HAM Meets The Man Who Makes Omega Compressors
As regular HAM readers will know, Hard Air Magazine has one of the Omega compressors in-house. Actually, it’s the Super Charger model and we have been very happy with the way it performs, filling HPA tanks simply, consistently and conveniently. It’s definitely the cure for air anxiety!
In our photograph above, we see Todd DeOrio of Raptor Pneumatics in the USA (right), together with Xuefeng (Leo) Gao from China at the 2018 SHOT Show. Leo is the General Manager of Raptor Pneumatics manufacturing partner in China and the “Father” behind the Air Charger, Super Charger and Turbo Charger compressors.
Oh yes, that’s the Turbo Charger model in the photograph between the guys, with an Omega tank on top…
Leo was kind enough to spare some time to sit down and talk to me about his background and the Omega compressors range.
He explained that he started his company in the Chinese city of Nantong in 2001. Nantong is not far from Shanghai and it’s the center of the Chinese optics industry. If you’ve bought a rifle scope in the last 10 years, it very likely was manufactured in Nantong!
For this reason, Leo started his business manufacturing scope accessories and parts. But he saw an opportunity in the new field of high pressure air pumps and designed his first hand pump in 2006.
This hand pump went into production in 2007 and he focused the company on improving quality with these products for the next three years.
Here’s the factory, below.
By 2010, Leo had seen that electro-mechanical HPA pumps were definitely going to be the future, so he started development of his first electrically-powered High Pressure Air compressor. After two years of extensive research and development activities, he finally completed his pump design. This is the basis for the current range of Omega Air Charger, Super Charger and Turbo Charger models.
He began working with Raptor Pneumatics in the USA five years ago and the two companies have worked closely on compressor design and development ever since.
Leo is passionate about compressors and quality! He emphasized that Research and Development is very important to him. His company has no less than 20 Chinese Patents and 5 international Patents for compressors and hand pumps.
All the design and manufacturing is done in-house, he explained. Well, almost all! Leo said that he imports some lubricants from the USA to obtain the best quality materials which assure long-term reliability for Omega compressors.
There’s a four person in-house design team and they design every part of Omega compressors right down to the special piston O rings to ensure long-term reliability. They even designed their own testing machines to facilitate Quality Assurance testing for their hand pumps and compressors.
Leo explained that he specifies high quality materials for his products and has 8 high-tech CNC machines making parts in the factory. But he also feels that customer experience is very important. This is why he makes attractive external design and convenient controls important attributes of Omega compressors.
Below. The factory during break with some of the CNC machines on view.
I asked Leo if this was his first visit to the 2018 SHOT Show. He said no, it was the second time. He also attends the IWA OutdoorClassics show in Germany. He feels that attending these trade shows is important as it allows him to see the full international range of airguns and associated products that he would not otherwise see in China. It also gives him lots of ideas for new products!
Leo has plans for further compressor developments in the future, although he asked me not to reveal them here! But he is interested in the small, car-powered compressors that are starting to appear for direct filling PCP airguns. He sees this type of small compressor as complimentary to the more powerful, high capacity, tank-filling models currently in the Omega compressors line, particularly as they are in different price ranges.
Below. The Omega Air Charger and Super Charger HPA compressors.
Leo and Todd obviously make a good team working together. Leo told me that he is very happy to be working with Airguns of Arizona as the US distributor for Omega compressors. He explained that they do a great job and give strong after-sales service and support in the uncommon event that a customer has a problem with his/her compressor in use.
In fact, Hard Air Magazine’s Omega Super Charger has been chugging away, steadily filling a 4,500 PSI HPA tank while I’ve been writing this article. We also use the Raptor Pneumatics Diablo Dry Air System attached to the output of the compressor. This dessicant system ensures that we have nice dry High Pressure Air and it’s used to fill the PCP airguns we test for Hard Air Magazine.