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Monday Manufacturing Round-Up: March 17th, 2014

Monday Manufacturing Round-Up

The third week of March always seems to mark the beginning of IT managers across the country slowing down their bandwidth to try to keep everyone focused on work, as opposed to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. However, heading into this week there’s some good news for home buyers and factories, but some skepticism amongst home builders. On to the links:

Get those brackets done at lunch today, the madness begins on Wednesday. Here’s to a productive start to your week!

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Monday Manufacturing Round-Up: February 10th, 2014

Monday Manufacturing Round-Up:

As the US recovers from ice and snow storms across the country, the Olympics officially kicked off last Friday in Sochi. The metal count is rather close, with the Netherlands and Norway both leading the way with 7 total metals. Meanwhile, the job addition numbers here in US look good to start off 2014, while a move by Toyota in Australia is leaving some people out of work. On to the links:

  • Snips Magazine has a brief press release related to the increase of jobs in the US in January. There was a reported 113,000 jobs added last month.
  • IMPO has an interview with Joe Atikian, the author of Industrial Shift:The Structure of the New World Economy. His book and the interview touch on his belief that manufacturing and farming are not decreasing in the US, and the importance of Mexico in the future of manufacturing.
  • Unfortunately for Australia, Toyota recently announced that all of their factories within the country will be removed by the end of 2017. This move will remove the last car manufacturer in the country, and thousands without jobs. CNN Money has the story.
  • A Toronto-based start up has created a wrist band that syncs with your heart beat to bypass passwords to your own accounts. The bracelet resets itself when removed, and if stolen, cannot be used with another person’s pulse.
  • And if you’re missing out on this year’s AHR Conference, TMB Publishing has a live stream here.

That’s it for this Monday. Here’s to a productive start of your week.

Snow Plows

As most of the country is covered in snow, one invention we have to help keep our roads safe and clear for transportation is a snow plow. Snow plows come in a variety of sizes and a couple of styles depending on the area that is needed to be cleared. The most common snow plows that are found on the market are either straight, one pieced plows or two pieced, rotating plows.

The straight plows (such as the one seen below) are typically found on larger trucks and utility vehicles, and used to clear large areas such as highways, and parking lots.


The two-pieced, rotating plows can typically go on consumer sized trucks, to large industrial trucks as well. They allow to pile up the snow within the blades of the plow, then rotate to evenly disperse the built up snow. The two blade set up is typically best used for small areas.

How Snow Plows are Made

The type of material used to build a snow plow is incredibly important, due to the conditions where a snow plow would be needed. Typically, stainless steel is used for the blades, or the actual surface that is used to scrape and disperse the snow. Stainless steel is used because of its strength and non-rusting characteristics. The sheets of stainless steel have holes punched into them at the top of the sheet, passed through a form rolling press to give them their proper degree, and then put through a press brake to bend the top section to fit on the base.

The base of a snow plow is typically made of carbon based steel, that is powder coated after construction to aid in rust proofing. Regular steel is significantly cheaper, and easier to manufacture than stainless steel, so most use a basic steel for the base. Many bases are manufactured differently, but you can see how one company makes their base here.

Met Life Stadium, Home of Super Bowl 48

This upcoming Sunday is considered to be an unofficial holiday for American sports fanatics across the county, as the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos face off in Super Bowl 48. As this game has been played for almost half of a century, it has garnered certain reputations over the years: it has the best (and most expensive) commercials of the year, it’s the longest game of the year (due to all of those commercials), wacky prop bets, a Gatorade shower for the winning coach, and a sunny local to play the game.

However, for the first time in the game’s history, it will be played in New Jersey. Right across the Hudson River from downtown New York city, the anticipated coldest Super Bowl in history will be held. The reason for the NFL to buck the usual mild climates of Florida and California mostly has to do with the recent construction of Met Life Stadium.

Stadium Features

Met Life Stadium has a lot technological features, along with having the second highest seating capacity in the league. Here’s a list of some of the more impressive features the stadium boasts:

  • 2.1 million square feet in venue size
  • 82,500 capacity for football games
  • Four 30 foot by 118 foot HD video display boards in each end zone
  • Over 2,100 HD monitors throughout the stadium, capable of receiving 70 different channels
  • Free wi-fi through out the stadium

On top of all of these features, Met Life is also the only stadium that hosts two teams, which requires an impressive amount of re-configuring from week to week.

Home of the Giants and the Jets

One of the biggest design challenges for creating a stadium that will host two teams, is the ability to create a home feeling for both squads. There are a couple of cool features that Met Life has to accommodate this requirement.
The stadium is designed with mostly neutral colors. The seats are grey, and the outside is covered in aluminum louvers so that high powered lights with blue and green filters can be changed out, making the outside of the stadium team specific depending on who’s playing that night.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football Met Life Stadium when the Jets are at home.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football
Met Life Stadium when the Jets are at home.


Source: Stadium Journey Photo Credit: Sean MacDonald Met Life Stadium for a Giants game.

Source: Stadium Journey Photo Credit: Sean MacDonald
Met Life Stadium for a Giants game.


As for the field, the only section of the actual turf that requires replacing is the end zones. The fifty yard line is covered with the NFL logo, while the end zones will be changed with a specialized turf square moving machine, to read either, “Giants” or “Jets” depending on which team is playing that day.

Add in all of the signage and merchanise stores that need to be changed, the whole process only takes about two, eight-hour working days. A pretty impressive feat considering the size of the stadium. The Met Life Stadium Website has a cool video that breaks down the change over process.

So while you’re holding your breath, hoping that your bet that the National Anthem will go over the mark of 2 minutes 23 seconds (yes, there are casinos that are actually posting that), take a second to admire the ever-continuous construction project that is Met Life Stadium.

Monday Manufacturing Round Up: January 6th, 2014

Monday Manufacturing Round Up

As most operations get back to their first normal five-day work week, in the past three weeks, the economy and manufacturing are getting their report cards for the year that has just passed. Statistics are showing that the general economy is improving, along with an increase in manufacturing, and a slight increase in housing numbers. However, there are some that find holes in the manufacturing world ranging from potential issues in generational gaps, and an over valued view of what manufacturing means to our job market:

Welcome to 2014. We hope that your Holiday Season, and New Year were fantastic, and we hope that your 2014 will be even better.

Introduction and Custom Manufacturing Goals

Metal Products Company Blog

By John Stokes (john@metalproducts.com)

Who We Are:

Metal Products Company has been serving the plumbing and electrical industries for over 25 years by providing high-quality, American made, metal stamping parts. Most of our main product line deals with pipe protection and installation, most of which are required by building codes across the country. Over the years, we’ve looked to new industries and products to continue growing and improving as a company. As we continue to provide our pipe protection products, we keep working to expand into the HVAC and custom manufacturing industries. Located in the Pacific Northwest, we service wholesalers across the country with our Building Product line.

CNC mill mid cut

CNC mill mid cut

Goals of this blog:

The purpose of this blog is to be a place where we can keep readers updated on our current custom manufacturing projects, make announcements on our new machinery acquisitions and other general company announcements, and help explain what our machines within our custom manufacturing department can do.

Laser cutter mid cut

Our Mazak Laser Cutter, mid cut

How We Started in Custom Manufacturing:

Due to the nature of our metal stamping business, tool and die maintenance is integral to production. Eventually, we wanted to make our tooling and die maintenance as an in-house operation. The decision to bring our die maintenance in-house required us to acquire machinery such as CNC mills, and wire EDM machines. Both of these machines have a large variety of custom manufacturing applications, from cutting die components to short run, prototype parts. As time has gone, we’ve added grinders, multiple mills, a laser cutter, and a CNC press brake to our custom manufacturing operation. We continue to take new custom manufacturing jobs throughout Oregon, Northern California, and South-West Washington. Look for more information about these custom manufacturing capable machines in our Custom Manufacturing pages on our website.

Wire EDM mid cut

Wire EDM mid cut

Contact Information:

For any questions regarding our custom manufacturing capabilities, custom stamping capabilities, or Building Products line, visit our contact information page for our phone, email, and fax contacts.