On February 22, Ken Rickvalsky (McWane Ductile Product Engineer), Stuart Liddell (McWane Ductile Southeast Assistant Sales Manager) and Jeremy Gwin (McWane Ductile Sales Representative – AL), in conjunction with Auburn University’s Ginn College of Engineering, gave a presentation on Material Selection for Water and Sewer Projects to a senior level design class. The thirteen students in attendance are taught by Dr. Jose Vasconcelos and is focused on water and sewer system design.
This is the second classroom presentation in as many semesters and it was well received by both the professor and the students. We look forward to continuing and growing the partnership between Auburn University and McWane Ductile to assure that tomorrow’s civil engineers view McWane Ductile as a positive leader in the water and sewer industry. In fact, Dr. Vasconcelos has already asked that we make a presentation to his water and sewer design class in the summer of 2017.
Junior Achievement of Alabama recently recognized Kelli Everett for her positive mentorship to more than 200 students at Hayes Elementary School. Through Kelli’s participation as a representative of McWane, Inc. in Birmingham’s chapter of EWI (Executive Women International), she and her husband Skylar volunteered and taught 1st and 5th graders at Hayes how to build confidence, believe in their future and reach their full potential. The coursework focused on wants vs. needs for the 1st graders and entrepreneurship for the 5th graders.
When asked about her experience Kelli said, “It was exciting to see the students react when they understood a concept or idea. We could really tell that there were a few students in the classroom that the information was really sinking in for and that they would one day use the skills they had learned. This experience was very rewarding for both me and my husband and we are both planning to participate again next year. I really hope that EWI continues to support this project as these kids need this extra attention and exposure to real life applications.”
Kelli joined the McWane corporate team in November 2008 as an accountant and in March 2013 transitioned into her current role as an executive assistant to Senior Vice President Key Foster.
After the recession in the 1990s, McWane made the difficult decision to close McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company (MCIP) located in Birmingham, Alabama. McWane divisions across the company were given the opportunity to transfer machinery/equipment from MCIP for use at their facility. We are pleased to report that MCIP’s Escher recuperator lives on at AB&I Foundry. It was a collaborative effort between McWane Corporate, AB&I and ECS of Birmingham, Alabama, to successfully dismantle and transfer the unit from Birmingham to AB&I in Oakland, California.
Working out the logistics for moving the recuperator from one side of the country to the other tested everyone’s patience. But Ruffner Page had given a clear directive − to get out to McWane Pipe and make it happen because reusing the unit was the right thing to do. And that’s exactly what they did.
During the recent winter shutdown, AB&I tackled the installation portion of the project. With some structural modifications to the cupola tower, AB&I was able to re-install the recuperator in the existing melt operations The recuperator weighs more than 74,000 pounds and is 65-feet long so they faced several challenges with the installation. The size and weight combined with the cupola tower structure meant AB&I had to rent the largest crane that Bigge Crane had to offer west of the Mississippi.
The unit was fired up a couple weeks ago and AB&I is seeing better than expected recovery temperatures throughout the melt system. The improvements will enhance the melt operation and reduce furnace operating costs by reusing waste exhaust heat from the cupola in the melt operation. The size of the unit will also provide system stability and will allow for those times when they need to push the melt rate to meet production requirements.
“It’s impressive that AB&I could take a large hot-blast recuperator unit, not originally designed for AB&I’s melt system, and make it work, while at the same time generating significant improvements to our efficiencies in the foundry,” said Kurt Winter, EVP of McWane Plumbing Group.
In this case AB&I was able to reuse a perfectly good piece of equipment in the operation with huge savings to the overall project costs, Utilizing internal resources through reuse or recycling is always a win-win situation. The life expectancy of the unit should be in the neighborhood of twenty years or more. This project is a perfect example of team work and collaboration between the divisions. Everyone benefits from the net result.
Jim Proctor, McWane’s senior vice president and general counsel, was a panelist at a session on water security, infrastructure and financing at the 2016 Concordia Summit in New York City. The Concordia Summit convenes the world’s most prominent business, government, and nonprofit leaders to enable effective partnerships for impact. Thought leaders and innovators gather at this global affairs forum to examine the world’s most pressing challenges and identify avenues for collaboration. McWane is committed to advocating for the investment in, and the rebuilding of the nation’s water infrastructure.
Tyler Pipe & Coupling is pleased to announce the promotion of Sterling Bowman to Vice President of Sales for Tyler Pipe & Coupling. Sterling will continue his responsibilities managing the Tyler Pipe sales team and manufacturer’s representatives.
Sterling has been with the McWane Plumbing Group working at Tyler Pipe for 13 years. He was Regional Sales Manager for eight years. For the past five years he has served as National Sales Manager. “I am confident that Sterling’s proven experience and success with Tyler will help him strengthen relationships with our broad customer base,” said Kurt Winter, Senior Executive Vice President of McWane Plumbing Group. “Sterling’s comprehensive background and passion for the industry will certainly enhance the company.”
Sterling is a Texas native who enjoys playing golf and hunting as well as spending quality time with his wife Erica and their four sons; Cleet, Colt, Case and Crew.
Hats off to McWane Ductile Eastern U.S. Sales Engineer Roy Mundy, who was appointed to the national American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) Utility Management Systems and Business Practices for Operation and Maintenance Standards committees.
Committee members are responsible for providing technical expertise in the development of standards for the water, wastewater, and reclaimed water utility industry recognized around the country. Candidates must demonstrate subject matter expertise, have knowledge of the standards development process, and be committed to active participation. Roy certainly qualifies, and we congratulate him on his three-year appointment!
Roy is a registered professional engineer in six states and has served as Section Chair on several national committees for AWWA, as well as the Board of Directors and national committees for the National Association of Water Companies
Jeet Radia, McWane’s senior vice president for environment, safety, and human resources, was a featured speaker and panel member at River Rally 2016 in Mobile, Alabama. Hosted annually by River Network, River Rally is a national conference that focuses on education, inspiration and celebration within the river and watershed community. Unique in its focus on connecting peers, providing practical education, inspiring courage, and celebrating achievements, River Rally drew 450 people from across the United States to Mobile May 20-23.
Jeet discussed McWane’s commitment to the highest standards of environmental, health and safety protection, and how McWane has become an industry leader in operating our facilities in a safe, sustainable and environmentally sound manner. He also reiterated McWane’s commitment to forming collaborative relationships with environmental groups to explore mutually beneficial initiatives to protect our natural resources.
Jeet serves on the board of directors of the Cahaba River Society, a member of the River Network.
Since 1988, River Network has been at the forefront of expanding national interest in protecting the America’s waters, encouraging diversity in the environmental movement, and helping engaged citizens take a stand for their waters.
To learn more about the River Network visit www.rivernetwork.org
This week (May 16-23) kicks off Infrastructure Week which is designed to educate the public about the critical issues facing us today with regard to our nation’s failing infrastructure. Infrastructure includes water, roads, bridges, rails, ports, airports, the power grid, and broadband which we all rely on every single day. Whether we’re turning on the lights or the faucet, we are depending on our infrastructure to be there when we need it.
At McWane, the products we manufacture are critical to the nation’s water infrastructure system, and we play a critical role in bringing water to the entire world. Water is vital to every other infrastructure system including the power grid, public health, fighting fires, etc. Have you ever considered what you would do if you turned on the faucet to get a drink of water and nothing came out? This could happen if we as a nation don’t reinvest in our water infrastructure in a big way.
We are proud of the fact that many of the ductile iron pipes produced by McWane since 1921, even longer for McWane Ductile-New Jersey, are still in service today. But it’s time to replace those reliable pipes with new pipes that will last for another 100 years or more. Congress has recognized the need for water infrastructure improvements and, through the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), has funded eligible infrastructure projects using State Revolving Funds (SRFs). SRFs provide low-interest loans to be used for water and sanitation projects.
We are competing with plastic pipe makers and foreign producers on those projects. It’s critical that we educate the public and those who make decisions about funding water infrastructure projects about the benefits of using ductile iron pipe so local policy makers will make the wise, strong and sustainable choice ─ ductile iron pipe and fittings.
An article recently appeared in the Huffington Post discussing the water challenges we face. You can read the article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-deane/solving-complex-water-cha_b_9906068.html
McWane Ergo Cup winner Clow Valve recently competed at the 19th Annual National Ergo Cup competition held in Orlando, Florida, on March 21-24, 2016. The Clow Ergo Cup project, Hydrant Brass Torque Table, was one of 47 projects selected out of 88 applicants to compete at the national competition. Just to be selected to participate is an honor!
The Clow Team included representatives from Clow Corona (John Bouman*, Arturo Islas*, Rene Perez, and Alfonso Zamorano) and Clow Valve Oskaloosa (Chad Bollinger*, Kyle Huelsman*, Chris Prendergast*, and Chris Stanley). *Represented the team at the National Ergo-Cup Competition.
Team leader Chris Prendergast said, “The team did a great job and we received so much positive feedback all week. Based on several of the classes and other projects, I would remind everyone that simple low cost solutions are everywhere and we only need to identify a risk and then be creative to find them. We brought back several creative ideas we think we can implement and from my perspective a group of guys who were excited about finding the next improvement. Thanks for the opportunity to represent McWane at this year’s competition.”
The Disney Coronado Springs Hotel was beautiful venue, and they have announced that the 20th Conference will be held there again in March 2017.
We are pleased to announce that Futurecom Systems has introduced a new line of P25 tactical repeaters with a backpack option. This new product line offers portable radio coverage extension for special tactical teams including police and military personnel.
The P25 tactical Repeater with backpack option is a lightweight full duplex 10 Watt repeater available in VHF, UHF, 700 MHz, and 800 MHz bands. An internal lithium battery provides between 8-13 hours of operation and an optional backpack sling is designed for comfort and stability in the field.
Futurecom will be showcasing the P25 tactical repeater at the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 23-24th, 2016.