New Year, New Resolutions - with Electrolube Solutions
One of our new European Technical Sales Engineers, Cedric Karrer, is a Swiss native and has practised as a Design Engineer
Happy 2015 everyone! What a year it's been!
It's now just over a year since Electrolube's shiny new brand re-launch at Productronica, and we've been settling into our updated image quite nicely! We've got some major new recruits, including Phil Kinner, who is leading our Conformal Coatings range into the new era of future technology by smashing away at outdated industry concepts. As a new employee myself, I can say it's fantastic seeing such an established brand begin to pave the way for a new generation of Engineers and technology design.
Electrolube has had a record breaking year with double-digit growth; as well as expanding our product divisions, we've also been expanding our online presence (hello, new blog!) and international reach, which we plan to carry on growing in 2015. Here are some of our biggest developments of the past year:
UVCL wins SMT award for Conformal Coatings in China
Perhaps our first notable success of the year was winning the 8th SMT China Vision Award in the Conformal Coatings category for our UVCL spray coating.
UVCL was selected as the Best Assembly Material Product by a panel of internationally renowned Surface Mount Technology experts, who judged the Conformal Coatings based on their creativity, potential to reduce industry cost, advanced nature, safety, improved quality, efficiency and reliability, as well as their environmental impact.
China's Marketing Manager, Christine Zhang, said, "UVCL is one of the most creative conformal coatings products in the Asian market – its performance was proven by our customers even before winning the award."
UVCL was an instant success since its release, due to ease of application and excellent resistance to common 'thermal shock' cycling, moisture vapour, salt-spray, solvent and fluid exposure, and condensing environments.
"The SMT Vision Awards are a benchmark of excellence and have led us to several new clients-" she then chuckled, "in the end, the best coating won!"
Electrolube prepares for The Internet and International Success
Our international success is poised for yet another brilliant year thanks to the extra investment awarded to us by Santander Corporate & Commercial. Impressed with our work in China and our overall growth forecasts, this venture is aimed at supporting international payments and foreign exchange to help maximise our international trading. None of this, however, would be possible without our dedicated multinational sales team, which has also grown to include two new Technical Sales Engineers to assist us with our global takeover; Celine Virgo, and Cedric Karrer - who speak 6 languages between them.
Celine Virgo speaks 4 languages and has worked in the Military, Aerospace, and Automotive industries for 9 years before coming to Electrolube last year.
The Group Marketing Manager, Karen Harrison, has also been making huge strides to maximise Electrolube's international exposure by adding a whole new Department to her team – Digital Marketing.
"As a business we recognise the change in the way people do business and find out information to make an informed purchasing decision," described Harrison, "it was important that we started the process of building a following online and adapted to the way the younger generation find out information."
She then added: "The students of today could be our customers of tomorrow – we want to make sure that when chemical solutions are required within the electronics, electrical and industrial manufacturing are required, they think instantly of Electrolube."
A concentration on online exposure has thus become a priority for Electrolube since the rebranding in late 2013. Originally maintained by an external marketing agency, Electrolube's digital presence is now controlled internally to provide more detailed insights of the solutions we offer to our online audience.
"Content is key… We needed people who could focus, communicate, and be completely dedicated to this area," explained the marketing-veteran, who received a Distinction earlier in the year for her Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute.
"Over the years you do try to keep up with the changes and the trends," shrugged Harrison, as she described the course, then beamed, "I did hope to pass, of course – but to get a distinction was icing on the cake!"
With her cutting-edge understanding of Digital Marketing in hand, Harrison plans to turn the Electrolube brand into a fundamental online resource for future customers.
Phil Kinner Questions the Conformal Coatings Community
A lot of companies make the mistake of forgetting to prioritise on the products they make when they set their eyes upon expansion. Not Electrolube. While our international focus widens, emphasis on Research and Development also increases – and as such we were thrilled to welcome Phil Kinner earlier this year, our new Global Business/Technical Director for Conformal Coatings.
The split focus between Global Sales and R&D only seems to resonate positively with Kinner, as he described his first few months with us at Electrolube:
"The large number of different backgrounds and nationalities present - both in the head office and the global subsidiary companies - results in healthy debate and stimulates a great degree of innovation and flexibility."
New additions to Digital Marketing and R&D departments, including Phil Kinner (pictured 2nd from left)
World-renowned for his efforts in the Conformal Coatings field, Kinner has previously worked for PVA, and even our direct competitors, Humiseal; bringing with him a depth of knowledge and experience that complements the existing innovation Electrolube has become synonymous with.
"It's been very refreshing and extremely enjoyable. There is a great emphasis on work being fun and decisions are made and executed quickly."
"But the biggest difference I have noticed is the superb leadership," explained Kinner, as he went on to describe the Directors' unique ability to handle strategic issues and delegate decision-making - whilst still being able to jump in to the day-to-day business when required.
Since his arrival, Kinner has been busy making waves in the lab, and came crashing down on industry standards with his paper 'CC-830 vs the Real World', which he presented at the SMTA High-Reliability Cleaning and Conformal Coating Conference in November to a general consensus of approval.
"I don't think there is much dispute amongst the users that the next revision of CC-830 needs to be a significant overhaul," then Kinner added, "the direction remains the question."
The aim is simple – to address the issue that CC-830-rated Conformal Coatings no longer assures the end-user with a material that can perform well with modern technologies. Eventually, we hope to update the industry standards to ensure an enhanced product reliability.
"Change takes time - but the time is right and the seeds have been sown," explained Kinner, assuring, "Electrolube will continue to play a leading role in the development of these future standards."
Electrolube in 2015
After experiencing a record-breaking year with so much significant growth, it's difficult for us not to be optimistic for 2015. We will have soon purchased the freehold of our company headquarters in Ashby de la Zouch; not to mention we have several exciting new solutions across all divisions set to be released throughout the year.
One of the most ground-breaking of these new releases is the Air Duster Zero – with 'zero' flammability, 'zero' toxicity, 'zero' odour and 'zero' risk of combustion, as well as contributing 'zero' to the world's rising CO2 levels, the Air Duster Zero is already set to become the essential standard for electronics manufacturers. We were thrilled to unveil this state-of-the-art solution earlier in February at the Southern Manufacturing Show to a mass consensus of approval.
Our Conformal Coatings division will also begin launching the first of a number of innovative solutions developed by Phil Kinner; "I am really excited by what we have been working on, and I hope the industry will be as well..." Kinner then winked, "Watch this space."
Who knows? Could Electrolube win another SMT Award for Conformal Coatings in 2015? Our China office certainly seems hopeful as Christine Zhang exclaimed, "Winning the same award two years in a row will be fantastic!"