November 1, 2014 – Member News

Scott-Gross Company Merges with American Welding & Gas

Scott-Gross Company, Inc. is joining forces with American Welding & Gas, Inc. to create one of the largest independently owned industrial, medical, specialty gas and welding supply distributors in the U.S. Scott-Gross Company is headquartered in Lexington, KY, and operates 34 locations in 11 states. The transaction includes the Thoroughbred Industrial Cylinder Exchange Company launched by Philip Scott in 2003. American Welding & Gas is headquartered in Billings, MT, and operates 40 welding locations and 5 propane locations in 8 states.

Scott-Gross Company CEO Philip Scott describes the merger as a milestone in the proud history of his family’s business, which was founded in 1947 by Woodrow Scott and William Gross. He says, “Our transaction with American Welding & Gas creates a stronger, more appropriately integrated provider of superior product and excellent service. This combination creates real value for our team members, our customers, as well as our vendors and supplier partners.”

President George Golliday adds, “The combination of the two companies will create an excellent opportunity to expand our “Best in Class” experience for customers and employees. Both companies have excellent, loyal employee bases with cultures of exceeding customer expectations. The combination of locations, geographies and expanded resources will complement the already excellent value our customers have experienced for many years.” Ron Adkins, president of American Welding & Gas, which was founded in 1948, says, “To combine two outstanding companies such as Scott-Gross Company and American Welding & Gas will create unparalleled opportunities for our teammates and our customers. AWG looks forward to joining forces and working with the Scott-Gross group.”

Philip Scott and George Golliday will join Ron Adkins on the American Welding & Gas, Inc. Board of Directors. Ron Adkins will become President Emeritus and George Golliday will become President, CEO of Scott-Gross Company, Inc. and American Welding & Gas, Inc.

Welding Education Gets a Jolt from Miller Electric

Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, WI, remodeled and expanded its welding lab with help from Wisconsin-based Miller Electric. The new facility features 53 new work stations. College President Dr. Lori A. Weyers says the upgrade to the welding lab and its curriculum was a result of Miller Electric’s donation of equipment and willingness to assist in improving the curriculum.

The campus used to graduate less than 35 welders a year. Weyers says area businesses urged the school to find a way to train more welders. “We were able, in one year, to increase our capacity to 70, and then we recognized that we were not going to be able to do that without adding space. We needed more equipment. That is when our businesses stepped up.” NTC’s newly completed 11,000 sq. ft. welding lab will enable the school to train 120 students at a time.

The State of Wisconsin has put millions of dollars into technical training and plans additional resources for employers and workers statewide. Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch says Wisconsin needs to continue steering workers and young people to the skilled trades, and that includes reaching out to the younger grades. “We want to continue to grow manufacturing and agriculture, and the rest of our ten big industries that we see growing over the next decade, but in order to do that, we need to assure that the young people who are in our K-12 education system right now get the type of education they need in order to be the next internationally competitive workforce of the future.”

WestAir Adds Two Stores

WestAir Gases & Equipment, headquartered in San Diego, CA, has opened a store in Saginaw, TX, and a store in Visalia, CA. “These locations will provide accessibility for our expanding customer base and allow us to continue our commitment to exceptional customer service,” says President & COO Steve Byers.

New Air Products Lab Will Optimize Hydrotreatment Processes

Air Products is building a hydrogen lab at its corporate headquarters in Allentown, PA, that will support the fast growing oil recycling industry. A key feature of the new lab is a hydrotreatment unit capable of performing high pressure and high temperature hydrogenation reactions. Air Products will use the new hydrogen lab, which is scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2015, to help oil recyclers optimize their hydrotreatment processes. The unit has been designed to test the hydrogenation of various feedstocks over continuous flow fixed-bed catalytic reactors. The company will use the hydrotreatment unit to evaluate for its customers the impact of feed quality, catalysts and other operating parameters on product quality, throughput and process economics. “If hydrotreatment is not carried out under optimal conditions, an inferior quality of base oil is produced that has to be either reprocessed or sold at a discounted price,” says Dr. Vipul Dholakia, senior applications engineer at Air Products. “The testing capability of the new hydrogen lab, combined with our knowledge and experience, will enable us to help oil recyclers increase profitability by improving their product quality and processing efficiency.”

Hydrotreatment reaction is used to produce various products such as low sulfur fuel, high quality lubricating base oils, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and specialty chemicals used in industrial, personal care and pharmaceutical applications. The reaction is often carried out with high pressure hydrogen gas in the presence of a custom-made catalyst that enables the reaction. The new Air Products hydrogen lab will be used not only to improve the commercial used oil hydrotreatment process, but also to develop other applications such as bio-fuel hydrogenation and continuous hydrogenation to replace batch hydrogenation of specialty chemicals.