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Reagents and Standards: Good Enough Isn't
“It was a shock when I realized what everyone thought was good enough, just wasn’t,” admitted Waltron President and CEO, Jon Guy. “When
I took control of the business in 2014, the chemistry lab was considered one of the company’s strengths. But it wasn’t continuously improving;
I knew we had to take decisive action if we wanted to make Waltron the undisputed leader in this category.”
Waltron’s pedigree in water chemistry is an impressive one – founded in 1903 by chemists Bull and Roberts, the company was an innovator in
boiler chemistry management right from the outset. At one point in its history, over half of the US-flagged merchant fleet was under contract
with the company, and there were innovative programs developed for the then-new US Navy nuclear fleet. As time moved on and modern electronics
made on-line analyzers more accurate and affordable, the company shifted focus to becoming a leader in water quality instrumentation.
Behind every super-accurate instrument is chemistry that relies on near-perfection to work. What is optimal for efficient, large-scale chemical
production is “not good enough” for achieving the precise quality required for optimal instrument performance. Leading the new emphasis
on quality is Waltron’s Chief Chemist, Dr Janis Voo. Originally from Malaysia, Janis earned his doctorate of inorganic chemistry at the
University of Delaware, and amassed an impressive array of real world experience in the subsequent years.
To Janis, maintaining strict quality is non-negotiable. Speaking of his new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), “It is an ongoing improvement
process both for production and for packaging. We have to work to boost the quality of our products for our customers with every delivery.”
With his new processes, instrument accuracy and consistency has improved. The company tests its improved reagents and standards both on
the bench and in the instruments. Even after the sale of the reagents and standards, Waltron rigorously tracks its product’s reliability
“We have spent significant time and resources in the continuation of our research and development for new products and chemicals,” reports
Janis. Waltron is working on new standards and reagents for niche parameters – too small for the large, industrial competitors to bother
exploring. The company has solved many individual customers’ needs in this manner.
Also new is the release of top-quality reagents and standards for competitors’ analyzers. Waltron understands not every prospect is able to
switch to its high-tech instruments. “For them we created a line of ready-to-use chemicals. No more mixing and hoping for the right concentrations
– these are fully and unconditionally guaranteed to meet or beat the original specs,” says Janis. “Contact your sales and support office
to order a specially-priced starter set.”
The product line is constantly expanding, but the quest for perfection takes time. After 113 years, it should be obvious Waltron is in this
for the long-haul.