Monthly Archives: December 2016

French Gerleman Adopts Two Military Units for the Holidays

Over the summer, our Columbia branch collected items to send to some active duty soldiers in Iraq.  We were overwhelmed with the amazing support and how many people brought in items to send overseas.  Our Columbia employees reached out to family members and friends for donations and were able to send several boxes of snacks and home comfort items to the soldiers, including French Gerleman team member Mary Brown’s son, Staff Sergeant Kyle DePriest.


With the amount of excitement and interest in our last adopt-a-soldier program, our Columbia branch decided to host another drive for the holidays! We were assigned two units through the Adopt a US Solder sponsored by Project Frontlines: Unit TF DEALER 1-67 AR, which is a unit of 32-35 soldiers who are currently in a war zone and Unit 455 EMXS EAST AGE, which is a 10-man unit.  The goal was to send them gifts, well wishes, sweet and salty treats, cards and holiday cheer.  The Columbia branch reached out to friends, family and customers with the goal of sending eight to ten boxes, but people were so generous, we sent 12 boxes to TF DEALER 1-67 AR and five boxes to 455 EMXS EAST AGE.

“It’s very humbling to have such giving co-workers,” said Mary.  “One French Gerleman employee had the idea of buying and stuffing individual stockings for the entire unit. I can imagine the looks on each soldier’s face as they unwrap their very own Christmas stocking. We wanted to send these brave men and women a little reminder of home and holiday well wishes to thank them for their service.”

To Our Dear American Soldiers:

From the tops of our heads, to the tips of our toes and the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU.  For your dedication to the preservation of the nation we hold as precious, THANK YOU.  For the sacrifices made by you and your families to selflessly serve, THANK YOU.

We want you to know we, at French Gerleman, truly value your service.  We want you to know we, at French Gerleman, are behind you.  Please know that we pray for you and your families.  Please know that we have and/or have loved ones who serve(d), and that we know of the sacrifices you and your families make and/or are willing to make for the love of our United States of America.  Please know that many of us here at French Gerleman truly understand the values for which you are dedicated, as we are also dedicated to those same values and actively work to keep our country moving in a positive direction.

Please do not feel that you have to write us, but if you care to, we will welcome and honor your gift.  More important to us is that you stay safe as possible and protect one another in all things.  We hope that you write to your families, when it is safe to do so. 

Be steadfast and diligent in all ways.  Only rest when you have others who are at watch, and always take turns at watch so that all of you can get the best possible rest.  Do what you have to do for one another; you are a team that must rely on each other for your next breath; never take this for granted.  And again, THANK YOU for being you and for doing what you do.



We would like to thank our Columbia team and the FG team members from other branches who were so very generous and compassionate, taking time out of their busy schedules to help wrap gifts, shop for items and donate to such a wonderful cause. If you are interested in donating items to be sent over to our unit, email Mary at or give her a call at 573-886-3025.

Save Time, Space and Lower Installed Cost with Eaton’s B-Line Series 4Dimension Strut System

We have covered Eaton’s B-Line series 4Dimension™ strut system in a past blog, introducing you to this innovative new approach to strut supports. But did you know 4Dimension strut can save you time, space and lower installed cost on MEP support applications? We’re going to take a closer look at the 4Dimension strut system and how it can help your business improve flexibility, maximize space and lower installed cost of supports in mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) facility-subsystems.

Some of the biggest challenges that face owners, designers and installers today are supporting systems. There are several factors that impact job installation time, cost and complexity:

    1. Space limitations and structural obstructions
      The 4Dimension strut provides solutions to solve space limitations and structural obstructions, making those limitations of the past a distant memory. The multi-sided functionality drives flexibility and space saving opportunities. By using a 4Dimension strut as a substitute for traditional back-to-back strut, the overall height of the channel is reduced. The 4Dimension strut dove-tail bar creates an option to build instant back-to-back or side-by-side, meaning that the options are virtually limitless. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?


    1. Frequency of supports and load
      The multi-sided 4Dimension strut offers the flexibility of a back-to-back system with the strength and cost similar to a single sided traditional strut system. The user now has the ability to mount items over and under the channel, therefore reducing the length of the strut required. It also has a higher strength to weight ratio than traditional struts.


    1. Product selection
      4Dimension strut is available in pre-galvanized, hot galvanized dip, Dura Green™, stainless steel 304 and 316. The 4Dimension strut system works with 2 1/2″ diameter pipe and smaller, which is up to 80% of pipe installed in a commercial structure. Even better, it is compatible with up to 90% of current traditional strut fittings.


  1. Labor Costs
    The 4Dimension strut includes innovative trapeze hanger designs that allows for quicker installation and labor savings. The Flip Clip hanger reduces the number of components to install from nine components down to five. The 4Dimension strut system turn and lock hanger reduces the total number of components from nine down to three. The system design allows for options to be pre-fabricated, which can be easier to lift and secure and help speed installation. And, the 4Dimension strut system has up to a 10x faster cutting speed due to material thickness.

To give you a more visual, real life example of the savings with 4Dimension strut, here are two case studies of traditional struts vs. Eaton’s B-Line series 4Dimension strut 4D22 and 4D21.


With the 4Dimension strut from Eaton, you now have the product that will help minimize total installed costs which helps you to be more competitive and profitable! Who wouldn’t want that? To learn more about these case studies, you can download the white paper from Eaton HERE.

Interested in learning more about the 4Dimension Strut system? Check out our product spotlight or give your French Gerleman Account Manager a call.

Manufacturing Matters, or The Internet of Things

Take a moment to sit back and imagine the future. Look 10 years from now, how does the manufacturing industry look? And are you prepared? Ten years from now, the global manufacturing sector will look completely different than it does today. Every day, advanced manufacturing technology is transforming the global competitive landscape at rapid speeds. If we act now to seize manufacturing’s promise, we will not only succeed, but will THRIVE in the 21st century. But those who fail to engage in smart manufacturing will rapidly fall behind.

Smart manufacturing, or the Internet of Things (IoT), marries information, technology and human ingenuity to bring about a rapid revolution in the development and application of manufacturing intelligence to every aspect of business. We recently held a day long seminar in conjunction with Rockwell Automation to explore ways companies can begin or continue their journey towards Smart Manufacturing. In case you weren’t able to attend the event, here is a recap of some of the key points.

Status of Manufacturing in the United States

Manufacturing in the United States is down at 2009 levels. Why you might ask? For some, the term “Made in the USA” doesn’t have the same connotation that it used to and its perceived value isn’t as high as it once was. There is a lot of pressure to improve costs, inventory, yield and delivery time.

Challenges faced in the industry:

  • Financial- revenue, GM, productivity, uptime
  • Customer pressure- this is only going to increase: innovation, flexibility, safe, green, price
  • Regulatory pressures- compliance, taxes
  • Internal pressures- aging equipment, aging workforce.

Companies are bringing manufacturing back to the US, causing the gap to close making China cheaper to manufacture in. But what’s causing this revolution? There is a new emerging middle class. By 2020, one billion new middle class consumers will be adding $8T to consumer spending money. Technology continues to advance, and with 75% of the workforce being Millennials by 2025, there will be mobility in manufacturing.

Convergence of IT and OT

What is Operational Technology (OT)?
OT is the technology hardware on the plant floor: sensors, machines, materials, controls, safety and security.

What is Information Technology (IT)?
IT involves the ERP, financials, HR, logistics, etc. This includes orders, supply network and product design.



The goal with integrating IT and OT is to drive productivity by providing visibility and clarity on the order as it goes through the shop. The key to this is looking at data in real time to make better decisions to improve profitability.

Change and Keep Changing

According to Steve Gansen, Cisco’s Manufacturing Industry Sales Manager, there are NO manufacturing companies…only sales and marketing companies. The key to success is to change and keep changing. The Midwest is a key area for reshoring because you can get closer to your customers. Logistics are a bigger play to drive efficiencies.


IoE transforms data into wisdom. It’s a journey and everyone is at a different place on that path. You’re either a disruption or someone is going to disrupt you. The key is to start small, disrupt in a small way to show results and go from there.

Modernized Automation

The top concerns of manufacturers are:

  • Economy and political influence
  • Recruiting/retaining personnel with proper technical skills
  • Regulations compliance and traceability
  • Product development and innovation/agility for quick change overs
  • Balance throughput and maintenance
  • IoT vs cyber threats- security


To help ease these concerns, it’s important to have smarter machines and equipment with real-time data. These machines will help reduce downtime by helping to replace items faster. You must determine your wants and needs and from there, determine if your network and hardware can support these wants/needs. If not, the next step would be to design a strategy to get you there.

Industrial Security Trends:

  • Formerly “good enough” security, now, is better than “perfect” security… never
  • Security ultimately relies, and fails, on the degree to which you are thorough. People don’t like to be thorough, so this will be your biggest hurdle.
  • Your absolute security is only as strong as your weakest link.
  • Concentrate on the known, probable threats.
  • Security is not a static end state, it is an interactive process.

The Connected Enterprise: Power of Information

The challenge today is finding the right data from different sources and getting it back into and understandable format. This includes real time information. It’s also important to note that millennials look at data in a different way, so be sure to formulate the data in a way that will be the most useful for those who need it.


This was just a quick highlight of some of the information presented at our recent Manufacturing Matters event. If you’re interested in learning more or reviewing the presentation, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.