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Tell me about customer support and installation?

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Crudely there are three stages of customer supports - pre sale, at sale, and post sale. Few phase converter manufacturers accept on-line ordering and so you will need to talk to them by telephone or write/email/fax them in order to make a purchase. In Boost's case we deliberately operate this policy because we want to ensure that clients purchase a product that will suit their needs as we have seen too many instances of clients innocently pre-selecting inappropriate products over the years. Once you have talked through your situation with a manufacturer they will be able to advise you on your options and then you will purchase. Following this you will need to be in contact with them to arrange receipt (these are not packages that should be left on a doorstep) and often clients make use of the phase converter manufacturer for telephone support during installation. Lastly you might need support in-service if a failure occurs, or if you are considering purchasing new machine tools or even selling your workshop and want pricing advice. It follows from all of this that the quality of service matters a lot and so you should be evaluating who is easy to contact, the calibre of their marketing literature (which may indicate the calibre of their phase converter manual), the duration and terms of any guarantees, and in general the extent to which they genuinely support their products. A related point I would like to mention is that many phase converters are bought at the same time as clients purchase second-hand machinery. My personal experience is that I spend a lot of time on the phone talking customers through fault-finding where the outcome is that the machine tool was faulty in some regard having been bought 'as is' at auction. Whilst a certain amount of this is reasonable please would clients not look upon us as a free electrical engineering service, bear with us when we are not familiar with the intricacies of their particular machine tool, and excuse us if we do not give this quite such a high priority as our core phase converter business (it is very interesting for us but makes no money). In this regard the feedback I am often given is that manufacturers - including inverter drive manufacturers such as Newton Tesla - all support their phase converters and clients to a much greater degree than the various distributors or the second-hand market.

The very small converters (say of 1.8-kW / 2.5-hp) are simple devices that just plug in to a 13 Amp socket and, unless clients are completely allergic to electricity, they will be able to install themselves. The medium sized converters up to say 6-kW / 8-hp will need to be connected to fuse boards (via an MCB) and have cabling run to the machinery. Many clients choose to run the cabling and position the equipment themselves, but then use the services of a professional electrician or knowledgeable friend to make the final connections. Above 8-kW / 10-hp it is increasingly common for professional electricians to be more involved.