This Week in Welding
Oct. 30, 2012

US manufacturers remain positive on revenue growth expectations
Despite continued uncertainty about the prospects of both the U.S. and global economies, the majority of U.S. industrial manufacturers remain positive regarding their revenue outlook for the next 12 months, according to the Q3 2012 Manufacturing Barometer recently released by PwC US, an accounting and consulting firm. Some 82 percent of respondents forecast revenue growth at their own companies for the next 12 months. Only 9 percent expect negative results, with many of the respondents planning to hire additional employees, as well as invest in new products and research and development. However, the projected average growth rate for own-company revenue over the next 12 months dropped to 4.6 percent from 5.6 percent in the second quarter, and below last year's 5 percent estimate.More

Orders for long-lasting US manufactured goods up 9.9 percent in September
The Associated Press via Fox News
Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods surged in September by the largest amount in nearly three years, reflecting a rebound in aircraft orders. But a key category that tracks business investment showed weakness for a fourth straight month, indicating companies remain uncertain about the future. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods jumped 9.9 a percent after a 13.1 percent drop in August. Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, were unchanged in September after a slight August gain.More

Manufacturing remains core workforce in New Ulm, Minn.
The Journal
Manufacturing jobs remain an important core of New Ulm, Minn.'s workforce and competitive wages, according to the New Ulm Economic Development Corporation. Renewed attention on the manufacturing field came with the observance of Minnesota Manufacturing Week, which ended Oct. 28. In an effort to emphasize manufacturing's role in Minnesota, NUEDC and the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce scheduled tours of New Ulm Precision Tools, Parker Hannifin and Windings Inc. NUEDC Coordinator Brian Tohal said manufacturing jobs are the largest sector by employment numbers and wages. Manufacturing industries have formed an important core to New Ulm jobs.More

USD 305 receives donation for manufacturing production courses
As part of the new Employee Development Transition Project at USD 305, K-Tron Salina in Salina, Kan., is contributing toward the development of welding and drafting programs at USD 305 high schools. The project seeks to increase student interest, training, certification, and eventual employment in areas that are vital to the local economy: production welding, machinist technology, residential construction, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). More

Students learn about manufacturing industry at Illinois expo
Peoria Journal Star
Seeing almost 1,200 area students gather at the Peoria, Ill., Civic Center for Discover Manufacturing Central Illinois Career Expo made Steve Stewart's day. "This is more than we expected. We had 850 students attend last year," said the director of human resources at Excel Foundry & Machine in Pekin, Ill. A driving force behind the manufacturing series since it was initiated three years ago, Stewart said the idea is to expose young people to manufacturing opportunities in the area.More

OKI Bering to be acquired for $90 million
Business Courier
United Stationers Supply Co. signed an agreement to acquire OKI Bering for an all-cash purchase price of $90 million. The deal is expected to close in November, subject to customary closing conditions. OKI Bering, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the largest, independently owned welding, safety and industrial products wholesaler in the country, according to a news release. According to Courier research, OKI Bering is one of the 100 largest privately owned companies in Cincinnati. It has annual revenue of about $150 million and offers 80,000 manufacturer-branded and private label products.More

Stirred, not melted: What the Audi R8 and the new ludicrously thin iMac have in common
Apple recently announced a bunch of new products, including a redesigned iMac that brings us a step closer to humanity's dream of a desktop computer thin enough to chop onions. The new iMac is aluminum, and traditional welding methods won't really work to join panels for such a thin (5 millimeters thick) enclosure. To get around this, they're using a method known as Friction Stir Welding. You know where else this exotic method is used? In cars. Cars like the Audi A8, Ford GT, and even more prosaic mounts like the Volvo V70 and Toyota Prius.More

Welders in high demand, but industry struggles to fill jobs
Although millions struggle to find jobs, demand for workers in the welding industry continues to grow nationwide, including in Tulsa, Okla. By the time Anthony Albert finishes welding school, he hopes to have a job lined up. "I have a few job leads right now. One may be out of state," said Albert. Albert doesn't have a lot to worry about because demand for skilled welders is high. Part of the reason for the high demand is because welding jobs are closely tied to a variety of other industries who continue to grow worldwide. Plus, Tulsa is unique unto itself.More

Brownsville, Texas, ship-breaking business makes old steel new again
Fast Company
On a recent morning, workers in the Esco Marine ship-breaking yard in Brownsville, Texas, were dismantling a 1944 U.S. Navy repair ship. This was the latest arrival in a steady convoy of aging military vessels, Maritime Administration ships, and merchant boats that have docked there, as a final stop, for years. In Brownsville, off the southern tip of Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, these old vessels get a "decent retirement," in the words of Esco's CEO, Richard Jaross. They'll be dismantled and transformed into something else.More

Art treasures: Tim Pace makes art out of reusable materials
The Jackson Sun
Lessons in prototyping metal sculpture don't come along every day, but Tim Pace, owner and artist of Eco-Art Creative Metal Recycling in Finger, Tenn., recently offered one. Pace is a master at taking castoff items such as saw blades, tail pipes, Freon tanks, hand tools like pliers, wrenches, or rebar and making art treasures of them. All of Pace's works are unique and one of a kind. If he can figure a way to make an object mobile, he will.More

In business with Hollywood: Carrollton, Ga., welding shop does work for action movies
A Carrollton, Ga., welding company is getting motorists' attention for having an unusual sight in its parking lot — a Winnebago recreational vehicle suspended in air, with two huge black rings surrounding it. The vehicle and contraption, being built at Brock's Welding Services on Highway 27, will be used in a new movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger currently being filmed in Atlanta. The film, "Ten," formerly called "Breacher," will use three RVs in a special-effects shot of the vehicle being hit by a train and rolling with passengers inside. The one being built in Carrollton will be used for interior shots of stunt doubles in the vehicle.More

Welding students launch cellphone, greeting card recycling drive in Helena, Mont.
Independent Record
As Helena High School welding instructor Cindy Galbavy stood in the school's welding shop surrounded by sheet metal and half-finished projects, she recognized that the work students do produces plenty of waste. That's why she and 20 of her students in the Helena High School American Welding Society are finding creative ways to protect the local environment from contamination while supporting local service projects and children's shelters around the country. "We have enough contaminated ground from our industry," she said. "So this is one way to have the kids help because our industry is very toxic." The students are collecting used cellphones until Jan. 31 and used greeting cards from Dec. 3 to Jan 31. The cellphones will be sold and recycled and the cards will be donated to a recycling program More

Baxter the robot shows manufacturing skill in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Work wanted: Willing to do light parts-handling for $4 an hour for 40 hours or more weekly. Overtime wages not required. Healthcare, 401(k) plan, vacation, sick leave and other benefits need not be provided. If you're thinking the job candidate is a member of the oppressed working class in China or a Third World country, think again. It's Baxter, an American-made robot recently launched and on display recently at a robotics industry conference hosted in Pittsburgh.More