This Week in Welding
Aug. 14, 2012

Manufacturing returning to America
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A furor broke out after it was reported that the uniforms of U.S. Olympians had been manufactured in China. "They should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them," said an apoplectic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. The story tapped into the anger — and fear — that Americans feel about the loss of manufacturing to China. Seduced by government subsidies, cheap labor, lax regulations and a rigged currency, U.S. industry has rushed to China in recent decades, with millions of American jobs lost. It is these fears, rather than the Olympic uniforms themselves, that triggered the congressional uproar. But Ralph Lauren berets aside, the larger trends show that the tide has turned, and it is China's turn to worry.More

Pennsylvania manufacturing company heads to Mars with rover
When NASA's rover recently touched down on Mars, employees from Dunmore Corp. in Bristol Township, Pa., like many other people around the country, closely were watching. Their interest in the historic landing was more than just simple curiosity. The company, which has worked for decades with the space agency, provided crucial components to protect Curiosity's electrical wiring from the wild temperature swings and radiation in space and to insulate wires from interfering with other electrical components on the rover. The work was a routine mission for Dunmore, which for more than 40 years has used chemical compounds and technology to coat, laminate and metalize plastic films.More

Smart manufacturing: Jobs pay more than $60,000 a year
The Portsmouth Herald
A year after a detailed report by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies on the importance of the smart manufacturing/high technology sector, the topic strongly resonates as companies such as Albany Engineered Composites in Rochester, N.Y., and the new production facility for arms maker Sig Sauer at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, N.H., broaden a wave of economic evolution and vitality. "These companies are raising the bar by merging information technology and manufacturing innovation to develop new, high quality products and components," said Ross Gittell, the chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.More

Manufacturers encourage Ohio lawmakers to consider tax breaks, training programs
The Plain Dealer
Ohio needs to invest in roads and bridges, beef up internship and apprenticeship programs, offer tax breaks to businesses that invest in factories and keep business taxes low without cutting services, business leaders said. At the first of five scheduled hearings for Ohio House's 21st Century Manufacturing Task Force, business leaders said the state's manufacturing industry is on the rebound, and state officials can help it build momentum. More

GM said to be nearing 'game changer' electric car tech
The Associated Press via
A small battery company backed by General Motors is working on breakthrough technology that could power an electric car 100 (160 kilometers) or even 200 miles (320 kilometers) on a single charge in the next two-to-four years, GM's CEO said. Speaking at an employee meeting, CEO Dan Akerson said the company, Newark, Calif.-based Envia Systems, has made a huge breakthrough in the amount of energy a lithium-ion battery can hold. GM is sure that the battery will be able to take a car 100 miles (160 kilometers) within a couple of years, he said. It could be double that with some luck, he said.More

Observe Manufacturing Day on Oct. 5 across US
Manufacturing Day has been designed to expand knowledge about and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers and manufacturing's value to the U.S. economy. Manufacturing Day is for students, parents, educators, media, customers, suppliers and the community at large. Visitors will learn about real career opportunities, training and resources. In addition, manufacturers will learn about business improvement resources and services delivered through manufacturing extension partnerships.More

Praxair, nexAir form joint venture
Memphis Daily News
Danbury, Conn.-based industrial gases company Praxair Inc. and Memphis-based nexAir LLC are forming a joint venture that will enable the combined business to have a bigger reach and broader mix of services for customers. NexAir is one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the United States. According to the terms of the joint venture they're planning to form, Praxair will contribute eight branches of its packaged gas distribution business in three states — Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee — and will acquire an equity stake in the combined business.More

New manufacturing plants set to open in Sonora, Mexico
Arizona Daily Star
A Tucson company's industrial park in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, has landed two new aerospace manufacturers. Construction is set to begin on a $9.6 million turbine manufacturing plant for Britain-based JJ Churchill LTD, said Eduardo Saavedra, executive vice president of business development for The Offshore Group. The industrial park is owned and operated by Offshore, which is based in Tucson. Cincinnati-based Ellison Surface Technologies Inc. will open a $1.5 million thermal-spray-coating and special-process facility at the park, said Eric Dolby, the company's marketing manager. Aerospace manufacturing has been growing steadily in recent years in the port town of Guaymas.More

Caterpillar CEO: Manufacturing hurt by shortage of quality applicants
The Chicago Tribune
Six of every 10 applicants for basic manufacturing jobs don't qualify because they lack a basic education or don't pass a drug test, Caterpillar Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman said recently in Chicago. "We are customers to that education system that we see failing in this country and other competitors around the world are exceeding in their education system," said Oberhelman, whose company last year had revenue of $60 billion. The job-creation round table was sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures.More

Friction-welded couplers gain nuclear approval
Construction & Maintenance
Friction-welded couplers from Hy-Ten have gained nuclear approval. CARES, the reinforcement steel certification authority has tested the couplers under TA1-C type A standard for use in nuclear facilities. The product now is fully certified to comply with the standards of BNFL and to meet the requirements of Sellafield Ltd. The approved products, standard couplers type HT(S) and positional couplers, types HT(P) and (EP), are manufactured at Hy-Ten's Liverpool factory under a stringent ISO9000 quality assurance system. The factory also complies with ISO14000 environmental standards.More

Airgas announces 6 acquisitions
Airgas, the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related supplies, has announced it has acquired the assets and operations of six businesses that complement the Airgas portfolio of products and services. Three of the six acquisitions closed as recently as Aug. 1. Combined, the six acquired businesses generated annual revenues of approximately $17 million in 2011.More

Wayne Brothers takes on Caterpillar plant foundation job
Construction Equipment Guide
When constructing a plant which will be assembling, testing and painting massive mining truck axles for use worldwide, you better make sure the machine foundations are solid. Wayne Brothers Inc. of Kannapolis, N.C., took on the challenge of pouring the concrete for such a project — although this is the type of work this company is quite used to and comfortable with. Many factors are in play when such an enormous, intricate foundation is involved, weather being one of them. Constructing the walls and roof to the building first, then the foundations, help control that element — which is exactly what happened on Caterpillar's new plant, located in Winston-Salem, N.C.More

Edison Welding Institute sparks innovative approach to training welders
RealWeld Systems via hiVelocity
The Ohio Department of Development has seven Edison Technology Centers located statewide to provide various product and process innovation and commercialization services to established and early-stage technology-based businesses. The Edison Welding Institute in Columbus is one of those centers. EWI recently launched a spinoff company — RealWeld Systems Inc. and unveiled its new product — the RealWeld Trainer. More

Tulsa Welding School expands pipefitting program
Tulsa World
Students at Tulsa Welding School's campus at 11th Street and Lewis Avenue recently were busy piecing together a pipefitting training station for future students. When the training areas are completed, students will cut, piece together and attach various pipe designs onto the triangular modules. "When they're done they'll be able to use this equipment to help train," said Bud McEntire, director of the school's new training program for pipefitting. "But we need to build it first." More