This Week in Welding
Nov. 27, 2012

Manufacturing jobs returning to US
USA Today via Florida Today
Who would have thought that jobs like metal-refining furnace operators and tenders would be making a comeback in the year 2012? But they are. Such jobs, done by folks who "operate or tend furnaces ... to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel," as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have increased 16 percent from 2010 to 2012 after declining 16 percent from 2007 to 2009. That's according to a study conducted by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International that tracked U.S. labor trends and includes data from more than 90 national and state sources.More

Union helps veterans launch good careers
Green Bay Press-Gazette via Appleton Post-Crescent
James Burhow and Jerry Grenfell can weld circles and that makes them happy and hopeful. "I considered myself a welder before. Looking back, I just ran a welding machine," said Burhow, a U.S. Army Reserve drill sergeant and participant in the United Association's Veterans in Piping training program. Burhow and Grenfell are among five military veterans training as welders in UA Local 400's two-week add-on to the 18-week VIP program at Camp Douglas. The Local 400 extension — this is its first class — focuses on welding techniques required by fabricators.More

TCTC president: Students, community thrive through tech school
The Pickens Sentinel
The president of Tri-County Technical College makes an impassioned argument for the Pendleton, S.C.-based community college's strength as an economic development tool. The school, which has expanded to multiple locations, including a year-old Easley Campus, during Booth's nine-year tenure, is both a trainer, providing opportunities for good paying jobs for local people and as the agency that provided manufacturers with the workforce they need. "Our students make stuff. They make the world work," he recently told a gathering of Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce members.More

FABTECH 2012 reflected energized manufacturing industry
FABTECH 2012 saw record high first-day attendance, bolstering number of sales and well-attended education programs and special events. Show organizers reported that 25,903 attendees walked 450,000-plus feet of floor space at Las Vegas Convention Center to see live equipment demonstrations and compare products side-by-side. Held simultaneously with a three-day expo, FABTECH educational conference included sessions on trending topics in manufacturing. More

GE Aviation takes on additive manufacturing
American Machinist
GE Aviation announced it has acquired the assets of two component suppliers, Morris Technologies and its affiliate Rapid Quality Manufacturing, which specialize in additive manufacturing of complex parts using direct metal laser sintering, stereo-lithography, and other additive manufacturing processes. Morris Technologies is focused on product design and rapid prototyping of finish products. RQM manufactures precision metal components using direct metal laser sintering. The cost of the purchase was not announced. More

Virginia center aims to help US reclaim manufacturing
CBS News
Tucked away just miles from the railroads that for years have transported goods made in Virginia to the rest of the world, a recently opened research facility in Prince George County is bringing together universities and industry in an effort to help the state of Virginia — and the country — regain its manufacturing roots. The work being done at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing will be used for production that has come a long way from the textiles and furniture plants that once populated southwest and Southside Virginia. The targets now are jet engines, laser printer cartridges and military submarines.More

California high school welding students create artwork
Red Bluff Daily News
The Red Bluff High School welding program recently participated in the Red Bluff Art Association Art Walk in downtown Red Bluff, Calif. Students in the welding program showed of their welding skills along with their artistic side; the work comprised of sculpture and functionality. Materials for the projects were all metal, including scrap metal, sheet metal and horse shoes. Some projects were designed with computer aided drafting, then cut out with a plasma cam. Techniques and processes were gas welding, arc welding, mig welding, oxy-fuel cutting and plasma cutting. More

Firms help Marines begin manufacturing careers
Marine Corps Times
Major manufacturing companies and a national industry group are joining forces to try to bring thousands of former Marines and other veterans — hopefully tens of thousands — into manufacturing careers. The wide-ranging effort systematically will match military skills with civilian jobs, offer vets training to fill skill gaps, and share best practices among companies for recruiting and keeping veteran workers. GE, Alcoa Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin have pooled resources to help 15,000 veterans transition to manufacturing careers, and the group hopes to bring that number up to 100,000 if more companies join the effort.More

NASA takes 3-D printing on a journey to the stars
During the last few months, the science of 3-D printing has been applied to a number of fields, mainly ones that require replication or a physical representation of engineering research. However, NASA has taken the technology to the next step and is creating parts for rocket engines by using a method known as selective laser melting. According to Wired, the space agency has begun printing individual components that will be used in the development of its Space Launch System, a heavy-duty launch vehicle that is scheduled to have its first test flight in 2017.More

Daimler dives into additive manufacturing
Additive manufacturing with metals increasingly is becoming important to the automaking industry, as time and cost reductions in production make the technology increasingly attractive. The primary focus is on aluminum alloys that are the foundation for lightweight automobile construction. For applications involving vehicle and engine technology, but also from other areas, Daimler AG is embracing "generative metal laser melting of metals."More

North Carolina community college hopes to create more graduates, interest in new manufacturing arena
The Dispatch
John McFoy thinks his new job is fun. It's cool, he said. A former mechanic, McFoy went back to school at Davidson County Community College to learn skills in advanced manufacturing. McFoy, who will graduate from DCCC by 2014, started working as a machinist for Special Fab and Machine Inc. in Lexington, N.C., about a month ago. He's loved every minute of it, he said.More

All-girls shop class in Montevideo, Minn., offers lessons that can last a lifetime
West Central Tribune
Brian Albers teaches an all-girls shop class at the Montevideo High School, and every year it's the same thing. It fills up with seniors who signed up with the intent to learn how to change a flat tire, do some welding, repair home plumbing and wiring, and work with wood and metal. And every year, they acquire along with those skills two things far more important: Independence and confidence. "You learn to have faith in yourself," said Kelsey Quigley as she doused in a bucket of water a red-hot piece of metal she had just welded.More

Petrochemical plant growth spurs technicians, skilled trades hiring
Houston Chronicle
The low cost of natural gas is continuing to contribute to the job market, producing jobs as petrochemical plants grow, expand and convert their energy sources to natural gas. "We have seen the petrochemical industry remain steady with the continual demand for positions such as welders, electricians, pipe fitters and other trade skills. After the first of the year, we are expecting to see many more jobs open," said Chris Smith, project coordinator, Tradesmen International, Houston. Those with experience in these trades are encouraged to contact National Center for Construction Education and Research for testing and certification. These credentials are required by many petrochemical, and energy-related employers.More

Deere planning upgrades at Moline plant
Chicago Tribune
Deere & Co. said it will invest approximately $58 million on improvements at its planting equipment factory in Moline, Ill. The improvements will include a new paint system and an increased use of automation and robotics. Deere, which employs about 800 workers in Moline, said it does not anticipate a significant change in total employment.More

Luke Tonachel: The quiet revolution in vehicle lightweighting
Natural Resources Defense Council
The company that brought American consumers the heavyweight Hummer SUVs, as well as the maker of the perennially best-selling pickup in the U.S. are both "getting religion" on the benefits of manufacturing its vehicles to be lighter in weight. In recent years, General Motors, Ford and virtually every other automaker have been preparing to meet stronger fuel efficiency standards by taking a page out of motoring legend and the founder of Lotus Cars Colin Chapman's philosophy of automotive design: "Simplify, then add lightness." Most people, when confronted with the idea of lightening a vehicle, automatically assume that less weight will make for a less safe vehicle, but this is not so, and particularly not under the fuel efficiency standards, the writer says.More