Home News & Events WEMCO Spring Meeting

WEMCO Spring Meeting

Mar. 31, 2016


During the last week of February, WEMCO (An Association of Welding Manufacturers) of which Bug-O Systems is an active member, held their annual meeting in Tampa, FL. The meeting was strongly attended by all major manufacturers and proved to be a full two day fruitful event.  


As one might have expected, the recent drop in oil prices was a large concern for many and therefore much of the discussion centered around not only oil prices, but more over what effects this might have on the welding and cutting markets in North America and abroad. I personally found the meeting insightful because two the presenters were of great interest to me and our Company. The first was Jerry Leary, President and CEO of Koike, who discussed their “turning around” the Aronson side of their business and how they have continued to invest in their New York facility. He further addresses their presence in the international markets and noted their extreme growth there. I also enjoyed hearing Mike Mossbarger’s presentation as he is the V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Praxair Distribution headquartered in Chicago. Mike is fairly new in this role so it was very good to have the opportunity to meet and chat with him about our products and competitive advantages. Additionally, it was good to receive Mike’s take on the business and markets they feel are most important to them and where they see future growth coming from.    



We had the normal breakout committee meetings and the one that received the greatest attention again this year was the New Careers in Welding. This is the committee where we the members are designing ways to attract new and younger persons to choose welding as a great place to have a career. I personally have joined this committee to do my part to ensure we all (as manufacturers of products that serve the welding industry) grow this community. As we are very much aware, there is a shortage of welders in North America and the average age of a welder today is estimated at 55. If we do not do better in attracting younger persons to choose welding as a career, not only will this country fall behind, but us as manufacturers of products serving this industry, they too will suffer.   


The final high-light of this meeting was the Key Note Speaker Dr. Alan Beaulieu co-author of the book “Prosperity in the Age of Decline.” His entire presentation focused on the global economies including the falling price of oil and what effects we as manufacturers might expect to see in the welding and cutting industry over the next few years. As always, Alan reached out to the audience and made sure that he addressed most everyone’s greatest questions during his presentation. The good news for most was that the oil prices will start to stabilize to inch back up as we move in the 3rd and 4th quarters, but certainly we are not going to see $80/barrel this year.  

Norm Sted – Director of N. A. Sales & Global Marketing