Monthly Archives: April 2014

Stay Safe During Spring Weather Hazards

From hail and mudslides to thunderstorms and tornadoes, severe weather takes many different forms in the spring months. By knowing the extent of hazardous weather, you will be able to prepare yourself and protect your family and property.

Having a storm readiness plan in place saves valuable time if severe weather strikes. Advance planning may even limit the damage caused by harsh weather. Take the opportunity now to choose the best shelter in your home, and make sure your family knows where it is. Choose a meeting place to gather after the storm to ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for.

While severe weather can strike at any time, the following types of weather hazards become more prevalent during spring:

1. Floods. Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss. Most flooding occurs when the volume of water in a river or stream exceeds the capacity of the channel. In the spring, heavy rains and melting snow can greatly increase the risk of flooding. To assess your susceptibility to flooding, consult flood hazard maps for your
community. If you live in a high‐risk area, consider elevating your furnace, water heater and electric panel. Install “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home and seal walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds.

2. Mudslides. Mudslides develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground and results in a surge of water‐saturated rock, earth and debris. As with floods, the most important precaution you can take is to determine your susceptibility to mudslides. Consult a geotechnical expert (a registered professional engineer with soils engineering expertise) for advice on reducing landslide problems and risks. Local authorities should be able to help you contact a geotechnical expert.

3. Tornadoes and High Winds. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. While tornadoes have been reported in every state, in areas where tornados are frequent it’s important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions favor the formation of tornadoes—for example, during a severe thunderstorm. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar, and you should take shelter immediately.

For all weather hazards, maintain an emergency pack with a battery powered flashlight, a radio, tools for emergency repair, food supplies, a first‐aid kit, blankets and extra clothing. Store important identification and insurance documents in a fire-and-water‐proof safe. Be sure to fill your car’s gas tank when severe weather is incoming. Planning ahead will help you be ready when severe weather hits.


Source: McWane Spring 2014 Did You Know? Newsletter

Meet McWane: John Jensen, Pacific States

John Jensen

John Jensen

Long after graduating college with a degree in mechanical engineering, John Jensen still retains the enthusiasm of youth. Sure, it helps that he has plenty of reminders close to home: six children of his own, with grandchildren just on the horizon. But more than that, John remains keenly interested in what makes things tick – and how to make sure they tick on time. He simply never lost his youthful appetite for doing, thinking and living – and all of it, with a smile.

Raised in Delaware, Jensen moved to Utah in 1983. While a techie at heart, Jensen is also an athlete. Calling sports one of his “true passions,” Jensen is as comfortable on the golf course, soccer pitch or volleyball court as he is anywhere else. Before joining Pac States in 2006, Jensen spent eight years running his own software consulting company.

“Now data is my passion. Finding ways to share data and provide the tools needed for success is very satisfying,” says John. “Doing things the right way is very important to me and discovering the best solutions while working with some of the great minds at McWane gives me a real sense of team achievement. I’m excited about the direction the company is headed, and look forward to becoming more involved in the emerging technologies we are pursuing.”

Jensen has already developed a first-class maintenance and production management software tool, spearheaded the customization of SalesLogix CRM for the pipe group, and interfaced with IS Networld to manage McWane’s vendor safety and insurance policies. What will he think of next?

John’s enthusiasm for what he does is contagious – and inspiring!

Celebrate Arbor Day by Paying a Visit to Greenwood Park

Now that spring is here and summer is approaching, it’s time to have fun in the sun! And what better way to do that than spending time at the park? With today being Arbor Day, it is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and take sight of all the beautiful trees, plants, and other scenery around us!

In 2012, McWane celebrated the transformation of a once vacant, dusty lot into a dynamic green space for the residents of Birmingham, and Mother Nature, to enjoy. A long time in the planning, Greenwood Park is the culmination of a lot of dreams and dedication by the McWane Team. Where once stood a 34-acre tract of weeds, now lies a vibrant park that provides recreation and fun for the entire community.

At one time, the land held rows of single-family homes and apartment buildings, but because of constant flooding and noisy aircraft, the city relocated the community. Buildings were demolished and the area swiftly deteriorated. To McWane, this was the ideal location to create a beautiful park. Working closely with a wide coalition of groups, including the EPA, Birmingham’s Parks and Recreation Board, the Birmingham Airport Authority, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and several neighborhood groups, McWane left no stone unturned to build the best possible park for Birmingham. On November 17, 2012, city leaders, neighbors, and McWane representatives unveiled Greenwood Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony. It was the joyous culmination of months and years of planning, and work.

The park has all the right stuff: a playground, picnic shelter, two basketball courts, and a large field that can be used for baseball, football or soccer games. There are restrooms, parking spaces and a 3,600-foot-long walking trail that encourages visitors to pay attention to the park’s delicate ecology. Because we want Greenwood to represent the best qualities of McWane—durability, safety and respect for the environment, the park features an innovative bioremediation facility that naturally collects and filters contaminated rainwater before it enters Village Creek. Community leaders know the water quality isn’t all that has improved since Greenwood opened. Quality of life is improving too.

“They have the ball fields and the courts where they can play and they have the walking trails,” said Birmingham City Councilwoman Maxine Parker. “This will encourage our youth and seniors to get outdoors and be more active.”

The idea for Greenwood Park came after a settlement was reached in United States, et al. vs. McWane, Inc. McWane requested that a portion of any fine be redirected into the city of Birmingham through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Supplemental Environmental Projects program. McWane worked with the Birmingham Community Advisory Panel, Clarus Consulting Group, and a group of volunteer citizens to come up with a list of potential park locations and how best to develop the park. It’s this commitment to team work and community that makes Greenwood such a success — and McWane is proud to be part of this process.

Anaco Holds 5th Annual Health Fair

Anaco 5th Annual Health Fair

Anaco recently held their 5th Annual Health Fair. Team members had convenient access to blood pressure, glucose, and body fat screening as well as a 10 minute massage. Representatives from Kaiser, Dental Health Services, Benefits Resources, and Health Net were available to provide educational materials and answer any questions. Costco, Walgreens and Fitt Ryde were also on hand to educate the team about how to lead a healthier lifestyle and team members were offered a discount on spinning classes.

Anaco provided a box lunch from Subway for all team members that attended the Health Fair and there were also raffle prizes – movie tickets, gift cards to Ralphs and Jamba Juice, a magic bullet, scales, an electric toothbrush, water bottles, a free massage, and membership to spinning class.

Everyone seemed to have a great time all while learning more about how to lead a healthier life style. Great job Team Anaco!

Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2014

Phillip #DDAM


April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the National Safety Council, up to 90% of all car crashes are caused by driver error and about 26% of all car crashes involve cell phone use – including hands free! Hands-free doesn’t necessarily mean risk free; any cell phone usage while driving is dangerous.

So for the month of April and every month after, make a commitment to drive cell phone free. It’s not too late; you can sign the pledge here. Pledging to drive cell free can make a difference in your life and others’.

For more information, graphics, or campaign materials, visit the National Safety Council’s “Safety on the Road” site.

America’s Drinking Water: McWane Delivers

Not only on today because of Earth Day, but every day McWane delivers water that is sustainable and safe. Made in America, for America. Water World 1As America’s water and wastewater infrastructure begins to show its age — and in places it’s well over a century old — it’s important we do what’s right for our families, our communities and our planet. At McWane, we’re committed to doing right, the right way.

Billions of dollars worth of new infrastructure is needed. It’s needed soon. And best of all, it can create thousands of American jobs and pump new life into our economy. The McWane Way has helped lead us to the front of our industry. We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability and we’re ready to help rebuild America. Our country deserves nothing less than the finest, most durable and safest infrastructure—manufactured right here at home.

There are some who argue for PVC pipe in our water and wastewater infrastructures. But toxic chemicals andour drinking water don’t mix. Dozens of cities and jurisdictions are now suing the largest manufacturer of PVC pipes because of the broken promises, cracked products and limited durability of those pipes.

Every city, and every American family, deserves better.McWane’s ductile iron pipes are made from recycled materials, not toxic chemicals. We turn hundreds of thousands of tons of old cars that would otherwise fill landfills and junkyards into durable, safe, efficient water pipes and fittings. And we’ve been perfecting this for generations.

“We’re about more than compliance with environmental,health and safety regulations,” said Ruffner Page, Jr., McWane president. “We want our initiatives to become a benchmark for the foundry industry, and to lead our industry toward more sustainable practices. We aim to be the best by continuing to do our best.”

Our country deserves the best water infrastructure. It will help create jobs here at home, boost our economy and safeguard our health—all while protecting our environment and communities.

Trevor and Dylan Willett Pose for a Picture by a Fire Hydrant Made by Dad

Trevor & Dylan Willett

Trevor & Dylan Willett

On a recent outing with their dad Mark Willett, brothers Trevor and Dylan posed for a picture with a fire hydrant produced by M&H Valve – “where their dad works.” M&H Valve donated the hydrant to “Tigers for Tomorrow,” an exotic animal park and rescue preserve located in Attalla, Alabama, about 35 miles north of Anniston, Alabama – home to M&H Valve.

Mark will soon be leaving Anniston to move and join the team at Clow Valve in Oskaloosa, Iowa, as the new Assistant General Manager.

It is always a joy to see our products out and about! If you ever see any, make sure to snap a nice photo and send it to us at; we’d love for you to share them with us!

Synapse’s SNAP Technology Lights Up TRON: Legacy

Remember the 2010 science fiction film TRON: Legacy, sequel to the 1982 film TRON? Well, did you know that Synapse Wireless, a member of the McWane Family of Companies, helped contribute to those cool luminescent suits using their SNAP technology?

When attending a seminar in California, Chief Technology Officer Alan McFarland became acquainted with Synapse’s SNAP technology and discovered that it would be the best solution to make the film exactly what he envisioned. With SNAP, McFarland was able to monitor the temperature of the actors, monitor the level of the batteries, provide control to the suits lighting effects, and do all of this without wires. Talk about a great find!

With the help of Synapse and SNAP technology, the famous “light suits” were able to be created successfully and exactly how the film/television lighting specialists wanted them to be. Several award nominations and wins later, and with a gross of $400,062,763 at the end of its theatrical run, TRON: Legacy was definitely a success!

And the rest is history!


For the full article, click here!

McWane’s President Speaks at Kiwanis Club

As posted in the Birmingham Business Journal

McWane’s Ruffner Page shares tips on growth, managementHeadshot - G. RUFFNER PAGE

Cindy F. Crawford Editor-Birmingham Business Journal


McWane Inc. President Ruffner Page talked to the Birmingham Kiwanis Club Tuesday about the national and international growth of the Birmingham-based manufacturer of iron pipes and fire extinguishers.

While talking about the company’s expansion into China and Colombia, Page shared the company’s philosophy on growth of the company and its employees.

Here are the top takeaways:

• If you want to grow and make a decision to acquire another business, your greatest strength is having a sense of urgency, but you don’t have to do anything to force the deal. For instance, don’t wait for the right market price.

• The most important quality they look for in an employee is their willingness to learn new things, give them time to do it and the common sense to innovate and get better.

• Give employees the confidence to try new things and get stable before giving them incentives to try something new.

• Practice humble management of the staff and managers have to know they can’t do it all themselves.

• When it comes to managing people, he said the company works hard to uncover talent that’s within its workers.

• Always be nice to people, because you never know when you’ll need them later. Page said he finds people he trusts 100 percent who work in various industries and businesses and establishes relationships with them to turn to when he needs help – many times for help preventing him from making bad decisions.

For instance, he met a man who was born in China, raised in India and now lives in Canada who has been very helpful as McWane expands into China, which he described as being dysfunctional and challenging.

McWane Inc. is the fifth largest private company in Birmingham with revenue of more than $1 billion, according to the BBJ’s largest private companies List. It has about 5,500 employees across its international footprint.


Synapse Wireless Technology Helps American Airlines

“Our ramp personnel are protected from lightning, and it’s all due to Synapse’s monitoring and control wireless mesh network technology.”

All that was required was the ability to flash some lights to alert airline personnel working outdoors as to the possibility of imminent lightning strikes. With lives at stake, delays were unacceptable. Nothing seemed capable of addressing the situation’s unique requirements until Synapse Wireless came to the rescue with its easy-to-deploy, wireless control and monitoring mesh network technology.

Located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas, with six runways, multiple terminals, and numerous buildings covering over 18,000 acres, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) is the second largest airport in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. Now, Texas is known for extremely violent thunderstorms that roll across the state and that often produce a lot of lightning and hail.

For many years, American Airlines predominantly resided in terminals A and C. Over the course of time, all of the systems in these terminals were fine-tuned to best meet their exacting requirements and standards. However, due to some recent changes American Eagle (a sister company to AA) relocated to Terminal B and the existing equipment could not be expanded to alert the employees of the danger.

“With the help of Synapse, we had a fully-functioning system in place well before the storm season commenced. Our ramp personnel are protected from lightning, and it’s all due to Synapse’s monitoring and control full-mesh wireless networking technology.”

As fate would have it, while “cruising the Internet” looking for possible solutions, the Manager of the Engineering and Technical support team came across Synapse Wireless, who seemed to have the ideal technology in the form of their Synapse RF Engine modules.

Small, light, and with extremely small power requirements, Synapse RF Engine modules have up to a 3-mile range. As soon as a group of these modules are powered up, they immediately self-form into a full mesh wireless control and monitoring network. Thus, all that was required was to install one Synapse RF Engine module close to the flashing light over which American Airlines did have control, and to use this to transmit signals to additional modules located at the other gates, where these modules could control the “slave” warning lights.

The end result was to have a fully-functioning system in place well before the storm season commenced. Although the ramp personnel probably don’t know (or care) how “the magic” was achieved, they are doubtless more than happy to know that American Airlines “has their back covered” with regard to protecting them from lightning, and it’s all due to Synapse’s monitoring and control full-mesh wireless networking technology.


Synapse is a proud member of the McWane Family of Companies.

Source 1 Source 2