Blog Archives

AB&I Hosts Foundry Tour for Stanford University Students

AB&I held a tour for sixteen Stanford University students on May 4th.  The students are taking a course called Making Multiples: Sand Casting (ME365) which teaches howcastings are made in a mass manufacturing process.

General Manager Michael Lowe welcomed the students and talked to them about the history of AB&I and its operations as well as the challenges they face in Oakland. He invited the students to partner with AB&I on an upcoming project to find innovative ways AB&I can operate more efficiently.

Before leading the students on a tour of the foundry, Rich Watson and Dave Robinson discussed the production, engineering and environmental regulations and AB&I’s commitment to best practices that go above and beyond compliance.  It was an eye opener for all of them to see how the different processes work together to make the finished products.

In a note to AB&I the professor said, “I just wanted to send a quick thank you note for our tour last Friday! We were blown away by the scale of production being done. Thank you for being so welcoming and taking the time to show us everything. I know the students were very impressed and are very excited about their new cast iron frying pans! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you all in the future.”

ABI 2018 Stanford student tour

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McWane Product Sightings in the Golden and Lone Star State

AB&I team members Jennifer Grundell and her dad, Alfredo Costa recently spotted pipe produced at AB&I while on their family vacation in the Golden State of California at Universal Studios Hollywood, a film studio and theme park located in Los Angeles.

While over in the Lone Star State of Texas, Clow Valve team member James Banicky spotted this Clow hydrant in Dealey Plaza by the book depository in Dallas, Texas where significant evidence of a sniper was found following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

James said, “It’s nice to see that our products are trusted enough to help preserve things that have such a great impact on our great country even to this day.”

Product sightings dallas and la.jpg

AB&I Team Removes Debris from Elmhurst Creek

At McWane, we are committed to giving back to the communities where our team members live and work.  One example of that commitment is AB&I’s adoption of Elmhurst Creek which runs directly behind the AB&I property as part of the Oakland Adopt-a-Spot Program. AB&I’s team members volunteered once again to remove debris from in and around the creek.

Andy Berg and Jesse Tom led the effort recruiting volunteers from different departments.  Volunteers worked tirelessly cleaning the creek and picking up approximately 3 yards of trash, including a shopping cart, fire hydrant, plywood, plastic wrappers, and lots of spray paint cans.  They also cut down overgrown weeds and bushes, and approximately 10 yards of brush.

Many team members expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to help clean up the creek.  This is an example of the AB&I spirit inside and outside the property boundaries.

Special thanks to the volunteers for your commitment to making the Oakland community the best it can be!

ABI 2018 Elmhurst Creek Clean Up

McWane Products Spotted in Washington, California and Missouri

There were three McWane product sightings recently by Paula Hoffman, Francesca Dunbar and Billy Ngiraikelau.  Tyler Coupling General Manager Bill Hoffman and his wife Paula (pictured bottom left) were visiting Branson, Missouri and spotted a Clow hydrant.  Clear across the county at Seascape in Aptos, California, AB&I team member Billy Ngiraikelau (pictured top left) also spotted a Clow hydrant and Francesca Dunbar (pictured bottom right) spotted an M&H hydrant when she surprised her friend for her birthday with a trip to Snoqualmie Falls Park in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Thanks for sharing these product sightings.  If you spot McWane products in your travels and would like to share them with the rest of the team, simply take a picture and email it to Mickie Coggin at mcoggin@mcwane.com.  Be sure to include a brief description of where the picture was taken and the names of everyone in the picture.

MHV and CVO Product Sightings 2018

Anaco Hosts McWane Group Safety Manager’s Conference

Anaco recently hosted the annual McWane Group Safety Managers’ Conference at their manufacturing facility in Corona, California.  Ross Boeker is the Group Safety Director (GSD) for this group which includes, AB&I, Anaco, Tyler Coupling, Bibby Ste Croix, Bibby LaPerle and Amerex.  This annual meeting is a great opportunity for GSDs to get together with their entire team of safety managers to share ideas and best practices with each other and discuss current issues and challenges.

This year’s agenda included a 1st quarter safety plan review, a best practice sharing WebEx with Kennedy Valve, an HR segment led by Joe Maziarz (Group HR Director) and Kevin McCarthy (VP HR), and a group tour of the Fender Guitar factory in Corona, California.  The team was treated to an in-depth tour of the facility which manufactures the famous Fender Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster guitars, as well as the Fender Precision Bass & Fender Jazz Bass.  After the tour, the team met with the Fender safety team to share ideas and best practices.  Anaco safety manager Larry Fuscher offered and is looking forward to hosting the Fender safety team for a reciprocal visit in the near future.

MCW 2018 GSD Meeting at Anaco

Pictured L-R:  Rex Blevins (Senior GSD), Ross Boeker (GSD), Larry Fuscher (Anaco Safety Manager), Jonathan Desbiens (BBL Safety Manager), TJ Pinkston (ABI Safety Manager), Nathan Gentges (Tyler Coupling Safety Manager), Francis Dorval (Bibby Ste Croix Safety Manager), Robert Fisher (Amerex Safety Manager)

Clow Hydrant at Presidio in San Francisco

AB&I retired Shipping Supervisor David Janney and his wife spotted this Clow hydrant at the Presidio overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. He and his wife live close by and enjoy the beautiful view from this spot.

Although David is officially retired, he does stop by AB&I from time to time to help out and visit with old friends.

Product Presidio San Francisco, CA collage

AB&I Hosts Tour for Stanford Professor and Graduate Students

On Monday, February 26th, Dave Beach, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University along with Anna Olson and Russell Field (graduate students) visited AB&I to learn more about the foundry.  They run a small sand casting foundry Stanford Product Realization Lab and want to get to know ABI with an eye towards bringing small groups of students in conjunction with two courses that will be taught this spring and fall to AB&I.

 

ABI 2018 Stanford Visit

 They were surprised to discover that Professor Beach’s daughter had toured AB&I about 30 years ago while she was studying at Stanford.  Professor Beach had the following comments about the tour:

“On behalf of Anna, Russell, and myself, thank you very much for the wonderful tour of AB&I you led Monday morning.  As a professor at Stanford University I am frequently amazed at how much our students learn when visiting manufacturing sites in the Bay Area.  It makes our efforts in 110-minute lectures and 4-hour laboratories pale.  Your tour was very generous and worth a tremendous amount in tuition value to our students.

AB&I’s energy and innovation regarding environmental quality are awesome, your attention to sand and metal quality, your ability to automate high volume processes, and your enthusiasm to share these initiatives with us are wonderful.

Relative to the automation of AB&I’s highest volume products, I will always remember you saying, if you have to pick it up you just lost money.  The idea of gates that snap off without the need for secondary processing is new to me and impressive.  I will carry a mental picture of the mountains of scrap iron which are your sole metal input.  Visually striking and environmentally wonderful! 

I believe that manufacturing is essential to strong communities.  AB&I is heroic in that regard!”

Another AB&I Product Sighting!

On a recent family trip to Southern California, AB&I team member of 39 years Isaac Beltran spotted AB&I pipe in the parking garage of a Holiday Inn Express.  Isaac works in the Pipe Finishing Department at AB&I.

Resized Isaac Beltran

If you spot McWane products and would like to share a picture with the rest of the team, just email a picture and a description of where you spotted the products to Mickie Coggin at mcoggin@mcwane.com.

Clow Hydrant Spotted at Jack London Square in Oakland, California

AB&I team member Jenny Landon spotted this Clow hydrant at Jack London Square while attending the Oakland Military Institute’s annual luncheon.

2018 Product Sighting Oakland Military Academy.jpg

AB&I Team Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday, Acts Full Gospel COGIC Church held a community event at Verdese Carter Park to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Team Members from AB&I helped with bagging 2,000 frozen chickens.

ABI 2018 MLK day