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No printed literature anymore on equipment

Tim McElwain
Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
I just attempted to order some I and O manuals from a un named manufacturer. I was told they are going total paperless and will no longer be printing literature. It was for my next Mod/Con class. What they advised was to download the literature and have a printer reproduce it. That by the way is illegal due to copyright protection. That would also cost me a lot to do.

This is just one more example of how manufacturers are letting us down as far as support.

I am out here as someone training techs on their product which I would think they would appreciate. The comment to me was" you should not be teaching our product as your are not from our company".

Manufacturers having been getting rid of their field reps and now paperless product material. I hope everyone in the industry is computer literate.

I ask them if they are still going to send an I and O manual with the equipment and they did not answer me on that one.

I am getting to old for this baloney.

Sorry for the rant.

Comments

  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 630
    In my experience, it's been that way since DAY 1. Without a doubt, the most common, and most consequential problem I see is equipment installed wrong. And these wrong installations go back to when the Dead Men were still living.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
    Charlie from wmass
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    Well those who attend my classes sure do get exposed to what is in an I and O manual. By the way they will still be printing manuals to go with the equipment.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,455

    Well those who attend my classes sure do get exposed to what is in an I and O manual. By the way they will still be printing manuals to go with the equipment.

    The smart thing would be to give you them for the class, and stop shipping them with the equipment.

    Then at least guys in the class would see them and ones in the field would stop going directly in the garbage.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
    Code requires they be shipped with equipment. Not every time but fairly often the Inspector will ask to see manual
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    Mark EathertonCharlie from wmass
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    That means they HAVE to print them. Next time this happens, ask for that idiot's supervisor.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    ChrisJ
  • hvacfreak2
    hvacfreak2 Member Posts: 500
    That reply is irritating about not working for them. I think that some of these brands like to have their stuff getting banged up upon installation to avoid warranty and liability.

    On the other hand they did give you permission to reproduce their material. Most IOM's contain 6 blank pages and 25 percent of certain manuals may contain information that is not specific to your needs , just saying for the purpose of saving paper.

    I'm with you on the general lack of customer service industry - wide as of late. Once it's paid for the friendly people go away.
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,455
    @hvacfreak2 Verbal permission isn't worth much in today's world IMO. :(

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    @ChrisJ "Verbal permission isn't worth much in today's world IMO."

    In 1981 I was about to close on the house I now live in. The closing was to take place on a Tuesday morning because that Monday was a bank holiday. Friday afternoon at 2:30 I got a call from the bank telling me they were cancelling the closing because of insufficient funds. I explained that my application said the balance of my funds were in the form of savings bonds and would be deposited in my account after the first of the year. The mortgage officer replied that may well be so but we have no way to verify that information.

    I left work and went down to my bank and got there just after it closed, I had to argue with the guard but a bank officer told him to let me in. I explained to that officer what had happened and that I needed a check to prove I had the funds. He had a cashiers check made out and gave it to me.

    I then went to the bank that was going to hold my mortgage and presented the check. They then asked where I got the funds from and I told them I got it from a REAL bank and that it was a cashiers check. He still wasn't sure and I suggested he call my bank and ask them where the money came from, he called my bank and asked them to identify me. My bank told them (on speaker phone) I was just over six ft tall, wearing a flight jacket, and probably about to kill someone. After mulling it over he allowed that the check was valid and told me to deposit it into a savings account and then withdraw it Tuesday morning.

    At 9:30 Tuesday morning I showed up at the tellers window to withdraw the money and was told that money had to stay in the account until the check cleared, I told him it was a cashiers check and was good as cash. He said he didn't know what he could do, I told him to get his manager. His manager came over and told me there was nothing he could do, at that time i wrapped my hand around his tie and told him I would drag his bloodied body into the mortgage department if I had to. A check was produced in about 15 seconds.

    That was something that proved to me how fickle a bureaucracy can be and that you sometimes had to make them understand what would happen if they got between me and what I knew to be right. I only had to do something like that a few times in my life but it always worked.

    Verbal authorization can work quite well as long as you do it in person and you have someones throat to wrap your hand around.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    SWEIHarvey Ramer
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,455
    BobC said:

    @ChrisJ "Verbal permission isn't worth much in today's world IMO."

    In 1981 I was about to close on the house I now live in. The closing was to take place on a Tuesday morning because that Monday was a bank holiday. Friday afternoon at 2:30 I got a call from the bank telling me they were cancelling the closing because of insufficient funds. I explained that my application said the balance of my funds were in the form of savings bonds and would be deposited in my account after the first of the year. The mortgage officer replied that may well be so but we have no way to verify that information.

    I left work and went down to my bank and got there just after it closed, I had to argue with the guard but a bank officer told him to let me in. I explained to that officer what had happened and that I needed a check to prove I had the funds. He had a cashiers check made out and gave it to me.

    I then went to the bank that was going to hold my mortgage and presented the check. They then asked where I got the funds from and I told them I got it from a REAL bank and that it was a cashiers check. He still wasn't sure and I suggested he call my bank and ask them where the money came from, he called my bank and asked them to identify me. My bank told them (on speaker phone) I was just over six ft tall, wearing a flight jacket, and probably about to kill someone. After mulling it over he allowed that the check was valid and told me to deposit it into a savings account and then withdraw it Tuesday morning.

    At 9:30 Tuesday morning I showed up at the tellers window to withdraw the money and was told that money had to stay in the account until the check cleared, I told him it was a cashiers check and was good as cash. He said he didn't know what he could do, I told him to get his manager. His manager came over and told me there was nothing he could do, at that time i wrapped my hand around his tie and told him I would drag his bloodied body into the mortgage department if I had to. A check was produced in about 15 seconds.

    That was something that proved to me how fickle a bureaucracy can be and that you sometimes had to make them understand what would happen if they got between me and what I knew to be right. I only had to do something like that a few times in my life but it always worked.

    Verbal authorization can work quite well as long as you do it in person and you have someones throat to wrap your hand around.

    Bob

    That was 1981, and it's also not copyright infringement.
    You know, where a document says do not reproduce, but you reproduced? :)

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    I wouldn't put it past a lawyer to make a case of it but we all know lawyers are three levels below snakes in the general theme of things.

    Even if you are reproducing a document the courts would look to see if there was financial gain by you or if you were denying the owner of that document monies due him for that document.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    Just had another manufacturer same answer download and have printed at my expense. Then next statement "why would you want to be training on our product when we have certified persons who do the training on the road for us and in our factory for free".

    This is a whole new world for me I guess I just am not up to what this generation wants to do.

    I am getting more and more frustrated to say the least.

    I am going to have to take some money out of my millions in the bank and buy 20 laptops to use in class. Then charge double what I charge now to make any profit.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    BobC said:

    @ChrisJ "Verbal permission isn't worth much in today's world IMO."

    In 1981 I was about to close on the house I now live in. The closing was to take place on a Tuesday morning because that Monday was a bank holiday. Friday afternoon at 2:30 I got a call from the bank telling me they were cancelling the closing because of insufficient funds. I explained that my application said the balance of my funds were in the form of savings bonds and would be deposited in my account after the first of the year. The mortgage officer replied that may well be so but we have no way to verify that information.

    I left work and went down to my bank and got there just after it closed, I had to argue with the guard but a bank officer told him to let me in. I explained to that officer what had happened and that I needed a check to prove I had the funds. He had a cashiers check made out and gave it to me.

    I then went to the bank that was going to hold my mortgage and presented the check. They then asked where I got the funds from and I told them I got it from a REAL bank and that it was a cashiers check. He still wasn't sure and I suggested he call my bank and ask them where the money came from, he called my bank and asked them to identify me. My bank told them (on speaker phone) I was just over six ft tall, wearing a flight jacket, and probably about to kill someone. After mulling it over he allowed that the check was valid and told me to deposit it into a savings account and then withdraw it Tuesday morning.

    At 9:30 Tuesday morning I showed up at the tellers window to withdraw the money and was told that money had to stay in the account until the check cleared, I told him it was a cashiers check and was good as cash. He said he didn't know what he could do, I told him to get his manager. His manager came over and told me there was nothing he could do, at that time i wrapped my hand around his tie and told him I would drag his bloodied body into the mortgage department if I had to. A check was produced in about 15 seconds.

    That was something that proved to me how fickle a bureaucracy can be and that you sometimes had to make them understand what would happen if they got between me and what I knew to be right. I only had to do something like that a few times in my life but it always worked.

    Verbal authorization can work quite well as long as you do it in person and you have someones throat to wrap your hand around.

    Bob

    Nowadays they would lock you up as a terrorist for doing that.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726

    Just had another manufacturer same answer download and have printed at my expense. Then next statement "why would you want to be training on our product when we have certified persons who do the training on the road for us and in our factory for free".

    This is a whole new world for me I guess I just am not up to what this generation wants to do.

    I am getting more and more frustrated to say the least.

    I am going to have to take some money out of my millions in the bank and buy 20 laptops to use in class. Then charge double what I charge now to make any profit.

    Why don't you tell us which companies are doing this, so we can all call them and complain? If they spend all day answering our calls, they might actually learn something.......................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Tinman
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    I'm not sure there is a Copyright issue here. The documents are published on a website for the express purpose of informing/educating individuals on specific products/systems and at no cost to the end user. These companies put them on the internet for that purpose and to avoid printing/mailing costs. I would expect that any attorney would argue that it doesn't matter if one download occurred and 20 copies printed or if 20 individual students each downloaded and printed one copy. The intent of the document,to inform and/or educate, on a specific product(s) in support of those patented/licensed products. Of course any copyright statements printed on the documents, showing ownership, must remain and plagerism is forbidden. When these documents are posted on the internet and are facilitated by downloadable copies, at no cost, the owner is typically allowing an express "Right to use" for the "Express purpose" so expressed by the content of that document.
    As for the cost of printing, @Tim McElwain , is there anyway to send links to your students and advise them to come to class prepared with one copy of each of the required documents? Not ideal but it eliminates your concern for cost and anyone else's concern around copyright issues.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    We cover sometimes seven or eight different boilers in the Mod/Con class. I would be spending so much on just printing literature that it is not worth it.

    The problem with reproducing literature is with the printers them selves who will not copy anything that is protected in any way. I have worked with one printer who does all my printing for over 30 years. He is very helpful but will not violate the law.

    The manufacturers do not get it they tell you download a copy and you are all set. To be correct I will have to download 10 copies of every boiler I am going to cover. I will be going through ten cartridges to do that. Then multiply that times eight or nine pieces of equipment.

    There is nothing that can be done this is just one more modern change to protect the sacred environment from too much paper and save the trees so they can burn down in forest fires because the government does not practice good forestry.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    edited March 2016
    Tim - Please email me. I'll do my best to help you get what you need.
    [email protected]
    Steve Minnich
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    So we keep this straight those who have agreed to send literature for my next Mod/Con class are:

    Crown
    Lochinvar
    Weil-McLain

    Still waiting to hear from six others.

    Three I prefer to not name no literature, letters will go out to CEO's of those companies soon.

    Thanks Steve I will contact you tomorrow, on my way out to celebrate my daughters birthday.
  • kev
    kev Member Posts: 100
    This is a problem that really annoys me! Please contain installation manuals and trouble shooting guides with all equipment. It's next to impossible to use your phone in a basement with little cell phone reception. Never mind scrolling and scrolling through pages. Who does it benefit?
    This also speaks to Dan's recent article on product brochures. I use to sit in my supply house and thumb through catalogs when I was figuring out a new job. I could easily and quickly see all my equipment options and also new products. Now? Total frustration. If equipment manufacturers want to sell us your products, stick a brochure in our faces and show its application!
    Maybe we will buy it.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    I think the bean counters have decided to save the few dollars it takes to print a manual, considering what they charge for the equipment it seems a little silly. It's time to put the CEO's of these companies on the counter where they can meet the people they sell to.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,455
    BobC said:

    I think the bean counters have decided to save the few dollars it takes to print a manual, considering what they charge for the equipment it seems a little silly. It's time to put the CEO's of these companies on the counter where they can meet the people they sell to.

    Bob

    Seemed to me like they don't want to sell extra manuals. This way they can have the exact amount printed to match the equipment they manufactured and stop keeping a bunch of extras on the shelves that end up getting thrown out anyway.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,608
    They used to have I and O manuals at the supply houses that sold the equipment. I worked for a utility and remember always having literature for new equipment. Today with the complexity of this equipment it is a must. Did you ever try to read a diagram on your smart phone, or even lap top. Nothing like holding it in your hand sitting down with a cup of coffee and figuring the thing out.

    By the way thanks to Triangle Tube and Joan at Laars for responding.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,455

    They used to have I and O manuals at the supply houses that sold the equipment. I worked for a utility and remember always having literature for new equipment. Today with the complexity of this equipment it is a must. Did you ever try to read a diagram on your smart phone, or even lap top. Nothing like holding it in your hand sitting down with a cup of coffee and figuring the thing out.

    By the way thanks to Triangle Tube and Joan at Laars for responding.


    No,
    But I have read plenty of PDFs on tablets and laptops.

    If I was a guy out in the field I'd have a Toughbook or equivalent for sure with a decent size bright screen.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    Just before I left their sainted halls the post office did away with printed service manuals for the equipment. Some of these manuals were a thousand pages long. I agree with Tim that it's nice to see it all laid out on paper so you can see the whole thing - at least with the schematics.

    All we had was a desktop computer on the bench, try using that when you've crawled under a 150 ft long machine to voltage levels. As the old manuals got canned I just printed up B size copies of the schematics at home and kept them in my locker at work along with the notes I had on network configuration. When I retired I gave them to a guy I worked with, we had lunch last month and he said he still uses some of them 7 years later.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    As a draftsman that deals with schematics all the time I can tell you both have their place there is no question. Ever try to look at an "E" size drawing (43" x 44") on a screen? I have to do it as part of my job, but when I need to see it all it gets printed. Sometimes you need to see the whole picture. For most stuff I don't have any issues with viewing on a screen, I guess my generation is getting used to it. I haven't tried on a tablet, but one advantage to electronic documents is search ability. If I open a pdf on my computer I can do a word search of the entire document if I know there are certain keywords I am looking for. With printed material that isn't so easy. This works on webpages as well. For example as of my posting this thread mentions the word manual 18 times. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • MarkS
    MarkS Member Posts: 75
    @KC_Jones, does that include the "manual" in your signature? :)
    1890 near-vapor one pipe steam system | Operating pressure: 0.25 oz | 607 sf EDR
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam ES-50 modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE boiler | 4 mains, 135 ft | Gorton & B&J Big Mouth vents
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    Yes it does, so now 22 with this post. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Keep an eye on the 4k HDTV monitors as they come down in price. Put one on your desktop and you basically have a D or E-sized sheet...
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,699
    SWEI said:

    Keep an eye on the 4k HDTV monitors as they come down in price. Put one on your desktop and you basically have a D or E-sized sheet...

    Just have to convince the company to pay for it. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15