Face the music - sharing over a cuppa

Facing the Music

Lately, I’ve been pondering what’s going on in the world. 

There’s no denying that things are challenging right now. I’m not about to go into detail on what’s been happening (both nationally and internationally) to make this a stressful time for everyone. You can find that information, in great detail, on pretty much every media platform going. In fact, this deluge of information is probably part of the problem. 

I’d love to tell you that I’ve come up with a solution to it all. To be honest, I’d love to hear that ANYONE has a solution to it all. What I can tell you is how we, here at Pure Transfer, are approaching this, slightly scary, new world. We’re doing what we always do, in a very British way, by keeping calm and carrying on. We’re focusing on what we do best – providing top quality components to the high purity sector. That’s not going to change, not now, not ever. We’re continuing to supply those components with the type of customer service that takes your breath away (a good thing). 

We’ve always said that our customers’ problems are our problems until we solve them. We stand by that. While we can’t solve the issues of an international cost of living and energy crisis, we can still ensure that our customers’ high purity issues will be sorted by our team with its unrivalled levels of know-how. 

On this World Mental Health Day, especially during times like these, it’s important to reflect on how those around us are doing. It’s also important to monitor our own progress and ensure a healthy work life balance. Mental health is so important and it’s time we all take it seriously. That’s why, during tough times, we need to keep in touch with each other and be there for one another. 

As we head into what is, undoubtedly, going to be a tricky winter for many, I invite you all to keep in touch with the Pure Transfer team. If there’s anything we can do to help, we’ll do it. We’re always happy to share a cuppa, a listening ear or some content that’ll (hopefully) make you smile. 

If we face the music together, the result will be better for everyone. So, get your dancing shoes on…

paul murph sign off

Paul Murphy. Founder, puretransfer.com 


PTL-U: A Different Way To Learn

The vision.

Let me be honest with you. Some people I told my plans to, looked at me like I’m crazy. Really. The truth is, the way I see it, anyone who tries to do things a little differently will always find themselves at the receiving end of either criticism or ridicule. Yet, what I’m going to do is neither negative nor ridiculous, far from it. My plan is to start the Pure Transfer Limited University. It’s as simple as that.

Not a campus.

No, I’m not planning to create an ornate campus with quadrangles and lecture theatres. What I want to do is provide an online forum in which tangible expertise from my sector can be passed on in a useful and inclusive way. If you stop to think about it, it’s not a particularly fanciful dream. I simply want to get people learning in a way that works for them.

Thinking beyond the classroom.

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t a great lover of school. I don’t feel that the way we learned there particularly ‘clicked’ with me. At the time I supposed that this lack of connection was probably my ‘fault’, but, looking back, I’ve changed my mind. You see, everyone learns in different ways. Some lap up the traditional classroom-based model, others, like me, don’t. I’m far more of a practical person, I like to get stuck in and find solutions. I’m not one to have my nose in a book all day.

Different, but equal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything bad about having a traditional ‘academic’ inclination. I’m really not. What I am saying is that it shouldn’t be seen as a ‘better’ path than the vocational one I took. They are different and equally valuable.

So, I didn’t go to University myself, it just wasn’t an option for me. What I did do was enter the workplace and learn a hell of a lot on the job. Too often this practical knowledge is underplayed, but it’s vital in industries such as mine. The question has to be, is there a way of passing on this learning other than picking it up by spending 30 years in a job? Can you study a field like mine, that of high purity manufacturing, and get a head start? I believe you can.

I also believe that this type of education should be delivered in a way that really connects with learners. It should be engaging and practical – two things you couldn’t say about the vast majority of my time at school.

A different way to learn.

That’s why we’re going to launch the PTL-U as an online resource, something Pure Transfer’s staff (and others across the industry) can access and engage with, within a timeframe that works for them. Ours won’t be stuffy courses that require students to read endless dry textbooks. Instead, they’ll access creatively imagined lessons and resources that engage with those who didn’t think academia was for them.

What’s the plan?

We’ll be creating a collection of resources that students will be able to use at their own pace. These resources will include:

  • Presentations.

    Old fashioned lectures really aren’t for us. PTL-U will provide online presentations delivered in plain English, that are both engaging to watch and have a ‘No More Than 10 Slides’ guarantee.

  • Supplementary video content.

    PTL-U will also create banks of specific and useful videos, showing the practical side behind the theory. Once again, this content will be short and sweet, telling students what they need to know in a method that really connects.

  • Personalised profiles.

    Each student will be able to track their progress through the PTL-U content, as will their real world mentors, who can provide additional support if necessary. These are real courses with expert oversight that lead to respected qualifications.

  • Philosophy.

    The entire PTL-U syllabus will be based around the famous K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple Stupid). There’s no prizes here for posturing or using long words, it’s all about gaining real world knowledge and supporting the next generation of high purity experts. Academic pretensions are left at the door.

  • The vision.

    So what do we, here at Pure Transfer, hope to achieve through the PTL-U? Our plan is to encourage learning amongst those who may never have been encouraged before.

“Learn as if you were to live forever”.

Mahatma Gandhi

It’s certainly an approach that I take to life – every day is a ‘school day’. Gandhi’s quote is a call to action for all of us, even those who didn’t feel like we fit in with the academic world. There are many different ways to learn, and the PTL-U will be an example of that. Because, at the end of day, none of us are going to live forever, and the knowledge gained in hands-on industrial sectors like mine, needs to be preserved just as much as an understanding of Shakespeare’s sonnets or particle physics.

Broadening horizons.

There are few things that make me more proud than seeing a person achieve something they hadn’t previously thought possible. In the years to come, I look forward to seeing students, many of whom hadn’t thought academia was for them, graduating from the PTL-U, having benefited from a different type of learning. In my mind, it won’t be long before the PTL-U has created a whole new generation of high purity gurus who will continue to share their knowledge with others to support this vital part of our economy.

The dream.

I do have a dream for PTL-U. My dream is, in not too many years, I’ll be listening to a presentation by a former PTL-U student, who has broken new ground and is now able to teach me something new about high purity manufacturing. That will make me very happy, assuming their presentation is 10 slides or less.

PTL: Gaskets and Socks

Gaskets & Socks

I like a good analogy.

I don’t know if what follows is a ‘good’ or not, I’ll leave that for the reader to decide. What I do know is while most people aren’t familiar with gaskets, everyone knows about socks. So, let’s all think socks for a moment. What do they do?

• They keep our feet warm.
• They help keep us clean.
• They stop abrasion from damaging our feet.
• They help us to display our unique personalities.

Believe it or not, socks are a big part of our lives. From sports socks to business socks, we have socks for every occasion. I was on a flight recently where I received a pair of “happy socks” – wearing them certainly put a smile on my face. Wearing the right socks at the correct moment is important. You’ll never see professional sports people wearing the incorrect socks for their activity. It simply isn’t done. Take a look at the world of professional cycling, correct sock length is now a legal requirement! Yet in my work, that of high purity process systems, I’m constantly seeing machinery dressed in the wrong socks.

Of course, by ‘the wrong socks’ I mean that I frequently see the wrong gasket being used within a system. Apologies in advance to those who are tiring of the ‘sock’ metaphor, but let’s continue with it for a moment. Gaskets, like socks, are required to go through many cleaning cycles within their lifespan – while retaining their functionality. The problem is, during this cleaning, gaskets can be damaged or lost so that it’s tempting to replace the problem gasket with another that looks roughly the same (as we do with socks).

Before you know it, a process system is filled with incorrectly fitted gaskets that nobody remembers purchasing, which are completely inappropriate for the job they’re doing. In short, your high purity machinery has become the equivalent of a drawer full of mismatched and holey socks. This is, definitely, not good. For those who don’t know, a failed gasket is a real problem. Why?

A gasket’s main purpose is, through pressure, to create a seal between two surfaces, often piping. If that seal is faulty, the product within the pipes can become contaminated. The financial implications of a faulty gasket, both in terms of manufacturing downtime and product loss, are huge. Thankfully, in 99.9999% of cases, the same can’t be said of badly chosen or maintained socks.

So, here’s one last hurrah for my sock analogy. Choosing gaskets should be approached with a similar sense of purpose as picking the right pair of socks… go with me on this one. A wise person might ask:

• What task do I want them for?
• How often will they be used?
• How frequently will I need to clean them?
• How will I know when they are no longer useful?
• When is it recommended that I completely replace them?

Thanks for sticking with me on this (strained) sock and gasket metaphor journey. What I hope you’ll take from this is the importance of attention to detail. At Pure Transfer we pride ourselves on focusing on the details, it’s why our customers come back to us time and again. They know that our gasket knowledge is second to none.

And our socks? They’re pretty impressive too.