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High Performance Polymer Engineer - Twins Screw Expert

Technical Consultant #2406


Expertise

  • 30 years of experience in technical service, polymer processing, process and product development, and troubleshooting.
  • High temperature, high performance polymers including; polysulfone, polyethersulfone, PEEK, PPA, Polyamides, polyolefins, and complex blends of polymers.
  • Reactive extrusion including grafting and complex chemical reactions to polymer side chains.
  • Data driven problem solving, utilizing all available resources on lab, pilot plant and manufacturing scale.
  • DOE, data analysis, process troubleshooting and process scale-up.
  • Liaison between manufacturing, sales, technology and the customer to provide high quality economical products and new process developments.

Focused Areas

  • Polymer Compounding: Development and optimization of polymer compounding processes.
  • Promote business growth through technical support.
  • Reactive Extrusion: Design reactive extrusion processes.
  • Process optimization: Analysis in compounding processes for a path forward to obtain the best product properties available. An optimized process based on the chemistry and properties of the raw materials will result in the optimum compounded product available.
  • Product run translation and scale-up critical to multiple compounding lines be identical such that processing, and product differences not be detectable. And, critical during scale-up when a product is being qualified on a research line and then scaled to a production line that is likely a larger scale.
  • Provide process and product analysis to demonstrate statistically that the product properties are equivalent between process lines based on the available historical dataset. Translation markers:
  • Defining the range of allowable melt temperatures;
  • Mapping the effect of pigment adjustments on the final color of a matched color product;
  • Defining the range of additive loadings to achieve the desired properties;
  • Defining operating conditions from line to line to achieve equivalent polymer properties;
  • Implementation of SPC/SQC;
  • Recognize natural variations on product process.
  • Produce product within a defined target and requirement range dependent on the ability to control the process variations around the target.
  • Statistical process control and statistical quality control are easily implementable methodologies to provide operators with guidelines as to when best to adjust the process to maintain the product properties at their target values.
  • Provide practical training, implementation in SPC and SQC in process and develop, tailored charts that can be implemented by line or by product.
  • Process safety: Chemical hazards, physical hazards and thermal hazards existing in a compounding process. Operator qualification of all aspects in process safety eliminating injuries, equipment damage due to poor operations or lack or understanding of the process or hazards involved. Process safety program development designed for operators in hazards involved in your process and response to each situation.

Experience

Undisclosed Company, President and Owner, 2014 - Present

  • Providing process and product consulting in polymer systems in the area of new product development, product industrialization, process improvement, SPC/SQC implementation and process scale-up.

Projects

  • Process consultation to a major polymer compounding company.
  • Process consultation to a major profile extrusion manufacturer.
  • New product development and process development for a major material manufacturer in India.
  • Resin subject matter expert for a large consulting firm.

Solvay Specialty Polymers, 2008 - 2014

Senior Research and Developing Engineer - Compounding Industrialization

  • Manage the scale-up of compounding processes from lab scale to pilot scale as a member of various product development teams.
  • Responsibilities include defining testing and product specifications, defining process operating conditions, modifying screw designs as needed and verifying processes are translatable to commercial compounding sites.
  • Improved product quality and process operation through redesign of compounding process and screw configuration for improved mixing.
  • Oversee process technology transfer to compounding sites within the company and to partner companies worldwide as business needs require.
  • Support manufacturing sites with any process issues such as problematic feeding, low rates/yields, and poor product quality.
  • Compounding ultra-high performance products such as carbon fiber filled PEEK, highly glass and mineral filled high temperature PA and PPA products.
  • Transferred process-sensitive formulations from R&D to commercial manufacturing plants.
  • Developed process for compounding HFFR PPA product and addressing corrosive effects of additives.
  • Transferred product formulations and process operations to partner companies in Asia working directly with engineers and operators in China and Japan.
  • Provided support for experimental compounding runs in India from the U.S.
  • Determine process capability and control using statistical software to identify areas for process improvement. Skilled in SPC implementation in polymer processes.
  • Working directly with automotive and consumer products customers to address quality and product issues.

Gateway Services Consulting, Process and Technical Service, 2005 - 2008

  • Design Engineering - Zeppelin Systems USA - pneumatic conveying systems.
  • Designed polymer devolitalization process based on flash devolitalization.
  • Designed specialized handling process for highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide products.
  • Provided process troubleshooting expertise and technical service on development of new specialty polymer resins for client's customer.
  • Designed training program modules for training and certification of polymer processing operators including detailed documentation for lockout tag out program for 14 processing lines.
  • Designed heat transfer system for heavy oil storage tanks.
  • Calculated heat transfer requirements for cast heaters for polymer processing equipment.
  • Designed pneumatic conveying system for plastic pellet transport. Process technical troubleshooting.

PolyOne Corporation, Sr. Process Engineer, 2006 - 2008

  • Responsible for process definition, troubleshooting and product quality for key Seabrook customer.
  • Primary focus is on the continuous production of compounded products based on customer formulations while improving process and product quality and consistence.
  • Implemented statistical process control as part of the operating discipline.
  • Providing operating direction and discipline in polymer compounding process.

Technical Service/Process Engineer, 2002 - 2004

  • Technical representation of PolyOne to customer for producer services business.
  • Process Development of customer products on PolyOne equipment, primarily twin screw extrusion, reactive extrusion and compounding.
  • Coordinate process trials of new products.
  • Process troubleshooting technical expertise of hard to process polymer formulations.
  • Design compounding processes to resolve customer issues and qualify processes for customer products.
  • Regularly approached for knowledge in resin systems, extrusion operations and new process development.

Celanese Corporation, Applications Development Leader, 2004 - 2005

  • Lead the development effort of the Emerging Markets business segment of PVOH focusing on development of a melt processable polyvinyl alcohol product line.
  • Implemented appropriate use of design for six sigma tools to assess voice of customer, quality functional deployment and implement appropriate solutions to meet customer needs.
  • Defined melt processing parameters and film quality requirements.
  • Provided technical service support to troubleshoot customer opportunities.

Chevron Chemical Co., Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.,1999 - 2002

Resin Development Engineer, Supervisor - Reactive Extrusion Pilot Plant, 1995 - 2002

  • Developed, optimized and scaled-up reactive extrusion process for the manufacture of OSP Resin systems. Process involves a multi-component reaction, devolitalization, steam assisted stripping of monomers and pelletization.
  • Implemented design modifications and improvements for process optimization based on experimental data.
  • Implemented on-line SPC process control for critical process variables.
  • Authored process technology manual detailing process development and scale-up engineering.
  • Invented process component which increased process efficiency by 40%.
  • Coordinated operator training which brought together plant operations and research technicians to ensure a smooth successful start-up of a new plant operating unit.
  • Directed the activities of two full-time operating technicians, maintenance technicians and laboratory personnel in the process and product development of reactive extrusion processes. Trained a staff of 10 operators for training in new process developed in house.
  • Operated pilot plant with no recordables for 2 years and no first aide incidents for 1.5 years.
  • Previous products developed include acrylate-based ionomer and modified experimental polymers for scale-up to commercial production processes. Responsible for $300 million expense budget and $130 million capital budget. Implemented MOC process and instituted safety programs for REX pilot plant.

Development Engineer - Specialty Polymers Technology, 1994 - 1998

  • Responsible for the product development of high value functionalized products produced on high pressure autoclave reactors and reactive extrusions lines.
  • Implemented initial trials of experimental products on full scale production units.
  • Developed polymer formulations into viable products and commercialized 20 new EMA, EVA EnBA and specialty LDPE homopolymer products.
  • Demonstrated the ability of autoclave reactors to produce very high MI and VA resins beyond original design capabilities.
  • Invented autoclave process for new proprietary copolymer for packaging resins. Introduced process improvements resulting in increased process control and reduced transition times.

Product Development Engineer - LLDPE, 1992 - 1994

  • Planned and executed experimental programs for the development of new products to support the LLDPE business unit utilizing licensed BP gas phase LLDPE and HDPE technology.
  • Designed experiments to obtain process and product data in the pilot plant which was correlated and modeled for use in scale-up to commercial production.
  • Developed experimental plans for the start-up and initial qualification of a catalyst and prepolymerization unit for catalyst development programs to support the LLDPE and HDPE product lines.
  • Provided leadership to two quality teams for continued process improvement which resulted in the highest operating efficiency of all pilot plant units.

Engineer - Pilot Plant, 1989 - 1992

  • Provided engineering for projects and operations in the low pressure pilot plant for the development of polyethylene resins. Responsible for numerous projects exceeding $1.5 million annually.
  • Provided direction and leadership for lead technician and maintenance personnel including the scheduling of a contract crew for construction and maintenance work.
  • Developed the Management of Change Procedure for the pilot plant to meet internal customer needs and plant safety requirements. Certified HAZOP Trainer.

J. M. Huber Polymer Services Division, Technical Service Engineer, 1988 - 1989

  • Responsible for defining all operating parameters and machine set points for the production of customer compounded products.
  • Direct interface with customers to determine optimum processing conditions to meet desired product properties.
  • Designed screw configurations for co-rotating twin screw extruders for optimum product properties.
  • Developed new products and modified existing processes for increased quality and productivity. Specified equipment and procedures for safe and efficient operations.
  • Discussed customers' needs and developed formulations to meet those needs.
  • Assisted operations management in the education of operators and material handlers.

Comet Design, Research and Development Technician, 1986 - 1988

  • Product and formulation development for engineering polymer products.

Rutgers University, Pilot Plant Engineering Aide, 1985 - 1986

  • Developed and build PET recycling pilot plant.

Honors & Publications


Credentials

  • Certified Plastics Technologist (CPlasT)
  • Certificate of Polymer Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Academic and Professional Affiliations

  • International Councilor Society of Plastics Engineers
  • President Tex-La Gulf Section of SPE

Publications and Patents

  • Author of several educational publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Inventor of World and U.S. Patents.

Education

  • M.S. Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • M.S. Engineering Management, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
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