E-commerce has grown strongly over the last few years, with a boost in the pandemic years as a result of the numerous restrictions people had to face. The simple fact of going to the store for various purchases has decreased considerably, nowadays people are rather preferring to make acquisitions for both domestic and professional use in the relatively safety of their home and offices. Multiple high-performance gadgets, modern IT technologies and high-speed internet have also contributed to the growth of the e-commerce sector, which has grown steadily up to $621.45 billion in 2021, considering the data registered for the Western Europe.
At first, the online stores sold mainly consumer products which did not raise any major issues on the level of user understanding regarding the product information, but nowadays, there are many specialized technical products like blasting media and blasting equipment that are also sold on the ecommerce platforms. Selling this type of products requires advanced technical knowledge in the field, because blasting is a sensitive industrial area as it can endanger the life and the health of the blasting operators, if they are not properly informed about the features and the operation of blasting equipment they intend to buy, or even worse, about the chemical composition of the blasting media they intend to acquire.
However, there are many companies that have found it “appropriate” to develop online stores with blasting products alongside many other industrial products, without having the necessary knowledge in the vast field of blasting, by simply adding in their store blasting media products without material safety data sheets (MSDS), and blasting equipment products without the necessary information on operation and features, but with attractive product images and stunning marketing messages… this being the case, with no proper and complete information on the products marketed, no wonder that many buyers end up buying products that do not meet their needs for their blasting applications, or even worse, can be harmful to their health, like toxic blasting media (such is quartz yellow sand), unapproved blasting equipment, or uncertified protective equipment.
Although the market has been flooded with many types of blasting media and equipment, the general opinion in this regard that we have encountered at several specialization courses on blasting is that “many are alike, but very few are what they really should be”, due to the extreme variations in terms of the quality and efficiency of the blasting products that can be found on the market.
Nowadays, when the level of competition is fierce and the survival of a business depends on many other factors that were not even considered in the past, it is mandatory for the health of your business to understand who the supplier is, and how competent and professional is in the blasting field, in order to receive real support during and after the acquisition of blasting media and equipment, if we take in considerations many aspects like: the lifespan of the products, their efficiency, durability and the safety of the humans during operation, whether is about a blasting pot, an air compressor, blasting protective equipment or blasting media.
We suggest a short imaginative scenario: suppose that a non-specialist would want to buy a blasting equipment; how do you think such a user will mostly proceed in this case? At first glance, the user opens the Google search engine, types what he considers to be relevant, and, at one click away, the search engine will return a lot of products, some more promising than others. These products look great in carefully edited photos, further, you get a short description, an attractive price and the ultimate argument to persuade the potential buyer that works in almost 99% cases, in case of a beginner: the commissioning of the blasting equipment is ensured!
But is really that easy to buy high quality professional blasting equipment?
We propose a non-exhaustive list with some major aspects that should be discussed and clarified with the potential supplier, when a person intends to buy a blasting equipment:
- First, you should establish the level of proficiency of the supplier in the blasting field, to understand if he has sufficient technical knowledge to support the user during acquisition with unbiased and qualified opinions. Is the person answering the phone a blasting expert or just a sales person?
- What is the origin of the blasting equipment? Is the product manufacturer a reputational company with tradition in the field, which complies with the latest requirement of the international standards and regulations regarding quality, features and user safety? For example, considering the pressure vessel, the main component of a blasting pot on which depends the efficiency and safety of the entire blasting operation: there are only two companies of tradition in Europe with vast experience in designing and producing professional pressure vessels for the blasting pots.
- The supplier needs to know and must communicate the minimum and maximum consumption rate of blasting media, the minimum and maximum operating efficiency, and further, the factors that are influencing the maximum operating efficiency: air consumption, air pressure, quality of the compressed air. In addition, the supplier must provide technical data sheets with complete equipment features and user manuals.
- Regarding the first commissioning of the blasting equipment, the supplier should communicate in what circumstances the test will be carried out: (a) what type of blasting media will be used, (b) what surface will be considered, (c) what is the level of competence of the person that will carry out the test, and (d) who bears the costs of the blasting media used for testing purpose – and here, let’s just not hear of the test carried out with yellow quartz sand, a real bombshell for the health of everyone involved in the process.
Purchasing a blasting equipment is a complex process that requires relevant advice and support from a blasting specialist. If the buyer will buy on the spur of the moment, letting himself enchanted with the beautiful product pictures and attractive marketing messages, it will be for sure a decision that we hope he will not regret later. We, at GritSablare, support the buyer of a blasting equipment and vibratory tumbler in every stage of the acquisition process, with extensive expertise and relevant information, so the buyer could make the most informative choice on the blasting equipment that he needs for his business, pursuing also productivity and long-term efficiency.
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