Dec. 15, 2017 Member News

In Memoriam

Thomas Mason

Airgas Co-Founder Thomas Mason

Airgas co-founder Thomas Mason, of Malvern, Pa., passed away on November 26 at the age of 84.
He was born in Somerville, N.J. and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in industrial engineering. While at RPI he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, Navy ROTC and he played football. He married Peggy Joy Montaque, his high school sweetheart, in June 1955.
After college, Mason earned his Navy Wings of Gold after primary training in Pensacola, Fla., and advanced to Kansas, California and Hawaii. He flew the Navy’s Lockheed EC-121 early warning aircraft. He later joined a reserve squadron and returned to Somerville, where he began his career in the industrial gas industry at Air Reduction Incorporated. He was recalled to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis, flying the Grumman S2F Tracker patrolling the eastern seaboard for Russian submarines. He continued as a reservist for 20 years and retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander.
Mason resumed his industrial gas career as vice-president of Burdett Oxygen Co. Then in 1982, he co-founded Airgas Inc. with business partner Peter McCausland. They bought Connecticut Oxygen, the first of several hundred U.S. gas and welding distributors. He was instrumental in developing Airgas into a very successful, many faceted, multi-billion-dollar company, becoming the largest gas and welding supplier in the U.S. and being listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1986. He retired from Airgas in 1997. Mason also served in many industry associations, including the International Oxygen Manufacturers Association as its president.
Mason’s passions included golfing, skiing and private aviation. He loved to play the guitar with his grandchildren and to sing, especially at the Aronimink County Club piano bar, with old friends. He traveled the world with his wife at his side, from Botswana to Greece to China. He served on the board at Radnor Hunt. He was happiest when surrounded by his family, and he will be remembered for his wit, generosity, devotedness and the way his presence would light up a room.
Mason is survived by his wife of 62 years, Peggy, and their three children, Terry Sommese Corbett (Don), Tom Mason (Amanda) and Cindy Buchanan (Richard) and 10 grandchildren, Kathryn, Christopher, Alex and Victoria Sommese, Julia, Jake, Kyle and Sarah Mason, and Audrey and Maggie Buchanan.
A memorial service is planned for spring 2018. In recognition of his military service, Mason is being buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Donations are being accepted in Mason’s name to Paoli Memorial Hospital at Online condolences can be offered at:

Member News

Praxair and GE Open New PG Tech Facility

Praxair, Inc. and GE Aviation have opened a new facility for their PG Technologies business that produces advanced coatings enabling jet engines to withstand higher temperatures and stresses.
The 300,000 square-foot facility is expected to employ at least 250 people to meet demand for the latest generation of jet engines, including the GE9X and the CFM* LEAP, Praxair officials report.
Praxair Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Angel notes, “We are pleased to open a world-class coatings facility in Ellisville that will house the next generation of coating technologies and applications for the aviation industry.”
“We are excited to enter this next phase of our strategic plan,” said Derek Hileman, managing director, PG Technologies. “Our new facility in Ellisville will provide exceptional products, technology and service to GE Aviation with PG Technologies’ advanced coating capabilities.”
PG Technologies is a joint venture between Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., and GE Aviation.


Direct Wire

Officials at Direct Wire and Cable “dig in” for two facility expansions.

Direct Wire and Cable Expanding Two Facilities

Direct Wire and Cable, Inc. is enlarging its footprint in wire and cable manufacturing through two facility expansions. The company is building a 10,000 square-foot addition to its existing manufacturing facility in Denver, Pa., and is adding a new location there as a product and marketing center.
New equipment is being added to the existing facility to boost manufacturing and assembly operations in order to deliver faster turnaround and increase DWC’s capacity and production output, the company says, and the product and marketing center will allow for enhanced strategic direction into new markets. Both expansions will allow for greater product offerings and enhanced serviceability to customers in the industrial, power and welding markets, the company adds. Several new positions are being created in operations, technical/lab, sales, assembly and shipping operations due to the growth.
“We are very excited for this expansion as we have identified new opportunities, and this is just one more step to reaching our goals of servicing, and expanding on, our customer base,” says Direct Wire President Eric Laubach. “With an even stronger American-made product offering, we are reaching new markets and growing our technological capabilities.”


Lincoln Electric Celebrates Ohio Site Expansion

Lincoln Electric has opened an expanded facility at the Wayne Trail site it acquired in 2012, adding 50 new advanced manufacturing jobs in the process, the company announces.
The long-established automation integrator, located in Fort Loramie, recently celebrated the opening of its newly expanded manufacturing plant, which now reaches 95,000 square feet. The move consolidates operations in one location, adds 50 jobs to the company’s 170 existing positions and permits Wayne Trail to continue growing its engineering and manufacturing capabilities, Lincoln officials add.
Wayne Trail provides innovative, customized and affordable metal forming, metal joining, fabrication and material handling solutions for companies in the aerospace, automotive, appliance and energy industries.
Lincoln Electric officials said chose to expand the Ohio operations rather than move facilities elsewhere for a combination of reasons: the operational strength of the existing business in Fort Loramie, the proximity to the company’s customer base and the support provided by both the local community and the state to keep the business in Ohio.


voelstalpine Bohler Initiates Golden Solvator Awards

The first-ever Solvator Awards have been presented by voestalpine Böhler for innovation in welding solutions.
Nine awards were given in four different categories: best technical solution (to the French military shipyard Naval Group); most efficient solution (to Felguera Calderia Pesadain Spain); most environmentally friendly solution (to Moroccan constructor PROMINOX); and best value package (to General Electric India).
voestalpine Böhler Welding CEO Günter Neureiter presided over the awards program, noting, “Working together with customers to help them get the best out of our products in terms of welding solutions is in the very DNA of our company. It differentiates us from our competition and therefore we have decided to showcase the most appealing results of our cooperation with fabricators by means of the Solvator Awards.”

New Products

Teaching Aid Toolbox Available from Lincoln

A new “curriculum in a cabinet” is being offered by Lincoln Electric as a ready-made instructional resource containing a comprehensive array of welding tools and accessories.
The cabinet offers visual aids for use in the classroom and is fully stocked with tools from various welding and cutting processes. It helps bring curriculum more typically associated with the shop instruction setting straight into the classroom, the company says. The Teaching Aid Toolbox is fully supported with Lincoln Electric U/LINC curriculum, and includes the Cutaway Harris gas regulator and oxyfuel torch to allow students to familiarize themselves with the tools’ structure, operation and application.
“We know that teaching is about connecting with your students,” said Jason Scales, business manager, education. “The Teaching Aid Toolbox allows you to help them experience welding and cutting tools before they go to the lab. If a student can see a tool and hold it in his or her hand, the learning experience immediately shifts to a higher level and the result is a greater depth of understanding.”
More information is available via brochure MC17.47 on

To have your new product featured in this section, contact Tim Hudson at or 315-445-2347.