Arkema’s Technical Sales & Service: Problem solving and troubleshooting for customers
It’s not unusual for Arkema’s Stephen Spletzer to get a phone call any day of the week from someone who needs his advice and counsel. No, Steve is not a psychologist (although, in some instances, he could be), a family doctor, or an attorney. He’s a senior technical sales engineer in Arkema’s refrigerants business—and an industry expert in the finer technical aspects of how refrigerants are supposed to operate in a wide range of air conditioning and
|Arkema’s Gus Rolotti (standing) and Stephen|
Spletzer at work at Arkema’s R&D center.
Kris Crosby (inset photo) operates from
Arkema’s Calvert City, KY plant.
“When you are trying to keep thousands of pounds of refrigerated foods worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from spoiling because your refrigeration system just went down, we’re the people you can turn to,” says Stephen.
Arkema’s Fluorochemicals Technical Sales & Services (TSS) Group in North America is based at the company’s R&D facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, with an additional TSS engineer located at Arkema’s Calvert City, Kentucky plant. This group handles a wide range of service functions, including responding to emergency calls in the field, being technical resources for packaging, logistics and product demand, qualifying cylinders for use, resolving complaints, training contractors, operating technical hotlines, providing on-site expertise for tank installations, change-outs and product retrofits, managing product stewardship, authoring technical articles, and developing technical literature, among other things.
These days, the TSS Group is busier than ever with the phase-out of some products that call for new replacements that have different pressures and operability in existing A/C and refrigeration systems.
“Today, we find ourselves at the epicenter of huge shifts in our industry,” says Gus Rolotti, Arkema’s TSS director for the North American fluorochemicals business. “With the advent of new government regulations to reduce the use of long-established products that have high ozone depletion potential in favor of new, higher pressure products, more education is required in the field. There is great anxiety out there over the technical aspects of installing these new products and equipment, and we are looked upon by our customers to bridge that gap.
“For instance,” says Gus, “with the phase out of R-22 and R-142b at the end of this year, we are helping customers empty their storage tanks and prep them for storing R-134a. Before we deliver the R-134a, we bring in our equipment—trucks, vacuum pumps, lines, and compressors—to completely evacuate their tanks, purify them, and check their integrity. Then, when we deliver the R-134a, we monitor most aspects of the re-loading. Arkema’s commitment to our customers goes well beyond supplying product. It’s delivery, storage, transport, and installation to the end-user safely and efficiently.”
The TSS Group’s expertise is also used within Arkema. Kris Crosby, its newest TSS member, based at the Calvert City plant, is working on a project to improve the quality of product packaged in cylinders and reduce the potential for leaks. “The key for us is to improve quality without increasing costs or operational times,” says Kris. “It helps our customers, the environment and Arkema’s bottom line.”