Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010 - (Page 49)

Aqua Products Inc. / HQ: Cedar Grove, N.J. / Employees: 250 / Gil Erlich, vice president of sales and marketing: “It’s difficult to be great, as greatness is achieved in the details.” Pool-Cleaning Robots aqua products manufactures robotic maintenance systems for aquatic environments. by chris olvera From R2-D2 to Transformers, robots are beloved the world over. Now, when a robot can actually perform a task nobody wants to do, such as vacuum the carpet, wash the dishes or even clean a swimming pool, people really sit up and pay attention. Aqua Products Inc. has developed the most comprehensive lines of robots that are able to scrub, power wash and vacuum floors, walls, waterline and even most stairs and waterlines of any type of dirty swimming pool. The company’s self-contained robots work without the hassle of hoses or the cumbersome and often costly use of the swimming pool’s pump and filter, saving customers energy and time. Gil Erlich, vice president of sales and marketing, says the robotic swimming pool cleaning solutions the company manufactures are essentially mobile vacuum and filtration systems that enable swimming pool owners to decrease the run time of their swimming pool’s main filtration system by, sometimes, as much as 70 percent. “Traditional [pool] cleaners are highly inefficient and are taxing on the environment,” he explains. “Per swimming pool, each year our robots can save as much as 10,000 gallons of water, potentially save up to $2,500 in energy and they protect the environment by reducing upwards of 80 percent of chemically treated water from being backwashed.” Aqua Products is proud of its “ecoefficient” tag and that its products are “Made in the U.S.A.” Erlich hopes that customers will recognize the importance and the benefits of these aqua products’ selfcontained robots are used to clean swimming pools. key elements. “These days, there aren’t too many products made in the U.S.A.,” Erlich says. “The environmental benefits help too. In Europe, they want it hightech. Here, they want to know that it works first.” Erlich says the public just needs to be educated on the products the company offers. He claims there are 4 million to 5 million swimming pools in the residential market. The great initial success of the company has stemmed from good old word-ofmouth advertising. Today the company has employed target marketing and relationships with energy companies, municipalities and the like to get its message out. “For commercial markets, our product is a need as the labor savings alone pays for the investment in a matter of months,” he notes. “For the residential market, it’s a want. When people see how it works and how much time and money you save, they say, ‘It’s costing me more by not having this,’ and they tell their friends about it, too.” Building a Better Robot For almost 30 years, Aqua Products has been working to engineer the most reliable and effective pool cleaning solutions. “We have more R&D people than salespeople,” according to Erlich. “We must constantly remain innovative to maintain our leadership.” He adds that when the company was in its infancy, there was no competition. “When you’re the only one SUMMER 2010 49

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010
Global Strategies
Continuous Improvement
Smart Pricing
Supply Chain
Business Value
Moving Forward
Westmark Products
Byrne Dairy
Ultrafryer Systems Inc.
Wil-Rich LLC & Wishek MFG LLC
American Precision Fabricators
Aqua Products Inc.
Black Diamond Equipment
Columbian Home Products
Control Devices LLC
Endustra Filter Manufacturers Inc
Heil Trailer International
Assembled Products
Order-Matic Corp.
Professional Building Systems Inc.
Smart Start Inc
Bosal International
Ausco Products Inc.
Brodart Company
Cambrex Corp.
Chapin International Inc.
Cleveland Gear Co.
Consolidated Precision Products
Control Flow Inc.
Douglas Autotech Corp.
Fetzer Architectural Products
The FNA Group
Fourslide Spring and Stamping Inc.
G.A. West & Company
Great Lakes Power Group
Grimm Brothers Plastics
Legends Furniture Inc.
National Tube Supply Co.
Optex Systems Inc.
Sunburst Electronics
V.E. Enterprises Inc
W. Soule & Company
Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010