October 8, 2012, Member News

Rockford Industrial Changes Name to Encompass
Rockford, IL — After 57 years in business, Rockford Industrial Welding Supply will change its name to The Encompass Gas Group, Inc., and will be branded as Encompass, effective November 1, 2012. The decision to rebrand the company reflects Rockford Industrial Welding Supply’s growth beyond Rockford, IL, throughout Illinois and into Wisconsin and Iowa. By removing reference to a specific location, company ownership hopes the new name will aid in gaining business in current and future markets outside of Rockford.
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Worthington Cylinders Acquires Westerman
Columbus, OH — Worthington Industries, Inc.’s Pressure Cylinders segment acquired the Westerman Companies, a manufacturer of tanks and pressure vessels for the oil and gas, nuclear and marine markets. The purchase price was $70 million, of which approximately $6 million went to pay down Westerman debt. “This acquisition increases our participation in the global energy and alternative fuels markets, and provides diversification in the marine and industrial markets,” says Worthington Industries Chairman and CEO John McConnell.
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Kevin Johnston

Kevin Johnston

Melo’s Gas & Gear Adds Sales Manager
Bakersfield, CA — Melo’s Gas & Gear welcomes Kevin Johnston as sales manager. Johnston comes to Melo’s with over 30 years of experience in the industrial gas industry, having previously worked in sales management, operations and account management. The industrial, specialty gas, and medical gas markets experience that he brings to Melo’s for cylinder and bulk opportunities will enhance the company’s presence in the fabrication, oil field service, agricultural, medical and specialty gas markets.
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Atlas Welding Supply Remodels Showroom
Tuscaloosa, AL — Atlas Welding Supply completed a makeover of its showroom incorporating the input and handiwork of its customers. The sales counter, repositioned to create a better flow of traffic, features diamond plating details created by an Atlas customer. These details are mirrored in diamond plate molding that adorns the showroom’s doorways and corners. “Remodeling the showroom was something we have wanted to do since we bought the company in 2008,” says Atlas Vice President James Cain, noting that the showroom was originally built in 1982. The updated showroom enables Atlas to do more merchandizing and highlight specific products, something Cain hopes will strengthen the store’s already strong walk-in traffic.

Atlas Welding Supply Atlas Welding Supply Atlas Welding Supply
Diamond plate details reflect Atlas Welding Supply’s belief that metalworking customers like to see metal where they shop. Click on the photos to enlarge.

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AWISCO Bronx Grand Opening

Branch Manager Arnie Arboleda, Counter Salesman Tito Franco and West Milford Branch Manager Andy Cullen at the AWISCO Bronx grand opening

AWISCO Holds Grand Opening
Maspeth, NY — AWISCO celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Bronx, NY. More than 85 new customers met with vendors, learning about the distributor’s strategic partnerships and how their businesses can benefit from them. “I was delighted by the turn out,” says AWISCO President Lloyd Robinson. Acquired in March, the former Independent Welding Supply store is an integral part of AWISCO’s expansion north of New York City.
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Maine Oxy Implements Cylinder Tracking System
Auburn, ME — Maine Oxy is launching an advanced cylinder management system at all 13 locations to track and manage the company’s cylinder fleet. Tracking bar codes on every asset will be scanned at each point of transaction, allowing the company to track products from filling to delivery and pickup. “Maine Oxy now has faster access to digitized records of all cylinder contents and transactions,” says Carl Paine, business development manager. “We are able to locate and identify cylinders at customer locations at all times.” The company hopes to save customers time and money by supplying a digital history of transaction records, reducing the time customers have to spend analyzing rental invoices. Doing away with manual entry streamlines cylinder operations and facilitates the resolution of cylinder balance questions.
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Bruce Chantry

Bruce Chantry

Lincoln Electric Promotes Chantry
Cleveland, OH — The Lincoln Electric Company promoted Bruce Chantry to director of marketing, North America. Chantry will oversee all core functions for Lincoln Electric’s North American marketing efforts, including industry segment management, product management, advertising, web development, creative services, events, trade shows and celebrity endorsements. A 17-year employee of Lincoln Electric, Chantry previously worked as portfolio manager for welding equipment.
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Chicago ASU Planned for Airgas
Radnor, PA — Airgas, Inc. will build a new air separation unit (ASU) in the Chicago area in order to meet increasing demand for merchant gases in the region. The ASU, which will produce more than 400 tons per day of oxygen, nitrogen and argon, is expected to begin production in the fall of 2014. “The market for atmospheric gases is very strong in the Midwest, and we fully expect it to continue,” says Michael Molinini, Airgas president and chief executive officer.
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Linde Plant Certified
Murray Hill, NJ — Linde North America received certification of its Clear Lake, TX, HyCO (hydrogen/carbon monoxide) plant under the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care program. Jake Leavins, head of the Linde Houston HyCO cluster, says, “Certification is a significant milestone which exemplifies our focus on health, safety, security and the environment as the top priority.”
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Gases and Welding Distributors Association