Illinois-based and family owned Weldbend Corp., recently announced installation has begun at its manufacturing facility near Chicago on the largest cold-form Tee-Press in the Americas and Western Europe. The company is said to be the only full range domestic manufacturer of both carbon steel fittings and flanges.
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. Today the company can cold forge a 6-inch Tee. Weldbend’s products are used in mechanical systems and oil and gas pipelines.
“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.
Announcement with Mike Rowe
The Tee-Press announcement was made last night at PVF Roundtable’s fall meeting, and final of the four quarterly meetings, 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.
“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 in the USA.”