2020 has brought extraordinary challenges. We started off with promise of a new decade but ended with life in a global pandemic. Now as we close out 2020 and head into 2021, we wanted to reflect on the year - and what a year it’s been!
Due to the pandemic, Wall Colmonoy’s work took on a greater importance, providing parts and products for industries such as military, aviation, medical, food and beverage, energy, and more.
Our alloys and castings kept glass container plants producing, our food packaged and fresh, pumps pumping to deliver energy, diesel truck engines powering and aircrafts in the sky to deliver needed goods and supplies.
Each and every one of our plants worked tirelessly and safely, adhering to national and local guidelines – from our European headquarters, Alloy Products (USA), Aerobraze Cincinnati and Aerobraze Oklahoma City, to Franklin Bronze Precision Components. The health and well-being of our employees, customers and suppliers are of the utmost importance.
An Unprecedented Year of Investment
2020 marks one of the largest investment years we have had in our 82 years of business, with a total of nearly $7 million across US and UK operations. We invested in our facilities and employees to improve, expand and modernize our capabilities.
Los Lunas facility kicked off the year with a multi-million dollar modernization including the installation of new chillers. And with an intense focus on safety and training, our AP USA team achieved a safety TIR of zero, meaning no recordable accidents in the past year!
A new unit lowered into position at Los Lunas facility. The new chillers provide vital cooling for our melting processes – especially important when melting at 1650°C (3000°F) in the New Mexican desert.
In the UK, we invested £500,000 in our Research and Development Lab, making it one the most advanced labs in the UK. We added 4 new machines in our state-of-the-art machine shop - increasing our capability for a total integrated offering from casting to final machined part. We moved further into our Additive Manufacturing offering by acquiring a binder jet printer.
Aerobraze Cincinnati added new three machines - including a HAAS DT-1 Vertical Milling Center.
New Haas DT-1 3-Axis Vertical Milling Center (VMC) Cutting an Airflow Vane Plate for Aviation Industry
Franklin Bronze Precision Components upgraded its robot and introduced the latest in robotic technology - automatic laser level adjustment, a technique brand new to robots and investment casting foundries. More on Franklin Bronze’s year in review.
Product development has always been a part of our culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
We launched ColWear, a corrosion resistant vacuum fused wear plate made with our hardfacing alloys - Colmonoy® nickel-based and Wallex® cobalt-based alloys.
ColWear plates achieve superior resistance to wear in industries such as chemical processing, power, steel, mining and cement.
Aerobraze Oklahoma City added 16 new cores to their Heat Transfer Products for both military and commercial aircrafts.
Aerobraze Cincinnati continues to supply turbomachinery for the most powerful rocket in the world, NASA’s RS-25 Engine. All part of the Artemis program to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. Aerobraze also continues to create 3D printed parts for turbine engines – vanes and nozzles.
Wallex® Cobalt-Chromium Additive Manufacturing Powders were introduced. Wallex® ASTM F75 CoCrMo AM is ideal for Biomedical applications, such as Medical and Dental Implants.
Photomicrograph of Wallex® ASTM F75 CoCrMo AM powder (400x).
Nicrocraft™ Aircraft Exhaust Systems received FAA-PMA approval for Cirrus SR20 and Piper Archer III to supply flight schools and fixed based operators (FBO). They expanded their wings in Europe with a new German Distributor, Global Aviation + Piper Parts. We are also investing in e-commerce to offer products online 24/7.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and do business – much of our life is now online.
Tradeshows adapted to virtual booths. Aerobraze US and UK jointly exhibited at TransAtlantic MRO. Nicrocraft™ participated virtually at EAA Airventure. However, we found nothing is like being there in person.
Although, in many ways, our digital presence has built stronger relationships with our partners, in-personal technical support has moved to phone and video. We created helpful training videos, like our Fusewelder™ Torch demonstration, and tips for pre-flight inspection. Commonly asked technical questions turned to Technical Bulletins on Importance of Hardness Testing and a Nicrobraz® Shelf Life Series. Expect more to come.
Warren Lewis demonstrating FusewelderTM Torch application and benefits.
Thank you and Onto 2021
We appreciate forging different relationships this year than we have in the past. Thank you for the trust and confidence you place in us and the opportunity to support your business.
Thank you as well to our dedicated employees who worked countless hours during this pandemic.
And as always, we are forever indebted to the front-line health care professionals who are leading this fight against COVID-19.
All the best to you and your loved ones.
We look forward to working with you in 2021 and beyond!