Monthly Archives: October 2015

Workshops, Inc. Names McWane “Philanthropic Partner of the Year”

 L to R: WI President Martha Anne Rich, McWane President Ruffner Page, and WI Executive Director Susan Crow

L to R: WI President Martha Anne Rich, McWane President Ruffner Page, and WI Executive Director Susan Crow

McWane, Inc. has been a strong supporter of Workshops, Inc. (WI) for many years and is proud to be named their Philanthropic Partner of the Year. WI recruits people with various disabilities, provides them with on-the-job training, and then helps them find a job. They partner with local businesses for services such as assembly, packaging, mailing, and order fulfillment, which is all done at their facility located in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham.

Running an operation like this can be a challenge because WI relies almost completely on the generosity of the community to support the program. This year, WI came up with a new concept, Comedy for a Cause, and McWane was happy to be a title sponsor for the event which drew nearly 300 people and raised $28,000. It featured a nationally-known comedian with disabilities who put on a hilarious show while also challenging the stereotype of what people with disabilities can achieve.

The proceeds from the Comedy for a Cause event will enable WI to hire an additional on-staff Employment Specialist whose primary responsibility will be placing people with disabilities into community-based employment.

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Tyler Xianxian Showcases New Greensand Molding Line (M1)

Zhengwei (Joe) Zhou, Tyler XianXian foundry manager speaks to approximately 20 Chinese dignitaries about recent improvements through a new greensand molding line, baghouses, and building air supply system and new M1 greensand molding line and electric furnaces.

Zhengwei (Joe) Zhou, Tyler XianXian foundry manager, speaks to approximately 20 Chinese dignitaries about recent improvements through a new greensand molding line, baghouses, and building air supply system and new M1 greensand molding line and electric furnaces.

Tyler XianXian was asked by the local mayor to showcase the new greensand molding line (M1) and building air supply system to a group of Chinese dignitaries. Approximately 20 officials, including local and area mayors, vice-mayors, the Director of the Environmental Protection Bureau, stopped by Tyler XianXian to see the new M1 molding line, baghouses, and electric furnaces.

The M1 molding line is the first phase of a two-phased project with the second line, M2, currently under construction. M2 has a completion date scheduled for mid-December 2015. The total capital for the M1, M2, and air supply system is approximately $5 million or 30 million RMB.

The building air supply system will distribute approximately 700,000 cubic feet per minute of fresh air throughout the main foundry building. The M1 molding line has a production rate of 8 tons per day at 15 molds per hour, while the M2 molding line will have a production rate of 30 tons per day at 50 molds per hour.

McWane, Inc. makes $28 million investment in the future of water in the Middle East; Opening new valve, fittings and plumbing manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi

McWane, Inc. makes $28 million investment in the future of water in the Middle East
Opening new valve, fittings and plumbing manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi

Birmingham, Alabama-based McWane, Inc. is opening its newest valve, fitting and plumbing manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi on October 26, 2015. The opening of the $28 million Abu Dhabi facility, McWane’s fifth valve manufacturing plant and 27th manufacturing facility worldwide, establishes McWane’s local position in the Middle East. McWane, Inc. is one of the largest privately owned companies in the USA, with more than 6,000 employees world-wide.

McWane’s global footprint is making a positive impact around the world, and its growing global operations are expanding its effort to bring water to the world. “We recognize a significant opportunity to manufacture and supply water, sewer and plumbing products for the Middle East and North African regions,” said Ruffner Page, CEO of McWane, Inc. “It is our next step toward bringing quality McWane products to even more of the world with our new facility in Abu Dhabi, and it’s just another milestone along McWane’s long-term commitment to water distribution infrastructure development across the region.”

McWane established its new Gulf division to serve the growing demand for McWane brands like Kennedy Valve, Tyler Pipe, and Wade Drains in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. McWane Gulf will produce water, plumbing and sewer products to international specifications, including ductile iron fittings, valves and hydrants, drainage products, and soil pipe fittings and couplings. The McWane Gulf operation will employ around 70 skilled workers once the plant is in full production.

The McWane team is working on innovative ways to deliver our most valuable resource-water. For almost a century McWane has built durable, sustainable and efficient water infrastructure products that meet these needs,” says Page. “McWane Gulf will use the technology and experience acquired by McWane over the years to produce these products.  That includes safeguarding the health and safety of every team member and protecting the environment in the communities where we operate. Everyone at McWane understands and supports the three principles of our Environmental, Health and Safety policy; compliance, protection and improvement.”

The winner of 6th Annual McWane Ergo Cup Competition is . . .

L to R:  Dale Schmelzle, Claudiu Lungo, Andrew Perkins, and Pat Tyson

L to R: Dale Schmelzle, Claudiu Lungo, Andrew Perkins, and Pat Tyson

The 6th Annual McWane Ergo-Cup competition was held on October 21, and once again, the McWane family of companies raised the bar! This year, 169 team members completed 24 projects from 17 different locations, which surpassed our previous years involvement and number of projects.

The judges for this year’s competition were Dale Schmelzle (McWane Ductile-New Jersey General Manager), Claudiu Lungo, PhD (Associate Professor at the UAB School of Public Health and Director of the Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety), Andrew Perkins, M.S., CIH, CSP, Senior Industrial Hygienist, Alabama Power Company Corporate Safety & Health Department, and Pat Tyson, OSHA attorney and partner in the Atlanta based law firm of Constangy, Brooks & Smith.

The winners of the 6th Annual McWane Ergo Cup Competition are:

  • McWane Outstanding Project – 1st Place
    Clow Corona (Wet Barrel Hydrant)
  • 1st Place Runner Up
    Manchester Tank Quincy (Low Impact Weld Removal Tab)
  • Best Risk Reduction
    Amerex (Charge Station)
  • Most Innovative Project
    Manchester Tank – Elkhart (Auto Brushing)

Clow Corona will now move on to represent McWane at the National Ergo Cup competition which will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 21, 2016. 

Congratulations to everyone that participated in this year’s competition. Each year, we are amazed at how many great projects are submitted and every project is a winner as each project reduces the risk of injury to McWane team members. We appreciate your on-going participation in the Ergo Cup as well as your teamwork, creativity, enthusiasm, and drive for continuous improvement.

Now keep those ideas coming! Who knows, you may have the next Ergo-Cup winner!

Dennis Zurakowski Makes Greenwood Park Presentation to BEPA

Dennis Zurakowski Presents to BEPA

At left: Dennis and his wife Debbie Zurakowski. At right: Lisa Chaves, McWane EHS/HR Systems Administrator. (Photo taken by Tamara Wright, Amerex Corporation)

On October 2, 2015, over 80 members of the Birmingham Environmental Professionals’ Association (BEPA) met for breakfast to hear Dennis Zurakowski, McWane Group Environmental Compliance Director, discuss McWane’s development of Greenwood Park. In his presentation, titled “Integrated Storm Water Management and Recreation Area,” Dennis shared how McWane developed Greenwood Park as a multi-purpose recreational facility for the local community.

Dennis emphasized some of the challenges encountered during development of the park including shallow bedrock, old sewer lines associated with the former neighborhood, and the need to construct a restroom facility in a floodplain. Dennis also highlighted the complex storm water detention system used to capture the “first flush” from neighboring industrial areas during heavy rainfall events. The park, including its modern playground equipment and soccer fields, are enjoyed on a daily basis by the residents of the surrounding communities.

McWane was recognized in 2014 by the Cahaba River Society for their development of Greenwood Park.

Article courtesy of John Milledge, Action Environmental