30 Years of Adash
The Adash Company, a producer of vibration analysis instruments and software is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year. Though this is an uncommon article here in Maintworld, we have decided to online interview Mr. Adam Bojko and Mr. Radomir Sglunda who are founders and owners of the Adash Company. We would like to know more about their successful worldwide business and basically why and how they started. How is the current market situation and how do they see a future of machine condition monitoring?
Maintworld: My first question is probably no surprise. What brought you two together and what lead you to a decision to start your own company concentrating on industrial maintenance and predictive maintenance in particular?
Radomir: We met at the Coal Research Institute here in Ostrava in the mid 80s. Adash is based here in Ostrava too by the way. We were in the seismic measurements department. That was our first touch with a vibration analyser. Nobody knew in the beginning how to operate the B&K 2034 vibration analyser, which was bought by the Research Institute for our measuring purposes. It was no surprise that all manuals where in English only and we needed to study a lot all the new terms for us. We found out how to set up correct time waveform, FFT and other types of measurement for our seismic measurement purposes. But why did the manual keep talking about some "rotating machinery analysis"? This area was totally unknown to us, and we were curious to know more about it. We managed to get more materials about this method of predictive maintenance and started to offer our services to surrounding factories.
Maintworld: I presume that you were using competitors’ devices for your jobs in the beginning. But what was actually your first product under the Adash name?
Adam: We were young with not too much in the way of resources. We literally had just our PC. Therefore, there was only one way for us to start; to do some programming. Our first Adash product was software for Modal Analysis. Later on we got in touch with TEC from Knoxville and we made Operating Deflection Shapes at their instigation. However, this was specialized software for a limited amount of vibration experts. And we were hungry to catch a bigger audience.
Maintworld: Where did you see these bigger opportunities?
Adam: We wanted to attract the general public. Basically, guys in the field. People involved in day-to-day data collection. Adash was actually the first in the world to write route measurement management software DDS which was running under Windows 3.1 OS. We were selling it along with competitor’s data collectors and things finally started to move. We even sold tens of copies to our German rival in the past when they did not have their own Windows-based software yet.
Maintworld: So why did you also start hardware production if you were successfully selling your software with competitors’ hardware?
Radomir: That is a simple answer. Competitors closed their hardware communication protocols. Therefore, our DDS software could not "talk" with their data collectors anymore.
Maintworld: Understood. I guess you started with a simple vibration meter, correct?
Adam: Actually no. Our first device in 1995 was a vibration analyser, data collector. We hired our first employee whose hobby was electronics, and he became our hardware development engineer. The vibration analyser A4001 was presented at the biggest Czech engineering fair in Brno that year. I remember the first version at the fair was not 100% ready for market. The batteries there drained in about 10 minutes, so we needed to be very quick while presenting to potential clients. This battery issue was of course fixed right after the show.
Maintworld: It seems there has been huge progress during the years as you have a wide range of portable and online monitoring equipment in your portfolio nowadays. How do you fight against competition and what is the current situation in your business area?
Radomir: First of all we managed to find distributors in over 90 countries during the years. Competition will always be here which keeps us in pace to bring new things to clients. We are developing our products according to the end users’ requirements actually. We are listening to their suggestions of what should be improved or what features should be added to our software or hardware. Technical support from our distributors and from us is quite quick I think. We have unique measurement features and also, we are competitive price wise. Last but not least we offer 5 years warranty on our products.
Our big competitors have been acquired by huge corporations during last few years. We think it will slow down their development in the future as they have lost independence.
Maintworld: Talking about the future. How do you see vibration condition monitoring in the future? What can we look forward to in Adash?
Adam: Despite concentrating now on our portable devices, I think factories will be turning more to 24/7 online monitoring systems. But we believe there will be still a group of vibration enthusiasts who will appreciate our portable systems. We also hear a lot these days about Cloud software, Wireless solution... We are currently working on Cloud-based software as it is a demand from clients to take a look at data from any part of the world and to look at the data via a mobile app. We are ready for Wireless data transmission to our devices. However, we have not found a reliable wireless accelerometer producer on the market so far.
See more on www.adash.com
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