Q&A with Mark Hill

President, Institution Solutions, Inc.


What would you point to as the main benefit that your product provides?

That would be the fact that the Intelligent Can—or “iCan”—seals off fluids completely and protects them from exposure to the many contaminants found in the industrial environment. These are mostly airborne materials such as dust, but they also include sand, dirt, and water—anything that can compromise the lubricants that are so important to keeping equipment running smoothly. If you look at the “chain of custody” of a gear oil, as an example, it leaves the refinery in a very clean state, and it
basically remains that way until it’s delivered to the end user. So the point between it being pumped into whatever container is being used to where it’s actually poured into the machine is the weakest link, in terms of it being exposed to contamination. By using the iCan system, the liquid is sealed tightly within the drum, so it retains its integrity while being transported to the top-off site. And it helps to avoid spills, as well, because the contents won’t leak if the drum is accidentally knocked over.

How is iCan relevant to gearboxes in particular?

With all the improvements that have been made in gearbox design in recent years—they’re smaller, they run hotter and they operate on much tighter tolerances—improved lubricants have been developed in response. iCan protects the investment you’ve made in these new and sometimes very expensive formulations.

Proper labeling of contents is obviously important, and you seem to have paid special attention to this issue.

That’s right, we have, and in a number of different ways. First of all, the drums are square, which aids in efficient storage, but square drums also provide plenty of space for sufficient labeling. But if you want to go the extra mile, you can choose to affix an iPouch to the drum. An iPouch is a clear, adhesive-backed vinyl envelope with a zipper top. They stick onto iCan drums, and are ideal for displaying fluid identification tags. They even have enough depth to hold MSDS documents or fluid data sheets. We also provide software that can be downloaded directly off of our Web site that allows you to print tags and labels in 16 different colors and eight different font sizes. Last year, OSHA’s second most-cited violation had to do with hazard communication issues (standard 19101200). Labeling containers properly and having MSDS documents within easy reach is critical to effective hazard communication. You’ll often see MSDS materials located in a central area—in the safety office, say, or on a clipboard hanging on the wall—but by using iPouches you have that information on the container itself. It doesn’t get any more accessible than that.

Looking at your price list, I’m not seeing anything above $40, which means even the smallest company should be able to afford your products.

We’ve done everything we can to keep our prices low, even though square drums cost us more to manufacture because you’ve got to blow more material into the corners of the mold. But we don’t want price to be an obstacle to companies of any size being able to benefit from our product. And even though the iCan system is very new, we’ve received an excellent reception so far, and we even have a major oil company that’s about to enter into a private-labeling agreement with us, so we’re very excited about that. And we also welcome inquiries from companies that would like to become stocking distributors. We’ve just ironed out the details of our wholesale price list, in fact, so we’re eager to work with resellers who are looking to help their customers improve the way they store, identify and dispense industrial fluids. What’s the point in paying so much money for your equipment, or coming up with a great new gearbox design, if you then introduce contaminated lubricant into the works? We feel that the iCan system will help you protect your investment and realize longer machine and gearbox life in the process.

MORE INFO: (866) 381-4226 or e-mail mark.hill@intelligentcan.com. The web site is www.intelligentcan.com.