The people behind the HF MIXING GROUP

Our company has many personalities. We introduce you to some of them here.

Bob McNabb

Sales Manager North America

Bob McNabb is practically an institution in our business. The 52-year-old American has been working in machinery construction for the rubber industry since 1988. He started out in production, but switched to sales just two years later. Ever since, the Pennsylvania-born father of two grown children has rarely remained at one location for long. ‘There’s no way to sell our mixing machines effectively without intensive travel,’ explains McNabb. ‘As sales manager for North America, I support customers from San Francisco to Montreal and from Anchorage to Miami. One of my tasks is also new customer acquisi­tion, of course. So I obviously don’t spend much time at home.’ His wife understands, though – after all, she’s been married to him for 30 years now.

Bob McNabb supports his customers from his smartphone and laptop. The passionate Harley rider has no need for a permanent office at the HF site in Topeka, Kansas. For many key accounts and individual customers, he is the direct contact. When he lands an order, he is also responsible for the project management. ‘I’m still thrilled about every order we sign. Not only because of my personal sense of accomplishment in my work, but above all because I know that the orders protect jobs in the factories. That means a lot to me,’ emphasises McNabb. Along with his sales function, he is also involved in the HF team for systems.

In addition, the eloquent American enjoys making presen­tations, especially to groups. It goes without saying that ‘passion’ is a very important aspect of his work: ‘That’s what drives us to give our best and to be as good as we can. Passion is what drives us to be better than the others, better than our competitors.’ In order to reinforce the passion of the HF Mixing Group’s workforce, McNabb would like to see even more intensive intra-group exchange along with further employee development and training. ‘Such programmes can help us build team spirit, so everyone feels like part of the Group.’

As a veteran in the industry, McNabb believes that merg­ing the different companies under the umbrella of the HF Mixing Group is a strategically valuable step: ‘The fusion of former competitors was a great idea. It gave us the opportunity to realise synergies in all areas – in sales, in engineering, in procurement and in production.’

Daniel Prekop

Head of Sales and Marketing, HF NaJUS

He’s still young, but his career has gone from strength to strength. We’re talking about Daniel Prekop, the 27-year-old head of sales and marketing at HF NaJUS in Slovakia. When he earned his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Bratislava in May 2012, he knew exactly what he wanted. The young manager describes his expectations at the time this way: ‘My idea was to work for a large international company in a dynamic business environment, to always be in contact with the customers and to have the chance to improve my skills continuously.’ To which he adds: ‘And all of those wishes have been fulfilled at HF NaJUS!’

The communicative young professional started out in the procurement department at the newest addition to HF MIXING GROUP in October 2012. There he concentrated on the procurement of key raw materials and on active collaboration, above all with foreign suppliers. After two years he was promoted to department manager, and has been responsible for sales and marketing since July 2014. ‘What I like most about my current assignment is that I get to know all of the companies and commercial processes of the HF MIXING GROUP. Because commerce was my focus during my university studies, I’m particularly interested in everything connected with that.’

Today his work is comprised of two parts: sales and marketing. ‘My main task in sales is communication with the customers. On the one hand, the internal customers of the HF Mixing Group, and on the other, the external customers. In this context, I work very closely with our sales engineers. It is also very important to look for new potential customers and to watch the competition. My main task in marketing is to strengthen the public image of HF NaJUS, for example through the new website, brochures, etc. HF NaJUS should be perceived as a strong market player that is still in the development stage and is now part of a large corporation with worldwide operations.’

Since the amalgamation in 2012, Daniel Prekop sees advantages for both companies: ‘The technological expertise and industrial experience of Harburg-Freudenberger together with their access to the worldwide markets and customers have been combined with an established company, which was not only able to manufacture high-quality products under economically attract­ive conditions but also had very good relationships with local contractors. At the employee level, the fusion brought new opportunities with regard to additional training and state-of-the-art technologies and processes.’

Passionately enthusiastic about sports – he participates in practically every kind of sport, from ice hockey to football and tennis to inline skating – Prekop has many ideas how to further strengthen team spirit within the HF MIXING GROUP: ‘One of the ways to achieve it might be more joint events for the employees from the same departments within the Group, regardless of where they work or their position. We could also start programmes to get employees more motivated – by regularly selecting the HF MIXING GROUP’s ‘Employee of the Month’ or the ‘Department of the Month’, for example. I’m convinced that both sides – employer and employee – benefit when people enjoy doing their jobs. In my view, that’s the decisive factor in the success of a company.’

Quentin Hartley

Process Engineering Manager for HF Mixing Group, based out of Farrel UK, Rochdale, England

Quentin Hartley joined the HF MIXING GROUP in 2012 and was already promoted to Global Process Engineering Manager in the following year. He started his career in 1985 as a laboratory technician for Francis Shaw and Co/Manchester Limited – the original manufacturer of the interconnected mixer INTERMIX®. There he gained valuable experience mixing many problematic compounds on interconnected mixers for customers who wanted to improve their processes. ‘While creating new mixer lines for the customers and initiating new processes in their factories, the work was not only richly varied, but it also gave me lots of invaluable experience,’ says Hartley.

After 10 years at Francis Shaw, Quentin Hartley left the company and worked for a large compounder in the USA. That company used both interconnected and tangential mixers. In his role as production manager, Hartley was able to study the benefits of both technologies intensively. His responsibilities included, among other things, the construction of two works in North America, for which he specified the mixer technologies along with the upstream and downstream equipment. ‘My work for a large compounder with a broad customer base enabled me to become familiar with manufacturing processes for small and large companies – from tyres to technical rubber goods to special compounds. Every day brought more new experiences,’ recalls Hartley. Once again after 10 years, he returned to Great Britain, where he worked in the recycling of high-quality fluoroelastomeric materials – a business that continues to grow with increasing environmental awareness.

His work for the HF MIXING GROUP – leading a small, multi-national team of process engineers with special expertise – once again brought with it a whole series of challenges. His experience with various technologies for different applications enables him to learn more and more, to acquire new process know-how, and to maintain his passion for the polymer industry. ‘I don’t think there’s another company anywhere that even comes close to offering such a large variety of expertise in such a large number of manufacturing industries as the HF Mixing Group does – and I’m proud to be a part of its sustained success.’