Our facility in Lodi, CA has now gone 5 consecutive years without having an employee miss work due to injury. This is an extremely difficult challenge for any industry of any size, and we are so proud to share this accomplishment. Safety is a true team effort. It involves compliance from all employees, enforcement from supervisors, and continuous suggestions for improvement to minimize potential hazards. Lodi has done a great job in all of these areas. Keep up the great work, team!
We are very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. After a lot hard work and dedication, we are pleased to officially announce the launch of the all new website at Ductmate.com! We wanted to make the new website faster, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly.
As an HVAC accessories manufacturer and innovation leader, it’s important for us to make information regarding our products and services easily accessible for our current and prospective end users and customers. We strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information, and share our knowledge and expertise with the HVAC Industry.
Our goal with this new website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about Ductmate’s products and services, and to browse information based on their own choice. The new website gives better access to Ductmate product information, services, technical resources, distribution info, as well as company news, information, and announcements.
Visitors to the website will find useful information about our products in our new Technical Resources section. This section now serves as a general repository for all our spec sheets, SDS documents, how to’s, and more.
For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please contact us.
How Bill Bradford became a legend at Ductmate Industries Inc.
Bill Bradford’s sheet metal career is the embodiment of the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Only, in this story, Bradford is one of the giants.
Bill Bradford is a veteran of the sheet metal industry in more ways than most.
Born and raised in North Side Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the city’s “Steel City” renaissance, Bradford graduated from high school June 1955 and immediately joined the Air Force that July. “I was 17 so my parents had to sign documents to get me in,” he remembers. His dad, a truck driver, was gone on the road a lot while his mom worked different jobs to make ends meet. “Upbringing was normal in that we did not have a lot but did not want for anything,” he says, the oldest of two brothers and two sisters. The service was his chance to fight for his country while learning skills to build a future.
“College was not for me,” Bradford says, simply. Around age 23, a job repairing fighter jets for the National Guard became his ticket into the sheet metal industry, and soon he signed up for his first apprenticeship. “I did not want to go to college with that experience from the Guard,” he explains, “so I joined the Pittsburgh Local 12 Sheet Metal Apprenticeship program.” He adds, “Where else can you start a career and make a great living right out of the gate?”
Now at 82 years old and retired, Bradford is celebrated as part of the early generation of tin knockers who made making a living in the sheet metal industry possible. “I miss the great trade, the great people that I worked with over the many years,” he says. “Right now, we cannot hire enough sheet metal workers as there is so much work to be done across the country.” The bulk of Bradford’s part in that work began in the ’70s.
On a scale of 1 to 10, “Sheet metal work was a 10 back then,” Bradford says. “What made it difficult was all electric corded tools; we had to build scaffolding; there were no GLG lifts, heavy wooden ladders, no Tek screws, all pan head screws that had to be screwed in with flat blade screw driver, a lot of heavy manual lifting of ductwork,” the list goes on. However, that never stopped Bradford from getting the job done, and the downtown Pittsburgh skyline flaunts his resume. Installing the U.S. Steel Tower’s large HVAC system, “We also installed very large drop ceilings that were part of our scope of work,” he explains. “They were approximately 5 feet by 3 feet and 3 inches thick. No Ductmate-type connectors at that time.” Today’s PNC Park and Heinz Field stadiums are also at the location of another Bradford assisted project, the former Three Rivers Stadium (built in 1970 and demolished in 2000). “The coldest job ever,” he remembers. “Heavy ladders were hard to move around and the weather conditions were horrible.”
In 1978, Bradford made the career jump from field metalwork to manufacturing duct products as the first employee for a little-known company at the time called Ductmate Industries (now DMI Companies) under founder Peter Arnoldt. At 40 years old, Bradford welcomed the “lucky opportunity” to give his body a break from the everyday grunt work and extend his career.
“I received a call from one of the Ductmate owners about the possibility of a job. I talked it over with the foreman at my current company and he told me that Ductmate was a new company and he did not know much about it,” he remembers. “The good thing was, he told me to give it a shot and if it does not work out you can come back.” After a month, Bradford knew the company would be a success, he says. “I thought the company would be a success because of the type of connection they were going to introduce to the industry.”
The Ductmate 35 Flange was the first product line. “Peter (Arnoldt) chose that as the first one. I helped him set up the first roll former to get the 35 out the door. We were on a shoestring budget getting that first roll former up and running. We spent many nights and weekends working overtime to get that very first piece of equipment running properly,” says Bradford, and he wore more than a few hats in the process as general superintendent and national service manager. “I ran the shop, ran the roll former and did the purchasing. If we had field installation problems, Peter would send me to troubleshoot and fix the problem.”
The most common problem with field installations at the time was that contractors were not reading the installation instructions, he explains. “When they read the installation documentation, the installs went well. We made automated equipment to help contractors install Ductmate Flange better and faster. Some of these were the Ductmater, Autosealer and Super Welder. Peter invented all of these pieces of equipment.”
As the company took off and started to expand in the late ’80s, Bradford took on a role that most people today know him for: mentor.
“My first meeting with Bill Bradford, who supervised me at the time, sticks out in mind,” says Doug Gudenburr, now chief operating officer at DMI Companies. “We were young, snot-nosed, knew everything, and he would chase us around and shake his head sometimes. But at the end of the day, I think we really appreciated him and he appreciated us. At that time the general concept and mentality of the folks was whatever it took to get the job done. We played hard but we certainly worked hard, and that’s something I will always remember about Bill.”
Under Bradford’s whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done style, future leaders were made that could efficiently manage the company’s operations into success. The William Bradford Training Center at DMI’s headquarters in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, pays homage to that success.
“I decided to retire as I had the proper people in place to take over my responsibilities,” says Bradford. “We had good people at Ductmate so I was not worried that the success we had would continue.” And it has.
“The generations of workers that Bill has trained, it could be countless. From his early days of running the facility to being on the road and working with contractors and users and distributors, different sales forces that have come and gone over the time. Many people at this point are either retired or frankly not with us any longer,” says Gudenburr. “It’s just a whole new group of people Bill has touched as time has gone on with his tenure in the company.”
All three Ductmate Industries Manufacturing Facilities Are Proud Members Of SMART
Monongahela, PA – SMART Local 12
Wagoner, OK – SMART Local 270
Lodi, CA – SMART Local 104
For over 40 years, Ductmate Industries has been manufacturing HVAC components and accessories that are crucial to the efficiency and longevity of the entire HVAC system. Whether you need our industry leading DM 25/35/45® connectors, our formulated for performance duct sealants, or practically any other component for the HVAC system, you can count on Ductmate to deliver the best – every time.
Products engineered for performance and manufactured with union level quality is what makes Ductmate Industries the unsurpassed leader in HVAC components and accessories manufacturing.
We are so proud of our student team at Elizabeth Forward for their trememdous efforts in making their “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” video! On 2/20/19 they took home the award for “Best Promotion” at the Catalyst Connection Annual Reception and Video Contest Awards, hosted at Heinz Field. This was DMI’s third time participating in the contest, in which local middle school students are paired up with a manufacturer to learn about career opportunities.
Today members of the DMI Companies Children’s Charity Committee (Ray Yeager, Donna Pauley, and Carol Singer) announced the fulfillment of a young boy’s wish to visit Virginia Beach. This marks the 12th year in a row that DMI Companies has donated to the Make A Wish Foundation and to date has donated $50,000 to the organization.
The employees at DMI’s four manufacturing facilities located around the USA and corporate HQ located in Charleroi PA, are happy to donate money on a regular basis for casual Fridays, 50/50 Raffles, Holiday Contests, and other various events throughout the year.
A clip from the live broadcast is available online, and on behalf of DMI Companies, have a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!
Ductmate Industries, has teamed with American Modular Systems (AMS) to build a Gen7 Concept House on a 50-acre working vineyard in Lodi Wine Country. Designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, River Vine Vineyards will be one of most advanced, high-end prefabricated residences ever constructed—a state-of-the art smart home that will take sustainable prefabricated design and construction to the next level. The Zero Net Energy building will integrate renewable energy systems, environmentally-friendly materials and cutting-edge products in a home that is livable, functional and energy-independent, using both solar and geothermal technologies to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.
“Ductmate Industries will be instrumental in making River Vine the inspirational building we know it can be,” said Tony Sarich, owner of River Vine and co-founder of AMS and Gen7 Schools. “Quality products like Ductmate’s are essential to our energy-saving strategies, because they’re sustainably made, highly efficient and hold up to daily use over the building’s long lifecycle.”
According to Sarich, River Vine will showcase a 21st Century living environment, combining modern design elements, advanced technology and modular building science within a sustainable footprint that meets multifunctional needs. The home will be fully automated, with all systems, appliances and electrical components networked for centralized control from a single touchpoint—a concept that can be replicated in future Gen7 classrooms and other buildings.
Construction of River Vine has started at the AMS factory in Manteca and is expected to be completed next summer.
For more information, visit the River Vine website.
Lindab Inc is proud to announce they have changed their name to Linx Industries. Visit li-hvac.com for more information on your source for Lindab Products in North America.
DMI Companies is proud to announce the acquisition of Linx Industries, a subsidiary of the Swedish based
building and ventilation products manufacturer Lindab AB. Linx will become the fourth business unit of
DMI Companies alongside Ductmate Industries, Aire Technologies, and GreenSeam Industries.
Raymond W. Yeager, DMI’s president and chief executive officer, is quoted as saying, “This acquisition is
a strong strategic fit for our organization. Linx will bring a new level of innovation to DMI Companies.”
DMI is committed to grow the company and remain one of the largest HVAC accessories manufacturers
in North America.
Providing high quality products and services to the HVAC industry has been DMI Companies’ goal for
over 30 years, and this acquisition marks a new era for both organizations. Linx brings its full line of
duct products, including its patented self-sealing line of spiral ductwork and fittings, LindabSafe®. Dave
Shaeffer, President of Linx Industries, recently spoke about the acquisition saying, “Linx will continue
to evolve and drive profits as we welcome new owners. Our goals for a safe and healthy workplace,
quality products, and excellent customer service press on!”
Business is expected to operate as usual for both DMI and Lindab as the transition to US ownership
occurs. For more information on all four companies and the acquisition please visit www.ductmate.com
The Green Workplace Challenge is a yearlong competition for businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and universities to track and measure improvements in energy, water, waste, and transportation. Over 100 organizations in and around southwestern Pennsylvania signed up for the challenge, which began in June 2013 and ended on May 31, 2014. Participants completed a total of 1,668 actions, contributing to a more sustainable southwestern Pennsylvania.
DMI Companies is extremely proud to announce that it won the Medium Business category of the Green Workplace Challenge. DMI Companies’ performance can be attributed to a few key facets of the organization’s sustainability focus. Energy reduction has always been a significant focus for the organization. Regularly scheduled energy audits help the organization identify and tackle areas of high energy consumption, while a strong employee engagement program helps to impart energy, water and waste reduction activities in its employees. It is through these engagement activities that the organization’s employees learn how they can reduce their impact on the environment and live a more sustainable life, both at work and at home. The organization’s sustainability goals would not have been achieved without the overwhelming effort and participation of its employees. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped DMI Companies to win this prestigious award.