Blog Archives

American Foundry Society (AFS) Recognizes Larry Bowers & Holly Guerrero

We are proud to report that two McWane team members were presented with awards at the 26th Annual Environmental Health and Safety Conference held this August in Atlanta, Georgia.

Larry Bowers, Group Environmental Compliance Director for McWane who also serves on the AFS Water Quality & Waste Disposal and Air Quality Committees, was presented with a service award from the American Foundry Society. The award was presented for dedication and service to help build and improve environmental, safety, and health conditions within the metal-casting industry.

Pacific States’ Assistant Environmental Manager Holly Guerrero was also recognized at the conference. The AFS presented Holly with the EHS Division 10 Outstanding New Person Award in recognition of her active participation in Committee activities and continually volunteering her time and talents to Committee projects.

Congratulations Larry & Holly! Keep up the great work!

Pacific States: Cleaner and Even More Efficient

Pac States New Pipe Casting Machine
On January 7, a new, state of the art pipe casting machine began production at Pacific States! This new machine is faster than the older casting machine at Pac States and has two troughs, automatic core setting, and automatic pipe extraction.

When Pacific States installed the casting machine in the first quarter of 2014, the facility didn’t simply upgrade technology—it secured a way to produce more quality, uniform pipes with fewer resources.

As usual, there’s a lot going on at Pac States and, as usual, they’re making a difference for the better! The new casting machine—affectionately known as “Casting Machine A”—replaces two machines. Running at full capacity, it will produce approximately twice as much pipe as earlier machines and produce pipe with far more consistent wall thicknesses, thanks in part to Casting Machine A’s own hydraulic system that reduces fluctuations. The machine will be used primarily for 6”-12” pipe. This is also the first pipe machine of its kind in the McWane Ductile Pipe Group.

Congrats to the whole team at Pac States for taking charge and making a difference in 2014!

Pacific States Team Walks in Honor of John Balian

Pac States Relay for LifeThe night of Friday, June 21, was a special night for 40 Pacific States team members who showed up to support their Relay for Life team and walk the track. They raised over $22,300 over several months prior to the event, and walked more than 141 miles that night!

Rick Garcia won the paid day off (after walking 20 miles that night)! Other top Pac States walkers included Vili Kolomalu (10 miles), Philip Robertshaw (10 miles), Jeff Tracy (8 miles), Victor Guereca (7 miles), and Josh Moffitt (7 miles).

The Pac States team was also mentioned in an article in the Daily Herald:
Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe, based in Provo, had a large team on hand and presented a large donation to the event’s organizers. Jessica Stones, a human resources manager for the company, said they got involved after their general manager John Balian passed away from cancer three years ago.

“We just wanted to do something to honor him and to help the cause,” Stones said. For the last three years the company has organized a charity golf tournament and donated that money to Relay for Life. This year they raised $17,000 from the tournament and threw in $5,000 of their own, plus a little bit more from other fundraising efforts. “Today we’re at 22 [thousand] and change. Hoping to raise a little more tonight,” Stones said. “We’re just happy to be here. It’s a great cause.”


Congratulations to all the Pac States team members that helped raise money for Relay for Life this year in honor of John Balian!

Meet McWane: John Jensen, Pacific States

John Jensen

John Jensen

Long after graduating college with a degree in mechanical engineering, John Jensen still retains the enthusiasm of youth. Sure, it helps that he has plenty of reminders close to home: six children of his own, with grandchildren just on the horizon. But more than that, John remains keenly interested in what makes things tick – and how to make sure they tick on time. He simply never lost his youthful appetite for doing, thinking and living – and all of it, with a smile.

Raised in Delaware, Jensen moved to Utah in 1983. While a techie at heart, Jensen is also an athlete. Calling sports one of his “true passions,” Jensen is as comfortable on the golf course, soccer pitch or volleyball court as he is anywhere else. Before joining Pac States in 2006, Jensen spent eight years running his own software consulting company.

“Now data is my passion. Finding ways to share data and provide the tools needed for success is very satisfying,” says John. “Doing things the right way is very important to me and discovering the best solutions while working with some of the great minds at McWane gives me a real sense of team achievement. I’m excited about the direction the company is headed, and look forward to becoming more involved in the emerging technologies we are pursuing.”

Jensen has already developed a first-class maintenance and production management software tool, spearheaded the customization of SalesLogix CRM for the pipe group, and interfaced with IS Networld to manage McWane’s vendor safety and insurance policies. What will he think of next?

John’s enthusiasm for what he does is contagious – and inspiring!

McWane Boasts Seven Plants in the VPP Program

VPP Flag No other company in the waterworks foundry industry has a single plant in the VPP program.  McWane has seven. Clow Valve, Metal Casting Facility (Oskaloosa, Iowa), Clow Water (Coshocton, Ohio), Manchester Tank (Elkhart, Indiana), Manchester Tank (Petersburg, Virginia), Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company (Provo, Utah), and Tyler Pipe (Marshfield, Mississippi) are all VPP Star facilities with Pacific States being the latest as of September 2013. Clow Valve, Machine Shop (Oskaloosa, Iowa) has earned VPP Merit accreditation – an effective stepping stone to achieving Star status.

In order to receive this accreditation, a facility has to successfully pass certification by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to become a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star Facility. According to the VPP website, “The VPP recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.”

Receiving a VPP Star ranking is no small honor as only .03% of all American companies qualify – putting those facilities awarded with the certification in an elite club for sure. For example, in the entire state of Utah – where Pacific States is located – only eight other facilities are considered VPP Star! Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health programs.

“The VPP designation indicates a true commitment from management and team members in working together, with everyone taking personal responsibility for safety and health,” said Barbara Wisniewski, Vice President of Health and Safety, McWane. Inc.

Brian Lichtenfels, Safety Manager at Pacific States, gave several words of advice for facilities preparing for an upcoming audit.

“If I could give someone three learned lessons to focus on in an upcoming audit, they would be: prepare, prepare, prepare. Make sure the whole facility is on the same page and do not be defensive with OSHA. Take a cooperative and open approach.”

Congratulations to every team member at all of our VPP Star facilities, and especially those at our latest – Pacific States, all of whom demonstrated their supreme commitment to the best safety practices and VPP principles! This is more proof that the McWane Way is about being the best by doing our very best.

Our own Andy Boise, a melting foreman at Clow Water Systems, composed lyrics and music to create a VPP Song, Everyone Goes Home From Here. Take a listen!

Announcing the Winners of the 2013 EHS Awards

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The winners of the 2013 EHS awards were announced in February recognizing McWane facilities in five different environmental, health and safety performance categories. The winners were:

The Most Improved Recordable Injury Rate Award – The most improved total recordable injury rate (TRIR) is determined by calculating at year end the TRIR for each facility and comparing it to the prior year. The facility with the greatest percentage of improvement from the previous year is the winner. This year’s winners were:
AB&I, Oakland, California (Foundry)
Tyler Pipe Company, Marshfield, Missouri (Fabrication)

The Outstanding Health & Safety Performance Award is given to the facility that has the best overall health and safety performance in 11 different categories, including program compliance, incident rates, implementation of health & safety initiatives, and risk reduction efforts.
Manchester Tank & Equipment, Elkhart, Indiana

The Outstanding Environmental Performance Award is given to the facility that has the best overall environmental performance including management commitment, program implementation and compliance. The winners were:
Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Provo, Utah (Foundry)
Manchester Tank & Equipment, Bedford, Indiana (Fabrication)

The Outstanding Environmental Progress Award is given to the facility that showed the greatest overall improvement in environmental performance during the year. The winners were:
AB&I, Oakland, California and Tyler/Union, Anniston, Alabama (Foundry)
The Solberg Company, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Fabrication)

The EHS Excellence Award is given to the facility that has the best overall performance in both environmental and health and safety company-wide. There was no clear winner for this award in 2013.

Although the Screaming Eagle (pictured) was not awarded for 2013, we anticipate all facilities will continue with excellent health, safety and environmental programs during 2014 and strive to be this year’s winner.

Every team member plays a role in helping us become safer and more environmentally conscious and we must work together to continue to improve our EHS performance.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Pacific States Awarded EPA Grant

Pacific States EPA Grant

We are proud to announce that Pacific States was one of 6 recipients in Utah chosen by the EPA to receive funds under the Clean Diesel Grant. This Grant was established by the EPA to reduce diesel emissions from heavy-duty trucks in areas that have levels of fine particulate (PM2.5) that exceed the federal air quality standards.

In an EPA News Release, they stated that the goal of the Grant is to retrofit 19 long-haul trucks, based in Utah, with exhaust control devices that will reduce participate matter emissions up to 90% and idle-reduction technologies that will reduce engine idling time by more than 8,000 hours. The grant will also partially fund the replacement of two outdated vehicles, including a dump truck from Pacific States. More importantly, the grant will result in annual reductions of 48 tons of nitrogen oxides, 21 tons of participate matter, 15 tons of hydrocarbons, 83 tons of carbon monoxide and 1,364 tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. It will also save 83,462 gallons of fuel annually.

Pacific States will be replacing a 2000 model year dump truck with poor emissions for a 2011 model year or newer dump truck that meets the latest diesel engine high emission standards. The EPA’s Clean Diesel Grant will cover 25% of the cost of the new heavy-duty dump truck.

Pacific States team member Holly Guerrero learned about this Grant while looking for projects to enter in the 2013 McWane Pollution Challenge (P2C) and she organized and led the initiative in applying for this Grant. As you may recall, Pacific States came in first in last year’s P2C competition for another project in which they modified the weir on the T-Pot (Desulphurization Ladle) to optimize lime used for removing sulfur from the iron.

Congratulations to Pac States for receiving this Grant and in particular, Holly Guerrero, for all of her hard work on applying for this grant. Great job!