Blog Archives

Head of Defense Contract Management Agency visits Amerex

Lt. General Wendy M. Masiello, director of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), toured Amerex on January 6. DCMA manages more than $223 billion in Department of Defense contracts.

Last year Colonel David Hosna, commander of the DCMA southeast region in Huntsville, Alabama, toured Amerex and was impressed with its technology and Lean Manufacturing program. When Lt. General Masiello asked to tour a leading manufacturer in the Southeast, rather than suggest Boeing or Lockheed, Colonel Hosna recommended Amerex as an example of a relatively small but growing contractor with an innovative manufacturing program.

Amerex has been selected as the sole fire protection system provider to prime contractor Oshkosh on the Army’s new JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) program. Oshkosh was awarded a $6.75 billion initial contract to procure the first 16,901 vehicles for both the Army and Marines. Amerex will provide fire protection to the engine compartment and crew cab of the new vehicle.

The winner of 6th Annual McWane Ergo Cup Competition is . . .

L to R:  Dale Schmelzle, Claudiu Lungo, Andrew Perkins, and Pat Tyson

L to R: Dale Schmelzle, Claudiu Lungo, Andrew Perkins, and Pat Tyson

The 6th Annual McWane Ergo-Cup competition was held on October 21, and once again, the McWane family of companies raised the bar! This year, 169 team members completed 24 projects from 17 different locations, which surpassed our previous years involvement and number of projects.

The judges for this year’s competition were Dale Schmelzle (McWane Ductile-New Jersey General Manager), Claudiu Lungo, PhD (Associate Professor at the UAB School of Public Health and Director of the Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety), Andrew Perkins, M.S., CIH, CSP, Senior Industrial Hygienist, Alabama Power Company Corporate Safety & Health Department, and Pat Tyson, OSHA attorney and partner in the Atlanta based law firm of Constangy, Brooks & Smith.

The winners of the 6th Annual McWane Ergo Cup Competition are:

  • McWane Outstanding Project – 1st Place
    Clow Corona (Wet Barrel Hydrant)
  • 1st Place Runner Up
    Manchester Tank Quincy (Low Impact Weld Removal Tab)
  • Best Risk Reduction
    Amerex (Charge Station)
  • Most Innovative Project
    Manchester Tank – Elkhart (Auto Brushing)

Clow Corona will now move on to represent McWane at the National Ergo Cup competition which will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 21, 2016. 

Congratulations to everyone that participated in this year’s competition. Each year, we are amazed at how many great projects are submitted and every project is a winner as each project reduces the risk of injury to McWane team members. We appreciate your on-going participation in the Ergo Cup as well as your teamwork, creativity, enthusiasm, and drive for continuous improvement.

Now keep those ideas coming! Who knows, you may have the next Ergo-Cup winner!

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor and Emergency Management Administrator Visit Solberg Company

Lt. Governor Kleefisch (center left), Steve Hansen/General Manager (center), and Brian Satula/Administrator WEM (center right) with Solberg team members.

Lt. Governor Kleefisch (center left), Steve Hansen/General Manager (center), and Brian Satula/Administrator WEM (center right) with Solberg team members.

Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Administrator Brian Satula (Wisconsin Emergency Management) stopped by for a tour of our Solberg facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Monday, June 29. Solberg is the firefighting foam division of Amerex Corporation.

Lt. Governor Kleefisch thanked team members for their dedication and support to public safety in Wisconsin and discussed the establishment of a public/private partnership on firefighting foam between Solberg and the Wisconsin Emergency Management. Under the cooperative agreement, the state will have access to a supply of firefighting foam in emergency situations such as a crude oil fire or other large scale industrial fire incidents.

“This is a great partnership between the Solberg Company and the State of Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Brian Satula. “Having foam ready to be deployed is important as we have increased rail transportation of crude oil in the state.”

McWane University Holds Environmental Boot Camp

2015 Environmental Boot Camp

McWane University conducted an Environmental Boot Camp in Franklin, Tennessee, on May 19-21. The boot camp was lead by instructors Terri Evans and Larry Bowers. This intense McWane-specific course covered a wide range of environmental topics with high emphasis on McWane’s goal of 100% Compliance, 100% of the time.

Having highly trained and competent personnel at all levels of the organization is a critical element in achieving this lofty goal, and this course was another step toward that goal. There were attendees from the Valve & Hydrant, Pipe, Plumbing, Technology and Business groups, and representatives from Manchester Tank, Amerex and Corporate.

Meet McWane: Recent Retirees

We have had several of our team member retiree from various divisions over the past month and would like to highlight them for their service!

Glen Cox 45 YearsGlen Cox, Pacific States: 45 Years

Pacific States Team members bid a fond farewell to Glen Cox at his retirement party at the beginning of the month. Glen joined the Pac States team over 45 years ago in 1968. His most recent job was in the Melding Department as the Iron Yard Crane Operator, a job he had held since 2008.

Jack Terrill 43 Years

Jack Terill, Tyler Pipe & Coupling: 43 Years

On January 9, team members at Tyler Pipe & Coupling, retirees, family, and friends came together to bid a fond farewell to Jack Terrill who was retiring after 43 years of service. Jack joined the Tyler team on December 20, 1971, and worked as a Warehouse Worker “B” in the Coupling Department at the time of his retirement.
Everyone enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane with Jack. To show Jack their appreciation, Plant Manager Bill Hoffman gave Jack a watch and a Tyler Pipe & Coupling hat.

Nelson Greenleaf 47 Years

Nelson Greenleaf, Atlantic States: 47

Atlantic States will be bidding a fond farewell to veteran team member Nelson Greenleaf in February. Nelson is retiring after almost 48 years of service! During his tenure with the company, Nelson has seen a lot of changes. In fact, the company has changed names 3 times since his arrival!
Since he started in 1968, Nelson has worked throughout the entire plant and currently holds the position of Scale House Technician. Nelson is known for saying thanks for coming in today, and the entire team will miss hearing that.
An amazing thing about Nelson is that he hasn’t been absent or late since 1995 which gives him perfect attendance for the past 20 years. Wow! He is an exceptional and dedicated employee who will truly be missed. Nelson has helped build Atlantic States to what it is today and we are thankful for all his years of service.
Nelson is looking forward to retirement so he can spend time with his family at their vacation home at the beach in Delaware. The team presented Nelson with an aerial view picture of Atlantic States signed by the entire team on the back along with $1,500 in gift cards.

Sam Wester 31 Years

Sam Wester, Amerex: 31 Years

The Amerex team bids a fond farewell to HR Manager Sam Wester who retired last week after 31 years of service. You would be hard-pressed to find somone at Amerex whomSam didn’t help or hire over the years. The team held a retirement party for Sam on Friday, January 23, at Flemings.
Everyone enjoyed the night and had lots of laughs taking a walk down memory lane with Sam.

Virgel Esteban 30 Years

Team AB&I recently bid a fond farewell to Virgel Esteban after 30 years of service as an Electrician. His send off included a luncheon with a wide variety of Chinese food, including roasted duck and chow mein.
In gratitude for his service to AB&I, Virgel was presented with a trip for two to Chicago, Illinois. He also received a gift from the Sales Team and a retirement plaque.
Thank you, Virgel. for being a dedicated member of the AB&I Team for the last 30 years. We will surely miss you and hope you enjoy your retirement as well as your time in the windy city.

We are honored to have such committed team members to dedicate life-long service to the McWane Family of Companies. We appreciate all that each of you have done and wish you all a very happy retirement. Thank you for you service!

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 McWane Pollution Prevention Challenge

1st Place Winners - Clow Canada Pattern Modification Team

1st Place Winners – Clow Canada Pattern Modification Team

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 McWane Pollution Prevention Challenge (P2C) contest:

1st Place ($1,000 per team member): Clow Canada  Pattern Modification

2nd Place ($500 per team member): Amerex – Dry Paint Rack

3rd Place ($250 per team member): MTE Elkhart – Heat Recovery

3rd Place ($250 per team member): Pacific States – Finishing-Cement Line Water Reduction

A total of 35 pollution prevention project entries were received in July 2014 for this year’s Pollution Prevention Challenge. By the deadline of November 2014, 21 of these projects were submitted for judging by three independent judges. The judges evaluated all the written submittals and selected 12 finalists. The 12 finalists presented their projects via a web meeting on December 16, 2014, after which the judges picked the winning entries.

The judges were:

Beth Stewart – Cahaba River Society

Sarah Burton – Kestrel Management Services

Roald Hazelhoff – Southern Environmental Center

Our sincere thanks to the judges for donating their time and expertise for this process!!

All of us, including the three judges, were very impressed by the innovative ideas, presentations and the keen interest and passion shown by participating team members from different McWane facilities and departments (production, maintenance, engineering, environmental, etc.) in identifying and implementing effective pollution prevention ideas.

To continue to encourage implementation of more pollution prevention ideas at all McWane facilities, the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” Award for entries with innovative, simple and low cost solutions, producing relatively small but important environmental benefits were awarded to the following entries:

Winners of the “Why Didn’t I Think of That!”  Prizes ($100 per team member)

  • Pacific States – Melting-Coke Breeze
  • Clow Canada – Passivation Improvements

We hope to see a continued high level of interest in Pollution Prevention at all McWane facilities going forward. Thank you for everyone’s interest in the 2014 P2C and your support of McWane’s EHS programs and get started with your 2015 projects/ideas.

Congratulations to the winners!!!

Synapse on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Well….kinda.

Jimmy Kimmel
Thanks to a YouTube video, one of Synapse’s own, Phillip Slawinski (pictured below right), received a request from “Science Bob” Pflugfelder to bring his Tesla gun to California for a taping of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Synapse's Phillip Slawinski (Jimmy Kimmel Live)Someone from the show had seen Phillip’s YouTube video and wanted to feature the Tesla gun on the show.

We were also very excited to see them use an Amerex fire extinguisher during this segment! Synapse and Amerex – two leaders in their industry! (See the Amerex extinguisher at 2:35; the Tesla experiment begins around 6:30 with Phillip making an appearance around 6:50!)

For those who missed seeing the show last night, you can watch it below.

Congratulations, Phillip! We’re proud to have you as a member of our team.

Amerex Takes Steps to Improve Contractor Safety Compliance

Amerex Improves Contractor Safety Compliance

L to R: Fred Rohde/ Branch Manager, Chicago; Garth Embree/ Branch Manager, LA; Norla Walker/ Branch Manager, Seattle; and Jack Miller/ Branch Manager/Sales, New Jersey)

On August 28, the Amerex Branch Managers attended a training seminar in Dallas, Texas, with ISNetworld. ISN’s process of collecting, verifying, and connecting will allow Amerex to review safety, insurance, quality, and regulatory information on all contractors and suppliers that they do business with.

Amerex will use ISNetworld to standardzize contractor management across multiple states and geographic regions and help them clearly communicate requirements and expections to contractors/suppliers.

This is Amerex’s next step in safety compliance by contractors/suppliers and having the support and educational opportunities from ISN will make their branches safer not only for team members, but for visitors and contractors as well.

Amerex Hosts a Visit from Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers

Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers stopped by Amerex in Trussville, Alabama, for a visit and a brief tour today. Congressman Rogers represents the 3rd District of Alabama and serves on the Agriculture, Armed Services, and Homeland Security Committees, which are all vital to Alabama’s interests.

Firefighting is very familiar to Congressman Rogers since his father was a firefighter, so this Amerex visit definitely hit close to home.

We were honored that he took time out of his busy schedule to drop by for a visit!

Amerex Hosts NAVPPC Meeting

Amerex NAVPPC MeetingAmerex was proud to host the quarterly meeting of the North Alabama Voluntary Protection Program Committee at the Trussville Civic Center. Over 50 industry representatives from companies in central and northern Alabama participated in the event. Included were speakers presenting on topics such as incident investigation, an update on the OSHA’s focus areas, and an overview of “The McWane Story”. Following the morning meeting and lunch, attendees toured the facility at Amerex where a mock VPP audit was conducted.

Amerex is taking the steps necessary to pursue VPP certification. Many of the attendee/auditors commented on how well Amerex was prepared and that they believed the facility would be able to achieve VPP in the near future.

Keep up the great work, Amerex! Your hard work will soon pay off!