As the leaves have officially fallen and temperatures are taking a chilly downturn, we are quickly reminded of the abruptness of the upcoming new year and all the new responsibilities that come with it. For me, the wrap up of our current year is a bit bittersweet, as my time of being able to serve you all as president comes to an end. I will continue to serve as a board member moving forward, but as for my experience as president, it was one that gave me a strong appreciation for two things in particular: the work the board puts in to keep the organization running as well as the value of the membership and knowledge that is collectively and consistently contributed into the organization on many different levels.

As I look at the current state of SPIDA, just as the case for many years now, there are many things to be excited about as we gear up for our 2020 General Membership Meeting. From a technical standpoint, we have recently completed our testing to prove the use of finite element modeling for gauging/reinforcement requirements for flat oval ductwork, and we have already come up with some valuable ideas for a next potential technical project. I am pleased to see that through the work of the membership committee, we eclipsed our 2018 number of members in 2019. In addition to this, and thanks to the tailwinds of a good economy, we have continued to beat our budget on sponsorship commitments, in which I assure you will see this money put to great use in the upcoming meetings. On behalf of the program committee, I strongly encourage you to attend our General Membership Meeting at the ASHRAE show in Orlando. Kyle and Brent Pease (Kyle Pease Foundation) will be our keynote speakers, and their story will help motivate us all not only in a professional manner, but their perseverance throughout life will help us all to become better people at home as well. Lastly, our publications committee has continued to work hard on increasing our presence in different HVAC publications, social media, and continued website development and upkeep.

In February, I will have the privilege to introduce you all to the next SPIDA president, Weldon Weeksfrom M&M Manufacturing. Weldon has been an active member of SPIDA for many years, and he was a great mentor for me when I first came into the organization in 2008. As been proven with the hard work he’s put it on many different committees, I’m confident Weldon will continue to put in the same work as president to help SPIDA reach new milestones. As for my time, thank you all for allowing me to serve as president, and thank you for all that you do to help improve the organization. Weldon, thanks in advance for your time, and we look forward to working with you for the next couple years. Take care.

John Newland, SPIDA President
Colorado Regional Sales Manager, Hercules Industries
Johns Manville Hosts SPIDA's
Board of Directors
Members of the Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association (SPIDA) were in Dallas on September 24 th for their annual meeting. In conjunction with the meeting, Brennan Hall of Johns Manville , hosted a tour of the Cleburne, TX plant. The board was given a tour of the 415,000 square foot manufacturing facility where fiberglass duct liner, duct board and Spiracoustic® Plus round duct liner are produced, as well as a tour of the 280,000 square foot warehouse facility.
Pat Brooks - SMACNA, Randy Swaim – Trimble, Weldon Weeks – M&M Manufacturing,
John Newland – Hercules Industries, Robin Stegall – Hamlin Sheet Metal, Jerry Liddell – Set Duct Manufacturing, Scott Witherow – Design Polymerics (not pictured), Steve Stratton – Dixie Metal Products, Bill Busch – Northeastern Sheet Metal, Ryan Barnes – Sheet Metal Connectors, Reid Boydstun – Spiral Pipe of Texas, Alvin Dueck – Tradesman Manufacturing, Brennan Hall – Johns Manville, James Nicholson – SPIDA headquarters.
Following the Johns Manville tour, the board of directors held its annual meeting. Board members discussed the upcoming AHR general membership meeting and educational presentation, the annual membership meeting in San Diego, technical committee flat oval testing results and future projects, wage equalization updates, membership growth, social media calendar the upcoming SNIPS insert featuring SPIDA.
Technical Committee Report
The SPIDA technical committee is committed to identifying and defining research projects relative to spiral and oval ductwork that directly influences our members and the HVAC industry. In 2019, the technical committee settled on a project to help prove that finite element modeling can be used for measuring duct deformation for reinforced and unreinforced flat oval ducts under positive and negative pressure. Dr. Stephen Idem and his research team at Tennessee Tech University was tasked with this project on behalf of SPIDA. In their investigation, deformation was measured for 18 gage galvanized steel, spiral flat oval ducts having minor and major dimensions of 12” and 43” respectively, as a function of internal static gauge pressure. Both unreinforced and externally reinforced ducts were considered.
Upon several weeks of testing, several finite element deformation models of the spiral flat oval system were generated. The finite element models accounted for structural components such as the duct wall thickness, duct seams and external reinforcement. The results at the end of the experiment yielded extremely useful and valuable information as well as important conclusions around the use of finite element modeling for flat oval ducts in this scenario. A white paper with the test results and conclusions are available to SPIDA members who can access this report thru SPIDA.org. The SPIDA technical committee would like to thank Dr. Idem and his team for conducting this experiment and continuing to help SPIDA create guidance and information to spiral and flat oval fabricators across the country.
SPIDA is constantly engaged in several research and testing projects. SPIDA recently completed a flat oval testing project. The gauge/reinforcement table will appear in the SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction Standards, Fourth Edition when it is released for publication. SPIDA is continuing flat oval research to develop a computer modeling program for flat oval deflection under pressure. SPIDA has a presence at meet ings of SMACNA, ASHRAE and AMCA.
Lean Manufacturing and Spiral Duct:
How to improve every aspect of your business
In the world of business, new theories and ideas seem to pop up every month as companies around the world look for better ways to operate. Business always moves forward, and if you want to stay relevant in the business climate of today, it’s no longer enough to sit on past methods and past successes. However, it is hard to separate the hype and buzz words from principles of substance.

Lean Manufacturing. Kaizen. Continuous Improvement. TPS. Process Excellence. Six Sigma. If you have had your ear to the ground over the last decade or two, you’ve probably heard these terms come up in business blogs, books and other publications. Major companies such as Toyota, Nike, Ford, Harley Davidson, Intel, John Deere, and Motorola attribute much of their success to operating their business according to “Lean Principles.” In fact, it may seem like this mysterious thing called Kaizen (Japanese for “improvement”) is the magic bullet to lasting success in manufacturing. So what does that have to do with us in the HVAC Spiral Duct Manufacturing business? As it turns out, quite a lot! The principles that have made the world’s predominant manufacturing companies successful can work in your duct shop. If you are interested in increasing your productivity, boosting your bottom line, and creating a dynamic workplace full of excited and engaged employees, Lean and Continuous Improvement may be exactly what you’re looking for.
All photos courtesy of: Omni Duct
Lean Manufacturing is an idea that has been around since the early days of the industrial revolution and was refined as mass manufacturing took off in the 20 th century. Lean isn’t a new idea, and it isn’t foreign. Rooted in common sense and financial prudence, Benjamin Franklin published in his Poor Richard’s Almanack that saving time was as good as saving money, and that avoiding unnecessary costs could lead to greater gains than increased production. These principles, while appreciated at their time, were of special interest to Henry Ford as he developed his assembly lines and business principles which would catapult him to success in manufacturing. Further refinement occurred as statisticians applied Ford’s principles to manufacturing efforts during World War II. The ability of American-led Allied manufacturing to vastly outperform the Axis powers is recognized as a key component of our victory. However, it wasn’t until the philosophy was picked up by post-war Japan and refined by companies like Toyota that it became the premiere manufacturing mindset. If you are wondering why “Made in Japan,” once known for poor quality, is now synonymous with quality craftsmanship, reliability, dependability and good value, most of it can be traced back to a single word: Kaizen. Literally translated from Japanese, it means “change for the better.”

Now that we know some of the history of these concepts, let’s take a closer look at what the principles actually are. Put simply, Lean Manufacturing is a philosophy and methodology that focuses on removing waste and non-value-added activity from the processes we use to complete our work. The literal translation for the Japanese word for waste ( Muda) is uselessness - let’s remove the uselessness from our manufacturing!

How we achieve the goal of waste reduction is where things can get complicated. There are many different approaches to reducing waste in our processes. The above list of business buzzwords represents a small handful of the many varied approaches to waste reduction, and each style has its own merits and shortcomings. However, there are certain principles that we have found produce positive results in spiral duct manufacturing shops.
Before we can start the process of improving our processes, we need to identify why we want to get better. Is it because we want to increase profitability? Shorten lead times? Increase employee opportunity and morale? Distance ourselves from the competition? All those goals are possible if we focus on continuous improvement, but understanding the why helps us stay motivated and create lasting change.
Once we have identified why we want to get better, our next task is to learn to identify the waste in our processes. Waste can be defined as things that do not add value to the customer; things like taking unnecessary steps to complete jobs, excessive movement of product and personnel, or errors in communication and manufacturing. It can also be defined as unevenness in demand, operator skill, and machine capacity. Learning to see waste is the first and most important step in the work of Lean.
After we identify the waste, we can work towards reducing it in our processes. This typically requires some creative thinking, which starts by asking good questions: What if we could change a spiral head in less than 10 minutes? How would we accomplish that? Why is it so hard to load new coils onto the machine? I hate it when our pipe gets dented while waiting to be loaded onto a truck – how can we prevent that from happening? Real learning and progress happen when we start asking good questions. We can then take practical steps to solve problems by testing and measuring new ideas against the reality of our processes. It is a logic-driven approach that produces results.

In my work with Omni Duct and duct shops around the country, I have seen vast improvements in all areas of their business by adopting the principles of Lean and Continuous Improvement into their culture. Spiral head change-over times have been reduced by upwards of 75% with some companies capable of performing them in under three minutes. Steel coil loading and unloading times have been reduced by 30% while increasing safety and ease for the operator. Gored elbows, branches and taps have been built in under 4 minutes, and exceeding quality standards set by SMACNA. The time and cost savings of waste reduction are staggering – and opportunity for improvement is everywhere.
Perhaps the most impressive developments you will see (and one we have experienced at Omni Duct) when you decide to pursue continuous improvement are the increases to your employee morale. One of the core tenants of the Japanese method for Lean Manufacturing is respect for people. Every person in the company is on the same team, and everyone has value to add to the process. By allowing your employees to find ways to do their work better, they become motivated to perform at a high level. When they are empowered to improve their work, they find ways to get the job done easier, with less stress and fewer defects. By shifting the message from “get it done” to “find a better way to get it done,” work becomes engaging and even fun. All the improvement examples listed in this article are a result of the operators themselves applying their creative genius to solve problems in their own area and find better ways to get the job done. It didn’t come from a consultant or manager; it came from the shop floor. When people are allowed to bring not just their skills, but their creativity and passion to work, incredible things are possible.

If you are looking for more information on Lean Manufacturing or how to get started with Continuous Improvement in your shop, there are many great resources available. However, it can be hard to know where to start. There are countless books, blogs, consultants, trainings and resources available. Over the past decade, Omni Duct along with several major American duct manufacturers, have been refining the process of Lean Manufacturing in the duct business. We have found what works and what doesn’t work in our industry and have developed a duct-specific methodology known as Continuo Us Improvement. Continuo Us Improvement was created to help spiral and rectangular duct manufacturers . There are resources available, you don’t have to go it alone.

Graham Johnson is a contributing writer representing Omni Duct Systems and Director of the HVAC Duct Manufacturers. More information about Continuo Us Improvement can be found at www.HVACDMA.com .
SPIDA Star Jerry Liddell Set Duct Manufacturing
It gives us a great deal of pleasure to introduce and acknowledge Jerry Liddell as our latest SPIDA Star. Jerry is an 18-year SPIDA member and served on the original board. He has been on the SPIDA board for the last five years and is on two committees. Jerry chairs the labor committee which covers issues like wage equalization and is active on the membership committee. Jerry is known and appreciated by SPIDA for his willingness to help wherever needed . Jerry is the General Manager of Set Duct Manufacturing where they produce spiral, oval, rectangular, and related HVAC products for distribution. When asked what gets Jerry the most satisfaction at work, he mentioned four areas: 1) Working with a great group of employees, 2) The challenges of introducing new products, 3) Mentoring and watching growth in others, 4) Going to work every day to face the daily challenges and figuring out creative ways to solve issues. Conversely when asked what concerns him the most regarding the HVAC industry, his main issues were:  1) Wage equalization and workforce rules with all the various unions in play, 2) How to attract younger people to this industry, 3) Finding motivated and qualified employees, and 4) The continuous effort of getting paid by customer in a timely fashion. SPIDA members repeatedly mention, that the number one benefit there is in belonging to an association such as SPIDA, is the opportunity to connect and exchange ideas and knowledge, with people such as Jerry Liddell.

Jerry comes to us from Detroit where he lives with his wife of 19 years, Threasa. He attended Eastern Michigan University business school as well as the Henry Ford College Architectural Construction program. When Jerry has a spare moment, he enjoys physical training, playing guitar, woodworking, or just getting on his motorbike.
We would like to express our appreciation to Jerry Liddell for your work behind the scenes and for your continuous efforts to shape SPIDA into the association that it is today. Thank you Jerry.
New Member Profiles
American Metals Supply Co., Inc. American Metals Supply Co., Inc. is a wholesale distributor of sheet and coil steel, prefabricated duct and fittings and a complete line of HVAC products. Al Hassebrock started American Metals Supply in 1962 after leaving his sales job at a building materials distribution company in Springfield, IL. Since that time, Al’s son, Steve Hassebrock, and daughter, Chrissy Nardini, have come to work for American Metals Supply as the Chief Strategy Officer and CFO, respectively. Today, American Metals Supply has eight strategic geographical locations throughout the central United States. American Metals Supply is still a family-owned operation, providing top quality products and service to their customers in 12 states.
Sheet Metal Connectors celebrates a milestone
When Jerry Myers founded Sheet Metal Connectors, Inc. in 1969, he intended to make the HVAC contractor’s life easier. A half-century and numerous industry-improving patents later, the company’s bottom line is still as simple as that. 
“We are working on the next generation right now, doing a lot of training, coaching, and development to bring them into the fold. And that’s one of our goals, to keep it family-orientated for generations to come,” says Jim Myers, Jerry’s son. “We are a two-fold business, the regional duct manufacturer and the nationwide component manufacturer.”
Dave Fait (SMC’s first employee), Jerry Myers, Cal Jacobson (General Manager), Henry Swanson (SMC’s 2nd employee)
A yellow label union shop, Sheet Metal Connectors first began operations in a 3,000 square-foot shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, manufacturing slips and drive connectors with three employees (Jerry included). “He would be out on the road running down sales, and would come in the building and help run equipment if they had to get an order out. He wore more hats than I could count!” Jim remembers about his father. Now the business has grown to more than 175 employees and three locations with the capacity to supply complete ductwork systems, including, spiral pipe, fittings, rectangular, welded, grease duct, PVS, doublewall duct and a number of other services.
What is most important to you as you move into the next 50 years?  According to Jim Myers “At the end of the day, I feel the number one thing we have to do is earn our customers trust every day. It is the trust that we are going to do the right thing, that we are going to be there when you are in a pinch, the trust that we will communicate if we have a question, or see a mistake. Integrity is what my dad built this company on and it is still at the core of everything we do today. “  
Jim Myers and Jerry Myers
Join us in Orlando!
Join SPIDA in Orlando at the 2020 AHR Expo. The tradeshow will run Monday February 3 rd through Wednesday February 5 th . SPIDA will be in Booth 3688 and are always looking for volunteers. Advanced registration is available at:  https://ahrexpo.com/ .
Join us at our general membership meeting on Sunday February 2 nd from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm in the Orange County Convention Center. Our keynote speaker will be the inspiration Pease Brothers (see below). Information and registration are available at: www.spida.org/ahr-orlando
San Diego 2020 General Membership Meeting Save the Date!
The SPIDA 2020 General Membership meeting will be held on April 23rd – 26th at the Westin San Diego. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown and walking distance to the Gaslamp District.

“Entrepreneur of the Year” building expert and Get Your Construction Business To Always Make A Profit! and The BIZ-Builder Blueprint!  author George Hedley will be our keynote speaker. Additional education topics include cyber security and lean manufacturing. Join and learn from the experts in the spiral duct industry while socializing at the USS Midway Museum, whale watching and visiting the San Diego Zoo. Information and registration are available at:  www.spida.org/sandiego .
SPIDA Needs Your Photos!
Please send photographs of spiral duct projects of stadiums and arenas, along with details (name, location, size of project in pounds, feet, etc) to switherow@designpoly.com and james@madcrouch.com for upcoming Pipeline publications.
Member News
SPIDA encourages its members to contribute or submit any news that is either related to their own business or the industry in general.

Some examples of topics to submit are:
  • Acquisitions
  • Company anniversaries
  • New facilities
  • Changes in personnel

Please submit to marketing@spida.org .
Volunteers Needed!

SPIDA needs your assistance. Each year ASHRAE provides us with a tradeshow booth at the AHR Expo to promote spiral duct to engineers, designers and contractors.

We need your help staffing the booth!

Please contact Scott Witherow at 614-451-0780 or switherow@designpoly.com with questions or to volunteer.
SPIDA on Social Media
Stay up to date with the latest news and information from SPIDA . Like our community page here:

Allows us to reach existing and prospective members with relevant articles and publications, as well as information regarding upcoming conferences and meetings.

Coming soon.