HotSeat | Paul White, Emerson UK Sales Manager for Branson

Manufacturers turn to Emerson for solutions to challenging plastic joining, metal welding and cleaning applications. Backed by innovation and worldwide support, BransonTM technologies include ultrasonic welding, as well as laser, vibration, infrared & spin welding, and staking for plastic. After working for Emerson for nearly 40 years, UK Sales Manager Paul White was the ideal candidate to face the HotSeat…

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics?  How will Emerson respond?

We expect continued growth in the plastics industry with new products being developed across the in a wide range of industries from automotive and medical to electrical and packaging. In addition, existing components, currently manufactured in other materials, are being redesigned using plastic due to lower cost and weight, as well as reduced assembly complexity thanks to clever designs that integrate several components into one.

Emerson has been at the forefront of developing customer solutions with advanced Branson plastic welding technologies. A great advantage to the customer is Emerson’s process-neutral approach — offering a full portfolio of joining technologies— to be able to recommend the most efficient and cost-effective solution and provide the data needed to support that choice.

This flexibility means that when Emerson detects a new trend in the market, we are able to meet the challenge with a creative, yet pragmatic, solution.

How has Emerson developed during your tenure?

Having been with Emerson for almost 40 years, I have seen the company grow and greatly expand its Branson product offering to the plastics industry. Emerson has made a large investment in technology and product development to ensure the global standardisation of their products. We have taken Branson plastic welding equipment to a new level of sophistication that gives the end user a higher level of reliability, repeatability and process monitoring than previously available. Plus data and weld history retention is second to none.

Service and support teams are active in each geographic location so that we are able to more readily respond to solve customer needs quickly and efficiently.

Specialist application laboratories have been placed throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. They are staffed by experts in their field and supported with the test equipment to analyse weld results during end-user trials.

What do you credit as the key to your success?

I have worked with many people and companies over my many years with Emerson and always try to take away new information on how others overcome problems in their industries. Along with my engineering background, this gives me knowledge and experience that helps me assist others in their search for a positive outcome in their own projects.

Every day is a school day!

I have also had the pleasure of working with a superb team of engineers and support staff within the global Emerson organisation. They are always on hand to share their knowledge and experience should I require advice. Although the company is very large, it has a family feel because so many people have been with the company for many decades, just as I have been.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Along with most people in business, regardless of industry, I’ve faced many challenges over the years, whether it was the global economic crash in 2008 or the past two years with COVID-19 or, even now, with supply-chain issues.

However, the most interesting challenge for me, personally, came years ago when we had to replace high-tech, high-value welding equipment, involving several different welding technologies, all as part of a system and on a very short lead time.

Some of the companies that made the original equipment were no longer available, and new sources had to be found. In the end, I project managed systems and tooling that were built in the UK, Germany and Slovakia. It was very challenging, but everything was delivered on time and within budget, and, at the end of the day, it was all very rewarding.

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?

Looking back, I think the best advice I was never given was to continue my education and achieve a higher qualification. Of course, I took many short technical courses that did help my progress, but these days I think a higher qualification may be a prerequisite if you want to progress with a company.

I’d also say to never be shy about asking questions. If you are not sure about something or if you see something that you find intriguing, asking questions is an essential part of gaining knowledge and experience.

Finally, I’d tell young employees that they should not sit in the shadows … or else that is where they may remain. Show initiative and go the extra mile when you are not necessarily expected to. These are some of the qualities that will get you noticed and help you progress in your career.

What hidden talents do you have?

I enjoy working at home on mechanical projects. For example, I once took a small BBQ unit and mounted it to an old office chair frame to create a unit that could easily be moved around the garden … and it’s height adjustable!

I also have had hours of fun stripping down and renovating an old MG TF.


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