Outside Processors Council merges with Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.

March 28, 2011

The Outside Processors Council (OPC) has merged with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) in an effort to further strengthen the two industry organizations and add value to members. The merger was announced at FMA's 15th Annual Toll Processing Conference in March in Orlando.

"Adding OPC's experience in the metal processing sector to our organization makes perfect sense; this collaboration creates many synergies while also providing greater value to our collective members," said Gerald Shankel, president & CEO of the FMA.

"This partnership is in the best interest of both groups and will help further OPC's mission of providing educational and networking opportunities to the metal processing community," said OPC Board Chair Brian Habermel.

The OPC was formed as an independent industrial association to serve parties interested in the metal processing business including metal producers, service centers, distribution companies and original equipment manufacturers.

Active OPC members will be grandfathered in as FMA company members and will comprise the newly formed Outside Processors special interest group within the FMA membership.

In addition to programming educational events and conferences throughout the year, the OPC has established an endowment fund with Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs®, the Foundation of the FMA, to support annual scholarship awards for the next generation of students preparing for careers in manufacturing, specifically the metals industry.

"This merger provides more educational opportunities for OPC members and opens the door for other processors to become a part of our growing network," said David Pettigrew, OPC vice chairman. "The backing of the FMA gives us a much broader reach to companies in areas of the country that are unaware of our organization. Education is a key component of our mission, and the OPC takes a great deal of pride in our scholarship program. We look forward to working with the FMA to plan creative events that will help to support the endowment fund."

Members of the FMA Board of Directors and Toll Processing Council believe the continued collaboration benefits members of both groups.

"The expertise of the FMA in planning educational forums will enhance the quality of OPC events throughout the year," said Ed Panek, Toll Processing Council chair. "In addition, the establishment of the scholarship endowment shows the OPC's commitment to the merger and to the future of the organization."

Based in Rockford, Ill., FMA is a professional organization with more than 2,100 members working together to improve the metal forming and fabricating industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, industry trade publications including The FABRICATOR®, and the FABTECH® trade show. FMA also has a technology affiliate, the Tube & Pipe Association Intl. (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating.