A “super derecho” blew a new weather term into common parlance in June 2012, when a long-lived 700-mile series of rainstorms with up to 91mph straight-line winds tore through the midwest and mid-Atlantic regions. Over 12 hours, winds flattened trees, collapsed power poles and turned awnings on many small businesses inside out. When Berges Trenton Awning Inc., Pleasantville, N.J., visited several customers to assist with damage repair, the company discovered that its products’ seams sustained the hurricane-force winds—thanks to an equipment upgrade to the Miller Weldmaster T-300 welding machine.
“One awning had bent aluminum frames, but the awning was held together by the fabric, which was welded by the T-300 machine,” said Richard Berges, president of Berges Trenton Awning. “The canopy survived the storm and was set back into place in a matter of hours after the storm.” The company is working on a rush of repairs and new orders. “Our loyal customers with older canvases did not fare as well,” said Vice President Nate Berges. “We’re thankful for their loyalty and patience during this time.”