member newsletter july/august 2008

FMA Sponsors Teen Race Car Driver Brennan Palmiter
August 2008
12 FabCast--10 Steps For Increasing The Fabricator’s Cash Flow 10 -11:30 a.m. CDT SAIL 2008: Shipyard Applications for Industrial Lasers Williamsburg, VA

Palmiter Combines Passion for Racing, Welding


September 2008
9-10 The TPJ Symposium Series... Tube & Pipe Fabricating and Producing Conference and Roundtable - Fabricating Track & Producing Track Columbus, Ohio FabCast–Fundamentals of Press Brake Operations 8 -10 a.m. CDT daily EDTR Roundtable 2008: Solutions in Seattle Seattle, Wash. Fundamentals of Stamping Presses Dayton, Ohio Coil Processing Workshop Alsip (Chicago), Ill.


Brennan Palmiter and FMA team up to support the future of the industry.


16 16-17

In an effort to fast-track the association’s outreach efforts to students and encourage young people to consider careers in manufacturing, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), and its publication Practical Welding Today will sponsor 16-year-old Livingood Motorsports race car driver Brennan Palmiter of Ormond Beach, Fla., for the 2008 racing season. Palmiter will play a key role in the FMA Foundation scholarship program, which offers scholarships to young people attending trade schools or colleges and universities to prepare for metal forming careers in manufacturing. He also will speak to students about welding and fabrication and appear at two FMA events. As Palmiter’s primary sponsor, FMA has its logo emblazoned on the hood of the race car and on his uniform. The logo for Practical Welding Today, a bimonthly magazine that provides information, applications, and advice for welders, will appear on the car’s rear fender.

“Brennan Palmiter is a remarkable young man who possesses passions for both welding and racing,” said Gerald Shankel, FMA president. “We were impressed with Brennan’s racing record, as well as his drive and determination to succeed both on the track and in his studies. “Our organization is dedicated to engaging youth about the many career opportunities in sheet metal fabrication and welding, so this partnership makes perfect sense for us,” Shankel added. “Brennan will be instrumental in promoting our young professionals program and in other student outreach efforts, and we’re proud to have him on our team.” Palmiter is enrolled in an acceleratedgraduation program at Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., that allows him to graduate high school in just three years. He also takes night classes in welding technology at Daytona Beach Community College. In May 2009, Palmiter will graduate from both high school and junior college with a high school diploma and a
cont. on page 2

Details at

Brennan Palmiter ............................ 1 APPI ................................................3 industry awards ............................... 4 education ........................................ 6 foundation ..................................... 8 safety award winners.......................10


FMA Sponsors Teen Race Car Driver Brennan Palmiter... cont.

Palmiter and FMA Communications Group Publisher Ed Youdell unite at the Metal Matters 2008 conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

vocational certificate in welding technology with four specialized welding certifications. Palmiter regularly speaks to youth groups about racing and, because of his involvement in welding, discusses vocational programs and careers in the trades. “I’m thrilled to have FMA’s support and to have a lead sponsor that can really be a part of the team and help contribute to victory,” said Palmiter. “I look forward to helping FMA reach people my age about my other love—the many exciting career opportunities in welding and fabrication.” Palmiter began racing go-karts when he was 7 years old and later raced in the novice class at a local track near his home. From there he branched out to compete at go-kart dirt tracks in Florida, eventually racing in the WKA State and National Dirt Series. From 2001 to 2004, in just over 175 starts, he scored 85 top five finishes and 17 state and national wins. In 2005, Palmiter moved from karting to race a T.Q. Late Model stock car. He competed at dirt and asphalt tracks throughout north Florida and south Georgia, scoring 12 top five finishes and one win in just 30 starts and finishing his first season fourth in overall points. In 2006, Palmiter raced a Limited Late Model car at New Smyrna Speedway and earned “2006 Late Model Rookie of the Year” honors. Last year, Palmiter ran the full season at New Smyrna Speedway finishing second in points and making his debut with the Goodyear Challenge Series. Palmiter and his race car made an appearance at the Metal Matters 2008 executive summit in March at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Palmiter will be featured at FMA’s booth at the 2008 FABTECH® Intl./AWS Welding Show in Las Vegas.


affinity partner

Lighting Retrofits 101
It is not difficult to notice today’s obsession with all things green – hybrid cars, wind power, renewable-energy credits. Many publications contain an article or two about what we should do to reduce our energy consumption (or at least make amends for it) and what will happen if we don’t. As a business owner or plant manager, you must integrate the challenges and solutions of a long-term environmental strategy into the cost structure and sustainability of your business. This article is not about turning the lights off or monitoring their use. This is about why and how lighting retrofits can make economic sense for your business and simultaneously be environmentally sensitive. No discussion about lighting retrofits is complete without a simple glossary of terms: • Retrofit – Modify existing parts or system with a new one. • umens – Unit of measure used to describe the amount of light L a bulb produces. • attage – Amount of electricity consumed by a lamp or light W fixture. For example, a 75-watt incandescent bulb produces approximately 615 lumens. A comparative 20-watt compact fluorescent light achieves the same relative number of lumens. The cost of electricity continues to increase. Given the continuing demands on and constraints of the energy industry, the forecast is for continued upward price pressure. Even a slowing U.S. economy will not impact significantly the world’s growing demand for all energy sources. Many businesses with locations in states that are deregulated already have explored price reductions through competitive supply. The next step in the process of managing costs is to develop ways to reduce consumption. An energy-efficient lighting retrofit can be one of the easiest and fastest ways to reduce energy consumption and, therefore, costs. Total costs and payback periods typically are from 12 to 36 months, depending on the size of the facility, local electricity costs, hours of operation, and the types of new lighting products installed. Some businesses switched from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent lamps many years ago. This switch increased efficiencies – incandescent bulbs convert only 10 percent of the energy to light, with more than 90 percent burning off as excess heat. Depending on the bulbs/lights used for comparison, fluorescents consume one-fifth to one-third of the electricity conventional light bulbs consume. According to Osram Sylvania, modern fluorescents typically have a lifespan of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, whereas incandescent lamps usually are manufactured to have a lifespan of 750 to 1,000 hours. Each new generation of fluorescents creates additional savings. For example, a conversion of T12s (older, wider lights commonly found in older office buildings) to T8s can result in savings of 34 to 43 percent with no loss in lighting quality. Higher-efficiency T8 lamps (including energy saving ballasts) can produce savings approaching 50 percent. The lighting industry continues to make significant advances in technology. Coupled with the ongoing dialogue regarding conservation and increased competition, costs for the new technologies and products continue to be driven down. In most commercial facilities, lighting accounts for the single largest energy expense, as much as 35 percent. A 40 percent decrease in lighting energy can translate into a reduction of 15 percent in electricity costs. Further cost decreases can be attained when fewer cooling needs are factored into this equation. Since the amount of heat the new lights produce is significantly reduced, the amount of energy needed to cool the lighted space decreases. (This equation may change during months when the building’s units are required to heat the space. The greater the building’s cooling needs, the greater the reduction from the light replacement.) The benefits of a lighting retrofit are more than just reduced electricity costs. Other benefits are: • Reduced lighting maintenance costs. • Potential tax benefits for facility upgrade. • Better overall lighting quality. • Decreased environmental emissions. • Enhanced worker productivity and comfort. Often a retrofit allows for a reduction in the number of lighting units based on the increased light output. Coupled with the longer life of the units, the retrofit reduces maintenance costs because there are fewer lamps to replace, they need replacement less frequently and less labor is needed to replace them. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides a tax deduction of up to $0.60 per sq. ft. for lighting upgrades made by Dec. 31, 2008. Very specific standards and procedures must be met to qualify for this deduction and the total deduction, depends on the amount of energy saved as defined by ASHRAE 90.1-2001. A 250,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant that qualifies for the maximum benefit would receive up to a $150,000 deduction. (For more information about the specific requirements and assistance in meeting the program guidelines, go to In addition to the federal deductions many states and local jurisdictions offer tax abatements or credits for energy efficiency upgrades. The quality of the light received is equally important as the quantity of light, especially when safety and employee morale are considered. The light output of lamps is measured in lumens. Newer T8s maintain their lumen strength longer than T12s, resulting in brighter lights and fewer maintenance changes. Reduced energy consumption reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases. That’s an added benefit that doesn’t change your bottom line but can impact your sustainability quotient.

Cost Drivers

Increased Efficiencies



A compact fluorescent lamp replacement uses 25 percent less energy of the standard incandescent; an LED EXIT sign uses less than 10 percent. This is a very simple example of the differences in lighting technologies and how they translate to savings.

cont. on page 11


FMA, TPA Seek Applicants for Industry Awards
Awards Program Honors Industry Success Stories.
FMA and TPA are seeking applicants for two industry awards. The FABRICATOR’s Industry Award 2009, presented by FMA, and TPJ’s Industry Award 2009, presented by TPA, are open to individuals or companies in the metal forming and fabricating industry or the tube and pipe fabricating and producing industry who have successfully improved operations, attained business growth, and contributed to both the local and industry communities. “Manufacturing has been the backbone of America, and we feel it’s appropriate to honor the heroes of the industry by paying tribute to those individual leaders or companies that display innovation and determination to succeed,” said Gerald Shankel, president and CEO of FMA. Winners will be recognized on the cover of the February 2009 issue of The FABRICATOR®, and the cover of the January/February 2009 issue of TPJ-The Tube & Pipe Journal®, respectively, and will be featured in a high-profile article in the respective issue. To apply, visit the FMA Web site at The application deadline is Sept. 5, 2008 at 5 p.m. E-mail completed applications to Each winner will be selected by an awards committee consisting of staff and members of the FMA and TPA respectively, and will be honored at a 2009 FMA conference. Winners will be notified by Sept. 30, 2008. Please contact Randy Myers at 815-227-8255 for more information. The company also is an active member of its local community. It contributes to several philanthropic activities, hosts open houses and plant tours, and offers an internship program with local vocational-technical schools. In addition, the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce named Rob Marelli 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year.

About Lincoln Industries.
Lincoln Industries, formerly Lincoln Plating, has grown from a small job shop in 1952 to a first-class manufacturing company for the heavy truck, power sports, automotive and agriculture industries. The company has been named to the Great Places to Work® list for medium-sized companies for four consecutive years, an award presented to companies in America that develop successful organizations with highly productive and satisfied people. The company also is known for its award-winning wellness program, and was recognized in 2007 with an American Heart Association Platinum Award for being a Start! Fit-Friendly workplace. Through considerable research and development, the company designed an internal ceramic coating system that protects chrome exhaust stacks from the high heat generated from the diesel particulate filters need to meet the 2007 EPA regulation. At the time of development, no other supplier was able to provide exhaust tubes which were chrome plated externally and ceramic coated internally in a high volume application. Lincoln Industries is a sponsor of the “Dream It Do It” campaign that helps young people identify their passion and provides them tools to find careers in manufacturing. The company also conducts frequent plant tours for elementary, high school and college classes, and supports numerous community activities and charities.

Meet the 2008 Winners
Seconn Fabrication, a leading sheet metal fabricator based in Waterford, Conn., received The FABRICATOR’s Industry Award 2008 presented by FMA. Lincoln Industries, an engineering, assembly, packaging and logistics management company based in Lincoln, Neb., received the TPJ – Tube and Pipe Journal Industry Award 2008 presented by TPA. “This new award is designed to recognize those individual leaders and companies that display innovation and determination to succeed,” said Gerald Shankel, president and CEO of FMA, of which TPA is a technology affiliate. “Manufacturing is the backbone of America and we’re proud to honor Seconn and Lincoln as an industry success story.” Danny Forster, host of Extreme Engineering on the Discovery Channel, presented the awards to Rob Marelli, president & CEO of Seconn Fabrication, and Hank Orne, President of Lincoln Industries, in a special ceremony on March 13 during the Metal Matters 2008 conference.

About Seconn Fabrication
Seconn Fabrication, a leading sheet metal fabricator based in Waterford, Conn., has received The FABRICATOR’s Industry Award 2008 presented by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA). The new FMA award is bestowed upon an individual or company within the metal forming and fabricating industry that has successfully improved operations, attained business growth and contributed to both the local and industry communities. Established just four years ago, Seconn Fabrication has grown from a team of five employees in a 5,000-square foot facility to 66 employees in a custom-designed 35,000-square foot manufacturing showcase. Gross annual sales have grown from $500,000 to more than $9 million. 4
FMA President and CEO Gerald Shankel, “Build it Bigger” host Danny Forester, TPJ – Tube and Pipe Journal Industry Award 2008 winners Bill Hancock and Hank Orne from Lincoln Industries, Editor Eric Lundin, and FMA Communications Publisher, Ed Youdell.

Industry Award 2009
presented by FMA


Picture Yourself as the 2009 FABRICATOR Industry Award Winner
Think you have what it takes to be the winner of The FABRICATOR's Industry Award? Apply today at Award entries must be received by Sept. 5, 2008, at 5 p.m. The award is open to any individual or any company within the metal forming and fabricating industry who has successfully improved operations, attained business growth, and contributes to both the local and industry communities. The winner will receive: 1. Photo cover of the February 2009 issue of The FABRICATOR. 2. High-profile editorial feature in the respective issue. 3. Award to be presented at a 2009 FMA conference.

Certified Education Centers

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl., is striving to build relationships between companies and their local colleges. We understand the importance of creating that “pipeline” to breathe life back into America’s industries. The following institutions have been recognized by the FMA to have exemplary programs, facilities, and instruction. FMA’s CECs are engaged in a mission to interest today’s youth in pursuing careers in the metal forming industry. As an educational institution, they are welcomed into the FMA family and offered free training by industry professionals, curriculum support, assistance in securing equipment, and a place on our website and publications. Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, IA Moraine Park Technical College West Bend, WI Rock Valley College Rockford, IL British Columbia Institute of Technology Burnaby, BC, CAN Minuteman Regional Technical High School Lexington, MA College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL Kalamazoo Valley Community College Kalamazoo, MI Louisiana Technical College Greater Acadiana, LA Renton Technical College Renton, WA Lincoln Educational Services Grand Prairie, TX Illinois Central College East Peoria, IL Thomas Nelson Community College Hampton, VA Manufacturing Technology Academy Traverse Bay, MI If you believe your local college merits recognition with its work in the community and is preparing students for success in the metal forming industries, please contact the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl., to recommend the college as a Certified Education Center! E-mail or call 888-394-4362. 6

FMA Training at the Convenience of Your Own Desk
E-learning is rapidly growing as the education delivery format of choice. Like no other training form, e-learning promises to provide a single experience that accommodates different thinking and learning styles. FMA will soon have some of its most popular seminars available as on-demand modules students can complete at their own pace. Interaction still remains a vital ingredient to learning, so FMA also offers one-hour presentations that engage attendees. FMA FabCast programs are Webcasts, a technology in which live presentations are provided on a platform over the Internet for viewing, with audio from your telephone. FabCasts offer outstanding advantages over traditional instruction because they are: • onvenient - Participate in an FMA FabCast program from your C own desk or in a conference room. There is no need to be away from the office! There are three simple steps: log on, call in, and interact! • omprehensive - FabCast programs are packed with vital inC dustry information. Learn how to implement business processes, develop staff, and receive information on the latest technologies. • ost-effective - Only $99 for FMA and TPA members! No C travel expense is incurred since you don’t even need to leave your desk. Included in the fees are presentation materials provided for handouts and future reference. The number of staff who view the FabCast programs is unlimited. Simply register one person from your office and set up the computer in a conference room with a speaker phone; everyone may receive the same information at the same time. Upcoming FabCast topics include: Bringing Lean Manufacturing to Your Press Brakes by Design July 16, 2008 10 Steps for Increasing the Fabricator’s Cash Flow - Aug. 12, 2008 Budgets and Metrics in the Fab Shop: They Need Not Be ‘Four-Letter’ Words’ - Oct. 21, 2008 All programs are from 10 – 11:30 a.m. CDT. See the full calendar at Want to suggest a topic for future FabCast programs? Interested in presenting? We encourage you to keep us informed of your educational needs. Contact Jacob Peterson at or 815-227-8209 for more details.

ALAW Laser Conference 2008—Celebrating 16 Years of Education in Lasers!
In its 16th year, ALAW 2008 continues to be the premier North American industrial laser industry event. Over 200 attendees convened in Plymouth (Detroit), Mich., during the week of May 12th to hear from the automotive industry and suppliers during the Automotive and Body-in-White Tracks, and to learn from the popular case studies presented by job shop and OEMs during the Fabricators Track. Automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers from the global automotive industry delivered presentations on laser processing for automotive components; diode, fiber, and disk laser applications for welding and cutting; and how lasers are being used worldwide in the automotive industry. In addition to the presentations, attendees visited 25 vendor exhibits, which included a body-in-white frame (Ford Focus®) displayed by the Tailored Steel Product Alliance (TSPA), pictured below.

Hands-On Fundamentals of Tube and Pipe Fabricating
Attendees got up close and personal with machines at TPA’s Fundamentals of Tube and Pipe Fabricating session June 4. T-DRILL Industries Inc. in Norcross, Ga., opened its doors to host 15 attendees for the program that featured five industry experts who had the opportunity to enhance their presentations with equipment demonstrations. John Hodges of T-DRILL kicked the program off by highlighting various cutting and end finishing processes. A lively discussion gave attendees the opportunity to explore the advantages and disadvantages of methods they currently use while also learning about alternatives. Hodges then took attendees to T-DRILL’s shop floor to demonstrate the processes. Greg Miller of Tubular Solutions Inc. and Eric Stange of Tools for Bending Inc. covered tube bending and bending tooling. There are many factors involved in selecting and implementing tube bending solutions and the process can be difficult. Miller used case studies to enhance attendee’s ability to successfully coordinate a tube fabrication project from start to finish. Stange went on to describe the interaction of tooling during the bending process, explaining how features, design considerations, and techniques affect the process. Maruka USA provided the tube bender for use during the demonstrations. Walter Sperko of Sperko Engineering Inc. provided attendees excellent insight on common welding processes used for welding tube and discussed special situations, such as welded coated steels, welding fumes, and the basics of OSHA. To finish the day, Robert Dean of Aristo Machines Inc. brought in various parts for attendees to view, helping them identify basic tube end forming methods. He explored the advantages and disadvantages of various methods and gave attendees sources to gain more insight and information on each method. Attendees were able to interact with each instructor as well as with each other, network to get specific questions answered, and receive solutions to their individual challenges. If you missed this program or are looking for other tube and pipe sessions, don’t miss TPA’s upcoming Tube & Pipe Fabricating and Producing Conference and Roundtable September 9-10 at the Hyatt on Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio. This dual-track program will feature six sessions and two interactive roundtable discussions for each technology–fabricating and producing. Don’t miss this conference! For more information go to and click on Education.

Attendees were also invited to network during two open houses hosted by Fraunhofer and TRUMPF Laser, as well as a reception hosted by IPG Photonics. New this year to ALAW was a golf outing, with 20 players. The golfers enjoyed a sunny day on the beautiful Luke and Matthew courses at the Inn at St. John’s. In summary, ALAW encompasses state-of-the-art laser processes for manufacturers and job shops, as well as automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. For manufacturing and job shop facilities, this conference offers a fundamental understanding of laser technology, current applications, and practical solutions to problems.

Save the dates for next year!

The ALAW Laser Conference is scheduled May 11-14, 2009, at the Inn at St. John’s Conference Center, Plymouth, Mich. Visit or contact Jen Christian at for more details.

Charles Parham of Maruka USA demonstrates tube bending processes to attendees Tony Altman and Toby Allen.


Main Steel’s Tribute Gift Expresses Founder’s Attitude
Thomas Andrew Mallan, founder of Main Steel Polishing Co., inspired employees and friends with his positive outlook.
When toll processing powerhouse Main Steel Polishing Co. lost its revered founder, Thomas Mallan, to a long illness last summer, they wanted to give him a memorial tribute of consequence. “Instead of flowers, the company wanted to do something lasting, something that had an impact,” said CEO Tom Connell. So Connell put out the word and 22 employees, associates, and friends contributed. Over the next several months, the company presented the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Foundation with a total of $7,500 to benefit its scholarship fund. Connell, who started working with Mallan in 1977 and joined his company in 1981, added, “As well as our originator and chairman of the board, Tom was my best friend. Over the years I watched him strive not only to succeed, but to raise the standard in metal processing as well. Now some young person preparing for a role in the industry will be helped toward the goal. I know Tom would have liked that.” And, Connell added, if we were looking for an inspiring example of cheerful perseverance, we’d find it in Linda Mallan. Throughout her husband’s difficult final years, she never flagged, taking the two of them on trips to Alaska and Europe despite the challenges travel posed. “As long as they had a wheelchair and oxygen, she kept him experiencing all life had to offer,” Connell said. “She didn’t believe in sitting at home.” When thanked for her generosity to the Foundation, Linda said, “I’m delighted we’re able to make a difference. Tom always valued education, although he never finished college. He started at the University of Massachusetts, but after a year-and-a-half, his father died and he had to quit. So he was self-taught, and luckily, he was intuitive and had a mechanical mind, and he was able to go far with that.” Far, indeed. Although his company started with just one sheet polisher, Tom’s leadership and forward thinking moved Main Steel from a single location to the company’s position today as the largest independent toll processor in North America, with 10 facilities. In 2006, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary. Linda continued, “Tom really valued practical education, and it seems like that isn’t taught much anymore. Manufacturing is an important part of our economy, but every kid wants to be a stockbroker. Well, without manufacturing—without farming, or roofing, or mining, or plumbing—there’s nowhere for stockbrokers to do their thing, is there?” She makes a good point. Research shows that as baby boomers in the skilled work force retire, they are not being replaced—at least not in the numbers U.S. industry requires. (For a white paper on the coming work force crisis, go to cfm.) In response to this shortage, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Foundation is heavily involved in interesting today’s youths in manufacturing careers and furthering their studies. 8 “The FMA Foundation was a good fit for us, because its mission is in line with Tom’s interests,” Linda concluded. “He was really enthused about machinery. We had a boat, and he loved that boat— but not because he could fish off the back of it. It was because of its mechanics!” Similarly minded students—146 to be exact—sent scholarship applications to the FMA Foundation this spring. Two of them will begin classes in engineering or another manufacturing-related course of study in the fall compliments of Main Steel’s generous tribute gift. Watch these pages for a follow-up story on the scholarship recipients. Discover the many ways to include the FMA Foundation in your charitable giving plans at or call 888-394-4362.

FMA Foundation’s New Staffer at Your Service

Meet Nathan Ruby, FMA Foundation’s new Major Gifts Manager. Nathan’s background makes him uniquely qualified to guide donors through the steps of making a truly fulfilling corporate or individual gift to the FMA Foundation—and to do so in a way that brings value to the donor and is transformational to the metal fabrication industry. Nathan earned a B.S. degree in History from Bradley University before working for Lutheran Brotherhood and several nonprofit organizations—including Lutheran Senior Ministries, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Foundation, and Home Sweet Home Ministries—in the areas of development and planned giving. Nathan lives in Dunlap, Ill., with his wife and three children. Please contact him at or 309-360-4983 for assistance with your charitable gift to the Foundation—and be a hero in your industry! The FMA Foundation introduces youth to manufacturing careers through grants to help fund manufacturing summer camps for middle-schoolers across North America. To students enrolled in engineering and other manufacturing-related schooling at trade schools, colleges, and universities, the Foundation awards scholarships of up to $5,000 per year. More at


I need the names of tube producers in Central or South America who can make tubing that can be used in the food and beverage industries. Can you help me?

Yes. There are several ways to find tube producers throughout the world. The first place to look is our own Who’s Who on Anyone can search for association members who produce tubes of various sizes and material. A quick search for stainless steel tube producers found 17 companies, but none of them are in Central or South America. Another search on the Tube and Pipe Producers Buyers’ Guide on yielded 37 manufacturers of stainless steel tubing. None of these companies, however, is in the geographic area that you mentioned. Next a search on a software package that the library purchased, Simdex Steel Tube Manufacturers Worldwide Guide, was searched by application. Searches also can be done by geographic area (see Figure 1). This search produced five companies, one in Argentina, three in Brazil, and one in Mexico. I will send you contact information and a brief description of each company’s capabilities. Figure 1

RAC receives many requests like this one. To help answer these questions, the library utilizes the Simdex database. It includes over 1,200 tube and pipe manufacturers from more than 90 countries, and it is searchable by application, size, shape, material, manufacturing process, and company name. The database is just one of many research sources the Research Center can use to answer members’ requests. Members can contact the Research Center by calling 815-399-8700 or e-mailing
As a member, you have access to the largest and most extensive library devoted to the metal forming and fabricating industry—a benefit reserved exclusively for members. FMA’s Research Assistance Center is the most efficient source for the information you need to optimize your operation. Advantage and AdvantagePlus Members enjoy unlimited FREE research, while Basic Members receive one hour of FREE research assistance per month. Get your research questions answered when you call the Research Assistance Center at 1-815-399-8700 or e-mail


Safety Award Winners
Congratulations to the following Advantage and AdvantagePlus member companies that made safety a priority in 2007!

Finding Skilled Employees Has Just Gotten Easier

Most Improved
Welfab Inc. N. Billerica, MA

Merit Award

Anderson & Dahlen Inc. Ramsey, MN Clarion Metals Covington, GA Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc. Dallas, TX Mayflower Vehicle Systems Inc. Shadyside, OH Wichita Steel Fabricators Wichita, KS

AK Tube LLC Columbus, IN

Honor Award

Finding skilled employees is one of the top concerns in the industry. To address this problem, FMA encourages you to use its Job Board to help simplify the hiring process. Some recent enhancements include: • ll jobs posted directly through FMA’s site will go to the top A of the list and have an FMA logo next to their ad for greater visibility. • ob seekers now can search by keyword, location, or job type. J Note to job posters: Use key-words within your job posting that job seekers would type in the search. Visit to post jobs today.

B. Walter & Company Inc. Wabash, IN FMT Inc. Findlay, OH Great Lakes Contracting Inc. Milwaukee, WI Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc. Tinton Falls, NJ Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc.— Manokin Street Baltimore, MD Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc.— Boyle Street Baltimore, MD McAbee Construction Inc. Tuscaloosa, AL Nisshin Automotive Tubing LLC Versailles, KY Nova Group Inc. Napa, CA Welfab Inc. N. Billerica, MA

Exclusive Member Access to

Main Steel Polishing Co. Inc. Commerce, CA

Honorable Mention

FMA is pleased to announce a new Advantage-level member benefit that allows access to more than 90 safety-related subject areas offered at The site includes customizable and downloadable training tools (in English and Spanish), regulatory analyses, daily regulatory updates, best-practice case studies, safety e-newsletters, and articles written by BLR’s staff of safety professionals. “The site is an excellent tool for our safety committee,” said Nora Eberl, human resource officer at Buffalo, N.Y-based Eberl Iron Works, Inc. We have printed posters to post in our plant and distributed the safety newsletters to employees. It’s a great resource and timesaver.” To check out this benefit, log on to Members Only at Read a sample from below.

Safety Pros Share Ideas for Observing National Safety Month
Members of the Safety Forum at Safety.BLR. com have been sharing ideas for fun programs and activities they can conduct during National Safety Month, which the National Safety Council observed in June. The discussion thread on National Safety Month has become one of the most active since BLR launched the Safety Forum in March. One safety professional’s company held a different safety-related contest for each week of the month. In one week, the company held a contest in which employees had to find hidden safety items in a picture. The company hired an artist to create the picture. The company also held an electronic scavenger hunt in which employees had to find the answers to safety questions on the Internet. Another company used scratch tickets as a fun way to prompt workers to think about safety. The tickets contained safety-related questions and employees had to scratch off the correct answer. If they answered correctly, they became eligible for a drawing and could win an instant prize. One forum member suggested safety jeopardy or safety poker as possibilities. Another member said he tried safety poker last year but that it wasn’t a good fit for his organization because of its size (700 employees). Another contributor to the forum created an activity in which employees separated into teams to investigate a mock accident scene. The teams had to determine what caused the injury and describe how it could have been prevented. This article and many more can be found at For more ideas, visit the Safety Forum and the National Safety Month Resource Center.


Lighting Retrofits 101 cont.
The size of the entire complex was 245,000 sq. ft. The goals were to maintain the existing amount of light, reduce energy consumption, and achieve a tax deduction. Existing annual energy costs were almost $340,000. No changes were made to the height of the lights. The entire retrofit cost was $240,000. The amount of light per lamp increased by almost 100 percent, meaning that each lamp produced more light per unit of energy it consumed. At an average electricity cost of $0.085 per kilowatt-hour, total annual energy savings equaled $128,000, or 38 percent. Additionally, the company met the tax deduction standards and therefore received the maximum $0.60 per sq. ft. This resulted in a deduction of $147,000. How do you know if you should explore a lighting retrofit? First, determine the last time the lights were upgraded. If it’s been longer than seven years, there is a good chance that new technology can offer significant savings. Then, determine the number of hours per day the lights are on in your facility. Multiply that number by 250 (for a five day operation) or 365 for a full-time operation. This defines your

Upgrade of Production Floor, Warehouse Lighting Fixtures

“burning hours”. Facilities with annual burn hours of 3,000 or more are likely retrofit candidates. Determine what lighting fixtures and lamps you currently have. The next step is to conduct a lighting audit. The cost for this service ranges from free to 3.5 cents per sq. ft. Often the lighting auditor will build this cost into the entire project if you decide to move forward. Local electricians are often versed in lighting audits and retrofits, but you might want to speak to a lighting expert. Most lighting manufacturers – General Electric, Philips, Sylvania – have experts on staff to help you make some determinations. Some local electric utilities help customers reduce usage and can provide information regarding lighting. (For a list of and information about manufacturers, distributors, designers, and service firms that participate in the lighting industry, go to As business owners and managers, we have the responsibility to all of our constituencies – employees, owners, customers – to be cost-efficient, productive, and a sustainable part of the community. Energy-efficient lighting systems can help us achieve these goals. Kathy Kiernan is senior vice president with Affiliated Power Purchasers Intl (APPI). APPI is the endorsed energy consultant for FMA and TPA. For more information on APPI, visit

Where to Go From Here?


member newsletter
july/august 2008

Connections Staff
Editor Kimberly Pollard Contributing Writers D’Ann Hamilton, Dena Mattausch Member Services & Research Director Nancy Olson Membership Operations & Customer Service Manager Jill Klug Graphic Designer Sarah Currie

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Customer service: 888-394-4362 or 815-399-8775 Fax: 815-381-1371 FMA e-mail: FMA Website: TPA e-mail: TPA Website: FMA Connections is published bimonthly by: Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International® Tube & Pipe Association, International® 833 Featherstone Rd. Rockford, IL 61107-6302 USA

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