Ramble with the Roving Reporter

Impromptu videos highlight myriad products and services

By Traci Purdum, Senior Digital Editor

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The best part of my job is that I get to dabble in a variety of roles at the magazine: I am the person who posts all the content to ChemicalProcessing.com; I create and disseminate all of our eNewsletters; I participate in Webcasts and conduct podcast interviews; I write this monthly column and contribute to the magazine's blog; and I get to travel to tradeshows and conferences to represent Chemical Processing.

Most recently, I went to Chicago to attend the 2010 International Powder & Bulk Solids Show, which was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. There, I canvassed the show floor with my roving reporter hat perched on my head. I stopped at several booths in search of willing participants to tell me what they were showcasing. Here's some of what I found:

The folks at Hastings Air Energy Control Inc. have a great sense of humor. I interviewed Fred Germain and Tom Ludwig — both sales representatives for the New Berlin, Wis.-based provider of dust collectors, air cleaners, and mist collectors along with cyclone separators and bag houses. While the products and services they provide aren't particularly funny, the fact that I cut off the tops of their heads in the video proved to be the running joke of the show — it gave a new meaning to the term video clips. But rest assured, you can still learn a lot from these two flatheads.

I canvassed the show floor with my roving reporter hat perched on my head.

Fortunately, I am a fast learner and adjusted my videotaping technique. In my defense, however, these videos aren't supposed to be Hollywood-quality, Quentin Tarantino masterpieces.

But they do touch on the subject of explosions and dangerous situations (subjects near and dear to Mr. Tarantino). At least the videos I shot with Chilworth Global covered that ground. Thaddeus Speed, technical director, explained how his company's role involves helping chemical processors understand the risks involved with powders — hazardous and even seemingly benign materials.

The show featured a lot of machinery and instruments all humming and buzzing. Indeed, I stopped by the booth of Wyoming, R.I.-based Vibco to see what Giovanni Luzzi was doing. It was difficult to miss him — he was a hulk of a man wearing a white jumpsuit and a patriotic hard hat. Turns out his company touts itself as the "Silent Vibrator Guys." And the proof is in the video — he turned on one of the machines and you can still hear him loud and clear.

Are you in the market for a powder tester? Brookfield's Bob McGregor did a nice job of describing and demonstrating his company's product. And from the interest he had at the booth while we were taping, I'd say attendees were pleased as well.

All said, I taped 14 interviews that can be viewed on the Chemical Processing YouTube page: www.youtube.com/chemprocess. While I certainly shouldn't switch careers for a life as a cameraperson, I did enjoy my time at the show — and meeting all these great folks who agreed to be subjects of my off-the-cuff interviews.

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