Anything You Need

How 2 Houston friends founded the fitting industry's go-to company

Owners Houston Glover and Archie Lopez. Photo courtesy of TPC Industrial

If you're in the market for a specific kind of pipe, valve, fitting, flange, bolt, gasket, or hose, your first stop should be TPC Industrial.

The Pasadena-based company has been making a name for itself in the PVF/hose and fitting industry since 2017 as the go-to finders of anything a customer might need, at any time.

Owners Houston Glover and Archie Lopez decided to open TPC Industrial after each saw the need for a company that understood the urgency of time management when it came to supplies.

Glover had been working in project management and sales, while Lopez started in the distributorship end of the hose and fitting industry. He then moved on to Seal Fast Inc., a manufacturer and wholesaler, and worked there for 24 years, where he grew in knowledge and was fortunate enough to travel to 19 different countries.

In 2013, he went to Pelican Worldwide and focused on opening Superflow products, traveling to China, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia to setting up manufacturer partnerships.

But between 2015 and 2017, Lopez began dreaming of starting his own company. He began working on a business plan, unaware that his friend Glover was doing the same.

TPC Industrial owners Houston Glover and Archie Lopez The pair became business partners in 2017. Photo courtesy of TPC Industrial

The two men came into each other's orbits by attending the same church, and Glover and Lopez's son, AJ, quickly became best friends. So in 2017, Glover presented Lopez with a presentation for business partnership and they made it official.

By January 2018, they were full funded. Two days later they bought their building, and less than two weeks after that they made their first sale.

Lopez says that praying on the decision is what moved him to partner with Glover. As their three-year anniversary approaches in January 2021, it's clearer than ever that the universe didn't steer him wrong.

Learn a bit more about TPC Industrial and its owners with this video:

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TPC Industrial is located at 2500 Pasadena Fwy. If you're searching for a particular part, call 346-226-3866, email info@tpcindustrial.com, or check out the website.

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Building Houston

 
 

This UH engineer is hoping to make his mark on cancer detection. Photo via UH.edu

Early stage cancer is hard to detect, mostly because traditional diagnostic imaging cannot detect tumors smaller than a certain size. One Houston innovator is looking to change that.

Wei-Chuan Shih, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering, recently published his findings in IEEE Sensors journal. According to a news release from UH, the cells around cancer tumors are small — ~30-150nm in diameter — and complex, and the precise detection of these exosome-carried biomarkers with molecular specificity has been elusive, until now.

"This work demonstrates, for the first time, that the strong synergy of arrayed radiative coupling and substrate undercut can enable high-performance biosensing in the visible light spectrum where high-quality, low-cost silicon detectors are readily available for point-of-care application," says Shih in the release. "The result is a remarkable sensitivity improvement, with a refractive index sensitivity increase from 207 nm/RIU to 578 nm/RIU."

Wei-Chuan Shih is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering. Photo via UH.edu

What Shih has done is essentially restored the electric field around nanodisks, providing accessibility to an otherwise buried enhanced electric field. Nanodisks are antibody-functionalized artificial nanostructures which help capture exosomes with molecular specificity.

"We report radiatively coupled arrayed gold nanodisks on invisible substrate (AGNIS) as a label-free (no need for fluorescent labels), cost-effective, and high-performance platform for molecularly specific exosome biosensing. The AGNIS substrate has been fabricated by wafer-scale nanosphere lithography without the need for costly lithography," says Shih in the release.

This process speeds up screening of the surface proteins of exosomes for diagnostics and biomarker discovery. Current exosome profiling — which relies primarily on DNA sequencing technology, fluorescent techniques such as flow cytometry, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) — is labor-intensive and costly. Shih's goal is to amplify the signal by developing the label-free technique, lowering the cost and making diagnosis easier and equitable.

"By decorating the gold nanodisks surface with different antibodies (e.g., CD9, CD63, and CD81), label-free exosome profiling has shown increased expression of all three surface proteins in cancer-derived exosomes," said Shih. "The sensitivity for detecting exosomes is within 112-600 (exosomes/μL), which would be sufficient in many clinical applications."

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