SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Marcos Aurelio Rufato studied chemistry and started his professional career as a development chemist for a renowned manufacturer of friction parts in Brazil. Some 30 years ago, Rufato joined Chem-Trend Brazil, pursuing his career in technical and commercial sales, reaching his position today as National Sales Manager at Chem-Trend – Southern Hemisphere. With his vast knowledge and experience, he has helped several large global customers solve their production challenges by offering value-adding release solutions, technical support, and consultancy.

The BRAKE Report posed a series of questions for the sales executive; here are his responses:

What can you tell us about your company and the markets you serve?

We serve a wide range of manufacturers that are molding, casting, forming, or pressing parts for multiple industrial applications. The Chem-Trend family of release agents is specifically formulated to boost manufacturing efficiency, lower production costs, and improve shop-floor cleanliness. Our continued advances in release agent solutions with focus on water-based and low VOC technologies help increase productivity and improve quality for a wide variety of automotive components. For more than 60 years, our technical experts have worked with manufacturers side-by-side to develop distinct process chemical specialties that are tailored to the biggest challenge, smallest detail and everything in between. We are completely focused on creating unique solutions that improve molding and casting processes, so you can operate more efficiently with less waste, more uptime, and fewer reworks.

What are the toughest challenges facing your organization now, in the near term and the long term?

Our challenges are our customers’ challenges – we face these problems together. Raw material changes driven by supply fluctuations as well as the desire for more sustainable solutions may call for near-term shifts in our development and testing approaches. When you consider long-term challenges, the trend of e-mobility will inevitably call for changes in component manufacturing including molding requirements. We are looking to the future now so that we can truly be seen as a partner alongside our customers who are navigating these trends.

What sets your company apart from your competitors?

What’s incredibly unique about Chem-Trend is our holistic approach to solving the customer’s manufacturing challenges. Not only can we simulate specific customer applications in a lab environment, but we’re also taking the manufacturing process parameters and other variables of each customer situation into consideration as we formulate the best technology. And we don’t simply produce our technology in a vacuum – our expertise extends beyond the chemical formulation to provide a comprehensive and objective view of the process to be able to pinpoint potential changes in the application approach as well as the technology used, all to provide better solutions for our customers.

What are the best opportunities for the company?

The Friction market is a great opportunity to bring the benefits we offer to an industry that is facing many production challenges. The combination of curable binding resins and abrasive mixtures calls for advanced mold release agents and mold protectors to offer clean and easy release while protecting the molds and minimizing product contamination. As mold fouling is a major challenge that the industry faces, we (Chem-Trend) provide advanced release agents that minimize mold fouling and build up, both improving both customer’s productivity and part quality.  We take the time to understand a customer’s needs, allowing us to provide creative solutions to solve issues relating to paintability or bonding of friction components. We are here to help friction manufacturers and look forward to broadening our collaboration.

Tell us something that most people might not know about you or your organization.

Chem-Trend was based on the concept of sustainability, even before the concept was widely known by that term. Since being founded in 1960, we have always held firm to the belief that sustainability is not merely a corporate mandate, but rather a compass guiding how business should be conducted. In the early days of friction manufacturing Chem-Trend was at the forefront supporting the important transition away from Clinochrysotile (Asbestos) to more environmentally conscious materials. We continue to aspire to not only minimize our impact, or Footprint, on the environment, but also to leverage our expertise and innovation capability to maximize our customers’ sustainability, which becomes our Handprint.

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