If there is such a thing as a manufacturing match made in heaven, it may be W.C. Branham and Airlift Doors. Airlift Doors, a Minnesota-based commercial door manufacturer specializing in car care applications like car washes, service bays, car dealerships, and more, first started working with W.C. Branham in 1995.
Today, that partnership is over 20 years strong and showing no signs of slowing down, thanks to ingenuity and quality products:
The Problem: Car Wash Door Conditions
Car wash doors experience extremely rough conditions. In the winter, for example, these doors must still operate during harsh and cold temperatures. Not to mention, they’re subjected to chemicals with corrosive ingredients year-round.
Another problem that many car door openers have is “cable jumping.” This is when the cables for the door slip off the drum, which can be the result of unproportional tension in the cables, something knocking the cables off the drum, etc.
Finally, when relying on a cable-based door opener solution, there are a lot of hardware components that take up space and increase the potential of issues like cable jumping and corrosion. Therefore, typical cable-based door opener solutions don’t work for car washes, and even many rodless cylinders just don’t cut it in such a harsh environment.
The Solution: W.C. Branham’s pneU-SA® Cylinder
“We’re grinning ear to ear because our pneU-SA® rodless cylinder solves those problems,” says Troy Branham, President and CEO of WC Branham.
According to Josh Hart, President of Airlift Doors, “It eliminated cable jumping. Because we were attaching directly to the door rather than turning the shaft, we were able to basically solve the number one problem in the door industry.”
W.C. Branham’s VP of Engineering and GM, Chad Randleman, lists the essential components of the pneU-SA® cylinder that makes it ideal for the car wash environment:
Robust long internal cushions
No exposed seals to be contaminated
Modified bearings to support the applications
Stainless steel hardware and components to survive the harsh environment
Airlift Door’s partnership with W.C. Branham changed the way that many looked at car wash door openers. “This was the first in the car wash market to do a direct-drive or trolley-style opener,” Josh says. “People saw that improvement in the car wash industry and it really took off quickly.”
A Partnership Built on Quality
Today, many of Airlift Door’s car wash door openers in the field are 10 plus years old and still going strong. “The competitions’ maybe hold up a couple of years,” says Pete Wold, Territory Manager with W.C. Branham. “The product has proven itself.”
In fact, Airlift Doors is so confident in the quality of their product that they put it in writing. “We offer a three-year unconditional warranty on the product,” Josh says. “That’s basically unheard of.”
W.C. Branham Inc. manufactures their pneU-SA® rodless cylinder under private label agreement with Airlift Doors, Inc. as their Powerglide Air Operator, exclusively for the car wash and care care industry. "It has been a very successful venture for both our Companies," says Troy.
After working together for more than 20 years, W.C. Branham and Airlift Doors have built a product that is helpful, efficient, and productive for their customers and changed the car wash door industry. “Our product, with theirs, really did create a good, solid package,” Josh says.