Monday, June 30, 2014

From the Past, Brought Back to Life: A Project by Hubbell Galvanizing and Fortress Fusion Coatings

Written by: John DelMonte

Edited By: Diane Mulvihill

Introduction By: Ali Semeraro

A customer of ours, Bill Gaetano of Gaetano Construction, approached us with a suit of armor approximately a month ago. His story of how he and his son discovered the armor and the process by which it was brought back to brilliant life is as follows as told by project leader John DelMonte, Hubbell Employee.

The complete suit of armor was found in the basement of a house Bill and his son recently purchased. It was a replica, but it was obvious that there was great effort taken to make it as original and authentic looking as possible. As you will see in the photos, particularly the gloves, small sections of metal were hammered out and attached to each other, forming the protective layer for each finger. Our customer was unsure what, if anything, we could do for him to remove the oxide/rust that had formed, some being so aggressive it started to create a distinct pattern in the metal surface.

Traditional methods of rust removal are media (sand) blasting, which would leave the metal with a very pitted look, and take away from the old school hammered look, which is not what he was looking to achieve. Another method would be a strong acid, which would destroy the leather strapping and possibly the brass rivets and brass detail of some of the pieces.

DelMonte, called in our chemical supplier, from DuBois Chemical and discussed what process methods they could offer. The final decision was to try out a new green rust/oxide remover that they had never tried before.

One day was put aside, when our shop was quiet (a day when most of our employees were off) for DuBois Chemical employee, Tom O’Connor and DelMonte to get to work trying to salvage the suit of armor. They set up a small tub of the new green rust/oxide remover product, taking into account the proper concentration level, and also added a small stream of air into the tub to keep the chemical solution in suspension and aid in agitation. They started with the small segmented elbow guards first, keeping them in solution for 30 minutes before examining the results. The results were surprising and promising...the rust was all but removed, with no signs of the chemical solution having and effect on the base they were partially concerned about metal pitting.

DelMonte and O’Connor added more armor pieces to the tub of solution and kept track of the time, as 30 minutes was their baseline. As suspected, the solution did a great job in removing the rust oxide. They did find that on the hard-formed rust they needed to aid in the removal by hand scrubbing the rust, carefully, without scratching the base metal. This was time consuming, but proved to be effective.

As the day progressed, items were removed and other items were added to the solution, all resulting in a 95%+ removal of rust oxide, without hurting the base metal, brass accents/rivets and leather strapping. Once they were confident each item was finished in the solution it was rinsed with fresh water, then a rust preventative chemical was sprayed on, to seal the pores of the metal and in doing so, gave the metal a skin of protection against further moisture/rust oxide from coming back.

Gaetano was very surprised and pleased with the results, especially seeing that the metal was kept in its original hammered state, with all brass hardware and leather strapping in place. DelMonte and O’Connor suggested that he apply a lite coat of gun oil to the metal surfaces to retard any moisture from settling into the metal again.

This was a great way to experiment on material that we would not often see in our shop, and certainly an interesting and different project DelMonte decided to take on.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Wellness Program

On Friday, March 28th 2014, employees from Hubbell Galvanizing participated in an onsite health evaluation event to kick off the companies’ Wellness Program. The partnership with Excellus Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Interactive Health is aimed at ensuring a healthy workforce throughout the company.

The evaluations began at 7:30am with Christopher, the phlebotomist from Interactive Health administering health questionnaires, blood pressure screenings and a comprehensive blood test that evaluated the employees on the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and much more. After fasting for twelve hours prior to the blood draw, the employees enjoyed a company sponsored breakfast. The employees received a very detailed, confidential report on their current state of health, and all employees that participated were entered into a drawing to win one of three $100 Visa gift cards.

In addition to the health evaluations, Sara Haag from the Center for Family Life and Recovery met with the employees to discuss the benefits that are offered to them and their families free of charge through the company Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is a short-term referral assessment and counseling service where employees can talk with trained professionals regarding personal and work related issues. The service is voluntary and confidential.

As a company we want to provide the utmost quality products and service to our customers. We recognize that providing superior products and service places us above our competitors and makes our organization special. However, we cannot provide the best to our customers without healthy, satisfied employees.

To ensure a healthy workforce within our organization, as a company, we are committed to providing resources to promote the physical, mental and emotional wellness of our entire staff and their families on a continual basis. These resources include time, program initiatives, education, financial support and commitment of the managing staff in promoting wellness in our workplace. We seek to improve individual well-being now, and to make health and wellness a permanent staple in our employees’ and their families’ lives. In turn, we envision an environment with more productive employees, lower health insurance premiums, decreased absenteeism and a greater overall sense of employee satisfaction.

Kerie (Hubbell) Albano is head of the Human Resources Department at Hubbell Galvanizing & Fortress Fusion Coatings Inc. She saw a need and implemented this Wellness Program for us at Hubbell Galvanizing, and we believe it was an overall success.

Christopher the Phlebotomist from Interactive Health and Hubbell Galvanizing’s employee Chris Tanner getting his blood pressure taken.

Hubbell Galvanizing’s employees Chris Tanner and Doug Drake and Hermosa Corporation employee Dave Bintz eating breakfast after the health evaluation.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

English as a Second Language Pilot Program at Hubbell Galvanizing

Ali Semeraro is an Accounting/Administrative Assistant for Hubbell Galvanizing who has been in charge of creating and implementing the English as a Second Language Pilot Program at Hubbell Galvanizing. Here she gives an account of how she helped start the program as well as how it is going.

Hubbell Galvanizing, Inc. has approximately thirty-one employees originally from countries including Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, among others. Hubbell is committed to maintaining a safe working environment for all of its employees. One way that we have done so is by reinforcing industry specific words and phrases for employees where English is their second language.

As a native English speaking individual myself, this became a learning experience for me as well. Since I do not speak Burmese we had to get creative with our tutoring methods. With the help of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, we were able to get accurate translations of words such as danger, crane, forklift, zinc, burn, and other words to help employees communicate and maintain safety in the workplace. I made flashcards that included pictures, the English word, and the respective translation to communicate with and teach the employees. We meet once a week for about thirty minutes when it is convenient with the production schedule. I found myself learning how to say some of the words in Burmese, getting to know the employees, and learning more about galvanizing in the process.

Several of the employees involved in the program have been with the company for ten or more years and helped me break down some language barriers. As a whole, the feedback from the employees was very positive and they are enjoying their time in the class.

As a long term goal we will be prepared to help new hires learn in this way in the future. I am very happy to have been involved in this process and look forward to working more with the employees.

Pictured Left to Right: Ruby Shwe (Burmese), Kyaw M. Oo (Burmese), Maung Thet Oo (Burmese), Ja Mar (Burmese), Pichai Keawpinna  (Thai), Emmite White (Supervisor). Hubbell Galvanizing Plant Employees.

Burmese Flash Card Example:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sorting Out the Specs

G60, G90, ASTM A123 -- what does it all mean?
Many of our customers call with questions regarding specifications.
One of the most common questions we get is regarding G60 or G90
coatings.  While these designations do refer to a hot-dip galvanized
process, it is really referring to the continuous galvanizing industry.
These products are usually seen on items like corrugated roofing
and wall panels.  ASTM A123 refers to the batch hot-dip
galvanizing process, like we perform daily here at Hubbell.

So beyond that simple explanation, what is the difference?
The 60 and 90 in the G60 and G90 are really referring to
coating weights.  G90 products need to have .90 oz/sf of zinc to
meet the specification.  This is a total weight for the piece, so it
really means .45 oz/sf on each side.  This is equivalent to about
0.75 mils per side.  Batch hot-dip galvanizing per ASTM A123
calls for a much higher zinc coating thickness.  Standard structural
shapes 1/4" or greater in thickness require a minimum of 3.9 mils
(about 2.3 oz/sf) of thickness.  If you compare the numbers, you
can definitely see the difference.

Want more information?  The AGA has created a two-page comparison
of the products: