Monthly Archives: February 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.