inside groups to ensure your postings receive maximum visibility. I won’t publicly reveal his “secret” in this blog, but perhaps if you email him he will “spill the beans”. Hint: His logic is similar but not identical to the concept that it is best to post to Facebook or Twitter just before lunch (or when your users are most likely to see the content you’ve created).

During a late night of PTDA Next Gen partying at the bar, Eric Achilles Cousineau shared some of his successes of posting to a company’s corporate LinkedIn page, followed immediately by posting to LinkedIn Groups… and tying his Group posts back to the corporate LinkedIn page. (Thanks Mitch Bouchard for the introduction!)

(Self-reflection: Awe. Even though I was one of the Social Media Learning Lab Facilitators for LinkedIn, I honestly had no clue that LinkedIn could be so powerful a tool for lead generation. I always saw it first and foremost as a recruiting tool, but, upon deeper reflection, I discovered how powerful the site really could be. Specifically, I discovered how powerful posting to groups could be… and, if you are reading this post and came from the PTDA LinkedIn Group posting I made… this point has just been made.) 

9. Twitter Is A Growing Force. In all three metrics cited above, Twitter placed #2 behind LinkedIn. 

(Self-reflection: I’ve always been in denial about the potential value of Twitter, but when I saw Sandy Sullivan helping Tim Breen and several others setting up accounts and posting their first Tweets over breakfast at the Summit… I knew my denial must end. I followed suit, and posted my very first Lovejoy Tweet hours later... make it one of nearly 100 made during the event to leverage the hashtag #PTDA14is. Thank you @PTDAorg, @EPTDA, @BaldwinSupply, @bdiusa, @WCDuCombCo, @MediaBarAgency, @AlliedBearing for quickly following @LovejoyUSA back… even if we only have 3 Tweets... and thank you Mike McLain for your Tweets on HercuFlex gear couplings!)

8. Facebook Is So Last Year. Not only did LinkedIn & Twitter outrank Facebook in every B2B metric Philippa shared, but nobody expressed any interest in it for the Social Media Learning Lab. When signing up for the Social Media Learning Lab, participants were given a choice of learning about LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Every participant selected either LinkedIn or Twitter, without a single person requesting to learn about Facebook. 

(Self-reflection: With over 12,000 fans, Lovejoy has historically made a strong commitment to growing and supporting its Facebook channel. While we do recognize this channel to be more social in nature, we will continue to post and share the behind-the-scenes action of our family company… for those who remain interested.)

7. YouTube Videos Are A Must. Philippa cited that YouTube videos are the second largest search engine in the world, with the #1 search engine being Google (a company that owns YouTube). As such, she highly encouraged PTDA members to consider making video content available on YouTube so that it can be found for users seeking solutions. 

(Self-reflection: Lovejoy has over 30 YouTube videos on its YouTube channel, and a dedicated website specifically for user focused installation and support videos. While we’ve got a good start, there is certainly quite a bit more content we should and could be adding in this arena.)

6. BLOG = Better Listings On Google. Philippa pulled out a stat that, while I couldn’t fully understand how it was derived, couldn’t argue with either… and, that stat was that B2B websites that have blogs generate 70% more leads than websites without. The rationale supporting this statistic was that Google and other search engines love genuine original content, and reward it by ranking it highly in their search results. Philippa also recognized that blogs do require a tremendous amount of time and resources, and are not worth doing unless a company is committed to updating and maintaining it on a regular basis. 

On the subject of search rankings, Philippa also made the point not to obsess about search rankings because Google personalizes results based on a number of factors including your location and your own personal preferences. If you search for your company and click on your own links, your results will show up better than if a stranger in a different location searched for the same term for the very first time. 

(Self-reflection: Even more so than Twitter, I have long been in intentional denial on the value of blogs… but, two months ago, I finally bit the bullet and went all in on this blog. In launching, my commitment has been to launch one post, every business day, for at least the first six months. So far, I am doing well, but to be totally honest, generating relevant content every day takes a lot of energy and focus. Scheduling does help, but it still is really hard. Please check back every few weeks to keep me accountable and cheer us on, and we’ll return the favor by letting you know how our efforts are panning out.)

5. Industrial Products Can Create Viral Content. Philippa shared a story on how an industrial manufacturer (Kern Precision Scales) created a viral smash hit by sending Gnomes around the world and had them weighed to show the slight differences in gravitational forces. 

(Self-reflection: As great as it would be to generate a viral video on industrial couplings, I am at a total loss. If you are more creative than me, please do not hesitate to hit me up with your idea. While I can’t promise compensation, I will promise to shout your name loud and wide when the concept goes viral… providing you every minute of fame alongside Lovejoy!)

4. Use and Leverage Website Analytics. Especially when using pay-per-click or other advertising with physical hard costs, Philippa strongly advocated using and monitoring website analytics to ensure you are maximizing your advertising spend. For manufacturers and those not selling directly online, she suggested companies assign notional values for actions website users take, such as time on the site or specific pages visited. 

(Self-reflection: Good to go! Fortunately with Google Analytics being free and easy to install, Lovejoy has had solid site analytics for years. This is something we regularly monitor and pay attention to.)

3. Website Search Box Can Be A Goldmine. In her “Usability and Conversion Optimization” section of her presentation, one concept that jumped out at me was to review the search box results on your website (assuming you have one, which she said you should). What makes this so powerful is that users generally only use this when they are struggling to find the content they are looking for. Identify the top movers and optimize your site to make this content either easier to find or available if it isn’t already out there. 

(Self-reflection: Guilty. I never once checked Lovejoy’s search terms until sitting down to write this blog, and it was fairly insightful. It turned up not only different ways people spell our product, but also some creative terms they use to describe our products that we would not have thought of. I have already gone back and added one of the keywords to a blog post I was writing, given I do not use the term on our formal website… nor feel it is a proper term to use on our website.)

2. Pay attention to “No Results” searches. For terms that cannot be found on your website, Philippa suggested we consider giving the user something more useful than “No Results”. These are users looking for answers from you, and the site is essentially just throwing up its hands. Philippa suggests replacing with this non-value added statement with a relevant call to action, such as “Call us for more information” or “Check out FAQs”. 

(Self-reflection: Mildly guilty. If you search something obscure like “couplings for potato chip machines” on Lovejoy’s webpage, you will get a “No Results” response… but, by no doing of my own, our “No Response” is accompanied by 3 to 4 suggestions on improving your search results… which, while not a perfect call to action, is at least a call to action. Point well taken.)

1.  Be Deliberate In Walking Your Customers Through Your Website. A customer landing on your website is no different than a customer walking into your storefront. You should be deliberate and intentional in walking them through every action you would like them to take on the website. Philippa advocated watching users interact with your website, and drove this point home by highlighted several PTDA member websites where she saw issues inclusive of not making buy buttons prominent enough and not making shopping carts readily accessible. 

(Self-reflection: Not guilty! On this one, I’ve got a very clear conscious. Lovejoy is all in for educating our customers with product information followed by immediately getting customers into the hands of a trusted distributors who can make the sale. As such, we have a very prominent “Find a Distributor” button on just about every page of our website, and it works. Over 6000 website users per month are finding this tool thanks to our purposeful web design. Of course, we can always improve further… so if you see a shortcoming of our website, please do not hesitate to share your feedback or suggestions. If you are a Lovejoy distribution partner, please also double check and ensure we are showing your content properly as this is a tool we push heavily.)

Overarching Conclusion: The web & social media are not waning, but rather undeniably growing in importance…yes, even in the B2B industrial power transmission marketplace. As such, it’s critical that all of us accept this brave new world and adjust our business plans accordingly. In my humble opinion, the 2014 PTDA Industry Summit Planning Committee did a phenomenal job in securing the exceptionally relevant and valuable content cited above. Hats off and a big thanks to all who played a leading role, inclusive of Anne Arnott and her entire PTDA staff. I look forward to seeing many old and new faces next October in Chicago... if not sooner at the Spring Leaders Conference in Arizona! 

Additional Resources: For PTDA Members who would like to see Philippa Gamse's PowerPoint presentation in its entirety, it is currently available for download on the PTDA website.  
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