Jim Olsztynski 0000-00-00 00:00:00
PVF Roundtable Funding Deemed Crucial About 150 people attended the Oct. 19 meeting of the PVF Roundtable in Houston, where they heard presentations by Dr.Barry Lawrence of Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution program and Dr. Thomas Chen, head of the University of Houston’s Department of Industrial Engineering.Both schools are recipients of endowed scholarship programs with funding by the PVF Roundtable. The Roundtable raised $8,600 in scholarship money from its Don Caffee Memorial Golf Tournament held last September, according to the tournament’s chairman, Tom Pettit (Piping & Equipment, Houston).That was about double the total raised by the previous year’s inaugural event. The two professors reviewed some of the important research performed by their respective departments and emphasized the importance of private sector funding. Dr. Lawrence noted that while his school’s I.D. program is the most sizable and best known in the U.S., its enrollment of 511 pales in relation to Texas A&M’s 50,000 student body.He emphasized that at a time when virtually all businesses and institutions face a cost squeeze, without industry support the relatively small Texas A&M I.D. program might well appear to be a target for elimination in the eyes of university administrators. Dr.Chen devoted most of his presentation to a review of various health care delivery projects undertaken by the University of Houston’s Industrial Engineering Dept. Although everyone thinks of health care in terms of medicine, Dr.Chen noted that devising and managing systems to deliver health care in a cost-effective way to people in need “is a problem of industrial engineering.” Having attended various PVF Roundtable gatherings for about a half-dozen years, I continue to be impressed with the ever-growing turnout of PVF industry citizens attracted by its networking opportunity and targeted programming.In the early days the gathering consisted predominantly of people based in the Houston area. These days PVF distributors and manufacturers show up from around the country. BITS AND PIECES PVF PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Continental Disc Corp.and Groth Corp.appointed Marty Koval as director of sales, Americas.He will be responsible for the sale of both Continental Disc Corp. and Lamot brands of rupture disc products, as well as the Groth brand of valves, flame control devices, and biogas solutions within the Americas. Koval most recently served as vice president of global sales with Specialty Products, a manufacturer of polyurethane foam and coatings. Evraz Group named Scott Baus director of lean. His role is to achieve cost reduction and efficiency improvements through the implementation of best practice operational and process management. EXPANSION AND ACQUISITIONS Texas Pipe & Supply (Houston) acquired Energy Metals, a Houston-based stocking distributor of specialty stainless and nickel alloy pipe, fittings and flanges. Energy Metals’ management and sales team will remain the same.Tyco Flow Control acquired the assets of Supavac Pty Limited and Supavac Chile SA (“Supavac”), a manufacturer of air driven slurry management systems. Supavac develops a comprehensive range of vacuum loading solids pumps, unique air transfer concepts and slurry dewatering systems.Supavac is based in Caboolture, Australia, and has operations in Morisset, Australia, and Santiago, Chile. U.S. Steel Corp. confirmed that new heat-treat and oil country tubular goods (OCTG) finishing facilities are under construction at its Lorain, OH, plant. “The facility is sized and strategically located to address the growing needs of the unconventional shale plays,” said John Surma, chairman, president and CEO of U.S. Steel. MST Seamless Tube & Pipe, a Michiganbased manufacturer of seamless cold-drawn pipe and tube, announced a recent hiring surge that brings their number of hourly and salaried employees up to 250, near where it was before the state’s economic downturn.In 2010, MST experienced a 36% increase in tonnage booked and has seen a marked increase in distributor and OEM sales of mechanical tubing.Boiler and pressure tube sales have been steady, with notable increases in pipe sales. Marmon/Keystone announced that its most recent expansion project in Spring Valley, IL, opened in mid- September with a full line of inventory and warehousing personnel. The administrative and management personnel will remain at the Bolingbrook, IL, facility. INDUSTRY NEWS Wolverine Tube reached an agreement in principle with holders of the company’s notes on the terms of a financial restructuring to reduce its indebtedness, and filed Chapter 11 petitions to effectuate a prearranged plan of reorganization supported by its noteholders. Affiliated Distributors (Wayne, PA) held its Spirit of Independence Awards ceremony for the Plumbing, PVF and HVAC Divisions in October.Collins Pipe & Supply was honored as Affiliate of the Year - PVF; NIBCO was named Supplier of the Year - PVF; and Etna Supply Co.And Apollo Valve were recognized for Best Conversion to A-D Supplier – PVF. Kenny Pipe & Supply (Nashville, TN) hosted a “re-grand opening” of its facility on 715 Cowan St.in November, following repair and renovation after it was flooded with five feet of water in May. The wholesale branch was back in business within three weeks following the flood and since then has undergone a transformation. Unified Group Holds Energy Services Forum The Unified Group, an association of more than 50 independent HVAC commercial contractors, hosted an Energy Services Forum in Dallas, TX, in October. Attendees represented 20 member companies. Participants learned about energy effi ciency basics and how to identify opportunities from energy experts within the group during the two and a half day class.They were also given the opportunity to perform an energy audit of Southern Methodist University (pictured below) and discussed utility rebate programs, loan programs, and federal stimulus funding. Showroom Event Features Food Partners Hastings Tile & Bath, an importer, distributor and designer of bath products, participated in the New York Times “Taste of T” event, held in the Architects & Designers building in New York City in November. Hastings collaborated with Margo Lewis of Cake Bliss (pictured) and the Brooklyn Brewery. More than 350 people attended the event in Hastings’ 4,000-sq.-ft. showroom. AS SEEN AT NETWORKASA 2010 John Strong of Economy Plumbing Supply (Indianapolis, IN) is one of the new vice presidents serving on ASA’s executive committee. Rudy Ruettiger, a famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame and inspirational speaker, presented the keynote address at NetworkASA 2010. (L-R) Robert Vick of Legend Valve, also serving on ASA’s executive committee as a vice president, met with Paul Donarum of WinWholesale, and Thomas Huck of Legend Valve at NetworkASA 2010. A.O. Smith Visits BNP Media’s Plumbing Books David Chisolm, brand manager at A.O. Smith Water Products Co., met with editors and publishers of Supply House Times, Plumbing & Mechanical and PM Engineer magazines at BNP Media’s Bensenville, IL, office.Chisolm discussed the company’s product offerings, including residential and commercial water heaters and hydronic boilers.Pictured (L-R): Bob Miodonski, editor of Plumbing & Mechanical and group publisher, BNP Media plumbing books; David Chisolm of A.O. Smith; and Scott Franz, publisher of Supply House Times.
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