Part of the Maguire family of companies, Riverdale Global is a specialist in liquid colour and additives and has been supplying the plastics industry with colour solutions since 1966. Paul Edmondson, Managing Director of Riverdale Global and Maguire Europe, has been in the plastics industry for over 25 years and is next to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Riverdale Global respond?
We see an ever-sharpening focus on recycling. The plastics industry is correctly under huge scrutiny for the way in which we manage our resources, and our ability to close the loop and re-use polymer is critical to our future as an industry and as a planet. In this regard, Riverdale Global liquid colour and additives offer real solutions in meeting this challenge.
Our +Restore additive maintains virgin polymer-like properties in 100% PCR applications. With just 0.4% addition, regrind PP tested at 99% flexural modulus of virgin PP and just 16% less in IZOD impact strength tests.
All of our liquid colours include antioxidant-rich formulations that aid the use of recycled material and, in general, the purging properties of liquid colour versus masterbatch significantly reduces scrap in start-up and colour change.
Energy consumption reduction is also a challenge for our industry. Here again, Riverdale Global liquid colour and additives ensure that process lines can be run at lower amps and lower temperatures with shorter cycle times, making a powerful impact on the shared goal of reduced energy consumption.
In summary, these advantages are best and sometimes only taken from liquid formulations and Riverdale Global is well placed to deliver given our history and long experience. Our response will always be to strive further in demonstrating these advantages to the industry for our mutual greater good.
How has Riverdale Global developed during your tenure?
Our equipment offer has developed massively. We do not shy from the fact that whilst many would say liquid is generally the most efficient method to colour polymer, most would also say that the mess associated with its use has historically outweighed the benefits.
With this backdrop, our mission was always to provide metering equipment that eliminates the handling difficulties and delivers simple and accurate gravimetric traceability to the process of dosing colour and additive. Of course, we are lucky, as we are part of the Maguire Group of companies and therefore, our ability to design and build such technology is in-house and highly proven. The results are impressive, and this equipment breakthrough has really developed our business and helped to gain access to a much wider audience which will drive our growth into the massive potential we see.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Innovation. The ability to think outside of the box is a Maguire trait and one that has migrated to Riverdale Global. Thinking differently is never easy nor comfortable. We know the advantages of liquid colour and that a persistent approach to meeting the resistance and developing the solutions is the real key to our success. I think it is easy to do what everybody else does but, when you know there is a better way that requires invention to make it accessible, then innovation, belief and, of course, deep pockets are key. Naturally, people are a vital ingredient to success and therefore, credit is always due to the amazing colleagues with great experience, skills and endeavour that pervade this business.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
I am not a natural when it comes to technical and so, whilst I love the opportunities that this industry offers and the commercial advantages that we have as a company, I always have to work hard to understand the technical elements. As the old saying goes, nobody said it would be easy, but I am fortunate as, with the passage of time, I have experience to fall back on and when all else fails, I have some amazingly clever colleagues and friends in the industry!
What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an apprentice joining now?
Be patient, be respectful and build your knowledge by finding a mentor or company that will invest in you.
Work hard – maybe I am getting old, but you have to go above and beyond 9 to 5. Whilst the concept of wellbeing at work was not invented when I started, I think apprentices today, just like when I started, need to consider that to get on, there must be that willingness to go the extra mile.
Read around your subject. Follow the industry trends and have a hunger to learn. Knowledge is king and it takes time to accumulate.
Knowledge – when you have it, impart it. Don’t keep it to yourself, imagining that it is your protection. Broadcast it and people invest in you for that.
Fun – I have been lucky enough to travel the world with my career. I have met a lot of great people and visited some amazing places. It is important to take the time to enjoy it.
Our industry is always changing but fundamentally, I don’t think the advice to people joining the industry has changed much.
What hidden talents do you have?
I can smile even when I am annoyed – that comes in handy from time to time.