Communication and customer support is always top of mind for us here at WFCO. It is extremely important to us that we not only help our customers answer any questions they may have, but simultaneously create a solution that helps our customers achieve their goals. With over 50 years of technical experience and expertise, WFCO can be a great resource to dealers and OEMs alike, so we’ve initiated a program called the Proactive Power Pros (PPP). In this program, WFCO’s Power Pros perform both energy and line audits for OEMs to ensure that their products are working properly. They are also on hand to answer any customer questions on their support lines.
Our Power Pros help OEMs with a variety of product issues, including performance, efficient installation, feature specification, and model selection. In addition, we have instituted the PPP program to provide outreach technical support for dealers. Our Power Pros are helping to increase the awareness of support tools offered to our customers through our website, such as product conversion charts, warranty information and our e-newsletter.
Both OEM and Dealer customers are appreciating the service provided by the Power Pros and the products offered at WFCO.
“We want OEMs and Dealers to know that we are there for them and are paying attention to their needs,” said Tom Ryan, WFCO Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Our PPP program is proactively engaging our customers to let them know we are always there to assist them in whatever they need in every way we can.”
The innovative new WF-8500 Series and WFCO power centers from the WF-8700 Series and WF-9900 Series demonstrate the significant difference a simple design element can make. All WFCO power centers from the last five years featured in these series have front-venting/zero clearance designs. That is, the fan system used to air-cool the unit is designed to cool only from the front, eliminating the minimum two cubic feet of free air space required in the rear of other converters to cool the unit.
This setup allows many WFCO power centers to be installed in a smaller compartment, providing more floor space, storage area and design flexibility for the manufacturer. In some WFCO products, there is also more hand space within the converter compartment to make it easier to bend and install the wiring. Another benefit of the front venting is that the backside casing does not have any holes or slots because it no longer needs to vent air to the rear. This means that wood chips, sawdust, metal shavings and screws are much less likely to get into the unit during the manufacturing process, helping to prevent potential shorts and problems down the road.
All of this is part of WFCO’s ongoing dedication to supplying the innovation you need. For more WFCO Firsts click here.
Over the years, we have noticed issues occur on the production line that are fairly common and relatively easy to prevent. Our goal is to always help our partners install our products correctly and to minimize the potential for problems down the road.
Below are some common occurrences we’ve noticed through our close association with RV manufacturers over the years. Most involve fairly simple solutions that, if implemented on the factory floor, can prevent warranty claims and other complications in the future.
Proper torque levels are important to assure a solid electrical and mechanical connection. Product torque ranges are shown on the door assembly of each power center and distribution panel board. Additionally, WFCO has a torque chart that specifies the correct torque for each product’s connections. To help assure proper levels, it’s a good idea to have your electrical team check the torque periodically during the manufacturing day to make sure it meets the design specifications.
- Wiring needs to be stripped correctly.
The wire insulation can be stripped too much or too little before screwing the wire into the terminal. Wiring that is stripped too much could lead to strands of exposed wire extending outside and beyond the terminal, which could create a short circuit and/or circuit damage. Stripping too little can result in the screw terminal only contacting the insulation, instead of the wire inside, resulting in nothing on the circuit working because of no power.
The solution for this is knowing the right amount to strip — 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) — and making an effort to be as close as possible to this dimension every time. One suggestion is to develop a simple measuring gauge to help the installer practice identifying the right amount.
Ultimately, the best way to overcome this issue is to eliminate the stripping process and save time by using power centers that already have all the DC pigtails attached. WFCO has two power center series with this option: the WF-8700 Series and the WF-8500 Series.
- Power tools and plastic don’t always mix.
We see too many power center door assemblies coming back cracked and broken. We believe this is due to power tools being used to secure the screws that attach the plastic door assembly to the plastic body. By the end of the day, operators can lose a bit of control and drive the screws too fast into the plastic, resulting in broken door assemblies.
To avoid this issue in the future, just be a little more careful, or, if necessary, use a non-power screwdriver.
- The wrong fuse size is being used.
On occasion, a fuse that is too small is used for the battery circuit in the WF-8700 Series power centers. When a fuse is used that is smaller than recommended, the fuse has the potential to blow which would cause the converter to stop charging the battery altogether. This can lead many to believe the charger is not working. Ultimately, when a battery cannot achieve a full charge it can become damaged, resulting in a shortened battery life.
To help eliminate any guesswork when selecting the proper fuse, we’ve provided a chart (shown below) of fuse sizes needed for each WF-8700 Series power center. OEMs can print the chart as a reference for the installer. Also, please note that the fuse rating we suggest for the output fuses is marked on each unit.
With sophisticated electronics and appliances becoming standard in new RVs, there is a critical demand for more innovative converters, power centers, and inverters. In this transforming market, power product expertise and support are important factors for OEMs.
Our Elkhart Power Pros™ team works closely with manufacturers on a daily basis, gaining insight as to how manufacturers use our products. This close, ongoing contact gives our Power Pros an understanding of our customer needs in terms of product improvements, installation issues and potential new products.
“Being located right here in Elkhart is extremely beneficial for both service and product development,” said Tom Ryan, WFCO Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This close relationship with manufacturers and our knowledge of what they really need in terms of power conversion, charging and delivery will help WFCO continue to be the leader in power products, offering ongoing innovations to advance the industry.” You can see a list of 20 innovative firsts WFCO has produced for the RV industry by clicking here.
The sensitivity and adaptability to customer needs displayed by WFCO has been the case throughout the company’s 40-year history, during which many of their innovations have been adopted as standard features for RV power products.
“The formula for success includes taking the time and making the investment to know your customers in order to provide the innovation, quality and service they need. These factors are more important than ever as the industry moves forward to find a bigger niche in the recreation marketplace,” said Ryan.
WFCO’S innovative new WF-8500 Series power center is not only the most advanced and smallest power center available, but it is also designed to save time in the installation process. The small, lightweight package also provides tremendous design flexibility, ease-of-handling and reduced space needs.
The 8500 Series comes in 40, 50 and 60 Amp models. Its small and light configuration makes it easier to handle on the assembly line and allows it to fit into a greater variety of floor plan designs. This flexibility is enhanced with an exceptional range of 13 DC circuits, three of which are rated 30 Amps.
To further facilitate installation, the 8500 Series optionally offers three types of connections for DC circuits, allowing each manufacturer to use their preferred type. These include regular screw connectors; Quick Connect terminals, where flag connectors may be used for simple positive connections and pre-wired pigtails that are routed out the back of the power center. Each pigtail wire is labeled with the circuit number, so the installer doesn’t need to see or touch the circuit board. Installers simply route the wires to the back of the power center and connect them to the appropriate pigtails.
Metal reinforced mounting holes make the power center installation quick and easy without concern for cracking mounting flanges. The back of the power center has built-in strain relief devices for the AC wiring, saving time and reducing the “fiddle factor.”
The 8500 Series is also designed with a new system of LED lights that provide an indication of high, low, or normal input voltage as well as indicating if the converter is in bulk mode or connected in reverse polarity to the battery.
This all adds up to a new range of possibilities for manufacturers and RVers.
WFCO’s automatic three-stage converters handle every charging need for the RV while extending the battery’s life. In fact, well-maintained batteries should normally never need more than WFCO’s two-stage (Normal and Trickle) charging modes. Our Fast Charge third stage (Bulk) is for the rare times a battery needs extra power charging.
The WFCO Normal (Absorption) Mode alone is a powerhouse, capable of charging a fully discharged battery in under three hours at 13.6 Volts. When the RV is being used, the battery is kept readily charged in Normal Mode.
However, if the converter detects no significant variation in current draw for approximately 44 continuous hours, our Trickle (Float) Mode automatically kicks in and brings the battery back to full charge. Maintaining full charging in this manner helps prevent stratification of the battery’s fluids.
For those cases when the battery charge drops significantly due to prolonged disuse, poor maintenance, or significantly heavy system overloads, our 14.4 Volt Fast Charge (Bulk) Mode kicks in. Our Fast Charge delivers a maximum four-hour charge in order to prevent battery damage and extend the life of the battery.
So be assured, whenever you install any WFCO converter or power center, your customers are getting the best battery charging care available.
The WF-68100 was the first 100 Amp converter in the RV industry and is ideal for powering electronics and appliances in larger RVs quietly and efficiently, while offering the unique capability of using Gel-Cell batteries.
The WF-68100 Series converter/chargers are versatile, advanced power source solutions. The output rating of 100 Amps provides clean, reliable DC power for a plethora of electronics and appliances and the heavy loads associated with motor coaches, toy haulers and larger RVs. The 68100’s clean power can be provided with or without a battery. The cooling fan runs only when needed, enabling quiet operation.
The 68100 is designed to ensure longer battery life and a smoother converter operation. It is the only converter with the ability to use Gel-Cell type batteries by switching to a lower voltage charge. Electronic Current Limiting automatically shuts down power during overload or short-circuit conditions. An exclusive LED status indicator on the converter’s front monitors converter operation and indicates a low battery charge.
- WFCO’s Power Factor Correction (another WFCO first) makes the 68100 more energy efficient and a “greener” energy solution. Power Factor Correction aligns the wave-forms, improving the conversion efficiency by approximately 30 percent.
- There are double connectors on the back, so you can tie a battery directly into the converter.
Click here for more information.
WFCO Power Pros are always close at hand for whatever RV manufacturers might need, whether an overnight order, installation advice, or a rush energy audit for a new RV design — our Power Pros work in Elkhart, Ind., the hub of RV manufacturing, and for many manufacturers they are just a short drive away as well as a quick contact by email or phone.
Services WFCO Power Pros provide include line audits, using and testing products on OEM production lines to make sure line workers are installing and using WFCO products properly, including the right torques, right gauge wire for AC and DC, and the proper overall wiring assembly. This is all about helping manufacturers find better, quicker, more efficient ways to install our products. Load audits and energy audits are also part of this process to ensure manufacturers are not overloading their systems and are effectively using our products to save energy.
We take products back to our lab if further testing is needed. In short, we work with RV manufacturers to develop the products and processes they need. We work with manufacturer requirements to augment or design new features to make their products better.
Our location within an hour’s drive of many of our customers ensures rapid service capabilities. Every WFCO Power Pro, in fact every WFCO employee, lives and breathes the company mantra — treat every customer as part of the family, with service our first priority.
This is why WFCO makes emergency runs with products to help a manufacturer with an unexpected need. Our 55,000 sq. ft. warehouse is close to most customers, and we always maintain a 45-day inventory of all products.
Assessing future RV design and power needs, WFCO Electronics is introducing its new WF-8500 Series Power Center in a high-capacity compact size, with a choice of three types of connection modes.
The 8500’s cooling system requires zero clearance for ventilation, and it has an exceptionally small footprint, thus increasing useable space for RV manufacturers to install other amenities. Initially it will be offered in 40 Amp and 60 Amp modes, with a 50 Amp application to be added.
For easy DC installation, a choice of three electrical connection modes are offered, matching those favored by different RV production lines — either Screw terminals, Quick connect terminals, or Wire pigtails. An exceptional range of 13 DC circuits, three of which are rated 30 Amps, enables manufacturers to install more circuits for greater design flexibility.
Multi-color LED indicators provide instant information to technicians and owners about AC voltage input, dead circuits, battery reverse polarity and bulk mode operation. Click here for more information about the WF-8500 Series.
WF-511OHP inverter upgrade
WFCO has upgraded its WF-5110H inverter with its new WF-5110HP model. The WF-5110HP retains all the advantages of the WF-5110H, but is designed to improve and simplify the in-plant testing process conducted by manufacturers, making Hipot tests easy and fast.
As with the previous version, the WF-5110HP is a 1,000-watt pure sine wave inverter that provides the electrical filtering needed to run such appliances as residential refrigerators found in larger RVs. It features a plug-and-play design, allowing it to be simply plugged into an AC outlet to connect directly to the RV’s AC system. It will convert 12 VDC to 110 VAC, and has a remote control system and built-in circuit protection on the AC side.
The features on the WF-5110HP that RV manufacturers particularly like include an Internal Transfer Switch that allows input to bypass the inverter when the RV is connected to an AC source, either shore power or generator power. So there’s no need to install an external switch. This inverter also protects the system by automatically shutting down when batteries run low and input is below 10 volts.
Furthermore, the WF-5110HP allows manufacturers the use of more cost effective 4AWG wiring versus 2AWG wire. With no crimping required, 4AWG connections are also much easier and quicker for installers.
At WFCO we understand how important it is to have clean electric power and how “dirty electric power” can create noise in electronics that you can hear in sound systems and see on TVs. Fans and motors, which are numerous in RVs, can also feed “bad noise” back into an RV’s electrical system, which can affect other appliances.
WFCO converters, however, take in 115VAC, 60 Hz power and our advanced design filters out noise, ripples and spikes as the AC voltage is converted to DC. WFCO’s High Frequency switching technology removes 60Hz AC ripple from the output line resulting in clean and smooth DC power.
In lab tests we’ve conducted using WFCO and other kinds of power converters, WFCO products have proven to have the lowest noise level
With WFCO, you can count on clean DC power to provide peak electrical performance with all of your electronics and appliances. To contact our Power Pros with any questions you may have about WFCO Clean Power, please call 1-877-294-8997.
At WFCO, we like to think of ourselves as the installer’s friend, making it easy for manufacturers to efficiently and properly install our systems on the assembly line.
One of the small but very helpful touches for the installation of WFCO power centers and distribution panels are steel inserts that reinforce every screw mounting hole, preventing the cracking of mounting flanges as installers attach the unit. The steel inserts allow installers to quickly drill in the mounting screws without concern for damaging the component.
This is one of the many ways in which WFCO engineers have examined what’s helpful in the manufacturing process, giving WFCO products an economical edge on the assembly line as well.
Reinforced mounting holes are just one of many WFCO Firsts; Click Here to see more firsts from WFCO.
WFCO’s vertical integration puts us in the unique position to be your best power equipment supplier in terms of quality, service and cost. WFCO has control of the entire supply chain required for our production needs, from the manufacture of components to assembly, and the distribution of the complete unit. Because we manufacture our own products, we are not subject to the unexpected changes in components, materials or quality that can surprise other manufacturers and frustrate their customers.
Vertical integrations include control of our inventory, where we maintain a constant 45-day supply and deliver with our own trucks, which enables emergency deliveries and programs such as recycling of old pallets and packaging.
Watch this video For more WFCO leadership advantages.
Total vertical integration allows WFCO to have control of quality, consistency and delivery at every step of the manufacturing process, resulting in unmatched reliability, with warranty claims of less than one percent. This is one important reason why engineers favor WFCO products in more than 80 percent of RVs built today.
Accordingly, this large volume, along with the elimination of supplier markups through vertical integration, allows us to give you the best quality at the best price, with the best service, and best value of any power product on the market.
What would you like to know? Click here to ask a question we can answer in future editions of this bulletin.
There are a lot of things that can disrupt the manufacturing supply chain, including dock strikes, trucking strikes and other acts of God, not to mention unexpected market surges or downturns. At WFCO we make it a priority to make sure that, no matter what happens, you are never without the WFCO product you need.
That is why we maintain a 45-day inventory so that our products are always available and your production line never has to wait for a WFCO unit. We keep every product on our shelves for your emergency calls, for a last-minute installation need and for sudden production changes.
Maintaining that 45-day inventory takes work — and it’s more than guesswork. Every two weeks we develop an OEM and aftermarket forecast of upcoming needs in our industry. We look at the new plants being built, new RV models coming out, new companies getting in the business, and the developing trends in our market and the overall economy, all to make sure we stay a step ahead of whatever is happening. Even staying close to the market, we have seen substantial, unexpected market fluctuations and unpredictable bursts of demand and we factor in an extra buffer of inventory to cope with such sudden changes. So, with all the things that can go haywire, you can be sure that WFCO isn’t one of them.
Click here to let us know what you want to know about WFCO or power products for future editions of the WFCO RV HEARTBEAT Bulletin.
For today’s power needs, our new WF-5110HP inverter is a smart choice. Like it’s WF-5110H predecessor, the WF-5110HP is a pure sine wave inverter, giving you the filtering needed for premium electronics and refrigerators. Additionally, a simple plug and play design makes installation a snap. Just plug it into an AC outlet to connect directly to the RV’s AC system. It will convert DC to AC with DC inputs between 10 to 15 volts, and has a remote control system and built-in circuit protection on the AC side. As a recent upgrade, the WF-5110HP also simplifies and provides certainty on product testing on the RV assembly line.
Other features include an Internal Transfer Switch that allows input to bypass the inverter when the RV is connected to an AC source, either shore power or generator power. So there’s no need to install an external switch. This inverter also protects the battery by automatically shutting down when batteries run low and input is below 10 volts.
Furthermore, the WF-5110HP allows the use of more cost effective 4-gauge wiring versus 2-gauge wire. With no crimping required, 4-gauge wire connections are also much easier and quicker for installers. Click here to learn more.
WFCO offers a much broader range of converter choices than any other supplier. That’s because we recognize there are a wide variety of RVs operating with many different electric load requirements. OEMs need a reliable source of power products to meet every specific need without compromising the size, output or cost. Manufacturers also take different approaches to RV power capabilities. Some manufacturers want to be able to power everything at once in a unit, a full load. Others want to have just enough power available to be efficient as well as effective, because not every appliance is likely to be used at the same time.
A wide variety of WFCO Power Converters can handle substantially different loads, from 12 amps for the smallest trailers to 100 amps for a large motor home, toy hauler or park model trailer. We have both deck mount converters and power centers. Our varied inventory gives us the ability to more precisely match the continually evolving power needs of each RV, ensuring the most efficient and reliable use of power for every unit.
WFCO Power Centers demonstrate the significant difference a simple design element can make. All WFCO Power Centers introduced over the last five years have been front-venting/zero clearance designs. That is, the fan system used to air cool the unit is designed to cool only from the front, which eliminates the typical 2 cubic feet of air space required in the rear of other converters to vent the exhaust air.
This allows many WFCO Power Centers to be installed in a smaller compartment, providing more floor space or storage area and design flexibility for the manufacturer. In some WFCO products there is also more hand space within the converter compartment to make it easier to bend and install the wiring. Another benefit of the front venting is that the backside casing does not have any holes or slots for venting air to the rear. This means that wood chips, sawdust, metal shavings and screws cannot get into the unit during the manufacturing process, helping to prevent potential shorts and problems down the road.
Have you noticed WFCO’s updated logo? It’s a new brand element that reflects our recent effort to better communicate who we are as a company. You’ll see that effort reflected in the re-creation of our product literature and packaging. You will also see it in a very big way with our new website and this new newsletter.
The website contains a host of information about WFCO and our products, some of which you might not know or even thought about. The website provides an easy-to-search product section with additional information and resources for dealers and OEMs.
Some of what you will find is a growing library of helpful videos, including installation videos to help RV service centers replace converters.
There’s an expanded background section about the WFCO organization, including information about our industry leading manufacturing, quality control and customer support initiatives.
You’ll find comprehensive contact information for RV manufacturers, including an introduction to the WFCO Power Pro Team. This is our group of highly knowledgeable and helpful experts who provide such services as installation training, in-plant line audits, energy audits, quality control and inventory control assessments. Power Pro phone techs have 50 years of combined experience.
Another popular spot should be our Downloads Center, where you can easily find every downloadable document for every WFCO product. Whoa!
We’ll also list the Shows and Events we are participating in, and there’s an archives section for all WFCO Heartbeat Bulletins.
This is just the beginning! A lot more helpful information and resources for manufacturers, dealers and RV owners will be posted in the coming months. So come and visit often!