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Get Crane Info Online
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 17, 2010 at 8:35 AM.

miscchart2.jpgLooking for crane information? San Leandro, Calif.-based Bigge Crane & Rigging has created a web portal to find information about cranes and easily compare their features and capabilities.


Bigge’s new crane reference library features crane descriptions, specifications, features, and crane charts for more than a dozen crane brands, including data for 13 Manitowoc models and more than 50 Grove models, for example. It also includes a selection of pictures of cranes in the field. The library includes pricing and current inventory status of the cranes in Bigge’s sales and rental fleet.


The crane reference library can be found at

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Steel Shots: Happy Birthday, Michigan Avenue Bridge
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 14, 2010 at 5:30 AM.


The double-leaf, double-deck trunnion Michigan Avenue Bridge was considered a marvel of engineering when it was opened in 1920. In the background of this HAER photo are Mies van der Rohe’s IBM Building (now 330 North Wabash), completed in 1971, and the Chicago Sun Times building that was constructed in the mid-1950s and razed in 2004. Photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HAER ILL, 16-CHIG, 129-1.


Today marks the 90th birthday of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Bridge. A birthday celebration includes free admission to the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, located inside the five-story southwest tower of the bridge. In addition to historical information, the museum provides visitors with an up close view of the gears, sometimes in action as the 100-hp motors raise and lower the bridge. (Thank goodness for counterweights!)


For more information about the Michigan Avenue Bridge birthday celebration, click here.


For historic photos and descriptive information on the bridge from the Historical American Engineering Record (Library of Congress), click here.


To learn more about the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, visit


If you’re planning to be in Chicago and want to catch the bridge in action, view a bridge lift schedule by clicking here.

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AGA Joins AISC as SteelDay 2010 Partner
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 13, 2010 at 8:50 AM.

Building on the inaugural success of SteelDay in 2009, AISC has named the American Galvanizers Association (AGA) its first National SteelDay Partner. SteelDay is a national event that encourages architects, engineers, contractors and specifiers to learn about steel design and construction by visiting fabrication sites, warehouses, galvanizers, and other facilities for educational programs. This year’s SteelDay, scheduled for September 24, is expected to attract more than 10,000 participants at more than 200 events around the country.


“We participated in last year’s SteelDay events and just knew we had to get more involved this year,” said Melissa Lindsley, AGA marketing manager. “SteelDay is the perfect opportunity for the design and construction community to see first-hand what we do today and how we do it.”


In 2009, SteelDay events were held at more than 170 different locations all over the U.S., hosted by AISC and its members. That number is expected to grow this year as AGA members will also host SteelDay events, including galvanizer tours and seminars that showcase today’s innovative applications and state-of-the-art technological developments in hot-dip galvanizing for corrosion control.


More information on SteelDay 2010 can be found at AGA has also launched a public SteelDay website page,

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Call for Entries: Image of Welding Awards Program
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 12, 2010 at 6:23 AM.

Entries are now being accepted in the 8th annual Image of Welding Awards Program. The competition is put on by the American Welding Society to recognize individuals and organizations that have shown exemplary dedication in promoting the image of welding in their communities. It is open to all welding industry professionals.


Awards are issued in seven categories including:

  •  Individual (you or another individual)
  •  Section (AWS local chapter)
  •  Large Business (200 or more employees)
  •  Small Business (less than 200 employees)
  •  Distributor (welding products)
  •  Educator (welding teacher at an institution, facility, etc.)
  •  Educational Facility (any organization that conducts welding education or training)


To read about past winners or to find out how to submit a nomination, go to


Deadline for entries is July 12, 2010. There is no fee to enter.

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The Coming Paperwork Mushroom Cloud
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 11, 2010 at 7:04 AM.

If you thought taxes were a pain before, just wait until 2012. CNN reports that a provision buried in section 9006 of the massive health care reform bill – which you’ll recall was passed and signed into law in late March – dramatically expands the use of 1099 tax forms. Beginning January 1, 2012, all companies will have to issue 1099s to any individual or corporation from which they buy more than $600 in goods or services with in a tax year. They’re not just for services anymore; they’re for virtually everything.


Although the intent might have been a good one – to collect more taxes by cutting down on unreported revenue – compliance is expected to create a huge burden for businesses of all sizes.


To read the CNN commentary, go to


To read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law March 23, 2010, go to
where you can explore H.R. 3590 or view the entire 2,393-page document (allow extra time for the second option).

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Adding Cover Facilitates Long Rail Production
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 10, 2010 at 11:33 AM.

ClearSpan Fabric Structures International,Inc., reports that Steel Dynamics, Inc., has installed a ClearSpan fabric structure at its Columbia City, Ind., Structural and Rail Division facility to help increase its long-rail capabilities.


The mill itself is relatively new, having been commissioned in 2002. The new 83-ft-wide, 336-ft, 8-in-long structure provides coverage protection from wind, rain and snow for SDI’s transfer bed, where rail is stored temporarily between the unloading process and the welding process.


The rail is typically produced in lengths up to 320 ft. However, SDI also has the capacity at this facility to weld it into 1600 ft lengths which is very useful on railroads using continuously welded rail (CWR).


More information on fabric structures is available at, and on SDI at

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Steel Shots: The Man Behind the Scenes
Posted by Alison Trost on May 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM.


Robot programmer Brian Simons stands by the Power Wave i400 and FANUC ARC Mate robotic arm used in the movie Iron Man 2. Robert Downey Jr. (a.k.a. Tony Stark, engineering genius) and director Jon Favreau autographed both pieces of equipment.


Iron Man 2 is set to hit theaters today, and we thought we’d present a closer look at the machinery — and the programmer — that made it possible for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to build his Iron suit. A Lincoln Electric Power Wave i400 welding power source and a FANUC ARC Mate 100iC robotic arm were used to fabricate the Iron suit. Brian Simon of Lincoln Electric was lucky enough to be the representative on set, controlling the robots for RDJ.


“Responding to immediate client needs at Lincoln prepared me to react on the studio’s set at a moment’s notice,” Simons said. “Being involved with the film was truly an incredible experience.”


To see the movie trailer for Iron Man 2 click here. Be sure to note at 17 seconds as the robots make their debut removing iron man’s suit while he’s on stage.


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3 Things AISC
Posted by Alison Trost on May 6, 2010 at 9:54 AM.

There’s a lot going on around AISC so here’s a quick update on some of the upcoming events and activities.


  1. Going to NASCC next week? Be sure to stop by the AISC booth and say hello. Staff from AISC, Modern Steel Construction and the Steel Solutions Center will be on hand all week. Note that today is the last day to register online at Hope to see you in Orlando.
  2. Save the date – SteelDay 2010 is set for September 24. Already 110 events are on the schedule. Go to for more information or to sign up to host an event. 
  3. AISC Webinars are offered on an ongoing basis. To learn about this convenient, economical way to learn and earn CEUs/PDHs, go to

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Mexicantown Bridge Opens Today
Posted by Alison Trost on May 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM.

The new Mexicantown Bagely Street Pedestrian Bridge in Detroit opens today.

Several photos of the bridge are included in the MDOT brochure describing the project, available online by clicking here.

A Cinco de Mayo festival, organized by the Southwest Detroit Business Association and the Detroit Consulate of Mexico, begins at 1 p.m. in salute of 200 years of Mexican independence. Michigan DOT’s ribbon cutting will be at 2 p.m. and will include unveiling community art and a parade across the new pedestrian bridge.

As the first cable-stayed bridge in the state, the Mexicantown Bagley Street Pedestrian Bridge is part of Michigan’s $230 million I-75 Gateway Project.

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SMDI President David Jeanes Retires
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 4, 2010 at 9:01 AM.

davidjeanes.jpgDavid C. Jeanes, P.E., has retired as president of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), after 34 years of distinguished service with the organization.


“Dave Jeanes and the SMDI team have built a solid foundation to keep our industry competitive while positioning steel as the material of choice,” said Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO.


Jeanes began his career in the architecture, engineering and construction field working for a land developer and a steel erection firm. After serving in the U.S. Army, he joined AISI in 1976 as a codes and standards engineer.


Over the years he held a number of positions, including research associate at the National Bureau of Standards—now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—where he led the structural fire endurance research program.


 “I’ve been fortunate to work in an industry that had its senior leadership committed to achieving long-term success, despite many economic challenges over the years,” Jeanes said. “A key success of our market development programs is that we learned how to engage competitors and bring them together as ‘Team Steel’ when it came to advancing pro-competitive programs that would benefit the industry.” One example of such an approach being implemented during Jeanes’ tenure was the development of durable, cost-effective High-Performance Steel for bridges, which is now in use in more than 300 bridges in 44 states.

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