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On February 22, Ken Rickvalsky (McWane Ductile Product Engineer), Stuart Liddell (McWane Ductile Southeast Assistant Sales Manager) and Jeremy Gwin (McWane Ductile Sales Representative – AL), in conjunction with Auburn University’s Ginn College of Engineering, gave a presentation on Material Selection for Water and Sewer Projects to a senior level design class. The thirteen students in attendance are taught by Dr. Jose Vasconcelos and is focused on water and sewer system design.
This is the second classroom presentation in as many semesters and it was well received by both the professor and the students. We look forward to continuing and growing the partnership between Auburn University and McWane Ductile to assure that tomorrow’s civil engineers view McWane Ductile as a positive leader in the water and sewer industry. In fact, Dr. Vasconcelos has already asked that we make a presentation to his water and sewer design class in the summer of 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.
Jim Proctor, McWane’s senior vice president and general counsel, was a panelist at a session on water security, infrastructure and financing at the 2016 Concordia Summit in New York City. The Concordia Summit convenes the world’s most prominent business, government, and nonprofit leaders to enable effective partnerships for impact. Thought leaders and innovators gather at this global affairs forum to examine the world’s most pressing challenges and identify avenues for collaboration. McWane is committed to advocating for the investment in, and the rebuilding of the nation’s water infrastructure.
Tyler Pipe & Coupling is pleased to announce the promotion of Sterling Bowman to Vice President of Sales for Tyler Pipe & Coupling. Sterling will continue his responsibilities managing the Tyler Pipe sales team and manufacturer’s representatives.
Sterling has been with the McWane Plumbing Group working at Tyler Pipe for 13 years. He was Regional Sales Manager for eight years. For the past five years he has served as National Sales Manager. “I am confident that Sterling’s proven experience and success with Tyler will help him strengthen relationships with our broad customer base,” said Kurt Winter, Senior Executive Vice President of McWane Plumbing Group. “Sterling’s comprehensive background and passion for the industry will certainly enhance the company.”
Sterling is a Texas native who enjoys playing golf and hunting as well as spending quality time with his wife Erica and their four sons; Cleet, Colt, Case and Crew.
On a recent trip to India, McWane Chairman Phillip McWane and Chief Executive Officer Ruffner Page had the opportunity to see firsthand the McWane Services Private Ltd. (MSPL) operations that support McWane companies worldwide. They were impressed by the quality and support provided by each of the teams and the collaborative effort between MSPL and the McWane divisions in the U.S. They toured the Design, Product Development, IT/Help Desk, and Sales Support Services operations and discussed the various services with MSPL team members. There is potential for future expansion of these services to other McWane divisions that are not currently using these services.
The tech team currently supports Synapse, Zinwave, and Nighthawk and the goal is to expand these services to the Indian market. This is an example of how McWane teams 10,000 miles apart can work together to pool their strengths and develop products for both the U.S. and Indian markets. The tech team demonstrated the use of the iron mesh and the Multihawk for Phillip and Ruffner as well as the proposed plans for introducing these products to the Indian market. Phillip and Ruffner were pleased to learn that MSPL plans to open a remote office in Bangalore, India. Additional labs that will work on remote metering solutions, condition monitoring, and water solutions are also planned for the future.
Phillip and Ruffner also toured the valve plant and the valve testing and tooling facilities. The valve plant was set up in a record 6 months and is already supplying valves not only to South America and McWane Gulf, but has also entered the Indian market as well. The valves have been well received in the Indian market and we should see an uptick in sales in India in 2016 of the resilient gate, air release, check, and butterfly valves. In 2016, MSPL plans to expand the sizes offered and introduce and sell the metal seated and knife valves as well.
The two-day visit to Coimbatore ended with a dinner hosted by the MSPL team in honor of the visiting senior executives from the U.S.
During the weekend of November 6-8, AB&I team members Carlos Gonzalez, Enrique Ramirez, and Zeydi Gutierrez embarked on a community outreach project on the other side of the border. They headed toward an area of Ensenada where there is no running water or electricity to participate in building a loft house for a family in need.
Thirteen people participated in the build; eight were from the bay area. Carlos’s sister, Graciela, came from Mexico, D.F., to join the team along with his nephew, Mario. The pre-build took place in a parking lot during the week of October 17. Carlos participated in the pre-build along with approximately 70 people from all ages and walks of life.
Loft houses are prefabricated in church parking lots in the U.S. and assembled in Mexico in just one day. Though not luxurious by any definition, a loft house provides basic protection and shelter from the elements. A loft house is a 12-foot by 12-foot structure with 4 windows, a lockable door and a second story attic loft for sleeping that can be reached by an interior ladder. The kit-house consists of prefabbed panels made from simple building materials widely available at most home improvement warehouses: 2x4s, 2x6s, plywood, and tar paper roofing. The house has a raised wooden floor, covered with linoleum, and is built on concrete piers. One member of the team hauled the kit-house on a trailer all the way from Oakland to the work site.
This particular loft house went to a couple, Maria and Fidel. Maria is blind in one eye and going blind in the other. Both Marian and Fidel work picking tomatoes six days a week and have also worked alongside everyone else in building their new home. They were paying 1,000 pesos a month in rent and couldn’t wait to have a home of their own. Their excitement was overwhelming.
There were so many moments of closeness of community and joy while watching Maria and Fidel get the keys to their new home.
Thank you AB&I for sponsoring Carlos, Enrique, and Zeydi in this community endeavor.
Danny Clymer is retiring from Manchester Tank & Equipment (MTE) after 15 years of service. Danny has served the company in a number of roles including leadership of human resources, operations, engineering, and purchasing / supply chain. He has also been active in managing MTE’s Australian operations for much of the last 10 years.
Manchester Tank held an event in his honor last Thursday night, which was attended by McWane President Ruffner Page and many of Danny’s current and past colleagues from the MTE Franklin office and U.S. plants. Danny had the entire group laughing for close to an hour as he “bequeathed” many of the items from his office that he felt should stay with Manchester team members going forward.
We will miss you, Danny, and wish you all the best in your retirement!
Nighthawk announced today the release of its RDG960 advanced communications and control technology. The RDG960 offers an extension of its already released RDM960/RDL960 products and has been developed to be utilized in GE’s I-210 meters.
Nighthawk’s Cellular-Mesh technology allows utilities to take advantage of public communication infrastructure, offering advanced solutions for their most challenging problems. The RDG960 will allow utilities to take advantage of Nighthawks versatile WebConnect software platform and RF solutions, taking advantage of a range of Smart Grid functions with just the click of the mouse.
Today marks an exciting and historic change for the McWane ductile iron pipe companies. Effective immediately, McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company, Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company, and Clow Water Systems will operate unified under the new name McWane Ductile. This consolidation reflects a united company focused on providing excellent service and quality products to our customers, while making all of the divisions recognizable as part of the McWane family of companies.
In a letter to the team, McWane Ductile Sr. Vice President, Jeff Otterstedt said,
“We will make a public announcement later today; however, it’s important to us to first share it with our valued team members — the people who work so hard each and every day to make our company successful.”
This decision wasn’t made lightly. After lengthy consideration, it became clear that while we have many significant and rich traditions that are unique to each of our divisions, we become stronger collectively as one distinct brand. And, although our name has changed, our promise to our team members, customers, and partners remains the same as we build on our nearly 100-year history of creating iron-strong utilities.
There are many good reasons for this change. Not only does it provide our North American and international customers with a uniform business experience across our operations by standardizing purchase orders and acknowledgements, terms and conditions, invoicing, RMA procedures, quotations, submittals, and most other customer service processes, but it also aligns the best practices and cultures from all of our operations under one vision. We should note that Canada Pipe, also a member of the McWane ductile iron pipe companies, will retain its name, which best reflects its unique position as the leading ductile iron pipe provider in Canada.
With this unification, we are fully committed to maintaining and continually investing in our three plants, located in Phillipsburg, New Jersey; Coshocton, Ohio; and Provo, Utah. While we’re excited to forge ahead as McWane Ductile, we understand that it can be difficult to embrace change while saying goodbye to old traditions. We hope that you’ll consider this an opportunity to bring the very best parts of your current culture to this new brand that we can all be proud to call our own.
You’ll find more information on our new website at http://www.mcwaneductile.com.