Randy Zimmer of Poly Processing discusses the company’s tailored storage solutions for the chemicals used to make clean water.
Todd Schnick: We are coming to you live from Dallas, Texas. This is day three of AWWA ACE 2012 and Water Online Radio. I am your host, Todd Schnick, joined by my colleague, Todd Youngblood. Todd, this next guy is going to be a handful.
Todd Youngblood: When it gets to be this late on day three, you think things are going to ease up a bit.
Todd Schnick: We are going to earn our keep with this guy. This is Randy Zimmer, the Southwest Regional Manager for Poly Processing Company. Welcome, Randy.
Randy: Thank you. It is a pleasure to be with you.
Todd Schnick: It is our pleasure to have you. Before we get into it, Randy, do take a second to tell us about you and your background.
Randy: I am part of our sales team here at Poly Processing. I have been with the company for a few years, and I came from our distribution network where we actually sell multiple products. Now I am a specialist in a factory environment. I work with the same representatives that I came from. I enjoy representing the product line now, as opposed to having to master several.
Todd Schnick: Take a minute or two to talk about how Poly Processing is helping and serving the marketplace.
Randy: Basically, Poly Processing wants to bring safer and more productive solutions to chemical storage. We lead the industry in many of the innovations that have come out over the last several years in safely and effectively storing chemicals.
Todd Youngblood: What is different about your approach to this chemical storage?
Randy: One thing that makes us unique is that we always start with what the chemical is, and obviously in this industry you have a lot of acids and bases and all kinds of chemical mixes to make water clean.
We start with what that chemical is, and then we build a tank around that. There are many aspects to consider, such as the corrosive nature of some chemicals to the safety issues. Many of the innovations that we have bring the best of possibilities to life.
Todd Youngblood: Are you custom building every tank? You say that you start with the chemical, which sounds like you are designing one at a time.
Randy: We do sort of custom design every job in a way. We do start with some standard products, of course; however, each situation or application has it tailored to unique situations. We always have the basic standards for each chemical that we will be looking at. We will be building the products and features based on that.
Todd Schnick: Are you building plastic tanks, and if so is there a difference in those?
Randy: Plastic tanks are known as thermo-plastics, which are generally known as HDPE, and these are a little less safe and have lasting ability than the tanks that we represent.
The cross link tanks are going to have a much longer life expectancy. We have one, if not the longest, warranty in the industry. It allows us to have a much safer [product], preventing catastrophic protection against failure that linear tanks would normally see.
Todd Youngblood: I see NSF-61 all over the place. Is that some secret CIA code, secret agent thing? What is it?
Randy: Right, it sounds like it. You notice that there is a placard at many of the tables around the show. ANSI has developed a standard in drinking water; 60 and 61. The 61 applies to equipment that is going to be used in the water treatment industry.
Poly Processing is company that offers NSF-61 standard on our tanks per chemical. Any given chemical will have a standard that needs to be met by an accredited organization set up by ANSI and our tanks do that.
Todd Schnick: Why would that matter to your customer?
Randy: Often even state statute in many states governs that equipment should have or must have NSF-61 standards, but it also shows that a third party has looked at the credibility of what it can do to the drinking water and make sure that it is safe.
Todd Schnick: Randy, let’s talk about the financial impact of all of this. I have my head stuck on this almost custom design that you are doing for every tank. That strikes me as something that is expensive. Enlighten me. Why is that better from a financial perspective?
Randy: It is fun because I came to Poly Processing as a privately held company and I worked for a publicly traded company as well. Being a privately held, our ownership often believes that the best solution is a custom one.
We work with what customers need in every unique situation. Sometimes there might be an added expense to tailor it in to the exact application. That approach has also made us the leader in the industry to providing unique solutions that have the best safety and highest operating efficiency for operators and safety.
Todd Schnick: Randy, let’s switch gears for a second and let’s go up to 10,000 feet and look down on the overall water industry. What are the important trends that you see coming down the pike in the next 3 to 5 years?
Randy: One of the things that is getting a lot of attention is proper venting of chemical storage tanks. We have done a lot at Poly Processing to lead the industry in the proper things that should be looked at.
You have many factors going on such as pneumatically loading the tank to create special venting concerns to emergency air relief situations where we have innovations and special lids that will deal with that.
Venting as a whole in all types of tanks like fiberglass, and steel is a big trend in the industry and a lot of work is being done there for longer-lasting tanks. Perhaps one other trend to be aware of for others who are looking at tanks is, when looking at plastic tanks, the ability to let those tanks properly move.
Plastic tanks have to have the ability to move in and out a little bit as they are cycled. Some tanks that are a tank that has a safety tank outside of it, often called a double wall or nested tank. These tanks can sometimes be locked together and do not allow both tank walls to move.
There are a lot of issues that need to be looked at in allowing the plastic tanks to be flexible. That and venting are what I would say are two industry movements.
Todd Schnick: When you are talking about these innovations, technologically, like the venting, for example, water utilities have to be pretty careful in installing and adopting new technologies and methodologies. How do you help water utility decision makers get over the reluctance to take a chance on some newer technology?
Randy: Probably the best way that we do that is to work with the environmental consulting engineers. They are our partners as well as the plants. Together as a team we make sure that the best practices are being used. We have excellent partners in the engineering and the utility that assist our factory directly and those that we work with at shows like this.
Todd Schnick: Randy, I hate to say it, but we are out of time. Before we let you go, how can people get in touch with you and, more importantly, where can they learn about the good works at Poly Processing Company?
Randy: I don’t need a million people calling me directly, so I would rather give you our website -- www.polyprocessing.com. If you go to the website there is plenty of contact information buttons there to get you exactly what you need.
Todd Schnick: Randy Zimmer, Southeast Regional Manager with Poly Processing Company, it was great to have you. Thank you so much for joining us.
Randy: Thank you.
Todd Schnick: That wraps this segment. On behalf of our guest, Randy Zimmer, my co-host, Todd Youngblood, and all of us at Water Online, I am Todd Schnick. We will be right back with our next guest.