Category Archive: STEM

Tornado Season Is Here: Be Prepared For Cleanup Operations With BLM Automatic Clutches In Your Chippers And Equipment

The official 2016 “Tornado Season” has arrived in the U.S., with tornadoes already striking the East Coast and southern states in the late winter and early days of March. More tornadoes and “clusters” of tornadoes are predicted for the spring months. One recent report (Tornado Clusters Becoming More Deadly and More Common), says, “U.S. tornadoes are becoming more likely to strike in clusters. A NOAA study, published in October 2014 in the journal Science, showed a rise in the number of days with multiple reported tornadoes. Another study, published in July 2014 in the journal Climate Dynamics, found a similar clustering of tornadoes.” According to another weather resource,, a website dedicated to providing “the information people seek on tornadoes in the United States,” the U.S. can expect the tornado count to be “near normal this spring,” with 511 tornadoes being the average number of tornadoes occurring this time of year each year from 1991-2010.  

The expected occurrence of hundreds of tornadoes and more clusters of tornadoes means there will be lots of cleanups ahead. Fallen tree branches and scattered dirt and debris tossed by the tornadoes and other major storms this spring will require chippers, saws and other equipment to handle cleanup tasks. BLM Automatic Four Block Series clutches are commonly used in chippers used by municipal, utility and construction workers across the U.S.

We like to think our clutches help make everyone’s job a little easier, especially after a tornado or storm. BLM Automatic clutches do help make the cleanup of fallen trees and branches more efficient and easier to manage for the people involved in what can be a very stressful time. You don’t want to worry about a chipper starting or equipment being overloaded when you’re dealing with a tornado’s or a storm’s aftermath. Whatever the post-tornado or post-storm procedures might be, BLM Automatic clutches play an integral role in getting the cleanup and repairs done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Whatever the application, if it requires starting assistance and/or overload protection, our clutches can help do the job. BLM Automatic customizes the clutches we manufacture based on our customers’ needs and the specific applications. But, we produce two standard designs: BLM Automatic Four Block Series clutches with ¼-50HP, and Six Block Series clutches with up to 3,000HP. As we previously mentioned, the Four Block Series clutches are commonly used in chippers, and they’re also used in tampers, concrete pumps, mortar mixers and conveyors, and in many other applications. Six Block Series clutches are used in large and varied industrial and commercial applications.

But, getting back to talking about tornadoes and the spring cleanup season, we hope the predictions are wrong and this year proves to be a quieter year for tornado occurrences. Either way, please stay safe, and rest assured knowing that you’re prepared for cleanup operations with BLM Automatic clutches in your chippers and cleanup equipment.

A Focus On The Future: STEM Education And Awareness

It’s no secret that North American manufacturing is back in a big way. It’s growing and advancing at lightning speed, and it’s causing a ripple effect that is extremely good news for the economy.

After all, consider these statistics from NAM:
• Manufacturers contributed $2.09 trillion to the U.S. economy last year
• Manufacturing supports over 17.6 million jobs in the U.S. (and directly employs more than one in every ten working Canadians)
• For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.37 is added back to the economy

As these numbers indicate, the North American people and economy directly benefit from a booming manufacturing sector. Additionally, as technology and innovation grow within the industry, the U.S. and Canada become more competitive and more independent.

Now consider the fact that the industry is in the midst of a skilled labor shortage. Opportunities and innovation are growing every day, and there aren’t enough people with the experience and skill to take part in them. If U.S. and Canadian manufacturers don’t have enough engineers and technology-savvy workers, what will happen to this advancement?

The answer to the problem, of course, is to promote STEM education—providing students and those entering the job market with science, technology, engineering, and math training.

According to the STEM Education Coalition, “STEM occupations will grow 1.7 times faster than non-STEM occupations,” and “the top 10 bachelor degree majors with the highest median earnings are all in STEM fields.” The fact is, STEM careers are as good for individuals as they are for the economy.

A report by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters states that in order to combat the fact that nearly 50% of the country’s manufacturers are experiencing labor shortages, “everyone must work more aggressively if Canada is to prosper, innovate, and take advantage of the economic opportunities over the next decade.”

Thankfully, some of the world’s biggest technology players are taking note. According to this article, Google Canada recently donated $1.5 million to an organization that brings STEM programming education to hundreds of thousands of students, while Microsoft Canada partners with non-profits that provide STEM education.

In the U.S, initiatives such as the Federal Educate to Innovate program and countless university projects are in place to bring awareness to the issue while actively educating and preparing young people. There are many private-sector programs as well, such as Emerson’s “I Love STEM”—a multimillion dollar commitment to STEM and robotics—and Intel’s $300 million pledge to sponsor STEM education.

Clearly, these industry giants are well aware of how important STEM education is to their futures. And while most of us don’t have the billions of dollars that they do, we can each do our part to promote education and training, and to prepare for the future. It’s an investment that will bring infinite rewards.