Why Attend Industry Trade Shows? Let’s Stop. Collaborate and Listen

Why Attend Industry Trade Shows?  

Although he probably wasn’t referring to attending industry trade shows, Vanilla Ice said it best, “Stop. Collaborate And Listen.” So why do people attend industry trade shows anyway?

Partners collaborate listen

We polled a handful of customers to learn why they’re planning to take time away from work and family to attend FabTech this year in Vegas. Overwhelmingly, they echoed a desire to collaborate in person with their peers and to familiarize themselves with new products.

This desire for people to share with like-minded folks is no new concept. We see it with politics, sports teams, craft circles, churches, trade organizations, etc. At a time when it seems that the media is pointing out our vast differences, it’s more important than ever that we find ways to connect with people, even across the aisle. We’ll never agree on every topic or welding technique, but it’s always possible to find a positive connection with a new person regardless of whether they’re across the globe or across the weld shop.

Why is listening an important element of attending a trade show? It’ not until we stop ourselves from telling our own story and show genuine interest in our partners, competitors, and customers that we really learn. The art of listening requires us to remove our auto-darkening lenses and hear what someone else is both saying, and not saying.

When asked what sets Arc-Zone apart — we’ve been told us that it’s our customer service, technical knowledge, and great product range. While we aren’t always perfect, our entire team is dedicated to problem-solving the challenges presented to us by our customers.

Again, it seems that the phrase, “Stop. Collaborate and Listen” is appropriate. We are active in our local AWS Chapter, on social media (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and our Blogs), Pro Partnership, and our Metal Mashup newsletter because we want to connect with vendors, partners, welders, fabricators and subcontractors from across the globe to share new tips, products, and success stories. We are always open to your suggestions and feedback. Feel free to identify new products, clearer information, and ways we can better serve you. Stay tuned for our latest product additions.

We hope to hear from you too, because “if there was a problem. Yo, I’ll solve it. Check out [my weld] while my DJ revolves it,” and you know the rest… “Ice ice baby!”

 

Moving Metal with Bill McCann

Bill McCann's TIG welded bikes

Like many, for Bill McCann the simple desire to build things out of metal is what sparked his interest in welding. He first learned to gas weld when he was 18 at a buddy’s shop in Wyandotte, Michigan. In his twenties he took a stick welding class, which led to a career in TIG welding. Now 70 years young, and retired, he still welds; he still likes moving the metal around. Bill came into the Arc-Zone Ultimate Welding Showroom one day to purchase some supplies, and we’ve seen some of his work on Instagram, and we were so impressed we wanted to find out more.  We sent our own Arc-Zone PRO partner, Joanie Butler, out to learn more. Continue reading

Back to Welding (Safety) School

It seems every time I look at at headline that has “welding” in the title it’s about a welding school expanding their offerings–the predicted shortage of welders is here.

There are a lot of welding school options, from your local community college where the courses may be more affordable, to the more specialized training schools like Wyotech, Lincoln Electric’s Welding School, or Tulsa Welding School where you can learn pipe welding, automotive technology, shipfitting and sheet metal fabrication.  (Check out the American Welding Society’s Welding School Locator to find a program near you.)

Once you’ve made the decision to go to school you’ll need to have some of your own gear.  Most welding schools will most likely give you list of welding supplies, starting with welding safety.  

Start with Welding Safety

Continue reading

Water-Cooled TIG Torch: Cool Down and Amp Up!

Is your Air-Cooled TIG torch too hot to handle? It may be time to think about upgrading to a water-cooled system.   You’ll be able to use water-cooled torches that run much cooler and allow you to access higher amperages. Think of all the welding possibilities!

Water-Cooled TIG Torches

You may  think you need to buy a fancy water cooler in order to use a water-cooled TIG torch, but that’s not necessarily true.  Of course at Arc-Zone we wouldn’t mind if you purchased a welding  water cooler from us–we do carry an extensive line of coolers from manufacturers like  Binzel and Dynaflux. We even carry all the replacement parts you’ll need for repairs, including the Procon rotary vane pumps for welding water coolers.

welding water cooler and replacement parts at Arc-Zone.com

Hook Up Kit for Your Water-Cooled TIG Torch

Other options for upgrading to a water-cooled TIG torch:  build your own water cooler or connect directly to your city-supplied water.

hookup kit for water-cooled TIG welding torchIf you just want to connect to your city-supplied water and run water right to your torch, we have a kit that includes all the connectors you’ll need.

Keep in  mind you’ll need to maintain a water flow of one quart per minute at a maximum of 45 PSI (or risk blowing out the tiny water passages inside your TIG torch). Continue reading

Barbies are OK but WELDING is Awesome!

BarbieWelderWhen I was entering junior high school, I had a choice:  Home Ec or Shop (which included welding).  I chose Shop.

My guidance counselor, however, chose otherwise.  “All the girls take Home Ec,” he said.

So like most young girls of the 70s I learned to sew a wrap-around skirt and make jello salad.  Two skills I have never had the need for nor were they a pathway to a good career.

If I knew then what I know now, that  Title IX means schools have to offer the same opportunities to boys and girls, and that learning to use power tools could have led to a decent career, I might have stood up for myself. I would have told that gruff old geezer of a counselor to stuff it.

What I know now is that it doesn’t have to be a choice.  Brittany Kerr may have preferred welding rods to Barbies, but that’s not always the case. We’ve featured many women for the New Rosies column who like girly things, and like welding too.

Whatever your preference, check out this article, “Barbies? No! But Welding Rods? Yes! by Crystal Dey: Continue reading

Congratulations Oregon Tradeswomen!

One of the more active groups in promoting women in the trades and encouraging women to join the trades is Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI), an organization founded on the principles that women deserve and can attain economic self-sufficiency through pursuing careers in the building, mechanical, electrical, and utility trades while helping and encouraging the trades industry build up a diverse workforce.

THE HARDWORKING, GRANT WINNING STAFF FROM OTI

FROM OTI:

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI) is proud to announce that on June 14, 2016, we were awarded a Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations (WANTO) grant to continue our work connecting women with high wage, high skill trades careers through registered apprenticeship.

“Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. is honored to work with our partners, Seattle-based Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women and Oakland, California-based Tradeswomen Inc. through the Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations program,’’ said Connie Ashbrook, OTI’s Executive Director.  “Many women in our communities are passionately interested in working in the construction, manufacturing and utility trades, but don’t know where to get started.  Our joint efforts to provide women with the education, skills, and connections they need support their access to and success in family-supporting trades careers, while at the same time helping apprenticeship programs and employers diversify their workforces.”

The $650,000 will be awarded over the course of two years. It will fund direct technical assistance work in the Portland, Seattle, and Oakland metropolitan regions, as well as outreach throughout the Western United States.

READ MORE AT THE OTI WEBSITE–>

THIS is great news for women and the for the industry!  We look forward to more good news from the Oregon Tradeswomen.