Brighton Leaders: Mark Lang

May 2016

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[text_output]This is a periodic column from the managers of our company. Through their years of involvement in the industry and in our company, these individuals provide insights, vision and perspective on the ever-changing world in which our customers, vendors and partners operate.

Mark Lang
Brighton Tru-Edge[/text_output][line id=”” class=”” style=””]

[text_output]What do you see as the biggest trends in your industry right now?

There’s been an increase in the uses and quantity of businesses working in natural gas. Demand is starting to pick up for more heads to be used in cryogenic service. About six years ago, it was the solar industry. A cryogenic tank head requires solution annealing, which can be up to 2,000 degrees, and none of our competitors have the furnaces or the welding process to deliver on those orders. And that gives us the upper hand. We’re also seeing more customers in water filtration and water and waste water treatment.

How is the interest in environmental sustainability affecting your industries?

We try to recycle everything we possibly can, and we’ve done a great job of being environmentally responsible. In addition, interest in environmental sustainability is part of the reason we’re seeing the pickup in the natural gas business. Coal burning plants are giving way to natural gas.

What are some of your latest efforts to highlight the importance of safety in the organization?

For Brighton in general, safety is job one. Years ago, I headed up our strategic safety initiative, which required anyone on the shop floor to receive in-depth Occupational Safety & Health Administration training. Every employee has a 10-hour training. We also incorporated Human Performance Improvement tools throughout the shop. And our Job Safety Analysis process allows our workers to hold daily meetings to review anything that can be a danger on the job site.

We also have a safety meeting every day at break time to discuss a safety-related topic. It could be about something outside the workplace – more accidents happen at home than at the shop. It’s valuable to remain safe at all times and to take the safety message home with you.

If you could make a prediction about the future of the industry, what would it be?

I really believe in our industry – and this is probably about 10 years away – 3D printing could be a major influence. Researchers are working on developing a way to 3D print a head with a crystalline structure. This will take a lot of time and effort to get through regulation. But I can see this becoming a big factor in manufacturing, especially in tanks.[/text_output]

[text_output]What is your background and your career progression at Brighton Tru-Edge?

I attended Moeller High School in Cincinnati and studied civil engineering at Ohio State University and construction management at the University of Cincinnati. I played football for the Buckeyes under coach Woody Hayes. I’ve been president of Brighton Tru-Edge for the past four years, but I started in the X-ray department in 1984 and have now been with the company for 32 years. I’ve essentially seen Brighton go from a family-owned company to part of a Fortune 500 company under Trinity Industries and back to being privately owned as part of Enerfab.

What do you consider to be the challenges ahead in the next year at Brighton?

We’re a heavy metal manufacturing company, and one of our biggest challenges is definitely finding qualified workers to operate the machines. We have a labor-intensive process, and we have to find team members who want to work in this atmosphere. Getting people engaged in many of these roles can be a challenge. More technology and automation have helped us attract skilled workers who want to be a part of our industry.

Two years ago, we hit a high for employment. However, our business often follows trends in other industries, such as oil, so our employment has fluctuated with the decline in oil prices. It can be a cyclical industry, and within the next year or two, we expect to see our numbers grow again.

How does Brighton plan to stay ahead in this competitive market?

We do a couple things to stay ahead in our industry. Our process of buying steel plate and then processing and welding it is something that our competition doesn’t do. We have the capability to make large-scale heads – which can be a long process – on a regular basis. We can turn around a head in a couple weeks by doing all of our steps in-house, the welding, the X-ray, and the processing. Our competition doesn’t have the equipment or the procedures developed to do that.

Another thing that helps us stand out is our product itself. We worked with engineers to develop a proprietary machining process to achieve a precision-machined bevel. It gives our heads the “tru-edge bevel” that ensures a better fit and easier final assembly for our customers. Our competition doesn’t have this capability.[/text_output]

Market Update
304/304L – 0.6700 $/lb.
316/316L – 0.9555 $/lb.
317/317L – 1.1275 $/lb.
309/309S – 0.8864 $/lb.
2205 – 0.9123 $/lb.
Alloy 276 – 6.0286 $/lb.
Alloy 625 – 6.3487 $/lb.
316 – 0.6300 $/lb.
Carbon Steel – 0.1300 $/lb.