Everyone knows what it's like to come home from college and attempts to find a summer job - it's not always easy to find. Previously, I was working in retail and realized I wasn't making enough money for those few short months home. When a summer job opened up a Sika Sarnafil, I took the opportunity immediately. Since my father had been working for Sika Sarnafil in Canton 4 years prior, I knew I was making the right choice.
TAKING THE LEAP
After my first year of college, a manufacturing position opened up and I took the chance. The entry level position was working in the Grinding Room and was my introduction to a heavy industrial machinery environment. All off spec M48 (6.5 ft.) membranes were processed through the old Grinding Room. Once processed, the recycled PVC was shipped to our Canadian manufacturing partner for producing walkway pads. The walkways pads process predates making our own Walkway membrane here in Canton. At age 25, I was promoted to Foreman in the M48 Manufacturing department. My first assignment was implementing and managing a third shift for M48. This was the first time in Canton Manufacturing went to a 24 hour shift on the M48. It was a challenge that quickly turned into successfully increasing Sika Sarnafil's capacity.
Product demand driven from our dedicated sales department sales department increased at an exponential rate. Senior Management decided to invest and install additional manufacturing equipment for increasing roofing membrane production capacity. From 2000-2001 the development and implementation of M61 (10 ft. membrane) came into play. I was able to help assemble, develop processing parameters, and manage the M61 machine operation for many years. In 2006, I became the Process Engineer in Canton Manufacturing. As of today, I possess the ability to run every piece of machinery in Canton Manufacturing.
In June of 2017, I was promoted to Quality Control Manager. One of the greatest things about working for Sika Sarnafil and the Sika Group is their willingness of promoting from within.
LEARNING EVERY DAY
I didn't know much about manufacturing equipment or PVC production when I first started my career. A question I often get after someone discovers I have been working at Sika Sarnafil for over 24 years is "what have you learned from being here with Sika?" My answer is the technical experience of manufacturing roofing membrane for a world class operation. Still till this day, I am always learning something new. My technical experience in PVC production for producing roofing membranes and PVC recycling has increased tremendously since I started in 1994. I have especially learned what not to do in manufacturing! Throughout my career I have been able to apply my PVC production knowledge for teaching and guiding employees each and every day.
THE RECYCLING PROGRAM
One of my biggest accomplishments at Sika Sarnafil has been managing the Recycling Program and the development of it all. In 2007, after being in a car accident, my mobility was limited for a short time and I was relegated to desk time. During that time I began working on the Roof Recycling Program. My Senior Managers were researching recycling PVC materials and wanted to see if we could process old roofing membrane (Post Consumer) into M61 membranes. My task was to develop a clean usable raw material out of old roofing and see how much we are able to consume into the backside of our own roofing products.
I remember spending countless hours researching processing techniques for reducing the size and removing reinforcement fibers from PVX roofing membranes. Utilizing a recycling vendor that cryogenically pulverizes PVC into powder; I was able to effectively screen out fibers for achieving a clean usable raw material.
End of life roofing membranes collected are normally deteriorated so I needed to come up with improving flexibility of the pulverized old roofing raw material. Further development of mixing together some highly flexible PVC (Pre Consumer) with old roofing during the cryogenic pulverizing process is the essential key to our Recycle Program's success today. The total amount of old roofing membrane diverted from landfills is 7.5 million pounds (July-2018). The in-house recycling program started in 2006 and has diverted over 60 million pounds (July-2018) from landfills and continues to be a valuable sustainable program. The opportunity to recycle and divert PVC roofing membranes from landfills is one of the key points why companies do business with Sika Sarnafil.
FROM THE BEGINNING
When I first started working at Sika Sarnafil it was the beginning of the Earth Day movement for recycling and promoting the preservation of Earth. I was able to see first-hand how progressive Sika Sarnafil was and from the beginning of my career I quickly learned about the sustainability benefits of processing PVC.
It's mind boggling to say out loud that I have been working for Sika Sarnafil more than half my life, starting in the grinding room when I was in my early 20s to being promoted to QC Manager. I am grateful that I have found a company with great benefits, extraordinarily dedicated people and a fantastic culture. Working at Sika Sarnafil gives you the feeling of having an extended family that cares and always continues to strive for success. Sika has given me many opportunities and I am excited to see where else this company will take me!