A few weeks ago at the FABTECH trade show in Chicago, I ran into (almost literally, in fact) Nathan McMasters, president of Diversified Metal Products, an Idaho Falls, Idaho-based contract fabricator specializing in products for the energy, transportation, and nuclear fields. Our five-minute chat told a lot about what’s going on with this confounded economy that, for many, refuses to break out of its funk. McMasters said company sales were up 20 percent from 2010, and after talking with a few dozen shop managers at the show, I discovered that wasn’t an unusual number.
Posts Tagged ‘nuclear industry’
By: Tim Heston
When news broke of the earthquake-damaged nuclear plant in Japan, my mind turned to Jim Bleigh at Performance Contracting Inc., a Lenexa, Kan., company The FABRICATOR covered earlier this year. His group of talented welders, laser cutting machine operators, and assemblers fabricated strainers designed for use in Japan’s nuclear power plants.
When researching the story, I learned that these strainers help prevent what I thought at the time was an extraordinarily unlikely scenario: a nuclear meltdown. Fully assembled, the strainers help filter debris so that the pumps never become clogged and the flow of water back to the reactor is never blocked.
The strainer was designed with 1-in.-thick stainless steel sections, literally thousands of them. Why 1 in. thick? As Bleigh told me, it was to meet the Japanese nuclear industry’s unique seismic requirements. The 1-in.-thick stainless steel components cut on the company’s 7-kW laser were built to withstand unthinkable disasters.