When a major hospital and trauma center in Alaska began experiencing intermittent failure on more than one of their Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS) feeding critical load, real concern quickly spread through their facility staff. Alaska has been known to experience some harsh weather and extreme temperatures. They also, on average, experience 12,000 earthquakes each year, including about six that come in a magnitude of 6 and 7. At magnitudes like that, even well-constructed buildings can experience partial collapse and be shifted off their foundation. Needless to say, Alaska is a place where every critical facility has to have emergency power ready to go at every moment of every day.
When the call went out that the hospital’s ATS’s were out of commission, local service techs immediately responded. But try as they might to troubleshoot the problem, one by one they wound up scratching their heads, unable to find the issue plaguing the facility.
Finally, the client contacted the equipment manufacturer. And even though the manufacturer had its own service department, they recommended a service company that they knew could not only isolate but resolve their issues.
A call was quickly made to the Huntley headquarters of LionHeart Critical Power Specialists. LionHeart immediately responded, reviewing drawings and not only ordered replacement parts but developed a plan to upgrade the controls, if needed. All parts and tools were then rapidly flown to Alaska. The LionHeart Field Service Engineer sent to the site not only resolved the issue, but ended up working on a total of six pieces of equipment while on site.
While that sort of thing may seem exceptional to most readers, it’s all in a day’s work for the folks at LionHeart, who, in just 18 years, have built a world-class company serving more than 1,000 clients with a crew of 23 technicians who are some of the best generator technicians in the country
Just this month, LionHeart launched a new rebranding campaign that will position the company to expand, taking advantage of the reputation they have built that already reaches coast to coast. We at the Chief Engineer picked up on all the buzz and excitement, and contacted the folks at LionHeart to see if we could find out more. What we learned amazed us and should make Chief Engineers throughout the U.S. eager to experience the expansion plans of LionHeart.
The first thing anyone finds out when meeting with leadership at LionHeart is that every owner and every executive truly knows the business they are in because it’s been their life thus far. They were all experts in the critical power industry when they decided to branch out on their own in 1999 and form a unique, service-oriented, critical power service company. Don Ritter, the President of LionHeart Critical Power, was a service technician who rose through the ranks. Mike Hunter, Vice President of Sales, and Pete Stunkard, President of LionHeart Power Systems, both joined the team with experience in the power production industry. Ken Lenhart, Vice President of Engineering, had the talent to design systems for any application. Together, the four owners of LionHeart possessed the industry knowledge and skills needed to start a company that today boasts annual revenue nearing the $15 million and is building a foundation that will one day allow them to open branches nationwide.
“We are not perfect,” Don Ritter said. “But we are constantly pursuing the path to perfection.” Ritter spoke of the way LionHeart has worked to make knowledge universal within the company.
Tablet computers used by service technicians contain the history of every client’s machinery, as well as the names and contact information of everyone within a client facility. The tablets also allow techs to communicate with each other, sharing information about each jobsite and every piece of equipment on the site. “Our techs will share information about equipment and past service calls they may have performed that can speed up the process of troubleshooting problems and increase the speed of getting the right parts to the job,” Ritter said. “It is that experience and knowledge that we constantly try to capture and share through modern technology that really makes us the best at solving problems and keeping our clients’ equipment running.”
How far into the use of technology in which LionHeart is investing was made clear when Ritter disclosed that the company was already exploring the capabilities of Augmented Reality (AR) with the intention of incorporating the technology into the field in the near future. AR would allow service technicians to use a tablet computer or don special glasses in the field that would allow for the transfer of data back and forth between the service tech and a central service point. Meter readings as well as field conditions could be viewed by master technicians in the company’s headquarters, who would have immediate access to all the data and files needed to immediately and accurately troubleshoot any problem, propose modifications, or even spec new equipment. These engineers and master techs could then map out a step-by-step solution that would appear within the AR vision of the technician at the scene, who would actually see the entire repair process take place in virtual reality.
In repair situations, every part needed could be identified and the tech would be able to follow an ideal process in real life to quickly and safely solve any problem. AR would also eliminate problems that sometimes arise when specified equipment doesn’t quite line up with actual field conditions.e information about equipment and past service calls they may have performed that can speed up the process of troubleshooting problems and increase the speed of getting the right parts to the job,” Ritter said. “It is that experience and knowledge that we constantly try to capture and share through modern technology that really makes us the best at solving problems and keeping our clients’ equipment running.”
Innovation and working smart are the cornerstones of LionHeart’s long-range plan — a plan that they adopted at their founding in 1999 when they eschewed signing agreements with any one manufacturer in favor of being free to offer the best solution to each client, choosing equipment from a worldwide assortment of manufacturers’ products.
While the vision of LionHeart embraces a world of new technology, the core of the business relies on some old-fashioned thinking that puts customers and employees first. According to Ritter, turnover among their nearly 50 employees is almost non-existent.
“We believe in treating our employees well because that translates into their always representing our company well to our clients,”Ritter explained.
LionHeart is a full-service critical power systems company that excels at performing maintenance, testing, troubleshooting and repair of critical emergency power systems to include generators, generator controls, automatic transfer switches, paralleling switchgear and the multitude of auxiliary equipment required to comprise a complete emergency power system.
A long-time supporter of the Chief Engineers Association, LionHeart technicians also assist in providing seminars for Chief Engineers and Stationary Engineers in order to keep them knowledgeable about changes in both technology and building codes. We at the Chief Engineer want to congratulate them on their success and their new brand rollout.
Chiefs wanting to learn more about LionHeart should visit their new website at www.PowerAssured.com
Article by John Fanning | www.chiefengineer.org