Soltex Connects with Canadian Industry Leaders at EDIST
Soltex was thrilled to attend the Electricity, Distribution, Information Systems and Technology (EDIST) Conference & Exhibition in Toronto earlier this month. The conference and exhibition addressed critical engineering, operational, IT and management issues faced by Ontario’s LDCs, suppliers, manufacturers, and service providers. The theme for EDIST 2022 was “Leading a Bold New Narrative” and attendees were encouraged to share timely industry insights and innovative new products.
Two key Canadian members of our sales team, Mike Bonn and Bob Harper attended EDIST, capitalizing on the chance to network and showcase Soltex’s existing and new products. Bonn and Harper focused on introducing the Ergon Esters. Furthermore, they were able to reintroduce and expand on C50A offerings and the line of dielectric fluids, which continue to be paramount in the Canadian market.
Explaining the sheer importance of Soltex’s presence at this conference, Bonn says “We have established Soltex as the most reliable source for transformer liquids. Most Ontario customers and prospects for dielectric liquids attended EDIST, so maintaining our presence as a key player in the market was important.”
Harper and Bonn both additionally described that there was ample discussion of supply chain issues in the industry. They were able to further grasp that “everyone in the industry has heavy and healthy backlogs”. Many of the other conversations went back to the widespread need and interest in Soltex’s secure transformer oil offerings.
Overall, EDIST proved to be a worthwhile conference to attend. The time to re-engage with current customers and prospects was invaluable and we look forward to attending the next one to maintain our strong presence in Canada.
While Soltex is headquartered in Houston, what we do often begins in Ontario, Canada at the Belleville plant. Here, production of the many chemicals that we supply, such as polybutene, alkalyte fluids and numerous others, takes place for our customers around the globe. Yet, none of this would be possible without our Canadian team of hardworking and knowledgeable individuals and the fearless site manager, Rob McLean.
Rob’s tenure dates back to 1989 where he held multiple positions leading him to become Site Manager in the 1990s. Rob’s attention to detail, personality, habits, and knowledge makes him invaluable to Soltex operations. Having been with Soltex for over seven years, McLean understands the importance of efficiency and continuous improvement to overall company success. He oversees the operation, production, and quality control for the Belleville Plant, essential functions of the company. With an educational background in chemistry and prior employment with a chemical manufacturer, joining the Soltex team was a great transition for him.
McLean explains that “customer service and product excellence” is what sets Soltex apart from other chemical companies. Reflecting upon the numerous projects he’s worked on over the past seven years, he details that HyVolt distribution was perhaps the most interesting. This electrical insulating oil is for power and distribution transformers, switchgears, and circuit breakers.
McLean credits a large part of his success in the role of the site manager to his strong relationships with the staff. He mentors and trains his employees, so they have the skills needed to succeed in their individual roles within the team. Another important aspect of his position is being an intent listener and problem solver, providing positive feedback and treating each employee with respect. A big measure of his own success also comes from being able to sustain engaged employees who have a safe and fulfilling work environment with opportunities for growth.
Beyond the plant, McLean enjoys spending time with his family and can often be found exploring the outdoors, often fishing or camping in the beauty of Ontario. When asked to pick a favorite food, he said he couldn’t decide and settled on a tie between cheesecake and steak… it’s called balance! He is a big sports fan and loves to cheer on the Toronto Raptors and Buffalo Bills.
The 30th anniversary of Solex Canada occurred just this past year and we truly enjoy Rob’s presence in the company. It is because of individuals like him that our company continues to find success in the chemical distribution industry.
Power on Year-Round with C50A
Have you ever wondered how homes and businesses stay protected year-round in cold climates? Believe it or not, the chemical Ergon HyVolt C50A – Canada CSA C50A Type II/IV takes on an important role in the power supply that keeps our power on and functioning throughout all seasons. And though the full name of this particular important substance is a mouthful, it is commonly referred to as C50A.
So how exactly does this chemical solution play into our homes and businesses being comfortably habitable year-round? C50A is what keeps power transformers cool. It acts as an insulator for connections and windings inside the transformers. Without it, our power supply would be incredibly unpredictable and dangerous. Insulating fluids such as C50A are used in quite literally all working oil-filled transformers, switchgears, and circuit breakers.
It’s important to also note that the Soltex C50A solution was developed specifically by Ergon and Soltex for Canadian climates. It has a lower viscosity and thus flows well even when temperatures drastically dip in the winters.
When it comes to the production of Ergon’s HyVolt C50A transformer liquid, there are several key components and processes involved. Produced from a severely hydrotreated naphthenic oil in our plant in Canada, it is engineered to meet the specification requirements defined for Type IV, Class A Arctic Grade use. This particular grade has a low pour point and low viscosity at very low temperatures and excellent oxidation stability which is integral to its essential function as discussed above. Ergon’s line of HyVolt Transformer Oils are fully miscible with insulating oils meeting the requirements set by ASTM 3487, IEC 60296, and CSA C50 as well:
- PCB Free
- Tested as per IEC 61619:1997
- DBDS Free
- Detection method using GC-AED
- Passivator Free
- Tested as per IEC 60666:2010
- Metal Deactivator Free
- Detection method using HPLC/GC-MS
Whether you live in a cold climate or maybe just visit occasionally, know that Ergon HyVolt C50A – Canada CSA C50A Type II/IV is working behind the scenes to keep you warm and safe in any indoor environment you encounter. It’s chemical solutions like these produced by Soltex that keep our world running, regardless of the weather.
Meet The Team: Blaine Wiles
Soltex is so pleased to have Blaine Wiles as a member of our Customer Service team.
Blaine brings several years of logistics and customer service experience to Soltex, which benefits our overall operations. Blaine has been in the customer service industry since 17 years of age. He started in the food industry working his way up from a bus boy, to a waiter, then becoming a snow technician at Bahama bucks finding himself entering the logistics field. He enjoys the daily challenges of working through and discovering efficient ways to help the team. He believes in maintaining standards and going beyond the expectations of customers.
These are the comments from, Alicia Baltazar, our current Customer Service Manager, “In getting to know Blaine better, we have learned that he really enjoys, and has tremendous talent in, computer coding. In the short three months that he has been with Soltex, he has made suggestions both inside and outside of his department to increase efficiencies in our workflow. Customers appreciate his can-do attitude, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand to other team members. When serving our customers, Blaine intuitively takes steps to go above and beyond to help make their experience with Soltex as pleasant as possible.”
Blaine’s current hobbies are health and soccer. His devotion to the sport of soccer, starting at age three, has been a lifelong passion. He actively engages in video games such as FIFA and is involved in his community church.
We are happy to have Blaine on our team!
Soltex in the Sunshine State for STLE
Soltex recently made a visit to the sunshine state to attend the STLE (Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. STLE attracts members of the tribology community from around the world. This year saw more than 1,350 industry professionals from 30 countries come together for five days of technical presentations, professional development, and business networking. As one of the 90 exhibitors displaying the latest products and services at the trade show, we were thrilled to travel to Florida with eight knowledgeable and accomplished members of our team to share our work and explore the future of the industry.
Senior account manager at Soltex, Chic Degler, describes his experience at STLE, saying, “The mixture of academia, technical professionals, and of course people like us on the commercial side is the most dynamic I have seen in quite some time.” He also added, “The opportunities for networking were also robust as attendees were hungry for connection after the last couple of years without conferences because of COVID.” Degler explains that he reconnected with seasoned relationships, and established new ones. Potential suppliers with Soltex presented a genuine desire to engage. These touch points are important drivers for future business, creating overall energy of encouragement and hope in the industry.
Discussion of the predominant tightness of supply in the industry arose which allowed for conversation forecasting the future supply chain in tribology. Another rising concern was electric vehicles. With companies solely focused on electric vehicles gaining popularity and other more established brands also branching into electric vehicle production and sales, there is concern surrounding chemicals previously relied upon in the automotive industry becoming obsolete in the distant future.
While the location of the Soltex booth was not ideal at STLE, the general open floor plan proved beneficial alongside the sheer volume of traffic at the conference. The seminars also allowed our team to learn from other industry leaders. Over the course of the conference, we were able to hold important meetings about collaborations between Soltex and other companies in the lubricants industry.
Overall, STLE 2022 proved to be a successful undertaking for the Soltex team and we look forward to returning again next year to continue strengthening our partnerships and connecting with other industry leaders.
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