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An Ode to Fabtech

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

We’ll be bringing more stuff live to you yet today – but in honor of the last day of Fabtech, here is an ode – by Welderman:

The AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Weld Invitationals at FABTECH 2012

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Good morning and welcome to Day 2 of FABTECH 2012. The welding action continues today at the AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Open Weld Invitationals. We took some time yesterday to get an overview of the competition, as well as introduce each of the six Americans vying for the three spots in the finals.

Meet the Six American Competitors 

Competition Introduction from Nick Peterson

The competition put out the following news release yesterday, detailing the event and announcing that the finals to determine who goes on to represent the U.S. at WorldSkills will take place at Daytona Speedweek in 2013:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – November 12, 2012For six young welders, the AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Invitational Weld Trials is just like the U.S. Olympic team tryouts, but without the television coverage and million-dollar spokesperson contracts. It does, however, come with a realistic expectation that they can obtain a relevant job that is in high demand and significantly contributes to our quality of life in America.

The AWS/SkillsUSA U.S. Invitational Weld Trials at the 2012 FABTECH Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 12th to the 14th will host 11 competitors from 5 countries. Convention attendees will be able to witness firsthand the competition spread over four days of welding using multiple welding processes. Some of the welding requirements are so precise that the welds will require x-ray reviews and hydrostatic pressure tests to 1000 pounds per square inch in order to verify the integrity and quality of the welds.

Competing will be six national SkillsUSA welder finalists that have bested 1000’s of their peers in a near yearlong battle across America. Alongside them will be 5 international competitors representing Australia, Canada, The United Kingdom (2), and Russia. Wednesday evening, November 14th at a private reception, the top three USA competitors will be named along with Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals for the top three overall finishers.

The top three USA competitors will advance to a “Tune Up” at the AIDT training Center in Mobile Alabama, a division of the Alabama Department of Commerce that encourages economic development through job-specific training. Past TeamUSA Welding Medalists will train all three to give TeamUSA the best chances of earning a Medal in Germany this summer.

Tony Hopper, director of the Mobile AIDT Training Center, is excited to host these top welders for their training; “While these competitors are here, we will be hosting a career expo for local schools and employers to promote the need for skilled welders and all skilled careers along the Gulf Coast. We helped with the tune up for the 2011 WorldSkills Competition and the USA brought home a Bronze Medal for welding. This time, we hope it will be a Gold, but medal or not, as long as these competitors give their best that is all we expect.”

These top three competitors will then compete for the final TeamUSA position during the 2013 Daytona 500 Speedweek.

February 23rd, the day before the Daytona 500, the TeamUSA welder will be announced. That winner will not only represent the United States at the 42nd WorldSkills Competition in Leipzig, Germany July 2-7 2013 (, but will also receive a $40,000.00 scholarship from the American Welding Society Foundation.

Brad Clink Wins at SkillsUSA, Joins Team USA for World Skills 2011

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Washtenaw Community College student Brad Clink competed against two of the other top competition welders in the country at SkillsUSA 2011 and won the right to represent the United States at WorldSkills London 2011. The three men, including fellow Washtenaw Community College student Alex Pazkowski and Greene County Vo-Tech‘s Zack Brown, competed as part of the 2011 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Kansas City.

For a full rundown of all of the welding competitions at SkillsUSA, stay tuned for our August issue of Miller’s INSTRUCTOR newsletter. In the meantime, check out these videos from the conference:

American Welding Society President John Mendoza Kicks off Festivities

Opening Ceremony Footage

Brad Clink Interview

Zack Brown Interview

Alex Pazkowski Interview

Closing Ceremony and Team USA Member Announced


SkillsUSA National Skills & Leadership Conference Kicks Off

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Last night marked the opening ceremony of the SkillsUSA 2011 National Skills & Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Miller is a proud sponsor of SkillsUSA and the individual welding, team welding fabrication, welding sculpture and World Skills welding championships.

Keep posted here throughout the remainder of the week for updates from the championship competitions and other happenings around this exciting industry event.

For photos from the event, keep clicking here. We’ll add more throughout the week: SkillsUSA Photos


Bald Knob, Sheehan Pipe Line Construction & Local 798

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Miller spent time last summer in Bald Knob, Arkansas, where Pipeliners Local Union 798 was working on a new natural gas pipeline. Miller and welding distributor WELSCO held a pipeliners appreciation event that weekend and then spent time out on the right-of-way. Miller also took the opportunity to introduce the pipeline welding community to the brand new Big Blue® 350 PipePro diesel engine-driven welder/AC generator – a machine that Local 798 had substantial input in designing.

“We’ve worked extensively with Miller on the development of this,” says Farron Hollabaugh, director of training, Local 798. “It’s a strong machine that has good arc characteristics. You get the exact same amperage out of it every time you use it as opposed to a DC generator that varies with temperature. They can count on it being the same weld characteristics every time they strike an arc.”

For more information, read the whole story. You’ll also see videos on the event and the pipeline welding history of Bald Knob. You can also visit us at ConExpo (Gold Lot, Booth G-254) to see the machine and talk pipeline welding.

SkillsUSA at Fabtech 2010

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Good morning –

Today wraps up an exciting week of competition here at Fabtech 2010. The final six American SkillsUSA contestants are battling it out for three spots in the Kansas City competition where a champion will be crowned. That champion will move on to represent the U.S. at the World Skills competition. AWS provides the American winner with a $40,000 scholarship provided by Miller

These final six competitors have been narrowed down from 24. Nick Peterson, a former champion, talks about the contest and why it’s important to the industry:

SkillsUSA Video

Here’s a description of the contest from the SkillsUSA website:

Competitors receive contest drawings and a set of welding procedure specifications. All drawings, welding symbols, and welding terms conform to the latest edition of the American Welding Society standards. Through a series of stations, contestants are tested on various aspects of welding: measuring weld replicas, using weld measuring gauges; laying out a plate and using oxy-acetylene equipment to cut several holes that are checked for accuracy and quality; Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) on steel making welds in various positions using short circuiting transfers; Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) using a shielding gas, making welds in various positions and, using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for shielded metal arc (SMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Competitors complete the steel project and weld an aluminum project in various positions using a variety of filler metals.

We also chatted with folks around the show and the competition about the shortage of skilled welders and why today’s youth should consider this skilled trade:

Pursuing a Career in Welding

What do you think? What will it take to engage today’s youth in a career in welding?

FABTECH 2010 Opens!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010


First order of business: welcome to FABTECH 2010. We’re excited to be here again – not that we need the reminder, but as we walk around the convention center and the hotels, we see just how lucky we are to be a part of this industry. FABTECH attendees are some of the most innovative and talented folks you’ll find working today, and we’re honored to be of service to you.

If you find yourself wandering around the hall, please visit us in Hall C, booth # 6811. Tim Temby gives you a brief glimpse into what you’ll see in the Miller booth:

Welcome to FABTECH 2010

We also have a major industry announcement happening today at 9:00 a.m. EST. The press conference gets out at roughly 10 a.m., expect to see the news then. We’ll report back here later in the day with it as well.

As with last year, you can follow along via your preferred social media outlet, or you can see them all at once by visiting our FABTECH social media dashboard: Click here!

Not following Miller online? You can find us here:




We’ll update you from the show floor again later in the day – but in the meantime, what are you excited to see at FABTECH? What do you think are the biggest challenges facing our industry today?

New Digital Camo Helmet Now Available!

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Military buffs, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone else who’s into the camouflage look have a new Digital Elite helmet to reflect their interests and style. Inspired by modern tactical camouflage gear, the Digital Camo helmet offers all of the category-leading features of the Digital Elite series with a cutting-edge graphic design.

Check out the new Digital Camo helmet and learn more about the benefits of the digital elite series!

Speak Up For Welding

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Welding is not a career for the faint of heart – that’s nothing new, but a recent survey by a job search Web site ranked it as the fifth worst out of 200 different professions. Ironworker fared even worse, coming in as the third worst job for 2010. Knowing the passion and pride that welders and ironworkers take in their jobs, we suspect the Web site didn’t consult with any while conducting their survey. (more…)

The Year Ahead

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Well, we’re just about through one of the most challenging and uncertain years for business in recent memory — and good riddance!  Here’s to a prosperous 2010.

Although we’ll all be glad to put 2009 behind us, the unfortunate reality is that changing our economic fortunes is not as simple as changing our calendars. Despite some signs that the economy is recovering, many individuals, businesses and industries continue to struggle through the ongoing effects of the recession.

Nevertheless, the new year does provide an opportunity to take a small step back and assess the lessons learned in 2009 and think about how to apply that hard earned knowledge upcoming challenges in 2010.

A common business practice when deciding on a course of action is to perform a S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you expect to face in 2010? Do you plan to make any changes to your business in the coming year in response to the ongoing economic slump? Do you expect to see a strong pick-up in business next year, or more of the same?

Tell us what your crystal ball is telling you by posting a comment below