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Best Practices in Contracting: Why Use Domestic Steel Pipe in the Industry –Views of Wheatland Tube - speaker, Greg Maurer

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Wheatland supports the recently announced initiatives by the Trump administration to increase the use of domestically made steel in steel pipelines, increase the domestic steel continent in fabricated products to grow U.S. jobs and allow communities across the country to take advantage of a manufacturing renaissance.  Wheatland Tube had the opportunity to participate in a podcast addressing this topic.  Lauri A. Rollings, Executive Director of the Plumbing Mechanical Sheet Metal Contractors’ Alliance was the moderator and Greg Maurer, Director of Technical Services for Wheatland Tube provided his views and a few key insights on this topic.

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Top Five Reasons to Spec ASTM F1083 schedule 40 pipe on your Next Project

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Top Five Reasons to Spec ASTM F1083 schedule 40 pipe on your Next Project

Whether you are a consumer, fence contractor or architect/engineer in the design phase for your industrial, commercial, or security project, there are multiple choices you have when it comes to protecting that structure. One thing is certain – you want to choose a structural fence framework that is going to last in any location for years to come and offer the best protection the project requires. That’s where ASTM F1083 Schedule 40 Pipe Fence Framework comes in to meet all the stringent specs for these demanding applications. Let’s look at the top five reasons you will want to spec ASTM F1083 schedule 40 pipe on your project.

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Employee Highlight: Get to Know our Coatings Engineer

 

Have you ever wondered who is behind the production of your tubular products? Over the next few months, I will be highlighting team members of Wheatland Tube who happen to be some of the best in our industry.   I recently interviewed Kim Westfall who is our Coatings Engineer at the Wheatland Tube facility in Chicago.

 

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Wheatland’s Council Avenue Plant Updates Are Completed

I am pleased to announce that Wheatland Tube – Council Ave plant has completed the final phase of Project Phoenix, a six phase plant upgrade with new inline finishing equipment. As previously noted the project was eliminating 4 major bottlenecks in the production and shipping areas (facing, testing, painting and shipping). This upgrade was the largest undertaking the facility has ever gone through in its roughly 81 years of operation.

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How important is Logistics in a Manufacturing Environment?

In an effort to help understand the importance of logistics in a manufacturing environment, let’s first define the word logistics. 

the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military matériel, facilities, and personnelthe handling of the details of an operation

The Interview

Meet Jeff Shulman, Vice President of Logistics at Zekelman Industries.  Jeff has held various roles at Zekelman Industries on the logistics team and has contributed to the overall growth and achievement of the Logistics department.  Jeff hold an Honors Bachelor of Commerce Degree from McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario Canada.

Q: How can distribution and logistics work together to reduce costs and eliminate any logistical hiccups in a manufacturing environment?

Jeff: One of the most important factors these days is a truck driver’s hours of service. Therefore, it is imperative that both the loading origin and unloading destination take necessary steps to turn the trucks as quickly as possible.

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Empty talk on manufacturing

This article originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.We need politicians willing to protect us from unfair trade

In the heat of this historic presidential election, the public has heard endless talk from candidates about rebuilding our national economy and our manufacturing sector. However, as the campaigns roar through the states, we in Pennsylvania have yet to receive any plans these candidates have to ensure that unfair trade does not destroy the core of this nation’s manufacturing sector, along with its workers and communities.

As a native of Mercer County, I am proud to call this area home and to be part of a multi-generational family that has dedicated itself to the U.S. steel-pipe and -tube industry. In the Sharon-Wheatland area, those of us at Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group know the benefits that manufacturing brings to communities.

Our company, like many others in the region, provides good-wage jobs that help expand our economy, and we have done this for more than a century. During the course of history, our company has faced many challenges, including the onslaught of unfairly traded steel-pipe and -tube imports. Of course we are not alone, as we are part of the greater steel family, all of which is under attack.

Over the past decade, the manufacturing sector has lost more than 100,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. That is simply unacceptable — and in the case of steel-pipe and -tube, these losses have been attributed to unfairly traded imports.

Even in the current political climate, regardless of party affiliation, we all should agree that we have a problem. Those seeking higher elected office should do more; they should offer solutions. We at Wheatland believe it is time for them to step up and stand up for our industry.

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Bridging the Gap between Manufacturers and Distributors

Too often manufacturers take advantage of their relationship with distributors. They think: we’ll just make sure they’re all stocked with our products so they can go to work and move our offerings off the floor. Said manufacturers (and their salespeople) might provide some information about their products, but other than that they leave it up to the distributor to field questions and sell their products for them.

This is where a gap begins to form between manufacturers and distributors. However, distributors are an important element of our business, and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to bridge the unfortunate, yet inevitable gap that is created. Instead of thinking of distributors as just another way to get our products into the hands of as many customers as possible, we need to think of them as part of the team.

Here are three ways we attempt to bridge the gap and nurture mutually-beneficial relationships at Wheatland Tube:

1. Keep the lines of communication open

Communication is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to working with distributors. In this light, you really can’t communicate too much with the distributors that are stocking your products. From making sure your distributors have direct access to a salesperson to that salesperson dropping by regularly (every several weeks or so) and staying in touch in the interim, being available to provide information or answer any questions they may have will benefit you in the long run.

This brings me to my next point…

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17 Neglected Manufacturing Careers

When people think of careers in manufacturing, it’s safe to say they think of the plant workers and not far beyond that. And there’s no question the production workers are the heart of our operation. Without our plant employees, we wouldn’t be able to produce anything – even given the increase in automated plant tasks. However, there are more careers in manufacturing than skilled/unskilled positions. In fact, manufacturing is home to a wide range of careers that require varied levels of education and training.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education have been a topic of conversation lately and we think it’s a great thing to see and hear. The STEM areas of education are critical to our growth and success as a company, as well as for manufacturing as an industry.

For the US and the rest of North America to continue to reshore manufacturing jobs, we need to “step up our game” when it comes to educating tomorrow’s manufacturing workers. This begins at the elementary level where we must introduce the vast opportunities available in STEM careers to young boys and girls, specifically manufacturing. This education and awareness has to continue through high school and college, showing students the possibilities available to them.

Leaving the education to the teachers and professors (for now, anyways), we’re going to review some of the neglected careers of manufacturing. The careers students don’t give a second thought to, careers that are vital to the success of a manufacturing production, and careers that are simply overlooked if you’re unfamiliar with the industry.

Engineering and Technology

Typically speaking, engineering and technology jobs require post-secondary education, from gaining an Associate’s degree to a Bachelor’s degree and beyond, if you want to be involved with designing and building things, you will have to do some schooling.

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Employee Spotlight: Wheatland’s Women in Manufacturing

In our latest blog post, we talked about manufacturing’s greatest, most underutilized asset, which of course, are women. And that got us thinking about the Wheatland women. During a time when women in manufacturing has become such a hot topic, we are doing what we can to grow the workforce and put people back to work.

Although we can’t say enough about the men working in our facilities, we wanted to take the time to highlight a few of the many women working at our facilities.  

In celebrating our women, we sat down with three outstanding employees and discussed a variety of topics, including why they think there is such a significant gap in the number of women who work in manufacturing and how we can get more young girls and women interested in manufacturing.

The Interview

Meet Lisa Beers, Christine Walczak and Sue Preston: three women who have collectively contributed more than 50 years of service to Wheatland Tube. Let’s get to know these women and their thoughts about the state of manufacturing and the future of women in the industry.

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