process & quality
Copolymer Rubber & Chemical Corp. was a 1940's Rubber Reserve facility manufacturing butadiene by catalytic dehydrogenation (C6 and lighter hydrocarbons), and subsequent synthetic rubber polymerization. Always progressive, their first GCs were isothermal 1/4" columns, one is still in use for O2 & N2 analysis. We developed and automated FTIR analyses of our polymers (for a huge 96% variance reduction) and updated GC's and data systems.
A fascination with statistics became a great tool for process improvement and modeling. We used designed experiments (DOE), SPC and RCA to improve the process and developed multivariate statistical models to automate process control. Optimized product formulations include modified polymer properties, process oils, stabilizers and additives for wear improvement and related properties. Qualstat is the pioneer in multivariate process models and control.
Our 1940's Pilot Plant facility was Government-issue and included both Y2K compliant pneumatic and electronic controllers with ample opportunity to learn controller tuning, PSA and HON compliance.
We designed and implemented safe scale-up for a new polymer hydrogenation process (US Patent #60/317979). I led the commercial design and process hazard analyses at prospective commercial sites in Louisiana, Mexico and France. We developed several polymer formulations that improved capacity utilization and delivered ~$7.3MM annual contribution margin. We identified and developed raw material alternatives worth over $1MM/year.
Copolymer was among the first 40 US companies registered to ISO-9001; I oversaw the registration through two Standard revisions and through the initial (separate) registration of the Addis DSM Elastomers facility, including internal and external audits. We have assisted several companies with their ISO registration, including Firestone Building Products, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, LaMarKa, and Capital Rubber & Specialty and have done laboratory accreditation assessments.