ReturnInterview with David Tovar, head of R&D at Montana Colors
Generating new products that appeal to the public is one of the most significant challenges for any company. In the context of the especially diverse MTN PRO range produced at Montana Colors, the task becomes extra complicated. Dedicated to this line of work is the R&D department, led by David Tovar. He talked to MTN News about this fundamental area of work that is often overlooked.
What responsibilities do you have in your role as head of R&D at Montana Colors?
I’ve been working in paint development for more than five years, and I’m in currently in charge of the development of new products, as well as implementation at production level.
How has your day to day evolved in that time?
I came in at first to support the color development and the industrial products department. A few months after arriving at Montana Colors, I was assigned to the R&D department. During this time, the evolution of the department has been positive and it has grown in terms of personnel and resources to adapt to the demands of the company. If we aren’t generating new products, we become less competitive and could fail.
In recent years, Montana Colors has commercialized many products apart from its aerosol paint for artists, both for the MTN PRO line and for third parties. What has that meant to you personally?
It’s kept me busy! Hahaha. Without a doubt, generating new products is really stimulating on every level and once you learn to manage the pressure, you can enjoy this job a lot. Working in R&D is a privilege.
So to answer the question: work, stimulus and enjoyment.
What role does technology and digital transformation play in your work as an R&D manager? How does technology help to develop new products or improve existing ones?
Digital transformation doesn’t really have much involvement in our field. Our research and training work is mainly focused on researches on the net; for articles, new developments and technical information in general. At a technological level, it’s true that more and more sophisticated and versatile laboratory instruments and equipment are emerging that provide a lot of information and are of great help in our work.
Last year Montana Colors acquired a QUV: a piece of technologically advanced laboratory equipment which simulates the resistance of paint to the elements - like UV rays, rain and condensation - quickly providing reliable information on the durability and weather resistance of a paint once applied and dried. Having this type of instrument gives us a competitive advantage and is a guarantee of quality for our clients.
What has been the most difficult product to perfect? Why?
There have been many products that have represented a real challenge for the department, but the one that has caused not only a technical challenge but also a challenge for production and engineering was the MTN PRO Gotelé. For various reasons, this product pushed our conceptual limits.
Is there a product that has been launched that you are especially proud of?
The MTN PRO Anti-drip paint. It is a product that led to the development of the MTN PRO Gotelé and the one that resulted in a change in mentality at a technical and productive level. Montana Colors had always manufactured liquid and low-viscosity paints. When MTN PRO Anti-drip paint was being formulated, we had to manufacture products with very different rheological characteristics and adapt it to aerosol technology.
How do you receive feedback from the end customer? How does it affect your work?
Very little customer feedback reaches me. It is something that Jordi Portella (Technical director) takes care of, and I prefer it that way. When there is something that can really affect product characteristics, we meet and discuss the strategy to follow together.
What product / project would you like to develop?
I’d prefer marketing to surprise me, hahahaha! There are lots of projects that could be done, but it’s a question for marketing.
What will the spray cans of the future be like?
I might say that they’ll be more sustainable. I wouldn’t like to make any more guesses, hahahahaha!
Are you related to the products outside of work? Any hobby where you use Montana Colors products?
I do not have any hobbies that involve Montana Colors products, but obviously when I have to do some DIY or home improvement, I use our products.
What do you think is more important for teamwork: maintaining a good relationship between colleagues or meeting objectives no matter what?
A good work environment with a good relationship between colleagues is one of the basic ingredients for achieving goals for me. R&D projects are long-term projects that need everyone’s collaboration. Maintaining friendly and trusting relationships has a decisive influence on the final goal. Sometimes we don’t realize how important the emotional side is in achieving achievements and objectives. My experience has shown me that they are fundamental variables in the success equation.
What do you like most about working for Montana Colors?
It’s a very versatile company and without much pressure. I like to develop new products, it’s what has always stimulated me and apparently Montana Colors has the same passion, hahahaha!
We know that work, like life, does not have only good things and it is important to analyze the negative ones in order to learn, improve or value more the positive ones. What have you found especially hard?
I wouldn’t say hard. Obviously the position I have involves a certain amount of pressure that you have to get used to and know how to manage. I think that every experience we face provides a learning opportunity. You have to be receptive to opportunities.
Tell us the strangest, the funniest or the most surprising thing that you have experienced in your career at Montana Colors.
I’ll tell you about a surprise. The most surprising thing for me is that even being in the middle of a global pandemic, Montana Colors has not only adapted, but astonishingly, it has continued to grow. MTN has been receptive to opportunities.
What do you think is essential for a work team to achieve its objectives and stay motivated?
The team needs to be stimulated and enjoy what it does.
What is your motto as a professional?
Be honest and have all the fun you can.
ShareNovember 27, 2020