Rick recently had the opportunity to visit all of the Vixen team, for the first time, at their head office based in the North East of England.
Unbeknown to Rick, he was going to meet the Godfather of Vixen – Ian Yearsley.
“Just when I thought I had seen it all, met all the good people there and ate some really great food, along came the godfather! Ian is not just a great source of knowledge for the entire blasting world, but he’s a great guy as well. We hit if off right from the start. I was amazed at all the projects he had been involved in all over the world. Aidan (Vixen’s president and founder) and I spent hours learning from him.”
Ian is the man when it comes to wet blasting; if he doesn’t know the answer, it’s not worth knowing.
Ian has been in the wet blasting industry for 55 years, having started out at the young age of 24! Vixen were lucky enough to have him on board from 1990. He brought with him his expert knowledge of everything wet blasting related, along with an endless passion for the industry.
Ian is Vixen’s special projects engineer, who liaises with customers throughout the entire build process until completion. Due to his extensive understanding of the industry, Ian is often called upon to assist with Vixen’s export projects.
Rick spent a couple of days with Ian in the hope of absorbing as much information in 48 hours, from what Ian has gained over 55 years.
Rick is highly experienced in the wet blasting industry himself, having worked in the surface preparation industry alone for over 30 years. Within this time Rick has worked on both wet and dry blasting projects, along with special build projects to meet specific requirements.
Although Rick has a lot of blasting experience and knowledge behind him, someone with 55 years can still enlighten you.
Over dinner, Ian shared with Rick some great tips on how to find the perfect finish on a variety of components, along with making modifications to machines to accommodate for components of different weights and sizes.
Rick said; “I have to say, in my 37 years of business travel I cannot think of a single trip that was on par with this one. The folks at Vixen were wonderful and treated me like family. Over my five days at Vixen, I had the opportunity to work with the sales team and meet customers, sit down with management and work out strategies for the US, tour the shop and even work on rebuilding some pumps!
Seriously, great people, a great company and the godfather, I am counting the hours until I can do it all over again!”
Heading back home, Rick can continue to spread his knowledge to all of his existing and future wet blasting customers, throughout the whole of the United States.