Air Products prides itself on having a dynamic workforce made up of people from all backgrounds. Recently, the Inclusion Network featured our Site Director, Gretchen Swain, to gather insights from her experience in the Air Products company.
Here is a short snippet of the conversation:
Question: Why are you passionate about the Diversity and Inclusion Network at Air Products?
Answer: I have reached a point in my career/life where I recognize when people are comfortable or uncomfortable with a situation. Working to ensure an inclusive workspace, where people feel comfortable in their work interactions, leads to a higher level of participation by the team members and therefore greater success overall.
Question: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? Answer: I wake up at 3 am to exercise before coming to work. I am also an avid reader, reading two books per week.
About the Inclusion Network In the U.S., the Inclusion Network and our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) partner with D&I, HR, and leadership to create supportive communities that help attract and retain talent, raise cultural awareness, develop ourselves and others, and contribute to the company’s overall diversity and inclusion objectives.
It has become a tradition at the St. Louis Air Products facility to sponsor a Holiday collection each season. In keeping with this tradition, the employees at the Air Products PRISM Membranes (APPM) facility teamed up once again to support a local agency that specializes in reaching out to foster children in need.
The Missouri CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) agency coordinates a collection of Christmas gifts to be administered to hundreds of kids that are in the process of finding a permanent home and family.
The fund-raising process began in mid-Summer with employees (and suppliers) donating auction items for 50/50 raffles. The local CASA agency was contacted in October and provided a list of needed gifts. APPM Employees purchased many gifts to help meet the collection goal with over 80 gifts for local foster children. The success of this charity event once again demonstrates the compassion that APPM employees have for their local community.
CASA volunteers are everyday citizens judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. They stand up for these children and change their lives.
CASA volunteers have helped more than two million children find safe, permanent homes.
One day per year, all the Air Products PRISM Membranes equipment is idled and our employees gather for a “Safety Stand Down” where we review the last fiscal year and pause to reflect on what went right. Employees from all production shifts gather together to learn new ways to work safely and then to spend some time with co-workers during a day of celebration, some games, food, karaoke, and good fun.
Our teams celebrated another fiscal year ending with no recordable injuries. This is an impressive achievement since our facility operates multiple production lines on a continuous basis. Fiber is produced 24 hours a day 7 days per week, which means that we staff multiple production shifts working around the clock. There are employees working with industrial equipment that spins, cuts, crimps, and energizes the separators throughout the manufacturing process, creating opportunities for something to go badly.
Safety is first. This is embedded in our culture and our results show that our employees are serious about working safely and helping others to work safely. Every employee is required to participate in the APT (Accident Prevention Technique) program where processes and working conditions are observed and reported, safe work practices are encouraged, and potential problems are corrected before injuries occur.
Air Products PRISM Membranes employees recently participated in a Day of Caring philanthropy event with a local organization to benefit foster care homes.
Eight employees of the Prism Membranes manufacturing team volunteered their time to deconstruct an old shed and build a new shed in the backyard of a local foster home. The membranes group within Air Products is proud to support the local community and the spring weather made for a lovely day of outdoor work.
The Air Products Prism Membranes facility in Saint Charles, Missouri recently assisted in a K-9 police training session. While unoccupied, the building hosted dogs and trainers from 8 local municipalities as they conducted various intruder and drug sniffing drills. The group safely utilized the facility’s office and front yard areas for certain search-and-find drills with the dogs.
Police officers at the four hour event expressed their appreciation for utilizing a different training location to offer variety in the dogs’ training sessions. Similar K-9 trials often occur in schools or office buildings on weekends. The Air Products Prism Membranes team was happy to lend their facility for this community-benefitting arrangement.
To celebrate the upcoming holidays, the Air Products Prism Membranes employees in St. Louis Missouri donated gifts to 73 local children in need. Gifts were purchased based on the children’s wish-lists and included toys like dolls, legos, racecars, and jewelry making looms.
The celebration continued with a site-wide potluck luncheon where employees brought in their favorite dishes to share. A lighthearted trivia rivalry game followed the potluck lunch and generated big smiles.
The Air Products Prism Membranes Team celebrates their colleagues and community and wishes to extend the holiday greetings to you too!
It’s “Photo Friday” and here is a snapshot of our new, maintenance free LED lights. We are focusing on efficiency and power reduction at our membrane manufacturing facility…and these new lights are a perfect upgrade!
Autopsying Methods and Results
During our autopsy process, we look for failure modes such as broken fibers, contamination, or over pressurization. In order to investigate these failure modes, we conduct a lot of testing in our St. Louis facility’s autopsy lab. These tests often involve opening the modules, examining manufacturing consistency, and submersion testing, among many other techniques. As mentioned in last week’s ‘part one’ article, the overall goal of the autopsy tests is to identify areas where we can improve our membrane manufacturing as well as helping our customers achieve a long term, reliable membrane system performance.
The goal of our autopsy program is to learn about membrane failure modes both in mid service and at the membrane’s end of life. “The process is mutually beneficial for us and the customer,” said Mike Dobby. “We observe ways to improve the membrane quality and make system operation recommendations to users- to achieve the best possible performance and long membrane life.”
For years, our autopsy group has assisted in improving the quality of our membranes by indicating various findings which have led to product development strategies. See the photos below and check back with our blog next week for part 2 of the autopsying article.