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OdorBoss Fusion Development Interview | Coffee with the Creators

coffee-with-the-creators-odorboss-fusion

Odor Control System Product Launch

Carson:   Well, the OdorBoss Fusion has “officially” been available for about a month now. How’re you guys feeling?

Jason:   Pretty good. I feel like they’re a couple things, you know, with a new product release that you have to iron out the kinks with. So I think we’ve done most of that already. So now it’s kind of time to sit back and whether customers like it. Exciting times.

Carson:   How you feeling Mike?

Mike:   Feeling really good about it. The OdorBoss that we originally came out with had a couple of nuisances that the customer did not like. One was having to fill it up with water. 500 gallon water tank every 15 hours became kind of a nuisance when you’re up at a landfill of a working face. You have to take a water truck up there. It can be kind of a pain. So we took that into consideration, and also the old OdorBoss did not have a power pack, and this one has a generator with it. So, this one has a generator, and it does not require the customer to fill it up with water. So I think those two things are really helping the customer in the long run. And we’re getting good feedback that it’s kind of set it and forget it. So to speak.

Carson:   That’s good to hear. It sounds like you made a lot of improvements from the original going to the next one.

Mike:   Exactly. And the old one actually has a fit in the marketplace for composting and soil remediation. That model works really well. Whereas this new model is pretty good for the working face of a landfill, and a couple other applications as well that we’re finding.

Jason:   The new model is perfect for mobile applications because you’ve got everything right there. It’s pretty much well self-contained. Even the fuel tank and generator is pretty massive, so you can set it for a while and just let it run. Whereas the permanent installations… with tower mounts…, you can still set those and let it run because you’re running off of short power and a bunch of other things. So they both have their markets which is cool.

Carson:   Well, why don’t you both tell me about your roles with the OdorBoss Fusion. Mike, why don’t we start with you.

carson
Carson Spengler: Creative Marketing Specialist

Mike:   I guess I kind of pushed for this product because I kept hearing out in the field “It’s annoying to fill up with water every 15 minutes, and it doesn’t have a generator.” At a landfill, the working face is constantly moving, so they would have to move the OdorBoss. They would have to move the generator. They would have to move two pieces of equipment in order to set that up in a new location, and they’d have to bring the water truck. Some of these landfills, the water truck would to drive, you’re talking, 15 minutes to get where the OdorBoss is. Fill it up, come back down. Just kind of annoying. You know I just kept hearing that throughout the years. We’re talking 3 years of getting this constant feedback. “Why doesn’t this thing have power with it? Do we need the water?” So I just pushed our engineering team, and with the innovation… They stepped up to the plate, and we came out with that new design.

I’d say my role is hearing the feedback in the field, and then pushing to get a new product out there.

mike
Mike Lewis: Sales Manager

Carson:   Alright, Jason. Why don’t you tell us about your role, and how it differed quite a bit.

Jason:   For me, it was getting that feedback from Mike, and then figuring out what can we use here that will make it a reality. It was finding a way to get the right amount of chemical out in the air without using water, and we also have to bear in mind chemical costs. The stuff isn’t cheap. We don’t want to cost the customer and arm and a leg just to run the machine. It was finding a way to get a really fine amount of chemical out in the air consistently, and that was the trickier part without being able to use water. But I think we’ve nailed that. With the method we’ve chosen, we can adjust potency, and how much chemical we want to put in the air. So in that sense, you can tailor that output to whatever application you have which is unique. And then of course, just getting power on board was pretty simple. Just sourcing a generator for that, and make sure it’s got some good run time. We put those two add-ons to the OdorBoss, and out came the OdorBoss Fusion. You’ve got no need to get water to it. You simply put on a 275 gallon chemical tote, and obviously you don’t need to get a generator for it because it’s already on there.

Oh, the other thing we didn’t talk about were the tires. Getting it robust and getting some good AG tires on there.

jason
Jason Lesch: Chief Engineer

Mike:   Yeah. That was another feedback I got from a customer. It was on a low roadworthy trailer. Landfills, compost. They get muddy. These things were dragging through the mud. Didn’t work, so now we’ve got big, fat AG tires, foam filled and can drag that thing anywhere.

Carson:   You were talking about how the system doesn’t need water anymore. What was the customer’s reception to now having an odor control system that doesn’t need this water tank on board that can just go straight chemical?

Jason:   Yeah. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback with that. It’s just really a huge convenience factor. A lot of these sites, especially a lot of the landfills, it’s a drive to get where they situate the machine at the working face, or wherever they have it on the site. So to get a water truck there consistently, several times a day that takes someone to do it. So you’ve labor costs there, the shear amount of time that it takes. Whereas this, we completely eliminate the need for water. That’s one less trip that someone’s got to do to get the equipment to work. The other nice thing, and Mike alluded to it earlier, you can just set it to the chemical output that you want and leave it there for days. And they don’t have to think about it. So I think that autonomous features are just really helpful features… Odor is already this nuisance thing that no one wants to deal with. It’d be a pain if the solution is constantly something you had to keep up with. I think here it’s alleviating customer frustrations and just letting them set it and forget it.

Carson:   So is it about the same you’ve experienced Mike, talking with people you’ve been working with to set up with OdorBoss Fusion?

Mike:   Yeah. It’s nice because you get a 275 gallon tote. There’s a heated enclosure. You get a fork lift. Get that tote up. Put it in. Set it down. You don’t have to clamp, or strap it down to anything. It just sits there nice and snug with a little tilt. The chemical flows out there and goes up to the nozzle. As soon as that’s empty, you just go in with a fork lift. Take it out. Put a new one in. Boom. You’re done.

Chemical can last anywhere from 30 – 60 days. Well, 10 – 60 days depending on how much chemical you want to use. How much is the severity of the odor. So, when you think about it. If it’s every 30 days, okay, you put a tote in, and then 30 days later, you put another in. It’s that simple.

Whereas the old model, you’d have to fill up a 500 gallon water tank every 15 hours and premix chemical. It wasn’t a whole lot, but it was just one less thing we have to deal with.

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The Creation of an Industrial Odorizer

Carson:   What was Edwin’s reaction, our CEO, when you told him that you wanted to make a new odor product?

Mike:   Well, he first just asked me “Why?” “What’s driving that need?”. And when I gathered up all the data of how many customers were requesting this. He looked at that and said “There’s some validity there. It’s not just Mike being crazy. We need this new product! Okay. It sounds pretty legit. Let’s investigate it. Let’s talk to the engineering team, and see if there’s something we can do. And Jason, with his leadership and his team, they found and sourced the right components. It was about a year process I’d say.

Carson:   Could you speak a little bit on that process that took to make this new product for odor control?

Jason:   I guess the driving force behind this is of course customer feedback. That’s always been the starting position for the first iteration of the OdorBoss and now this one. It was from there finding out a delivery system. That was the key of everything. To find a way to get the chemical in the air without water and still get the right amount. We went through a couple different ideas, talked to a couple different manufacturers on different types of delivery methods. Whether that’s looking at a different type of nozzle… I mean we really considered everything. There were times we considered heating up the chemical and having it leave the system that way. It kind of was a little bit of trial and error figuring out the best way to go about it.

Mike:   Yeah. I mean we were thinking about using an air compressor at one point. We did some testing with that. We eliminated that.

Jason:   Ultimately, we ended up deciding on a nozzle that could choose the duty cycle. So if you think about a garden hose for example, and you’re spraying water out of that. There’s water continuously going through, so that 100% duty cycle. And the nozzle technology that we came upon allowed you to change that duty cycle. If we compare that with a nozzle that had a very small orifice size, very fine, we can adjust that already small amount of chemical going in the air and make it even smaller. Not that we’re putting less chemical in the air than we did with the OdorBoss. It’s still enough to be effective, but it’s also not too much to burn a hole in the customer’s pocket. The other great thing with this technology is that we can adjust. Say that the odor’s not too bad, the customer could go in, change the duty cycle, and make it a little lower, so they’re shooting out maybe 30% of the chemical that they normally would. There’s just so much adjustability for the customer which I think is cool.

Carson:   Do you think that is the main draw of this unit? Is the ability to shift of how much chemical you’re putting out?

Jason:   I don’t know I would say that’s the main draw. I would say that’s definitely one of them. Really the main draw of the machine is that it solves odor issues. But I would say the convenience tied with the ability to adjust, it just makes it a very good solution.

Jason

Carson:   So I know one of the things we’re kind of touting on the marketing side of things is a patent pending technology for this new system that really helps it put out that sole chemical. Could you speak a little bit on how we came to decide on this technology? Maybe some other different routes that we had looked at.

Jason:   Really there were surprising not that many options to choose from once we defined how little chemical we wanted to use, and once we defined the micron size we wanted to put out. You want this stuff as small as you can get it, so it stays airborne the longest. It has the most chance to come in contact with odors. Once we defined those variables, I’d say there were four options that were feasible, but this one we could adjust which made it, for me, probably the best solution going forward because no customer was going to be locked in using x amount of chemical.

Odor’s changed. If you go to a landfill, it’s going to be very different from a sugar beets processing place. It’s also different from composting. Some of these have very specific places where odor’s generated, and then others, the odor is everywhere. It wouldn’t make sense to have one solution where you’re putting the same amount of chemical to address it. That’s why one of the other driving forces behind why we chose what we did. If that answers your question.

Carson:   It gave me good information.

Mike:   (laughs)

Carson:   I know the development process for basically anything can be challenging and some difficult situations can arise. Were there any interesting or problematic challenges that you came across during its development process?

Jason:   Yes… Oh, let’s see. Where should we start?

Mike:   (laughs)

Jason:   We had a couple of interesting hiccups with actually getting the trailer down of all things. We had a couple of design iterations of the trailer, getting that right, but that’s kind of more secondary.

On the side of the delivery system, we went through different abilities to oscillate it. We weren’t always sure that we would want – Well, some people were always sure that they wanted it to oscillate 359 degrees. Other people saw it as a no value, added cost. I guess that went back and forth a little bit.

Everyone Laughs

Mike:   Center nozzle design.

Jason:   Yeah. Where we wanted to put the nozzle on the machine.

Carson:   Could you speak a little bit on that process? I remember that was something that went back and forth, did testing to what would work best.

Mike:   Tyler and I went out in the field, and we demoed a prototype. And it had that center nozzle design, and we got some feedback. The customer didn’t really care if it was in the center, or where it is now which points straight down. And then the fan shoots it out almost like a slingshot effect, and that’s where we ended up on. It was always, in the beginning, going to be in the center, but at the eleventh hour, we decided that it would be better at the top and slingshot out. Just different stuff when you’re building a new machine. You don’t know what’s going to work. You got to do some testing.

Carson:   Got to verify it.

Mike:    Got to verify. Correct.

odorboss-fusion-nozzle
OdorBoss Fusion Top Nozzle Design

Jason:   I think one of the other benefits to having it at the top of the barrel is the simplicity of heating it. That’s another thing we didn’t really get into yet.

Mike:   Yeah. Full runtime in freezing conditions. There’s one in New York State that runs 24/7. So freezing cold. Runs over night. No problem.

Jason:   We want to heat trace really anything that has chemical in it and especially the chemical tote and that’s why the heated chemical enclosure was helpful. If we’ve got heat to that, we’ve got heat to the nozzle and the delivery system, and we should be good. We can run in any conditions.

Carson:   I’m sure we had a lot of meetings on this. As the marketing, I don’t think I was involved very much, but were there any discussions that you had during the OdorBoss Fusion’s development cycle that stick out in your mind?

Mike:   Big discussions that stick out about developing the OdorBoss Fusion…

Jason:   Well, it depends on what you call a discussion.

Everyone:   (laughs)

Jason:   Because sometimes you’ll get some big pushes from the sales team. (laughs)

Mike:   It’s always challenging when you have sales and engineers involved.

Carson:   Two different spectrums.

Mike:   Very two different spectrums.

Jason:   It is very different. Yeah.

Mike:   Engineers are a lot more detailed oriented, and they want to know every little aspect of every little piece of the equipment. Whereas sales wants to push to get it out there. Let’s try to meet the customer demand and make them happy. This is what they want. Why is it taking so long? Let’s get that out there! (laughs)

Everyone Laughs 2

Everyone:   (laughs)

Carson:   I’ve definitely seen that.

Mike:   There’s been a lot of meetings where those two heads are butting, clashing, but overall I think we did well. I think we worked well as a team with designing, sales… Just making it happen. One of our values.

Jason:   I think there’s always back and forth about the oscillation. Actually, towards the beginning stages there was a little bit of, “How are we going to get that small amount of chemical moving frequently?”. We had thought about surgical pumps, parastalic pumps, accumulator tanks which is what we ultimately went through with.

Honestly, there was a lot of talk about the chemical as well in the beginning phases. What micron size do we want the chemical to be at? How much of the chemical we want to use?

Carson:   I think this is one of the best looking products that we’ve made. I think it looks really cool.

Jason:   Oh yeah.

Carson:   All black, and then we’ve got the orange OdorBoss on top. Jason, could you talk a little bit on the role in the visual design to putting this unit together?

Jason:   Well, I won’t take too much credit from the marketing team.

Carson:   (laughs)

Jason:   Because you guys did a lot of the decals, and really once we figured out that it would be simplest to make the heated enclosure black, everything kind of came from there. The other thought was “how with this big AG tire trailer, how were we going to make that ease of use as well?”, so like a ladder to get up there. Enough space between it. But then also we want a big generator, something that can run for a while or a least a big tank. Once we had all the pieces, it was just putting it together and getting the right color scheme. Honestly, everything standard just fell to black, so that was pretty easy. Then you guys did a great job with the decals, and then, of course, you’ve got the orange barrel for BossTek.

Mike:   I remember there were talks of changing the barrel to green.

Jason:   There were talks!

Mike:   Which I’m actually happy we didn’t. I think the reason we decided not to because we thought it might blend in a little too much. With landfills, right?

odorboss-fusion-odor-control-system
OdorBoss Fusion: Odor Control System

Jason:   Well, yeah. There was that one customer that said, “Yeah. It’s great! You can see that orange barrel out there.”.

Carson:   It’s really distinct.

Mike:   And they have the DEQ coming out, so they see this big, orange barrel that’s our odor control machine. They have something to speak to. Whereas, if it was green, it might have just blended in a little too much.

Jason:   That does kind of speak to the presence that the machine has. It’s big when you see it in person. You can say, “Yeah. We’ve got perimeter control.” and a DEQ guy will come around and not see anything. One of the upsides to an OdorBoss is it’s there. It’s a machine, and you see it running. A lot of people like that because when they do have a DEQ guy show up, they say, “Yup. There is it. Right there. Can’t miss it.”

Carson:   I know that with the design we originally had the AG tires originally be yellow, and that was throwing the whole thing off. We got to figure out how we can change that. We got those to be black with your order (Jason), so that was definitely helpful with the design portion of that.

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OdorBoss Fusion Development: First Design with Yellow AG Tires
odorboss-green-cannon-mockup
OdorBoss Fusion Development - Green Cannon Photoshop Mockup

Carson:   Another large thing that I remembered when we were going through creating the OdorBoss Fusion was the choice to whether we would let our clients use just our chemical or any chemical available. I know we landed on being able to use any chemical they wanted. Slot right in there. Could you talk a little about that decision?

Mike:   Well, we’re not really in the business here to sell chemical. There’s a lot of companies out there that sell chemical, and that’s fine and dandy. What we’re trying to do is sell the best hardware out there, so the customer does not have to mess around with it. They’re going to have less downtime to virtually no downtime, and you can use whatever chemical you want. We have a chemical that we find to be effective, but we didn’t want to pigeon hold the customer because then it just seems like we’re out there to sell chemical product. We’ve always been a customer driven company. We want to find the solution for them. Something that works. Something that’s reliable. And that was goal number 1. Now, if they happen to like our chemical and use it, great. We’re happy with that because we know it’s working for them. But if they have a chemical supplier they’re happy with, by all means use it. Stick that tote right in there, and it will run just fine. It’s not required to use one specific chemical. That’s just really where we landed on it. We didn’t want to be... that guy.

Jason:   (laughs)

Carson:   I understand.

Mike:   (laughs)

Carson:   Jason, do recall any complications that arose with that situation on your end, or was it pretty ease just to slot in any chemical? Were there any sizing issues?

Jason:   Good news is that most any chemical supplier, they deal in 275 gallon totes or at least that’s available. From there, those are pretty well standardized, so that made it really easy on the engineering side of things. Our production guys were able to design a heated enclosure that would account for that, and there’s very little variability. The only thing is with certain chemical totes, their outlet is a little bit different. That’s really the only thing that we learned.

Mike:   You have 2 inch NPT, or there’s coarse thread. There’s fine threads. It’s just that connection point.

Jason:   Once you got the connection right, tote’s the same size. Easy to design around.

Everyone Laughs 3

Carson:   Obviously this product, the OdorBoss Fusion, the “Fusion” portion shares a name with our DustBoss Fusion line. They’re very popular for our DustBoss clients. What was it that made us want to go to that position of sharing that name of “Fusion”?

Mike:   It just seemed like a natural fit. I mean the DustBoss was a standalone unit for years. People complained that there wasn’t power with it, so we came out with a trailer mounted unit with a generator with it. Eventually called it the Fusion. The OdorBoss took the same path as its brother.  Standalone unit. Didn’t have power. We added power. It just seemed natural to call it the Fusion as well rather than try to reinvent the wheel, come up with a clever name. Let’s just say anything that has a power pack with it, genset with it. Let’s call it the Fusion, and I think it’s nice.

Jason:   I think it’s simple. The only other thing would be with the OdorBoss Fusion is you also have the change in design and delivery. It didn’t happen with the DustBoss Fusion, but the DustBoss Fusion the whole idea is that it’s mobile and it’s got power on board, and then you just hook up water. Same thing with the OdorBoss Fusion. You just hook up a chemical tote, so very similar.

Jason Talking 3

Mike:   The synergy was just perfect.

Jason:   Plus, people are used to that naming anyway.

Witnessing Industrial Odor Control

Carson:   Now, I know both of you have been able to see the product run onsite. What was it like to see the product, completely finished, running onsite, for someone? Your first time you saw it.

Mike:   The first time I saw it was at a landfill in the freezing cold. I think it was either January or February, and we had a rough winter. It was pretty awesome because we set it up. We got it running. I helped wire it up and everything. Then we set it up at the working face of the landfill, and we wanted to test it. Run it overnight to make sure it could run in freezing conditions, and I went to the hotel. Went to sleep. And when we showed up the next day, which was probably 15 hours later, we went up, and the thing was still oscillating. The nozzle was still spitting out chemical. It was just a real sigh of relief. The customer was real happy, so it was pretty amazing. It was fun to be a part of something… that it was on my wish list for so long. And then, working with the engineering team to get it done, and then seeing it run in person. Their design work was just impeccable. It’s pretty amazing. Kudos to Jason and the team.

Jason:   Thank you, thank you.

Mike:   (laughs)

Jason:   For me, I don’t know if I’ve actually seen the AG version out on a customer’s site, but I’ve definitely done work, even at our production facility. Once you get a new product, you have to figure out what’s going to go wrong with it. It was cool being able to look at the finished product and even trouble shoot it. “Oh, if we’re not getting something out of the nozzle let’s see what happens there, and how we can fix that.” It was cool being able to see a finished product that you’ve been involved with like Mike said that you’ve been involved with.

Coffee

Implementing the OdorBoss Fusion Odor Control System

Carson:   Now, getting close to the end of this whole thing here. What are your hopes for the people who decide to implement the OdorBoss Fusion at their jobsite?

Mike:   Pretty much two things. That it helps knock down odors. Keep the complaints down. And also have a machine that’s reliable and will not have downtime. Downtime is the worst thing for these guys. They have a lot of equipment onsite. If they can get a piece of machinery, gets there, works, without having to mess with it all the time and constantly doing maintenance on it. That’s huge for them because then they get back to work. To dealing with the things that make them money. Those are the two things: knock down odors and eliminate downtime.

Jason:   I’m pretty similar with Mike there. I don’t want the solution to odor, which is a headache, to become a headache itself. That’s not the goal. We want to take something off our customers’ plate. So that’s one thing I would hope.

The other I would hope is that when we have really, really successful odor control, odor suppression at sites, it’s because we’ve gone to the sites. We’ve looked at where the odors are being generated. We’ve paid attention to wind roads diagrams. Taking a look at the predominated wind direction. Is that going to neighborhoods, and then we’ll have a custom solution.

We’ve got to be strategic about, “Where do you want this thing? Where are your customers complaining?” because when we do have a holistic approach that way, it’s really effective. And we’ve got people giving us numbers saying, “We’ve got x amount of complaints before implementing your solution, and now we’ve got y complaints which are (notably) better. I think that’s one of our favorite statistics. For me at least, is when we can say, “How many complaints, how many H2S sensor hits were you getting before implementing it?”. Now that we’ve gone through and put these machines where they need to be, getting those readings afterwards, that’s the coolest part.

Carson:   Alright. Thank you for joining me today. Hopefully that was not too bad for you.

Mike:   No. That was great. Thank you.

Jason:   Yeah. Thank you Carson.

Carson:   I think it was very worthwhile of our time.

coffee-with-the-creators-end

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