Quality Versus Price

Many times we have been asked how FloMAX continues to have the highest quality and most cost effective products in our industry.  We do everything we can to keep our prices as low as possible but we will never compromise when it comes to materials, functionality, and design. We never set our prices based on what our competitors sell their products for.  Our prices are based on the cost to develop, manufacture, assemble, and test the product.

FloMAX products are not copies of other company’s designs. If we just reverse engineered a competitor’s products and then manufactured them out of the cheapest material we could find we would then sell our products based on price only. We have spent years listening to customers and understanding their concerns and needs. Using this information we developed and are continually improving a product line that leads the industry in quality. Here are some examples of FloMAX quality design and product improvement using the fuel nozzles.

  • The FloMAX FN600 and FNBL fuel nozzles have an investment cast aluminum body instead of sand cast aluminum. Investment casting is 40% stronger than sand casting. This means we can make the body with thinner stronger walls, lighter, and easier to use. The total weight of a FloMAX nozzle with its all metal construction, swivel, and plug is 6.5 lbs.
  • The piston cylinder we use in the FloMAX fuel nozzles is electroless nickel-plated steel, not aluminum as used by our competitors. The nickel plating adds lubricity and durability. The nozzle piston is twice as long in a FloMAX nozzle.  It has a wear bushing so there is no metal-to-metal wear or damage. That damage is the main cause of piston failure and leaking out the back end of the nozzle.
  • The piston/cylinder assembly is completely removable as an assembly. This allows for easy replacement or repair. This assembly is connected to the actuation handle with a sliding pin instead of a hard connection. This difference allows the FloMAX piston to be pulled back straight through the cylinder in the FloMAX nozzle instead of the piston being pulled back toward one side causing uneven wear and premature damage.
  • The FloMAX valve sleeve has two Fluorosilicone O-rings instead of one. This allows it to maintain a straighter slide through the nozzle nose. These O-rings allow a leak free seal in Artic temperatures. The end of valve sleeve has a vulcanized Viton seal. Some of our competitors glue on the valve sleeve seal, which can become loose or fall off during use. The Viton seal is used to both seal the nozzle poppet when the nozzle and receiver are disconnected, and seal against the end of the receiver when the nozzle and receiver are connected. The molding of the Viton seal has two ridges instead of one or none, like our competitor’s valve sleeves have. This helps it seal more securely even with small amounts of debris on it. The valve sleeve is designed with a venturi curve in the fuel flow path that accelerates the fuel through the nozzle.
  • The nose of the FloMAX fuel nozzles is manufactured from stainless steel.  Our competitors use an aluminum nozzle nose. The aluminum nose damages and changes shape, as it is repeatedly connected to and hanging from the receivers.  Once the aluminum nose becomes damaged or elongated, the wiper seal in the nose loses its ability to seal and quickly leaks. The FloMAX stainless steel nose does not elongate or damage easily.
  • The FloMAX aluminum nozzle pullback has a felt seal and a wear bushing so that there is no metal-to-metal contact at the back end of the pullback.
  • The FloMAX nozzle plug has an attached rubber bumper so that when it is attached to the nozzle it completely seals the nose end.
  • The FNBL nozzle is designed so that the nose pullback can be removed without tools.  This allows for cleaning of accumulated dirt and debris. To remove the nose pullback, clean the nozzle, and then replace the pullback takes less than 2 minutes.
  • The FNBL nozzle uses 10 stainless steel ball bearings in its latching mechanism, which is more than any of our competitors. This provides a more secure lock by distributing the latching pressure and gives less wear to the receiver.
  • Every FloMAX nozzle is tested on our 150-gallon test station. We test each nozzle a minimum of 16 times with 70 gallons of fluid each time. Testing covers flow rates from 60 GPM to 140 GPM. During the test we visually inspect for flaws and leaks. Each test is recorded and a test sheet is kept for each nozzle sold. None of our competitors test their products as extensively. We are assured that when a customer receives a FloMAX nozzle that is does not leak, it was manufactured and assembled correctly, and it will shut off at the customer requested PSI setting.  FloMAX nozzles can be set to shut off at any customer required PSI setting from a low of 5.5 PSI to a high of 14.5 PSI.

All of the FloMAX products are designed with these types of improvements.  We have designed the connectors from the inside out focusing on performance, ease of use, durability, and maximum flow.  We use no plastic parts in our products.  We try to make all wear components out of nickel-plated steel or stainless steel. The designs that we have developed have made major improvements to our products performance. An example is the fuel receiver spring. Our competitors have all copied the same 30-year-old design that puts the spring in the fuel flow path and causes turbulence, vibration, and flow restriction.  The spring in the FloMAX fuel receivers is internal to the poppet that allows for a smooth turbulence free flow path. When a FloMAX fuel receiver, fuel nozzle, and fuel swivel is used, there is a measurable 20% increase in fuel flow.

Other companies claim to be the industry leader in products and innovation, yet they only copy those products that were developed by others.  FloMAX was the first to come out with a series of non-interchangeable ¾” and 1” connectors.  Virtually all of our competitors copied this design from FloMAX.  We designed the two-piece fuel receiver so the worn nose could be replaced without draining the fuel tank. We have recently developed a 2-inch and 3-inch breakaway valve, a 3-inch fuel nozzle and receiver based on the 4-inch API specification that can flow up to 1,200 GPM, and a fuel receiver with a removable stainless steel sleeve so the wear component of the receiver can be replaced but there is no performance restriction on the fuel flow.

We are the only company producing this line of products that has their own machine shop. We do not farm out the manufacture of any of our FloMAX products. We are able to monitor the machining process from raw metal to finished product. Instead of waiting to get a manufactured part back from a shop to see if it was made correctly, we are able to be involved with the process as the parts are being machined. We also use the machine shop as a tool in the design, engineering, development and improvement of our products. No other company has this ability.

We have a full time LEAN / Six Sigma Master Black Belt on staff to assist with manufacturing and assembly. We take Quality that seriously.

Where other companies are trying to change their products to cut their cost so they can make more money, like changing the metal fuel nozzle body to one made from a composite, FloMAX changes a design if it improves quality, performance, or usability. A $1,000 fuel nozzle that lasts 4 months is a much better investment than a $950 fuel nozzle that lasts 3 weeks. We will always stand behind our products. If one of our products has a problem because of our design or manufacturing, we will repair, replace, or refund it. We have never lost a customer due to poor quality products. I know that none of our competitors can say that.