October 15, 2014 – Member News

Distributor Earns Distinction for Online Customer Service

Cyberweld.com has earned the 2014 Bizrate Circle Of Excellence Award, Platinum distinction, for outstanding online customer service. Cyberweld was one of only 80 companies out of over 6,000 rated U.S. Internet retailers to receive the award and shares the Bizrate Platinum distinction with companies like Bose, Crutchfield, Under Armour and Zappos. Cyberweld is the dba of J.W. Goodliffe & Son in Linden, NJ.

Airgas Raises Argon Prices and Opens New Distribution Facility in Germantown, WI

Airgas, Inc. will increase prices on argon by up to 15%, effective November 1 or as contracts permit. Price adjustments may vary based on specific market conditions or contractual provisions. “In recent years, there has been limited investment in new argon capacity in the U.S., and overall argon production has not been keeping pace with demand at a time when increasing activity in energy and infrastructure construction is driving up demand for the product. As a result, our costs to secure and distribute argon from where we receive it to where it is needed by our customers are increasing,” says Airgas CEO Michael L. Molinini. “We continue to invest in production capacity and infrastructure to serve our customers as efficiently as possible and further ensure the reliability of our supply chain, but increasing demand for argon is likely to result in continued pressure on product and distribution costs for the foreseeable future.”

On October 8, Airgas opened a new 250,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art distribution facility in Germantown, WI. The new facility will expand and further streamline the company’s hardgoods supply chain to Airgas customers and branch locations when it is fully operational in early December 2014. The facility will also be the new home for the regional Airgas Total Access telesales team that serves Airgas customers across much of the Midwest and Mountain States. The new distribution center is one of six that Airgas operates across the country.

(from left) Coastal Sales Manager Gary Sztaba, Vice President Tom Johnson and President Chuck Mazoch wish Gary Schmidt (seated) a happy retirement after many fruitful years in the industry.

Gary Schmidt Retires from Coastal Welding Supply

After 45 years in the industry, Gary Schmidt retired from his position as outside sales representative at Coastal Welding Supply in Beaumont, TX. He has been with Coastal for 13 years, all spent working in sales. His first job was at Big Three Industries. He also worked at Rotor Tool, Cooper Industries, Universal Wire Works, PowCon and Hobart. Coastal President JC “Chuck” Mazoch described Schmidt’s dedication, depth of product knowledge and sales expertise as a strong asset to the company. “We appreciate Gary’s commitment to Coastal and to our industry, and we wish him the very best in his very deserving retirement.” He plans to enjoy his retirement with his wife of 48 years, Ruth, their children and grandchildren, and will continue his volunteer community service at several Houston organizations.

Praxair Provides Funds for 100 Welding Scholarships

Praxair, Inc. is partnering with Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana, to provide 100 full scholarships to its welding school as part of a workforce development partnership. The partnership, known as the Praxair Skills Pipeline, has provided more than $300,000 to train new welders in an accelerated one-year program. The school also received $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand its accelerated training programs for those interested in entering the manufacturing and energy sectors. The Praxair partnership is not connected to those initiatives.

WestAir Adds Stores in Texas and California

WestAir Gases & Equipment, headquartered in San Diego, CA, has opened 2 new stores: Saginaw, TX and 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.

Taylor-Wharton Cryogenics Achieves Safety Record

On September 30, 2014, Taylor-Wharton Cryogenics surpassed a significant safe-working milestone of 500,000 hours. These safe-working hours were achieved by employees in eight locations: Malaysia, Slovakia, Germany, Australia, India, China, and in two locations in the United States: Minnetonka, Minnesota and Theodore, Alabama. All locations are evaluated using the US OSHA Standards. The last OSHA Recordable Injury within the group occurred on March 26, 2014. Six company locations have worked without an OSHA Recordable Injury (Theodore, Australia, Germany, India, Malaysia and Slovakia) for more than a year. Achieving a half million work hours OSHA Recordable injury-free is a considerable milestone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for US-based companies, within the pressure vessel construction group (NAICS Code 332420), the OSHA Recordable Incidence Rate is 6.4. The current performance of Taylor-Wharton exceeds the industry average with a 0.42 OSHA Recordable Incidence Rate.

Safety performance is part of the company’s culture and a process that focuses on attention to detail. The process involves providing employees the tools, education and procedures for undertaking work the correct way the first time and promoting a culture of continuous improvement. The “attention to detail” mindset carries over to all aspects of work and personal life. “Taylor-Wharton proudly puts safety first, and I congratulate all Taylor-Wharton employees for this outstanding achievement,” says CEO Eric Rottier. “This is world-class performance.”