Surviving and thriving for generations in business requires a focus on quality products and services. It also is critical to understand what the customers’ needs and expects and that is when a relationship can flourish. For Chris Tivnan, Hubbard-Hall’s Solvent Sales Specialist, his commitment to those customers go well beyond the call of duty. “In this business we build relationships,” emphasizes Chris. “Over time, my customers become my colleagues and I don’t want to let them down.” This commitment is something Chris says, “Is typical for anyone from Hubbard-Hall. We all respond that way.”
The search for a new solvent
Yet in a world of mergers and acquisitions, adaptability is key. A case in point is a company that manufactures components used in a variety of applications, from fighter jets to missiles to robotics. Prior to being acquired by one of the largest multinational aerospace and defense conglomerates, the company had been using trichloroethylene, TCE, (a chlorinated solvent) for their aluminum brazed assemblies. With the acquisition came the realization that some chlorinated solvents, including TCE, were banned for use by the parent company. An effective alternative was required, and quickly. Their first call was to Hubbard-Hall who they have relied on for cleaning and solvent recommendations for over 20 years.
“Before the company got bought out, we had already been in discussions with them about alternatives to their existing cleaners,” says Chris. “Now the urgency to find a new generation cleaning solvent became a priority.”
Established a long-term relationship
For Chris, this account is like family to him. “I work with everyone from the president, to the general manager, to the chemical product engineers as well as the maintenance staff,” Chris said. “They have always looked to Hubbard-Hall for answers to their most challenging problems.”
This reliance on Hubbard-Hall is long-standing. In one instance, the team was called in when the company experienced problems with parts not coming out as clean as they required. The issue was quickly resolved when it was discovered that they were not letting the parts rest in the ultrasonic cleaning chamber of the degreaser long enough before bringing those parts up into the vapor zone. What the Hubbard-Hall team was able to accomplish in less than an hour averted a potential line shut-down that would have resulted in a costly production backlog—all due to the long-standing relationship established over the years and the team’s thorough understanding of cleaning processes. So, it was no surprise when the General Manager of the company reached out to Hubbard-Hall to provide an alternative to their contested solvent.
Introduced DOWCLENE™ 1601
In researching alternate cleaners for the company, the team at Hubbard-Hall determined that the aqueous cleaning chemicals being considered were incapable of the surface tension necessary to remove all the contaminants from the intricate design elements and blind holes on the parts. They in turn proposed a modified alcohol solvent called DOWCLENE™ 1601 produced by Safechem. DOWCLENE 1601 had none of the trans-dichloroethylene (t-DCE) that the company’s previous solvent had, and it produced results as good or better than they had been experiencing.
However, this new cleaner would require an investment in new equipment. The company was already planning for that reality since their existing equipment was nearly 40 years old. What they weren’t planning on was what Chris and the team shared with company executives when they discussed the economic impact of this change-over.
“The reality was that the new equipment was going to cost them in the over $500,000,” Chris elaborates. “What they didn’t realize was, that since the new system operates in a closed vacuum environment, their chemical costs were going to be dramatically reduced.” How dramatic you might ask? “We went over the math with the president and showed him that their return on investment would be approximately three years.”
Not only did the team from Hubbard-Hall help the company find an environmentally safer alternative to their previous chemicals, but their new cleaner would result in substantial reductions in annual chemical expenditures.
On this modified alcohol cleaner Chris summarizes, “There simply is no better alternative available. They trust our judgement and know that we have their best interest at heart.” Crisis avoided once again.