Earlier this year, Blick Industries of Laguna Beach, CA, was honored in the Best of StonExpo Product category for its suction cups with advanced top pad at The International Surface Event 2021. Stone World had the opportunity to speak with the company’s sales manager, Dave Masinter, to learn a little more about the product.
SW: What was the thought process in designing the suction cups with advanced top pad for your customers?
DM: We at Blick Industries have always prided ourselves on how we engage with our customers. Most of our suction cup shapes are the result of solutions to problems our customers have had, or recommendations from them. In the instance of our new pad design, our customers wanted more “holding power” from our suction cups. We achieved this by creating a larger channel for a greater volume of vacuum to flow, while still maintaining our industry best height tolerance. We are very pleased by the positive response from our customers, as well as new customers we have, due to the new pad design.
SW: What would you tell someone who is thinking about transitioning to a fully automated shop and considering your suction cups for their new machines?
DM: Blick Industries has been supplying the best vacuum workholding to CNC machines for over 25 years. Tolerance becomes very important when running a fully automated shop. From saw/jet cutting, to CNC, to installation, each millimeter is critical. Our suction cups hold an unmatched +0.05mm/-0.00mm tolerance, as well as a larger load capacity than any other suction cup on the market. The goal for a fully automated shop is to remove finished pieces from the CNC, without having to perform any manual touch-ups. With Blick Industries, the suction cups are never the problem.
SW: Are there any common problems you hear about from your customers in regards to suction cups? If so, how do you address them and what solutions do you share?
DM: We like to use the analogy that a CNC is like a sports car that makes money. Our suction cups would then be the tires for the sports car. Just like the CNC (sports car), the suction cups (sports car tires) need to be maintained and not just rotated. The CNC cannot produce finished pieces if the suction cups are damaged or mixed with other brands that do not have the same height tolerance. We ask our customers to use all Blick suction cups, when using any Blick suction cups, as well as storing the suction cups on their sides when not in use. Also, for maintenance, remove the air lines from the fittings, at least once per week to exercise the air fittings. These practices will extend the life of your Blick suction cups.
SW: How does it feel to win the Best of StonExpo award for the Product category?
DM: We are very honored and excited! A lot of work has gone into the design of the new pad, and we are extremely proud that our customers have such a great reaction to it.