Davies Hood, President and Owner of Induron Protective Coatings, recently discussed the company’s technologies, its key to success, and its corporate culture in an interview with Materials Performance.
Listen to the podcast here or read Davies’ answers below.
What are Induron’s niches?
Our products protect critical infrastructure in the water/wastewater market. If you boil it down to who we are and what value we bring to the marketplace, it’s ceramic epoxy technology. We have a full line of industrial products that protect everything in a treatment plant from steel doors to concrete floors to drywall. However, our ceramic epoxy technology, which is simple in nature and used to protect steel and concrete surfaces in immersion, separates us from our competitors.
When we talk about ceramic epoxy coatings, we are talking about the ceramic spheres that we add as part of our pigment package, which provide a lot of beneficial factors. The adhesion of our products is greater than the cohesion. That’s somewhat technical, but the paint sticks to steel or concrete better than it sticks to itself. That’s the technology that we bring as a differentiator and why we feel people should work with Induron and the niches that we serve.
What are some common themes between customers’ needs?
Our customers face many challenges, such as new products becoming more and more technically complicated – meaning they require plural component heated application equipment that is very expensive and hard to work with on a job site. The enduring challenge is getting product from a five-gallon bucket onto the asset or structure that we’re trying to protect. It comes down to user-friendly properties and the ability to brush, spray or roll out a surface and have a product lay down, so you have a uniform film across the substrate.
That user-friendly application is part of the magic behind our ceramic epoxy technology. Many of our coatings provide protection by barrier method, so there is a protective film between the substrate and the corrosive atmosphere. If the coating has a smooth, uniform film, it will work as designed. We design products to provide many years of corrosion resistance, but if those products are not able to be applied as designed, then what good are they for our customers?
What is required of Induron’s employees?
We must have knowledgeable salesmen at the forefront representing Induron and our products. They must know more about our products than our customers do. In addition, our salesmen need to know our target markets – not just the paint aspect, but also the inner workings of water tanks and treatment plants. We spend a lot of time, money and energy hiring and training salesmen.
What is Induron’s corporate culture like?
There is stuff that an organization can do to improve morale, but one of the best things that I personally like to do is to reward someone for a genuine job well done. This is a way to pat our employees literally and figuratively on the back. A simple thank you goes a long way. Our corporate culture is something that has been developed over three generations. We have a very low turnover rate here at Induron. The retention aspect of the Induron culture is something that we take pride in.
What are some business factors that Induron faces?
Inflation is continuing, but it has subsided a little – it’s just not going up as quickly. Supply chain issues have improved for the last few months. For the past year and a half, we have been struggling with various critical raw materials that were simply unavailable. The stress that uncertainty put on our entire organization was rough.
Does the NSF 600 regulation intimidate Induron?
NSF 600 is big for the water industry. It is the tightening of the standard for leachables into drinking water caused by certain solvents used in some currently acceptable NSG Std. 61 approved products. However, 10 years ago, Induron made the decision to formulate all of our NSF approved potable water immersion products without the hazardous air pollutant chemicals that have been eliminated by the new NSF 600 regulations. So, while NSF 600 might cause upheaval for the industry, it’s old news for us at Induron. We’re selling the same potable lining products that we have been for about a decade. We thought it was the right thing to do for our customers and their customers, who are ordinary people like you and me. All in all, NSF 600 is not something that makes us nervous at all. We’re more than prepared with a fully-compliant catalog of products.
What is in store for the future of Induron?
The growth opportunity we have here at Induron in the markets that we’re already servicing is incomparable. Over the last decade, we have had success with international sales. I often say people in other parts of the world want reliable, safe drinking water and sewage that flows to an operating treatment facility. Induron is well suited to help promote just that and grow a team to succeed within those markets.