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.
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!”
This 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