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Supply Side: L.B. Foster, CRW

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
L.B. Foster photo

L.B. Foster photo

L.B. Foster Company (L.B. Foster) has entered a partnership with The FUCHS Lubricants Co. (FUCHS) to develop friction management products for the rail industry. Also, CRW Consulting & Distribution, LLC (CRW) announces acquisition of CCI Inspection Services Inc. (CCI).

L.B. Foster

L.B. Foster on Dec. 14 announced a strategic partnership with FUCHS to develop friction management products for the rail industry.

The partnership, which will give end users access to a portfolio of co-branded greases to choose from, as well as high-performance grease that will overall reduce their total cost of ownership, “combines L.B. Foster’s renowned expertise in the development and implementation of railroad friction management technologies with FUCH’s world-class lubricant manufacturing capabilities,” said the solutions provider of products and services for the rail and infrastructure markets.

L.B. Foster, which offers trackside and on-board friction management solutions, pioneered Total Friction Management® (TFM) to work with railroads around the world, “delivering holistic, optimized friction management programs.” The company “continues to push innovation in friction management lubricant products to drive considerable savings to its customers through rail and wheel wear reduction, increased operational efficiencies and improved safety,” L.B. Foster said.

L.B. Foster President and CEO John Kasel

FUCHS is a global company that develops, produces and distributes more than 10,000 lubricants and related services with industry-specific solutions for demanding applications. This strategic partnership, FUCHS says, “facilitates driving global production of the L.B. Foster and FUCHS co-branded greases in international growth regions, as well as supporting increasing demands in North America.” The partnership, the company adds, also “provides in-country manufacturing benefits for customers and the ability to deliver on overall increased demand.”

“We are excited to work with FUCHS as our preferred partner for manufacturing our advanced friction management lubricants,” said L.B. Foster President and CEO John Kasel. “The combination of our wheel/rail engineering expertise with FUCHS’s lubricant manufacturing competencies will bring best-in-class solutions that will benefit the global rail industry.”

“FUCHS and L.B. Foster have similar core values and a shared vision to advance innovation,” said FUCHS President and CEO Keith Brewer. “Through this partnership customers in the rail industry can now purchase all their lubrication solutions and services from a single source.”


CRW on Dec. 14 announced the acquisition of Conroe, Tex.-based CCI to “significantly enhance oil and gas consulting offerings.” With this change, CRW says it will also be updating its name to CRW Companies to “better encompass this expansion” and plans to bring on more inspectors and build the CCI customer base, with projections of doubling revenue within the first year.

Founded by AMPP CIP Level III Certified Inspector #112 Jonell Nixon in 1986, CCI serves the comprehensive inspection needs of major energy companies throughout the world, including Kinder Morgan; Shell Pipeline Company, LLC; Magellan Midstream; Enbridge; Explorer Pipeline; Williams Pipeline & Midstream; Baker Hughes; and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The company’s quality assurance program provides inspector training and calibrated state-of-the-art inspection equipment to “ensure accurate and reliable test results and readings” in the following areas:

  • Rail Car
  • Coating Consulting
  • TECQ (Survey Existing Water Tanks)
  • Welding (AWS – Trained & Certified)
  • In-Plant Inspection (Steel, Coatings, Transportation)
  • Pipeline (Utility, Welding, Chief, Drill, Tie-ins, Stringing, Clerk)
  • Expediting Services
  • Quality Assurance Coordination
  • Lead Removal Maintenance (Site Supervision)
  • Coating Inspection (AMPP – Trained & Certified)
  • Construction (Project Management, Inspection, Supervision)

“This acquisition allows CRW Companies to enter another segment of the O&G/industrial sector in the surface preparation industry,” said CRW President Gregg Taney. “Our focus over the last year has been to expand our offerings for products and consulting services, and the inspection realm was a perfect fit. We looked into a few different companies, and it didn’t take long to recognize CCI was the one that made the most sense.”

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