Corporate Profile: Ray-Pac
Robert Hibdon: X-Ray Innovator
Robert Hibdon, President of Ray-Pac, is a respected and proven leader in the medical imaging community, especially when it comes to quality X-ray tube manufacturing. He can also be described as a visionary based on the new Ray-Pac Inventory ARK app, his previous work with Interay, and his plans for the future.
Hibdon’s latest vision is the one-of-a-kind Ray-Pac Inventory ARK app (available on iTunes and Google Play) that allows customers to instantaneously view daily updated inventory and whether an X-ray tube could be shipped today or tomorrow. It is a high-tech gadget from an old-school pioneer who strongly believes in hard work, craftsmanship, and quality.
Ray-Pac was founded in 2015 based on Hibdon’s desire to come out of retirement and return to the work he loved and missed, as his interest in X-ray tubes is an endeavor that dates back to the early 1980s.
“Ray-Pac was founded earlier this year because I wanted to get back into X-ray tube manufacturing,” Hibdon says. “My wife and I founded Interay in 1982. Back then, there wasn’t an aftermarket for X-ray tubes. The OEMs controlled the replacement market. It was a wonderful time to start a new business. The biggest problem was finding a quality manufacturer of X-ray inserts. Fortunately for us, Varian EIMAC in Salt Lake City, Utah, was looking for someone to develop a market for their non-OEM products. We were a perfect match. We were able to introduce a new product about every 90 days and this went on for 11 years.”
“We grew the business to $15 million a year and supplied over 50 percent of the U.S. aftermarket. You can guess what happened next: Varian bought us out,” Hibdon recalls. “I stayed on with Varian for 20 years as vice president and general manager of the aftermarket and grew the business to $45 million in worldwide aftermarket sales. Then I retired at 58. Three years into my retirement, Varian and I reached an agreement which allowed me to re-enter the aftermarket as Ray-Pac.”
“I was amazed at how many of my old friends from 20-something years ago called up and congratulated me. And, actually, most of them laughed at me and said ‘You’re 61 years old! Why on earth are you going back to work?’ It is not for the money. It’s because I genuinely enjoy the X-ray tube business,” Hibdon discloses.
His re-entry into the aftermarket comes at a time when new technology has changed some aspects of the business. Yet, Hibdon’s secret weapon is that he knows what customers want, especially in the X-ray tube market.
“After 33 years in the industry, we know that quality and availability are what our customers not only expect but deserve from their suppliers,” Hibdon points out.
The Ray-Pac Inventory ARK app is a key component of Hibdon’s latest venture.
“We’re up and running. We’re looking to be different and have a service that no one was providing and that is where the app came from,” he says. “We thought the app would be an enormous time saver for dealers because they could actually be in the X-ray room, look at their iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet, see that it was in stock and tell the customer immediately that they could have it tomorrow. We are hoping that it is a big hit.”
Ray-Pac’s research indicated that their app is the only one in the X-ray tube industry that does anything with real-time inventory or shipping availability. The ARK app gives customers an instant answer with just one button; where-as, it used to be that customers had to get on the phone and try to track down a distributor, then the distributor had to track down the manufacturer and see what they had in stock, and then the distributor would get back in touch with the customer. Now this can all be done with the Ray-Pac Inventory ARK app in a matter of seconds.
“The app is straight forward and tells you all the specifications like focal spot, stator, horn angle, and heat storage,” Hibdon affirms. “So, you know immediately if we have what you want. We like the idea because we thought it is something that would speed up the process for the dealers and it is something that no one was providing.”
The idea for the app came from listening to customers and so far has been beyond well received.
“Since we’ve only been open about 30 days we are doing well with the response we are getting from people who are fascinated by the idea,” Hibdon said in early September.
Ray-Pac streamlines the process in more ways than just the app. Dealers can become pre-qualified Members, which entitles them to zero delays on purchase approvals and immediate shipping.
Customers are also pleased with the quality of the X-ray tubes. Ray-Pac’s products are described by some as “better than new” and customers are never disappointed. Ray-Pac specializes in replacement tubes for GE, Siemens, Philips, and, of course, Varian. Also, they are proud to be a “Made in the USA” manufacturer.
“We are extremely proud of what we do and we are equally as particular,” asserts Hibdon. “We go above and beyond to ensure that our paint color and texture enables you to not be able to tell a finished remanufactured tube from a new tube.”
Quality performance and appearance are important to every Ray-Pac employee.
Hibdon expects Ray-Pac’s focus and dedication to top-quality X-ray tubes to impact the entire market.
Great expectations paired with his previous success have Hibdon energized and excited about Ray-Pac. He knows there will be challenges and he expects to navigate them as the company grows to meet customers’ needs.
“Our company’s mission is to be the very best at everything we do,” Hibdon adds. “The health care industry goes up and down and we want our customers to know that we will always be there when they need us.”
For more information about Ray-Pac, visit ray-pac.com; email email@example.com; or call 1-843-767-8090.