It’s not enough to provide a good product. To stay ahead, a manufacturer must be able to supply key information on that product fast and on-demand.

For Power Transmission Solutions, a business unit of Emerson Industrial Automation located in Florence, that is the reason for its industrial application for the iPhone called the Browning V-Belt Efficiency Calculator.

“I anticipated an industrial app being something that nobody had any interest in,” says Dan Fannin, vice president of business process excellence at Power Transmission Solutions.

To the contrary.

To date, approximately 4,000 people have downloaded the app, which helps customers and contractors estimate how much money they can save by switching to a notched V-Belt from a wrapped V-Belt on specific pieces of industrial equipment. The app allows users to enter data such as geographic location, motor horsepower, and time usage to calculate energy savings.

Saving Energy

“I believe people are searching for energy saving opportunities,” Fannin says. People are downloading this and utilizing the tool to assist them in making good purchasing decisions, so it’s been received much better than anticipated.”

Notched belts can be up to three percent more energy efficient. That may not sound like much, but the app proves otherwise. Savings can number in the thousands of dollars over a short time.

“For the last couple of years, energy conservation has become not only a buzz word in the marketplace, but it is truly something that people are recognizing they need to do to be sustainable long-term in business,” Fannin asserts.

“Want It Now”

Only available on the iPhone when it was launched in 2010, the app has been expanded to other platforms such as DROID and BlackBerry, and can be downloaded free. Power Transmission Solutions plans to offer two new mobile apps this fall. One will assist technicians in troubleshooting and installing V-Belts, and the other will calculate water conservation and energy savings for bottling plants if they switch to Emerson products. “Today, everybody has the ‘I want it now’ syndrome,” Fannin says. “Everyone can have good products, but those who can supply information on their products quicker, faster, better have the best opportunity to be successful.”