Innovate Mississippi

Point Innovation Magazine Winter 2013

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MANUFACTURERS' CORNER T&L Specialty Company M A N U FAC T U R I N G I N N OVAT I V E C L E A N I N G S O LU T I O N S Melissa Barron I n 1983, Cecil Overton saw a niche in T&L Specialty's plant houses two his industry that needed to be filled. different operations, one being a While selling for a chemical company chemical-blending operation that that produced solvents, he repeatedly formulates specialty products for dealt with customers who had problems customers. The other operation his products could not solve. With the performs heavy-duty cleaning, blasting mission to use water-based chemistry and paint stripping for manufacturers. to produce specialty-formulated "One example is the stripping of paint products to meet customers' unique jigs for Toyota," said Overton. "They needs, Overton began T&L Specialty ship us jigs, we strip the paint off and ▲ Tim Overton serves as president of T&L Specialty Company Inc. ship them back at the beginning of the Company, and Lisa Overton is the company's graphic designer. Both are part owners. Today, this Tupelo-based company next shift. The process repeats itself specializes in custom chemical formulashift-to-shift." tions focused on industrial cleaning, paint stripping, rust removal While most of T&L Specialty's customers are within a and prevention, and metalworking fluids. 150-mile radius, the company also does business with China, "My father was focused on high customer service, and we India and countries in South America. With the move of the remain that way today," said Tim Overton, who replaced his Toyota plant and several supporting manufacturers to the area, recently retired father as president. "A lot of times, a customer T&L Specialty has experienced significant growth. From 2009 to is looking for an improvement in their process. That is where we the present, they have grown revenues by 72 percent and profits by will come in and look at it and try to figure out a way to work their more than 150 percent. They have added a second shift and process faster with less rejects and get a better process output. grown their workforce by 35 percent to 39 employees. "We will take an existing formulation and tweak it to get Soon, T&L Specialty plans to add another dimension to their improved results from their existing process," continued Overton. services by providing online monitoring for customers. With this "For instance, a tube manufacturer was using a cyanide-based technology, they will be able to uncover problems before the cleaner. We replaced it with an environmentally friendly, customer even recognizes there is an issue. The process will use water-based cleaner, making it safer and more effective at a data such as concentration ratios, temperature and pH to monitor lower cost." a customer's cleaning process. If a factor drifts from the optimum www.innovate.ms 73

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