Sometimes when you’ve worked at a place for more than 20 years, people just assume you can do everything, and that seems to be the case with Brad Robertson.
Brad works in the Sure Flow Equipment warehouse and manufacturing facility and is in constant motion. His prime job description is in product “assembly”, but that entails a whole bevy of unique responsibilities. The challenging part of preparing this profile was getting photos of Brad where he wasn’t blurry. I took dozens, most of which I couldn’t use.
Many of the strainers Sure Flow fabricates end up in Brad’s work zone. Once the strainer has been welded, Brad begins the process of getting it ready for final shipment to the customer. With “Y” strainers this involves fabricating the screen.
On any given day, Brad receives a number of projects, all with unique requirements.
In the first photo Brad is bending the screen to fit the strainer.
Once it’s sized and tested, he spot-welds the mesh to the inside, so that the mesh layer is inside the screen. Sure Flow has perforated plate in sizes 1/32” diameter to 1 diameter and mesh sizes 1/32” openings to 0.005” openings.
After the screens are installed Brad uses studs and nuts to install the blind flange. Finally, it’s off to the paint shop. Brad is responsible for all painting at Sure Flow, both of cast products and custom fabricated strainers. Sure Flow’s state-of-the-art paint shop meets strict environmental standards for air quality.
Brad also fills in on testing when there is a need.
This is typical day for Brad at Sure Flow. It is anything but typical, which is the way Brad likes it. “No two days are the same. Every day you’re doing different things so it’s not like a lot of factory work where there’s a lot of repetition. And you must keep thinking through all the processes, so you’re challenged mentally too.”
For these employee profiles, we’ve asked every person “What do you like best about working at Sure Flow?” and the most common answer has been “the people.” It’s not just co-workers and the team feeling of working towards a common goal, it extends all the way to the top. Brad mentioned John Wordsworth, the founder and CEO of Sure Flow. “John has always been really good to me … John’s always been really good to everybody!” It’s pretty refreshing to consistently hear praise for the boss. Happy, motivated team members simply make better products.
This team spirit seems to inspire a real sense of loyalty and purpose in Sure Flow employees. Brad talks about a challenge a few years back, a “24 x 36 DB150”, a really big strainer that had to be produced to extremely tight deadlines prior to Christmas. Brad was on the crew that started at 4:30 am and worked right through until 8 pm to complete the project and have it ready for shipping first thing the following morning. “That was pretty awesome. It was a long day, but it’s always great to be part of a team effort like that. Most people won’t get to play in some major-league playoff, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get a great feeling when a team accomplishes a challenge like this.”
As much as he loves work, Brad also enjoys family time. Brad has a 4-year-old at home and a second on the way. So there’s never a dull moment at home either. Although Brad admits he does enjoy a bit of an escape with his 4-wheeler in the rural area around his home.
Since his days at Sure Flow are busy and can involve tight deadlines to produce products that operate under extreme pressure, it kind of makes sense he likes to blow off a little steam in his spare time!