Category Archives: American Makers

McWane Pipe lives on at AB&I Foundry

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.

Radia Rocks River Rally

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

Our nation’s infrastructure matters

DSCN1117This 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

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day

What do you love about July 4th?

On this Independence Day, we’re giving you four things we love about the Fourth of July!

Fireworks

Imagine sitting outside on a cool summer night, with nothing but the light from the stars and the moon to illuminate your surroundings. Then, all of a sudden bursts of various colors fill the sky giving an “enchanted” feel to the atmosphere around you. One of the greatest experiences in the world, right? Many people only shoot fireworks a few times throughout the year, and luckily, Independence Day is one of those times! Fireworks just seem to elicit warm, magical feelings that give you no choice but to love them.

BBQs

There are many great outings and activities to enjoy, yet nothing compares to a good ol’ BBQ. The idea of good food, good friends, good music, and good fun is something that everyone looks forward to once the temperature begins to rise. On Independence Day, it’s nothing out of the ordinary to go outside and see your neighbors firing up the grill or smell the enticing aroma of grilled food…yum!

Vacations

It’s always enjoyable to relax, visit new places, and get away from the happenings of your everyday life. Numerous Americans vacation during the Fourth of July weekend whether it is to their hometowns, the beach, or to big events like celebratory parades and music festivals. Vacationing is always fun, but it’s something about doing it during the holiday that makes it that much more special.

Being American Made

McWane employs more than 4,000 U.S. workers who safely and sustainably manufacture ductile iron pipe, soil pipe, fittings, hydrants, and valves in facilities here in the United States. We are committed to American workers and American industry. Reports even show that “Buying American” helps to strengthen the economy, creates new jobs and promotes responsible, environmental practices…talk about proud to be an American!

These are just four things we love about the Fourth of July, but of course there are many others, and while we love these things about Independence Day, we must never forget the true meaning behind the holiday. We hope you all have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable weekend!

Leave a comment below and tell us four things you love about the Fourth of July!

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.