Category Archives: Company Advances

Futurecom introduces new line of P25 tactical repeaters

Futurecom Systems Group, ULC

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.

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Scott Willis Named New Zinwave CEO, Ian Sugarbroad to Retire

Scott Willis Zinwave CEO.jpg

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Scott D. Willis as the new Chief Executive Officer of Zinwave, effective January 4, 2016. Ian Sugarbroad will step down from his current role on January 4, but will work closely with Scott on a full-time basis for several months to facilitate the transition of his responsibilities. During this period he will move to the role of Vice-Chairman of Zinwave and will remain a member of the Zinwave executive team. Once the transition is complete, Ian will report to Key Foster in a special advisory role where he will provide input on a wide range of strategic, technical, and operational matters that relate both to Zinwave and to McWane Technology Group. This role will enable Ian to take his first step toward his long-term plan to retire to Florida with his wife, Dominique.

Scott joins us from Goodman Networks, where he was Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships developed over his 30-year career in the telecommunications industry. Scott previously worked for Ericsson, Nokia, BellSouth, Sprint, and several smaller global corporations in the communications field.

Scott has led a number of large global businesses over the course of his extensive career. He is recognized as a strong sales and marketing executive with a proven track record in market-leading sales growth. He has extensive general management experience setting strategic direction, confecting corporate alliances, and overseeing complex operations for both large and small organizations. He also has built and grown new businesses to significant scale. We are confident that Scott’s leadership capabilities and experience in our target market segments (operator, neutral host, and enterprise) will help Zinwave seize the significant growth opportunities that are within our grasp.

Scott graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in finance, received his MBA from Wake Forest University, and received continuing executive education certificates from the graduate schools of business at Stanford and Columbia. Scott will be based in Dallas, TX, where he lives with his wife (Kelley), daughter (Savannah), and son (Chance).

We are excited for Scott to join the Zinwave and the McWane family of companies. We are confident he will lead the organization to achieve the ambitious goals that we have outlined for the business.

Please join us in welcoming Scott to the team.

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.”

Meet McWane: Chet Johnson, Tyler Couplings

Chet Johnson of Tyler Couplings

At McWane, we encourage our team members to constantly evaluate their jobs to determine if they can be done more efficiently or safer. At Tyler Couplings in Marshfield, Missouri, they also have an incentive program to reward team members that do just that. Chet Johnson in the Tool & Die Department was recently awarded a $50 gift card for inventing a way to more easily replace the eyeletter needles. Eyeletter needles would break and the Tool & Die guys would have to spend time removing them from the machine by torching the broken needles off and then silver soldering in new ones.

Chet created and built a threaded design that can be taken apart while in the machine and replaced with a new needle. The result is a 30 minute time savings with no hot work required!

Great job, Chet! We thank you so much for your innovative thinking!

M&H Valve Makes Changes for Safety and Efficiency

M&H Safety & Efficiency ChangesTeam members at M&H Valve are happy to report that they finally received a new Box Car Special Forklift. It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford it or couldn’t get approval to purchase the equipment, but the main reason for the delay is that they didn’t know what would work best in their day-to-day operations and special functions such as set-ups.

After several conversations, surfing the internet, and trying out different things, they came up with a Box Car Special Forklift with an 8,000 pound capacity, a short wheel base for maneuvering and extended forks to complete set ups. Most importantly, this forklift eliminates some safety concerns they had.

Not all things purchased cost an arm and a leg, but they can very well save those critical limbs. The safety stands were purchased and put in place to be used as blocks with lock-out/tag-out procedures to ensure the mold can’t come down while the operator is cleaning the machine. The forklifts are very easy to use by simply screwing out the jack to the desired length and are lightweight for easy handling. They also eliminate the need to use several 4” x 4” pieces of wood for different size molds.

Another change that was recently made in the Wedge Coat area at M&H was the addition of a vending machine. It’s not the normal vending machine you may be thinking about, either. This vending machinedispenses operating supplies and safety equipment such as gloves, knives, batteries, markers, and tape – just to name a few of the 23 items it holds. The machine eliminates the need to buy cards and inventory these items in bulk. Fastenal monitors it via the Internet and automatically fills the machine back up when levels reach the minimum. Operators have a four digit code that they can enter and can get basically anything they need without having to wait for someone it issue it out.

Weekly and monthly reports are automatically generated so they know exactly who, when, where, and how many of each item they are using. This makes for a much more efficient and productive operation.

Tyler Union Opens New Distribution Center in Grand Prairie (Dallas), Texas

Tyler Union New Distribution CenterWe are pleased to announce that the new Tyler Union Distribution Center located in Grand Prairie, Texas, near Dallas, began operations in February. This facility will be managed by Bob Lee who transferred from our Tyler Pipe facility.

Installation began at this new distribution center in December 2014 and after a few short weeks and with a tremendous amount of team work, they started shipping product on February 17. The facility has approximately 67,000 square feet of indoor storage which will increase efficiency in stocking and picking orders as well as greatly reduce the amount of rework of product needed while at the same time improving their LTL rates and inbound container costs.

The team, pictured from L to R in the top right photo, includes Clyde Walter (Warehouse Clerk), Bob Lee (Shipping Manager), Jose Concepcion (Warehouse Supervisor), Byron Brock (Warehouse Clerk), Mark Cotelleso (Warehouse Clerk), and Jimmy Allen (Warehouse Clerk).

Congratulations on the expansion, Tyler Union!

Nighthawk Launches Consumer Engagement Utility Portal

Nighthawk Logo_1

Nighthawk announced last week that they are launching a Consumer Engagement Platform that will utilize the award winning “Cloud” based service.  It is a full engagement and communications platform that delivers messaging and real time usage data in a variety of easy to understand graphs as well as opportunities and tips for customers to reduce their monthly costs and usage. The multi-tenant platform enables electric, water and gas utilities for a complete approach to resource optimization. All customers would like to save money on their utilities. The Consumer Engagement Portal equips them to meet this goal.

This engagement directly meets the demands of customers to better understand utility usage, become better stewards of the environment and most importantly lower utility costs. Customers become directly engaged with the utility and are more receptive to communications delivered through the platform.

Nighthawk’s Consumer Engagement Portal is a game changing platform with analytical features and customized comparisons of similarly sized homes without requiring the homeowner to complete long surveys or enter extensive information. The portal allows utilities to provide customers with the granular data they are requesting about daily usage and how they compare to similar neighbors. Powered by Nighthawk’s “cloud” based WebConnect™ platform the new portal offering is both more robust and more affordable than others available.

The portal also offers easy to understand graphs including the display of weather and how it relates to utility usage.  Previous periods can be selected and compared to the currently selected period.  Alerts for cost and usage thresholds can be configured to text or email notifications when they are exceeded.  Comparison data displays usage by similar homes in the zip code broken out to highlight savings enjoyed by the most efficient neighbors. Utilities gain the opportunity to send temperature and weather related messaging in addition to suggestions for conservation.

Nighthawk’s Consumer Engagement Portal takes advantage of the fact that when people are given the ability to understand usage patterns and shown the savings enjoyed by neighbors they are much more likely to adopt those savings habits themselves.

These savings and the increased communication between utility and customer equate to a virtual demand response program requiring no additional equipment or maintenance. It is the most cost effective form of demand response. Nighthawk’s Consumer Engagement Portal can be configured to work with your existing billing and meter systems. Nighthawk utilizes cellular communication combined with ERT reading technology to collect data from new or legacy systems.  Their flexible database and open API solution allows for quick implementation and is offered as a fully hosted turnkey solution for utilities of any size.

We’re excited about this new platform and know that our customers will be as well.

Water Relief Continues in West Africa

WaterHealth Centre in Liberia (Courtesy of Audra Melton Photography)

Photo courtesy of Audra Melton Photography

Birmingham, Alabama, February 11, 2015 – Although the world’s attention is drifting away from the Ebola tragedy in West Africa, the crisis continues. However, the joint efforts of those helping on the front lines continue to pay dividends: this month, clean water began flowing from a new WaterHealth Centre in Bomi County, Liberia. Ebola continues to inflict a tragic toll in West Africa, and the delivery and storage of clean water remains a critical weapon in the fight against the disease. Behind a partnership including the McWane Foundation, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, WaterHealth International, and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation, some 22 million liters of safe, World Health Organization-quality water are being provided to existing Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. The water is critical – by one measure, as many as 52 gallons of water a day are needed to treat every Ebola patient – for drinking, and to wash clothes and disinfect patient hands and bodies. It is also essential in cleaning the outfits used by the medical doctors and nurses. The absence of reliable water and wastewater infrastructure has helped contribute to a chronic lack of clean water in the area. The effort to fight the disease is part of Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which aims to provide clean water and sanitation access to two million people by the end of the year.

 “Clean, safe, reliable drinking water isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, particularly when treating a disease like Ebola. While Ebola isn’t on the front pages anymore, it’s a crisis that continues to claim hundreds of lives each [day/week],” said G. Ruffner Page, Jr., McWane, Inc.’s President. “And I’m grateful we are working together with a team of such committed partners.”

This month’s news is only the latest in the continuing efforts by the partnership to deliver safe water where it is most needed. While many take for granted water infrastructures that deliver to our homes safe, dependable drinking water, the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa served as yet another reminder of why we shouldn’t. Water infrastructure helps prevent the spread of devastating illness and supports broader efforts at disease eradication and prevention. Last year, McWane contributed $100,000 and its considerable expertise to help deliver water to frontline health clinics in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, a focal point of the outbreak that ignited global panic in 2014. For more information about the RAIN effort, visit: http://www.getf.org/our-projects-partnerships/rain/

Zinwave Develops Next-Generation Unified Connectivity Solution

Zinwave

We are proud to announce that Zinwave has developed a next-generation connectivity solution that will integrate their wideband active DAS technology with IP capabilities to deliver an end-to-end system that supports cellular, wi-fi, location based services (LBS), and IP communications on a single, converged infrastructure. This new solution is called UniTivity.

By using UniTivity, users can reduce their installation and equipment costs because they will not have to rip and replace existing networks. UniTivity will also support any service mix, protocol or modulation scheme, between 150MHz-2700Mhz, on a single hardware layer.

The POI simplifies and improves the reliability of the connection to base stations by removing the need for a customer built-multi-component interface for each implementation. The Site Controller will also improve system management processes by providing a single aggregation point for the monitoring, configuration and alarming for all Zinwave hardware deployed within a building or campus.

Because of the large number of smartphones in use today, current networks are struggling to keep pace with the bandwidth demands and there is a growing need for equipment providers to deliver systems that support mobile, wi-fi and IP services on a single unified infrastructure.

We are excited to see Zinwave is a leader in the push to keep up with the demands and advances in technology today.

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