May 23, 2012, Member News

Miller Welding Supply Hosts BBQMiller WS Holds “Made In Michigan” Event
Grand Rapids, MI — Miller Welding Supply held its 11th Annual BBQ, a true “Made in Michigan” affair with more than 1,200 people in attendance. Local chefs used Michigan-made ingredients battled for the title of “Bad-to-the-Bone” BBQ Rib Champion. The “judges” paid $20 to sample 6 types of ribs, and entered their votes using specialized Michigan-made technology designed by The Fleetwood Group. The “high-tech and high-touch” Audience Response System, which is used in meetings, classrooms and events, works on the 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency band with an amplified radial range of 320 feet. “This technology definitely elevated our Rib Cookoff to a higher level,” says LeeAnn Clay, coordinator of the event. “Huge screens displayed up-to-the-minute results. And having a tie at the end was very exciting.”
     The crowd was entertained by the FIRST Robotics Team from Hopkins High School. Students demonstrated the robot they conceptualized, designed and built using welding equipment provided by Miller Welding Supply. The BBQ raised $28,600, the highest total in the event’s 11-year history. The money was donated to Open Access at Hospice of Michigan. View photos and more details on the John Clay Memorial BBQ Facebook page.
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Matheson Acquires US Airweld
Basking Ridge, NJ — Matheson acquired the assets and business of US Airweld, Inc., based in Phoenix, AZ, with operations located throughout Arizona and New Mexico. The purchase complements Matheson’s existing business in Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque and expands the network to new parts of both states. The acquired business will become a part of the Matheson Packaged Gas Division. “The sale to Matheson provides greater opportunity for our employees and strengthens our customer offering, which is important to the US Airweld family,” says Dave Miller, region general manager, US Airweld.
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Air Liquide Starts Methane Reformer
Houston, TX — Air Liquide held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the start up of a new steam methane reformer (SMR) in La Porte, TX. The 120 million standard cu. ft. per day of gaseous hydrogen produced by the SMR will feed into the company’s pipeline system along the Texas Gulf Coast, including the recently built 85-mile pipeline expansion to supply refineries in Port Arthur, TX. Michael Graff, president and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., thanked employees and all construction personnel for more than 1.2 million safe, injury free work hours on the project.
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Scott-Gross Specialty Gas Lab Certified
Lexington, KY — Scott Gross Company’s specialty gas laboratory was accredited to ISO 17025. This accreditation incorporates ISO 9001 requirements relevant to testing and calibration services, while defining the requirements for technical competence. The ISO 17025 accreditation was given by PJLA testing. “This accreditation gives our specialty gas customers confidence that they will receive a quality product that is accurate and consistent each and every time. Having the ISO 17025 accreditation is just another way of reaffirming our commitment to providing a specialty gas product of the highest quality.”
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Air Products Signs Helium Supply Deal
Allentown, PA — Air Products announced the signing of a long-term helium supply contract with National Helium LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of DCP Midstream. The feedstock from National Helium provides the base-load helium volume for Air Products’ liquid helium plant located near Liberal, KS. The Liberal facility is connected to the United States Bureau of Land Management pipeline system and is the home of a major Air Products helium distribution terminal. “This is a key supply contract for Air Products as we strive to ensure our ability to reliably serve our customer base,” says John Van Sloun, general manager – Worldwide Helium at Air Products.
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Hil Bax Scholarship Recipient

Tiffany Turnbo is presented with the Hil Bax Memorial Scholarship at the AWS Student Night.

Scholarship Awarded In Memory of Cee Kay’s Bax
St. Louis, MO — The first Annual Hil Bax Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the long-time Cee Kay Supply sales manager who passed away last October, was awarded to Tiffany Turnbo. Turnbo, a student at Southwestern Illinois College, is working toward her associate degree in applied science. “I plan on using my degree to weld in a shop, on bridges or in buildings,” says Turnbo. “It doesn’t matter what kind of welding, from MIG to stick to TIG, I have enough confidence that I can do whatever I put my heart into.” Hil Bax worked for Cee Kay Supply for 46 years and helped shape the welding industry and community in St. Louis.

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Oilind Safety Rebrands Under Airgas Name
Radnor, PA — Airgas, Inc. announced that Oilind Safety, Inc. has changed its name to Airgas On-Site Safety Services, Inc. Airgas acquired Oilind Safety, which provides safety equipment rentals and safety management services, in 2008 and it has been one of Airgas’ fastest growing businesses over the past two years with 18 branches in the Mid Western and Western U.S. “We are very proud of the Oilind Safety brand and its heritage of more than 40 years of protecting workers,” says Rusty Coker, president of Airgas On-Site Safety Services, Inc. “However, we have found that many customers were unaware of our affiliation with Airgas, Inc. and therefore didn’t realize the scope of services available to them.”
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George Ward

George Bernard Ward III

Buck-Weld Founder Ward Remembered
George Bernard Ward III, 65, passed away on April 29 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. After graduating from college, Mr. Ward worked for The Lincoln Electric Company as a sales representative in San Francisco and later in Indianapolis. He started Buckeye Welder Services in 1977 in Lima, OH, which expanded to Dayton and Columbus. In 1997 Buck-Weld was sold to Valley National Gases. Mr. Ward co-owned CWT (Computer Weld Technology) in Houston and American Weldquip in Akron, Ohio. He was an avid sailor and loved racing. While living in San Francisco in the 1970s, he won the Columbia 26 Nationals. In the 80s and 90s, he raced on Lake Erie with his Tartan 10 and won the Tartan 10 North American Championship 6 times. After retiring in 1997 and moving to Naples, FL, he bought his first powerboat and eventually purchased an ocean yacht, on which he and his wife Nancy traveled throughout Florida and the Bahamas.
Mr. Ward’s son Jim, a regional sales representative for Western Enterprises, says his father had a life-long love affair with the gases and welding industry and loved being a small business owner. “Respected for his fairness and fine business sense, he was always the voice of reason, which he carried with him to the various organizations and committees he was involved with.”
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