The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced in late December that it would provide an $870,000 grant to Delphi Corp. (www.delphi.com) for further development of the company's deformation resistance welding technology.

This is the second grant NASA has provided for the welding process. The latest grant comes after a yearlong collaboration between Delphi, NASA and Michigan Research Institute, according to a statement issued by the company.

Deformation resistance welding allows different materials and shapes to be welded at a lower cost than traditional welding methods. Research has shown the process may be applied best in joining metal tubes to solids, sheet metal and other tubes for manufacturing heavy load-bearing structures, mobile medical products and automobiles. Other potential applications would be in the construction of spacecraft and extraterrestrial vehicles.

Hypertherm sees record profit sharing in 2006
Hypertherm, Inc., announced in December a record annual profit sharing distribution to 741 eligible company associates for 2006 that totaled more than $11.8 million. The profit sharing was equivalent to 35 percent of each associate's base salary.

Richard W. Couch, Jr., chief executive officer of the Hanover, N.H., (www.hypertherm.com) company, attributed the record payout to outstanding business results in 2006 that he said were fueled by a combination of sales growth and continuous improvement in the company's operations.

Hypertherm produces and services plasma arc cutting equipment.

Trumpf's Leibinger Receives Siemens Ring
Berlin's Werner-von-SiemensRing Stiftung [Foundation] awarded German entrepreneur Professor Berthold Leibinger Germany's most important technology award. The Wernervon-Siemens Ring is awarded every three years to "pioneers in technology."

Leibinger received the award "in honor of his contributions to the innovative development and successful implementation of the technologies for flexible sheet metal processing and industrial laser technology." Leibinger helped to introduce laser technology to materials processing in the 1970s, and is the principal owner of Germany's Trumpf Group (www.trumpf.com).

Thermadyne Teams with AWCIWT and ‘Welders Without Borders'
Thermadyne Industries, Inc., (www.thermadyne.com) has formed a partnership with Arizona Western College's Institute of Welding Technology and Professor Samuel Colton, Sr., the founder of the "Welders Without Borders" program to help to promote welding training throughout the world.

Thermadyne provided $50,000 worth of industrial welding equipment to the school about six years ago, and in late 2006 the company donated 10 different Thermal Arc machines, worth about $25,000, to the Arizona Western College's Institute of Welding Technology.

The company said Colton teaches skills that demand state of the art equipment, and by providing new equipment with the latest technologies, students are better trained, more versatile, and more likely to be hired.

Colton founded "Welders Without Borders" in 2000 to professionals from education, industry and government to work together to create educational programs for welding students. For more information visit (www.welderswithoutborders.com)

In Brief....
The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (www.fmanet.com) has launched an affinity partnership program to help its members to control the rising costs of electrical power through combined purchasing… Thermadyne Industries Inc.'s Tweco business unit announced in late December it expected to post sales of more than $100 million for 2006. Tweco produces gas metal arc and manual arc welding products…The Finland-based Luvata (www.luvata.com), a producer of copper and products that contain copper, has invested $3 million to build a resistance-welding consumables plant at Suzhou, China. The facility's products are targeted at the automotive industry…Mitsubishi Laser (www.mitsubishi-world.com) has formed a partnership with Ncell Automation (www.ncell.com) to develop precision automation systems for lights-out, unattended operations for welding and fabrication shops.