This Week in Welding
Sep. 4, 2012

Big 3 push US factories to capacity
The Detroit News
The rebound of the American automobile industry has plants across the country running all-out. By the end of the year, all three Detroit automakers will be operating at more than 100 percent capacity in North America — a major turnaround for an industry that saw plant utilization fall below 50 percent three years ago. "All three companies were running below 100 percent last year," said manufacturing expert Ron Harbour, a senior partner at Oliver Wyman. "By my estimate, we now show all three of them running over 100 percent." An analysis conducted by Harbour for The Detroit News shows that Ford Motor Co. is making the best use of its factories, with North American capacity utilization on track this year to reach 113 percent. He put General Motors Co.'s capacity utilization rate at 108 percent. Harbour estimated that Chrysler Group LLC would use about 104 percent of its capacity.More

Boeing ramps up production of 787; United soon to fly Dreamliner
Boeing is building its new 787 Dreamliner on a third assembly line. The company is trying to transition from the delays it experienced during development of the new airplane into full-speed production. The temporary "surge line" adds to the existing assembly line in Everett, Wash., and the company also has added an assembly line in South Carolina. With a backlog of more than 800 orders, Boeing plans on boosting the 787 production rate from its current 3.5 airplanes a month to 10 per month by the end of next year.More

Shale jobs attract interest from far away
Fuel Fix
The Eagle Ford Shale is a job-creation machine, and the word has reached job hopefuls far from the South Texas oil play. At a recent job fair in San Antonio, hosted mostly by energy companies, Rich Puliselich, a truck driver from Southern California, was hoping to land an entry-level job with a drilling company. Puliselich has been in San Antonio for a week with his wife and 5-year-old son. "We like it here," he said. "I'm going to relocate and make a big move." Welding crews are busy laying pipelines in to get oil and gas extracted from the Eagle Ford shale formation, underlying much of South and East Texas, to market.More

Lewis & Clark Community College in Illinois to develop welding technology program
The Telegraph
Students looking for a way to fuse their skills with a new career may get the opportunity to forge a bridge, car or any other manufacturing industry, starting later this fall. Lewis & Clark Community College has made the commitment to developing a welding technology program by purchasing state-of-the-art equipment for students to train on, said Sue Czerwinski, dean of Mathematics, Science and Technology Department. The college is on a 16-week semester, and officials expect to offer the first welding tech classes in the second half of the fall semester in mid-October.More

Penn State ARL to lead defense manufacturing research project
Gant Daily
Streamlining the design and manufacture of U.S. Department of Defense equipment, including vehicles, weapons and other complex systems, is the goal of a $48 million contract recently awarded to Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits program, which is part of the agency's Adaptive Vehicle Make portfolio.More

Skilled jobs in demand as manufacturing jobs go to China
One-half of all companies — 54 percent — are hiring this fall, according to chief executive officers surveyed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. That means you have to know where to look. The CEOs said they are looking for managerial, professional and technical personnel. More service sector companies, 62 percent, are hiring than manufacturing, 49 percent. Personnel managers surveyed by Society for Human Resource Management agree forecasting moderate hiring in manufacturing.More

San Antonio manufacturing training program to start in October
San Antonio Express-News
A program aimed at quickly training adult workers in manufacturing skills most needed by San Antonio-area companies will start in mid-October, planners announced. The program is a collaboration of the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, Workforce Solutions Alamo and Alamo Colleges. Called "Just in Time Workforce Training," the 90-day fast-track training program will start with a class of 25 military veterans who are registered as looking for work, said representatives of the three organizers during a manufacturers' town hall meeting attended by about 40 people.More

Modern art creator doesn't call himself an artist
Richmond County Daily Journal
Randy Warren of Rockingham, N.C., doesn't consider himself an artist, although he pieced together a large work of modern art, entitled "Circ de Sol," an interpretive art piece. The 50-pound sculpture consists of a large red circle standing upright, with a triangle attached to the front, fixed to a horizontal red board at the bottom, with a black pipe and a wheel attached to it. The front of the sculpture also has a piece of wood attached to it. "I make a lot of stuff. The copper I had left over for years. It's from my house, actually. That's 50-year old copper," said Warren. "I told my uncle one time I would open a store called SMOC — Stuff Made Of Crap. Well, he ran with it."More

Welders in demand throughout North Dakota
Grand Forks Herald
Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minn., has 25 students enrolled for 23 spots in its welding program set to start its fall term next week. "We can't take any more students," said instructor Joel Ziegler. "They're all completely filled and have been the whole summer." As many students as are training in the profession, it might not be enough to satisfy the demand from employers. "No, not all," said Scott Muster, marketing manager for Diverse Energy Systems, a steel-products manufacturer that acquired Lean Technologies in Grafton, N.D., this year and plans to have as many as 100 welders hired by 2013.More

Frustrated by lack of qualified candidates, business starts grow-your-own internship
The Janesville Gazette
New business is expected to propel United Alloy to more years of record-setting revenues. But Terri Roessler, CEO of the manufacturer of diesel fuel tanks, generator frames and other heavy metal fabrications, is frustrated with her company's inability to hire qualified welders to fuel the anticipated growth. She lays some of the blame on the state education system, which she said does not put enough emphasis on technical education. Some economists counter, however, that companies such as United Alloy might need to pay more to lure the workers they need. United Alloy is trying to grow its own welders.More

Sculptor follows life's flow through molten metal
Elbert County News
Some people like metal bands. Vince DeCuio likes metal art. With a glistening smile, a thick head of hair and a personality that simply radiates, DeCuio is a metal sculpture artist who creates custom-made two- and three-dimensional works from steel and other scrap metal. He works from his home in Elizabeth, Colo., where he has two large workshops equipped with a variety of welding equipment and a specialized plasma cutter that enables him to recreate intricate designs from something as simple as a client’s own drawing.More

Blackhawk Technical College ramping up welding classes for students
The Janesville Gazette
Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wis., is responding to demand from students and industry by increasing by 50 percent the number of welders it trains this year. Blackhawk turns out about 40 welders a year, with two cohorts of 20 students each, said Kirke "Bo" Plank, dean of advanced manufacturing. One cohort is trained on the morning shift, one on an evening shift. Classes are full, and there's a waiting list, Plank said. Just a few weeks before the fall semester began, BTC decided to open a third section of welding.More

Self-taught fabricator: Hot rods are 'in my genes'
The Vancouver Sun
Shannon MacDonald is quite a sight cruising the 1924 Ford Model T street rod she built herself with pieces collected over a five-year period. Reminiscent of the hot rods from the 1950s, the cut-down Model T roadster pickup has a 420-horsepower Chevrolet V8 motor and five-speed transmission. The 849-kilogram vehicle can travel down a quarter-mile drag strip in just 12 seconds, reaching a speed of 186 km/h in the process. MacDonald did everything on the car herself, including custom building the chassis, many of the suspension components, engine exhaust headers and fabricating the custom body. It took just four months to complete the work with a craft that she says is "in my genes." More