He has witnessed the construction of 40 large ships and their repair in ports around Spain. But he’s only sailed once, during a short trip in the Canary Islands. García has stacked up 36 years of experience in the preparation of surfaces and application of anti-corrosive coating in the naval sector, and ensures that, while the methodology is similar, the technology has undergone revolutionary change.
36 years in the naval sector… How have techniques evolved since the 80s?
The procedures are similar, but the technology has been transformed. The methods used to be more manual. We applied Brea Epoxi in ballast tank coatings, which are now banned due to pollutants, or silica sand, which has been replaced by other types of abrasives, such as steel grit. Nowadays we use the latest tools and products, which are safer and more effective, in blasting cabins which never used to exist. We worked with closed circuit systems that collected the abrasive and recirculated it, thus minimizing the waste produced. We are more sustainable and effective, as the metal shot lasts longer and can be recycled.
Security has also come on leaps and bounds…
Sure, personal protective equipment has made great progress and is completely different. Modern demands and our procedures are based on highly detailed, mandatory protocols. E.g., when replacing protective wear, filters, etc., compliance of these measures is very strict.
How do you remember your beginnings?
I started when I was 18, I’d just finished high school. My dad, the works manager, took me to work with him. This was my first job after finishing my studies. It didn’t just mean learning a trade, but also represented, for the first time, a way to earn a living. I then gained more experience and trained as an inspector for NACE, corrosion engineering that helps you to understand what is really going on, why a certain type of corrosion appears and not another, and what is the best way to combat it.
You’ve now got almost 4 decades of sector experience. What do you think has made Siasa No 1?
Naval sector clients compel us to be very competitive in terms of costs, while also demanding top quality and adherence to deadlines. Therefore, we must guarantee the availability of resources allowing us to meet our clients’ demand, ensure we have cutting edge technology, that our technicians are highly qualified, that we strictly comply with security standards, etc. Meeting all these requirements over many years has made us pioneers and leaders.
What is the most stressful part of your job?
As works manager, I’m in charge of planning, coordinating and leading on-site production to execute the works we’ve contracted on vessels, tankers, etc. The most stressful part is the delivery phase. The painting process and, above all, the final layers, are done at the end of the vessel construction process. During construction, we’re a bit of a nuisance for the other workers, but in the end, with the painting, we take priority because the boat must be well finished, in perfect condition. At this time, the client puts us under maximum pressure.
The sector, like many others, has suffered during the crisis. How do you see the future?
During the crisis, we’ve had to adapt to stay afloat, and have seen how some local companies have gone under. Despite that, I can now see a good future because at SIASA, we have a good work portfolio and high expectations for more work.