The Hot Sheet
PAC-CLAD high polish steel tiles on house facade
stainless steel
PAC-CLAD’s high-polish finish gives the steel tiles the look of glass block.
Make It Metal
Corrosion-resistant alloy mimics glass in architectural application
A new home in rural Pennsylvania is attracting attention with cupped stainless steel tiles that were used on the structure’s oversized entrance and as an accent wall. A high-polish finish gives the material the look of glass block. The cupped tile catches light from multiple angles and creates a strong contrast with matte steel roofing panels—both products from Petersen, which manufactures PAC-CLAD metal cladding. In all, 1,500 sq. ft. of the 26-gauge tile from Petersen’s line of Precision Series Tiles were used in a bright annealed finish, along with 17,000 sq. ft. of Snap-Clad 24-gauge roof panels in weathered zinc. The metal tiles offer an alternative to roll-formed panel-style cladding.

The large 4-ft. by 10-ft. front door is fabricated from Corten Steel on a pivot. Corten also is used to clad the exterior of a lap pool perched over the cliff that leads down to the adjacent pond. Angle iron was used for gutters. The material’s strength allows the gutters to serve a dual purpose as a snow retention system.

The house is situated on the side of a cliff with a sloped, 45-degree driveway. Carrollton Design Build, based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, served as general contractor for the project. The company was required to use lifts and scaffold systems to maneuver material into place.

3GHC’s Architect Carl Gutilla said he built the layout around the repurposed foundation of the lot’s previous home, a linear, 1960s glass residence that had fallen into disrepair. Gutilla worked with Petersen during the design process. Its architectural metal cladding products are available in multiple gauges of steel and aluminum. PAC-CLAD products include standing seam roof panels, hidden- and exposed-fastener wall panels, flush- and reveal-joint panels, vented or solid soffit panels, perforated metal, coil and flat sheet, composite panels, column covers, plus fascia and coping.

[In the wake of the pandemic], general contractors may need to self-perform a lot of the work they would normally sub out and build those capabilities in house.
Engineering and Construction Practice Leader
Michelle Meisels
In today’s construction environment, architectural metal fabrication combines technology and skilled personnel. In the wake of the pandemic, general contractors find themselves pivoting from structures such as restaurants and gyms to a larger focus on housing projects. According to Michelle Meisels, Deloitte’s engineering and construction practice leader, general contractors may “need to self-perform a lot of the work they would normally sub out and build those capabilities in house.” Meisels said she does see opportunities rebounding in 2021 for increased infrastructure and building projects. “Infrastructure and public utility projects could see an uptick if the new administration directs funds toward that.”
Three quarter view of Mercedes-Benz G-Class
KUKA wins Mercedes contract
KUKA, Sterling Heights, Michigan, has won an automation contract from German premium car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz for the engineering, construction, assembly and commissioning of several body-in-white production lines. From those lines, various future vehicle models will make their way to North America. As part of its flexible production strategy, Mercedes-Benz will rely on KUKA’s extensive technological expertise and incorporate several hundred of the company’s industrial robots in four key areas of the body-in-white shop line where the main vehicle frame is assembled prior to painting and before the application of trim and engine installation.
Rio Tinto enters scandium market
Mound of scandium-oxide
Rio Tinto, London, will become the first producer of high-quality scandium oxide in North America, with construction of a new commercial-scale demonstration plant underway at its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Rio Tinto is investing $6 million for the construction of a first module in the plant, with an initial capacity to produce three tons of scandium oxide per year, or approximately 20 percent of the current global market. RTFT expects to begin commercial supply of scandium oxide in the second quarter of 2021.
Aluminum Association lays out industry policy priorities for Biden administration
View inside Aluminum Association factory
The Aluminum Association released a series of policy documents laying out priorities to support a strong U.S. aluminum industry. The “Presidential Policy Brief: Recommendations for a Strong U.S. Aluminum Industry” includes several recommendations for the incoming Biden administration and Congress to support a growing and vibrant aluminum sector in the U.S. An addendum to the industry’s overarching “Aluminum Agenda” released in 2019, the brief includes key policy goals in areas of energy, environment, infrastructure, recycling and trade. Top priorities in these areas include: Ensure continued access to reliable, affordable and efficient domestic energy sources and promotion of aluminum recycling to support secondary production. In the area of environment, the objective is to develop common sense, science-based regulation in areas including air and water quality, chemical reporting and vehicle fuel economy standards. Infrastructure’s focus will be to increase long-term public and private funding and enact various reforms to recognize the benefits of sustainable materials to help shore up the nation’s highways, transit systems, electric grid and other critical infrastructure. For trade, the objective is to negotiate with China to address structural aluminum overcapacity, eliminate trade barriers for countries that play by the rules and pursue targeted trade enforcement for countries that do not. Finally workforce goals cover promotion policies to enable the recruitment of a skilled and diverse workforce and improve workplace health and safety. You can learn more at
Messe Düsseldorf India events postponed
Busy trade fair in session
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizer Messe Düsseldorf India decided to postpone the concurrently held trade fairs wire India, Tube India, METEC India and India Essen Welding & Cutting to September 8-10, 2021, at the Bombay Exhibition Center in Mumbai. The events were originally scheduled to take place from March 25–27, 2021. The September 2021 staging will ensure maximum participation given the internationality of metal trade fairs, allowing all stakeholders to plan their participation carefully and efficiently, with emphasis on their safety and health.
L&T Precision acquired by The Partner Companies
Sheet metal stacks
L&T Precision Corp., Poway, California, a provider of machining and sheet metal fabrication services, has announced its acquisition by The Partner Companies, Chicago. The Partner Companies is a portfolio of small to medium U.S.-based specialized manufacturers focused on providing the best customer service, quickest lead times and highest quality. Their manufacturing companies promote Made in USA products while serving customers worldwide.
Three quarter view of a Bugatti in a garage
Bugatti highlights additive manufacturing in its Bolide
Bugatti is expanding its technological leadership with the development of highly accurate 3D-printed components used to make the Bugatti Bolide. The newly developed 3D-printed pushrod—a pressure-loaded coupling rod in the chassis area—weighs just 100 grams and can transmit forces of up to 3.5 tons. The hollow titanium structure with internal supporting arch provides superior strength, another engineering breakthrough. Selective laser melting, commonly known as 3D printing, produces new, hollow, ultracomplex components that are stiffened from the inside, yet are lightweight, extremely rigid and strong. Bugatti is using this technology for an increasing number of components for its hyper sports cars. Previously, these types of components were used predominantly in the aerospace sector.
New technique builds super-hard metals
Metal material held by pincers

A group of Brown University researchers has found a way to customize metallic grain structures from the bottom up. In a paper published in the journal Chem, the researchers show a method for smashing individual metal nanoclusters together to form solid macro-scale hunks of solid metal. Mechanical testing of the metals manufactured using the technique showed that they were up to four times harder than naturally occurring metal structures. “What we’ve done is create nanoparticle building blocks that fuse together when you squeeze them. This way we can have uniform grain sizes that can be precisely tuned for enhanced properties,” said Ou Chen, an assistant professor of chemistry at Brown and corresponding author of the new research. For this study, the researchers made centimeter-scale “coins” using nanoparticles of gold, silver, palladium and other metals. Items of this size could be useful for making high-performance coating materials, electrodes or thermoelectric generators (devices that convert heat fluxes into electricity). But the researchers think the process could easily be scaled up to make super-hard metal coatings or larger industrial components.

MC Machinery adds sales rep
Jason Ayotte headshot
Jason Ayotte has joined MC Machinery, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, as a regional sales representative in Michigan. Ayotte has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Western Michigan University. He has worked in capital equipment sales for the past 13 years and specialized in automation, lasers, press brakes and shears. He also has experience in machine design, project management and capital equipment procurement.
O’Neal Steel names new CFO
Andria Cleghorn headshot
O’Neal Steel, Birmingham, Alabama, appointed Andria Cleghorn as chief financial officer. Cleghorn brings more than 12 years of experience in corporate finance and has an acumen to drive organizational profitability and growth. Before joining O’Neal Steel, Cleghorn held several leadership roles in financial management for both the concrete and oil industries.
Computer Aided Technology expands
3D printed objects
Computer Aided Technology Inc., Buffalo Grove, Illinois, provider of software, 3D printing, 3D scanning and metrology, PDM and PLM, design automation, and implementation solutions, is expanding its U.S. sales and services footprint by opening an office in Fort Worth, Texas. The new facility brings CATI’s industry-leading expertise to the Lone Star State and complements the Stratasys facility in Richardson, Texas.
Stäubli Robotics adds group division manager
Christophe Coulongeat headshot
Stäubli Robotics, Pfäffikon, Switzerland, announced new group division manager. Christophe Coulongeat takes over the division management from Gerald Vogt, who became the new CEO of the Stäubli Group on January 1, 2021. In his new function, Coulongeat will also become a member of Stäubli’s group executive committee. The French manager joined Stäubli in 2018 as deputy division manager robotics.
Partnership to provide free toolkits
Construction worker with illustration overlay
The National Institute of Metalworking Skills is partnering with Edge Factor this year to inspire students and job-seekers to pursue career pathways in manufacturing and other skilled trades. This strategic Workforce Development initiative will provide schools, companies and workforce leaders with three free experience toolkits that feature high impact multimedia, a keynote presentation, promotional tools, and a practical guidebook on how to plan, promote, host and follow up on presentations and virtual events. These online experiences will help students, parents and job-seekers to explore skilled trades, apprenticeships, hands-on learning programs, careers, STEAM and soft skills.
FANUC launches cobot website
CRX collaborative robot with peripheral device
FANUC America, Rochester Hills, Michigan, announced the launch of a new e-learning website to educate manufacturers and industry about its CRX collaborative robot. The site provides online training modules, a deep dive into a wide range of peripheral device and tooling partners, and the latest product information about its CRX cobot lineup. There are currently three online tutorials that cover a product overview with features, unboxing and setup, and a programming course. Additional learning modules will be offered.
Materials and equipment prices drive costs up
Engineering and construction costs continued to rise in January, marking the third consecutive month of increases, according to IHS Markit and the Procurement Executives Group. This month’s headline IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index registered 63.1. The materials and equipment portion of the index reached 68.3, up 4.9 points from the previous month, recording the second straight month of reported price increases. The subcontractor labor index came in at 51.1, indicating that labor price increases were not as widespread as in December. Survey participants witnessed price escalations for all categories under the materials and equipment sub-index for the first time since July 2018. Copper prices continued to increase for the seventh month in a row. Ocean freight from Asia to the United States recorded its fifth month of price increases. The carbon steel pipe price index rose to a figure of 70 in January, up from 50 in December. The swift change from flat pricing to increasing prices was also apparent in heat exchangers and pumps and compressors.
Dengensha announces promotion
Doug Becker headshot
Dengensha America, Bedford, Ohio, announces the promotion of Doug Becker as national sales and service manager for the company. Becker replaced Steve Andrassy, who retired after 20 years of service. He will oversee sales, service and engineering operations in the U.S. and Canada. Along with his industrial background, Becker also served in the U.S. military for six years and is a Gulf War veteran. During his service in the Navy, Becker’s primary focus was on nuclear power plant operation and maintenance.
AWS launches video series
The American Welding Society announced the launch of the “AWS ARCademy” video series. “AWS ARCademy” will provide resources for those interested in educating in a welding career. Hosted by Joe Young and Stephanie Hoffman of the AWS Foundation, the series launched January 27, and new videos will be added regularly. The focus of the video series is process-related topics and highlights AWS products and solutions that are designed to advance welding careers. Topics range from how to use common workshop tools and understand welding symbols to the top five mistakes to avoid in TIG, MIG and stick welding.
MetalForming announces new president and COO
William Drury headshot
MetalForming Inc., Peachtree City, Georgia, has chosen Dr. William Drury, an engineer and entrepreneur with an award-winning record of outstanding customer service, as the company’s new president and chief operating officer. “MFI is the acknowledged leader in terms of technology and equipment for the metalforming equipment manufacturers they represent,” says Dr. Drury. “My area is to take a company that is already successful and standardize the processes. Make it more consistent and efficient.” Company founder Geoff Stone will continue as MetalForming’s CEO.
Wayland Additive awarded ISO 9001 certification
Person using Wayland Additive Calibur3
Wayland Additive, Huddersfield, England, announced that its Quality Management System has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification. Wayland Additive is promoting innovation in metal AM for production applications. NeuBeam is a metal AM process that effectively neutralizes the electron beam powder bed fusion process to offer greater flexibility than laser-based AM processes while overcoming the stability issues many users of traditional eBeam AM systems experience. In addition, the NeuBeam process allows metallurgical requirements to be tailored to application requirements rather than the previous limitations of the process—to produce optimum results.
Cobot releases ROI calculator
ROI calculator screen readings
Cobot Nation, Las Vegas, seller of collaborative robots, announced the release of the first publicly available Collaborative Robot return on investment calculator. Using the ROI calculator, manufacturers can see pricing for both Cobot Nation and its competitors and compare their ROIs. Cobot Nation designed the ROI calculator to optimize the entire experience of transitioning to automated, hands-free manufacturing. Cobot Nation plans to build upon this application with the long-term goal of incorporating more metrics into the ROI calculator as it increases its product and service offerings.
AIMS Metrology expands service footprint
AIMS Metrology, Dayton, Ohio, announced it has acquired the assets of Measurement Specialties Inc. Also based in Dayton, MSI calibrated, certified and programmed Sheffield [and other brands] coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and provided retrofit and repair services. In 2017, AIMS purchased CMI Technologies to expand control quality and delivery timeframes for components it produces for its Revolution Series 5-axis CMMs. MSI will expand AIMS’ service footprint. The company will also add personnel with high-value skills sets. AIMS plans to cross-train its service engineers and increase its’ capabilities for the development and application of custom part programs.
Superior Die welcomes global marketing manager
Maria VanHaverback headshot
Superior Die Set Corporation, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, announced the appointment of Maria VanHaverbeck as global marketing manager. VanHaverbeck is stepping into the newly created role as Superior Die Set continues to strengthen its marketing efforts. VanHaverbeck will be responsible for building the marketing department from the ground up, which involves a strategic plan to synchronize Superior Die Set’s brands, Greendale Precision Services, and its Polish subsidiary, ProPlastica.
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