CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2016

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70 MAY 2016 COATINGSPROMAG.COM A s a published author, proud father, and NACE Level II and SSPC (Society for Protective Coatings) certifed non-skid specialist, Johnny M. Sanchez Jr. isn't your cookie cutter coatings expert. He rose from humble beginnings more than 20 years ago to become the quality systems manager at South Bay Sand Blasting & Tank Cleaning. In 1993 at 19 years old, Sanchez got his start at the now shuttered Long Beach Naval Ship Yard as a laborer working in vessel preservation, quickly working his way to anti-slip coatings on ship decks. Shortly after getting his start, he was relocated to San Diego, and Sanchez took that opportunity as a fresh start and committed himself to a professional career as a non-slip (aka non-skid, according to the Nav y) appli- cator. And that's what he's done. Navy Coating Seals "I'm known as a specialist in non-skid coatings," Sanchez explained. "But I'm also an instructor at SSPC and teach courses for the government. And my ultimate goal is to become a certifed NACE Protective Coatings Specialist." Continuing educa- tion has been a key to Sanchez's success, along with being able to meet challenging deadlines set by the client — in this case, the world's largest navy. "I work in the military world as a contractor, so the requirements are stringent, and we have very short deadlines," Sanchez explained. "Working on military vessels, they have overhauls, dry docking, and tours out to sea for six to nine months. I just fnished 92,000 square feet [8,547.1 m²] of an anti-slip fight deck coating job, and that was only half. Te actual square footage was 215,000 to 220,000 square feet [19,974.2–20,438.7 m²] of 'real estate,' so multiple contractors were working at the same time." Te systems Sanchez uses can't be subject to trial and error when multi-million-dollar fghter jets and lives are at stake. Terefore, he applies an aggregated coating with two types abrasives (both with aluminum oxide), which give it a "peak to valley" efect. Currently, Sanchez is involved in multiple smaller fight, missile deck, and vertical launch system projects. "Tese vessels see the worst conditions imagin- able," he noted. "You have a piece of steel sitting on one of the most corrosive environments: chloride ions and warm water in the Persian Gulf up to the Arctic cold. Aluminum fight decks use a lot of maintenance, so you have to work with diferent alloys and substrates to choose the right surface prep and blast media." As the quality systems manager, Sanchez oversees all of the military projects, relying on his certifcations and knowledge from NACE and SSPC. "If there's an issue, I do the failure analysis and review the deviation from spec, and I lead meetings with ofcers as well as fight deck control meetings," he explained. "Tere are short recoat windows in the military, and there's a general specifcation that covers all applications and approved products, so you really have to know how to read and write specs." In addition, he receives annual contract evaluations to ensure he and his team of 25 to 30 have met strict 30- to 45-day deadlines and standards. All in the Family As far as industry advice, Sanchez's extensive experience as a military contractor has imparted the importance of reading and understanding — of anything you're given. "Be in depth in specifcation reading and have pride in what you do. Do a lot of research with contracts and specs and ask questions if you're not familiar. 'Does it sit in sea water? Is it a pipeline? etc.' It all comes down to reading and research," he noted. In addition to taking pride in his own education, Sanchez also works hard to ensure that each of his crew members is safe. "Above all, take pride in what you do. I don't want anyone getting hurt. It's a very intense job and process," he said. Tanks to the dedication to his work, Sanchez often sees 14-hour work days. With little time of, he admitted that " it's been tough on my family, but my wife is used to it. But I' ll tell you what, when I get a vacation, I really enjoy the down time!" In addition to a recent trip to Italy, Sanchez enjoys being with his family — even on the job. One of his three children joined his inspection team! In 2012, Sanchez published a memoir called Imprisoned by a Memor y about his past and successful present. He looks forward to unending learning, continuing his advocacy of coatings, and working on his NACE Protective Coatings Specialist certifcation. CP Photo courtesy of South Bay Sand Blasting By Christa Youngpeter Anti-Skid Service Stripes ProFile: Johnny M. Sanchez Jr. Hard Work & Craftsmanship

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