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The Official Publication of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association

Safety Issue The

Resources, Regulations Costs, Culture

FEATURE

Make ‘CX’ Your Rx For Customers

Fourth Quarter 2017

MEMBER PROFILE

ANNUAL CONVENTION

ITR FOR GAWDA

Noble Gas: New Room for Growth

‘Big Apple’ Meet-Up: Take A Big Bite!

Smooth Sailing Into Early 2018


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co nt e n t s Fourth Quarter • Fall 2017 • Volume 16, No. 4

DEPARTMENTS 06

PRESIDENT’S VIEW A Busy Year; An Enduring Message

BY MARK RAIMY



DIRECTOR’S DESK Welcome Back to the Big Apple

10

BY JOHN OSPINA

12

FROM THE EDITOR

BY DIANE STIRLING

Resources, Regulations Costs, Culture

GAWDA CONSULTANTS 14

 tmost Medical Gas U Safety is Do-able Via Defined Practices

16

BY THOMAS L. BADSTUBNER

COVER STORIES 22

 AWDA RESOURCES MAKE G SAFETY FRONT AND CENTER

GAWDA Archives: Safety Articles Trove

18

BY MICHAEL DODD

BY CHARLES McCHESNEY

34

TSA Eyes Hazmat Shipment Tracking

54

BY RICHARD P. SCHWEITZER, ESQ.

38

ITR Economics View: Smooth Sailing Ahead

BY ALAN BEAULIEU

NOBLE GAS SOLUTIONS Expansion Helps Firm Gain Space and Ground

BY AGNES H. BAKER

STAY CONNECTED

www.WeldingAndGasesToday.org

2 • Fall 2017

BY CHARLES McCHESNEY

 OUR SAFETY PROGRAMS: Y INVESTMENTS, NOT COSTS

40

MEMBER PROFILE 48

 OW SAFETY-PRODUCT SALES H ENHANCE THE BOTTOM LINE

BY RICHARD P. SCHWEITZER, ESQ.

 HUGE KNOWLEDGE BASE A AVAILBLE FROM CGA

44

BY RICH CRAIG

HERE’S HOW TO SEED A SAFETY-FIRST CULTURE

BY KELLY BLADOW


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co nt e n t s Fourth Quarter • Fall 2017 • Volume 16, No. 4

BACK OF THE BOOK 110

INDUSTRY NEWS

112

IN MEMORIAM

115

INDUSTRY CALENDAR

115

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

118

NEW OFFERINGS

120

ADVERTISERS INDEX

THE TEAM EXECUTIVE EDITOR

John Ospina | jospina@gawda.org

ANNUAL CONVENTION 74

GAWDA GUEST VIEWS 62

PUBLISHER

Bill Brod | billbrod@datakey.org

70

BUSINESS TRENDS Cybersecurity: It’s a People Issue BY DALE MEYERROSE

BY PAUL BERNIER

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Diane Stirling | dianes@datakey.org

SALES & MARKETING ‘CX’: Experience Excellence Earns Returning Customers

68

SENIOR EDITOR

Charles McChesney charles@datakey.org

HUMAN RESOURCES Tips to Resolve Workplace Conflict

72

BY LYNDON FRIESEN

BEST PRACTICES A Legal Twist in Driver Risk BY WILLIAM MCCLOY

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Natasha Alexis | nalexis@gawda.org CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Agnes H. Baker

FROM GAWDA HQ 74

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

ANNUAL CONVENTION ‘Bullish on GAWDA’ in the ‘Big Apple’

Dylan Suttles CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER

Robin Turk | robint@datakey.org VICE PRESIDENT, SALES

Tim Hudson | timh@datakey.org

82

GET THE GAWDA APP

84

‘GAWDA GIVES BACK’ Tops $2 Million

88

AC EXHIBITORS GUIDE

107

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

108

HERE’S WHAT’S APP-ENING NYC-Centric Apps

Welding & Gases Today (USPS 22-975) is published quarterly: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, with additional publications in Spring and Summer. • Non-member subscription rate is $195 per year. • GAWDA members (key contacts and branch locations) receive the magazine as part of their dues. • GAWDA members can order additional yearly subscriptions (4 issues) for $40. • Welding & Gases Today is published by Data Key Communications, Inc. on behalf of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. • Periodicals postage paid at Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and at additional mailing offices (ISSN 1558-5344). • Editorial correspondence should be sent to Editors, c/o editor@WeldingAndGasesToday. org. Advertising correspondence and materials should be sent to William Brod, Data Key Communications, Inc., 1415 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13204; telephone (315) 4452347, fax (315) 422-1721. • Postmaster: Send address changes to Welding & Gases Today, Gases and Welding Distributors Association, One Oakwood Blvd, Suite 195, Hollywood, FL 33020 • Welding & Gases Today is the official journal of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) and carries news and announcements concerning GAWDA. • It is not responsible for contents or opinions other than association activities. • Contents are copyright ©2017 Data Key Communications, Inc. • All rights reserved. • Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. • Questions and comments can be sent via e-mail to Editors, c/o editor@WeldingAnd GasesToday.org. • Data Key Communications, Inc. reserves the right to print portions of or all of any correspondence mailed to the editors without liability on its part and no such correspondence will be returned. • Visit Welding & Gases Today Online at www.WeldingAndGasesToday.org. Statement of Ownership Publication Title Welding & Gases Today. publication number 1558-5344. filing date 10/2017. issue frequency quarterly + 2 special issues. # of issues published annually: 6. subscription price part of member dues. mailing address of known office of publication and headquarters: One Oakwood Boulevard, Suite 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. headquarters address same. Publisher: William Brod, Data Key Communications, 1415 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13204. Editor: John C. Ospina, GAWDA Executive Director, One Oakwood Boulevard, Suite 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. Managing editors: Diane Stirling and Charles McChesney, Data Key Communications, 1415 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13204. Owner: GAWDA, One Oakwood Boulevard, Suite 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. average net press run 1795/2500. outside county paid/requested mail subscriptions 1461/1775. in-county paid/requested mail subscriptions 0/0. sales through dealers and carriers 0/0. requested copies by other mail classes 0/0. total paid and or requested circulation 1461/1775. outside county nonrequested copies 64/40. in-county nonrequested copies 0/0. nonrequested copies distributed through USPS by other classes 20/30. nonrequested copies distributed outside the mail 158/600. total nonrequested distribution 242/670. total distribution 1703/2445. copies not distributed 91/55. total 1795/2500. percent paid and/or requested circulation 81/73.

4 • Fall 2017


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PRESIDENT’S VIEW

Looking Back at a Productive Year; Leaving an Enduring Message for Members by mark raimy

I Mark Raimy is GAWDA’s 2016-2017 president and chief executive officer of the family’s thirdgeneration business, Welders Supply Co., Inc. – a Raimy Corporation. The company’s two locations are in Erie, Pa., its headquarters site, with a branch in Jamestown, N.Y. He can be reached at mhr@wscrc.com and at 814-454-1563.

6 • Fall 2017

t’s hard to believe that a year has passed and my term as 2016-2017 president is at an end. This year, my goals were to use technology to improve communication in order to bring the value of GAWDA to our members and to strengthen the value when members come to GAWDA events. I believe we made good strides on both initiatives. We built the GAWDA events app. It’s a great platform to replace all the paper and schedules that come with attending meetings. Its features give members new ways to communicate, make appointments with other members and use social media to share pictures and experiences. (At the fall Annual Convention, we’ll continue using this, and will push updates and reminders to attendees through the app. If you are headed to the AC, please download the app and let it help you navigate the event.) We added Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics as a consultant and GAWDA’s chief economist. His quarterly GAWDA- and industry-specific reports and recommendations appear in this magazine. These offer more certainty about the future of the business environment and less guessing about economic conditions, strengthening decision-making ability, leadership and competitive position. Our ITR program brings much value just as it is now, but the next possible step – creating a true GAWDA indicator – will let us enjoy something akin to having the value of the collective membership experience in one room. This step would require member companies to send sales data to ITR in a completely secure and confidential manner, to be used for additional economic analysis. I believe the power of this indicator information to be immense and it will meet a core

GAWDA mission. We’ll hear more about this at the fall convention. We spent several months improving messaging to both sides of our membership. This also led to updates and improvements to the Contact Booth Program, electronic communication and a redesigned GAWDA show booth. My work with the Contact Booth Committee was a highlight of my year, giving me a chance to get behind the supplier curtain a bit while working with the committee. I gained insights into a most valuable point of view. I am continually impressed with the commitment and passion our supplier members have for GAWDA, and I now have an in-depth understanding of the importance of the Contact Booth Program to them. I would like to leave an enduring message to my fellow distributor members. Please take full advantage of the Contact Booth Program. Strengthen your current relationships, but also invest in new ones. The rate of change in our industry keeps advancing. Who knows what the next big thing may be or what the landscape will look like ahead? The best way to be prepared for an uncertain future is to have depth and breadth in relationships. This is one of the biggest value opportunities that GAWDA offers through its meetings. We plan to debut a new GAWDA website this fall. The prior site was torn down and a new one will provide big changes in looks and functionality. The new one will permit members to make the value of in-person meetings occur electronically. It features a robust and secure member-only area, another step to better serve our smaller members and one we think will also help GAWDA’s efforts to recruit similar suppliers and distributors.


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President Raimy at his 2016 installation with wife Kathryn; children Jack, Lindsay and Lauren; and father Bruce.

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I’m grateful for all the help and support I’ve enjoyed from this organization in many different ways. We have a strong Executive Committee and Board of Directors. They all helped greatly with my initiatives and projects, efforts meant to strengthen GAWDA. We have very strong leadership and I look forward to seeing Ned Lane take the presidency and take GAWDA to the next level. We have very capable staff running the business side of GAWDA. Their support and dedication is deep and I want to thank them greatly for all their help and support of my goals this past year. Members are in very good hands with them. I want to thank the membership. It was a most amazing experience to be able to travel to many of the regional meetings to make new friends and strengthen current friendships. This association has a great membership group. I also want to thank my family, wife Kathryn and children Lauren, Jack and Lindsay, for their support and for putting up with lots of away-time. They did get to go to some fun places. After Hawaii and Boca Raton, Lindsay, our 6-year-old, told me that she didn’t really understand what GAWDA was but that she really did like it. She said it wasn’t just the nice places she went, it was the friendliness of all those she met. So even a 6-year old can appreciate how special GAWDA is because of its people. (I did not have the heart to tell her that it may be a bit different next year when we attend as a member instead of as president. We all have to grow up some time.) As always, I think GAWDA is at its best when we all come together and learn from each other. With all that said, I hope to see you at a meeting soon.


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DIRECTOR’S DESK

Welcome back to the Big Apple by john ospina

I John Ospina is GAWDA’s executive director. He can be reached at GAWDA Headquarters in Hollywood, Fla., via telephone at 844-2513219 or via email at jospina@gawda.org.

10 • Fall 2017

t’s been six years since we last hosted our Annual Convention in New York City. There are tons of things to do and places to see in the “City That Never Sleeps.” As a destination, this is one of the best locations in the country to visit. New York is famous not only for all its cultural attractions; it constitutes the largest municipal and regional economy in the United S t a t e s . Wa l l Street, the home of the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, has been characterized as the world’s premier financial center. Where better to host our 2017 Annual Convention? Our speaker lineup kicks off with GAWDA’s Chief Economist, Alan Beaulieu. His economic report is followed by a panel discussion on family businesses. The moderator is Daniel G. Van Der Vliet, executive director of the John and Dyan Smith Family Business Center at Cornell University. Tuesday is our Contact Booth Program along with our featured Prize Program, which is sponsored by many of our attending supplier mem-

bers. I strongly encourage all our distributor attendees to walk the floor and visit with our supplier exhibitors. On Wednesday, our anchor speakers include the former head Football coach of Notre Dame, Lou Holtz. Lou’s career took him from coaching through broadcasting and numerous honors, including induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. We close that business session with a talk by the CEO of Praxair, Steve Angel. As a top industry leader, Steve will give us his unique perspective on our business. We end our convention with our President’s Gala at Cipriani’s on Wall Street. This amazing venue has served as the home of the New Yo r k M e r c h a n t s Photo: Cipriani Wall Street Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the United States Customs House and the headquarters of the National City Bank. It will be a night to remember as we bring to a close the 2017 Annual Convention. I look forward to seeing everyone in New York and as always, thank you for your continued support.


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FROM THE EDITOR

Stepping Up to Help: It’s the GAWDA Way by diane stirling

T Diane Stirling is editor in chief of Welding & Gases Today. A career journalist, public relations practitioner, communications strategist and online content creator, she is part of the GAWDA Media team. Get in touch with her at dianes@datakey. org and 315-445-2347.

12 • Fall 2017

his quarter’s Welding & Gases Today is another representation of the very GAWDAmember trait of stepping up to the occasion when asked for leadership and participation in ways that help fellow members. That characteristic is evident in this issue’s many member-company and employee contributions. It’s what we enjoy most every time we put together a new magazine – incorporating members’ impressive expertise, experience and perspectives on industry issues. Whether members are sources for articles or guest authors, each magazine’s content is enriched by their participation, their information and their enthusiasm. In the summer issue, for instance, a number of member companies let their executives provide explicit tips on how they create sales floor success. This time, we look at the many ways safety issues impact operations, and many members’ suggestions can be put to immediate use. Kelly Bladow, of Oxarc, a GAWDA vice president and longtime Safety Committee member, offers advice for creating a “safety-first” mindset. Rich Craig, of the Compressed Gas Association, details how easy and helpful it is to take part in the CGA Subscription Program. Bill McCloy of AmWINS enlightens us on how even the personal driving records of employees can impact a company. Paul Bernier of General Air offers ideas to ensure that customers enjoy “experience excellence” every time they do business with your firm. In addition, we thank our neighbors, Haun Welding Supply, Inc. and employees Joshua Haun, Dan Breckenridge and Bill Bellows for their help with the loan of safety equipment that

is pictured on this magazine’s cover and inside articles. We appreciate their assistance. In the Annual Convention roundup, you’ll read more about members stepping up and how their participation has resulted in a milestone of generosity for this organization. Contributions to the GAWDA Gives Back charitable initiative have topped the $2-million mark because members commit, year after year, so their business success also benefits others. There are other illustrations of leadership in this issue, too, including that of our convention guest presenters: GAWDA Chief Economist Alan Beaulieu, family business expert Daniel Van Der Vliet, renowned coach and sports commentator Lou Holtz and Praxair Inc. CEO Steve Angel. We look forward to seeing many of you soon in New York. We’ll be covering events and asking what kinds of topics you’d like us to write about next year. Your ideas and comments are always welcome. So, join us for a chat, send us an email or give us a call anytime. We love hearing from you!

CREDITS AND THANKS: Cover photography for GAWDA Media by Dylan Suttles. Equipment loan courtesy of Haun Welding Supply Co. Inc.


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CONSULTANTS FDA & MEDICAL GASES

Best Practices Help Maintain Medical Gas Safety Performance by thomas l. badstubner

T GAWDA’s FDA and Medical Gases Consultant Thomas L. Badstubner is president of AsteRisk LLC in Lewisville, Texas. Members can reach him at 508-883-0927 and tom@asteriskllc.com.

he medical gas industry has a long and outstanding history of providing safe and reliable products for medical usage. The Compressed Gas Association and GAWDA work to develop industry standards and best practices to ensure continued safe performance of our products to end users. So, it’s critical that members adopt and follow these proven and necessary standards and identify opportunities for continuous improvement as we work with the Food and Drug Administration to adopt these standards to ensure medical gas safety. Following are some key areas to consider to maintain and enhance our safety performance. They will help ensure safety for our employees, our customers and the general public regarding the handling of medical gas.

PERSONNEL SAFETY

To help ensure continued safety, the industry has developed and published various standards regarding the safe filling, storage handling and distribution of compressed gases. Consider these highly valuable resources and adopt these practices into your daily operations: • CGA AV-1, Safe Handling and Storage of Compressed Gases (1992). This video may be available in an e-learning format soon and reviews the basic safe practices for filling cylinders. • CGA P-1, Standard for Safe Handling of Compressed Gases in Containers. This lists basic safety procedures for our industry. • CGA P-15, Standard for the Filling of Industrial and Medical Nonflammable Compressed Gas Cylinders. This publication 14 • Fall 2017

is the foundation of our high-pressure cylinder fill procedures. This is a “must-have” publication for ensuring conformance to the industry standard best practices. • CGA M-2, General Guide for the Manufacture of Medical Gases Classified as Drugs • CGA G-6.3, Carbon Dioxide Cylinder Filling and Handling Procedures. If you fill CO2 cylinders, you will want to have this publication. It contains valuable details to ensure CO2 cylinders are filled and shipped safely. Remember, most of these CGA publications can be obtained at no cost to GAWDA members by simply joining the free GAWDA/CGA Safety Program. Additionally, the following practices are highly recommended to help ensure personnel safety while processing, filling, distributing and handling medical gases. • Job Observation – At least annually, observe your personnel while they are filling cylinders. Compare their fill process with your written procedures. This simple management step can be documented as a valuable training tool and gives you an opportunity to reinforce good practices, correct bad work habits or revise the written procedures as necessary to incorporate continuous improvement. • Vacuum Systems – Ensure that your vacuum system is equipped with an adequate and effective pressure-relief device to protect the pump if high pressure is inadvertently applied to the vacuum system piping.


Consult with your piping system provider if you have any concerns about the sizing of your vacuum system pressure-relief device. • Internal Piping Cleanliness – Be certain that the piping that will see high pressure is internally free of contaminants (including vacuum lubricant). One way to ensure that your vacuum lubricant does not migrate to the high-pressure piping is to have a vacuum-breaking solenoid valve installed between your manifold vacuum valve and the vacuum pump. This solenoid valve is designed to introduce atmospheric air into the vacuum suction piping to prevent oil from being drawn out of the pump. (This may not be appropriate for flammable gas vacuum pumps.) There are other good methods to help ensure that no vacuum lubricant migrates to your high-pressure oxygen piping (oil sump, check valve, etc.). Consult with your piping systems provider if you have any questions about your vacuum system.

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We can help ensure the safety of our customers and patients by using these resources and practices. • CGA AV-12, Avoiding Medical Gas Mix-ups (2009). This video can help reinforce safe practices to ensure customers get the medical gas they are expecting. Driver Training – Conduct annual Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) training for your drivers. In addition to being required by the FDA regulations, it makes good sense. This training typically takes under 30 minutes. Contact tom@asteriskllc.com for sample Driver CGMP training PowerPoint slides, video and quiz/answer key. Tamper-Proof Fittings – The FDA now requires tamper-proof fittings on medical cryogenic containers. This agency action follows the CGA SB-26 recommendations from the year 2000. Be certain that all of your medical cryogenic containers have fittings that cannot be removed by drivers or customer maintenance personnel. Ensure that your employees are adequately trained to never force-fit or remove a cryogenic medical gas container connection and that they can recognize tamper-proof connections. Keep in mind that “tamper-evident” connections are common on industrial cryogenic containers, but should never be used on medical gas cryogenic containers. Contact tom@asteriskllc.com if you would like training material for your employees. These are certainly not all the available resources and recommended actions to maintain the safety of our employees and customers. However, these publications and best practices can be very useful in your continuing efforts to ensure the safety of the people who fill and use our medical products.

© Saint-Gobain June 2016.

carbo.com Fall 2017 • 15


CONSULTANTS DOT, SECURITY, OSHA & EPA

GAWDA’s Safety Offerings Run Wide and Deep by michael dodd

O GAWDA DOT, Security, OSHA and EPA Consultant Michael Dodd is president of MLD Safety Associates in Poplar Bluff, Mo. Members can reach him at 573-7182887 and at MLDSafety@ hotmail.com.

16 • Fall 2017

ne of GAWDA’s primary missions has been to provide safety and compliance help to its membership. Our organization originated in 1946, so you can just imagine the amount of information that has been presented to members over the years. I have been with GAWDA for almost 18 years, and in that time, I’ve written nearly 400 articles on various Department of Transportation (DOT), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and security compliance and safety issues. Fellow consultants Tom Badstubner (GAWDA’s medical, food and beverage and specialty gas consultant) and Rick Schweitzer (our government affairs, human resources and legal counsel) have authored numerous articles and alerts focused on their areas of expertise, too. GAWDA preserves much of this recent helpful information for members’ use anytime. Articles from 2012 on are available on the “members-only” portal of GAWDA’s website. If you don’t see what you’re looking for there, contact me or another of GAWDA’s consultants. We can usually provide it. Members may not be aware that most of the topics I write about for GAWDA originate with the questions they send my way. If I keep hearing a question repeatedly, that indicates a common need or a heightened interest. That’s my trigger to issue an update or send out a new bulletin or column. If the issues are DOT-related (involving drivers, vehicles, cylinders, cylinder filling or cylinder requalification), I send it out as a Traffic Bulletin. If the topic concerns OSHA or EPA issues, I distribute a Safety Topic piece. In addition, whenever a new regulation is finalized, I send that news to members in an

easy-to-understand format. I include suggestions for how they can easily comply with and implement the new rules. Articles also can be generated when members share with me information about an accident or an incident that has occurred. I only share the information with the permission of the member, and I take care to keep the member’s identity confidential. What’s important is getting relevant information out to our members to prevent the same situation from happening to others. I can tell you that GAWDA’s Safety Committee and I would really enjoy having members share more of their individual cases with us so we can help prevent similar incidents in the future. Another source for more safety information is the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) website and its publications portal (https://www.cganet. com/customer/Publication.aspx.) Remember, these publications are all available at no added cost to GAWDA members. All anyone has to do to receive them is to sign up with the CGA/ GAWDA subscription program. That can be found at: https://www.cganet.com/customer/gawda.aspx. GAWDA provides a very valuable service to its members by providing sample practices, alerts and articles on all the different areas of safety concerns that are relevant to our industry. It’s an excellent reason to be a member of this fine organization. Please remember that anytime you have questions regarding any of the topics I cover, just get in touch. I’m always happy to hear from you and to help you. Michael Dodd, GAWDA DOT, Security, OSHA, and EPA Consultant P.O. Box 93, Poplar Bluff, MO 63902 573-718-2887 | MLDSafety@hotmail.com


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CONSULTANTS GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS & HUMAN RESOURCES

TSA Considering Tracking of Hazmat Shipments by richard p. schweitzer, esq.

L GAWDA’s Government Affairs and Human Resources Legal Consultant Rick Schweitzer is president of Richard P. Schweitzer, PLLC in Washington, D.C. He is also GAWDA’s general counsel. Members can reach him at 202-223-3040 and rpschweitzer@ rpslegal.com.

ike a bad penny, sometimes a bad idea comes back for reconsideration in Washington. In the early 1990s, Congressman Douglas Applegate of Ohio proposed legislation to create a centralized computer database to house information on all shipments of hazardous materials by truck. His idea was for every shipper to send an electronic notice to a central government computer each day with information on every shipment of hazardous materials requiring a placard, including the types and amounts of hazardous materials and the route to be taken. Rep. Applegate’s idea was that if any shipment was lost in transit due to criminal or terrorist activity, the database could tell us where the shipment was supposed to be and whether it had arrived at its destination. But companies already knew when their shipments did not arrive on time, and the legislation would have imposed a huge administrative burden on shippers (along with a per-transaction fee to file the reports). Also, there was no one in government who would be able to use the data in the system to any beneficial effect – but it would provide a ripe target for computer hackers to find out who was shipping what products where. GAWDA (then the National Welding Supply Association) fought the legislation along with virtually all other shippers and carriers of hazardous materials, and the proposal never became law.

2007 LEGISLATION

Fast forward to 2007, and Congress did pass a more targeted version of the same concept. Section 1554 of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 18 • Fall 2017

to “develop a program to facilitate the tracking of motor carrier shipments of security-sensitive materials and to equip such vehicles with technology that provides: (A) frequent or continuous communications (B) v ehicle position location and tracking capabilities; and (C) a feature that allows a driver of such vehicles to broadcast an emergency distress signal. Although the TSA does not interpret this language to mandate any new regulations, the agency has contracted with the University of Kentucky Transportation Center to conduct research on such a tracking system. The destination for the research is not a surprise – Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky was chair of the House Appropriations Committee when the legislation was passed and the grant established. Subject to a later congressional directive, TSA limited its analysis to Tier I Highway Safety Sensitive Materials (HSSM) – primarily those materials that are explosives, poisonous by inhalation, toxics, radioactives or chemical weapons. TSA estimates there are approximately 1 - 2 million affected HSSM shipments each year. And although the 2007 mandate directed TSA to complete its analysis within six months, the agency is just now (10 years later) getting serious about developing and testing a tracking program, which it calls Fedtrak. In June, TSA hosted a workshop on this project for interested parties. I attended, along with representatives of most major trucking companies and organizations and hazmat shippers groups. The workshop included discussions of appropriate communications devices, existing vehicle-tracking


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None of the industry representatives at the workshop thought Fedtrak made any sense in today’s environment. We still think that companies do a better job than the government of tracking their security-sensitive shipments, and we were not convinced that any of the contractor’s proposed security enhancements would actually improve security. Moreover, more than two decades after Rep. Applegate’s proposal, we are even more certain today that a federal database of HSSM shipments would be hacked by terrorists or others looking to harm our national interests. Even though TSA has stated it will not use the results of the Fedtrak project to impose new regulations on hazmat shippers or carriers, the next Congress or administration might change that policy decision and even broaden the scope of the program beyond the most highly sensitive materials. GAWDA’s Government Affairs team will continue to monitor this effort as it progresses, and work with like-minded associations to ensure that the government does not “help” you maintain the security of your hazmat transportation.

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SAFETY It’s Front and Center at GAWDA for the Sake of Association Members

A-Z Array of Safety Procedures, Manuals, Updates, Insights and Advice Available to Membership

S

afety is at the center of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association’s existence. The Association’s mission statement literally puts safety first – “The GAWDA mission is to promote the safe operation and economic vitality of distributors of industrial gases and related welding equipment and supplies” – and safety is woven throughout its operations. “You can replace equipment. You can replace trucks. You can replace cylinders. You can’t replace a human. And that’s actually the only way you should look at it,” says Jim Herring, chair of the GAWDA Safety Committee and vice president of Saf T Cart. Safety offerings date back at least 50 years to 1967 when GAWDA’s predecessor, the National Welding Supply Association, became a member of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and helped promote CGA’s Distributor Safety Program. JIM HERRING CGA and GAWDA continue to work Safety together on distributor safety programs. Committee Chair Current programs include outgrowths

22 • Fall 2017

by charles mcchesney

from the CGA membership, as well as programs made necessary as government regulations have increased to cover more parts of the gases and welding industry.

GAWDA SAFETY COMMITTEE A 20-person committee – providing extensive viewpoints and expertise – is one of the ways GAWDA promotes safe practices and provides information leading to an increased awareness of safety concepts among members. Members include safety and compliance directors, consultants, officials from CGA and distributors. The Safety Committee meets monthly by conference call and annually in person at the Spring Management Conference, says Herring. The meetings cover some fundamental safety issues as well as those that are top of mind. An important aspect of the committee’s work is its regular review of safety issues, says committee member Kevin Carr, of Danbury, Conn., distributor Hocon Gas. He explains that Herring asks committee members for subjects they think need to be looked at, pares the list down and asks members to create subcommittees to tackle each subject. The subcommittees return with updates that the entire committee reviews. Committee member Marilyn Dempsey, director of safety


SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES and compliance for distributor Tech Air, says simple updates may take two months to work through the process. A more complicated issue, contractor liability, took four months and dozens of hours. Subcommittee members who hammered out that policy developed one that is far more manageable than the one her company used previously, she says. One member, John F. Hill, president of Willard C. Starcher, Inc., a distributor in Spencer, W.Va., has a strong personal interest in safety. He grew up around his grandfather, the founder of Willard C. Starcher, and saw the scars his grandfather suffered from a 1947 propane explosion that nearly destroyed the business. “Either they weren’t following procedures or very likely there were no established procedures then,” Hill says. “We want to follow established safety procedures and to do it the right way and the professional way.” Herring can trace his commitment to safety to his 16-plus years delivering for UPS. “Safety was a part of everything we did at United Parcel Service – and they kept drilling it into your head,” he says. He brought that commitment with him when he joined Saf T Cart. Seeing how workers can get injured in manufacturing has kept him focused on avoiding injuries, he relates. In fact, Saf T Cart stopped making a particular part after a worker was injured operating the machine involved, he explains. “We do things the right way. We wouldn’t do it any other way.” Hill stresses that some risk is inherent in supplying gases meant to burn at thousands of degrees. He sees part of his role on the committee to make sure that the quest for safety doesn’t lead to rules that would make it impossible to do business. Dempsey echoes that concern, one she says is shared by

1800

Around this time, English scientist Humphrey Davy discovers the electric arc. He goes on to create the first electric lights. (He does not apply the discovery to welding.)

You can replace equipment. You can replace trucks. You can replace cylinders. You can’t replace a human. And that’s actually the only way you should look at it. -JIM HERRING, CHAIR GAWDA Safety Committee other independent distributors: “How can we make sure this committee is a resource, not an impediment?”

HIGH-VALUE CONSULTANTS Ask GAWDA members what they get from their membership and many gladly recount the assistance they received from one of GAWDA’s professional consultants. The three professional consultants who handle safety and safety-related issues for the membership are Michael Dodd, Tom Badstubner and Richard P. Schweitzer. With decades of experience each, the consultants provide expert insights into technical, regulatory, legal and human resource matters. Dodd is GAWDA’s consultant for matters touching upon the Department of Transportation (DOT), Homeland Security, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency. He has more than 42 years of experience in the gases and welding industry. Along

1860

French chemist Marcellin Berthelot rediscovers the flammable gas and names it “acetylene.”

1881

Nikolay Nikolayevich Benardos introduces arc welding at the Paris Exhibition.

TIMELINE OF GAS AND WELDING SAFETY AND REGULATION MILESTONES

1836

English chemist Edmund Davy, Humphrey’s cousin, discovers that heating potassium carbonate with carbon at high temperatures creates a residue of potassium carbide that reacts with water to create a flammable gas. (He does not apply the discovery to welding.)

1877

Massachusetts passes the first worker safety law, requiring guards on belts and machinery. Fall 2017 • 23


SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES

GAWDA CONSULTANTS

MICHAEL DODD DOT, Security, OSHA & EPA

THOMAS BADSTUBNER FDA & Medical Gases

RICHARD SCHWEITZER Government Affairs & Human Resources

with consulting with members, Dodd maintains compliance manuals and prepares monthly bulletins. Badstubner consults on Food and Drug Administration matters as well as on medical gas questions. In addition, he administers GAWDA’s Medical Gas Standard Operating Procedures and monthly Food Gas Roundtables. He’s been involved in the gases and welding industry for 42 years. Schweitzer is an attorney in Washington, D.C., who consults on government affairs, human resources and serves as GAWDA’s general counsel. He regularly alerts members of changing regulations and impending changes as a contributor to the twice-monthly GAWDA Connection. He also implements GAWDA’s government affairs efforts under the direction of the Government Affairs Committee. He is GAWDA’s voice on Capitol Hill and with federal and state regulatory agencies.

1903

The U.S. Bureau of Labor begins publishing studies of occupational injuries and illnesses.

A TEAM SAFETY APPROACH Dodd explains how the three work together this way: Schweitzer watches for regulations as they are being developed while he and Badstubner deal with regulations as they exist. When a member has an issue or concern, he or she can call the consultants anytime. There is no charge for the first phone call and often that’s all it takes to resolve the matter. Even if a situation requires more extensive time and assistance, the consultants usually are able to accommodate members’ needs without requiring any fees or charges. “No one person can stay up on all the regulations – so that’s what we do,” says Badstubner. He notes that the major gas companies have people on staff to answer safety and compliance questions when they arise. However, GAWDA member firms that aren’t that large can turn to GAWDA’s consultants for the same informed answers. And members do turn to the consultants with questions that often focus on procedures, according to Badstubner. Sometimes a consultant will get a call from a member facing an immediate issue. More than once, the consultants have answered their phone to hear from a member that regulators have stopped by for a surprise inspection or audit. “They’ll ask, ‘what do I do?’ and we help them,” Dodd says. Consultants often can help immediately when urgent situations arise. For instance, there was the time a member called because his branch was not properly registered. Badstubner was able to make arrangements for proper registration while the audit was still in progress. While the registration hadn’t yet appeared on the FDA’s website, the member was able to show the on-site team a receipt for the registration submission, he recalls. This avoided a violation. Other times, it’s a case that a consultants’ expertise exceeds

1906

Swedish scientist Gustaf Dalen (left) invents AGA compound, allowing for the stable storage of acetylene under higher pressure.

TIMELINE OF GAS AND WELDING SAFETY AND REGULATION MILESTONES

1903

French engineers Edmond Fouché and Charles Picard became the first to develop oxygen-acetylene welding. The mixture burns much hotter than a propane-air mixture.

24 • Fall 2017

1908

U.S. Steel forms a safety committee.

1911

Wisconsin creates a Workers Compensation program. Most states follow within a decade.


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SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES that of those charged with enforcing regulations. Badstubner recently got a call from a member who was told by an onsite inspector that there was a draft regulation they needed to be aware of, something that would require them to change how they operate. Knowing that the regulation hadn’t been put into effect – or even been through the comment period yet – Badstubner advised that the regulator “should not be enforcing draft FDA positions.” It can be intimidating having a regulator come by for a surprise audit, he says. Helping members understand and stand up for their rights is part of the job, according to Badstubner. Sometimes, “they have rights they just don’t know about.”

GETTING UP TO DATE GAWDA Past President Bill Visintainer, president of Atlas Welding Supply Co., in Tuscaloosa, Ala., has used GAWDA consultants extensively. When he first bought his then-six-person distributorship in 2008, he brought in Dodd for a one-day mock DOT audit. BILL VISINTAINER That event went so well, he asked Dodd Atlas Supply Co. to stick around and provide a second day of training to those handling cylinders. He then asked Dodd to stay for a third day to provide additional training, instructing a class for driver supervisors, training them regarding reasonable suspicion of alcohol and controlled substances abuse. Dodd also put on a hazmat class for the entire group. When Dodd left, Visintainer says his business was up to date. He also had people on hand who were capable of keeping things up to date as well as capable of training other personnel to do the same.

1913

(March 21) – The Compressed Gas Association is founded.

“Now, anytime he’s anywhere near us, we like to invite him in,” says Visintainer. Once, Visintainer consulted with Dodd about a local issue. The fire department came by and said there was too much oxidizer being kept inside a building. Dodd’s response was that the fire department was not correct, but he didn’t advise fighting them over the issue. “Why would you want to tick these guys off?” Visintainer recounts Dodd asking. So Visintainer moved some of the oxidizer and altered work processes to deal with its new placement. “And, you know, it actually improved our workflow,” he says.

It can be intimidating having a regulator come by for a surprise audit. Helping members understand and stand up for their rights is part of the job. Sometimes, they have rights they just don’t know about. -THOMAS BADSTUBNER GAWDA Consultant Dempsey says her branch managers know what to do if an FDA inspector walks into their operation. They call her. She calls Badstubner. “He’ll tell me to text him, and he’ll drop everything” at those moments, she explains.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics documented approximately 23,000 industrial deaths among a workforce of 38 million, equivalent to a rate of 61 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers.

TIMELINE OF GAS AND WELDING SAFETY AND REGULATION MILESTONES

1913

President William Howard Taft creates the Department of Labor. It is tasked with improving working conditions.

26 • Fall 2017

1914-1918

The First World War speeds welding developments as nations race to build ships, tanks and planes more quickly.

1921

The British-built Fullagar is launched as the first ship to be entirely welded together instead of built with riveted steel plates.


SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES

Photo by Dylan Suttles

300 CGA SAFETY PUBLICATIONS – FREE GAWDA’s CGA Subscription program is so beneficial that Hill says he can’t understand why all members don’t take advantage of it. Since 2012, GAWDA and the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) have maintained a partnership that allows GAWDA distributor and Canadian distributor members a variety of advantages. It allows free access to CGA’s library of more 300 electronic safety publications. That access means all CGA electronic publications are available to one person per location from each eligible GAWDA distributor member company. In addition, CGA offers discounts on hardcopy publications, the CGA Handbook of Compressed Gases, as well as safety videos. Many of the CGA publications available are regulations that gases-industry companies are required to have on hand. The cost savings just from getting those publications for free more than covers the annual cost of GAWDA dues for smaller members, according to Dodd. Of course, the documents are important beyond the need for compliance because they are used as procedural guides, Dodd explains. Before they appear on the CGA website, the

documents have been through rigorous reviews by industry professionals, including GAWDA members. What comes out can be considered “industry standards,” providing guidance on processes and procedures, as well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing that processes are accepted by industry peers. Dodd points to separate documents that cover recommendations specific to the safe storage, handling and use of electronic specialty gases packaged in containers. Another document discusses specific recommendations for small portable liquid oxygen systems in health care facilities. Others cover everyday tasks, such as cylinder filling or establishing evidence of ownership of compressed gas cylinders.

SAFETY AWARD In addition, GAWDA and CGA co-sponsor the annual Distributor Safety Award, recognizing the distributor with the greatest improvement in safety performance during the past five years. The award is presented each year at GAWDA’s Annual Convention and CGA’s Annual Meeting. To qualify for the free publication subscription program and the award program, the applicant must be a member of GAWDA in good standing, must be from GAWDA’s distributor or Canadian distributor membership category, must not be a former member of CGA with a membership termination date later than October 10, 2011, and must provide the required safety data with their application. The safety data comes from the OSHA’s Form 300A, a summary sheet based on OSHA Form 300. “This is one of the greatest deals GAWDA membership has been offered,” says Dodd. He notes that nearly all members have to complete an OSHA Form 300 and post an OSHA Form 300A anyway, so the work has already been done.

1965

The Federal Public Health Service issues, “Protecting the Health of Eighty Million Americans,” a report outlining technological dangers. It includes a note that a new chemical enters the workplace every 20 minutes and that evidence shows a link between cancer and the workplace.

1939-1945

Welding advances quickly to meet the demands of militaries during World War II. A welded Liberty Ship, the S.S. Robert E. Peary, was completed in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes in 1942. It survived the war, including duty in the Pacific and at Normandy.

1945

(September 17) – The National Welding Supply Association is founded. It is now known as the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, GAWDA. Fall 2017 • 27


SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES

More than once, consultants have answered a call to hear from a member that regulators have stopped by for a surprise inspection or audit. They’ll ask, ‘what do I do?’ and we help them.

From the time the program began, the policy has been clear, Dodd says: Data from individual companies are held in confidence and are not shared with any person outside of CGA staff, including CGA or GAWDA members. Hill makes full use of the CGA benefit as well, keeping and updating copies of CGA publications. If a surprise inspection should occur, he’s ready. He’s also ready in case one of his employees should ask a question. As the president of a distributorship with fewer than 30 employees, he gets asked a lot of questions.

-MICHAEL DODD GAWDA Consultant

With roughly 2,600 alumni, GAWDA University has been instrumental in educating distributors and their employees across North America. What became GAWDA U. was created by Norco, the Boise, Idaho-headquartered distributor. The company has been sharing the online training program with fellow GAWDA MICHELLE members for nearly a decade. ZIMMERMAN NORCO Compliance There are 41 courses focusing on Coordinator safety and compliance, ranging from, “Acetylene Safe Handling and Storage,” to “Toxicology and Exposure.” The course titles have remained constant, says Michelle Zimmerman, compliance coordinator for Norco, even as the material has been updated to stay current with regulations. Zimmerman is the person who gives GAWDA members access to the curriculum. Courses, all written, take as little as half an hour to complete. Getting started is far quicker, she explains. “It’s very easy to use.” The person who is going to be in charge of training at the member company – a “group manager” – can

“It’s very simple,” says Hill. “All you do is: They send you a notification. You fill in the block. I take my OSHA Form 300, I transfer the data and send it. It’s simple. It takes longer to find the OSHA 300 form than it takes to fill out the report,” he adds. Carr says he has heard concerns about the confidentiality of the reports from some members who don’t participate. “That’s how we all are,” says Dempsey. “As small, independents we think, ‘uh-uh, nobody’s going to know my numbers.’” But in time, Dempsey came to see the value of the program and now, Tech Air actively participates across its nationwide footprint.

EXTREMELY CONFIDENTIAL Dodd says CGA keeps the information confidential, in fact, “extremely confidential.” When he and others were looking to reach out to GAWDA members who were not yet participating, it was difficult to find out from CGA just who was participating.

1970

GAWDA UNIVERSITY

(December 29) – President Richard Nixon signs the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, allowing the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

1981

( January 16) – OSHA establishes Hearing Conservation Standards to protect the hearing of workers.

TIMELINE OF GAS AND WELDING SAFETY AND REGULATION MILESTONES

1972

Two states – South Carolina and Oregon – are the first to take on enforcement duties of OSHA rules.

28 • Fall 2017

1993

( January 14) – OSHA establishes Confined Spaces Standards for those working in small, enclosed areas.


SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES email her at michellez@norco-inc.com and register any number of employees. She says the system is very user-friendly. Employees review the material in the courses, then at the end, take quizzes. A score of 80 or better earns a certificate. The group manager can track results as employees take courses and see how well they do on quizzes. Since the courses are online, they are available around the clock, Zimmerman adds. That allows some employees to take the training after hours, she notes. Additionally, courses can be retaken if an employee needs a refresher and if employees leave the member company and later return, GAWDA U. maintains their records, sparing them from retaking Documents containing many years' worth of GAWDA training and research already-familiar training. information are available to members anytime from GAWDA's website. Even those who don’t use GAWDA U. to train workers find it helpful. Dempsey prefers one-on-one or other materials have a ready source at www.GAWDA.org. training for Tech Air employees. She wants to look the There’s a member-only portal. Click into that and look to the worker in the eye to make sure the lesson is being absorbed, left for “Member Only Document.” Click on that link and you she recounts, because when it comes to fill-plant workers, are at the folder for “GAWDA: Member Only Information.” “if he’s pumping, his life is on the line.” So, Dempsey has Within that folder are documents displaying years’ worth used GAWDA U. as a resource to build her own training of GAWDA training and research. There are documents from programs and to create standard operating procedures. She webinars and documents explaining pressing safety and comsays it also can be handy for retraining workers if there has pliance questions. Some go back years. Others were posted been an incident. just weeks ago. Dodd explains that some of the documents are the result MEMBER-ONLY PUBLICATIONS of work by members of the Safety Committee. Others came GAWDA members in need of sample safety practices sheets from seminars and webinars. Some may seem simple – there’s

2015

The Department of Labor reports that 4,836 workers were killed on the job in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That works out to 3.4 fatalities for every 100,000 full-time workers – a 94 percent reduction in fatality rates over the past 102 years.

2001

( January 17) – OSHA establishes a Steel Erection Standard in an effort to reduce injuries at construction sites.

2007

(November 15) – OSHA clarifies rules requiring employers to pay for personal protection equipment. Employers now are required to pay for nearly all safety equipment workers use on the job.

Fall 2017 • 29


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SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES a seven-page guidebook on how to back up a truck – while others are highly technical. For instance, changes in shipping regulations for hazardous materials specify not only the information required, but where on the form that information must be listed to avoid fines. Other documents work as sample safety practices that can quickly and easily be customized to serve the member business. Since the documents are easily customized, “You can take it and do anything you want with it,” says Dodd. Badstubner adds that companies can make the documents suit their specific needs in a fraction of the time it would take them to research and write a manual on their own. That’s something Hill says he has done, scaling the guidebooks and procedures to suit his business. Discussion at Safety Committee meetings has helped prompt the creation of some of the materials. An incident in the field that got talked about at a meeting led to a written policy on transporting cryogenic gas cylinders by elevator. An elevator is a confined space and if a cryogenic cylinder leaked or even vented gas, everyone in the elevator could be in danger. The policy lays out how cylinders are to be transported to avoid risking any lives.

REGULAR CONNECTION ARTICLES GAWDA Magazine Welding & Gases Today carries safety and compliance articles written by GAWDA consultants each issue. In addition, the twice-monthly GAWDA Connection routinely offers a Safety and Compliance section. It includes updates from GAWDA consultants, plus regular pieces from Schweitzer alerting members to changes or pending changes in federal regulations.

MONTHLY SAFETY ORGANIZER The Online Safety Organizer is published monthly and is designed to provide GAWDA consultants’ articles, along with pertinent GAWDA Headquarters releases. GAWDA members can select an individual article or choose “Complete Set” to view and print all articles. At the end of the month these pieces are archived within the article directory for each consultant, making it easier to find specific articles when a need arises. “It allows us to mention things that are going on right now,” Badstubner explains. If regulators seem to be focusing on a particular area or trying a different tactic, it can be aired in the Safety Organizer. Likewise, if members are calling about

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SAFETY ISSUE GAWDA’S MANY RESOURCES

a particular issue, indicating that it may be of broad interest, it can be incorporated into the organizer. For instance, recently Dodd had been asked about handling DOT-imposed work-hour limits for drivers who hold a second job. He revisited and revised something he had written before. The next issue of the organizer addressed the matter, saving countless members from having to call. The timeliness of the articles in the Safety Organizer helps drive training at Tech Air, Dempsey says. She finds herself reading the Organizer and thinking, “how does that apply to my equipment, trucks and fill plant?”

[I want] to look the worker in the eye to make sure the lesson is being absorbed. When it comes to fillplant workers, if he’s pumping, his life is on the line.

MEETINGS, SEMINARS AND WEBINARS

THOUSANDS IN VALUE

GAWDA members have several opportunities each year to get expert safety advice in person from GAWDA consultants as well as their fellow members. While the internet has opened a slew of opportunities for GAWDA members looking to learn more about safety and related issues, there is still nothing quite like a face-to-face encounter to make sure questions are answered and answers are understood. Regional meetings often include a discussion of safety issues. Each regional chair puts together a program of speakers and activities. This year, for instance, attendees at some Regional Meetings learned about welding fume extraction with a focus on hexavalent chromium, a chemical linked to health problems. Additionally, GAWDA consultants sometimes attend Regional Meetings. Of course, all GAWDA consultants attend the fall Annual Meeting and the Spring Management Conference. Badstubner, Dodd and Schweitzer staff GAWDA’s booth during the Contact Booth Program and are available to meet with or just chat with members throughout the gatherings. In addition, Dodd and Badstubner hold seminars each year to address specific issues. In 2017, there were spring seminars at Chart Industries in Ball Ground, Ga., and in July a webinar was broadcasted on the internet. This fall, the consultants plan a seminar at Weldcoa in Aurora, Ill.

Listing out the safety offerings from GAWDA, Carr notes of its extensiveness that, “People would literally pay thousands of dollars for this stuff – or they wouldn’t, they’d just say ‘I’m going to try and do it myself.’” The risk in doing it yourself is serious, and not just for a single company, Herring points out. Incidents have lessons that can apply at other member companies. Not sharing means denying others the opportunity to learn, and potentially leaving them at unecessary risk. Further, costly errors at one distributor can impact everyone in the industry. Badstubner noted in his column in the summer issue of the magazine that hard-won respect from regulators can go away in a flash if one company allows a preventable mistake. For example, not stressing enough the need to never alter tamper-proof fittings on medical cryogenic containers could lead to a patient’s death. “It must never happen,” Badstubner says, his voice ringing with conviction. Outlining the work of the Safety Committee, subcommittees and the many safety-related documents available to members from CGA and online, Herring says the goal is to come up with basic best practices that can make members, their employees and customers safer. “We don’t do it for our health,” he says of the committee. “We do it for everyone’s health.”

32 • Fall 2017

-MARILYN DEMPSEY GAWDA Safety Committee


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Whether we need parts, service, technical advice or handin-glove installation coordination, Eleet is basically our first and only call. If they have it on hand, it’s a done deal. I know I’m going to get nothing but quality service and quality equipment from them. If there’s a problem with something in the field, I call Garry and get an immediate resolution. Eleet is there for us 100 percent. Eleet Cryogenics has grown over the years and justifiably so because of the quality of work that comes out of the shop. I just can’t say enough good things about working with Doug (Morton) and Garry (Sears) and the Eleet team. 

Fall 2017 • 33


SAFETY ISSUE A MARKET FOR GOODS

Members Share What Works in the Safety Marketplace Relationships, Inventory, Information and Distinctive Style Can Help by charles mcchesney

S

afety equipment is ubiquitous in the gases and welding industry. It is integrated into the operations of every fill plant, every warehouse and in every cylinder and cryogenic vessel. From pressure release valves to high-visibility gauges to tamper-proof fittings, the industry has developed a plethora of equipment to keep workers and customers safer. Personal protection equipment, worn and used by welders and other workers, is a part of that, and it’s a huge market on its own. Research published last year by Global Market Insights, Inc. found that Americans across all markets spent $12.5 billion on personal protective equipment in 2015. This is a very large and growing market. It’s a lucrative one for sure, too, given that Global Market Insights expects worldwide personal protective equipment sales to exceed $67 billion in the next six years. GAWDA members serving the safety market shared some of what distinguishes distributors who are most successful serving this part of the welding and gases industry as a means to help distributors boost their own share of sales. Here, quoted and paraphrased, are what they had to offer about the topic. 34 • Fall 2017


SAFETY ISSUE A MARKET FOR GOODS

UPDATE KNOWLEDGE John Scales, director inside sales/customer service West Chester Protective Gear Cincinnati, Ohio If distributors are willing to learn, they can guide customers about safety. For instance, new cut-resistance standards for gloves from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provide more precise distinctions among welding gloves. They possibly allow a worker to wear a lighter, more comfortable glove while still providing appropriate protection.

How To Make Sales In Safety Goods: SOME USEFUL TIPS KEEP STOCK Ron Rimes, sales manager Lake Welding Supplies Belle Glade, Fla. What matters most in selling personal protective equipment is having it, really. When OSHA comes out and the contractor needs something, we need to have it. We try to do that.

STAY IN STYLE Tarek Shahla, COO and general counsel Rasco FR Baton Rouge, La. Welders are sort of the last artisans in America. They look for distinctive apparel and equipment and will stay with that look – so the company creates collections rather than a single shirt or jacket. It’s not just about style, though. Welders want to be able to go one place to buy everything they need, rather than buy an FR shirt here, welding cap there and jacket someplace else.

BUILD RAPPORT, SHOW PATIENCE

GO ERGONOMIC Jim Horvath, vice president ESAB Welding and Cutting/Victor Annapolis Junction, Md. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, carpel tunnel was very much an issue. We saw a propensity of carpel tunnel among welders, so the company developed ergonomic grips for torches. Today, ergonomics are integrated into many of the company’s products, including the newest helmets. Ergonomic design makes it easier for welders to wear their helmets longer, increasing the time they are protected on the job.

Chris Larson, regional account manager Weldas Company Franklin, Tenn. Distributors who have built a rapport with their customers are willing to recommend products that are best for their customers, even if they might not be best for the distributor’s immediate bottom line. This creates real loyalty and gives the distributor insight into what the customer really needs. When it comes time to expand the relationship, particularly with large customers, patience matters because it can take half a year for the safety manager and others to sign off on replacing one product with another. Fall 2017 • 35


SAFETY ISSUE A MARKET FOR GOODS

Photos by Dylan Suttles

CREATE EVENTS Paul Bernier, marketing director General Air Service and Supply Denver, Co. We held safety open houses at each of our locations over the last year or so. The purpose was to introduce our safety capabilities, products, and vendor partners to our customers and some competitive

accounts. For these open houses, we handed out invites and asked for RSVPs. People tend to come when you ask for an RSVP and promise them a great barbecue lunch, gift bags and other incentives. The events lasted for three hours, during which we served food, had a band performing and had all our safety

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36 • Fall 2017

vendors displaying, demonstrating and talking about their products. Depending on the location, we usually had 150-250 customers join us. The results were excellent! Customers were able to see that we are serious about safety, and our safety sales have grown monumentally since starting this.


SAFETY ISSUE A MARKET FOR GOODS BE SURE TO LISTEN

OFFER DISCOUNTS Chad Shadden, vice president B & J Welding Supply Lubbock, Texas A lot of the time contractors know what they want, but if someone comes into the area, we may do a survey of the safety equipment they need. If we aren’t used to seeing something we bring in a manufacturer’s representative. We sometimes offer a volume discount and check with the manufacturer because they may already have special pricing in place for that contractor.

Steve Hwang, president Black Stallion/REVCO Industries Inc. Santa Fe Springs, Calif. The most important quality that separates the great distributors from others is the ability to listen to the customers. By listening carefully to their customers and understanding the safety issues their customer is experiencing, the distributor is able to provide unique product and service solutions to meet their needs. They are a safety partner with their customer, not just a product provider.

HELP CUSTOMERS UNDERSTAND Jason Jones, U.S. marketing operations manager 3M Personal Safety Division St. Paul, Minn. Helping customers understand the hazards inherent in their work environment can help distributors serve the safety market. 3M gave distributors vials showing the level of particulates allowed under old and new regulations. Distributors shared the vials with customers, letting them see how much more filtering was necessary under the new rules.

Fall 2017 • 37


SAFETY ISSUE THE BALANCE SHEET

Safety Programs, Compliance Are Investments, Not Costs by richard p. schweitzer, esq.

S

ometimes distributors say they cannot afford the cost of a safety compliance program, or they defer sending employees to training programs because of the expense. Some owners do not see safety as necessary to improving the company’s bottom line – saying that if it does not generate revenue or reduce costs, they are not interested. Others appreciate the value of safety

programs but still view safety as a cost item to be minimized. This is backward thinking. Safety programs are means to preserve revenue. I heard one GAWDA distributor complain that his company was disqualified from contracting with a Fortune 500 manufacturer because the distributor’s OSHA 300 record of injuries was too high (too many small injuries). The lack of attention to safety management cost the company millions of dollars in

potential sales. What was the cost of safety at that company?

COSTS FOR NONCOMPLIANCE

I also hear that the infrequency of audits or enforcement actions by federal and state regulatory agencies means that some distributors might choose to overlook some compliance practices and take their chances on not receiving an audit. This is bad policy for two reasons. First, look at the actual cost of a nominal

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SAFETY ISSUE THE BALANCE SHEET civil fine in an enforcement action. If an agency fines your company $5,000, what is the amount of increased sales necessary to recoup that fine? At a 5 percent profit margin, a company would need to generate an additional $100,000 in sales just to break even on the fine. That does not include the lost administrative time necessary to respond to the violation. Second, and perhaps more important, failure to comply with government regulations might mean that a court will automatically find that a company was negligent if the noncompliance led to an injury and the company is sued. Conversely, compliance with regulations is strong evidence that a company acted reasonably in a situation, even if someone was injured. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the average total cost of a crash involving a

commercial truck over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight is about $91,000. If there are injuries involved, the average total cost jumps to $200,000 per crash. And the average total cost of a fatal crash involving a commercial truck is $3.6 million.

LOST PRODUCTIVITY, TOO

Moreover, even for minor workplace injuries, the costs to a company’s productivity are staggering. According to the National Safety Council, each disabling workplace injury where medical advice is sought amounts to approximately $42,000 in wage losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses and employer costs. That figure does not include the cost to hire and train a replacement worker or the loss of productivity because a key employee is no longer able to work.

Managers need to view safety compliance as an investment in their company’s greatest asset: their employees. Keeping employees healthy and working productively is perhaps the single largest contribution that a company can make to its bottom line. Accidents happen for a reason, and a well-conceived safety program with daily follow-through is the best method to prevent accidents from disrupting your operations. GAWDA has stateof-the-art safety materials available for all members and a team of industry consultants who may be accessed by phone or email. Use these resources to ensure that your company’s operations are safe, legal and efficient. Richard P. Schweitzer is a GAWDA consultant and the association’s legal counsel.

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Fall 2017 • 39


SAFETY ISSUE A KNOWLEDGE BASE

CGA’s Safety Resources: Free to GAWDA Distributors A GAWDA Partnership Makes Vast Resources Easily Available by rich craig

Rich Craig is the Compressed Gas Association’s technical director. He joined CGA in 2011 after retiring from Praxair. He worked at Praxair 36 years, holding positions in engineering, plant operations, plant management and as director of process safety. He has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnatti and an MBA from Indiana University. He can be reached at: rcraig@cganet.com and 703-788-2730.

T

he Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) and the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) both work to promote safety and safe operations in the welding and gases industry. We do this to ensure we are protecting the public, our employees and our facilities from the inherent hazards of our industry. Every aspect of our industry requires respect for the products and related equipment: the containers themselves are heavy and contain gas stored at high pressures and the products present a range of hazards, including extreme cold, flammability, toxicity and asphyxiation. Delivering these products to our customers also has its challenges, from road safety to customer site safety and security. Due to the inherent hazards of these products, they are regulated by federal, state and local jurisdictions. As a GAWDA member, you have access to numerous resources that support your capability to mitigate these hazards, implement best practices and understand the applicable regulatory requirements. The GAWDA Safety Committee produces many safety practices that cover a variety of tasks and operations typically found in an industrial gas plant, and that provide guidance on how to comply with government regulations.

FREE ACCESS TO CGA LIBRARY Since 2012, GAWDA and CGA have partnered to provide GAWDA distributor members with free access to the CGA publication library. This library contains more than 300 safety publications addressing a broad spectrum of operational and regulatory compliance issues. This extremely valuable information can help improve your company’s overall safety 40 • Fall 2017

performance. Applying the information in these publications to your operations also helps promote effective and appropriate regulations. If injury rates are low and getting lower, and there are no significant incidents, there is less need for regulatory action to make everyone “safe.” Utilizing the safety information in CGA publications will also give you the opportunity to implement new lessons and best practices in your organization, potentially reducing costs related to insurance, workers compensation and labor.

$1,500 OF VALUE

In addition to these savings, a recent analysis by GAWDA Consultant Michael Dodd estimated that the value for the publications relevant to a typical GAWDA distributor member is more than $1,500. You can see Dodd’s full presentation on the program benefits on a video accessible on YouTube (“CGA/GAWDA Subscription Program Discussion”) at: youtu.be/e9yx_sDsJa8. Surprisingly, participation in this program isn’t as strong as we’d expect or want to see. Of more than 300 GAWDA distributor members eligible for this resource, only about 25 percent of that number participate. Why is the participation rate low? It can’t be the cost of entry, because the program – providing immediate access to all those valuable informational materials – is free with your GAWDA membership. Has safety performance among eligible members improved so much that access to additional safety information isn’t needed? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Safety performance for GAWDA members hasn’t improved; the aggregated lost-time injury rate remains significantly higher than for CGA members with like operations.


SAFETY ISSUE A KNOWLEDGE BASE

GAWDA distributor members have free access to the CGA publication library…[with] more than 300 safety publications addressing operational and regulatory compliance issues. Is this offer “too good to be true” (like those that sometimes pop up on the internet guaranteeing high returns and no risk)? No. This partnership is approved by both GAWDA’s and CGA’s Boards of Directors. The members who take advantage of the program seem to find benefit in it. Of the companies that have participated in the program, 75 percent have renewed their participation for a second year, and many have remained in the program since they joined. Is the program too hard to sign up for? No. Signing up for CGA publication access and the Safety Awards program is easy. Registration materials are available on both GAWDA’s and CGA’s websites. • The Registration Form tells us who your company is, who will submit the OSHA data and who you want to have access to CGA publications. It only requires simple contact information.

The Awards Form describes the awards program; there is nothing you need to complete. • The New Company Safety Awards Reporting Form is a spreadsheet to enter the same data already on your OSHA 300 forms if you have 10 or more employees. Is my company’s safety data shared with other companies? Your company’s safety information will never be shared without your explicit permission. Aggregate data from the program is used to measure improvements in lost-time injury rates and to benchmark against industry safety trends. The data submitted is also the basis for the CGA and GAWDA Distributor Safety Award. So why not join? You can take part in a program that can help improve your company’s safety record and result in safer work performance. (continued on next page)

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Fall 2017 • 41


SAFETY ISSUE A KNOWLEDGE BASE

CGA AND GAWDA DISTRIBUTOR SAFETY AWARD WINNERS YEAR 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012

2011

MORE THAN 100,000 EMPLOYEE EXPOSURE HOURS

100,000 OR FEWER EMPLOYEE EXPOSURE HOURS

TO BE ANNOUNCED AT THE 2017 GAWDA ANNUAL CONVENTION CTR, Inc.

Spectrum Gas Products, Inc.

ROCK HILL, N.C.

ANAHEIM, CALIF.

Coastal Welding Supply

Wagner Welding Supply

BEAUMONT, TEXAS

LONGMONT, COLO.

Lampton Welding Supply

Cryo Weld Corporation

WICHITA, KAN.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.

Melo’s Gas and Gear

Minneapolis Oxygen Company

BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.

Coastal Welding Supply, Inc.

Willard C. Starcher, Inc.

BEAUMONT, TEXAS

SPENCER, W. VA.

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PLUS SAFETY AWARDS Another aspect of the program is the CGA and GAWDA Distributor Safety Award, which is awarded annually to two distributor member companies showing the greatest improvement in safety performance over a five-year period. The recent winners are listed in the chart on the left. Past award recipients have commented that the CGA and GAWDA programs have helped them emphasize the importance of a safety culture within their companies. Many have reiterated the feeling that their employees are family and that sending them home safely each day is their company’s biggest priority. Receiving the prestigious CGA and GAWDA Distributor Safety Award not only acknowledges a company’s commitment to safety, it gives the company the opportunity to highlight the success and importance of their safety programs. Finally, let me make a pitch for the GAWDA Safety Committee. As a member of this expansive, 20-person GAWDA committee, I can say how valuable and important this group’s work is to members and to the industry. The Committee is always looking for people who are interested in safety and safe operations and are willing to share their experience and knowledge with a wider audience to improve industry safety. If you have experiences and incidents you would like to share and help the GAWDA efforts, contact Chair Jim Herring. (He’s at Saf T Cart in Clarksdale, Miss., reachable at: jim@saftcart.com, 662-624-6492). We at CGA hope to see you sign up for these operations-enhancing features to improve your company’s overall safety record and performance. Contact me if you’d like; I’m always happy to discuss the benefits of this program and talk over any questions you may have.


SAFETY ISSUE A PROGRAM HOW-TO

Seeding a Safety Culture Takes Time, Work and Dedication by kelly bladow

Kelly Bladow is a GAWDA vice president who, for many years previously, served on the association’s Safety Committee. He is the regional operations manager for Oxarc, Inc., where since 2002, his full-time focus has been dedicated to companywide operational safety. He is based in the Pasco, Wash., Oxarc facility, but works across all 22 locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. He can be reached at: 509-547-2494 or kbladow@oxarc.com.

44 • Fall 2017

F

rom the driver’s seat to the dock, and whether you’re a gas producer, hardgoods retailer or product manufacturer, there’s no getting away from the necessity of putting safety first in all aspects of welding supplies and gases distribution industry operations. If you haven’t already established a complete safety program within your company, you may feel that it’s a daunting thing to do. I’m happy to say that putting such a program in place is fairly simple – at least in obtaining the materials for it and in what’s involved in implementation. The trick to getting a safety program to “take” in your company is keeping the safety practices and procedures you introduce updated, consistent and in use on a routine basis. Successfully cultivating and continuing a safety-first and safety-always mindset is extremely important in our industry for owners, managers and individual employees. When you do the right things and repeat them consistently and frequently, thinking and acting with a “safety-first” mantra in time becomes the automatic way to operate. I can say that because I’ve begun and grown a comprehensive safety program for my employer, Oxarc. It covers our headquarters, our main fill plant in Pasco, Wash., 12 other Washington state branches, five stores in Idaho and another five in Oregon. I also can tell you something else from that experience: It took a while, it didn’t come automatically, and it happened as a progression over quite a few years. Now, though, as I walk through our facilities, I’ve got an innate safety radar. What makes me qualified to believe I can advise you on how to implement a safety mindset and program at your place of business? I’ve always been

on the operations side of this industry. I started with Oxarc in 1979 and I’ve worked in varied capacities. I started as a filler then worked as a truck driver and later, in cylinder maintenance. At one time, it seemed that work was about quantity over safety. Now, it’s safety over quantity. In addition, no one can forgo quality for safety. They go hand-in-hand. If you do things safely, you’ll do a quality job. For me, the safety part of the work simply became part of my daily work life. As I progressed in my career, I was able to start training our workforce toward the highest safety goals. Now, as regional operations manager for Oxarc, the big issue I face in implementing a company-wide safety program is promoting a safety culture among the workforce – getting everyone to think with a safety-first mindset. For Oxarc, safety is the priority at all of our stores, for all of our drivers and in all of our operations. I wanted to offer my experiences so that if you’re thinking about your own program, these thoughts may help you get it up and running.

FIRST: WALK THE WALK The first thing your company needs to do to promote a culture of safety is to walk the walk and talk the talk – and that starts with leadership. At our company, leadership continually promotes the safety culture. Your leadership must do that visibly. In a safety culture where leaders are walking the walk and talking the talk, if they come out on the floor, they must be wearing safety glasses and hearing protection. Embedding safety into your culture starts at the top, and the leadership’s behavior sets the example. It has to start with leadership; it has to come from the top down.


SAFETY ISSUE A PROGRAM HOW-TO SECOND: CONSTANT TALK The next step is talking about safety issues all you can. At Oxarc, we find ways to talk about safety constantly. We put those topics out in front of the employees as much as possible. I do it personally simply by being seen. I walk through facilities and try to get out on the floor multiple times a day. I do anything I can to make my presence known because when people see me, they’re reminded of the element of safety. There’s a way to do this without being the 10,000-pound gorilla. It’s done by taking on a purposeful safety mindset. Don’t settle for the ‘I’ve always done it this way,’ or, ‘This is the way I was taught’ ways of thinking. Work processes and practices have to have a basis in safety. You just need to keep the issues in front of workers and keep reminding them of doing things the safest ways. This habit will evolve and over time, you’ll get employees who will buy into it. Once the employee buys in, that employee also supports a wider safety culture. Then, employees thinking that way will start policing themselves and their co-workers. They’ll remind people about wearing safety glasses, putting on hearing protection, or suggesting a safer way to do something. We also continually talk about safety in a variety of situations. We talk about it if we learn of an incident in the industry or if one of our locations has a near-miss. We discuss the root causes, what happened and why that happened, and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Our company puts an emphasis on the goal of all of us going home from work at night in the same shape we showed up in that morning – maybe a little tired, a little sore, but not broken. It comes down to this basic consideration: We’ve all got jobs to do and we need to produce a quality product. At the end of the day, we all want to go home to our

5 TIPS FOR STARTING A SAFETY PROGRAM 1. Give employees the tools they need to work safety 2. Teach them about safety practices 3. Get them to buy into the safety mindset 4. Let them help you develop and maintain the safety program 5. If you get buy in, your program will accelerate and grow.

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SAFETY ISSUE A PROGRAM HOW-TO

If you’re undertaking a new program, make sure to get your employees involved from the start. You can talk to them about what issues and best practices should be included. Let them help put your program together. families with our health and safety intact. The safety issue is certainly about worker safety and preserving the human resources of a company. However, there’s also a cost consideration. Because safety goes to the heart of operations, it’s also a profitability issue. Every corporation has worker’s compensation costs. And any company that has a lot of small, minor injuries also has major expenses associated with that, and they’re the kind of expenses that quickly eat profits.

dependability • versatility • recyclability 46 • Fall 2017

year. Mike Dodd can provide materials and best-practices information, plus customizable templates for creating your own company materials. The GAWDA website has numerous safety bulletins and other forms of information. GAWDA Safety Committee members are additional resources.

GAWDA RESOURCES

GET EMPLOYEES INVOLVED

The benefit for GAWDA members who want to implement safety programs is that there are numerous resources within the GAWDA organization to tap. Association safety consultant Mike Dodd is available to help you anytime. Also GAWDA members benefit by being able to obtain the CGA pamphlets for free. They can obtain these simply by providing a copy of their OSHA 300 log at the beginning of each calendar

If you’re undertaking a new program, make sure to get your employees involved from the start. You can talk to them about what issues and best practices should be included. Let them help put your program together. It’s typically the people doing the hands-on work who have the best way of getting things done. Enlist their aid in developing your program and give them an ownership stake in it. The more your employees can be involved and take responsibility for helping develop the program, the more likely it is to succeed. When employees are involved and are part of making something happen, they tend to buy into it. Once they buy in, they’ll take ownership and responsibility and your program will grow legs of its own and take off. Then, you just have to provide the ongoing vigilance and refreshing of the program, keeping things up to date and top of mind. Keep the program out front and visible. Ensure that it gets talked about and encourage everyone to help the safety culture take hold. You just have to remember that this is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a long time. If you make it part of your daily life at work, it soon kicks in. Before you know it, you’re thinking, working, and living “safety first.” You might even find it soon becomes part of your daily routine at home, just like it is at work. Good luck! And let me or other members of the Safety Committee know if we can be of assistance.

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Investments with Immediate Payback

Startup Independent Distributor Takes Off In California

Gas deliveries for Encore Welding and Industrial Supply in Signal Hill, California started just a couple of years ago and within the company’s first year of operations, its supplier of filled cylinders no longer could keep pace with orders. In April the company’s new fill plant was completed and the marketplace for industrial and other gases couldn’t be happier. No Longer Constrained

Encore’s customer base works primarily in the oil and gas industry, “demanding end-users that need gas around the clock, 7 days/week,” adds company Vice President and General Manager Paul Anderson. The firm already has purchased several thousand cylinders, and fills more than 500/week. While it’s currently focused on the metal-fabrication and construction industry, the management team has a keen eye set on leveraging its new Weldcoa automated fill plant to expand its presence in spec gases, food and beverage, analytical gases and other markets.

“We are able to show customers and prospects a few key advantages that the Weldcoa system provides. We are so confident, in fact, in the accuracy of our fill process that we’ll conduct live demonstrations for customers and perform an analysis of the mix right in front of them.” AC Goins, Fill Plant Manager at Encore Welding and Industrial Supply

An Aggressive Growth Plan

Summarizing the impact that its new fill plant and related equipment is having on the relatively young and emerging player in the industrial-gas market, Paul Anderson says:

“ The state-of-the-art Weldcoa technology provides us with a competitive advantage that, on an ongoing basis, leads to a steady stream of new customers.”

“While we are firmly entrenched and expanding in the industrial-gas realm, we are aggressively researching the spec-gas market and are ready to step in. The new Weldcoa spec-gas lab, along with our plans to invest soon in a new blend cell, will allow us to continue to evolve into several new markets, all the while continuing to build our baseline business in metal fabrication and construction. And, it all helps us keep a tight focus on the customers and our desire to take care of them.”

Ben Anderson, President at Encore Welding and Industrial Supply

To learn more, we welcome you to call Weldcoa at 630.806.2000. Visit Weldcoa.com.


MEMBER PROFILE

NOBLE GAS SOLUTIONS Bulk, Dry Ice, Spec Gas Growth Help Distributor Gain Ground, Triple Space by agnes h. baker

A

s you head into New York State’s capital city of Albany over the Patroon Island Bridge, you can get a bird’s-eye view of Noble Gas Solutions’ new industrial gas distribution center. Faced with an expanding business and facilities hemmed in by the city that has grown up around it, company CEO J. David Mahoney decided the time was right for the company to invest in some new real estate. In 2015 he found an ideal location not far from his existing headquarters that had better access to the region’s highway systems, and in March of 2016, he began a complete overhaul of the existing building on that site. Formerly AWESCO, Noble Gas Solutions celebrated its 75th year in business in 2015. The company was founded by Robert Mahony, who, with his son Dennis, built a successful industrial gas and welding distributorship serving the Albany area. Current owner Dave Mahoney (no relation to Robert Mahony) started as a salesman with the company in 1976. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a partner and company president in 1985. One year later, Mahoney purchased the company, which he has successfully led for more than 30 years. Today, Noble Gas Solutions services a wide swath of New York’s Hudson Valley. In 1996, the company acquired a second location, Walter Smith Welding Supplies, based an hour away in Kingston, N.Y. In 48 • Fall 2017

Noble Gas Solutions’ new headquarters is at 10 Erie Blvd. in Albany, N.Y.


MEMBER PROFILE Left: The team at Noble Gas Solutions, front row, left to right: Colleen Kohler, director of operations; Annie Kochneva, director of customer service and marketing. In the back row: David Mahoney, president/CEO; Kyleen House, director of finance; Patrick O’Donnell, vice president of sales.

1998, it acquired a competitor in the city of Albany and enlarged its footprint there. At the heart of Noble Gas Solutions’ success is its razor-sharp focus on achieving excellence in all phases of its business operations. Mahoney explains, “We try to hit the high mark in everything we do, from hiring and training staff to delivering every product in a safe and timely manner to customers.” The company’s motto – “Experience the Noble Difference”– is a testament to how confident the Noble team is in their products and services.

NOBLE’S BROAD REACH

The Hudson Valley is dotted with once-successful mill towns whose businesses have been slowly fading and taking with them lots of gas and hardgoods business. This region has shown resiliency, however, and today serves as a hub for many mid-sized independent manufacturers, fabricators, and service providers. In addition, its economy is strengthened by state government offices, education and medical centers and emerging technology companies, including a new, expansive state university campus focused on nanotechnology. Known as “Tech Valley,” this part of Upstate New York has even gained a large manufacturer (Global Foundries) from overseas. The company’s broad reach into many markets has helped keep business growing despite economic shifts. Noble’s

sales team consists of four outside sales reps, four inside sales reps and one experienced technical sales engineer who is key to training more junior staff members. All reps sell across product lines, both hardgoods and gases. According to Vice President of Sales Pat O’Donnell, the industrial customer represents 70 percent of the gas business. Specialty gases make up the other large portion of gas sales, 25 percent, with the remainder sold into medical gas markets. In addition to its industrial sales, Noble continues to develop business in a wide range of other markets including construction, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, research and development, beverage and automotive services. Recently, the beverage sector has been very strong. O’Donnell notes, “We have grown our beverage business over the past four years and it continues to grow at a good pace. Driving this business is a strategic partnership we developed with a local beverage distributor.” Noble Gas Solutions’ bulk business also has taken off. The company has more than doubled its bulk business in the past six years. Most of that is due to mode change for existing customers, with additional business from new accounts and an overall increase in demand for bulk products in certain markets, like beverage. Driven by growing product demand from the region’s pharmaceutical compa-

nies, Noble got into the dry ice business two years ago. It is the only manufacturer of dry ice, onsite, within 150 miles. O’Donnell explains how, for all applications, “the fresher the ice the better.” There also is a growing demand for dry ice in cleaning applications and Noble has become a distributor of Cold Jet’s dry ice blasting systems.

TRIPLED SPACE

According to Mahoney, the company has been in need of more space for at least 10 years, but chose to wait for the right time and place. That turned out to be 10 Erie Blvd. in Albany. After selling both of its older buildings, Noble officially moved to its new home in April. The size of the expansion is impressive. The company went from two facilities totaling 17,000 square feet to one facility with 50,000 square feet of space, tripling its operational footage. Serving as general contractor, Mahoney headed up the entire project. “Over the years, I have rehabbed plants and facilities but nothing on the scale of what we have now,” he notes. “While the project has gone on longer than anticipated, the end result is well worth it. Situated at the entrance to Albany’s warehouse district, we are the centerpiece of the renovation that is taking place here.” Everything about the new facility has been carefully thought out to optimize both the customer and employee experience. Mahoney received guidance from GAWDA member Weldcoa on the plant layout. WB Mason helped with office space layout, and an interior designer was used to create unique and functional spaces throughout the building. Fall 2017 • 49


MEMBER PROFILE

Above: Noble has doubled its bulk business in six years.

Above: Noble’s summer intern, Timothy Pisinksi, at work painting cylinders.

MIddle: CEO “Dave” Mahoney, a GAWDA president from 1999-2000, is shown in the automated fill area. He has led the company since 1986.

Photos by Noble Gas and Agnes H. Baker.

ONE-OF-A-KIND FILLING ISLAND, GAS LAB

reports, then unload and load trucks. At 6:45 a.m. the drivers arrive, get their tickets, and are on the road by 7:30. The two cylinder handlers working at the loading dock then go over to finish their shift in other operations areas. With this streamlined process, we are able to cut costs and still have happier employees.” Another great bonus of the new space is the amount of room it has opened up for indoor storage. All non-flammable cylinders are now kept inside and Noble is in the process of refurbishing its stock to make each cylinder look like new. For the first time, the company is able to build inventory. A picking island has been set up where high-volume gases can be stored in racks. Cylinder handlers can load a pallet from the picking area, fill it and move it to the neighboring loading area, where the entire pallet is loaded right onto the truck. “Our drivers

The centerpiece of Noble Gas Solutions’ new facility is its automated cylinder fill island with palletization. According to Mahoney, “We are the first independent distributor on the East Coast to own a Weldcoa Automated Filling Island. No other company in our market has this capability. Automated cylinder fill with palletization enables us to improve accuracy of fill and get a lot more gas out the door in a much shorter period of time. It’s a terrific competitive advantage for the business and one we are sure will pay off.” Noble also has invested in a new specialty gas lab, which includes a Weldcoa Digital Lab Assistant (DLA) – the first unit of its kind in existence. With Noble’s new specialty gas lab equipment, cylinders filled on the island at the other end of the building can be analyzed in 50 • Fall 2017

place, without taking them off line. Tim Fisher, Noble’s lab technician, operates everything from a computer interface within the lab. Noble views the new lab and its capabilities as a great asset to the growth of its business.

IMPROVED PROCESS FLOW

The operational benefits of the new facility are significant. Colleen Kohler, director of operations, who is Mahoney’s daughter and represents the second generation involved in managing Noble Gas, describes the transition. “In the old facility, we had just-in-time delivery due to space constraints. It was very stressful and not efficient. Our competitors’ trucks were always on the road before ours. With the new space and our palletized system, everything is visually in front of us. We’re in at 5:00 a.m., print out trip


MEMBER PROFILE Right: Noble Gas Solutions is the first independent distributor on the East Coast to own a Weldcoa Automated Filling Island. Below: Noble has invested in a new specialty gas lab, which includes a Weldcoa Digital Lab Assistant, the first unit of its kind.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

are no longer involved in loading and unloading trucks, which frees them up to do what we pay them for – deliver our products,” Kohler adds. Cylinder testing is another area that has benefited from the move. Previously, testing was done in a separate building. With everything under one roof, the company has completely streamlined the cylinder hydrotesting process to make it more efficient from a logistics standpoint. The new facility also has led to some reorganization within the company. Reporting to Kohler are Bill Need and Columbus Buish. In the new facility, the building is divided into production in the north half and cylinder maintenance and inventory in the south. Need now manages the north building and Buish manages the south building. Tim Fisher, who also reports to Kohler, remains in charge of the specialty gas lab.

As with every move, there were some unexpected sticking points, Mahoney notes. Moving the company’s entire inventory of cylinders and hardgoods created a few issues. Fortunately, the problems have been resolved and everything is now operating smoothly. Kohler says, “Where safety is concerned, we did not want any surprises. To make sure we had all our ducks in a row from the outset, we invited Mike Dodd, GAWDA’s DOT, Homeland Security, OSHA and EPA safety consultant to go through the building with us. He carefully explained the importance of each safety protocol and served as a great resource.”

STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME

Annie Kochneva, director of customer service and marketing, and someone extensively involved in making sure the new space meets today’s sales needs, says, “To stay ahead, Noble Gas Solutions is constantly looking for ways to stand out in a competitive field. This includes an increased emphasis on using the right

digital communication tools as well as increased training opportunities.” Noble is keeping a close eye on the changing sales model. With 50 percent of its revenue generated through the sale of hardgoods, the company takes online buying trends seriously. For now, Mahoney says Noble’s sales have not been hurt by online competitors. He says their customers still prefer to talk to someone, and he believes the younger generation’s lack of industry knowledge prevents them from getting away from a relationship supplier. If that were to change, Noble is ready. An important part of the new facility expansion is a complete overhaul of the company’s website. When launched, it will include a new e-commerce platform. In addition to hands-on training available in the new facility, marketing is working on providing videos for customers and will be taking a more aggressive approach to digital advertising. Noble is adapting to new purchasing practices in other ways, as well. On the hardgoods side, where margins are low and online options plentiful, the company is investing in a strong inside sales presence. “Pat [O’Donnell] and I are finding ways to keep our customers happy without having a sales rep in front Fall 2017 • 51


MEMBER PROFILE of them. We want our outside salesmen concentrating on higher margin gas accounts,” Mahoney adds. There are plans to hire additional staff as the business grows. Noble Gas Solutions sees specialty gas as its fastest growing sector, and the company will look to invest in people for the lab, drivers for delivery and customer service personnel as needed.

FUTURE STRATEGY

“We are finding ways to keep our customers happy without having a sales rep in front of them. We want our outside salesmen concentrating on higher-margin gas accounts.” — J. David Mahoney CEO

Noble Gas Solutions intends to keep diversifying and broadening its capabilities. According to Kochneva, “Quality of service is what separates us from our larger competitors. We have employees with decades of experience who are ready to serve the customer. We can supply custom solutions or make a special delivery after hours on an emergency basis, as well as answer technical questions. That versatility is what makes us successful.” Noble Gas Solutions is serious about creating more than just “efficient” working space. Mahoney wants both customers

and employees to feel welcome and enjoy their new building. Noble’s new retail store reflects this philosophy with its open design and lots of product display space. An expansive employee lounge is designed to encourage both comfort and camaraderie. It includes a fireplace surrounded by comfortable seating, tables for eating or meeting, and three flat screens. With the new facility, Noble Gas Solutions presents itself as the premier distributor in its market. With 50,000 square feet of efficiency and a staff devoted to providing excellent products and services to an expanding market that includes pharmaceutical, biotech, beverage and dry ice, Mahoney believes the company is positioned for double-digit growth. He and his team are happy to show you around; in fact, they invite everyone to visit their site to “Experience the Noble Difference.” Agnes H. Baker is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience covering the industrial, medical and specialty gas industry. Based in Massachusetts, she is at: agnes.h.baker@gmail.com.

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THE GAWDA INDUSTRY ANALYSIS REPORT Provided by ITR Economics™

IT’S STEADY AS SHE GOES

Months of Acceleration Ahead Before Costs, Wages, Interest Rates Rise

S

mooth sailing lies ahead for several more months for the U.S. economy. That’s very welcome news for GAWDA members who’ve been riding a steady economic wave and enjoying The ITR for GAWDA Industry accelerated growth all of 2017. Conditions leading to that picked-up Analysis Report is a customized quarterly economic report. As pace appear to remain on track through the end of the year and possibly a service exclusive to GAWDA into early 2018, according to ITR Economics, GAWDA’s economic members, its customized conconsultant. tent has been developed by ITR For more information on GAWDA ITR believes the economic environment will continue to Economics’ principals and staff and association membership, contact: economists specifically to reflect perk until slight declines in leading indicators begin to slow the the conditions, experiences and growth. However, that won’t happen until sometime in 2018, Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager impacts in the welding and gases ITR believes. The firm predicts the first half of next year will be better distribution industry. ITR devel954-367-7728 x 220 / shill@gawda.org ops its customized content using for the economy than 2018’s second half, due to anticipated rises in GAWDA-specific indicators, data operating costs, employee wages and bank rates. extracted from the publicly filed Read on for additional details and to see what suggestions ITR has information of GAWDA member for maintaining profitability in these conditions. companies and economic informaABOUT THE GAWDASPECIFIC INDUSTRY REPORT

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members.

tion related to the types of customers that are important to GAWDA members’ businesses. GAWDA’s goal in contracting the firm for these reports, and for other economic insights and information, is to provide members with practical, useful information to help them develop confidence in the business and economic conditions ahead and a solid basis for decision-making.

54 • Fall 2017

WELCOME TO THE ITR FOR GAWDA Q4 REPORT Welcome to the fourth GAWDA Industry Analysis Report provided by ITR Economics. We are pleased to present this quarterly snapshot of the overall U.S. economy, and even more importantly, customized content developed specifically for you, a member company of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. Our goal is to provide members with the insight needed to create confidence and drive practical and profitable business decisions. In this analysis, you will see terms such as “Rates-of-Change” and “Phases of the Business Cycle.” We highly encourage you to review the Terminology and Methodology segment of this report to ensure you receive the full benefit of the information being provided.


ITR FOR GAWDA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FOR GAWDA MEMBERS

Here is ITR Economics’ macroeconomic forecast for 2017 and beyond, and our recommendations for what GAWDA members should do about the circumstances we envision. ■ The U.S. economy will grow at an accelerating pace in ■ It is time to begin thinking about how you will maintain 2017. Nascent decline in leading indicators, such as the profitability as the rate of economic growth slows during ITR Leading Indicator, suggests that 2018 will be pre2018. Sharpening your competitive advantage and indominantly a year of slowing growth. Expect the first half troducing new products as growth slows will help you of 2018 to be better for the U.S. economy than the second protect your business’ bottom line as the business cycle half of the year. turns during 2018.

GAWDA-SPECIFIC INDICATORS INDICATORS

CURRENT DIRECTION OF DATA TREND

CURRENT GROWTH PHASE RATE (12/12)

HIGHLIGHTS

Data Trend

U.S. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INDEX

Production transitioned to Phase B, Accelerating Growth, since the last report. Focus on worker training and retention to increase productivity.

-0.4%

B

U.S. PROCESSED GOODS FOR INTERMEDIATE DEMAND PRODUCER PRICE INDEX

Prices are rising at an accelerating rate. GAWDA members will need to pass along price increases or find cost savings in order to maintain profitability.

.3%

B

U.S. CRUDE OIL FUTURES PRICES

Quarterly prices declined for the fourth consecutive month. Expect transportation costs to remain relatively low this year.

9.4%

U.S. NONDEFENSE CAPITAL GOODS NEW ORDERS WITHOUT AIRCRAFT

B2B activity, as measured by new orders, is rising. Consider

METALS NEW ORDERS

you have adequate inventory on hand to fulfill demand.

U.S. DURABLE GOODS NEW ORDERS WITHOUT AIRCRAFT

RATE-OF-CHANGE (12/12) 2006 – PRESENT Rate-of-Change

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. B

-2.0% A equipment in the coming months before Forpurchasing morecapital information on GAWDA interest rates and prices rise further. and association membership, contact: New orders are declining in spite of positive business U.S. ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT momentum in the U.S. industrial sector. Focus on -7.2% A Stephen Hill, cycle GAWDA Membership Services Manager NEW ORDERS opportunities in other markets in the near term. 954-367-7728 220an all-time / shill@gawda.org Annual new ordersxreached high in May. Ensure U.S. FABRICATED

ITR LEADING INDICATOR™ (MONTHLY)

A

RECOVERY RECOVE CO RY COVE

3.8%

B

New orders had the third highest April-to-May increase in the nearly 60-year data history. Examine your production or distribution network and eliminate bottlenecks.

1.4%

B

Tentative decline in the Indicator suggests slowing growth in U.S. industrial production in 2018. Develop a plan for Phase C in 2018 if your business moves with the macroeconomy.

2.5**

B

B

ACCELERATING ACCELERAT ELER ING GROWTH ELERAT

C

SLOWER GROWTH

D

RECESSION

*Denotes that the current 12/12 rate of change may not be visible to the naked eye on the chart due to the scale of the data. **The ITR Leading IndicatorTM is a proprietary index comprised of consumer, industrial, financial, and global components. Movements in the Leading Indicator suggest the possible course of business cycle movements in U.S. Industrial Production 12/12, a measure of the overall economy’s activity, approximately three quarters in advance. The Leading Indicator is unitless. However, because it is designed to be a leading indicator to the U.S. Industrial Production 12/12, the monthly reading of the Leading Indicator is included under the “Current Growth Rate (12/12)” column but does not include a percentage sign.

Fall 2017 • 55


THE GAWDA INDUSTRY ANALYSIS REPORT Provided by ITR Economics™

U.S. FABRICATED METALS NEW ORDERS OVERVIEW ■

Plan rising new orders through 2018 as U.S. industrial production increases. Plan for mild decline in new orders during the majority of 2019 as the U.S. economy endures a mild recession. The U.S. Census Bureau, the data provider for the new orders data, issued its annual data revision since the last report. The overall impact of the revision was minor, and ITR Economics adjusted the forecast mildly to reflect the latest data. Research the competitive pricing landscape and develop an appropriate price escalator plan to take advantage of rising demand for new orders to maximize profitability. 3-MONTH (3MMT) AND 12-MONTH (12MMT) MOVING TOTALS

QUARTER-OVER-QUARTER (3/12) AND YEAROVER-YEAR (12/12) GROWTH RATES Quarter-over-Quarter (3/12) and Year-over-Year (12/12) Growth Rates

3-Month (3MMT) and 12-Month (12MMT) Moving Totals

500

12MMT 12MMT Forecast 3MMT

400

125

100

300

75

200

50

45

45

30

30

15

15

0

0

-15

-15 12/12

100

25

3/12

-30

-30

The 12/12 forecast range is represented by the error bars ("I").

0

'06

'07

'08

0

-45

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members.

'09

'10

'11

'12

'13

'14

'15

'16

'17

'18

'19

'06

'07

'08

'09

'10

'11

'12

'13

'14

'15

'16

'17

'18

-45

'19

For more information on GAWDA and association membership, contact: U.S. STEEL SCRAP FUTURES PRICES ■ Quarterly U.S. Steel Scrap Futures Prices ticked down to $281.67 per gross ton at the end of June. Expect quarterly prices Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager to be higher in early 2018 as world industrial production accelerates. ■ ITR Economics expects the rate of inflation, as measured by the U.S. Producer Price Index, to rise into at least late 2017 as 954-367-7728 x 220 / shill@gawda.org ROTATING INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

the U.S. economy accelerates. Expect your costs to rise, not only from rising input costs such as steel, but also rising wage costs, rent and interest rates. Consider investing in technology and equipment at today’s relatively low rates to improve efficiency and maintain your margins as pricing pressures rise. 3-MONTH (3MMA) AND 12-MONTH (12MMA) MOVING AVERAGES

QUARTER-OVER-QUARTER (3/12) AND YEAROVER-YEAR (12/12) GROWTH RATES Quarter-over-Quarter (3/12) and Year-over-Year (12/12) Growth Rates

3-Month (3MMA) and 12-Month (12MMA) Moving Averages 600

600

135

135

500

90

90

400

400

45

45

300

300

0

0

200

200

-45

100

100

-90

12MMA 3MMA

500

0

'06

'07

56 • Fall 2017

'08

'09

'10

'11

'12

'13

'14

'15

'16

'17

0

-135

-45

12/12 3/12 '06

'07

'08

'09

'10

'11

'12

'13

'14

'15

'16

'17

-90 -135


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THE GAWDA INDUSTRY ANALYSIS REPORT Provided by ITR Economics™

U.S. LEADING INDICATORS STATEMENT ■ ■

Rise in the majority of the leading indicators suggests U.S. industrial production will rise into at least early 2018. Tentative declining trends in the ITR Leading Indicator and U.S. Purchasing Managers Index, if confirmed, corroborate ITR’s expectation of predominantly slowing growth in U.S. industrial production during 2018.

INDICATORS

DIRECTION

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY

ITR LEADING INDICATOR (Actual)

Rise

The ITR Leading Indicator has eased downward for two months. Should this become a definitive trend reversal, it would suggest a slower rate of growth for the U.S. economy in 2018.

HOUSING STARTS (Most recent 12 months compared to same 12 months one year ago)

Decline

Multi-unit starts are declining as demand for multi-unit projects cools. Single-unit starts are accelerating, suggesting rise in consumer-based sectors of the economy.

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members.

For more information on extended GAWDA The Index the rising trend through June, signaling further Rise rise for the consumer this year. and association membership, contact: General rise in the utilization rate suggests cyclical U.S. TOTAL INDUSTRY CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATE Rise rise in U.S. industrial production will extend into at Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager (Most recent month compared to same month one year ago) least the latter half of 2017. 954-367-7728 x 220 /Theshill@gawda.org Indicator is generally rising through June, driven by upward CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS INDEX (Most recent 12 months compared to same 12 months one year ago)

U.S. LEADING INDICATOR (Most recent month compared to same month one year ago)

Rise

PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX (Most recent month compared to same month one year ago)

Decline

The cyclical peak in the PMI is in line with our expectation of acceleration in the industrial economy into early 2018 with subsequent slowing growth next year.

S&P 500 STOCK PRICES (Raw data)

Rise

The S&P 500 set a month-end high in June. The stock prices trend is a positive signal for U.S. macroeconomic growth prospects in the second half of 2017.

2017: STRONGER GROWTH

pressure from interest rates and the labor market. The Indicator suggests an accelerating U.S. economy through 2017.

LONGER-TERM VIEW:

2018: ONGOING GROWTH

2019: DECLINE

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THE GAWDA INDUSTRY ANALYSIS REPORT Provided by ITR Economics™

U.S. ECONOMIC OVERVIEW U.S. industrial production is growing at an accelerating rate. Rising trends in a multitude of leading indicators, including the ITR Leading Indicator, suggest that accelerating growth in production will persist during at least the second half of 2017 and likely into early 2018, in line with ITR Economics’ expectations. A recent decline in the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index growth rate signals that slowing growth is likely to characterize industrial production during the majority of 2018, which is consistent with our forecast. Plan for U.S. industrial production to mildly decline in 2019 as consumer purchasing power wanes. Declining U.S. personal savings as a percentage of disposable income, a roughly twoyear leading indicator to U.S. total retail sales (deflated), is one early empirical signal consistent with the ITR’s expectation of business cycle decline during 2019. Lower savings rates will translate into reduced ability of consumers to spend, which will be exacerbated by rising interest rates. The automotive sector, which has increasingly relied on long-term loans, subprime loans, and leasing to prop up demand, is on shaky ground. This sector looks to be a likely weak spot of the U.S. economy during 2019.

Non-farm job gains have averaged a comparatively-mild 121,000 jobs per month during the most recent three months. This is well below the five-year average of 203,000 per month, and, at the surface, such mild growth could be cause for concern. However, there is no need to ring the alarm bell. U.S. temporary employment and the Conference Board’s employment trends index are in cyclical rising trends. The mild rate of job growth is thus a function of an inability of firms to find and hire qualified workers rather than a sign of impending economic weakness. GAWDA members should be prepared to combat “positive problems” (labor shortages, facility space shortages, inventory shortages, upward pressure on costs) in the coming quarters. ITR Economics is noting to our client base that during the upcoming business cycle, firms will need to take extra care in ensuring prices rise and costs remain under control in order to preserve or increase profitability. Take a fresh look at ways in which you can leverage your brand strength to increase price and/or volume while focusing on workforce efficiency to combat rising labor costs.

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. For more information on GAWDA and association membership, contact: Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager 954-367-7728 x 220 / shill@gawda.org

60 • Fall 2017


ITR FOR GAWDA ITR ECONOMICS – METHODOLOGY MOVING TOTAL/MOVING AVERAGE:

Moving totals/averages are used to smooth out the volatility inherent to monthly data at the product/company level. Monthly Moving Total (MMT) vs. Monthly Moving Average (MMA): There are times when it is desirable to calculate a monthly moving average instead of a total. Averages are used when the data cannot be compounded such as an index, percent, price level, or interest rates. Totals are used for things where it makes sense to add the data together (for example, units sold or total dollars spent).

3MMT/A:

A three-month moving total (3MMT) or average (3MMA) is the total (or average) of the monthly data for the most recent three months. Three-month moving totals (3MMT) or averages (3MMA) illustrate the seasonal changes inherent to the data series.

12MMT/A:

A 12-month moving total (12MMT) or average (12MMA) is the total (or average) of the monthly data for the past 12 months. The 12MMT(A) removes the seasonal variation in order to derive the underlying cyclical trend. It is also referred to as the annual total or average.

RATE-OF-CHANGE:

A rate-of-change figure is the ratio comparing a data series during a specified time period to the same period one year ago. Rates-of-change are expressed in terms of the annual percent change in an MMT or MMA. Rates-of-change reveal whether activity levels are getting progressively better or worse compared to last year. Consecutive rate-of-change illustrates and measures cyclical change and trends. ITR Economics’ three commonly used rates-of-change are the 1/12, 3/12, and 12/12, which represent the yearover-year percent change of a single month, 3MMT(A), and 12MMT(A), respectively. A rate-of-change above zero indicates a rise in the data relative to one year prior, while a rate-of-change below zero indicates decline.

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. For more information on GAWDA and association membership, contact: BUSINESS CYCLE POSITIONS: The data trends and rates-of-change identify positions in the business cycle. Those positions are: Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager 954-367-7728 x 220 / shill@gawda.org

A

B

C

D

RECOVERY RECOVE CO RY COVE

ACCELERATING ACCELERAT ELER ING GROWTH ELERAT

SLOWER GROWTH

RECESSION

12/12 is rising below zero and the data trend is either heading toward a low or is in the early stages of recovery.

12/12 is rising above zero, data trend is accelerating in its ascent, and growth is occurring above year-ago levels.

12/12 is below zero and the data trend is at levels below the year-earlier level.

This is the first positive phase of the business cycle.

This is the second positive phase of the business cycle.

12/12 is declining but remains above zero, data trend is decelerating in its ascent or has stopped its rise, but it is still above last year.

This is the final phase and second negative phase of the business cycle.

This is the first negative phase of the business cycle.

ITR ECONOMICS FOR GAWDA | Q4 REPORT 2017 | WELDING & GASES TODAY ITR ECONOMICS | P: 603-796-2500 | www.itreconomics.com

Fall 2017 • 61


SALES & MARKETING

Defining Excellence in “The Customer Experience” Today, “CX” is the Formula for Earning Returning Customers by paul bernier

T

Paul Bernier is marketing director for General Air, a seven-store distributorship based in Denver. He began his industry career in 1996 at Maine’s Waterville Welding Supply, staying there until 2008, when he moved to Colorado. He spent five years as an Airgas Intermountain account manager before joining General Air in 2013. Bernier has a B.A. from the University of Maine/Farmington and an MBA in marketing from Colorado Tech. He can be reached at: pbernier@generalair. com and 719-6347003 x 1447.

62 • Fall 2017

he “Customer Experience,” or “CX,” has been labeled by many as the new marketing battlefield. What is CX? It’s your customers’ perception of how they were treated and how they feel about their experience with your business. In other words, if a customer likes you and feels he or she was treated well during the business transaction, that person will not only become a loyal customer, but also is likely to recommend your business to others. As we all know, wordof-mouth testimonials and personal endorsements are of huge value to businesses. It’s important to understand that CX is not customer service, however, because there is a big difference between those terms. Customer service is doing something right, then and there, to service a customer – such as ringing up a purchase, helping a person find an item, or providing decision-making advice. By comparison, CX is the “whole enchilada” of the buying or service transaction – including all the touches a customer has with your business – from looking up your website for directions, to the delivery or counter sale, to billing and customer service and everything in between. A 2013 Harvard Business Review study showed that businesses that skillfully manage the whole customer experience are rewarded with higher customer satisfaction, increased revenues, reduced churn and even greater employee job satisfaction. Notably, today’s customers have a different set of expectations. According to Walker’s ‘Customers 2020’ study, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. This is because of changes in technology, the internet, the use of smartphones

By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. This is due to the changes in technology, the internet, the use of smart phones and customer empowerment. and customer empowerment. With the digital age, your welding supply store is not one of the only players in town anymore; customers have many choices, and they know it. They also know they can “out you” very easily if they are unhappy, and they will. Customers know that they literally can buy from hundreds of other outlets, and can do so with just a few computer or smartphone keystrokes. Customers also know that if they are not treated the way they feel they should be, they can let millions of others know instantly by posting a review about your store and their experience. This ability is very powerful because, more than


SALES & MARKETING

A café feel, large-screen TV and free sodas and coffee help customers feel at home in General Air stores. Photos courtesy General Air.

ever before, consumers look at reviews (such as Google Reviews) before they buy. According to a 2016 BrightLocal survey, 91 percent of consumers read online reviews and are influenced by them, while 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

EYE-OPENING STATISTICS

Here are some other interesting facts and statistics that you can’t afford to ignore: • Consumers are two times more likely to share a bad experience than a good one (American Express 2012 Customer Service Barometer). • A dissatisfied customer will tell between nine to 15 people about their experience and 13 percent of them will tell more than 20 people (White House Office of Consumer Affairs).

Only one out of 26 unhappy customers complain; the rest simply never come back (Lee Resource, Inc.). It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative experience or review (Newell-Legner, Understanding Customers). It costs six to seven times more to gain a new customer than it takes to keep an existing one (White House Office of Consumer Affairs). 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience (Superoffice.com). 58 percent of consumers will never use a company again after a negative experience (Nikola Brookes, NewsVoiceMedia). A 2 percent increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10 percent (Emmet

Murphy and Mark Murphy). 80 percent of U.S. companies say they deliver “superior service,” while only 8 percent of their customers agree (Entrpreneur.com).

E-COMMERCE AND SMARTPHONES E-commerce certainly has impacted how people do business today. For the first time ever, people are buying online more than they are in brick-and-mortar stores, according to a survey by comScore and UPS. That survey showed that 51 percent of shoppers make their purchases online today, compared to 48 percent who did so just two years ago. Also, more than three-fourths of American adults now use a smartphone, an article in Phys Org reports. That’s more than double the level of use in 2011. Even more interesting, 80 percent of shoppers have used a smartphone Fall 2017 • 63


SALES & MARKETING

An outdoor locker lets stores securely set aside products for customers who can’t come in during regular hours. Customers receive a code to access the locker, letting them pick up their orders (even cylinders) at their convenience. •

while in a brick-and-mortar store to read reviews, check pricing or find alternative locations for the products they are looking to buy, the article adds. The trend has become so popular that even Amazon, the leader in online shopping, has been granted a patent for technology that will allow their emerging brickand-mortar stores to block customer searches of competitors’ products while using the Amazon store’s Wifi. The technology may redirect a person’s search to other content and could alert an in-store Amazon employee to be directed to the customer (Forbes, June 2017; Techcrunch.com June 2017).

PERSONNEL TRAINING At General Air, we have put special emphasis on CX over the last couple of years, and we have made changes and implemented specific procedures to help ensure our customers a better CX. We’re also helping our employees manage for excellent customer experience. You may find these steps useful, too: • A CX training segment has been 64 • Fall 2017

added to all new-hire orientation training for all employees who may be in contact with customers in any way. (This includes counter sales, customer service, drivers and any other service personnel.) CX training seminars are conducted for our existing employees in the same positions. Store managers are trained to manage CX efforts in their stores.

THE STORE ITSELF Since a great portion of General Air’s total company sales (34 percent in 2016) occur over the counter in our various locations, we have implemented uniform steps in all stores to improve interior appearances and store operations to create a more positive customer experience. They include: • Posting large signs for each type of product, making it easier to navigate the store and find items. • Changing wall and display colors to accent the colorful items we carry. • Adding a break area in each store

for customers and vendors to use. This consists of bistro-style tables and stools where customers can get a free fountain soda or coffee and catch up on the latest news on the large flat-screen TV there. This helps them feel at home in our store as much as possible. Locating 24-hour locker pickup stations at several sites. This concept is a real convenience for customers who can’t get to the store during normal business hours. They can access product orders, including cylinders, through lockers where store personnel earlier set items aside. Given a code, customers then can access the locker on weekends, holidays, nights, or anytime. Conducting extensive training with store personnel on positive customer interaction.

CX TRAINING We have made the effort to train store personnel on important ways to interact with customers, such as what to say and what not to say. • We point out that asking a customer, “Can I help you?” caries a stigma, and can insinuate, “What are you doing here?” or “What can I sell you quickly?” That phrase usually gets a poor response, too, such as, “I’m just looking.” • Instead, we stress a greeting of “Hello, _______ (the customer’s name), or if we don’t know the customer’s name, “Welcome back.” • On the flip side, we have our store salespeople wear name tags. • We also focus on greeting customers within 10 seconds of when they enter the store. Even if all personnel are helping other customers, we want them to at least acknowledge the incoming person.


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SALES & MARKETING We encourage our staff to engage with customers to build rapport. Friendly inquiries such as, “What are you working on?” or “What do you do?” allow customers to open up and chat. A show of interest helps break down barriers. We’ve found that this type of interaction tends to lead to customers adding more items to their order, because the conversation allowed our clerk to talk about or show the customer items that could be helpful to the project. Here are two examples of amazing customer experience that created brand loyalty for those who benefited, plus earned enormous goodwill through extensive media exposure. They truly show the “above and beyond” quality of excellent CX. Morton’s Steak House: A man jokingly tweets that he wants to have a steak delivered from his favorite steakhouse to the airport during his brief layover. Hearing that, a Morton’s staffer drove 23 miles with the man’s steak dinner, delivering it at the airport, to the surprise of all around. Trader Joe’s: When an 89-year-old man was snowed in at his home, his daughter, who lived elsewhere, was concerned about his food supply. She called many grocery stores in that area to try to have food delivered, but all said they didn’t provide delivery service (including Trader Joe’s). When Trader Joe’s personnel asked for more information and discovered why delivery service was needed, the store changed course. Within 30 minutes, food was delivered to the man’s doorstep, free of charge. And lastly, this quote from poet Maya Angelou will help you remember what excellent customer experience is truly all about: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” •

General Air uses dark walls and prominent signage so colorful products are well displayed and easily found.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

Believe It: Conflict Can Drive Healthy Workplace Relationships Staying Logical Helps Offset the Emotionality of Interpersonal Conflict by lyndon friesen

C Lyndon Friesen developed a love of entrepreneurship during his university years while running a painting franchise. Since then, he has been an entrepreneur and worked on the executive leadership team of a global technology manufacturing company along with many talented business leaders. Now a professional trainer at Ignitor, he develops and delivers programs for business teams that are seeking to improve. He can be contacted at: ignitorleadership.com, lyndon@ignitorleadership. com, telephone 604-562-9109.

onflict can be defined as a misalignment of goals or values between two or more people. As Amer Obeidi explained in his thesis on the subject for his University of Waterloo doctor of philosophy program, “Conflict is driven by the perceived incompatibility of something of relevance, and the interference of others on the achievement of one’s goals.” Conflict resolution is a critical conversation that, when approached with the right attitude and skills, can promote healthier workplace relationships by aligning goals and values.

NAVIGATING RESOLUTION In the workplace, there are many reasons why conflict can occur. One of the challenges in mastering conflict resolution is learning how to stay in control of the emotionality that can come with conflict. During a disagreement, emotions may be triggered by a number of things. These include feelings of insecurity, being bullied or being unable to defend one’s self. The negative emotions related to those states can make a person feel vulnerable. That is a situation that is uncomfortable for most people – especially in a business setting.

VULNERABILITY IN CONFLICT People display their vulnerability in a variety of ways, so it’s important to understand how someone may express that sense. Identifying those feelings is beneficial to helping you understand another person’s perspective. Some individuals may cover their feelings of vulnerability by acting overconfident. Others may address it by sitting in silence. In the work68 • Fall 2017

place, employees can feel vulnerable as a result of various scenarios of conflict, such as: • An Ambush – Feeling unprepared to defend a perspective compared to an individual who has all the facts. • Unexpected Insight – Changing an opinion because someone has made great points that they hadn’t considered previously. Vulnerability in such situations can take the form of a variety of emotions or reactions, including: • Aggression – Explaining a viewpoint in an aggressive and intimidating fashion. • The Silent Treatment – Responding to conflict with silence. • A Roadblock – Making a positive outcome difficult to achieve. • Disrespect – Refusing to listen to another person’s perspective. Feelings of vulnerability often lead to negative experiences, with the result that many people avoid conflict at all costs.

FIGHT OR FLIGHT PHENOMENA From a medical perspective, the amygdala (a part of the brain) is responsible for processing our emotions. This includes what is known as the fight or flight phenomena. In the book, Calming Your Brain During Conflict, author Diana Musho Hamilton explains that chemical reaction. She writes, “Conflict wreaks havoc on our brains; the amygdala sounds an alarm sending a cascade of chemicals into the body. Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol flood our system, immediately preparing us for fight or flight. The active amygdala also immediately shuts down the neural pathway to our prefrontal


HUMAN RESOURCES

cortex so we can become disoriented in a heated conversation. Complex decision-making disappears, as does our access to multiple perspectives.” Fortunately, there are ways to avoid surrendering to these initial, rash instincts. While emotions can be both a friend and an enemy, employees and managers should work to try to fully engage the logical side of the brain when in conflict. Keeping your brain engaged while in a disagreement can help you find other options besides ‘fight’ or ‘flight.’

Having a conflict with another person is rarely a positive experience. With a shift in the way you view conflict, you can approach these critical conversations with positivity. EIGHT GREAT TIPS In my consulting practice, I suggest eight tips anyone can use when a conflict arises to help improve their ability to resolve the issues. These tips are useful personally and also lead to skills that when used, create healthier workplace relationships with colleagues. Here they are: 1. Plan Before Diving In – At the start of a project, work out project logistics, such as when, where and who will be involved. Prepare for any emotions that may be present at the onset of the meeting. 2. Set Parameters – Define the outcome for the conflict. Many people will communicate more effectively if their goal is to have a better relationship once they are done.

3. Seek to Understand – Have an initial meeting to focus on understanding the other person’s perspective. If you feel unprepared or too stressed to assert your position in the first meeting, schedule a second one after you’ve had time to digest the initial discussion. 4. Practice Curiosity – Curiosity allows you to focus on questions, rather than responses. Often, when you are able to articulate the person’s position well, you end up improving the relationship and resolving the conflict faster. 5. Empathic Listening – The ability to hear – not necessarily agree with – what someone is saying can be a powerful tool. Using phrases like, “Help me understand,” or “Are you upset with me or the situation?” can help. 6. Improve Your Emotional Intelligence – Emotional Intelligence is the ability to withhold judgment until you have all the information. Try to avoid judging the other person, even if you disagree with them or firmly believe they are in the wrong. 7. Assert Your Position – Loyalty is rarely defined as someone who chooses to agree in moments of conflict. Colin Powell, in his book, Decisions and Loyalty, says, “When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I will like it or not.” 8. “I Am Sorry” – Everyone makes mistakes. If, after hearing a person out, you realize that you crossed a line, apologize for it and ask for future accountability. Good apologies do not include the word ‘but.’ “I am sorry, but” is not an apology. Having a conflict with another person is rarely a positive experience. However, with a shift in the way you view conflict, you can approach these critical conversations with positivity, resolve disagreements in a healthier way and ultimately, improve your own relationships with your colleagues. Fall 2017 • 69


BUSINESS TRENDS

Cybersecurity: People Issue, Management’s Responsibility With a Fresh Orientation, Cyber Safety Needn’t Be the Elephant in the Room by dale meyerrose

I Dale Meyerrose, D.Prof., is president of the MeyerRose Group, a cybersecurity, executive training and technology consulting company and a retired Air Force major general. He is an adjunct instructor for Carnegie Mellon University, Institute for Software Research, running their Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program. A Southwest Asia veteran, Meyerrose was the first Senate-confirmed, president-appointed chief information officer for the U.S. Intelligence Community after more than three decades of military service. He can be reached at: 719-434-7025, info@ meyerrose.com.

70 • Fall 2017

f you’re a regular reader of this publication, you know that integrity, trust and reliability, safety and tested and proven are among this industry’s most prominent qualities. If any of those attributes are developed, produced, marketed, sold, distributed or maintained with technology, another component must be added to that list of core competencies: cybersecurity. Eyes gloss over at the mere mention of cybersecurity, followed by the hopeless dread of the inevitable. Yet, many would be surprised that cybersecurity is not about technology; it is a human proposition regarding value and risk. Don’t believe me? Every creditable study that I’ve seen for the past several years cites insider behavior as the initial cause for the vast majority of cybersecurity breaches – with employees falling for phishing emails and poor password discipline as the leading culprits. There’s a glut of media headlines regarding data breaches, stolen records, and hacktivism. These calamities happen to companies in every industry sector. Even the government is not immune. Each story sounds more ominous than the last. Further, we’re led to believe that it’s only a matter of time before our company becomes the next headline. We’re told that is a consequence of using modern technology. So, what are we to think? Instead of regarding cybersecurity as “the elephant in the room,” how about following the adage to “eat the elephant one bite at a time?” To do that, let’s look at this the way we’d examine any complex issue, analyzing it from three perspectives. First, why should our industry and company care about cybersecurity? Second, how should we think about it? And lastly, what should we do as a result of this reflection?

COMPELLING IMPORTANCE

The dependency of this industry on technology is obvious and much recent progress is attributable to this linkage. So are its growth forecasts, customer demands and the promise of the ever-elusive competitive advantage. No part of the business has been unaffected by innovation, whether that is automation, robotics, control and safety systems, sensors, testing and even customer outreach and services. What might not be so obvious are the underlying vulnerabilities that accompany technology implementations. They include possible adverse effects on the industrial values previously cited, as well as the potential damage to the brand and reputation of the targeted organization. A 2016 BDO risk-factor study based on corporate 10-K filings, which included parts of this industry, found that cybersecurity was cited in 92 percent of the submissions. This is up from 64 percent in 2013. In the words of the international head of BDO cybersecurity: “All it takes is one weak link in the security chain for hackers to access and corrupt a product feature, an entire supply chain or a critical piece of infrastructure.” If you’re not paying attention to cybersecurity, you can bet that your competition is. Do you need added motivation? Look no further than the mandated regulatory requirements already in place, and those likely soon to be added.

INTEGRAL TO OPERATIONS

The head of U.S. Cyber Command offers a good starting point for re-orienting our views. Admiral Mike Rogers recently said that we shouldn’t make cyber out to be something special.


BUSINESS TRENDS

He emphasized the need to frame cyber in a way that brings a broader sense of recognition and makes it easier to integrate it into the broad set of operational activities. In other words, don’t put cyber inside a “technical bubble.” Because it is not a domain isolated from other human activity, its security should be an all-encompassing proposition, and shouldered by everyone who uses cyber in the organization. This area of risk is too important to delegate to “techies.” Senior management has to be involved and accountable. Otherwise, it’s not a real company priority. We need look no further than to GAWDA Chief Economist Alan Beaulieu, who discussed risk in the winter issue of this publication. His formula for addressing risk in general is equally applicable to cybersecurity. He implored us to apply the data, be specific to the industry, and go from “think” to “know.” I have decades in the cybersecurity business and I couldn’t have said it any better. All we need to do is extend these principles to how we think about cybersecurity and our ever-expanding digital dependencies.

MORE PEOPLE THAN TECH

The list of cybersecurity approaches can be endless and daunting, but it all starts with people. Emphasize the human aspects of security in all forms, venues, and behaviors, and everything else falls into place. Next, concentrate on organizational processes. Lastly, focus on enterprise and cybersecurity tools

and products. The idea that an organization can buy a reliable, trusted environment or hire a “cyber expert” to build one is uninformed and naïve. Real understanding of cybersecurity begins and ends with people, not technology. Remember that insider behavior, both complicit and unintentional, is the root cause of most hacks. Using similar logic, security, including cybersecurity, should be about protecting values, assets, and intellectual property, not just systems or technology. Whether you buy, rent or grow the cybersecurity expertise that’s right for your organization is secondary to you setting the right value-based, risk-assessed security agenda. The plan that you subsequently create should have the underlying premise that “evil doers” seek to exploit the unexpected, unwitting and dysfunctional – the ways in which we’re vulnerable – while avoiding our strengths. It’s as simple, and as hard, as that. All cybersecurity incidents constitute an organizational crisis whose resolution should be led by top-level leadership – the people accountable for every other aspect of the organization. There should be no such thing as a security or cybersecurity response – it is a crisis response. The reputation and future operation of the entire organization is at stake. This is a nondelegable responsibility that requires not only a complete resolution of the current situation, but especially in the case of cybersecurity, constructing the “new normal” for future operations.

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Fall 2017 • 71


BEST PRACTICES

How Employees’ Driving Records Can Affect Your Company Risks Inherent Based On the ‘Negligent Entrustment’ Principle by william mccloy

Y

William “Bill” McCloy is managing director of programs at AmWINS Program Underwriters (APU), a division of AmWINS Group, the largest insurance wholesaler in the U.S. He started in the insurance industry in 1985, working with Western Surety, Travelers Insurance, and as vice president of programs for Royal & SunAlliance, overseeing its WDPG® program, before joining APU. He can be reached at bill.mccloy@amwins. com; 704-749-2730.

72 • Fall 2017

ou’ve seen it before – a good employee makes a horrible decision in his or her personal vehicle. What are the implications for your company if the employee’s license is revoked, canceled or suspended due to alcohol, controlled substance or felony violations? If the employee in question is a CDL driver, he or she will lose driving privileges for one year. But what if he or she doesn’t hold a CDL, but instead drives a company sales car or pick-up truck? What if the incident involves excessive speed, reckless driving or bodily harm? What happens then? As an employer, you are caught in the balance between a good employee and the potential for vicarious liability, which holds you responsible for the actions or omissions of another person — in this instance, your employee. As a result, you need to understand the “Doctrine of Negligent Entrustment” and the potential impact that your employees’ decisions can have on your business. In its general form, the Doctrine of Negligent Entrustment states: “It is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing or to engage in an activity which is

under the control of the actor, if the actor knows or should know that such a person intends or is likely to use the thing or to conduct himself in the activity in such a manner as to create an unreasonable risk or harm to others.”(Reference:

Prosser, W. L. & Wade, J. W. (1965) Restatement of the Law Second, Torts. Philadelphia, Pa., American Law Institute)

The legal interpretation of the principle of “negligent entrustment” is not founded upon negligence of the driver of an automobile, but upon the primary negligence of the entruster in supplying an automobile to an incompetent driver. In other words, in such a situation as described above, the employer knew or should have known of the employee’s incompetence, but in spite of this knowledge, the employer entrusted the vehicle to the driver in the scope of his or her work. The employer may therefore be guilty of negligent entrustment.

PROTECTING YOUR COMPANY

It is important to be proactive in managing your drivers, both as part of your fleet safety program and to effectively maintain your CDL


BEST PRACTICES files. Below are some helpful tips for making this process easier and more efficient: 1. Develop a policy for motor vehicle record evaluations (CDL and all other drivers) that must be signed by the employee. A minimum three-year evaluation period is effective. 2. Evaluate a potential employee’s motor vehicle record at the time of hire and annually thereafter (using a minimum time standard). 3. Establish guidelines for employees to immediately report major motor vehicle violations (such as driving under the influence, reckless driving, chargeable accidents), regardless of whether the incident occurs in a personal or company vehicle. 4. Develop a company policy for personal use of company vehicles that must be signed by the employee. 5. Develop a company policy for “occasional” drivers (for example, office employees who may drive to the bank or post office during the course of their work). 6. Develop a company policy for employees who may use their personal vehicles for company business (for example, outside salespeople). Establish minimum accident liability insurance limits that they must carry.

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7. Provide driver training programs focusing on CDL and other key drivers. Include occasional drivers as part of your overall driver safety program. Document and establish these programs in written policy.

NON-DRIVING EMPLOYMENT

In addition to the above suggestions, other options may exist for managing an employee with a history of driving infractions, including placing that individual in a non-driving employment role. However, the downside of that is that doing so may affect other roles and responsibilities, and other employees, within your organization.

CONSEQUENCES OF LIABILITY

As an employer, it is important to remember that the consequences of allowing an employee with a less-than-perfect driving record extend beyond a possible traffic violation or accident. Due to the Doctrine of Negligent Entrustment, an employer must be aware of the potential liability to his or her company from allowing an employee with a poor driving history to operate any company motor vehicles – or even their personal autos – for company business.

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HELD AT THE

NEW YORK MARRIOTT MARQUIS NEW YORK, N.Y.

Sunday OCTOBER 1

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Convention Registration

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Executive Committee Meeting

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Board of Directors Meeting

12:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Young Professionals Event Scavenger hunt across the city – networking, food and drinks, ping pong at Spin New York

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Regional Chairs Meeting

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Committee Meetings

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

First-Timers Reception

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

President’s Welcome Reception

7:00 pm

Industry Hospitalities

FIRST-TIMERS RECEPTION

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

CITY-WIDE SCAVENGER HUNT

Sunday, Oct. 1 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm

NEW YORK MARRIOTT MARQUIS MANHATTAN BALLROOM

Sunday, Oct. 1 • 12:30 – 3:30 pm 48 E. 23rd St. (Between Madison and Park) SPiN is an active, modern lounge with 17 ping-pong courts, full bar service, dining and music. newyork.wearespin.com Enjoy a “wild-goose chase”-type event with other GAWDA Young Professionals. Teams will complete a variety of creative tasks using their smartphones to solve challenges while exploring New York City. The scavenger hunt ends at famous ping-pong lounge SPiN New York, where there will be appetizers and drinks. 74 • Fall 2017

"Business Casual" Attire

PRESIDENT’S WELCOME RECEPTION Sunday, Oct. 1 • 5:00 – 7:00 pm

NEW YORK MARRIOTT MARQUIS WESTSIDE BALLROOM Attire: Business Casual

GAWDA welcomes all those new to the organization and who are attending their first GAWDA Annual Convention.


2017 Annual Convention

Monday OCTOBER 2

Tuesday OCTOBER 3

6:00 am - 1:30 pm

Convention Registration

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Networking Breakfast

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Opening General Business Session

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Past President’s Luncheon

1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Exhibitor Booth Set-up

12:30 pm

Tours and Activities

12:30 pm

Industry Hospitalities

6:00 am - 1:00 pm

Convention Registration

6:00 am - 8:30 am

Exhibitor Booth Set-up

7:00 am - 8:30 am

Networking Breakfast

8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Contact Booth Program

12:30 pm

Tours and Activities

12:30 pm

Industry Hospitalities

CONTACT BOOTH PROGRAM

WOMEN OF GASES & WELDING “BEAUTIFUL,” THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL

Tuesday, Oct. 3 • 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Wednesday, Oct. 4 • 12:30 – 4:00 pm

NEW YORK MARRIOTT MARQUIS WEST SIDE BALLROOM

Make sure you’re in on this! More than 100 GAWDA member suppliers will display their newest products and services, and be on hand for one-on-one conversations and face time with distributors and their staff members. The Prize Program is a highlight of this event… with dozens of great prizes being awarded.

Wednesday OCTOBER 4

STEPHEN SONDHEIM THEATRE 124 W. 43RD ST. (*SOLD OUT)

This acclaimed Broadway musical puts song and life to the story of singer-songwriter Carole King. She’s an American icon who, before she was a superstar, was Carole Klein, teenage songwriter, and a young woman whose music would become the soundtrack to a generation. beautifulonbroadway.com

6:00 am - 12:30 pm

Convention Registration

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Networking Breakfast

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Closing General Business Session

12:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Women of Gases & Welding Event Broadway play, “Beautiful,” The Carole King Musical

7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

President’s Farewell Gala

PRESIDENT’S FAREWELL GALA Attire: Specific attire is required. No casual attire, please. For gentlemen: A tucked-in collared shirt with slacks and dress shoes and jacket and tie are required. (Jeans and T-shirts are never permitted.) For ladies: Clothing comparable to the gentlemen’s standard is appropriate: tailored suits, trousers, dresses and skirts with a blouse or sweater.

Wednesday, Oct. 4 7:00 – 11:00 pm

CIPRIANI WALL STREET 55 WALL ST. www.cipriani.com

“Business Dress” Attire Fall 2017 • 75


Photo: New York Marriott Marquis

Keynote Presenters An Economist, a Family Business Expert, a Hall of Fame Coach and a Gas Company Executive Walk Into a Welding and Gases Distributors Convention… What do a noted economist, a family-business expert and a renowned football coach/commentator and a major gas company CEO have in common? They’ll all be in New York this October to address the GAWDA audience at this year’s Annual Convention. GAWDA welcomes Alan Beaulieu, of ITR Economics; Daniel Van Der Vliet, of Cornell University; Lou Holtz, formerly of Notre Dame, the South Carolina Gamecocks and ESPN; and Praxair Inc. CEO Steve Angel to our convention. Read more about them as individuals, and about the topics they are likely to address for GAWDA Members’ information and entertainment, below.

ALAN BEAULIEU Principal and President | ITR Economics, GAWDA Chief Economist He’s one of the country’s most-informed economists and he also serves as chief economist for GAWDA. Dr. Alan Beaulieu helps thousands of business owners and executives capitalize on emerging trends every year as he consults with companies throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia on how to forecast, plan and increase profits based on business-cycle trend analysis. Dr. Alan Beaulieu

In addition to assisting GAWDA, he is senior economic advisor to the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors; a contributing editor for Industry Week; and chief economist for the Heating, Air-conditioning, Refrigeration Distributors International organization.

DANIEL VAN DER VLIET Executive Director, Smith Family Business Center S.C. Johnson School, Cornell University Daniel Van Der Vliet helps families obtain the information and expertise that helps them run their businesses more effectively through program offerings at the Cornell University S.C. Johnson School of Business Management’s Smith Family Business Initiative. He is the center’s first executive director. Daniel Van Der Vliet

76 • Fall 2017

Prior to his Cornell work, Van Der Vliet served 14 years at the University of Vermont, where he helped build a highly-regarded family business program from the ground up. He organizes courses, programs, events and networking occasions to benefit family businesses all over the U.S. and beyond.


2017 Annual Convention STEVE ANGEL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Praxair, Inc. Steve Angel heads Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 300 company that is a leading industrial gas company in North and South America, as well as one of the largest worldwide.

Steve Angel

He has been at the helm of Praxair for the past 10 years and has served a key executive there for the past 16. Angel joined the company in 2001 as its executive vice president. In February 2006, he became its president and chief operating officer. He was named president and chief executive officer in January of 2007 then appointed chairman in April of that year. Prior to joining Praxair, Angel spent 22 years in a variety of management positions with General Electric. The company, which had 2016 sales of $11 billion, produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair Inc. says its products, services and technologies, “are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others.” Angel serves on the board of directors of PPG Industries and the U.S.-China Business Council. He also is a member of The Business Council. A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., he earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore.

LOU HOLTZ College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Noted ESPN Sports Commentator Lou Holtz, a College Football Hall of Famer (2008), was a head coach for 34 years at both the college and professional levels. He is the only coach in National Collegiate Athletic Association history to lead six different programs to bowl games. Lou Holtz

Holtz was a fixture in the college football coaching landscape for more than three decades. He’s perhaps best known for his 11-season stint as head coach at Notre Dame from 19861996. He ended his coaching career in the Southeastern Football Conference as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks for six seasons from 1999-2004. When Holtz went to the Gamecocks, he took over a South Carolina team that went 1-10 in 1998. After struggling through an 0-11 season his first year in Columbia in 1999, he led the team to an 8-4 season in 2000 and a 9-3 season in 2001. He ended his stay in South Carolina with a record of 33-37, but was 33-26 in his final five seasons, including three bowl appearances. Holtz earned National Coach of the Year honors from Football News and American Football Coaches Quarterly following the 2000 season when the Gamecocks’ eight-win improvement from 1999-2000 was the third-best turnaround in NCAA history. He retired for a second time following the 2004 season there, and returned to broadcasting as an analyst for ESPN, since retiring from his analyst role.

Fall 2017 • 77


Photo: New York Marriott Marquis

2017 Annual Convention

FOUR QUESTIONS

with Steve Angel 1. Given that you earned your college degree in engineering, what prompted you to go into the field of business management? My undergraduate degree is in engineering, but I have always liked to explore different areas. What attracted me to business is that it is a broad field with a lot of variety. One thing about being a CEO, you can be hit from almost any angle on any given day, so it is never boring.

2. Who has been the biggest influence on your career and career path, and why? Jack Welch (former General Electric chairman) was very influential, as my formative years were spent at GE. Larry Bossidy (retired Allied Signal CEO and longtime GE executive) was also a role model. What influenced me most was the hands-on way in which they ran the company with the focus on execution and getting things done.

3. What do you like best about the type of work you’re doing now? I enjoy gaining new insights that can help our business. I like challenges; I live for the challenges. I also like 78 • Fall 2017

watching people grow as young leaders. The best way to do that, in my view, is to place them in unique and challenging situations and work closely with them to give them the benefit of my experience.

4. What is your biggest leisurehours interest, hobby, or passion? My passion is snow skiing, but I enjoy a lot of different activities: scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, biking, golfing, and tennis. And I never turn down a good glass of wine.

FOUR QUESTIONS

with Lou Holtz 1. What prompted you to make pro and college football your career path? It wasn’t my intention. I had no desire to go to college but my high school coach told my parents I should go to college and be a football coach. I went to Kent State University, played football there, hurt my knee, then had to coach the freshman team in my senior year. I went into the service as a lieutenant and when I got out, I was going to get married and go coach high school football near Cleveland and teach history. Unbeknownst to me, my college coach, who was in the Navy with


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Forest Evashevski (the head coach of Iowa), called him and asked Forest to give me a graduate assistantship. I [took that route] and we finished second in the country. After that I got job offers and the following year was an assistant [coach] at William & Mary. What really motivated me to take the graduate assistantship was when my wife, Beth, broke up with me in July. She called the wedding off and I wanted to get as far away from her as I could. Had it not been for that, I would have gotten married and taken the high school job.

3. Which role did you like best – pro coach, college coach, or commentator? And why? As a pro coach, I turned the job down three times and finally was talked into taking it. I went there without a vision, without a plan, and every time something went wrong I’d say, “I didn’t think this would work out.” TV was fun because of the people I worked with but, in all honesty, it didn’t really make a difference in people’s lives.

2. Who has been your biggest (or earliest) mentor or person of influence along the way?

When you are coaching, you become significant and that’s when you help other people become successful; this lasts many a lifetime.

So many people have been influential in my life: my high school coach and my college coach; my wife of 56 years, who has influenced me more than anybody else. My uncle Lou was like my brother and my father. Rick Forzano, an assistant coach at Kent State, took me under his wing. Woody Hayes, whom I coached for when we won the national championship, played a prominent role in my life. And Father Hesburgh, the president of Notre Dame. I’ve had so many great coaches and players, and you learn from them all along the way.

4. Now that you’re retired, how do you spend your time?

FOUR QUESTIONS

I am busier than I’ve ever been before. I speak to businesses that benefit my family, for friends or universities and for my players. I speak for charities and at events worthwhile for my foundation. I love golf and I am a member of Augusta National, but I don’t get to play as much as I’d like because of travel. I also get a tremendous number of requests to call people, autograph things and make appearances.

with Daniel Van Der Vliet

1. What prompted you to go into the field of assisting family businesses?

2. Who has been the biggest influence on your career/ career path?

It really was a fortuitous opportunity. Having worked with business owners and leaders to better understand their workforce needs, I had developed many strong relationships in the Vermont business community, where I was working at the time.

As an individual, I would say Greg McCann at Stetson University is someone I turn to time and time again for career guidance, industry expertise and thought leadership. Greg has been an innovator in the field of family business education. He helped to establish one of the first academic programs to offer a full degree in family business, he was instrumental in establishing the outreach model for many family business centers. He also understands the critical role that universities can play in building connections, educating students and creating new knowledge in this space.

The University of Vermont had a fledgling family business program started, and there seemed to be a natural fit when the leadership spot opened there. I soon discovered that my ability to build relationships and make connections was a critical skill for family business owners.   80 • Fall 2017


2017 Annual Convention 3. What do you like best now about the work you do? It’s absolutely fascinating to meet so many diverse business leaders from so many diverse businesses. At Cornell, we are fortunate to have students from every corner of the globe, yet so many of them explain very similar family situations and business dynamics. Also, family business is such a wide swath, from wineries here in the Finger Lakes to multi-national global brands, and yet, the family component remains largely unchanged.

4. What is your biggest offhours interest/hobby/passion? I love to hike and backpack – spending time alone in the woods, untethered, is very centering for me. In particular, I love winter hiking. Fewer people, better views and no bugs! I’ve climbed all 46 High Peaks of New York State,

Hiker Van Der Vliet has scaled all 46 Adirondack High Peaks and 83 of the 115 High Peaks in the Northeast.

and 83 of the 115 High Peaks in the Northeast.

FOUR QUESTIONS

with Alan Beaulieu

1. What prompted you to go into the field of economics? My brother, Brian, asked me to be his partner. I had been in an ownership position in two businesses prior to his asking, and had seen how important the economic landscape can be to the decision-making process.   Prior to that I was a comptroller for a construction company that had no forward vision, and was thus buffeted by the economic winds. That structural steel company suffered from the same lack of vision.  The opportunity ITR provided could allow me to help others to plan and ‘see’ what I could not when I was in their shoes. 

2. Who has been the biggest influence on your career/ career path? Life, experience, Chapin Hoskins.

Hoskins is the founder of the old Institute for Trend Research, which is now ITR Economics. He was an economic theorist whose theories are still being used successfully today at ITR Economics. His ideas truly stood the test of time. The Institute was very small, but he helped American businesses compete by seeing the upcoming changes in the economic landscape.

3. What do you like best now about the work you do? What tantalizes you about analyzing the economy?    Helping business leaders see around the corner, as this allows for enhanced profits, job creation and a stronger economy and thus a stronger nation. 

4. What is your biggest offhours interest/hobby/passion? Horses and my lake house. Fall 2017 • 81


THE GAWDA APP Have you downloaded the very useful GAWDA Event App yet? If not, you’ll want to do that before you arrive at the Annual Convention. The special events GAWDA app is designed to help members track events, communicate and share information while they attend the association’s national meetings. This year, the App will be used to scan your entry into the Contact Booth Program, notes John Ospina, GAWDA executive director. So make sure you have it on your phone when you attend that event. And make sure you have a scanner app downloaded so you can pick up information from other members easily. (Several are recommended on the adjacent page.) Here are the App’s features.

12 FUNCTION BUTTONS The app currently features 12 different functionality buttons, described on the next page.

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2017 Annual Convention BUTTON

FUNCTION AND USES

ABOUT GAWDA

A quick introduction to the Gases and Welding Distributors Association.

EVENT INFO

Descriptions of GAWDA events (such as the Spring Management Conference and the Annual Conference) with information about the planned activities, how to reach the location, accommodations, room rates and other details.

ACTIVITY FEED

A constant feed of information – including push notifications and updates put out by GAWDA HQ, GAWDA social media notifications, GAWDA social media platform announcements, information surrounding GAWDA and the event or conference.

SCHEDULE

Full details of the event/conference schedule, including day-by-day listings of the event timetable; meeting times and helpful pointers. A complete, alphabetized listing of everyone registered to attend the event, including their title and company affiliation. It also provides a communication function, where you can send notes, messages and schedule meetings via the app.

ATTENDEES/ MESSAGING

When someone sends you a notice through the app, it will ring like a text message is being received. A number in a red circle at the top right notes how many messages you have waiting. • Attendees at GAWDA events must be registered for the event or conference and logged into the app in order to see information on this button • To log in, enter first and last name and email. You’ll receive a four-digit code (sent to that email) that you enter; once entered, that signs you in. (After logging in once, you’re logged in permanently.) • If you’re not registered, you’ll receive a message that you are not on the attendee list and therefore are unable to log in. This feature makes sure that only attendees are able to text each other through the app.

SPEAKERS

Detailed information and brief biographies of all conference speakers, panels, and special program elements. This button features an interactive option that speakers can use to collect audience answers to questions via an in-app, live-survey function. Speakers can initiate a poll ahead of their talk, collect responses, then report on audience response during their presentation.

MAPS

This feature contains a GPS-enabled map of the city where the event is being held and a resort accommodation map providing location assistance for event meeting rooms and unique spaces. The city map feature also allows you to zoom in and out.

ABOUT

Instructions for use and tips for functionality.

QR SCANNER

A built-in QR code scanner that lets you scan attendees’ badges and automatically obtain and upload their information.

UBER

The ride-finding app provides local Uber (and Lyft) sources without having to switch to another app.

GAME

A built-in game runs you through different ways to use the app. Every time you play, you get points, and you’re rewarded for further exploration and use of the app features.

SEARCH

The button provides a quick and convenient way to search for information within the app.

TAG & BRAG! Use the hashtag: #GAWDAAC2017 while at the Conference

SCAN READER APPS TO TRY: For Android: ScanMe;ScanLife; QR Droid; Code Scanner For iPhone: QR Reader for iPhone; ‘Neo Reader’; Optiscan Code Reader; Scan Life

To access the GAWDA App now, download it through “thebCrowdCompassAttendeeHub” app on iTunes or Google Play. (You need to reload the app through there even if you’ve downloaded it before.) Fall 2017 • 83


GAWDA Gives Back 2 0 1 7

Member and Association Contributions Top $2-Million Mark This Fall FUNDS WILL HELP CHILDREN, FAMILIES, POST-9/11 VETERANS

T

he Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) and its member businesses will again this fall present sizeable monetary gifts to two organizations whose good works help hundreds of others meet daily needs and long-term life goals. Significantly this year, after 17 years of conducting its fund-raising initiative, GAWDA Gives Back contributions have topped the $2-million mark. Every year since 2000, when the program was started by former association president David Mahoney and his wife, Donna, members have made monetary gifts knowing their contributions will be dedicated to organizations based in the city that hosts the GAWDA Annual Convention. The idea is to leave behind goodwill and tangible resources as a thank-you for a positive meeting experience. Last year’s effort raised $190,000, and that amount was split equally and presented to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui and The Neighborhood Place of Wailuku in Maui, Hawaii. Since the 2016 Annual Convention, another $9,000 in contributions has come in, pushing total contributions since the initiative began to just over $2 million. John Ospina, executive director of GAWDA, reflected on the degree of help the initiative represents. “It is amazing to think how much these funds have helped thousands of people through two dozen community programs. The receipt of unexpected resources helps these organizations provide direct aid to individuals and conduct family quality-of-life programs. This milestone represents a tremendous effort sustained over many years by our membership, and that is a very proud legacy for GAWDA.” The adjacent chart illustrates the growth of the program over the years and the organizations that have benefitted.

84 • Fall 2017

This year, GAWDA President Mark Raimy and his wife, Kathryn Raimy, selected the New York Citybased groups Headstrong Project and Candlelighters NYC to benefit from the contributions. Headstrong is dedicated to assisting post-9/11 veterans receive mental health care, and the Candlelighters NYC organization helps children who are diagnosed with cancer and serious illnesses to enjoy positive experiences with their families.

Candlelighters NYC The non-profit organization Candlelighters NYC helps families get through the trying circumstances that surround a child’s being diagnosed with and treated for cancer. Children from all over the world come to New York to receive the best pediatric cancer treatment available, the organization notes, yet sometimes they and their families are not fully prepared for resulting long stays. The organization offers assistance and support to address the difficulties and inconveniences of hospitalizations and extended stays. Aid may consist of volunteers helping families find their way around an unfamiliar city; a program that provides sturdy strollers suited for NYC’s craggy sidewalks; supplying needed food vouchers and gift cards; help finding clothing appropriate for NYC weather and offering babysitting services. The staff and volunteers also offer friendship and moral support through all stages of the child’s illness: discovery, diagnosis, treatment and remission. They make sure hospitalized children get to celebrate holidays and birthdays, and that as treatment plans permit, the children and their families also can enjoy fun New York outings, such as Central Park concerts, passes to special events and trips to the museum, zoo and aquarium.


2017 Annual Convention

GAWDA Gives Back

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CONTRIBUTIONS YEAR

ANNUAL TOTAL

CONVENTION COMMUNITY

FUND DESIGNATIONS AND USE

2000

$35,540

Maui, Hawaii

Maui Adult Day Care Centers

Most Popular

2001

$33,295

San Francisco, Calif.

Lincoln Child Center / Students Rising Above

1/4” I.D. x 50’ TW7450 OLP

2002

$33,275

Orlando, Fla.

Princeton House Charter School

2003

$35,075

Vancouver, BC, Canada

St. Elizabeth Home

2004

$57,145

Las Vegas, Nev.

Golden Rainbow

2005

$76,525

Maui, Hawaii

Armed Services YMCA

2006

$91,400

Orlando, Fla.

Community Vision

2007

$88,975

San Francisco, Calif.

Hamilton Family Center

2008

$127,400

Paradise Island, The Bahamas

Ranfurly Homes for Children

Most Compact

2009

$155,205

San Antonio, Texas

WINGS

1/4” I.D. x 25’ TW5425 OLP

2010

$190,421

Maui, Hawaii

Community Closet

2011

$199,950

New York, N.Y.

FDNY Fire Family Transport / Pencil Fellows Program

2012

$168,745

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Partners in Housing / Peak Parent Center

Orlando, Fla.

Camp Boggy Creek / Give Kids the World Village

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2014

$154,539

San Diego, Calif.

Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) / Warrior FoundationFreedom Station

2015

$189,274

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Camp Soaring Eagle / Ryan House

2016

$190,000

Maui, Hawaii

Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui / Neighborhood Place Of Wailuku

2017

$9,000+ in additional Member Contributions

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2000 - 2017 CONTRIBUTIONS:

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2017 Annual Convention Headstrong Project The Headstrong Project (Headstrong) was founded in 2012 to provide frictionless, world-class mental health care to Iraq and Afghanistan conflict veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and other hidden wounds. The project partners with Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and with top clinicians across the country. Their goal is to provide a comprehensive treatment program for post 9/11 military service veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, anxiety and depression, grief and loss, trauma and anger management. Programs address the challenges and barriers that can prevent high-quality care for veterans by providing cost-free and individualized assistance through networks of experienced clinicians. Three principles guide the program: that services are free of charge, free of bureaucracy and free of stigma. Because providers work directly with veterans, the model eliminates the need for “bricks and mortar” facilities, long wait times and extensive forms.

Since its founding, more than 400 veterans have been helped to regain their mental fitness, the project reports. Currently, 250 veterans are in treatment in the New York Metro area, San Diego and Riverside County, Calif.; and the cities of Houston, Chicago, Washington, D.C,. and Los Angeles. The group plans a national expansion to 20 cities by 2020 and the implementation of hybrid telemedicine programs to provide care in rural areas.

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It’s time once again for the GAWDA Contact Booth Program. It’s a great show! It’s three and a half hours that’s a highlight of the year for suppliers and distributors alike. It’s a concentrated event meant for distributors to be face-to-face with manufacturer’s reps and supplier-company executives. GAWDA’s Contact Booth Program Committee aims to obtain 100 percent distributor attendance and engagement at this year’s Contact Booth events. It’s an important goal, 2016-2017 President Mark Raimy has said, because “that kind of participation and interest is what makes this program successful for supplier members,” and hosting a Contact Booth Program exhibit represents a major investment. This is where it’s happening; where you might get a big bite of some new business! So distributors: Meet your suppliers. Ask questions, get demos, learn about new processes, pick out some new products for your store or operation. Get what you need to make some new business inroads. Here is when and where you can get it straight from the supplier source. And suppliers: Pitch your distributors. It’s your chance to exchange information face-to-face, get to know more of the people you’d like on your order sheet, and show them what your company and your products have that can make their businesses grow more profitable.

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2017 AC Exhibitor Guide BTIC AMERICA OFFERING INDUSTRIAL AND BEVERAGE CRYOGENIC CYLINDERS Houston, Texas — BTIC America Corporation (BAC) is a subsidiary of Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd., which is one of the best and largest cylinder manufacturers in the world. BAC provides cylinder sales and services. Products include high pressure gas cylinders (DOT/TC and UNISO), acetylene cylinders, cryogenic cylinders, fire-fighting cylinders and SCBA cylinders. www.btic-america.com

CALIFORNIA CYLINDER CAN SATISFY ALL YOUR CYLINDER NEEDS Upland, California — California Cylinder offers a full - line of high pressure cylinders and cryogenic liquid cylinders to our industry. Product line includes high pressure steel, aluminum, acetylene & propane cylinders. California Cylinder also offers cylinder requalification services with our affiliate: West Coast Hydro Test & Maintenance.

CAVAGNA OFFERS ALL-IN-ONE PRODUCT VALVE Somerset, New Jersey — Cavagna Group’s I-VIPR is an integrated valve and residual pressure valve. Its ergonomic design provides the user with easy access to all primary functions from one side of the cylinder. IVPR is suitable for various welding gases, including oxygen, acetylene and AR/C0 2 mixtures. www.cavagnagroup.com

ALL IN ONE SOLUTION

Save Money Save Time Ensure Safety

Cavagna Group’s I-VIPR is an integrated valve and residual pressure valve. Its ergonomic design provides the user with easy access to all primary functions from one side of the cylinder. IVPR is suitable for various welding gases, including oxygen, acetylene and AR/C02 mixtures.

Cavagna North America Inc. 50 Napoleon Court, Somerset NJ 08873 Phone 732-469-2100, Fax 732 469 3344 Cavagna Noth America Distribution Center, 11201 Iberia St., Suite B, Mira Loma, CA 91752 Info@cavagna.com - www.cavagnagroup.com

Fall 2017 • 91


NEW CHART PERMA-MAX™ MICROBULK C02 STORAGE SYSTEMS Garfield Heights, Ohio — Chart introduces a new line of MicroBulk C02 storage with the Perma-Max™ Storage Systems. The Perma-Max series is designed with fast fill plumbing and is turnkey-ready for any C02 application. Other new design features include all stainless steel ball valves, larger internal pressure builder and vaporizer coils for faster pressure recovery and increased gas flow rates. Now offering a higher capacity of 12,000 lbs gross storage (12,000 VHP model). The unique design of the 1400 XHP model allows for the delivery of high pressure liquid C02 at pressures up to 800 psig MAWP. Model sizes also available in 2200 HP, 3300 HP, 4400 HP and 6000 HP.

92 • Fall 2017

CYL-TEC IS YOUR ONE RESOURCE FOR THE COMPRESSED GAS INDUSTRY Aurora, Illinois — One resource. Zero headaches. CylTec is the one-stop solution for compressed gas cylinders, liquid cylinders, small bulk, bulk, and accessories. Stop by our booth to learn how we can assist your business through our extensive inventory of in-stock items.

ELEET OFFERING NEW LINES OF TAYLOR-WHARTON TANKS Bolivar, OHIO — Eleet has been providing high-quality rehab bulk tanks and industrial and medical final-line assemblies for 20+ years. Now we’re offering new Taylor-Wharton bulk and micro-bulk tanks. With Eleet’s piping and testing, these new bulk tanks have been excellent performers in the field. CO2 tanks have inner stainless steel and recondensing coil as standard; a new micro-bulk tank offers exceptional versatility.


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide VICTOR® EDGE™ 2.O GAS REGULATOR OFFERS INTUITIVE OPERATION Buffalo, New York — The Victor EDGE™ 2.0 regulator features a larger 2 ½-in. diameter delivery gauge, a smaller, offset cylinder pressure gauge and uses high-contrast, color-coded gauge faces. Even from a distance, operators can tell if they have sufficient cylinder contents and if delivery pressure is within safe and acceptable ranges.

FIBA EXECUTIVES TO HIGHLIGHT PRODUCT LINE Littleton, Massachusetts — FIBA serves industrial and specialty gas distributors and manufacturers. FIBA manufactures and repairs transport, storage and filling equipment, including DOT, ISO and ASME pressure vessels, tube trailers, ISO modules, ASME and DOT receivers, bulk transporters and tanks, oil field equipment, and vaporizers. FIBA provides ultrasonic, acoustic emission and hydrostatic requalification of pressure vessels. www.fibatech.com.

FLEXOVIT USA, INC. FEATURES HIGH PRODUCTIVITY ABRASIVES FOR POWER TOOLS Angola, NY —Flexovit USA, Inc. is a USA based manufacturer of high productivity abrasives for portable power tools. Flexovit operates a 100,000 sq. ft. ISO certified factory, four sales and distribution centers, and deploys a team of technical sales representatives to provide support to abrasive users through a selective network of authorized distributors in USA, Canada, and Mexico.

A RECOGNIZED LEADER IN

TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION & EXPERIENCE

FIBA Technologies, Inc., a family owned business, has provided the finest quality gas containment equipment and services to our global customers for three generations. That’s because we have an established set of credentials and capabilities that make us uniquely qualified.

Our Quality is Recognized Worldwide!

FIBA Technologies, Inc. | 53 Ayer Road, Littleton, MA 01460 Phone: 508.887.7100 | Fax: 978.742.4908 | www.fibatech.com FIBA = SAFETY, QUALITY & INTEGRITY Fall 2017 • 93


We know Hydrocarbon Refrigerants • • • • • •

GENTEC PROVIDES THE TOTAL SOLUTION Chino, California — Genstar Technologies Company provides high-quality pressure regulators, fittings, valves, welding apparatus, gas control and gas handling devices. UL-approved high quality products, competitive pricing and continual technological innovation have fueled Genstar’s steady growth since 1984. Their R&D department works continuously to improve existing product lines, developing innovative product designs.

High Purity Hydrocarbons Bulk Quantities Storage Systems, Bulk and Cylinders Project Management Global Supply Portable, Interim and Temporary Supply

GAS INNOVATIONS EXPANDS La Porte, Texas — Gas Innovations Products include Ethane, Butane,Propane, Ethylene, purchases adjacent property and exIsobutane, Methane, Propylene and Pentanes. Packaging includes large and small bulk containers, high and low pands operations, including pressure cylinders, tube trailers, cryogenic ISO containers and carbon international shipping containers. monoxide and cryogenic ethane. Cryogenic ethane will replace compressed ethane as the only available mode of supply. The “Welcome to Gas Innovations” video features the company overview showcasing Gas Innovations competencies, innovative technologies and our high-purity hydrocarbons and refrigerants. www.gasinnovations.com

GULLCO INTERNATIONAL’S OSCILLATOR IMPROVES WELD QUALITY Cleveland, Ohio — The portable, compact, modular design of this heavy-duty remote control oscillator makes it easy to handle and set up, increases productivity and improves weld quality by providing precise automation of welding applications. Mounted on a KAT travel carriage, the oscillator imparts pendulum, tangential or step motion to the welding gun. www.gullco.com

We know Hydrocarbon Refrigerants • • • • • •

High Purity Hydrocarbons Bulk Quantities Storage Systems, Bulk and Cylinders Project Management Global Supply Portable, Interim and Temporary Supply

Get quality products and service today!

281.471.2200 La Porte, Texas (Houston Ship Channel)

gasinnovations.com

Products include Ethane, Butane,Propane, Ethylene, Isobutane, Methane, Propylene and Pentanes. Packaging includes large and small bulk containers, high and low pressure cylinders, tube trailers, cryogenic ISO containers and international shipping containers.

94 • Fall 2017

Are you getting THE CONNECTION?

+ GAWDA’s Member Newsletter is published twice each month on the1st and the 15th. Don’t miss the latest from GAWDA and news about Members throughout the U.S. and Beyond!

Subscribe for yourself or your team members by visiting: www.gawda.org/gawdapublications-sign-up-form To advertise in GAWDA Connection, email timh@datakey.org or call 315.445.2347.


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO. WILL NETWORK WITH DISTRIBUTOR PARTNERS

HYPERTHERM RESHAPES PLASMA VERSATILITY H a n o v e r, N e w Hampshire — With seven highly portable, professional grade air plasma systems and more specialty torches and consumables, Hypertherm Powermax systems provide the versatility your customers need to get the job done.

Cleveland, Ohio — With more than 200 technical representatives and field sales support personnel, Lincoln Electric strives to assist distributor partners as they meet end-user needs with application expertise, quality products and outstanding customer service. www.lincolnelectric.com

KAPLAN INDUSTRIES PROVIDES TOTAL SOLUTIONS Harrison, Ohio — More than just an industrial cylinder supplier, Kaplan Industries offers a wide portfolio of services. Executives will discuss all our cylinder products and services including our new N-Butane offering for the medical cannabis industry, cradle manifold systems, liquid and propane offerings, medical and beverage options including cylinder reconditioning and both hydro and UT testing. No one inventories a more complete line of cylinders and valves for compressed gases, offering both new and refurbished cylinders. www.kaplanindustries.com

281-999-6900 | sumner.com Fall 2017 • 95


MERCER INDUSTRIES — SOLUTIONS. START TO FINISH

MCDANTIM SHOWCASES THE TRUMIX® Helena, Montana — McDantim Trumix® gas blending systems are a unique approach to accurate gas blends. Using laminar gas flow properties, they maintain industry standard blend accuracies over a wide range of flow rates without buffer tanks or electricity. Two or three-component blends at flow rates ranging from 1scfh to over 4,000 scfh are available. www.mcdantim.com.

Ronkonkoma, New York — Mercer Industries supplies a full line of technologically advanced, superior quality, long-lasting bonded and coated abrasives and diamond blades as well as industrial files. The Mercer commitment to serving its customers and providing quality products spans over 50 years. Quality, performance, delivery, service, and value are the focal points for this third-generation family business. www.mercerindustries.com

METAL MAN WORK GEAR CO. INTRODUCES INNOVATIVE WELDING CABINET/CART Appleton, Wisconsin — Well known for innovative ideas for welding accessories, Metal Man Work Gear Co. has recently introduced a new welding cabinet/cart. The Metal Man TTWC3 Welding Cart/Cabinet is designed to accept most brands of small light industrial welders. It has an on-board cylinder rack designed to hold shielding gas cylinders up to 7-½” in diameter. It incorporates a locking cabinet door to help secure valuable accessories, such as an auto darkening welding helmet. www.metalmangear.com

96 • Fall 2017


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide

ORS NASCO: EXPERIENCE THE VALUE OF WHOLESALE

PRISM VISUAL SOFTWARE SERVING GAS DISTRIBUTION FOR OVER 20 YEARS

Muskogee, Oklahoma — ORS Nasco is a single source provider of more than 200,000 products of premium brands from over 600 manufacturers in the industrial, welding, oilfield, safety, electrical, construction, HVAC, MRO, plumbing, janitorial and rental markets. www.orsnasco.com

Port Washington, New York — Prism Visual Software sells back office, CRM, mobile Android delivery and customer web shopping software to support a welding supply distributor’s end-to-end technology needs. Prism Route Management Dispatch Suite sells with a fully integrated Accounting ERP or integrates with QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics and SAGE. Supports cylinder exchange and replenishment workflow with scanning, rental billing, mobile invoice for delivery and equipment service, electronic surveys and DOTs, track gas lots and more. www.prismvs.com

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL SHOWCASES NEW PRODUCT FROM THEIR SAFETUBE PRODUCT LINE Milwaukee, Wisconsin — Phoenix International is best known for its durable Dryrod ovens. Current products include electrode ovens, flux ovens and Safetubes. The Milwaukeebased company is marking its 125th anniversary in 2017. They are proud to announce a new product in their Safetube product line. This new rack will hold three 14” or 18” Safetubes. Fall 2017 • 97


RATERMANN MANUFACTURING TEAMS UP WITH TAYLOR WHARTON Livermore, California — Ratermann Manufacturing is excited to announce new stocked inventory of TW Bev-carb tanks, nitrogen generators, TW industrial liquid cylinders and our Arctic Fox cryogenic tanks 1500L-6000L. Ultimately, Ratermann Manufacturing believes that we are 100 percent accountable for each customer order. Because of that commitment, we care for and manage every order, from beginning to end. www.rmimfg.com

RAY MURRAY INC. OFFERS PROTECTION FOR C02 CYLINDERS

Lee, Massachusetts — Ray Murray has introduced a new flanged pressure retention valve for aluminum cylinders. It minimizes potential of cylinder contamination by preventing backflow of impurities by retaining approximately 50psi pressure, maintaining the integrity of the cylinder contents against contaminants, even if the valve is left open. www.raymurray.com

ROTAREX GAS HANDLING PROCESS Hackettstown, New Jersey — Serving the industry since 1922, manufacturer of valves, fittings, and regulators for compressed gases. Source-toprocess solutions for the handling of gas including specialty, semiconductor, corrosive, industrial, and medical. Innovator for cylinder valves, line valves, integrated valve-regulators, regulators, and fittings in materials such as brass, ASB stainless steel, nickel, and Hastelloy.

Your Source For MIG Carts and Cabinets Universal Cart TTWC3

Heavy Duty Single/Dual Bottle Welding Cart UWC4

NEW!

Deluxe Weld Cabinet DWC1

98 • Fall 2017

www.metalmangear.com • 888-762-4045

Universal Cart UWC2


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide SAFTCART EXECS DISCUSS LATEST OFFERINGS Clarksdale, Mississippi — SafTCart, a “Made In The USA” manufacturer will discuss their latest innovations including the Aluminomics Trailer for efficient cylinder delivery. They will further be on hand to discuss the warehouse friendly box cart line and employee friendly cylinder delivery systems. www.saftcart.com

SELECT-ARC SETS THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IN TUBULAR WELDING ELECTRODES

SHERWOOD VALVE EXPANDS PRODUCT OFFERINGS

Fort Loramie, Ohio — Select-Arc, Inc. manufactures a complete line of premium quality flux-cored and metal-cored welding electrodes: carbon steel, low alloy, stainless steel, nickel alloy and hard surfacing. The company backs its exceptional welding wire products with outstanding service and the best value-added in the industry. Select-Arc sets the standard of excellence in tubular welding electrodes. www.select-arc.com

Washington, Pennsylvania — Sherwood continues new product development of valves for medical gases, calibration gases and specialty gas applications to be released in 2017. Stop by the Sherwood booth to learn more about our current products and find out about our custom design capabilities. Sherwood provides American-made quality products and service you can trust. www.sherwoodvalve.com

Fall 2017 • 99


SUMNER MANUFACTURING FEATURES USER FRIENDLY PRODUCTS Washington, Pennsylvania — The Max-Jax 2 stand has the unique capability of being either a low or high moveable jack stand for 4 – 36” (100-915 mm) pipe. By quickly removing the jack head and casters from the base can be rotated from a low high stand.

SUPERIOR PRODUCTS Cleveland, Ohio — Superior Products will showcase an expanded product offering of Semi-Automatic Manifolds and manifold systems, new quick connects for welding equipment, an all-purpose propane torch, test gauges with bleeder valves and more! Spend time with us to learn why more distributors are switching to the Superior brand of products. www.superiorprod.com

TAYLOR-WHARTON CELEBRATING 275TH ANNIVERSARY Taylor-Wharton produces a comprehensive range of cryogenic storage equipment for Industrial Gas, Life Science and LNG applications. Products include Atmospheric Bulk Tanks, MicroBulk Vessels, Liquid Cylinders, Beverage Carbonation, VJ C02 Tanks, Hydrogen Vessels and Mobile Delivery Units. Tracing its roots to 1742, TW is now celebrating its 275th Anniversary in 2017. www.twcryo.com 100 • Fall 2017


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide VMG’S AFFORDABLE AUTOMATIC CHANGEOVER MANIFOLD Cincinnati, Ohio — Vendor Managed Gas offers a new revolutionary affordable automatic switchover manifold system that helps eliminate beverage gas supply issues. Using VMG Telemetry with this automatic changeover manifold will allow you to run your day to day operations more efficiently and save money.

VOESTALPINE BÖHLER WELDING HAS COMPREHENSIVE GLOBAL PRESENCE Houston, Texas — Voestalpine Böhler Welding’s Böhler Welding and Fontargen Brazing divisions provide a range of soldering and welding filler metals in joint welding, welding for repair and maintenance, and brazing and soldering. Expertise is provided to the oil and gas, pipeline, chemical, power generation, transportation and automotive industries, and more. www.voestalpine.com

WEILER COVERS YOU BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE WELD Cresco, Pennsylvania — As an industry leader and global manufacturer of surface conditioning solutions, Weiler Abrasives Group is dedicated to forging collaborative relationships with our customers in diverse markets — Welding & Fabrication; Industrial Production; and Maintenance, Repair & Operations — to tackle their toughest cleaning, grinding, cutting, de-burring, and finishing challenges. Fall 2017 • 101


SPENDING TOO MUCH $$ ON COLD ENDS? SEE PUMP PROTECTION OPTIONS Aurora, Illinois — Let Weldcoa’s WatchDog™ 2.0 Automatic Cryogenic Pump Protection System keeps an eye on your pump, watching for any potential pump problems and alerting you before any damage is done. The WatchDog™ 2.0 allows the operator to remotely cool down, start and stop a pump as well as monitor the pump to ensure effective performance and help reduce unnecessary wear and maintenance. The goal is to try to double the life of the pump between repairs, thus saving both money and downtime. Start using Weldcoa’s Watch Dog system, and stop worrying about pump failure.

NEW WELDSHIP SUPER MAX JUMBO HYDROGEN TUBE TRAILER Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — Weldship announces production of the Super Max Jumbo Hydrogen Tube Trailer fitted with nine 42-ft.UN/USA ISO11120, 178 bar (2580 psig) seamless steel tubes for embrittling gas service. This trailer will transport the largest hydrogen payload of any seamless steel tube trailer that meets US DOT weight regulations. Carries a 10-year retest period. www.weldship.com

WESTERN ENTERPRISES SETS THE STANDARD Westlake, Ohio — Western Enterprises sets the standard in quality and safety for welding and gas distribution applications. With quality, reliable, made in USA gas fittings, quick connects, flash arrestors, regulators, pigtails, and manifolds. Western offers a full line of products for every gas management and control application!

To Meet or Exceed the Most Rigorous Global Standards,

The Gas World Turns to

Weldship

Experience • Knowledge • Performance Tube Trailers, ISO-Containers, CO2 Transports, Ground Storage Modules For superior product quality and performance, call on Weldship! We have met virtually every global standard or code, and have the engineering, technical and manufacturing experience to assure you the right size and configuration for your gas product transports and containers. Weldship is now ISO 9001 Certified. All of our products are available for lease or purchase. In addition, we provide a complete testing service for required w w w. w e l d s h i p . c o m container certification. Contact us today to keep your product safe, your fleet 225 West Second Street • Bethlehem, PA 18015 • P–610 861 7330 moving… and your profits rolling! 75 East Main Street • Westboro, MA 01581 • P–508 898 0100 1310 Highway 82 West • Gainesville, TX 76240 • P–940 668 1777

ISO 9001 CERTIFIED 102 • Fall 2017


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide WORTHINGTON INDUSTRIES LEADING WITH EXPERTISE Columbus, Ohio — Worthington Industries is the leading manufacturer of pressure cylinders and related products for industrial, alternative fuels, oil and gas, and consumer products markets. Our steel, aluminum and composite cylinders, cryogenic vessels, storage tanks and specialty components serve more than 4,000 customers in 70 countries. www.worthingtonindustries.com/igas

106-8212 1/4 pg. 4C _3.375 x 4.375_Welding & Gases Today_Jan. 2017 THE

ABICOR BINZEL WELDING AS IT SHOULD BE. Frederick, Maryland — Our line of MIG torches and accessories are designed with the welder in mind. Comfortable, durable and made of the highest-grade materials to ensure a superior welding performance. Whether handheld or robotics, welders look to BINZEL for total torch technology. www.binzel-abicor.com.

SINCE 1951 HAS BEEN THE SINGLE QUALITY SOURCE

HARRIS PRODUCTS GROUP OFFERS SPECIALTY GAS EQUIPMENT Mason, Ohio —The Harris Products Group offers a full line of specialty gas equipment. We manufacture high purity bar stock regulators available in stainless steel, brass and chrome plated. In addition to regulators, Harris offers complete gas management products for flow control, gas purification, and cylinder storage. www.harrisproductsgroup.com

TM

CRYOGENIC EQUIPMENT

INNOVATIVE IDEAS

EW Series Delivery Bodies Fork Lift Cylinder Tank Storage Cabinet

Kaddy-Kart Cylinder Handling

FOR ALL OF YOUR GAS HANDLING NEEDS H&H delivers the gas handling equipment you need to reduce labor, increase safety & save money. HAUL IT— The EW Series truck body features a modular design with your choice of steel treadplate or bar grate flooring for confident transport. H&H can provide the optimum lift gate for your loading/ unloading operation. STORE IT— Our Cylinder-Stor Cabinets set the mark for convenience and secure outside storage. Both single and double section models are furnished with tamper-proof padlock hasps, keyed padlocks and bolt-down features for the best in safety and security.

MOVE IT— H&H Kaddy-Karts are small enough to get through doors and traffic lanes yet large enough to carry plenty of cylinders. Palletstyle bottoms for easy movement and alignment. Some models offer casters, tow hitches or crane lifting eyes. You’ll find the model you need to improve your operation. Get H&H to help you today to safer and easier cylinder handling.

16339 Lima Rd., P.O. Box 686 • Huntertown, IN 46748-0686 Phone: 260-637-3177 • 800-551-9341 • FAX: 260-637-6880 E-mail: hhequip@frontier.com • Web: www.hhsalescompany.com

800-551-9341

SUPERIOR DESIGN PRODUCT EXCELLENCE Our industry experience and engineering expertise ensure reasonable prices and excellent turnaround time without compromising quality. Cryogenics for Industry, Research, Laboratory, Medical and Homecare 1-800-426-2186 www.cryofab.com sales@cryofab.com

Fall 2017 • 103


VISIT GAWDA’S NEW BOOTH! GAWDA has invested in a new booth, with bold new graphics and components that are compartmentalized and transportable, allowing them to be taken to the SMC, the AC, regional GAWDA meetings and other industry trade shows. The booth features a sit-down

104 • Fall 2017

conversation area, a multimedia display panel, pull-up information signage and tabletops for handouts and brochures. GAWDA Consultants and GAWDA Media representatives will be present there throughout the program.


2017 AC Exhibitor Guide

PRIZES, PRIZES, PRIZES!

GAWDA’s 2017 AC Prize Program Get in on the possibility of winning some great gear and goodies during GAWDA’s Prize Program at the Annual Convention. Suppliers are sponsoring several dozen great offerings this fall. It’s GAWDA’s way of helping to generate interest in supplier booths and ensuring 100 percent attendance attendance by GAWDA distributors. Yeti coolers. Google Homes. Visa gift cards. I pads. Five GAWDA SMC free registrations - and lots more! The prizes are plentiful and they’re pretty slick! Make sure you get your badge scanned upon entry to the Contact Booth Prize Program and bring plenty of business cards to use to enter drawings.

The Hobart Institute of Welding Technology offers our comprehensive Technical Training courses through the year! Preparation for AWS® Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS®) Exam

Preparation for AWS® Certified Welding Inspector/ Educator (CWI®/ CWE®) Exam

• • Welding for the Non-Welder • Arc Welding Inspection • Weldability of Metals: Ferrous & Nonferrous • Liquid Penetrant & Magnetic Particle Inspection Fundamentals of Visual Inspection

937-332-9500 or

® ®

visit us at www.welding.org for more information. © 2017 Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, Troy, Ohio State of Ohio Reg. No. 70-12-0064HT

Fall 2017 • 105


INDIVIDUAL

MANUFACTURER’S REPRESENTATIVE

SUPPLIER

DISTRIBUTOR

Member Benefit Chart PROFESSIONAL CONSULTANT SUPPORT FDA and Medical Gases (Thomas Badstubner) DOT, Security, OSHA & EPA (Michael Dodd) Government Affairs & Human Resources (Richard P. Schweitzer) Economic Analysis and Forecast (Dr. Alan Beaulieu)

EVENTS AND MEETINGS GAWDA Annual Convention & Spring Management Conference (AC/SMC) Contact Booths at AC/SMC Hospitality Opportunities at AC/SMC GAWDA Regionals Sponsorship Opportunities at AC/SMC/Regionals Education Offerings

RESOURCES Copy of Buyers Guide Listing in Buyers Guide Copy of Member Directory SOP, Safety & Reference Materials Online Career Center CGA Safety Documents GAWDA Scholarships Discount Business Services

KNOWLEDGEABLE COMMUNICATIONS Quarterly Welding & Gases Today Subscription

*

*

Twice-Monthly GAWDA Connection Monthly Safety Bulletin Advertising in GAWDA Publications * (one copy)

To learn more about other benefits of joining the Gases and Welding Distributors Association call Membership Services Manager Stephen Hill at 954-367-7728 x220.


T

he following businesses recently joined the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. For more information about the benefits and services available to members, please contact the Association at 844-251-3219 and Stephen Hill, membership services manager, or visit www. gawda.org.

SUPPLIER MEMBERS CIMARRON COMPOSITES 4912 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, Ala. 35811-1512 256-851-5077 Tom DeLay, owner/manager Cimarron Composites develops, tests and manufactures composite pressure vessels.

HYDROSTAT INC. 330 First Ave. SE P.O. Box 238 Rice, Minn. 56367 320-393-4881 Brad Andvik, sales manager Hydrostat is a hydrostatic and ultrasonic tester and requalifer of industrial, medical, specialty gas cylinders, cryogenic cylinders. U.S. DOT & Transport Canada compliant.

DISTRIBUTOR MEMBERS ANALGESIC SERVICES INC.       1418 N. Market Blvd. Ste. 300 Sacramento, Calif. 95834 888-928-1068 Lisa Black, vice president Analgesic Services has been supplying medical gases since 1974.

CO2 DIRECT GAS INC.

P.O. Box 370 Lake City, Fla. 32056-0370 386-755-0228 J.D. Green, owner

CO2 Direct Gas supplies industrial, medical and beverage gases as well as welding supplies.

HELGET GAS PRODUCTS 4150 S. 87th St. Omaha, Neb. 68127 402-339-1063 Linda Fette, vice president Helget Gas Products supplies gases to the medical and beverage industries.

INDUSTRIAL WELDERS SUPPLY 396 Manton Ave. Providence, R.I. 02909-4146 401-351-2880 Lawrence Conde, vice president A family-owned provider of welding supplies and gases, Industrial Welders Supply also sells plasma cutting equipment.

LESSORS INC. 1300 N. Genesee Road Burton, Mich. 48509 800-352-5304 Gary Peters, president

Follow us on Twitter!

@GAWDAMEDIA @WeldGasToday

Lessors Inc. offers a variety of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, welding equipment and supplies from facilities in Burton and Ann Arbor, Mich.

TULSA GAS & GEAR   6665 S. 65th West Ave. Tulsa, Okla. 74131-2420 918-447-4411 Steven Stobaugh, managing member Tulsa Gas & Gear is a one-stop distributor of welding supplies, welding gases, bulk gases, air tools, power tools and more.

Fall 2017 • 107


TECHNOLOGY

Here’s What’s

‘APP-ening’

NYC

WHAT’S APP-ENING IN NEW YORK CITY? Whether you’re a New Yorker or not, you know there are tons of places to go and things to do in the Big Apple. Here are a few apps that will help you get the information you need, get around the way you want to and get in on everything the City has to offer. They’re useful anytime, but especially for those who are visiting NYC for GAWDA’s 2017 Annual Convention.

VISITOR NYC

FREE

Here’s an app that provides a super way to wayfind in New York City. While guide books can help you decide where to go, they may not provide a destination’s precise location. This app shows the sites of all the best points of interest and their relationship to each other, and plots them on a map. You can finger-zoom in for a 3-D view of the location, and a few more flicks help you pick up more details about what surrounds the site, such as shops, services and eateries.

NEW YORK WALK AND EXPLORE NYC

FREE

Designed, developed and curated by licensed New York City tour guides, this app helps you plan and calendar everything you want to explore. It contains maps, guides and tours to help you navigate the city through stories and a GPS. With this next-generation cultural portal and a mobile device, you can explore the city’s history and culture through personalized, augmented-reality experiences, via geolocated, curated and personal storytelling. Featured are: 60-plus pre-defined tours; 360 spots where films have been made; 250 videos, 180 podcasts, 220 stories and 225 biographies. Its people, ghosts, artists and superheroes guide you through the city with the help of photographs, movies, books, videos and podcasts. It navigates online and off using GPS and Google Maps. This app won the App Tourism Awards 2017 best destination app.

NEW YORK SUBWAY MTA MAP (NYC)

FREE

New York Subway is the free NYC public transport app using the official map from MTA. It has an easy-to-use route planner showing MTA stops for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. MTA service-status reports show live information about any delays or changes, as well as any out-of-service elevators or escalators, and the app sends alerts and information about those changes to your phone. It also includes a search feature, and its Uber integration permits you to book a car ride in seconds.

THE NEW YORK PASS

FREE

This is the second edition of the five-star rated New York Pass - Travel Guide, a fun and exciting guide and planning tool. It contains information on more than 90 attractions, including tips for saving money. The app is free, and it shows a selection of places to sightsee as well as tour passes you can buy that provide substantial savings on entry to many NYC attractions.

ALL THE APPS MENTIONED ARE AVAILABLE ON THE APP STORE AND/OR GOOGLE PLAY.

108 • Fall 2017


Sherwood Valve Our Exceptional Customer Care

+

Our Comprehensive Technical Expertise

+

Our Highest Quality Standards

Equals Your Peace of Mind

We know valves are a system-critical piece of your business. We’re proud to provide you with American-made products and service you can trust.

MADE IN USA

888.508.2583 compgas@sherwoodvalve.com www.sherwoodvalve.com


INDUSTRY NEWS NEW POSITIONS Bernacki Named Director of Special Projects at CryoVation Joe Bernacki has joined CryoVation, of Hainesport, N.J., as director, special projects. He will be responsible for specialty gas equipment technology, development and engineering. Bernacki has deep experience in plant Joe Bernacki operation and management, serving as the first full-time employee of Gardner Cryogenics when it began 40 years ago, CryoVation says. In his career, Bernacki has worked for Air Products, Scott Specialty Gases and Air Liquide and has held positions such as plant manager, product specialist and engineering manager. “Bernacki’s overall experience is a welcome addition to our team and will assist us in continuing to develop and innovate our product offering,” says Ric Boyd, president of CryoVation.

Clark Joins Butler Gas as Logistics Manager Carl Clark has joined Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Butler Gas Products as logistics manager. Clark is focusing on DOT safety, people leadership, technology management and generating customer satisfaction for Carl Clark the 69-year-old, third-generation family business. Clark is responsible for utilizing Butler Gas Products’ trucking technology systems to increase efficiency and distribution effectiveness. “Through building strong relationships with our team of drivers and valued customers, Carl will be responsible for managing our distribution efforts and continuously elevating our level of delivery services,” the company says in a release. Prior to joining Butler Gas, Clark had spent much of his career working in the medical transportation industry and formerly had his hazardous material commercial driver license.

Priebe and Stott Join Keen Compressed Gas Co. Tim Stott and Lawrence Priebe have joined Keen Compressed Gas Co., the Wilmington, Del.-headquartered distributor. Stott is now Keen’s technical welding sales specialist. Stott’s primary responsibility will be to assist Keen’s account 110 • Fall 2017

managers and customers with their technical welding needs. He will also be responsible for training and educating Keen’s sales associates and customers on welding processes. Stott began working in the welding industry at age seven in his family-owned construction and welding business. In Lawrence Priebe 1972, he was hired as the field sales engineer for Airco, where he went on to several other positions within the company. In 1993, Stott was hired by Miller Electric as their Mid-Atlantic district manager, where he managed relationships with distributors and end users for more than 20 years. He graduated from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Stott is retired from Miller Electric. Priebe is the safety and quality control director. He will be responsible for overseeing the safety and quality of Keen’s operations, including training, policy development, and compliance objectives for the company. Priebe began his career in the compressed gas industry in 1995 as an inside sales representative. In 1996, he was promoted to store manager and company trainer and worked in the Baltimore and Philadelphia markets. From 1999 through 2016, Priebe served as the manager of safety, compliance and transportation, where his responsibilities included risk management, safety and health as well as federal and state-specific compliance, fleet management, and bulk and microbulk installations. Priebe graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s of Science and received his MBA from the University of Maryland University College with a concentration in human resource management. In 2007, Priebe received his certified transportation professional credential from the National Private Truck Council.

Norton Joins Exocor as Upper Midwest Manager Todd Norton has joined Exocor Filler Metals as territory manager for the Upper Midwest. Norton’s past experiences include more than 20 years with Praxair and most recently almost 10 years with National Standard as regional manager operating Todd Norton out of Duluth, Minn. His territory includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and North and South Dakota.


INDUSTRY NEWS ORS Nasco Appoints Kempa as President/Group President

Johnson Named VP Inside Sales at Techniweld USA

ORS Nasco announces the appointment of Chris Kempa as president of ORS Nasco and group president, Essendant Industrial. Kempa has been supporting ORS Nasco since September 2015 as senior vice president - merchandising and responsible for merchandising in the Essendant Industrial Group. Prior to joining Essendant, Kempa spent more than two decades at Grainger in leadership roles of increasing responsibility in field operations, distribution operations, enterprise systems, product management, global supply chain and leading business units within international. “Chris immediately began adding value in 2015 as we sought to turnaround Chris Kempa the business while optimizing our merchandising approach for our customers and suppliers,” states Ric Phillips, interim CEO/ Essendant. “He brings a wealth of industry experience to his new role. We look forward to supporting Chris in this well-deserved promotion and improving our performance in support of our partners.” Kempa adds, “I’m excited to build on the success and recovery we are experiencing in ORS Nasco and accelerating our investments and capabilities to continually progress the value wholesale serves for our customers and suppliers. The market is evolving quickly and leveraging scale across the industrial businesses and Essendant enables our ability to support our customers and suppliers better than our competitors.”

Barry Johnson has been promoted to vice president of inside sales at Techniweld USA. All inside sales associates now report to him, the company says, adding that a customer service team being developed will also report to Johnson. Barry Johnson “Barry has been with Techniweld USA since its inception, and has been critical to its growth and present sales volume. He has a long track record of being the top commissioned salesperson in the company,” says Hunter Johnson, Techniweld USA’s executive vice president.

Schuk Joins Abicor Binzel in Midwest

Survey Names Hypertherm Top Cutting Brand

Andy Schuk, previously of Böhler Welding, has joined Abicor Binzel as district sales manager. His district reaches from the Chicago region of Illinois to Wisconsin and Western Michigan. Schuk has more than 30 years in the welding industry, with positions at Böhler Welding, ESAB, Red-D-Arc, and AirGas among his experience. Larry Cassesa, director of sales for Binzel USA says, “We believe Andy will have a major impact in a critical region for us. We created a new territory for Andy and feel he is the perfect fit as we continue to grow the Binzel brand. Andy has a proven track record for success in all his sales effort throughout his career, and we feel very fortunate to add him to our growing team.”

Bradshaw Joins Eleet as Production Supervisor

Ty Bradshaw

Eleet Cryogenics, Inc. announces that Ty Bradshaw has joined the company as production supervisor, overseeing cryogenic tank rehabilitation and new cryogenic tank piping processes. Most recently, Bradshaw was general manager at Applied Industrial Technologies in Bradley, Ill. Prior to working at Applied, he worked at Linde in various roles including field service, asset management and procurement.

COMPANY KUDOS Hypertherm, a U.S.-based maker of cutting systems and software, announced its selection as the “Top Cutting Brand” in a new survey of steel service center executives. The survey, administered by Metal Center News magazine, includes all methods of cutting including oxyfuel, plasma and laser. The ranking is an indication of what brands command the largest share of mind and highest levels of customer satisfaction. In conducting the survey, Metal Center News asked participants to select the brands they would endorse and buy from in the future. In addition to cutting, service center executives also ranked products in the coil processing, sawing and material handling categories. “We are honored that steel service centers think so highly of Hypertherm and our products and services to rank us No. Fall 2017 • 111


INDUSTRY NEWS

In Memoriam

1,” says Jeff Deckrow, vice president of Hypertherm North America. “We know the landscape is very competitive and understand the pressures many of our customers are facing. That is why we are committed to developing products that help companies reduce their cutting costs while improving performance and throughput.”

Gas Innovations to Produce Electronic Grades of Hydrogen Chloride

BARBARA MCNEILY SELLSTROM SIGFUSSON Barbara McNeily Sellstrom Sigfusson, former chairman and CEO of Sellstrom Manufacturing Company, of Elgin, Ill., passed away in April. She took over the leadership of Sellstrom after the 1981 death of her husband, Roger Sellstrom, following a long illness. Under her leadership, the company grew, setting sales and profit records. She continued to lead the company until 1992. During this period, she spoke at National Welding Supply Association (now GAWDA) meetings on what it was like to lead a business as a woman. “How to Run a Company with Dishpan Hands,” was the title she chose. She served on boards and business organizations, including the Welding Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Private Industry Council of Northern Cook County, the Safety Industry Exhibitors Council of the National Safety Committee, Career Women Inc., the Illinois Prairie State Girl Scouts Council, the American Scandinavian Council, the Meadow Club, and presided over the Palatine Chamber of Commerce. She was a member of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, and held board seats on the National Association to Prevent Blindness and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. She also sat on the Budget Advisory Panel for the State of Illinois and the Career-Cooperative of Illinois. In 1985, she married Benedict Sigfusson, who predeceased her in 2013. She is survived by her children, Karen McNeily; Bob McNeily (Kathy); Liz Asperger (Jonathan); and Kevin McNeily (Mary Jo); her brother Jim Mitchell (Bobbie); step-children; and 22 grandchildren. 112 • Fall 2017

Houston, Texas-based Gas Innovations has formed eHCl Innovations Inc. to produce electronic grades of hydrogen chloride for the global marketplace. Hydrogen chloride is a critical component in applications that can benefit from a known “fingerprint” and consistency of supply, the company says, adding that it has developed proprietary purification technology that takes industrial grade anhydrous grade hydrogen chloride and purifies it to the highest required in any industry. Purification will occur at the company’s recently expanded facility in La Porte, Texas. Commissioning of the new technology is cited for later this year and the company expects high-volume manufacturing to begin during the first quarter of 2018.

Gas Innovations to Provide Cryogenic Ethane by Truckload Gas Innovations, of Houston, Texas, has executed a truck-loading agreement with Sunoco Logistics to supply ethane from Marcus Hook, Pa., to customers throughout the world. In September, Gas Innovations was to begin providing truckload quantities of high-purity cryogenic ethane from Sunoco LP in Marcus Hook, Pa. It will supply North American customers via cryogenic tankers and will provide cryogenic ISO containers for the rest of the world, the company says. Gas Innovations will fill high-pressure tube trailers, ISO modules, and cylinders from this source as well at their La Porte, Texas, facility.

Matheson to Supply Tonnage Gases to Nucor in Nebraska Matheson has reached an agreement with Nucor Corporation to supply tonnage oxygen, nitrogen and argon to Nucor’s mini-mill steel facility in Norfolk, Neb.   Matheson’s new Air Separation Unit (ASU) will augment existing packaged gas and bulk operations supplying


INDUSTRY NEWS customers in the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Kansas, the company says. “This ASU reflects the drive by Matheson to further develop and reinforce our existing industrial gas network in the northern plains of the U.S.,” says Scott Kallman, president and CEO of Matheson. “With the start-up of the Norfolk ASU, Matheson will continue implementation of our vertical integration strategy that began with the acquisition of Nebraska-based Linweld in 2006, which established safe and reliable cylinder gas and welding supply products distribution in the region.” Matheson’s ASU complex in Norfolk, Neb. is scheduled for completion in December, 2018.

Worthington Featured in Ad for Mid-Ohio Foodbank Worthington Industries was featured in a full-page newspaper ad for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The ad in the Columbus Dispatch includes a picture of Worthington Chairman and CEO John P. McConnell and other Worthington employees. It urges others to join Worthington in supporting the Get Fresh campaign.

MILESTONES Acme Cryogenic Employees Mark 40th Anniversaries Acme Cryogenics, of Allentown, Pa., marked the 40th anniversary of two employees recently. Dave Edge and Tom Stroble were both hired in 1977. Edge came on as a machinist and Stroble as a summer parttime employee (working a full-time schedule) a few months apart in 1977 to set up and operate the automatic turret lathes at what was then Acme Screw Machine Products. Not long after, the company shifted direction to concentrate solely on the industrial gas industry and selling the newly

Tom Stroble

Dave Edge

adopted CGA standard cryogenic liquid transfer fittings. Edge worked his way to machine shop supervisor with Stroble working under him. Stroble became the machine shop supervisor when Edge was promoted to plant manager. Forty years after joining Acme, Edge is director of technical sales and marketing, responsible for a team of technical sales and customer service people. Stroble is the production supervisor for the machine shop and valve production lines. He reviews and processes orders through production and deals with day-to-day production issues to make sure customer orders ship on time. “Both the Acme team and our thousands of customers thank Dave and Tom for their many years of leadership and commitment to excellence” says Dave Fritz, Acme Cryogenics’ CEO.

Chart Marks 25 Years of Cryogenic ISO Shipping Containers Chart Industries notes it has been more than 25 years since the company pioneered the concept of cryogenic ISO shipping containers and delivered the first units. “Some of those earliest items are still in service today,” the company says. Originally developed for the transport by road, rail and water of atmospheric and technical gases for industry and leisure, the standard 20-foot-long and 40-foot-long containers are also now widely used for liquid natural gas (LNG) and are key components in Chart’s small-scale LNG solutions, facilitating the use of natural gas as an alternative to diesel and other distillates. Last year Chart delivered an LNG virtual pipeline solution enabling the power station on the island of Madeira to burn natural gas, despite not being connected to the pipeline grid.

Exocor Celebrates 20th Anniversary Filler- metal supplier Exocor celebrated the 20th anniversary of the company on August 17. Founded outside of Toronto, the company has expanded throughout Canada over the past two decades and has offices and warehouses from coast to coast. Within the last five years the company expanded by purchasing its largest competitor in Canada, CPG, a Special Metals-owned distribution company of stainless steel and high nickel alloy. It also completed formation of its U.S.A. corporation and established an office and warehouse in the Buffalo, N.Y. area, according to the firm. Most recently, the company embarked on the finalization of its own “Executive” line of filler metals with the introduction of carbon steel and aluminum wires to complement its existing product offerings. Fall 2017 • 113


INDUSTRY NEWS

In Memoriam

Founder and current CEO Leo Walsh notes, “Our continued success is a result of our focus on filler metals entirely, our ability to remain on the forefront of filler metal solutions and to anticipate the evolving business needs of our customers.” The company planned to celebrate throughout August, according to President and COO Paul Kinsella, who notes, “We promise that the next 20 years will be even better!”

Haun Welding Supply Gets State Approval for Welding Education

JOSEPH O. PRICE JR. Joe Price, former owner of Price Bass Welding Supply Company in Nashville, Tenn., and retired Chemweld territory manager, passed away July 25. He was 83. After military service during the Korean War, Price returned to Nashville as president of Price Bass, a locally owned family business founded in 1891. His career in the welding and gases industry began in 1955 when Linde asked him to be a distributor. Price grew the business to include operations in Nashville, Columbia and Murfreesboro, Tenn., as well as Huntsville, Ala. He sold Price Bass Welding Supply to nexAir in 1989. He then became the southeast territory manager for Chemweld until he retired in 2014. Price was a former member of the American Welding Society and served as Nashville section chairman in 1970. He was also the regional chairman of the National Welding Supply Association in 1974 and 1977. He served on the Union Carbide Corporation Linde Division Nations Distribution Advisory Council in 1981 and 1982. “Joe will be fondly remembered for his passion for selling welding gases. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife of 31 years, Ann, and his two grandsons,” says Linda Smith, Chemweld president. To submit In Memoriam remembrances or other industry news, contact: editor@weldingandgasestoday.org or call 315-445-2347.

114 • Fall 2017

Haun Welding Supply, of Syracuse, N.Y., has received state approval to begin offering an apprenticeship related classroom program. The New York State Education Department approved the program at a time when the American Welding Society reports more than 370,000 jobs in the welding field will become available in the next decade. “Welding is definitely a growing job market, and this program is something the state is using to fill those gaps,” says Joshua Haun, director of operations and marketing.

Distributors Take Part in Food Safety Summit Sixty representatives from about 30 independent gas distributors took part in a two-day summer Food Safety Summit hosted by Linde LLC at Notre Dame University in Indiana to learn about industry best practices and new government requirements. Presenters at the summit included consultants, major distributors, suppliers and leaders from industry associations. “This is an important time for the industry, and it takes vigilance and action to be a responsible supplier of food and beverage gases today,” says Bob VanKirk, head of Linde U.S. Distributor Channel, Packaged Gases and Caribbean businesses. “Our distributors recognize that food safety is not just a goal, but a process.”

Trendex Rolls Out New Credit-Card Processing Module Trendex has integrated with Authorize.net for credit card processing, allowing the use of customer profiles and vaults to store credit card information. Allowing integration with the majority of credit card providers, the use of customer vaults lets distributors easily charge customer accounts at the end of the month with a simple push of the button from Trendex software, the company says. Payments are then posted directly to the customers’ accounts, avoiding double entry.


INDUSTRY NEWS Linde to Exhibit Trends at Dusseldorf Show Linde will be exhibiting at this year’s Schweissen & Schneiden trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. The company says it will be presenting the latest trends and developments in innovative, gas-enabled welding, cutting and heating techniques under the slogan “The perfect fusion: Integration meets innovation.”

2017-2018 INDUSTRY EVENTS OCTOBER 2017 1-4

31- Nov. 3

GAWDA Annual Convention ▶ New York, N.Y. IWDC Owners Meeting ▶ Amelia Island, Fla.

NOVEMBER 2017 6-9

11 - 15

FABTECH ▶ Chicago, Ill. IOMA’s 2017 Annual Meeting ▶ Dubai, UAE

APRIL 2018 11

22 - 26

AIWD Convention ▶ Louisville, Ky. CGA Annual Meeting ▶ Wesley Chapel, Fla.

MAY 2018 2-4

FABTECH Mexico ▶ Mexico City, Mexico

6-8

GAWDA SMC ▶ St. Louis, Mo.

6-9

IWDC Sales & Purchasing Convention ▶ Indianapolis, Ind.

SEPTEMBER 2018 9-12

GAWDA Annual Convention ▶ Seattle, Wa.

M&A SCORECARD Haun Welding Acquires Menands Cryo Weld Facility Haun Welding Supply, Inc. has acquired the Menands, N.Y., welding supply location of Cryo Weld Corporation. Cryo Weld has been owned and operated by the Tom Dyal family since 1993. The Dyals founded the 11,000 square-foot facility in Menands in 2009. The family now plans to turn their business focus to their home marketplace and will continue to run two existing stores in Poughkeepsie and Lake Katrine, in New York’s Hudson Valley. Haun will continue to operate Cryo Weld in Menands from the current location at 564 Broadway. Haun also will continue operations at its existing store at 12 Hemlock St. in Latham before eventually merging the two operations at the Menands site, says Josh Haun, director of operations and marketing. Haun Welding Supply is a fourth-generation family business with headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y. The company owns and operates welding supply stores and fill plants based out of 19 locations. The firm has been in business in Upstate New York for nearly 60 years and has operated in the Albany, N.Y., region since 2003.

nexAir Acquires Moore Oxygen Supply Moore Oxygen Supply Inc., the Georgia-based supplier of industrial and medical gases and welding supplies, has been acquired by nexAir. “Both nexAir and Moore Oxygen Supply are multi-generation, family-owned companies, and we understand the importance of providing the highest quality of service,” said Kevin McEniry, CEO at nexAir. “We welcome our new customers to the nexAir family and look forward to enhancing the product offerings for all customers in the region.” Founded in LaGrange, Ga., in 1965, Moore Oxygen Supply served hundreds of customers in Western Georgia and Eastern Alabama with industrial, medical and specialty gases as well as welding supplies and bulk liquid gas. nexAir says it will spend the coming weeks working with new customers to ensure a smooth transition of services and hard goods as well as implementing its culture of safety and efficiency across the expanded area. New Fall 2017 • 115


INDUSTRY NEWS

M&A SCORECARD customers will be granted access to the company’s seasoned industry expertise in industrial and specialty gases, welding supplies, automation trends and the latest welding procedures. nexAir has grown to become one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the country. This acquisition bolsters the company’s footprint in the Southeastern U.S., where nexAir already operates several branches. Earlier this year, nexAir acquired the helium and industrial gas business segment of Volunteer Fire Extinguisher Co., a fire safety services company in East Tennessee.

IRCO Automation Acquired by Its President and CEO RoMan Manufacturing, in Grand Rapids, Mich., has completed the sale of its IRCO Automation Division to Hubert Bethlehem, IRCO’s current president and CEO, says RoMan President and CEO Robert Roth. According to Roth, the sale makes sense for both companies. “IRCO, as a leading global designer and m a n u f a c t u rer of standard and custom solutions for arc welding Hubert Bethlehem automated positioning equipment, has more than 18,000 installations throughout the world,” he says. “RoMan, as a leading global designer and manufacturer of AC water-cooled transformers and DC power sources, enjoys worldwide 116 • Fall 2017

(CONTINUED) distribution of its products. Each company designs products for very different industry applications, therefore, this transaction allows each organization to concentrate on its core strengths and provide better and more focused services to our respective client bases.” IRCO will continue to design and manufacture its products and support all clients from its present corporate headquarters in Burlington, Ontario, the company says.

Tech Air Acquires Angelus Welding of Los Angeles Tech Air, of Danbury, Conn., has acquired Angelus Welding, Inc., a distributor of welding and industrial supplies and industrial gases in Los Angeles, Calif. Angelus was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest distributors of industrial gases in Los Angeles. The company primarily serves customers in the entertainment, glassblowing and metal fabrication industries. Angelus will be integrated into Tech Air of California (doing business as Geneva Gas & Supply), which is led by Glen Irving. The president of Angelus, Chris Donohue, along with family members Alexis and Jolene Donohue, will remain actively involved with the company. “The acquisition of Angelus greatly enhances our position in the Los Angeles market, adding a new location in East L.A. to complement our existing locations in North Hollywood and Long Beach. We welcome Chris and the rest of the Angelus team to Tech Air and look forward to supporting their continued growth and success,”

says Myles Dempsey, Jr., CEO of Tech Air. “We are proud of the reputation Angelus has with its customers for excellent customer service and deep industry knowledge. Both Tech Air and Angelus have historically put customers and employees first, making Glen Irving and the Tech Air team a natural fit. We will continue this tradition, in partnership with Tech Air,” says Chris Donohue. Tech Air is owned by CI Capital Partners and Tech Air management. Joost Thesseling, managing director at CI Capital, says, “Tech Air’s investments in people and infrastructure have allowed the company to consummate 22 add-on acquisitions to date and establish a significant presence in multiple regions across the United States. We remain committed to supporting the company and its acquisition strategy.”

Atlas Welding Supply Company Acquires Medgas Atlas Medical and Scientific Gases, part of Atlas Welding Supply Company of Tuscaloosa, Ala., has acquired Medgas, LLC of Centre, Ala. “Atlas is the leading distributor of medical and scientific gases in Central Alabama,” says Atlas President William Visintainer. “Medgas’s Gary Rogers will continue to serve customers in the region under the Atlas name.” Atlas supplies medical gases, specialty gases and industrial gases throughout central and western Alabama. It has offices in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and depots in Greensboro and Fayette. Rogers will work from the Birmingham office.


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NEW OFFERINGS

PRODUCTS | SERVICES | TECHNOLOGIES

2

3

1. Matheson Introduces Industrial Bonded Abrasives Matheson has rolled out a line of industrial bonded abrasives as part of the ongoing expansion of its exclusive Matheson Select line of welding accessories, safety supplies, welding tools and filler metals. The new abrasives line includes cutting wheels for slicing through metal, combo wheels that the company says offer flexibility and efficiency when switching between cutting and grinding applications, and general-purpose metal grinding wheels. The wheels are for use on power grinders, chop saws and stationary saws and are offered in a variety of styles and sizes. Matheson’s Ian Freedman, vice president of retail operations and hardgoods sourcing, says, “customer safety and customer success have always been fundamental to Matheson. We chose the Weiler Abrasives Group to manufacture our new Matheson Select cutting and grinding wheels so we can be entirely confident of their success in the marketplace.”

2. American Torch Tip Has New Scrap Tips

American Torch Tip has introduced its new Victor Bulldogstyle Scrap Tips According to the company, the new tips offer lower consumable cost and are slag resistant, reducing down time for changeouts. 118 • Fall 2017

American Torch Tip also says the American-made tips feature two-piece brass and copper construction with heavy walls for “superior thermal wear resistance.” They are available for same-day shipment.

3. CryoVation Introduces CV40 Pump

CryoVation has introduced a new CV40 pump. The pump features flow rates from 1.5 gallons per minute to 4 gallons per minute, pressures up to 6,000 pounds per square inch and manual or fully automated controls with network control and monitoring. In addition, the CV40 has a variable speed control option, a galvanized steel skid and a heavy duty, cast aluminum drive housing with re-grease-able lubricated bearings. The pump is designed with main components that are proven to provide maximum performance and long service life with minimum maintenance and easy service, the company adds.

4. Weiler Expands Resin Fiber Disc Offerings

Weiler Abrasives Group has expanded its resin fiber discs offering to include five new products for varying performance requirements: Tiger Ceramic, Zirc and Aluminum, and Wolverine Zirc and Aluminum Oxide. The company says the discs are designed to provide an aggressive cut rate and a smooth finish on tool steel, aluminum


NEW OFFERINGS 4

6

and any material in between. Weiler says the products are ideal for heavy stock removal, edge chamfering, weld blending, grinding and surface preparation and finishing. Weiler says the discs feature advanced grain formulas, along with a design that minimizes loading, glazing and grain stripping. The new Tiger and Wolverine resin fiber discs also include heavy-duty vulcanized fiber backing. In addition to standard 7/8-inch arbor discs, a quick-change hub option reduces downtime and eliminates the need for tools and disc nuts. Additionally, the company says it has grown its Tiger BobCat mini flap disc offering and has provided design improvements to enhance performance and extend product life (one and a half times longer compared to the original version of the flap disc). They are designed for steel, stainless steel, structural steel and cast iron.

5. Kaplan Launches N-Butane Express As more states approve the use of cannabis in medical applications, the industry has seen dramatic growth. Today, the market is estimated at $6 billion and projected to reach more than $50 billion in the next decade. Kaplan Industries sees an opportunity by providing a turnkey packaged product, N-Butane. Used in the extraction process for processing medical cannabis, Kaplan says the

N-Butane it supplies will meet required industry standards and is packaged in compliance with DOT and CGA guidelines.

6. Acme Introduces Quik-Fab Vacuum Jacketed Pipe

Acme Cryogenics has introduced its new Quik-Fab Vacuum Insulated Pipe. The company says it provides a low-cost, high thermal-efficiency solution for the transfer of cryogenic liquids. The pre-engineered VJP sections come in a variety of straight lengths, with 90-degree elbows and T sections that can be configured to meet most applications. Typical orders can ship within two weeks. Quik-Fab pipe is connected with a foam joint protected by a stainless-steel sleeve, then sealed to provide a moisture barrier. Installation requires field welding and a pneumatic pressure test in accordance with ASME B31.3. Acme notes that Quik-Fab VJ piping systems provide vastly superior thermal performance compared to 100 percent foam-piping systems, without the expense and long lead time of a custom-measured VJP system.

To submit new product, services, technology releases or other industry news, contact: editor@weldingandgasestoday.org or call 315-445-2347. Fall 2017 • 119


ADVERTISERS INDEX ABICOR Binzel USA..................................................89

McDantim................................................................38

Acme Cryogenics.....................................................43

Mercer Abrasives.......................................................5

ALM Positioners.......................................................57

Metal Man Work Gear Co .........................................98

American Cap Company...........................................89

Norlab.....................................................................46

American Torch Tip...................................................19

Norton Abrasives........................................................8

AmWINS Program Underwriters.................................79

ORS Nasco..............................................................96

Anthony Welded Products.........................................37

Osborn....................................................................53

Arcos Industries......................................................IBC

Phoenix International................................................97

ASM- American Standard Manufacturing...................90

Prism Visual Software...............................................82

ASTARAS.................................................................11

Ratermann Manufacturing..................................20, 21

Black Stallion – Revco Industries.............................101

Ray Murray Inc.........................................................39

BTIC America Corporation.........................................92

Reelcraft Industries..................................................85

Bug-O Systems........................................................66

RegO Cryo-Flow Products.........................................31

California Cylinder....................................................41

Rotarex North America..............................................86

Carborundum Abrasives...........................................15

SafTCart..................................................................25

Cavagna North America............................................91

Select-Arc, Inc........................................................ BC

CGW – Camel Grinding Wheels.................................17

Sherwood Valve.....................................................109

Chart Industries.......................................................59

Sumner Manufacturing.............................................95

Cryofab.................................................................103

Superior Products..................................................100

Cryoworks.............................................................104

Taylor Wharton.............................................20, 21, 33

CTR..........................................................................3

Tech Air.................................................................117

Cyl-Tec....................................................................13

Thermacut...............................................................52

Eleet Cryogenics Inc.................................................33

Thermco Instrument Corp.........................................60

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products.............................30

Veite Cryogenic Equipment & Service Corp..................1

FIBA Technologies....................................................93

voestalpine Böhler Welding.......................................87

Flexovit Abrasives.....................................................88

Watson Coatings, Inc................................................42

Gas Innovations/WWS..............................................94

WEH Technologies....................................................58

Generant Company................................................104

Weiler Corporation...................................................36

Genstar Technologies Company (GENTEC)..................65

Weldcoa..................................................................47

Gullco International..................................................99

Weldcote Metals......................................................73

H & H Sales Company............................................103

Weldship Corporation.............................................102

The Harris Products Group ......................................IFC

Western Enterprises.................................................71

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.....................105

Winton Products Co...............................................105

Hypertherm.............................................................45

Wire Wizard – Elco Enterprises Inc............................41

Kaplan Industries.......................................................9

Worthington Industries..............................................67

The Lincoln Electric Company.....................................7

Wright Brothers Global Gas – VMG Telemetry ............82

120 • Fall 2017


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Welding & Gases Today - Q4 2017