A Tour of ArrMaz with Michele
After just one day in Orlando, where I visited Pittcon, it was already time to move on to my next stop: Tampa, where Metrohm USA has its main office. My friend Elena, who only recently relocated from Metrohm Headquarters in Switzerland to Metrohm USA, gave me a ride, so we were able to catch up a little and I got to the Tampa area in time for the next item on my itinerary: I was going to meet with an end-user of Metrohm equipment the next morning—Michele Simmons, Quality Assurance Supervisor at ArrMaz in Mulberry, Florida. ArrMaz is a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, for example, additives for the mining industry. These help their customers achieve the yields that they need when extracting their products.
Growing into a New Role
Michele has been the Quality Assurance (QA) Supervisor at ArrMaz for two years now, but joined ArrMaz almost 10 years ago, right after finishing college. The young chemist started out as a lab technician and has since transitioned up to chemist, supervisor for one of the company’s brands, and finally her current position as QA Supervisor.
Since taking her new role, Michele has been responsible for maintenance and troubleshooting of the equipment. ArrMaz uses several Metrohm titrators and Karl Fischer titrators to analyze samples of finished product batches and process samples for a number of parameters, including acid values, alkalinity, salts, and moisture. «I panicked a little at first when this responsibility was transferred to me», Michele tells me. «I didn’t even know where to start.» To prepare herself for her role as QA Supervisor, Michele attended a training at Metrohm USA and has been participating in seminars and webinars held by Metrohm USA. «Now I feel like I’ve become a bit of an expert when it comes to our titrators. I definitely feel very confident working with them now.»
A background in R&D
Before becoming QA Supervisor, Michele was working the R&D department at ArrMaz. This meant mainly working on customer requests. «Rather than having specific formulas, we develop products that meet each customer’s needs. In QA, we verify that each batch fulfills the requirements.» Michele enjoys working in QA, as she gets to deal with many different units in the company: «I get a lot of insights in how the rest of the plant operates.» Also, being able to attain goals in a short time makes her job very rewarding. «In R&D, projects can take several years. In QA, I know I’ve done my job well when I was able to finish my tasks for the day—I’m a check-it-off-the-list kind of girl».
Kyle Hollister is the Metrohm sales rep who takes care of ArrMaz. He’s been with Metrohm for not quite two years and worked as an Application Specialist before going into sales last year. «Kyle’s a really good help,» says Michele. «I know that I can count on him when we have issues. I’m very happy and pleased with the service and training you guys provide», adds Michele. «I personally always push for Metrohm, because with you, I know I get the support I need.»