Benu Chakraborty worked at M&H for 27 years, mainly in the Foundry Sand Lab. Benu retired on August 1st and was sent off with a retirement party where his fellow team members wished him a fond farewell.
Benu lives in Jacksonville, Alabama, with his wife, Shibani, and has plans to travel to his home country of India. Courtesy of Darlene Berta (wife of team member Chris Berta), the incredible fire hydrant cake was a hit!
Best wishes, Benu, for a long and happy retirement!
Team 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.
We are proud to announce the winners of the 2014 McWane EHS Awards which recognize McWane facilities with the best environmental, health and safety performance:
- EHS Excellence Award (Screaming Eagle) – McWane Ductile / Provo, Utah
- Most Improved Recordable Injury Rate-Fabrication Award – Clow Valve-Canada / St. John, New Brunswick
- Most Improved Recordable Injury Rate-Foundry Award – M&H Valve Company / Anniston, Alabama
- Outstanding Health & Safety Performance Award – McWane Ductile / Coshocton, Ohio
- Outstanding Environmental Performance-Fabrication Award – Clow Valve-Canada / St. John, New Brunswick
- Outstanding Environmental Performance-Foundry Award – Kennedy Valve Company / Elmira, New York
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Meet Steve Flora…Have skills (and guitar), will travel…
Steve started with McWane in 1996 at M&H Valve in Anniston, Alabama, and quickly became engineering manager. He also knew a few licks on the guitar, which always helps. A few years ago, Steve was asked to join a McWane working group headed to China on a fact-finding mission. Steve, who had spent four years in Taiwan as well as on other foreign assignments, knew the mission would be a great opportunity for McWane and he jumped at the chance.
Today, Steve’s been living in China for nearly two years working for McWane. Since moving, Steve has established a crack team in Beijing working to identify quality suppliers for McWane’s heavy tooling demands; helping design new products such as a novel solid wedge valve; ensuring quality control; and representing McWane’s growing interests in the region. Of his time spent in China, Steve says,
“I believe the China group has become an integral and productive part of the McWane family.”
Because of the time differences between Beijing and the U.S., Steve has a very demanding job 0 but knows how to blow off steam in world class style. He straps on an electric guitar and leads his own rock band at a local Beijing club called Eudora, a place that attracts American ex-patriots, travelling business delegations and locals in-the-know.
“I look at it as my way of providing some cultural exchange with the Chinese,” Steve noted. “I also spend a lot of time meeting with our employees and customers that visit the McWane facilities. They always know they’re welcome to find me in our offices or playing at the Eudora.”
Steve also happens to have the world’s most understanding wife – which helps when you work more than 5,000 miles from home.
“Yeah,” Steve admitted. “She’s very understanding. We see each other every 5-6 weeks. Happily, she’s flexible working for American Airlines, which lets her travel to China as often as she can.”
Keep on rockin’ China for all of us here at McWane, Steve!
On a recent outing with their dad Mark Willett, brothers Trevor and Dylan posed for a picture with a fire hydrant produced by M&H Valve – “where their dad works.” M&H Valve donated the hydrant to “Tigers for Tomorrow,” an exotic animal park and rescue preserve located in Attalla, Alabama, about 35 miles north of Anniston, Alabama – home to M&H Valve.
Mark will soon be leaving Anniston to move and join the team at Clow Valve in Oskaloosa, Iowa, as the new Assistant General Manager.
It is always a joy to see our products out and about! If you ever see any, make sure to snap a nice photo and send it to us at email@example.com; we’d love for you to share them with us!
On Friday, February 28, a group of eleven STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students from the University of Alabama visited M&H Valve Company in Anniston, Alabama, for a plant tour. M&H will be selecting a student from this group to participate in an internship this summer.
The University of Alabama STEM Program focuses on attracting high-quality undergraduate students majoring in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The program is an innovative approach to engage students early on as undergraduates and employ nontraditional-classroom methods to allow top students to complete the MBA in one additional calendar year. The purpose of the path is to provide high-achieving students with the business knowledge needed to successfully manage businesses.
McWane is always proud to assist the younger generation in reaching their goals. We hope the STEM students from the University of Alabama enjoyed and benefited from their visit!