Officials from Hobart Welders say the interactive chat section of the company’s web site is designed for the experienced welders and novices to the trade.

Officials from Hobart Welders’ say the interactive chat section of the company’s web site ( is designed for the experienced welders and novices to the trade. “Welding Talk” offers a forum for people to ask questions, offer tips and discuss the minutiae of welding.

“The Welding Talk forum began when the Hobart Welders web site went active in August 1999,” said Brian Radtke, Hobart electronic communications specialist. “At first, it was a vehicle for our technical support staff to respond to product questions, but it’s evolved into something quite unique to the industry — an online community where people can discuss welding projects with their peers.”

The site averages 25 to 35 questions from visitors daily, with most receiving several responses from other visitors. Radtke said the occupations of site visitors range from farmers to repair operators. “It’s a nice mix of people,” he said. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback. People are having fun with the forum.”

Hobart’s own support staff monitors the site, so Hobart officials can help with any questions visitors can’t answer or might need clarification.

The rest of the Hobart site includes basic info on welding, a list of products, and the ability to order product spec sheets, dealer listings or other useful information. Go to

  • The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) recently announced that its web site,, has been redesigned. It now features a new look, more information on the industry, and is easier to navigate. Aimed at both members of the organization and consumers, it offers tips on why a certified PHCC contractor is better than a garden variety handyman. For members, it continues to provide detailed information on the latest developments in the industry, including governmental issues and more.

  • Another redesigned site is the web site for the Colorado Roofing Association (CRA). Visitors are now greeted by a panoramic shot of the Denver skyline. A new search engine allows visitors to look up members by city or membership category. A complete list of current board members, committees and association bylaws are now posted. A section for consumers includes information on unlicensed contractors. The CRA is also seeking pictures of work sites, projects, etc. as part of the redesign. Go to www.colorado and contact the group if you have anything to contribute or just want to say what you think of the site.

  • The web site of the Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association of Northern Illinois (PAMCANI) was recently recognized by a communications industry newsletter. The site was given the 2001 APEX Award of Excellence for Web And Internet Site Content. Sites are judged on content, ease of use and overall excellence. PAMCANI represents 175 union contractors and sustaining members providing plumbing and hvac systems. To check out the site, go to

The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) has posted a free technical paper reviewing specifications and requirements for zinc coating on galvanized steel ducts on the group’s web site.

The paper reviews SMACNA’s “Hvac Duct Construction Standards — Metal and Flexible,” second edition. Through references to specific paragraphs and pages, the paper aims to clarify the details in the manual. The paper also reviews zinc coating thickness variations.

Go to and look in the “Technical Services” section.