Polymer Profile of Adriana Velasquez

Polymer Profile: Adriana Velasquez

Polymer Pro, Adriana Velasquez, provides tips to help converters to improve their pipe application performance.

By Shell Polymers on Nov 17, 2019

With the opening of our new petrochemical complex in Monaca, USA right around the corner, Shell Polymers has been hiring a team of industry experts, aka Polymer Pioneers and Polymer Pros , who have a proven track record in PE. To help you learn from their expertise before the launch, we've created a series of "2x4s" that feature two personal facts from each innovator (these are some seriously engaging, well-rounded people!) and four technical tips that you can start implementing today. In this article, one of those Polymer Pros, the ultra-customer-focused Adriana Velasquez, provides several tricks that could help converters to improve their performance and discusses two of her passions outside work: family and dance.

Adriana

If, when Shell Polymers’ polyethylene plant becomes fully operational, you have a technical rotational molding issue and Adriana’s assigned to help resolve it, you can be assured that you’ll be in good hands.

Want to collaborate with an experienced professional?

Check. Adriana has more than 10 years’ experience of helping customers to innovate in pipe applications.

Want to work with someone who knows the industry inside out?

Check. Adriana is one of Shell’s representatives for ASTM International, an external standards, certification and public safety organization, and the industry organization Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association, where she is the Technical Committee Vice-Chair.

Want to work with someone with enthusiasm for the sector?

Check. Adriana is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ambassador who helps to inspire students by speaking at student events.

Adriana

Want to work with someone who puts their customers’ satisfaction first?

Check. Adriana’s customer focus comes through loud and clear. “I spend most of my day attending to my customers’ technical issues, answering their questions, running trials and tests to address their issues and so on,” she says.

“I meet them frequently to learn about their processes, what they are working on and what their objectives are. I think that’s imperative and key to being able to help them achieve their goals. I provide them with a realistic timeline for the tasks to address their issues or projects, and I strive to make sure it’s met.”

Related Reading5 Characteristics of a Reliable, Innovative Polymer Supplier

So, when we asked her for some top tips that could help converters to improve their performance, she was only too happy to oblige.

Tips to Improve Converter Performance

First, she advises taking care when transporting resin from silos. “If there are too many 90° elbows, the resin may develop “tails,” “angel hair,” or what some people call “bird’s nests,” but these can be avoided with proper control of the equipment and lines used to move the resin.”

Her second tip concerns additive selection. “People need to remember that not every additive package will give you everything you need,” she says. “Too much of one particular additive can affect the product attributes conferred by other additives. Consequently, I suggest selecting an additive package that meets your needs and maximizes the attributes that are key to your product.”

Third, she says it’s always better to use water and air mist during rotational molding to cool faster, but warns not to add too much water because the water may act as an insulator and thus increase the cooling time and overall cycle time.

Finally, she recommends running thickness experiments when using a new mold in rotational molding. This, she says, will help to determine the optimum major and minor axis speeds and ratios.

That’s all very interesting and potentially very valuable, but we’re also keen to get to know what makes the Polymer Pros tick outside work, so we also asked Adriana what she gets up to in her spare time. It becomes clear that her family is at the center of her world.

Adriana

Adriana is married with three young children – two boys who play soccer, baseball and ice hockey, and a daughter who dances, sings and plays the piano – so pretty much every day she takes them to sports practices, clubs and games.

But Adriana does not restrict herself only to spectating. “When my daughter goes to her dance class, I take advantage and have my dancing time as well,” she says.

“I’ve loved dancing my entire life, but I never learned dancing formally; I just did what’s called street dance. I’ve always admired dancers and wondered if I could do the same, so I started classes and realized that I enjoyed them very much and did very well in the competitions.

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