With hundreds of thousands of IMI Critical Engineering valves installed in industrial facilities across the world, installation and ongoing maintenance requires a team of dedicated engineers working around the clock. This close collaboration is the foundation of delivering the reliable, efficient and cost-effective valve technology that plant operators depend on.
Many reading this will already know about IMI Critical Engineering’s portfolio of products, so instead we’re shining a spotlight on the team members tasked with solving our customers’ diverse – and often complex – process challenges.
It’s easy to overlook the huge amount of work that takes place across IMI Critical Engineering each day, much of it impressive and often pioneering. Our ‘Day in the life’ blog series shines a spotlight on the team responsible for this delivery, giving airtime to those who give so much but rarely take centre stage.
IMI PBM specialises in manufacturing ball valves and speciality valves for sanitary and industrial applications at their plant in Irwin, Pennsylvania. They have built a strong reputation by combining their expertise in specific application requirements, creative engineering solutions and adherence to quality manufacturing practices. With over 100 years of experience IMI PBM manufacture valves known for their exceptional value and reliability and the company provides world class customer service.
For the second entry in our blog series, we spoke to Jake Richards, Ryan Lutynsky, and Wendy Eglhaut at IMI PBM.
What does a typical working day look like for you all?
Jake: As a designer, I work closely with the sales and marketing department to provide solutions for customer application requirements. I’m also responsible for much of the day-to-day maintenance of our engineering drawings.
Wendy: As the Assistant Quality Assurance Manager, every day brings new challenges. I solve problems that arise in our facility, work with suppliers to improve component quality and support employees to ensure quality is front and centre.
Ryan: I typically spend each day designing and developing new and existing products, researching and testing different valves to gain more knowledge and data on our product lines. I often troubleshoot problems that manufacturing may be facing from an engineering perspective and answer questions from sales.
Which teams do you work with? How do you work together?
Jake: I work closely with the sales and marketing team, as well as manufacturing and assembly. But I also interact with the research and development engineers.
It’s the needs of these three teams that tend to direct my efforts. Because they are so different, it’s fascinating hearing their varied – and often invaluable – insights on a particular project. For instance, last year there was a large domestic project for a new food and beverage manufacturer that involved many automated valves of different sizes. During the installation process we learned that the components specified and provided for in the automation packages were not compatible with the desired installation arrangement.
So, we worked with our Inside Sales Department to gather all the required information and develop possible solutions. The construction schedule was tight, and we had to find a solution that not only met the control system protocols but was also available immediately. I suggested that we provide a sample assembly using our own in-house components and additional ones sourced from our vendors. The components were sent out immediately, the unit was tested on site and approved by the responsible engineer, with the solution then being applied throughout the system. I think this demonstrated our willingness to focus on the customer’s immediate need and to keep installation on schedule.
Wendy: I work across manufacturing, engineering, purchasing and HR on a typical daily basis. Very multidisciplinary!
What is the most important part of your job?
Jake: The customers are the most important part of my job. Usually, my immediate customers are internal to IMI PBM, but I occasionally interact with end users. One responsibility I take very seriously is being able to understand their requirements and determine how we can deliver on them as quickly as possible.
Ryan: Checking and testing designs is the most important part of my job. This ensures that by the time parts are machined and ready to be built, we don’t see any delays that could set us back on delivery time. If I am not fully engaged when checking designs, a problem could occur while the valve is being built.
What do you most like about working for IMI PBM?
Jake: I most enjoy helping people, whether they are customers or co-workers. Working with the customer to identify the specific model of valve and then identifying what needs to happen to get things up and running again can be an interesting challenge.
Wendy: I have worked for IMI PBM for 15 years, and we are like one big family. We spend a lot of time with our co-workers, and mine have always been compassionate and there when I need them.
Why should customers choose values from IMI PBM? What sets us apart?
Jake: I’m always impressed with how IMI PBM responds to customers’ requirements. I know a lot of companies say this sort of thing, but at IMI PBM, we really live and breathe it. We dedicate a significant amount of time to research and development, but that’s balanced out with a drive to understand how customers – past and present – can benefit from our existing products and services.
Ryan: I believe that our products and services are superior to those of our competitors based on our catalogue of what we have to offer, the quality of our products, along with the amount of integrity each person here at IMI PBM has when designing and manufacturing.
What is one thing most people don’t know about IMI PBM?
Jake: Most people are unaware of our diverse installed base of valves. We have supplied steel mills and pharmaceutical companies, semiconductor factories and even military submarines. The breadth of our experience makes IMI PBM able to fulfil any requirements put in front of us, and we love taking on all challenges.