Special Fabtech Edition with Jeremiah Wann – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S3 E6

Special Fabtech Edition with Jeremiah Wann – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S3 E6

We are here in our booth at FABTECH 2022 in Atlanta. We are very excited about getting back to FABTECH. Jeremiah Wann talks about what to see at our booth as well as a little history of us showing here throughout the years.





Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.

Donovan: Hey. Once again I’d like to welcome everybody to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. We’re at FABTECH live.

Jeremiah: Yeah, no kidding.

Donovan: Today who is joining me is Jeremiah Wann, our owner. How are you doing today Jeremiah?

Jeremiah: I’m doing good, man. I’m sitting in the middle of our booth right now at FABTECH Atlanta.

Donovan: Well that’s pretty exciting.

Jeremiah: Yeah, pretty cool.

Donovan: It’s the first day. How many first day’s at FABTECH have you had now?

Jeremiah: Well, I don’t know exactly. I was thinking its somewhere between nine and ten. I wanted to say ten because it sounds better, like, “We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary at FABTECH,” but I’d have to fact check that. I’m not sure.

Donovan: Well there’s the pandemic and it kind of messed everything up. We’re all over the place with where things are. 

Jeremiah: I never thought of that.

Donovan: Right. So, we’re excited to be here this year and that’s the point. We’ve got a great booth this year. I’m excited about all of the things we’ve got going on. What are the things in the booth that you think people should actually come by and see and check out here at FABTECH?

Jeremiah: Well, we have a lot of things. The Air-Port’s pretty cool, right? The Air-Port is our new modular weld hood. It’s free standing. It’s got integrated duct inside of the frame, the structure itself. 

Donovan: Is it just a hood? When you say it’s an integrated weld hood…It’s not just a hood, right?

Jeremiah: It’s not just a hood, it’s not. It’s way more than that. It’s the first ever of it’s kind that actually has the dust collection ducting built right into the hood. So the legs of the hood, instead of taking up four spots on the ground that take up a lot of floor space, they only take up two places.

Donovan: Okay, so it’s not just a hood, it’s that the ducting is built into the hood?

Jeremiah: Yeah.

Donovan: There’s not four legs, there’s two?

Jeremiah: There’s two, it’s a big difference. So we all know that in manufacturing, floor space comes at a premium. Every square inch counts. The busier you get, the more you grow. You can’t just add a new building on that easily. We have to shrink our footprint all the time. 

The Air-Port has the smallest footprint for the size hood of it’s kind. Where it really fits best is in the robotic welding industry. You can take this thing to an existing robot that you have in place and you want to capture the smoke and you can literally just set the Air-Port hood directly over the robot. It’s plug and play. It’s real simple to use. 

Donovan: Now, in a lot of those applications a lot of time people are worried about sparks or safety devices.

Jeremiah: Not sometimes. Jeez, in robotic welding, sparks are probably the biggest threat. Because you’re putting the hood so close to the arm, and you don’t really know where the weld arm is going to be. Sometimes its going to be all the way up by the hood, other times it will be down by the ground. That’s robotic welding. So it’s a serious, serious threat, and what we did is when we built the Air-Port we decided that we wanted to go ahead and integrate a Spark Trap into the legs.

Donovan: So it’s built into the hood, basically?

Jeremiah: Oh, yeah. It’s built right into it, and if you come by the booth and check it out you’ll see that it bolts on so you can unbolt it to clean it out if it ever needs cleaned out.

Donovan: Wow.

Jeremiah: It’s pretty amazing. We’ve got videos online that can show you how efficient the Spark Trap is, how well it works. It also has a slot in it for an option, like if you want to hang parts with the crane and put it on a fixture. Pretty cool. A lot of these hoods, because they’re hanging from a ceiling they’re not strong enough to actually take a part from a crane and slide in there like this one. We kind of thought about it all. 

Donovan: Now, what if – you said hanging from the ceiling – what if I don’t have anywhere for legs? 

Jeremiah: Yeah, absolutely. We didn’t design it like that to begin with, we thought we just wanted to base it around an integrated duct in the legs, two leg footprint. So we kind of got blinded by that design. Later we realized that there are people that don’t want legs or they don’t have room for the legs or whatever. We said, “We’ll build it with an integrated duct built into the hood up top, but just a hanging model.”

Donovan: So there’s a central duct in the top that also supports the hood so you can actually hang it from the ceiling?

Jeremiah: Yeah, we’ve put these in at Tesla, we’ve put these in at some of the large robotic welding shops and people just love them. If you look on the website, and I can’t remember the exact time it takes to build them right now, but our competition to build an 8’ x 8’ hood might take 8 hours or something like that. 

Donovan: Oh you mean when you get it to your facility and you put it together. 

Jeremiah: Yeah, ours comes in on a skid, all the parts all nice and neat, all the hardware is all nice and neat with instructions on how to put it together. I mean, it might take an hour or something to put together, maybe two hours tops. So it’s just a really easy unit to put together. The other ones right now that are being made are being imported from China. They’re coming in in a thousand parts. You have to cut things with a saw. You have to lay stuff out. We had some of our most experienced installers take one out of a box from China, put it together, and they were not trying to skew it at all – 

Donovan: It think we have a video on that.

Jeremiah: We do, yeah. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. It’s timelapsed, too, so it’s pretty fun.

Donovan: Nobody wants to sit there and watch those guys try to put those things together for how long it took them.

Jeremiah: That would probably be more boring than listening to us on a podcast. 

Donovan: So that’s just one thing we have here at the booth. We have our CMAXX right here behind us. So if you’re watching this you can see we have our CMAXX here. It’s obviously our flagship product. We can run you through all the great things on that. We have not just the floor one, we have the elevated one. We have its, I don’t know, baby brother? What would you call the Shadow?

Jeremiah: The Shadow is here. I would say that this is the third FABTECH that the Shadow has been at. You’ve got the pandemic years in there. It’s been four years since the Shadow has launched. The Shadow was originally developed for the OEM market. It was developed for the laser manufacturers. So basically what it is is basically a CMAXX, but originally we tried to make it a cheaper, lesser version of the CMAXX to hit a price point. When we came back around and took it to the laser manufacturers, they loved it, and they loved the price point, but they kept saying, “Well, we like that heavier door on that CMAXX,” or, “We like that little bit of heavier gauge material, and we want to make sure we have the same filters and the same lift rails,” all the way down through the line. So eventually the Shadow just became the CMAXX with a different paint job on it. 

Donovan: Well…

Jeremiah: Challenge me.

Donovan: I’m going to say that it’s a little bit different. Unlike the CMAXX, the Shadow is really easy to move around your shop if you need to. It’s a plug and play unit. Everything is contained in there. It’s not exactly like the CMAXX. 

Jeremiah: I like to say it has CMAXX DNA. It’s basically built of a CMAXX but it has all the specific functions that it needs that laser people need. 

Donovan: It has the HEPAs built in. Your fan is already wired up.

Jeremiah: Silencer is built in. 

Donovan: The collection pan underneath it is right there ready to go. 

Jeremiah: Integrated slide gate, so if you want to change it while you’re running your laser you don’t have to shut your laser down. It’s pretty cool. 

Donovan: It takes up not a lot of shop space. It’s small. It’s got a real small footprint to it. 

Jeremiah: It’s really taken off. Like all products, it’s been a little slow to begin with. It’s actually been one of our faster growing products. 

Donovan: The other thing I like about our booth is if you don’t want to buy something, you can get things for free. 

Jeremiah: Oh, we give away all kinds of stuff. There are people mad about that work for us. They’re kind of saying, “I can’t believe you’re going to give away a YETI cooler,” or the one they’re really mad about right now is, “I can’t believe you’re going to give away a $2,800 OneWheel.” I don’t know what to tell them. They need to get over it. 

Donovan: It’s good to be a customer for Imperial Systems. Come by. Check our booth out and try your chance at winning something.

Jeremiah: I don’t think you have to be a customer to win it. I mean, you just have to drop a business card off in the cooler, and you might win a OneWheel, so its pretty cool. 

Donovan: If you don’t know what they are, I’d say look them up.

Jeremiah: I think we should post the video on this podcast of me riding the OneWheel around the office. 

Donovan: We could do that.

Jeremiah: I’m going to challenge to see that, because I am the best at it. I saw you do it.

Donovan: You were way better than I was Jeremiah. I’m glad I didn’t make it to the emergency room.

Jeremiah: Yeah, nobody did. 

Donovan: We all made it out safe. This is also for FABTECH the first year that we don’t just have one booth, we have two booths. Our other booth is over in the B hall. That is our Imperial Filtration booth. 

Jeremiah: This is the first year for two booths as FABTECH. This is the first year to do Imperial Filtration at FABTECH, or to ever have a booth at all. This is probably going on year two for Imperial Filtration. It’s a lot of exciting stuff. That business is a different division of Imperial Systems but we’re under the same roof. It’s taken off. It’s really grown a lot faster than we expected. 

Donovan: So Imperial Filtration is exactly what it sounds like it is. It’s our filter company. 

Jeremiah: It’s only filters. We only make filters at Imperial Filtration, so that’s all we do. We only make filters for dust collectors there. 

Donovan: But not just for our dust collector.

Jeremiah: No. If you have a Robovent, or a Camfil, or a Donaldson, or whatever, we make filters for all of those. Direct, plug in filters for those. 

Donovan: I’d say stop over there and see those guys. 

Jeremiah: Heck yeah. I’ll be over there at some point today.

Donovan: Are you going to ride the OneWheel over?

Jeremiah: Maybe I’ll get a coffee first and just stroll on over.

Donovan: Well hey, thanks for talking a little bit about FABTECH and how much we enjoy being here. We’re hoping some people will stop by and see us. It’s been exciting. 

Jeremiah: I just want to say that I think probably historically – hopefully we’ll still have these podcasts later, and I want to reflect back on this one later. I just want to say that I am amazed that from the nine or ten years ago it was where we did our first FABTECH with me and one or maybe two other people in the booth, driving here in my pickup truck with the borrowed trailer that I got from somewhere else and a couple pieces of scratched up equipment that we could put together with a little pop up banner that we had to trudging ahead ten years later and now we’re celebrating 21 years of business. I just want to remember, if we keep this podcast later, to remember I guess that I’m grateful that we’ve gotten here…

Donovan: It’s pretty exciting how far we’ve come.

Jeremiah: … and how things have kind of unfolded, right? So, ten years is not a long time, but if you are always doing the right thing, and you have a plan, and you’re keeping yours eyes on the future, with a plan in the future, it just happens. You either have a plan for the future or you don’t, and you have the plan for the future, and it’s a good one, then your future should be good. Nothing is guaranteed, but I’m pretty pleased.

Donovan: There have probably been some people that have stopped by our booth for every FABTECH.

Jeremiah: Yeah, there has been.

Donovan: The reason that we are this size and have been able to do this is because of our customers.

Jeremiah: Yeah, the reason we are able to take time right now to do a podcast in the middle of the trade show is because we’ve grown. In years past I never would have sat down in the middle of a trade show for anything, let alone a podcast. 

Donovan: There are plenty of people here to help.

Jeremiah: There are. We have a lot of people here.

Donovan: Come by. See us.

Jeremiah: Yeah, come by and see us for sure.

Donovan: We’re excited about it.

Jeremiah: Thanks Donovan. I appreciate it.

Donovan: We appreciate you too.

Jeremiah: Good job on the podcast.

Donovan: Thanks. We’re going to keep going. See us here. See us over at our Filtration booth. Until the next time we talk to everybody, stay health and stay safe out there.

Jeremiah: Alright, sounds good. Thanks man.

Donovan: Alright, bye.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer. 

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BRF Baghouse on grain and feed facility

The grain and animal feed manufacturing process has always been an area of concern when it comes to combustible dust. Therefore, the NFPA has a standard specifically for this industry: NFPA 61 (Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities). 

OSHA also highly regulates dust hazards in the animal feed processing industry. In fact, OSHA has leveled some fines higher than $1 million for recent fatal explosions in this industry. 

Explosions at grain and feed mill processing plants kill several people every year and cause many explosions. Certainly, the feed manufacturer is especially prone to these accidents because their materials are often in dust form and just need an ignition source to explode. 

The best way to control dust at a feed processing plant (and the way recommended by NFPA and OSHA) is with a dust collection system. However, handling all the dust in your facility is going to require a major investment… so, how do you make sure you get the best system for your money?

The key to a safe, efficient system is having it designed by a company with experience in your industry and a track record of not cutting corners. Further, a cheap system will cost you money in maintenance and attempts to fix design flaws. 


  • Proper airflow through the entire system
  • Correctly sized fans 
  • Explosion and fire protection 
  • Good dust containment 
  • Correctly sized dust collector
  • Enough filter area 

Let’s look at each of these to see why they’re important for you. 


If air can’t move through the ductwork efficiently, then there will be places where it slows down or runs into obstructions. As a result, this causes three problems. First, it decreases your system’s efficiency and wastes fan power. Second, it slows down the air so dust can fall out and build up in the duct. Third, dust traveling through a badly designed system can cause wear and tear on the duct at bends and corners. 


If the fan isn’t big enough for the job, it won’t keep dust flowing through the system. Also, if air moves too slowly it won’t pick up dust at the capture points and it won’t keep it moving through the ducts. Consequently, dust built up in ductwork can cause fires. 


Any dust collection system for feed manufacturing has to have proper fire protection. Some examples of this include spark traps, abort gates, explosion isolation valves, or extinguisher systems. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. An experienced system designer will help you choose the best tools to protect your facility and your employees. 


It doesn’t do much good to have a dust collection system if it isn’t controlling your dust problem. Dust is probably being generated at lots of places in your animal feed processing plant. If the dust collection system isn’t capturing the dust at those spots, it will get loose. In short, nobody wants the facility to be a dusty mess, and it’s also a fire hazard. 


It might be tempting to go for the smallest dust collector that will work for your cattle feed processing plant. Ironically, this might not save you as much money in the long run as you think. This is because an undersized system is going to require more filter changes and other maintenance. Further, if your production expands, that barely-big-enough system may not be able to keep up anymore. 


A dust collector can’t do its job if its filters can’t function. Every type of system has an ideal air-to-cloth ratio, the amount of filter area that should be available for the air flowing through them. So if you don’t have enough filter area, your filters may get overloaded with dust and stop working. Therefore, they will need replacing more often, which costs money and time. 

A dust collection system for feed manufacturing must be designed for this special application. Grain and feed manufacturing facilities like a feed hammer mill can have fine and coarse dust at different parts of the feed mill process. Most feed processing methods have many places where dust is being generated. Also, dust in this application is usually very combustible. 

In conclusion, talk to an expert in dust collection system design to keep your facility and your employees safe. Our Imperial Systems professionals will make sure you get the best system for your money without cutting any corners or leaving gaps in your protection. 

Read more about safety in hammer mill material handling.

Pile of grain


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Imperial Systems Quarterly Newsletter | Issue 7

Imperial Systems Quarterly Newsletter | Issue 7

Dusty Jobs Issue 7 is the third quarter of the year. Check out the articles! Charlie is back with an article about food, and we interview one of our welders, Richard Matters. If you would like a printed hard copy of this issue of the quarterly newsletter, contact your Imperial System Sales Rep.

Click the cover to download and print the newsletter.

Click to download a PDF of the quarterly newsletter.


The Imperial Systems Story

Imperial Systems welcomes a new director of sales and marketing Tomm Frungillo.

Dangers of dust

Good Luck With That - Strange Nosh - Charlie Miller

The Interview with Richard Matters

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Good Luck With That – Strange Nosh

Good Luck With That – Strange Nosh

My profession has taken me to many interesting places across the US, Mexico, and Canada over the past 48 years. In my travels I visited a wide variety of business ventures from a mushroom farm in Kentucky, to a prosthetic breast manufacturer in Texas. I’ve been to automotive plants in Mexico and nuclear fuel cell producers in Canada. Work opportunities have taken me to 38 of our 50 Great States, from Maine to California, and I’ve seen many wonders along the way. Some of the most memorable things about all those trips are the regional foods I’ve eaten.

     Leaving my Pittsburgh home and moving to Cincinnati in 1971 was my first encounter with regional cuisine. I had only been in Cincinnati a few weeks and was just learning my way around. A friend had invited me to join him for lunch at the chili parlor. It had been a while since I had any of my mom’s homemade chili and that sounded great. When the food came I was served a plate of spaghetti with about a half pound of grated cheddar cheese on top. I told the waitress she made a mistake, I ordered chili! She looked at me like I had two heads. I soon learned to love “Cincinnati Chili”.  Whether it is Gold Star, Skyline, or Moonlight Chili, it’s all good. Another Cincinnati delicacy is Goetta, sometimes referred to as “Cincinnati Caviar”. The German immigrants brought Goetta to Cincinnati. It is made with ground pork or beef, mixed with steel cut oats and seasonings, and then pan fried to a crispy brown. It is a breakfast staple served with eggs and grits.

     I’ve eaten many stranger regional foods in my travels. In previous articles I wrote about my first field trip to Syracuse with A-Man-Named-Earl. Being a very “junior” apprentice on that trip, I was dependent on Earl to pay all the travel expenses, including meals. The very first night Earl took me to a Syracuse bar. As we sat at the bar to watch the ball game, Earl asked for a beer and a “Bean Sandwich”. The bartender pulled a large can of pork-and-beans from the cooler. He scooped out a wad of cold beans, spread it on sliced white bread, and handed it to Earl. He then asked if I wanted one, but I passed on the offer. Thankfully, we did go out to dinner at a little nicer place after that.

     Later in my career another experience found me in Mexico with one of our installation mechanics. He had previously spent a year in Mexico on another project. He knew the language and basically how to stay safe in a foreign country. He was with me to help field measure, and to watch my back. On our last night in Mexico he suggested a better steak house for dinner.  He ordered for both of us and began with an appetizer of Cridillas.  He dug right in when they arrived. When I sampled the dish, he stifled a snicker and asked me if I knew what I was eating. I said I was pretty sure they are better known as “Rocky Mountain Oysters” in the western states. 

Another delicacy I’ve tried, and surprisingly enjoyed, is escargot, which is a fancy French word for snails cooked in herb butter. I found them to be a bit chewy and tasted just like..Snails! Along with the snails I also enjoyed a meal of frog legs.  In Canada I’ve tried Poutine, which is cheese curds with French fries covered with brown gravy. In Milwaukee I had Butter Burgers; a burger served with big pads of butter that melt into the bun. Some places serve them with so much butter that the plate will be swimming with it. I’ve eaten fried rattle snake in Texas, and fried gator in Florida. But, I’ve never tried fried Twinkies. Some things are just too gross to consider. Louisville, Kentucky is known for its barbecue and hosts one of the largest annual barbecue festivals in the country.  There is another Kentucky dish called Burgoo made with four or five different meats and vegetables. It is cooked into a thick soup, or stew. I believe they created this dish just to get rid of leftovers. One of my more unique dining experiences came when a Japanese customer I became friends with invited me to an authentic Japanese restaurant for a traditional meal. We sat on floor mats and were served at a low table. I did not speak Japanese, so my host interpreted for me. I tried the traditional meal he suggested consisting of soup, rice, tofu, seaweed, pickled radish, and tempura. I enjoyed the experience and left there very full. On recent travels I discovered some of my co‑workers enjoy Sushi. Initially, the thought of eating raw fish was not too appealing, but I did try it and found it to be much better than I expected. One of the weirder snack foods I’ve tried is meal worms. When these little guys are dropped into hot oil they puff up about 20 times their size. They have the consistency of crunchy cheese puffs and taste a little like fried pork rind. I understand them to be full of protein.

     There are a few foods I have tried with regret; Oysters-On-The-Half-Shell and Mud Bugs. I know there are folks who love Oysters, but I made the mistake of chewing this glob of nastiness when I tried them. I was unaware that the proper way to eat them is to just let them slide down your throat. This is probably to sneak the oysters past your taste buds before they realize it is in your mouth. I hear some people chase them with a shot of Vodka, probably to kill the taste. Mud Bugs are better known as crawfish and are a Louisiana treat usually prepared in a boil.  I’ve thought about trying these on several occasions, but just could not get past the smell. I’ve only seen these served at festivals, and they do seem to be enjoyed and sell out fast. Maybe someday I will build up the nerve to try them.

     I do have a few more years of travel ahead of me, and if you think I will refrain from sampling the local cuisines on my ventures, well Good Luck with that!

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The Interview with Richard Matters

The Interview with Richard Matters

Richard has been welding at Imperial Systems for twelve years, and in various other jobs for eighteen years before that. He is a graduate of Jamestown High School. Outside of work he enjoys relaxing with his wife and spending time with his three kids and eight grandkids.

Q: What date did you start working at Imperial Systems?

A: September 17, 2006

You said it was only that first bay?

A: Yeah. It was probably ten or so guys working. The road crew was there.

Q: That would be pretty tight.

A: Yeah it was for everything we build, like us with the big BRFs. You see how much room the fourteen footers take up here. It was tight, but we did it.

Q: How long have you been welding?

A: Oh jeez. Twenty-five or thirty years. I had thirteen years in at Trinity Industries, twelve here, and five at Tri‑County. I was welding dumpsters and stuff, rebuilding them. Then I worked a couple other places. There was a rail division down in New Castle. I didn’t work there very long because it was too far of a drive from my house. It was an hour and a half each way. 

Q: Did you go to trade school?

A: No. When Trinity shut down we did get to go to school. You could keep your unemployment because they moved out of the country and went to Mexico. So they put up a school and you could draw your unemployment while you were in school. Even when I started at Trinity they put me through weld school at Mercer Vo-Tech. It wasn’t a long class, thirty days or something like that. It was heavier. Rail cars. It was big.

Q: How many kids do you have?

A: Three. Two girls and a boy. I’ve got eight grandkids. Two are twin boys.

Q: Do you like any sports?

A: I watch a lot of football. I’m a big Steelers fan.

Q: You got that question correct.

A: I’m a little unhappy with them right now.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: We usually sit down back. We built a big pavilion and we usually sit down there, me and the wife, drink beer and listen to the radio, build a fire.

Q: What kind of music do you like?

A: Country. Willie 95. They’ve changed country so much. Its more getting into pop or something. 

Q: Do you ever go to concerts?

A: Nah. Once I went up to Crawford County and George Jones was there. It was a pretty good concert. Loretta Lynn was there too that night, but she wasn’t feeling good. She had laryngitis and was having trouble singing.

Q: Do you have any projects at home that you do?

A: All the time. It seems like the wife always has something for me to do!

Q: You ever go to any football games or anything?

A: No, I always wanted to, but usually I say “Why would I want to go watch that live when I could sit at home and watch it with no crowd?” And usually its too cold, too. I don’t want to be out there in the freezing weather. Then, when you drink like I do you can’t afford to go there with the price of their beer, jeez.

Q: You’re just a good country guy, huh?

A: That’s pretty much it. I don’t bother no one, no one bothers me. That’s what I like. We have a lot of parties though. We have a big Fourth of July party every year. We’ve been doing that for about twenty years now. We invite a bunch of people and get fireworks. Seems like it keeps getting bigger every year. More and more people come, and more fireworks we have to buy. But its fun. We have a lot of fun. We’re out in the country enough that no one bothers you either, thats whats nice.

Q: What do you think about being in the magazine?

A: It’s good. It gets it out.

Q: We’re showing off our employees. We’re proud of you guys. We want you to be known for the work you’ve done. It’s because of you guys that this place…

A: It goes! And that’s good. We need it to keep going for a long time, hopefully.

Q: Do you have anything else you want to say?

A: I do appreciate having the opportunity to work here. I appreciate that. And Jeremiah’s real fair about everything, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a good guy, and good to his people too. There ain’t too many places where on holidays you leave early and they pay you for the rest of the day and stuff like that. I’ve never heard of any companies doing that, not that I worked for.









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