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Weldbend Corp., the only full range domestic manufacturer of both carbon steel fittings and flanges, announced that installation has begun at its manufacturing facility near Chicago on the largest cold-form Tee-Press in the Americas and Western Europe.
The new Tee-Press will significantly expand Weldbend’s forging capabilities. The machine will be able to forge up to a 20-inch XS Tee with material grades including Y70.
“This cold-formed Tee-Press has a new, innovative design that deploys the latest technologies and far surpasses the capabilities of traditional Tee-Presses,” says Weldbend President James Coulas. “We believe this is the largest investment by an American fittings manufacturer in this type of production equipment in recent years. We are making this commitment to expand our capabilities and enable us to better serve our customers.”
As the display in the plant reads, the machine is “HUUUGE.” It weighs in at 1.2 million pounds and contains five miles of wire. Its concrete foundation includes 80,000 pounds of rebar.
The Tee-Press announcement was made at the annual PVF Roundtable industry event in Houston, where Mike Rowe – the national television creator and host best known as the star of “Dirty Jobs,” “Somebody’s Gotta Do it,” Facebook’s “Returning the Favor” and as the voice of “The Deadliest Catch” – helped make the announcement during his keynote address. Rowe visited Weldbend on Oct 16.
“What these guys are doing is critical,” said Rowe. “They’re not just betting on themselves; they’re betting on the country. They’re manufacturing products that make civilized life possible for the rest of us. They’re investing millions of dollars in machines unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Most of all, they’re investing in their people. It’s simply impossible to tour the Weldbend facility and not feel good about the country. A family-owned, family-run business that makes amazing products, right here at their Chicago plant.”