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A day as a Chemist with PIP?

27 December 2020

Stupid topic or useful insight!? I leave that to you to decide but I thought I should put a bit of detail down, to let those interested in working with us, know what they would be in for!

Developing what?

An interesting question! PIP Chemicals is not a large multinational. We don’t have dozens or hundreds of people. Most of the time we aren’t doing rocket science – but there are always uncertainties and someone always wants something new or extra/

Most of the time we work to customer remits. It may be you, me (Adam) or Carys (General Manager) who talks directly to the customer. Often this is as hard as any element of our developing – what does the customer¬†actually want? They might say they want a pH neutral wheel cleaner… but maybe they just want a wheel cleaner which is relatively safe on the multitude of finishes out there? Maybe they want something that won’t destroy their wheel wax? So maybe they don’t need pH neutral at all! Then it’s down to the fun stuff – how do we achieve this? Perhaps we have something off the shelf which is pretty close. Perhaps we have something bang on but we need to do UV and stability testing on their chosen colour and fragrance. There are so many possibilities and this one project could take an hour or it could take a week, until we get into it, we just can’t be sure!

How much?

This isn’t a COVID-19 cure. We routinely have lots of simple projects. Those hour long projects are everywhere – nailing down colour stabilities is rarely something possible without actually testing! On any given day, we could be running through a range of stock samples for a new customer, trying to get some colours sorted along the way, thinking about the next step in one of the longer developments, guiding the quality control testers, analysing a batch which is out of spec or planning new equipment and processes to make things more efficient… or a bit of all of the above! It is a varied life and there is no reason to get bored!

The Team?

Mostly you will work we me (Adam) and Carys. My expertise is Physics but I have spent years at facilities doing chemical physics or physical chemistry and a bunch more years, after that, making cleaning and care products. I won’t apologise for having a real interest in the chemical industry and also all of the related processes and technologies! Carys is the General Manager. She’s the one who make sure that the customer gets their samples and the one who has to shout at me if I forget to do something! You can probably gather that we don’t run a formal operation. We all have our roles but we are, mostly, very flexible to help in other areas, as and when it is needed. Most of all, a strict and formal structure doesn’t work for a smaller company. We need our technical people to feel at home and comfortable, keep an eye on market trends and new methodologies. It can’t always be about meeting targets!

Anything else?

I think, given the tendency for doing lots of smaller projects, it is important to be versatile and adaptable. Of course record keeping is also really important and we have been working hard to keep as much of our research on SAP, so that it can be (relatively!) easily looked up. An active mind will always do well with us because there are so many options and we are not restrained in how we approach problems and our blue skies products can be defined entirely by us, as we see fit. I really do like to think there is potential for not only having a great connection to the customers and being able to see the outcomes of your work, but I also think we can have fun, looking at new approaches and new chemicals, whenever we think it worth while.

So if you are interested in finding out more, please do send me your CV and i would love to chat and see whether we could work well, together!

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