We had a chance this month to catch up with surface finishing manager Bill Blanchet. Bill supports the Seacole sales team, coordinates with suppliers, and engineers our finishing lines. Take a moment to get to know Bill!
What is your role at Seacole?
I’m the surface finishing manager overseeing all sales, technical service, and supplier activities for the division. I also engineer finishing lines which involves design, equipment specification, quoting, and quarterbacking the installation and start up of these lines.
What surface finishing industry trends are you seeing this year?
Two trends that seem to drive our industry on an ongoing basis are the development of more environmentally friendly products and new coating technologies. Green products include those that are not only less toxic to the environment and generate less waste, but are also a safer alternative for production workers. New coating technologies include new products that provide the end user with a host of benefits and advanced methods of applying traditional coatings.
What advice would you give people in your field?
Think safety first. Last year, two major chemical accidents occurred at two different facilities caused by carelessness. I would emphasize safe handling of chemical products, obey all current rules and regulations, use proper ventilation when needed, and use properly designed and maintained equipment.
What is your favorite Seacole product?
PhosFan is one of my favorite new products/processes. It is a new form of zinc phosphate that is applied to the base substrate by a new and improved method. First, the substrate can be iron based, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, even plastic. Second, the process runs at ambient temperature, generates no sludge byproduct (which is a heavy byproduct for traditional zinc phosphate) and runs on a continuous line. Third, the coating weight can be varied and the fine-grained crystal structure can be dyed to various colors. Very cool.
What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?
The incredible growth Seacole has enjoyed over its history, and the diversity of the industries we serve and sell into.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
Review my follow up lists, which I have several going at any given time, prioritize my activities, and start in on whatever need is the greatest or warrants my attention.
Do you have a secret for staying productive?
Follow up and stay focused. I’m a follow-up addict and I never like to keep my team or customers waiting or wondering if their need is being attended to. Every need or question a customer has is important. Stay focused as much as possible to systematically knock of items on your follow up list. If you don’t, the list will become overwhelming as it continues to grow and items will get missed.
Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
During college, I worked evenings as a parking lot attendant at North Memorial Hospital. Over that time period, I was able to meet and strike up conversations with numerous doctors, nurses, or other health care officials as I checked them out.
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