Recently, I had the chance to “participate” in an onsite boiler training session at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. There I found Mike Gambill, commercial sales specialist, Weil-McLain, training the in-house university facility maintenance staff on one of the seven WM Ultra™ boilers Northwestern currently uses. Accompanying him was Julian Webb, product manager with Weil-McLain and Jon Sabin, HVAC sales Engineer, RC Sales and Service. “We make ourselves available to our customers for on-site assisted start-up training and maintenance training. It’s important to us for building and maintaining relationships with our customers—and it helps their relationships with their customers,” says Gambill.
“We’re confident in the abilities of the contractors and installers responsible for installing and maintaining Weil-McLain products and believe that being on-site to show them a few more ins-and-outs and extra features they might not have known about otherwise helps to increase their familiarity and confidence levels with our products,” says Greg Pickens, director of learning and development.
Training, especially onsite—whether it is going out to the jobsite or bringing the contractor in—is so important in this era of keeping up with the technology, keeping on top of the troubleshooting, and keeping one step ahead of the competition. And I know this may sound cliché, but it is important to have guys get their hands on the equipment. “We are willing to get our hands dirty in the field to make sure our customers understand our products the way we do. We think it’s important to show that we stand by our products and are there when our customers need us,” says Gambill.
Training, training and more training
At the School Of Better Heating, offered at regional locations in addition to Weil-McLain locations, the company offers a broad course outline that extends beyond its products, including partnered training with some key component suppliers such as Taco® and Sentinel®.
Weil-McLain offers training and factory visits to design professionals and engineers at both of its manufacturing locations (Eden, NC and Michigan City, IN) and several tiers of technical training based on the individual expertise of the professional. Commercial boiler sales training is offered multiple times per year at its factory in Michigan City, Ind. to ensure that the organizations and sales people who represent its products are fully equipped to meet market needs and nationwide distribution.
The School of Better Heating runs from March to September. It is a one- or two-day event where topics like Hydronics 101, Circulator Relays, Multiple Boiler Setup, High Efficiency Control Logic and Operation, etc. are covered. Weil-McLain does this in a different location each month, including its facilities in Eden and Michigan City.
Weil-McLain also offers a free one-day training event for contractors called Weil-McLain Open House, hosted at its Mid-Atlantic office in Mount Laurel, New Jersey every other year in the fall. The main function of this event is to create a training environment for contractors with 45-minute hands-on outdoor sessions that cover high efficiency condensing gas boilers, steam, hydronics 101, commercial boilers and more as well as partnered training with manufacturers such as Beckett®, Hydrolevel®, Honeywell® and Carlin®, just to name a few.
Weil-McLain spends a large amount of time and energy training a variety of industry professionals. They have training for basic product overviews as well as content for multiple zone wiring in a commercial environment. Although online training currently doesn’t exist, it is definitely on the radar and is important for the future of training at Weil-McLain.
Weil-McLain has been busy lately. Just this past year, Weil-McLain introduced its newest and most advanced high-efficiency condensing boiler: the 95% AFUE Evergreen™. The Evergreen features cutting-edge technology with simple controls, flexible functionality for multiple applications, simple installation and maintenance, and a durable design. “Our new Evergreen boiler was built with contractors in mind. It was developed after detailed analysis and testing by Weil-McLain engineers plus extensive feedback from customers,” said Julian Webb, product manager with Weil-McLain. “The durable unit is adaptable for most heating demands to effortlessly extend comfort levels to every area of a property from multiple in-home zones to pools for years to come.”
Weil-McLain also recently enhanced its line of popular SlimFit™ high-efficiency condensing gas boilers with improved controls, communication and usability.
In fact, All Weil-McLain commercial high efficiency boilers feature connectivity for building automation systems (BAS) and its broad product line interfaces with various smart thermostats such as Nest. Both boiler-to-boiler and boiler-to-building connectivity is built into its products.
As heat loads become smaller with better building practices, Weil-McLain is designing boilers with smaller overall input ratings, as seen the Evergreen boiler, which is designed around control capabilities to meet large residential to light commercial heating comfort needs. Flexible (in various regards) in a compact design. All but one of its condensing boilers has modulation capability to match the building heat load.
The contractor loyalty program, Boiler Bucks—launched in mid-2015—was created to reward contractors for purchasing products as well as to provide more opportunities for contractors to be heard and give feedback. In addition to receiving Boiler Bucks, or points, for registering their Weil-McLain purchases on the Boiler Bucks website, contractors may participate in surveys and quizzes to earn points and can redeem them on the site for rewards like tools, gift cards, work gear and apparel. Customers can stay up-to-date on its latest promotions by signing up on the Boiler Bucks website (www.wmboilerbucks.com).
Weil-McLain®, a division of the Marley-Wylain Company, is a leading North American designer and manufacturer of hydronic comfort heating systems for residential, commercial and institutional buildings since 1881. We have manufacturing facilities in Michigan City, Indiana and Eden, North Carolina, along with regional sales offices throughout the United States and an administrative office in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Building on a reputation of quality and innovation, we are committed to creating Simplified Solutions for our Complex World™.
Weil-McLain is one of the oldest boiler manufacturers in the United States and it is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year! The company has a foundry in Michigan City, Indiana, which is something you rarely see these days with American manufacturers. In addition to cast iron, Weil-McLain manufactures its boilers with stainless steel and aluminum heat exchangers.
Architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers and homeowners alike rely on Weil-McLain for their comfort heating needs. Installed in homes, offices, schools, restaurants, hotels and other facilities throughout North America, the Weil-McLain brand is among the most respected and often used in the building industry.
Weil-McLain’s hydronic boilers and indirect-fired water heaters integrate the latest in advanced controls and materials including cast iron, stainless steel and aluminum heat exchanger technologies. The reliability and energy efficiency of its products has helped to make Weil-McLain industry leaders. Products are engineered with aesthetics, functionality, safety and structural tolerance in mind. By combining expertise with the responsiveness of support operations, Weil-McLain provides its customers with added value and peace of mind.
To learn more, visit www.Weil-McLain.com.