An Interview with Simon Taylor, General Sales Manager
Unique Product Applications at Walker Filtration
Posted on May 18th, 2021
Simon Taylor is the current General Sales Manager at Walker Filtration Inc., overseeing sales into the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. Simon has been with the company for over eleven years and has been instrumental in the expansion of the US division into new applications and markets. Simon shares insight in the interview below on how he started working in the compressed air industry and his experience with the vast applications for compressed air, gas and drying products.
How did you start working in the Compressed Air Industry?
Walker Filtration has always been part of my life. My father, Richard Taylor, worked at Walker Filtration while I was growing up in the United Kingdom. During this time, I came to know the Walker family well and always had great admiration for how they were growing and innovating in the company. My career path had a bit of a circuitous route but eventually ended up with me moving to the United States and working for the company that had long been a part of my life.
When I started my working career, I was seeking an IT position; however, I ended up in banking first. I worked in many different sectors, including money managing, marketing, customer retention and mortgage sales. Although I gained some great experience, it was not my ideal career.
I left the bank and finally accepted a position as an IT contractor in the UK. For two years I lived in central London while working for three of the biggest fortune 500 companies in the UK. It was a fascinating career, and I had the opportunity to work in a vast array of different businesses in different locations.
During this time, Walker Filtration was expanding, and my father had successfully helped grow the UK side of the business, moved to Australia to start a new division and now was about to move to the United States to open a division there. The US division, Walker Filtration Inc., was a very quick success, and he asked if I had any interest in working there. Thinking back to my past careers, what I enjoyed most was working with people, learning new industries and traveling. This position would be a great opportunity to combine all those aspects together. I met with Lianne Walker, the former Managing Director of the company, and shortly after accepted the position, relocated my family to Erie, Pennsylvania, and started in sales in 2008.
What has been one of the most rewarding applications you have been able to work with?
Walker Filtration’s compressed air and drying solutions are in a very diverse array of applications. It is challenging even to list them all, but certainly, the most rewarding applications have been recent. With the onslaught of COVID-19, customer demand for our Desiccant Dryers and Compressed Air Filters has skyrocketed in the medical industry. We have had to deal with shipping delays and supply chain challenges while focusing on keeping our staff safe.
Despite the challenges, we have continued to supply our customers with the essential products they need to deliver and maintain their crucial medical packages. Our Desiccant Dryers and Compressed Air Filters are used in systems that help with the fight against COVID-19. It has been some of the most challenging times, but also the most rewarding.
What is one of the more memorable custom-built solutions you helped create for a customer?
I worked a few years back with a company that maintains wind turbines. We assisted in the design and provided a custom Desiccant Dryer solution that could be used to keep the lubrication oil free from contaminants and water. This ensured the longevity of the generator parts at the top of the windmill and helped reduce service intervals. This was crucial because servicing a wind turbine is a very expensive and complicated business.
Where are some places that you would have never expected to see Walker Filtration products used?
With such a broad range of products, our customer applications can be vast. We have had some very interesting applications throughout the years though.
We have had a number of very noteworthy flight-related applications. For example, Walker Filtration Filter Heaters are placed into an application that supports the re-entry of spacecrafts into the atmosphere. Our Desiccant Dryers are used in an application assisting the launch of missiles. We also helped a customer by supplying Water Separators to aid with the air quality in fighter jets.
Our filtration products have also been used underground in a number of mining applications. We provide filtration in critical mine refuge chambers that ensure an accessible and monitored environment that provides vital needs for underground personnel in case of an emergency.
From underground to outer space, our products have an endless number of applications.