Something in the Air

Wayne-Vaughn Equipment Company specializes in providing turnkey solutions and service for air power products with a distinctly personal touch.
Jul 3, 2024
Tammy Davis
Jeffrey Crane & Provided

No one understands better than Shane Replogle the importance of keeping his company’s products operating effectively. The compressed air systems and nitrogen generators Wayne-Vaughn Equipment Company designs, sells, installs and services power the equipment that helps keep factories running. In fact, compressed air has become so important to industrial applications that it has been dubbed “the fourth utility” after water, gas and electricity. Without it, a facility risks shutting down production.

“Being a fourth utility provider, we understand the importance of compressed air to our customers,” explains Replogle, Wayne-Vaughn president. “If you’re down, you send people home; you don’t make money.”

Founded in 1945, Wayne-Vaughn initially focused on the petroleum industry, serving as the first local distributor for Wayne Pump Company. It soon expanded its operations to include installing and repairing pumps and related equipment for service stations. As service stations transitioned to self-service in the 1970s and 80s, Wayne-Vaughn then shifted its focus to the air compression equipment in its portfolio: compressors, blowers, dryers, nitrogen generators and filtration systems. All the while, Wayne-Vaughn Equipment continued to provide the attention to detail and robust customer service for which it had become known.

“We pride ourselves on providing fast, same-day service, regardless of the time of day,” says Replogle. “And we don’t have an outside call center. You’re going to get one of us on the phone whenever you call.”

Replogle, a second-generation owner of the business, credits his father, Randy Replogle, for instilling these values alongside a strong work ethic. In fact, Replogle prides himself on continuing to build on its foundation of 20 employees with the largest tech fleet in northern Indiana. Employees often describe the culture as family-oriented and flexible, which gives them the agility to quickly address customer needs.

“If there’s an issue, any of my employees can bring it directly to me,” says Replogle. “Things get solved quickly.”

Indeed, in the middle of his interview, Replogle had to briefly excuse himself to take a call from an employee. He resolved the issue expeditiously and returned immediately to the interview. The fact that he has kept his organization flat enough to allow this is gratifying to him.

“I’m proud that it feels like we’re a small family here,” he says.

Although Wayne-Vaughn may have a small feel, that doesn’t mean it can’t handle big projects. Replogle and his team regularly design and install large industrial systems. Recently, for example, the company worked with Novae Corporation to install a system to power the production line in its state-of-the-art new blasting facility. 

“It was an exhilarating project,” explains Replogle. “We met with Novae as well as engineers from the blasting equipment company and, ultimately, we won the bid. What really tipped the balance in our favor was the energy efficiency our solution could provide.”

By nature, air compression requires a significant amount of electricity for operation. In the Novae plant, the system Wayne-Vaughn installed includes three 450-horsepower Sullair oil-flooded compressors, large air dryers and filtration. With such a large system, energy consumption adds up quickly and even small advantages can translate to big dollars. Wayne-Vaughn was able to deliver not only a reliable system with local support, but also one that offers a long-term efficiency advantage over its competitors.

In addition, the Novae system is much easier to install and maintain than others. By using rust-free, aluminum piping, its light weight allows it to be installed in roughly one-third the time of a traditional compressed air piping system. Novae is able to enjoy less labor cost with the added benefit of flexibility for future expansions. 

Another significant installation for Wayne-Vaughn involved a project for a large ice cream manufacturing facility in the Midwest. Because its operating environment centers on food processing, all the equipment had to be oil-free and exceed ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. Working together with Shambaugh & Son, Wayne-Vaughn installed two 350-horsepower Sullair oil-free with desiccant air dryers and filtration. Since its completion, Wayne-Vaughn continues to provide service for the units.

“Sometimes people think we just sell smaller air compressors,” says Replogle, “but there’s not a job that’s too big for us.”

Many of the solutions Wayne-Vaughn designs and installs feature the aforementioned Sullair compressors. Long-recognized as an industry leader in compressed air solutions, Sullair’s roots also began in Indiana with its 1965 founding in Michigan City. The pillars of its brand — reliability, durability and performance — have made it a key factor in Wayne-Vaughn’s success.

Another key factor is Wayne-Vaughn’s comprehensive parts network that allows the company to access even hard-to-find parts quickly.

“We have one of the largest parts inventories in the Midwest, as well as an extensive independent parts network,” says Replogle. “Besides that, we also have people who know parts, and you can speak to them directly.”

As the company takes on more and bigger projects, its current building on East Wayne Street in Fort Wayne is running out of room. Replogle has begun expansion plans close to his current location. The new building will provide more warehouse space that can accommodate an even more dynamic inventory. This will allow Wayne-Vaughn to continue to exceed customers’ expectations and provide superior service. It’s a move, says Replogle, that’s long overdue.

The company has come a long way since its early days as a small, local distributor. One thing that has remained constant, however, is its personalized service. No one offers a better assessment of this than Wayne-Vaughn’s customers themselves.

When asked to describe what the company does best, one customer recounts, “Every time I call, I’m 100% taken care of.” Another notes, “We remain in the loop throughout the entire process when working with them.” A third customer says simply, but powerfully, “They take care of their customers very well.”

Looking back, Replogle is proud to say he grew up sweeping floors, taking out trash and mowing for his father, who took over ownership of Wayne-Vaughn in 1985. After Replogle graduated from college, he returned to work for his dad until he took over the company in 2013.

“Of course there’s competition in our industry, but most comes from large national entities — air houses that are either owned by the manufacturer or under its umbrella,” says Replogle. “This company has been in my family for over 50 years. We’ve got something special here.” 

Contact sales representatives Cliff Bandor ( and Dave Yaggy ( 

Wayne-Vaughn Equipment Company

Address: 716 E. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802

Phone: (260) 424-4044


Products & Services: Wayne-Vaughn Equipment Company is the area’s leading distributor of air power products and services. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wayne-Vaughn provides innovative solutions and reliable, professional product installations nationwide. Primary products include compressors, nitrogen generators, petroleum lubrication equipment, aluminum piping/plumbing services, and air dryers. It offers Sullair DSP (oil-free rotary) and Sullair SRL (oil-free scroll compressors). In addition to traditional industrial applications, Wayne-Vaughn systems also serve the pharmaceutical, medical, food and beverage industries.

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