I reached Leigh Kuhn, president of RynoWorx, and asked what he had planned for NPE Nashville 2020. Here is our interview.
What are you most excited about Rynoworx for 2020?
Definitely the launch of the RY10MA-ELITE. We’ve spent 4 years listening to and analyzing customer feedback (interacting with many of our customers directly). I can honestly say that we’ve given our very best efforts to design innovation. Eric and I have poured our hearts and soul into this design. We’ve made massive improvements that could only be achieved through a redesign from the ground up with very few compromises. I really hope people enjoy using it as much as we’ve enjoyed designing it.
You mentioned innovation, and we hear that the RY10MA-ELITE is your best offering yet. What role has innovation played in it?
I’ve always taken the position that innovation is key to our business. It’s what separates us from ‘everybody else.’ I think this should be very apparent with the all-new ELITE. I could fill a page with the design improvements, but the real breakthrough includes a brand new no-heat/ no-clog valve assembly that keeps material in the kettle while the valve is closed. This effectively eliminates the need to use a torch to heat it while completely stopping leaks that are common on other valve designs. Some other significant improvements include re-positioning the burner and better protecting sensitive components, a new dashboard with burner controls and a digital thermometer for monitoring material temperature. We’ve also added front handles above the casters for lifting in or out of a truck and increased the internal kettle capacity by 30% (can now handle 2 x 30lb blocks from empty). We’ve added adjustable handlebars allowing up to 8″ of height adjustment for tall or short users. We’ve reduced the pull distance for the valve and made the spring tension adjustable to minimize user fatigue and to accommodate both shorter and taller users. We’ve optimized the kettle vents and lid to reduce heat loss. The lid now opens from the rear, allowing for side or front-loading, while protecting the controls and the burner from splashes. We’ve also created more space for the propane cylinder to improve heat dissipation and added a 2-ton ratchet strap to secure the propane cylinder during transit. We’ve added fuel line management for the accessory torch to help keep your fuel lines tidy – is that enough? LOL
That is definitely a lot of innovation packed in your new offering. With RY10MA-ELITE, I recall you mentioned the users now have complete control from the operator position; how did you design that and how does it work?
When Eric and I were discussing the direction for this machine, we talked a lot about the benefits of having all the controls in front of the operator. We like the idea of doing this mostly because the current models had the burner controls in the front, and we didn’t like that they weren’t visible by the operator. We also didn’t like the fact that we needed to run the propane hose alongside the old unit. The RY10MA-ELITE has been designed, so users can manage the operating functions from the rear of the kettle. This means they can ignite the burner, monitor temperature, agitate crack fill, apply crack fill and control the shoe position all from behind the handlebars.
You also mentioned ergonomics – can you tell me more about this?
Over the past few years, we’ve had several comments from customers – some who like that we had a taller standard handlebar height and some that didn’t like it. We also had several people share their job site experience as it relates to hand fatigue from tight spring tension, and others complain that the current tension wasn’t enough. We redesigned the bars for up to 8″ of adjustment and added graduated spring tension slots to allow for increased or decreased spring tension. These new changes should make our machine comfortable regardless of whether you’re 5′ or 7′ tall.
That is impressive, Leigh. A related question, though – how else have you worked on improving the efficiency of this machine, keeping the business aspect in mind for contractors and business owners?
We had a few users share their experience with not being able to load enough crack-fill – that 30lb blocks do not fit easily into our current design. We decided to increase the kettle capacity to fit 2 complete 30lb blocks of rubber; actually we managed to increase our internal capacity by nearly 30% while only creating a marginal change to the overall footprint. We did this by optimizing the width of the air jacket. We also reduced the size of the hot air vents and optimized the kettle lid and agitator to minimize heat loss. All in all, this should allow operators to carry more hot crack fill and improve heating efficiency.
How have you improved the offerings for other existing machines?
Yes, we’re currently working on some enhancements to the RY10MK-PRO and RY30MK-PRO that will improve burner reliability and efficiency.
What else can we expect from Rynoworx in the coming year?
We’ve begun testing some new thermostatic controls that we’re hoping to deploy to many of our existing kettles in 2021. Outside of melters, we’re planning on launching a brand new speed bander that should pair well with our kettles as well as several other accessories and tools. We’ve got a couple of other projects that I’m excited about but not going share yet. Gotta save some thunder for later.
For more information about the new RY10 Elite, watch this Facebook live interview between RynoWorx’s Leigh Kuhn and Asphalt Kingdom’s Judd Burdon.