Dedicated to Innovation | Composites Manufacturing Journal

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The Midwest earned the nickname “America’s Heartland” partially due to its essential function within the nation’s manufacturing trade. So maybe it’s no shock that ACMA’s incoming chair of the board of administrators, Fred Sanford, is the third affiliation chief in a row to hail from the state of Ohio. He follows Scott Balogh, president and CEO of Mar-Bal Inc., and Kevin Barnett, now retired from Core Molding Applied sciences.

Sanford, vp and common supervisor at Röchling Glastic Composites in Cleveland, isn’t a local Buckeye, nonetheless. That honor goes to the Boston space, although Sanford has misplaced a lot of the town’s distinctive accent. “After I graduated from Northeastern College, I went to work for GE Plastics. Two years in they despatched me to Holland,” he says. “That had the impact of washing out a lot of my Boston accent.”

Throughout his 35-plus yr profession within the polymer trade, Sanford has labored on three continents in places starting from Hong Kong and Tokyo to Atlanta and Pittsfield, Mass. “Fred has an extended historical past in plastics and has broad work experiences,” says Barnett, who served as a member of ACMA’s Board of Administrators alongside Sanford for 4 years. “He comes from a technical background and has served in enterprise management roles in each the U.S. and internationally.”

Sanford’s huge expertise makes him an excellent chief as ACMA prepares for the long run below the steering of recent CEO Cindy Squires. They each started their respective roles with the affiliation on July 1. (For extra data on Squires, learn the article on web page XX.)

Carrying Many Skilled Hats

Sanford’s ardour for polymers started as a chemical engineering pupil at Northeastern throughout a co-op place with the U.S. Military Supplies and Mechanics Analysis Middle, the place he labored on FRP ballistic safety for army automobiles. His second co-op task was with GE Plastics, the corporate that employed him upon commencement.

“The mix of getting fascinated about supplies at that early stage of my engineering training, in addition to the chance to work in a spot like GE, drew me into the trade within the glory days of plastics,” says Sanford.

If there’s a theme track to his profession, it’s “I Did It My Manner” by Frank Sinatra. “I most likely didn’t observe most of the guidelines or stroll the anticipated profession path for somebody with my background,” he chuckles. “At my core I’ve at all times been a scientist, which is the place I began after commencement, however I rapidly realized I wasn’t happy merely doing analysis or improvement in a lab. I wished to see issues change into actual, so I made a degree of creating profession modifications into the industrial aspect.”

Sanford labored for GE Plastics till 1992, primarily in R&D and product improvement with a two-year stint as a producing engineer in Holland. In 1993, he joined Polymer Corp., which modified names a number of occasions. Throughout his time with Polymer Corp., DSM Engineering Plastic Merchandise, Quadrant EPP and Mitsubishi Plastics, he held quite a few positions in R&D, enterprise improvement, operations, provide chain administration and gross sales and advertising.

“Bouncing round amongst disciplines was intentful,” he says. “I wished to have a really rounded, ground-level expertise in enterprise. It most likely resulted in a for much longer profession path, but it surely was for a selected cause.”

Main the Manner in Trade Developments

All through his profession, Sanford has been concerned in lots of cutting-edge initiatives. Early on, he labored in the identical expertise group at GE with legendary trade leaders, together with Dan Fox, a celebrated scientist who held 44 patents and was inducted into the Plastics Corridor of Fame in 1976. The group invented and patented Gecet, an expanded polystyrene mix. Sanford additionally helped enhance the method for manufacturing with ULTEM™ amorphous thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI) resins.

Whereas working as a producing engineer for GE Plastics Europe within the Netherlands, Sanford contributed to manufacturing of an ultra-clean polycarbonate for CDs and different media. Later at Polymer Corp., he collaborated on a undertaking to convey superior plastic supplies to the semiconductor trade.

“Each a kind of initiatives was about one thing new – a brand new enterprise, a brand new course of or a brand new product,” he says. “Introducing one thing new, then making it actual has at all times been the motive force for me.”

In 2014, Sanford joined Röchling Glastic Composites. Based in 1946, Glastic Company was one of many first industrial fiberglass operations within the nation. In 2007, the corporate was acquired by the Röchling Group, which has three divisions: automotive, medical and industrial. Röchling Glastic focuses on the economic market, producing high-performance thermoset sheets, rods and pultruded profiles primarily for electrical gear producers.

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