Canada Raises the Bar and Wins!
Semi-Automatic Bar Pusher
Yves Leblanc, machinery operator, demonstrates how the 12 foot aluminum bar is inserted into the machine.
T&B's St. Jean sur Richelieu facility in Quebec, Canada, has
been recognized by the Commission de la Santé et de la
Sécurité au Travail (CSST) for its innovation in automating a
time-consuming and injury-prone part of the manufacturing
process for industrial fittings. CSST is the Canadian equivalent
to Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) in the U.S.
The St. Jean facility is a major manufacturing facility for T&B
in Canada. The plant produces more than 1,500 products
and employs approximately 400 people.
Teck brand industrial connectors are manufactured on a 'screw
machine' which is a type of lathe specialized for the automated
production of small threaded parts. A long bar of aluminum
or steel is fed through the spindle, where it is shaped, drilled
and threaded and the finished part is cut off.
At St. Jean, the old process to insert the aluminum or steel
bar was cumbersome, inefficient and often led to repetitive
movement that could lead to tendonitis in the arm. Machine
operators had to hammer metal bars with a steel rod in order
to push the bar forward into the screw machine.
A team made up of machine operators, engineers, and
technical resources worked together to design, fabricate and
install a new semi-automatic bar advancement system. Now,
the operator inserts a bar into the tube and then activates a
hydraulic cylinder that automatically pushes the bar forward,
eliminating the need of manually hammering the bar. The
new system is programmable and includes new guards and
safety switches for additional protection. A video of the new
process can be found at
"We are very excited that the Semi-Automatic Bar Pusher has
been recognized as an innovative and successful project," said
Alain Quintal, T&B vice president manufacturing and technology,
Canada. "In addition to increasing efficiency, it
improves safety for our employees."
Athens Facility Recognized For
"Doing the Right Thing"
T&B's facility in Athens, Tenn., has been recognized by the Athens Utilities Board (AUB) and
the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association for initiatives undertaken to reduce
waste and the energy required to run the facility.
AUB's Craig Brymer, who oversees environmental compliance issues for the utility, said that the
awards highlights how industry and AUB, which must ultimately treat waste streams from manufacturing
plants, work as an effective team regarding environmental stewardship.
According to Brymer, T&B has "demonstrated its commitment to 'doing the right thing' to minimize
its impact on the environment, particularly local waterways" and that "Thomas & Betts
has always done a commendable job treating their process wastewater, which can be challenging
considering their processes in metal finishing."
Left to right: Athens Plant Manager Herb Bradshaw, AUB's Craig Brymer, T&B Athens Environmental Compliance Officer Joe McCall , T&B Athens Environmental Engineer Lisa Neisler, and T&B Athens Pollution Control Technician Bobby McLemore.
T&B's Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Facility
Celebrates Accident Free Year
T&B's Pointe Claire, Quebec, facility (also known as the
Trans-Can facility) recently celebrated 365 days or 166,400
man-hours without a lost-time accident. Coincidentally,
T&B Chairman & CEO Dominic Pileggi was on hand for
the celebration ceremony.
"Mr. Pileggi's timing couldn't have been planned better, said
Bob Gill, director of operations of Trans-Can. "One year
without an accident is an achievement the Trans-Canada
facility is extremely proud of and to be congratulated, in
person, by our leader makes it that much sweeter."
This is not the first time, the Trans-Can facility was recognized
by T&B. In 2006, it was named "Manufacturing
Facility of the Year" in Canada. In 2007, they were recognized
as "Most Improved Health and Safety Facility" and
"Most Improved Manufacturing Facility." They've kept the
positive momentum up throughout 2008.
The Trans-Can facility is a plastic injection molding facility
which molds and assembles plastic products such as
Marrette® brand wire connectors, NuTek™ brand plastic
outlet boxes and EMERGI-LITE® brand components used
to manufacture emergency lighting products.
Gadsden, Alabama, Steel Structures Facility Gets SHARP!
Thomas & Betts got another feather in its cap when the
Gadsden, Ala., steel structures facility earned a place in the
U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and
Health Administration's (OSHA) prestigious Safety and
Health Achievement Recognition Program. Gadsden
joins the Lancaster, S.C., facility which received SHARP
recognition in 2004.
The SHARP program was created by OSHA to provide
incentives and support to companies that implement and
continuously improve effective safety and health management
systems at their worksites. Facilities in the SHARP program
are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections for one year
To become certified in the SHARP program is no easy feat. It
requires a comprehensive consultation and review by OSHA
and a high level of employee involvement.
"We participated in the SHARP program in order to ensure
that our employees work in a safe and healthy environment
every day," said Debbie Wood, manager of human resources in Gadsden. "Being recognized for this effort is great but it's really
more about establishing a pro-active safety culture that will
stand the test of time than just winning an award."
Going Green is Good Business
Horseheads Facility Receives Grant For Eco-Friendly Efforts
When it comes to waste reduction efforts, Thomas & Betts'
Horseheads, N.Y., facility has done such a great job that the
State of New York awarded the plant a $160,000 grant to
help offset the company's $500,000 investment for new
The grant is part of New York State's continuing
recognition of T&B's program to eliminate cadmium
and haxavalent chromium from the electroplating process.
Both materials are considered a priority chemical that EPA
wants eliminated from manufacturing.
"In addition to eliminating two hazardous chemicals from
the electroplating process, we eliminated 1,500 tons of hazardous
waste and achieved numerous cost savings," said
Roger Phillips, T&B Horseheads general manager. "We've
also been inducted into the Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA) prestigious National Partnership for
Environmental Priorities Program.
In order to receive the grant, T&B had to make a significant
capital investment, complete the project on time and meet
predetermined, stringent benchmarks.
"My hats off to the Thomas & Betts Corporation for their
initiative to become a national leader in this effort," said
New York State Senator George Winner. "New York State's
investment in the quality of corporations like Thomas & Betts
clearly serves to
economic and environmental
of the communityat-
Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli speaks during a news conference
outside T&B's Horseheads facility. With Santulli are, from left,
T&B General Manager Roger Phillips, state Senator George H. Winner,
Jr. and state Assemblyman Tom O’Mara.