WAPAKONETA, Ohio—Many years ago, Evan R. Piland was delivering a presentation on rubber recycling before a meeting of the Fort Wayne Rubber Group.
“At the end of my presentation, I announced the need to be open-minded to change for new ideas to improve your business and move your company forward,” Piland said.
“I closed with a picture of a man hauling timber in the woods,” he said. “The animal pulling the logs was a huge moose.”
For the past 13 years, Piland during his talks has been training his customers to use a moose to pull their load.
He started in January 2003 as industrial sales manager for Wapakoneta-based Midwest Elastomers Inc., selling his customers on the advantages of ambient and cryogenically ground recycled rubber in a myriad of applications including tires, auto parts, industrial rubber goods, plastics, deck coatings and construction materials.
On June 9, Piland retired after more than 45 years in various rubber industry sales positions. He spent 19 years at Rootstown, Ohio-based Jet Rubber Co., a company specializing in custom molded rubber and rubber-to-metal bonding.
His last job before joining MEI was at rubber extruding company Rice-Chadwick Inc., based in Killbuck, Ohio.
However, MEI proved the most exciting chapter of Piland's career. A lot of applications continue to evolve for ground recycled rubber, he said, particularly for ground SBR and EPDM, with 120 mesh the typical size.
During his career, Piland was involved in efforts to educate the rubber industry and the public about the benefits of rubber recycling. For about 10 years, he said, he was a member of the Rubber Recycling Topical Group within the ACS Rubber Division, and for two years he was chairman of the group.
Piland has not yet completely retired from the rubber industry. For the next 18 months, he will be a consultant to MEI, he said.
“I've enjoyed the rubber industry—it's in my blood,” he said. “I have always tried to help, and I am open to being helpful to anybody in the industry.”