January 15, 2014 – Member News

Melo’s Gas & Gear Sold to WestAir

WestAir Gases & Equipment, headquartered in San Diego, CA, has acquired Bakersfield, CA-based Melo’s Gas & Gear. With 7 locations, Melo’s is one of the largest independent distributors of gases and welding supplies in the California Central Valley. “We are very excited to be part of such a great company,” says WestAir General Manager Steve Byers. “Our companies have similar cultures, and we are very excited about the growth opportunities this acquisition will provide for our customers and fellow associates. Not only do we gain 7 new locations, but some tremendous talent that will continue to drive our growth well into the future.”

Central Welding Supply Adds Two Locations

Central Welding Supply, headquartered in Marysville, WA, will open two new branch locations in the State of Washington. Expected to open in February, the Kelso branch is a 12,000 sq. ft. facility in the heart of industry with access and visibility from I-5. The Vancouver store is scheduled to open in March and will allow quick and easy access to the bulk of the Vancouver and North Portland markets. The new locations will offer a broad inventory of welding, safety, and industrial equipment and supplies, as well as industrial and specialty gases, propane, rental equipment and a host of associated Central Welding Supply Services. “Central Welding Supply has stayed true to its initial objective,” says CEO Dale Wilton, “to provide the region’s most responsive customer service along with convenient locations and the best products, while holding on to the core values and traditions of a family-owned, family-run, local business.” The two locations expand Central Welding Supply’s coverage throughout Western Washington with a total of 20 locations.

WestAir Acquires North Texas Welders Supply

WestAir Gases & Equipment, headquartered in San Diego, CA, made its second acquisition in Texas by acquiring the assets of North Texas Welders Supply located in Fort Worth, TX. North Texas Welders Supply has been in business since 1997 and has one location. WestAir General Manager Steve Byers says, “This acquisition fits well with our Springtown, TX, facility, and enhances our presence in the North Texas marketplace where we see tremendous growth opportunities.” Michael Crambes is WestAir’s area manager for North Texas, will oversee the day to day operations.

Haun Helps Boy Scouts Earn Welding Badge

Haun Welding Supply, headquartered in Syracuse, NY, helped the members of local Boy Scout Troop 162 earn their welding merit badges. Haun Sales Representative Harry Peck, Branch Manager Brian McDonald and Mller Electric Sales Representative Todd Stowell held a Saturday training program at the company’s Watertown, NY, location. The session included a classroom session on safety precautions, hazards, common welding terms, methods of welding and other basic welding information. Students then moved to the booths for hands-on training. To earn the badge, students had to weld their initials, a 3×3 pad, butt weld, fillet weld and a lap joint. The Boy Souts of America has collaborated with AWS and OSHA to create the Welding Merit Badge, which is now available to Boy Scouts nationwide. The badge enables Scouts to learn hands-on how to join metals using welding techniques.

Branch Manager Brian McDonald introduces Scouts to a welding booth.

Branch Manager Brian McDonald introduces Scouts to a welding booth.

Miller’s Todd Stowell (far right), Haun’s Harry Peck (2nd from right) and Brian McDonald (2nd from left) conduct training session for local Boy Scouts.

Miller’s Todd Stowell (far right), Haun’s Harry Peck (2nd from right) and Brian McDonald (2nd from left) conduct training session for local Boy Scouts.

Tier 5 Labs Earns Accreditation

Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation of Troy, MI, has recommended the accreditation of Tier 5 Labs to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO Guide 34:2009. PJLA made its recommendation to accredit Tier 5 Labs based on its “superior management system and demonstrated commitment to quality.” Tier 5 Labs, located in Naperville, IL, produces high accuracy specialty gases.

Air Products Opens Florida Manufacturing Plant

Air Products dedicated its new high-tech manufacturing plant in Palmetto, FL, near the Manatee Port, on January 9. Florida Governor Rick Scott was on hand for the ribbon-cutting. The new facility is designed to custom-build liquefied natural gas heat exchangers, which will be shipped all over the world. Manufacturing is expected to begin in February. A local technical institute is training workers in specialized welding techniques.

Airgas to Build Second Air Separation Unit in Connecticut

Airgas will expand its atmospheric gas production capacity in New England by building a second air separation unit in Bozrah, CT. The ASU, which will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon, will be operated by Airgas Merchant Gases and is expected to begin production in the fall of 2015. “The market for atmospheric gases is expected to continue to grow in New England, particularly in the medical, laboratory, high-tech and food industries,” says Michael L. Molinini, Airgas president and CEO. “Now is the right time to add to our production capabilities in order to meet the growing merchant gas needs of our current and future customers in the region.”
Airgas currently produces oxygen, nitrogen and argon through its 16 air separation units nationwide. The company’s proposed plant in Bozrah will produce more than 600 tons per day of oxygen, nitrogen and argon and will bring Airgas’ total capacity at the site to over 1,600 tons per day. The company also purchases atmospheric gases under long-term supply contracts with other producers.
“We will operate the new plant alongside our existing one in Bozrah,” says Tom Thoman, Airgas division president-gases production. “This will not only substantially increase our presence in the region but also enhance the security of our supply by having dual production facilities.”
Airgas Merchant Gases is building a new ASU in Minooka, IL, which is set to be on-stream in the summer of 2015.