Blair Fraser with UE Systems

Industrial Talk is onsite at the 30th Annual SMRP conference and speaking with Blair Fraser, Vice President with UE Systems about “Ultrasound strategies that improve asset management”. Get the answers to your “Ultrasound ” questions along with Blair's incredible insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2023. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


Personal LinkedIn:

Company LinkedIn:

Company Website:





AI Dash:

Hitachi Vantara:

Industrial Marketing Solutions:

Industrial Academy:

Industrial Dojo:

We the 15:


LifterLMS: Get One Month Free for $1 –

Active Campaign: Active Campaign Link

Social Jukebox:

Industrial Academy (One Month Free Access And One Free License For Future Industrial Leader):

Business Beatitude the Book

Do you desire a more joy-filled, deeply-enduring sense of accomplishment and success? Live your business the way you want to live with the BUSINESS BEATITUDES…The Bridge connecting sacrifice to success. YOU NEED THE BUSINESS BEATITUDES!


Reserve My Copy and My 25% Discount



Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get


right once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk the number one industrial related podcast in the universe. And it's backed up by data layer. It is it is is backed up by data. So it is the number one in the universe. And we are broadcasting from the 30th annual SMRP conference here in Raleigh, North Carolina. And I gotta tell you, it's a buzzing it's a buzzing out there a lot of good problem solvers, a lot of good technology got a lot of good innovation. And if you are a maintenance and reliability professional, yeah, you need to be putting this one on your bucket list to attend, or at least participating in SMRP blares in the house. Let's get cracking up systems. I said it did. If I can't spell you II. Any Huey systems? I'm excited about it. It was great to see


you. It was good. Yeah, it was we go back. Scott,


we got back. We have a history.


It is great to be back at the mic again.


It is the one that always sits it out. It's literally gonna get the radio




But you did. Because you're an old podcaster.


I am an old podcaster podcasting. I have a podcast and once or twice. Yeah, it is hard to keep it up. It's hard to care. It's gonna be it's really hard to care.


It is I got you on that one. I'll be the first to admit that. But I for me personally. It's it's all of the conversations that revolve around like companies like yours and you and and other human conversations about? And from my perspective, reliability is so and maintenance is essential.


Isn't it to say it's a small group of


the same people. But But it's so important. And it can be and it's why are we having the same conversations that we've had years ago? The same challenges the same problems, that same stuff? Why? Oh, no, no? Well, it was that question.


So he, here's the there's the right answer, the typical answer is people will start to be in it. That's right. And I agree, it starts with people. But here's, here's the thing, we're all challenged most people and it's interesting, because I'll see it from both sides of the fence, I'll see it from the consultant sides, which we need consultants in this world, right? They bring the expertise, they bring the acceleration, they're gonna say, you know, you have to get your foundation in place. Right before you start with technology. So I'm on the technology side, and I'm saying technology can be an accelerator, right? You don't have to everything perfect in there is a balance in between. All right, so the consultants are going to say, okay, you know, make sure you have proper planning and scheduling, make sure you're doing all that stuff. Right. Which which is true. I agree with that. But does your planning and scheduling have to be perfect before you implement technology to help find defects and things like that? And there's no, there's there's never going to be this guidance, you have to be at this level of maturity in order to implement technology, right? And I think we're, I go against the grain is, is technology is not a linear adoption, just because you, you haven't done so say you work for, you know, a smaller organization, you're just getting into reliability. It doesn't mean, you can't go right to, you know, wireless condition monitor, you don't have to go around collecting route based data first before you get into, you know, RTI technology or something like that. Right. So it doesn't have to be a linear adoption. And the way I always describe that is, if you look at my kids are at the age where they're growing up in the cell phone connected age, right, I grew up on dial up internet, my first computer I was in university, right? So they'll never know what that connecting this. Yeah, right. And then also the phone rings, and it drops your internet. But it doesn't make them taking advantage of internet any less. Right? So there's about so to answer your question, why are we still doing the same things? Because everything's different. There is no cookie cutter implementation plan.


But But here, you're right about that. That's true. There's, there's, there's a continuity to so when, if it's a human equation, right, yeah. And I'm a company and I was like, Yeah, I'm all into reliability. And it's me, man, I'm on a, you know, whatever, we're gonna really focus in year and a half, I'm out of there. And then there's that continuity, and no matter where you're at on that, that, that implementation, it's like, somebody's gonna come in and say, why are we doing this? Why is this important? And you always have to have that that answer, but it just, it just seems like it always ebbs and flows. It does. Yeah. And and, and for me, what was always concerning is that I want something to last, and I want to do it in a right way. But that takes time and nobody likes time. Nobody was like, hey, it's got to happen tomorrow. And then if you Do it piecemeal, then it just gets lost.


It does. And I think the reality is too, and if you look at some of the great companies that have implemented, you know, reliability now morphing into to asset management that we've studied growing up as some of the best, and he looked at them now, the reliability programs failing, because they got to this pinnacle, they got to this point, and they stopped investing in it, right? I don't want to name the company name. But then those true as you start getting, quote, unquote, reliability, right? Then they stop investing in being the leader of that and investing in the people because they have reliability, and then it starts to go back down. So it's, it's a, it's a struggle, I don't think we're ever going to going to crack it. And I think that's why there's, you know, conferences like this, so people can see what people other people are doing.


Do you think also it's it's a factor, let's say, Okay, we're going to deploy this reliability solution, this, this strategy, whatever it is, it looks like this, right, whatever. Blog box. It's, it's like you achieve if you're not, if you're not an organization that was committed to reliability, or maintenance, or whatever it might be Asset Management wherever you are. And then all of a sudden you are, and then you see some value. You see, you see your asset running better. You'd seen all this stuff. But then is there a point of diminishing return? Because the sexiness? Oh, yeah. It's like, Yeah, but now we're down here. And we haven't seen that dropper that up or whatever it is.


Oh, absolutely. Right. So when you first start implement something, you're gonna get a high level of ROI. Right? And that it's, yeah, you're a fitness guy. So it's like that, that 1% increase in your bench or whatever it is, or squatting. That's the difficult part. That's the the compound effect that you're striving for. Right? So that first 90% might be easy. It's the low hanging fruit, right, which I'll do all day. I mean, it's fantastic, right? That those that want to keep on moving and moving those last few percentages,


it's so true. And then somebody says, Hey, let's, let's forego that maintenance dollars, because I'm, I'm shifting my financials to do X, Y, Z, and I'm not going to deploy that. I'll sweat the asset. And then lo and behold, I just


I don't know, in the challenges, and we look at this and we look at the C word. The COVID word wasn't I wasn't gonna go there.


I only know it as the P word. endemics.


Right. So this is this is bringing new challenges of resources. What was interesting to talk to a lot of people today just about availability of parts of stupid things like Greece, like holy crap, I can't find Greece. It's like, oh, yeah, so we're in that. So that takes away from everything else you want to do from your continuous improvement has kind of find Greece. Right. So I was trying to get an air compressor, he was telling me it's like, half a year to get a new air compressor. That's just like, God damn.


It, all you do is you just sort of you're shrug the shoulders because you can't help? Nope, ease it or solve the problem. You can speed it up.


Just wonder how long codes give me an excuse for stuff. My plane was delayed three times.


What's it really? Yeah,


it just happens. Canadian problem, I think. But yeah. And I guarantee it has happened to me, every single flight I've actually taken this year, it's getting delayed. And I'm I put in a claim, I'm a cheap I want, hey, I want some compensation or bag of chips or something. Right? And the text message, this has got delayed, they actually canceled the flight. And they got a text message saying the maintenance issues, like well, I know a thing or two buildings. Alright, so


you know how to spell it, that's for sure. I just


I'm not sure I got 100%. That doesn't matter. So I got this text message saying your planes, your flight is canceled. And they're going to reschedule you because of maintenance issues. Right? So when I look up the rules and said, Okay, that's That's their fault. maintenance issue is their fault. It's not an act of God, right? It's not a storm or anything like that. So I put a claim in, and they come back and say, we're unable to compensate you because it was out of our control due to COVID. Yeah. I go to like, so maybe it was because maybe the maintenance people were off because of COVID. Right. So you can link anything back to any excuse, right? And I literally, and this is a lesson on customer experience. And I'm a loyal I'm not gonna mention this airline, but you can figure it out. I've been loyal with them. 10 years, like I fly a lot. So I got status and all that. I called up the other rival Airlines said, can you match my status? Because I'm pissed off and I said, yep. So I switched airlines. Wow. And you know what, it's gonna do nothing to their bottom line. It's not going to make them change a thing. But every time I know, in my head, that's right. I give a little struck. Certain finger might go up. Forever. Yeah,


no, I agree with you. 100% on that, I don't know. I I don't have them. Yeah, and then we've started talking about all the resources. I can't find parts and then I can't find people. I don't know how that's sustainable.


That's not That's not right. We got a that's that's a different podcast. So


yeah, you just it's the shrug. Yeah, right. Yeah. Sucks. I don't know. I


remember I was at a restaurant recently, and they brought me wrong order. And I said, Oh, I didn't order. Listen, they looked at me and said, well, that sucks. And looked at me. I'm like, Yes, it does. I don't know what to say. Like they were waiting for me to respond. Like, I think they're waiting to go Oh, nuts. Okay, I'll delete this. Anyways, that's it.


Verbal jujitsu. You don't know what to do. Now. All of a sudden, they're taking my energy. And now I don't know what to do like


this. And I stick in my head. Imagine that if I told a customer like, oh, yeah, you sent the wrong thing. Like, well, that sucks. You just awkwardly stare back anyways.


Nobody knows what to say.


I love uncomfortable silence.


Just Yep. brought it down. So with Wow. worn out by the conversation. Let's let's progress a conversation. We talked about this off offline. What's what's happening at UE what? What's, what's that new? What's what's going on over there? Let's, let's progress it beyond so no lubrication and whatever you want it?


Yeah, I recently going into the pandemic. I think it was CEO of GM at the time. It doesn't. Regardless, there was a quote that stuck with me and said, If you go in, if you come out of the pandemic, the same way you went in, you fail to take advantage of an opportunity. Oh, yeah. Right. So all of a sudden, the pandemic hit and like we're a regional global based company, we were I call it remote before and what was the thing? Right, because we're all over the place all over the globe. So all of a sudden, all of our technical support our sales, our engineers are at home. Right? So we said, you know, we have to innovate? Because everyone's at home with it's not, it's not because we had to because of business, we got to make sure we're using these people do. Right. So it gave us a chance to innovate. And what was interesting, instead of saying what we are, it's easy to tell us what we're not going to do. Right? So what we're not, and that's where we drew this Heartland in the sand. So if you look at this conference, and I think, you know, everyone has their purpose. There's 15 companies here, one five, that are taking a sensor connecting it to a cloud 15. Right. And it's great. I, you know, no, no,


no, no, but that they're their friends. And it's a whole nother conversation like 15. So,


you know, why not? So we said, Okay, this is what we're not going to be, first of all, we're not a data company, we're not going to pretend to be a data company. We're ultrasound. Right? So as we started looking at our software, we said instead of, you know, trying to own this data and bring all this data, Hey, bring your data in, you're gonna do some some magical stuff. Right? Which which is great. Right? And you know, my background, I support AI. And I think it's great. We looked at the ecosystem of different ultrasound, right? We're not, you know, we're really good at ultrasound, software analytics, we're not. So how would we do? How would we build a platform that brings data into those 15 other companies that are doing it here into those master data companies that makes it easier that makes us license free? Right? We understood we actually talked to our customers, everyone's going SAS, so pay a monthly fee, which I get it from the business side, I completely get it. But our customers need to capitalize things they need hardware they need, right, there's a balance sheet they need to do. So, you know, said should we get in? Someone wants to do SAS, we can do it. But we're mainly capex, buy our stuff. last 10 years when it gets older, just replace it right. So those type of things, we drew a line in the sand of what we're not going to be in order to drive our innovation. Right. Yeah. We built a system that automatically monitors the friction of bearing and will automatically dispense grease. Very innovative idea. We, you know, of course, we patented and all that kind of stuff. We're seeing some copycat, which is, which means we did it right. Yeah. Right. But we go to these big companies and what they saw the technology itself is cool. But what gets them as they said, Well, I already have a historian, I already have this data, like, cool. Bring it into their. I mean, I don't need to use yours now. Bring it into yours. Well, how much does that cost? I'm just saying, it's bringing in. I don't know what to do with your data. I don't want your data. I don't want the responsibility of your data to bring it in. Like they pause for a minute. Like, I can just bring this into appeals. Yeah. Yeah. What's the catch?


Yeah, I I think you're touching on a couple of really interesting points. One. Everybody's hanging his shingles out and we're gonna collect data. Yeah, I got it. Yeah, I got it. And then I'm gonna manipulate that data. I'm gonna I got that too, because there might be there's gold in the data. There's the observations. There's tactical solutions in the data. Get it? Mine it go. But for me, let's say I'm just Joe sixpack, I don't know who to trust. I don't know who to I don't even know where to go. I'm just trying to, you know, pack a bearing over here the right way. That's right. I mean, I, you know, there's just, I'm, I'm sort of in the trenches right now. I can't even begin to talk about that.


No, everyone's you know, sir noise here it is noisy and your your analogy is to mind data. That's exactly it. So, in my analogy, data is the iron ore of mining. Yeah, right. Analytics is actually the gold once you separate that iron ore and all that kind of stuff. So you really got to get to that insight layer. And yeah, you know, it's gonna be a combination of experience is going to be combination of AI. And truth be told, is going to be a combination of failing. Oh, that didn't work.


Do you think just just between you and me that do you think the pandemic brought about a greater need to collaborate?


Yes, I think so. And, you know, just with platforms, like teams, or slack and all that kind of stuff, I think, absolutely within within the organization. But also, I was actually surprised with this. Hoover that they use for this. This, I just took a quick look. Some people thought it was a private chat, which I thought was funny, but on this app for this, but I'm like, Alright, they're planning like meetups of their own company, talking about what they learned. Right? So rightfully so it's public domain. I went through it. But so just seeing what people like one posted person, one person posted kind of get a huge draw. For reliability. I thought that was interesting, because everyone just started saying who robbed Wow, yeah. for you also? Trust? Yeah, it's it's a public and I've never seen it, like usually those apps or at least, yeah, you know, no offense to the conference. But you know, they're okay. I use it for the agenda. But I'm not going to go forth with it, right. But I can see, I don't know what the analogy is the Facebook type posts and things like that of, hey, I'm here by myself. Does anybody want to talk about this industry? And we'll be at the bar. And people actually responded, No way. I'm like, Oh, holy crap.


That's, that's an interesting.


So I do think whether or we're just, we were cage rats, and now we're out,


I think COVID drove it. I think that, from my perspective, I think that there's a greater desire, not to say across the board, but a greater desire for educating. I gotta educate more. There's the speed that's happening out here that, that if you're just even in the game, you recognize that you sense the velocity. And, and the only way that I can know to keep up would be to sort of, okay, educate. And then and then you recognize from my perspective, just because of all the conversations, I don't have the answers, I need to find people who have you, I need to compress that time. I want to collaborate with people who have answers. That's right. And it's like, I'm struggling here. Well, we did it there. Thank you.


Thank you. Exactly. Exactly.


I just think that that's a good thing. I got all the other crap. The flight thing that's up here, sir. Oh, my it happens everywhere. And it does. Come on. You can't just say, hey, hey, just check that maintenance out. Oh, we'll just sort of pencil whip it. It's a plane.


Like this. This goes to show you right? How comfortable we are with it. I don't know about you, but I can sleep on a plane like crazy. Put me in a bed in a nice comfy hotel. I can't sleep put me on there must be the white noise or something. But the fact that I go to sleep must tell me that I'm getting confidence that there is maintenance. Right? That they're doing it right. So I'm going to sleep otherwise. Right? I'm assuming either that I'm just really tired. Right? It's probably what I think it's a good analogy, right? I never I don't think about maintenance issues on an airplane. You never do. I never do never do. Maybe Maybe Maybe that's psychological. So I don't think I'm gonna die. I don't know. I Yeah. I did have a flight recently where the the mask came down the air things came down. Oh, yeah.


That's a little unsettling.


It was a little unsettling. That poor old lady next to me. I threw her the way I grabbed her mask too, just to make sure I had to try. Well. Yeah,


well done. Well,


that wasn't me that it didn't it had a little turbulence. I don't know how it works. The pressure sensor some came down. But I looked at my it was interesting. So I look straight at the stewardess. Is that the right word for the right attendant? Sorry. Thank you edit that out. Flight Attendant. Nope. It's


not going to say sexist son of a gun in Canada.


Right. I looked at the guy for a flight attendant. I looked at the flight attendant. And she she was just sitting there calmly. I'm like, All right. I don't want to do anything that goes to expertise.


You don't want somebody to go out of the crew.


Like we're good. We're good. All right. I'm a direct iced awkward direct contact you Let me know. If I have to get some people all the way and pull that door. Whatever I got to do. You and me are out.


Yeah, I just I like that approach with YUI systems. I do. It's, it's, you're not a me too. You know your niche, you know your role, you know what you do, right? And that's a good thing we'll stay, you can innovate from that perspective, make it better make it, whatever. That's right, you know, that I do, like, etc.


We have filed polarity more patents in the last two years than almost all of our history combined. Alright, COVID, baby. That's right. All right. And it was interesting, because we had the time to sit there and look at our products, look at what our customer feedback was, look at the data they're giving us we're on track, we have eight and a half billion data points, which is a lot of data to sift through. I don't, right, but we just look for patterns, like what is this thing we're seeing? And we've been able to crap, right? People always jokingly say, when we did innovation, like we're in this big boardroom, and and you know, we're all there in our suits, and the whiteboard was sticky notes, but it was nothing like that a customer called lick. Cletus attach a single point lubricator to the sensor, so I don't have to go and lubricate. Right? That's a good idea.


Yeah, see, that's that's, that to me is the way to go. I I'm not I'm not smart. Like you, Blair. I tend to sort of get overwhelmed. I would do maybe, maybe, maybe it's because of all the conversations I have is like, really? That's a problem, too. That's a challenge. So anyway, all right. Blair, how do people get a hold of you?


On LinkedIn? It's an odd handle. This is your AI from my AI background. Search me up in LinkedIn, you'll get a hold of me.


I'll have all the contact information out there. That's probably best. Don't worry. We'll talk yeah. So if you want to get a hold of Blair, and not try to find him on LinkedIn, it'll all be there. So go out to industry Again, we are broadcasting from the 30th annual SMRP conference. It is a conference that you need to attend if you're in the maintenance world. This is the one we're going to wrap it up on the other side. Stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


As always, thank you very much for joining industrial talk. And I'm telling you right now, Blair never disappoints Blair Fraser UE systems go out, reach out to him, go out to his stat card on LinkedIn, have a conversation or to chit chat, do whatever is necessary to begin to collaborate and and I'm just want to reiterate that if you're in the maintenance and reliability world, and as I have these conversations over and over again, that is an incredible profession, and they're doing incredible work, to help companies succeed. And if you're in that business, you need to connect with SMRP and be a part of that ever expanding group of passionate maintenance professionals, liability professionals, asset management, technology, innovation, and you name it, it's at SMRP I think, I think it's in Orlando, gotta check on that. It'll be out on industrial So if you're not, but I would highly recommend that you do get involved. And that you put that on your calendar for 2023. All right, as I always say, we're building a platform that is dedicated to education dedicated to collaborating as well as dedicated to innovation because it is happening out there. And and you need to be a part of it. So go out to industrial and say, Scott, I want to amplify my message. I want to amplify what we are doing. And therefore you know, can we have a conversation? So it does Israel talk? Alright, be bold, be brave, daring, greatly. Hanging out with blaring you're gonna change the world. Thank you very much once again for joining industrial talk and your support. We're gonna have another great conversation coming from SMRP shortly so stay tuned.

Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.