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Delivering Customer Obsession in Powder Milling & Processing

Published on Oct 25, 2021 3:53:07 PM

Interview Walter Aranton

“The most rewarding part of my role is delivering customer obsession. It doesn’t matter if the customer is a large pharmaceutical manufacturer or a start-up company. I don’t make a distinction between the two as in either case, the individual is inquiring about our products and needs our help”.

Meet Walter Aranton, Regional Sales Manager for the Fitzpatrick Company & Quadro Engineering Corp.

Walter began his career with Quadro approximately 32 years ago. He started out in Cost Estimating & Process Engineering and then moved on to Sales. He has been representing the Quadro product lines since 1998, and Fitzpatrick since 2013. Fitzpatrick and Quadro are both business units of IDEX MPT, Inc.

With his depth of experience, Walter provides invaluable guidance to his team of approximately 12 Representatives and provides them with whatever support they need to fulfill the requirements of customers within the territories they serve. Walter knows just about everything there is to know about particle size distribution and enjoys speaking with customers to educate them as to the capabilities of our Fitzpatrick / Quadro product lines, explaining how we can help them achieve their goals.

What specific product lines do you represent?

I am responsible for all milling equipment for both Fitzpatrick and Quadro, including both the Fitzpatrick FitzMill™ and Quadro® Comil®, the SDx™ Series Exchangeable Platform (production-scale & pilot-scale), and the SLS – Scalable Lab System™. I am also able to quote the Quadro Vac®, if necessary.

Would you consider yourself a specialist in any specific area within Fitzpatrick & Quadro?

Yes, I would qualify that by saying that I have been with Quadro for 32 years now, and have been selling Quadro Comils; in fact, all the Quadro lines since that time so I have that whole background as far as Quadro milling equipment is concerned. As for Fitzpatrick equipment, I initially represented their roller compactors along with FitzMills beginning in 2013, when they became part of IDEX Material Processing Technologies.

How do you deliver customer obsession?

That’s a really good question. To me, customer obsession is all-encompassing. It does not matter who the customer is; in other words, it could be the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer or it could be a start-up company who just happens to be doing research & development in a hotbed area like Cambridge, MA.

There are a lot of research & development start-up companies that are doing pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical work. It does not matter to me - I do not make that distinction because in either case, the individual is asking questions about our product lines and needs a response. They need our help.

The question could be diverse or it could be specific to the process itself and to the required particle size distribution. It could be just general, i.e. wanting to know whether we have used equipment vs. new equipment. It does not matter to me who comes with a question; for me, customer obsession is simply taking that request and providing the best possible answer.

If in the process, I can enlighten the customer about our products and how they are likely to help them streamline their process, save them money or assist with their decision-making, then that is what I will attempt to provide and what I consider to truly be “customer obsession”. From start to finish – providing whatever support as may be required.

Can you provide examples of how we solve customer problems?

Again, specific customer concerns are varied, it depends on whether that Process Engineer or that Scientist is looking for a specific particle size distribution, and what our equipment can do to help them achieve their objective(s).

So, it is always varied but for example, if a customer is going to come to me - a Scientist from an R&D lab who has an SLS – Scalable Lab System™ with all 4 heads but doesn’t know what to do with a particular product and/or doesn’t know which technology to use, I will take the time to explain what each of those 4 heads can do for him. I will help the customer to understand the differences between the heads so that he understands how the technology will help him with milling, sifting, fine grinding and high-capacity fine grinding. Once he understands the distinction between the capabilities of those 4 heads, then he is much more enlightened.

SLS Scalable Lab System

The customer will have an appreciation of what our equipment can achieve and ultimately, will understand how he can scale-up the SLS to production-scale equipment. If you are able to give a customer absolute confidence as a result of your explanation that whatever results he has achieved utilizing the
SLS - Scalable Lab System™ can then be scaled up to Fitzpatrick and / or Quadro’s production equipment, given that everything is the same and the PSD will be the same, that is how you measure the degree of success of your response to the customer’s initial inquiry.

What are some of the concerns that you are encountering with our
customers that we can help with?

I believe it is really important for our Team to fully understand the benefits that the Fitzpatrick / Quadro product lines bring to the market. This will greatly assist in determining at the very earliest stage, whether we are able to offer assistance to the customer and whether their application is best-suited to our technology.

Also, we can never have enough videos to support our technology. Ideally, we should have links to videos that clearly demonstrate to our customers that we are truly able to assist them with their application requirements.

What are some of the typical questions you are asked by prospective
customers?

Some of the more common questions I am asked by our customer base are:
  • When should I use a Comil® vs. a FlexSift?
  • When should I use a Comil® vs. a FitzMill?
  • Why should I use a high-velocity mill vs. a FitzMill™?
  • Are you able to design a mill specifically to fulfill our process requirements?
  • Are you able to work with our specific product? It is very heat-sensitive – what process do you recommend?
  • Which mill is better from a particle size distribution perspective?
  • Design requirements – can you design a mill to fulfill our requirements?
You need to be able to answer any question regardless, so the customer has no need to go to any other information source.

What advice would you give prospective customers for milling equipment?

Initially, if a customer has only used older design mills that really should have been “moth-balled” a long time ago, I would explain to them how a FitzMill™ and/or a Comil® would typically work for the product they are milling, dependent of course, upon the industry being served.

Our equipment is not for slicing/dicing to very specific particle size, as per requests we have received from some of our customers within the food industry. You can achieve a fine and/or a course product, but it will not be a specific size. Instead, we give the customer a particle size distribution. It will be fine or it will be coarse. You have to understand and appreciate the limitations of your equipment.

Why should customers choose Fitzpatrick and/or Quadro, and what is the distinction between the two technologies?

Fitzpatrick and Quadro are the original equipment manufacturers of particle size reduction technology. We have data to support our ability to mill any material out there, and we can prove it.

If a customer has a process for large hole screen sizes, i.e. for break-up / deagglomeration, I would recommend a Comil®. You will be able to achieve a higher capacity (as much as 10X higher) with less dust, less noise, less heat, etc.

Conversely, if a customer is looking for a Comil®, and they want a particle product process that has particle size distribution requirements that are more applicable to a FitzMill™, I will enlighten them. It is knowing the specific capabilities of the individual technologies to make a proper recommendation. You might suggest a demo unit so that they are able to test the technology you have recommended.

 

Comil-Evolution

Even customers who are extremely familiar with our equipment can always benefit from a refresher as it relates to understanding the capabilities of our equipment from a technology perspective. We constantly strive to improve our technology for the benefit of our existing customer base, as well as new prospects.

Walter’s territory encompasses the northeastern United States, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York - the biggest pharmaceutical area within the U.S. He also has responsibility for the mid-West north of Illinois, all of Canada, and Southeast Asia extending from Vietnam / Thailand / Singapore to the Philippines / Indonesia, all the way to Australia / New Zealand.

If you have an application that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Posted by Matt Baumber
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Topics: Conical Milling, Particle size reduction milling