Making Content to Connect With Industry Leaders



Bill Sharratt is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Darcoid, a complex seal supply solutions company. With over 25 years of experience in sales and business development for the seal industry, his vision implemented the buildout for Darcoid’s unique technical capabilities. Before his time at Darcoid, Bill was the Key Account Manager for Darcoid Nor-Cal Seal Company, Market Specialist in Microelectronics for Parker Hannifin, Vice President of Sales for Pacific Rubber and Packing, Inc., and the Market Manager for Planter Technology, Inc


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Bill Sharratt introduces Darcoid and their valuable role in seal technology
  • How an in-depth analysis of a problem can produce great results
  • Bill shares why you should examine specific components of a product for functionality
  • The importance of sharing industry knowledge and connecting other like-minded individuals
  • Bill explains the importance of delivering personalized care to customers

In this episode…

Are you looking for key insights and knowledge in the seal material industry? What are some of the most common mistakes made in the business?

Bill Sharratt has accumulated knowledge and experience over the course of his 25-year career, and has applied his knowledge of the industry to skyrocket a variety of companies. He is an expert in finding solutions for unique problems and helping customers reach their career goals. Today, he is here to share how to learn from your mistakes and thrive in this industry.

In this episode of the Makers of Our Future podcast, Chad Franzen sits down with Bill Sharratt, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Darcoid, to discuss connecting with customers and industry leaders in the seal technology industry. Bill talks about some lessons he learned while accelerating his career, why changing your perspective can produce great results, and the importance of connecting with others in the industry.


Resources Mentioned in this episode


Sponsor for this episode

This show is brought to you by Darcoid. We're building this podcast as a searchable store of knowledge, something you can reference if you’re new to seal design. And if you’re starting out on your career in engineering you’ll learn what others have done to achieve career success. Learn more at www.darcoid.com.


Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Behind every great product is a great seal. Join us at the crossroads of preeminence, product design, engineering, seal mastery and supply chain excellence, and to learn from the makers of our future.

Bill Sharratt 0:22

My name is Bill Sharratt. And I'm one of the hosts of the show where we're talking to influential product designers and leaders in the steel industry. Today I have tread Franssen here of rice 25. He's done 1000s of interviews with successful entrepreneurs, investors in the house. Today, we've flipped the script and he will be interviewing me.

Chad Franzen 0:45

Yeah. Hey, Bill, thank you so much. I look forward to talking with you. Before we get started, I'll let everybody know that this episode is brought to you by Darcoid. We're a little Canna tude creates and connects their customers with the best products. Darcoid is a private family owned seal specialist for original equipment manufacturing, they specialize in the best working materials in the world for seal performance, quality and cost. Their vision is simple more than a seal, a bond, no shortcuts, no compromises. To be your best strategic strategic partner, they operates with core values of integrity, honesty and respect. You can contact them by visiting their website darcoid.com to be the best in your field and make the world a better place. Hey, Bill, thanks so much for speaking with me today. Can you tell me a little bit more about Darcoid and what you guys do?

Bill Sharratt 1:31

Sure, we're a supplier of seals, technical seal solutions and rock solid supply chains to product manufacturers around the world, typically, product that's designed in the US and either built and assembled in the US or really anywhere in the world. How did you get involved? I've been in the seal industry for more years than I care to mention. But I've been with duckweed since 2010, is brought on as a key account manager replacing someone who's leaving, and I've grown in the organization since then.

Chad Franzen 2:10

So you've been there for more than a decade, what was your background prior to coming to Darcoid.

Bill Sharratt 2:16

So it's always been in the steel industry. Before Darcoid, I was in business development with one of the biggest brands, we manufacture manufacturers in the steel industry PACCAR aka seal group. And before that, I spent a significant amount of time in distribution in the seal industry, primarily in the semiconductor capital equipment market.

Chad Franzen 2:40

How has the transition kind of gone for you from the semiconductor to to what you're doing now.

Bill Sharratt 2:49

It's interesting, semiconductor, we focused on some very, very high end materials, and processes. And I always thought the general seal industry was not very interesting. We'd always kind of overlooked it. When I realized I'd accumulated a ton of knowledge and experience and expertise. And at the end of the day, a seal is a seal and it was I just applied that knowledge to new markets and found that I was adding a lot of value to those conversations.

Chad Franzen 3:21

Yeah, in what ways do you kind of add value? Like what kind of things do you specifically bring to the table that take Darcoid maybe to to another level.

Bill Sharratt 3:30

So I think I can look at customers come to us with problems, either something's not working like it should, like the seal technically isn't doing its job. Or the quality is not where it should be, it's not consistent enough, or they're having problems just getting the right product shipped on time, wherever in the world, they needed it. So usually, that's where the problems fall. And I have an I guess I've got an ability to, to pull all the pieces of the puzzle together. Never take what we're told at face value, because there's usually more to the story than we're being told. And you got to get all the inputs before you can really deliver a good response a good answer a good service. So I think it's pulling all that together. Big picture. And then from that, really understanding what the root causes are that we need to take care of.

Chad Franzen 4:29

Is there something in your background that has kind of added or given you that ability to pull everything together?

Bill Sharratt 4:37

I you know, that's an interesting question. I don't know I'm a generalist in terms of education. I'm actually not an engineer by by training. So maybe it's that. I'll leave it at that.

Chad Franzen 4:55

Can you think of a client who has benefited from what you have done? Add to the table and maybe describe their clients and what they do.

Bill Sharratt 5:02

Yeah, there's lots of examples where where we've really stepped in to solve a significant problem. One that comes to mind is we were contacted by a laser manufacturer, a global manufacturer of laser systems that use in everything from high precision scientific work to manufacturing, cutting kind of operations. And they were reaching out because they learned that they were having an intimate problem. Some of the product they made, was not working. Some of it was actually the laser was dead. And they were really struggling to find out what was causing that intimate and problem. So that's cue Darcoid, we got a call because there were seals. And they were they were looking at every, every component in their assembly trying to understand what the root cause could be. So

Chad Franzen 6:01

you heard from them, and then how did you? What was kind of your advice to them? Or how did you go about helping them solve the problem?

Bill Sharratt 6:08

It's interesting. I've often been in conversations where the customer really needs me to understand that and product, sometimes that stuff goes like way over my head, because it's it's so complex. But I always come back to Okay, so there's a seal here, what does the seal need to do? What are you using right now? What is the hardware setup that the seal sits in? There's always a kind of a tribology of the physical hardware, the gland design, as we call it, the media that's being sealed, and the seal itself. So we look at that. And we found what could be a problem.

Chad Franzen 6:49

Okay, and then how, given you given the fact that you found that problem, what's, how would you describe their situation now?

Bill Sharratt 7:00

Well, maybe I'll jump into the problem. But they, they had a specification, every OEM, for all the components that go into a bill of materials are built, that products are defined carefully. Certainly, for leaders in industry and brand leaders, everything has to be controlled very carefully, because what they build is, you know, that's the reputation. So we found that the specification for the particular seal was very broad. They were calling out a fluorocarbon material, which is trade name, Viton, sometimes high end material, broad chemical resistance, excellent temperature resistant. But there are many different kinds of fluorocarbon. And they had a very broad definition. So we drilled into that and realize that they were sourcing them from whoever had it cheapest and readily available. So it could be coming from China, Vietnam, Mexico, North America, Europe. And we dug in and found it actually, during the the operation of the laser, the material was off gassing. And it was off gassing and that kind of volatiles that crystallized on their optics and physically crashed the laser. So then it was a question of drilling down to find the best material that outgassed the least or not at all. And then controlling that very, very carefully. So they got very consistent, results going forward. Long story, but the end result was problem solved, the inconsistency was resolved, that their customers stopped complaining and trusted their product out of the box functionality once again. So good deal or am successful. Great.

Chad Franzen 8:55

That's great. So you're, you're you're watching this podcast, why are you starting it? And where are you most excited about it?

Bill Sharratt 9:06

We've been in I've been in the steel industry for a long time, and I'm getting old. The expertise around me is aging. The steel industry is consolidating. It's getting harder for customers to get the service they need. So we're looking at some of those those problems and what can we do to address that? And one of those is tribal knowledge. And industry know how it's terrible to see someone passed away who's developed a lifetime of expertise without that knowledge share. So in some way we're trying to showcase major, major names, major influences in the industry, people who have a lot of technical knowledge, share some of that share some of their process, and also connecting with the end users who Hey, if they can take some something away from this podcast, it's, it's how to avoid the mistakes that can really derail a product launch or really crash your brand. And in doing so, have a conversation with people and learn their their design styles. That thought process, were an integral part of all the good products that are out there, behind every good, great product is a great seal. And it's spreading that knowledge. You don't want to go with easy to find catalog, sealed product solutions, when when you're at the frontline of performance pushing performance, you've really got to make sure you've got the very best seal. It's an optimization process. It's sometimes it's just incremental, but we have the ability to support that with our engineering staff. So really tying it all together, sharing education. And then there are a whole bunch of new engineers and product designers coming to industry who don't know steel, and you can get into a lot of trouble very quickly. Steel technology and processes not taught at the engineering education level. So hopefully we get to talk to some educators as well.

Chad Franzen 11:27

Great, great, during that final question for you, during your 10 plus years, with Darcoid, what are some of the things you're most proud of?

Bill Sharratt 11:39

Gosh, you know, this has been a great playground for me to try new ideas that the leadership here is very supportive of thinking differently. So one thing through a lot of my career, we engage with a customer and recommend solutions. And you're kind of throwing darts at the problem, sometimes the traditional way of engaging, so I've kind of reimagined that, and we've really invested heavily on on internal technical personnel. It's quite unusual for a company of our size. And we've built a very significant test bench operation where we can take customers product, and do tear downs and put in different seals different hardware to address the problems that they may be having. So that allows us to pre validate solutions, you can do a lot with modeling. But sealing can be tricky. And it's only when the rubber meets the road that you really learn how well the seal performs. We do a lot of validation in house. It's a big investment. But it's it's paid off with some very significant product improvements for our customers. And it's difficult for our customers because they're moving so fast. They're on a product refresh timeline, if you if you don't get on their evaluation, schedule. And if you miss it, the chances of getting reengaging can be very difficult. So it allows us to do a lot of work in the back end to to give them really pre validated solutions. So they get to market quicker, with a product that performs better. And building that out. And everything that's gone into that has has been a huge achievement. I loved it. It's very exciting.

Chad Franzen 13:48

Great, great. Well, this should be an exciting podcast and we'll look forward to future episodes. Thank you so much for talking to me today. Bill.

Bill Sharratt 13:53

Show Chad appreciate it. Thank you. So long, everybody.

Outro 14:00

Thanks for listening to the makers of our future podcast. Behind every great product is a great seal. Learn more about how we can help at www.darcoid.com That's darcoid.com. The best seal on time zero defects, Darcoid.

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Bill Sharratt is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Darcoid, a complex seal supply solutions company. With over 25 years of experience in sales and business development for the seal industry, his vision implemented the buildout for Darcoid’s unique technical capabilities.