WVCO looks back on 2019 – the year of innovation.

WVCO Railroad Products

2019 was a year of innovation. The wood products industry thrived as game-changing technology was introduced into the marketplace while cross-laminated timber, known for its economic advantages, construction quality, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics, was embraced by more architects and construction companies around the world.

There were great advances made in automation that will make manufacturing jobs safer and more efficient. WVCO’s Idaho Milling and Grain division kept their eyes on exciting new research that may help farmers adapt to climate pressures as researchers developed technology to create 3D-printed concrete that could revolutionize the construction industry and decrease its carbon footprint.

WVCO continued to develop robotic solutions for automated engineering, finishing, material handling, welding and more. Our team of engineers also developed unique and customized solutions that will enable companies to overcome challenges in the transportation industry and infrastructure.

Here’s a look back at some of our highlights from 2019.

In May, our WVCO Wood Products team traveled to Hannover, Germany to showcase WVCO’s wood product solutions and equipment at LIGNA 2019, the world’s leading trade show for tools and machinery for the wood processing industry. It was an exciting opportunity for us to meet with key wood and forestry industry leaders from around the globe. LIGNA 2019 had three focus themes: “Integrated Woodworking – Customized Solutions”, “Smart Surface Technology” and “Access to Resources and Technology”.

Over the summer, the WVCO team introduced the FastPatch HPRE, High-Performance Rail Encapsulator to address some of the challenges embedded rail systems on city streets present such as excessive vibration, noise, rail deflection, and maintenance difficulties. This new system is designed from WVCO’s innovative polymer and dispensing equipment and offers fast installation and a long-lasting solution for embedded rail systems with key performance properties.

We also had the pleasure of opening our newly remodeled R & D Center for our Research & Development team in Eugene. The beautiful new facility is equipped with the latest and most sophisticated analytical technologies on the market and designed with our entire R & D team in mind.

In August, Cleco presented Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) with a $34,182.40 check at our Pineville, Louisana facility for upgrading its interior and exterior lights to LED lighting through Cleco’s Power Wise™ energy efficiency program. With the new LED lighting, WVCO is projected to save 341,824 kWh annually, which is estimated to be enough electricity to power 28 homes for one year!

Also in August, our Pre-Tec division was prominently featured in this piece published in Eugene’s Register Guard.

The WVCO Railroad Division exhibited products like SpikeFast®, the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes, and other custom solutions related to rail and highway safety at the 2019 National Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Conference. The conference brought leaders in the rail and highway industries together to present contemporary topics and new technology to an international audience.

In September,the WVCO team traveled to Tampa, Florida to meet with professionals in the marine industry and present how our innovative FastPatch technology can cut time and expenses at IBEX 2019, North America’s leading technical boat-building showcase.

Our team also exhibited our railroad products and FastPatch products at Railway Interchange 2019, the largest U.S.-based technical conference and trade show for the railroad industry! took place in September in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was a great success. An estimated 7,000+ attendees and hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world gathered at this combined railway industry event, sponsored by AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) and CMA (Coordinated Mechanical Associations) and the exhibits of RSI (Railway Supply Institute), REMSA (Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association) and RSSI (Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc.)

In November, WVCO was named “APA Supplier of the Year” at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the EWTA Info Fair in Tucson, Arizona. This marks the fifth year in a row we have received this esteemed award, and the tenth out of the last 14 years! EWTA’s Supplier of the Year Awards are based on the quality and delivery of EWTA member products, equipment and/or services supplied to APA members, as determined by a vote of APA mill managers.

2019 also brought major changes to the world of robotics. WVCO’s PRE-TEC division enhanced robotic weld cell automation by introducing a unique line-up of FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells, built for companies using automation for the first time, as well as customers looking to expand their robotic automation capabilities. Each system is developed using the highest quality industrial components.

What new developments do you predict 2020 will bring? Stay tuned and find out! WVCO wishes all of our employees, customers, partners and friends a very happy new year!

FastPatch HPRE® System Case Study – Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

A Disruption in DART’s Downtown Business District

FastPatch HPRE® Downtown Dallas Business District, May 2019.

FastPatch HPRE® Downtown Dallas Business District, May 2019.

Willamette Valley Company, LLC specializes in collaborative approaches to solving tough industry problems.  Earlier this year, Willamette Valley Company had the opportunity to work with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) which serves the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex of Texas.

Story Source: wvcorailroad.com

Embedding rail in rail grout had traditionally been a messy, labor-intensive, wasteful and time-consuming process. When Mike Holbrook, VP of Rail Operations for DART, found out about a new mechanically delivered and fast curing Polyurethane system, he started working with Willamette Valley Company’s Bret Andreasen to create a system that would bring rail grout into the modern Transit and Light Rail World. (To read Mike Holbrook’s full article on the Dallas DART project see Passenger Transport June 24th 2019 edition, page 10 )

DART provided multiple test locations before committing to this new disruptive technology to bring rail grout into the 21st Century. “We chose HPRE®-MD from the Willamette Valley Company for Environmental, Labor Reduction, Speed of Cure and Noise & Vibration reduction reasons AND it’s made in America” cites Holbrook.

HPRE®-MD allows trains to be put back into service within 1 hour of placing the rail grout due to the quick cure of the 2 liquid components which are mixed at the nozzle. The high output of a minimum 30 cubic feet per hour allowed DELTA RR and GW Peoples to finish early with just a 3 man crew. DELTA & GWP were instrumental in creating innovative methods for preparing the rail replacement and for installing the rail grout.

For example, Larry Lorella of DELTA RR pushed for larger containers for the chemicals asking the manufacturer to design day tanks to avoid time-consuming change-outs of the chemical totes. Willamette Valley’s Bret Andreasen went to work and the result was further collaboration and success for the Design, Manufacturing and Contracting teams. The disruption to service in Dallas was minimized, the disruption to traditional technology by using HPRE®-MD is a big impact.

So what makes this technology work so well in the Light Rail/Transit World? Nathan Werst, the formulating chemist for HPRE®-MD explains: “Although fast curing Polyurethanes are nothing new in the Construction World, what is new is the level of performance that HPRE® provides. My team designed a system that meets the highest performance possible to support current and future ridership forecasts and environments.”

“For example, The HPRE®-MD system is VOC free and 100 times more electrically isolating than previous/existing generation materials on offer. HPRE®-MD was formulated to maximize the expectations of the specifiers and owners expectations as to how a rail grout should perform and not how it could perform based upon technology available at that time.”

Mr. Werst added: “We do not worry about comparing Shore hardness to outdated technology or our compressive strength to harder (brittle) materials, what really counts is toughness and resilience to stand the test of time and increased load.”

Agencies that have and are using the polymer system include: DART, Baltimore MTA, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago RTD, SFMTA, RTD (Denver), VTA, BART as well as many DOTs and Airport facilities in the USA, Canada, Latin America and around the Globe. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact us at Sales@WVCORailroad.com or 800-333-9826. 

PRE-TEC Enhances Robotic Weld Cell Automation With FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells

FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells

“We are excited to bring to market an affordable, expandable, and easy-to-use robotic weld cell system that enhances the capabilities of companies as they first turn to automation and beyond.” – Pre-Tec General Manager, Stan Reynolds

Even though Willamette Valley Company’s Pre‐Tec Division has engineered more than 370 robotic systems and has become one of the largest integrators of robotic systems in the western region of North America, we are always searching for new ways to offer effective solutions through robotic automation.

One of our latest expamples of this is Pre-Tec’s unique line-up of FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells, built for companies using automation for the first time, as well as customers looking to expand their robotic automation capabilities. Each system is developed using the highest quality industrial components.

The small footprint through single-piece platforms allows for rapid delivery and installation time through pre-engineered solutions that are affordable and simple to use. The robotic experts at Pre-Tec have designed solutions that enhance load and unload time through dual-zone systems with room for customization as needs change or expand.

PRE-TEC Enhances Robotic Weld Cell Automation With FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells

Careful planning went into each solution with the presence of forklift pockets for quick transport within the facility with leveling functions to ensure accuracy. Safety is at the forefront with the presence of modular fencing, welding flash curtains, push button operator controls, and service access doors.

Pre-Tec Robotic Automation

PRE-TEC, by expanding their material handling capabilities, continues the problem solving tradition by producing custom robotic operation solutions for other companies’ manufacturing challenges. Learn more about our robotic weld cells by going to www.pre-tec.com or download more information here.

WVCO Named “APA Supplier of the Year” Fifth Year in a Row!

Willamette Valley Company Wins Supplier of the Year for the 5th year in a row

WVCO is thrilled to announce that we have once again been honored with the APA Supplier of the Year award! This marks the fifth year in a row we have received this esteemed award, and the tenth out of the last 14 years! The awards were announced last weekend, November 2-4, 2019, at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the EWTA Info Fair at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona.

EWTA’s Supplier of the Year Awards are based on the quality and delivery of EWTA member products, equipment and/or services supplied to APA members, as determined by a vote of APA mill managers.

EWTA Info Fair Awards

 

“This is a very prestigious award as it is voted on by APA member companies, who are our customers,” says WVCO Vice President Tony Vuksich. “I couldn’t be prouder of our WVCO/Pre-Tec team.  To win this award everyone needs to work for common goals. I think that this award epitomizes what team is all about.  It takes a tremendous effort put forth every day to provide our customers with great quality products, terrific service, and innovation”.

EWTA Supplier of the Year

The EWTA Info Fair is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers from other EWTA member companies. WVCO has participated as an (EWTA) Info Fair Gold Level sponsor for a number of years and has been honored with numerous awards for our wood products. In addition to “Supplier of the Year”, the WVCO team has also recognized with the prestigious “Innovation of the Year” award for our new product Wil-Spray 500.

The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry. EWTA is based in Tacoma, Wash. Read more about EWTA here.

WVCO newly remodeled Research & Development Center in Eugene

Willamette Valley Company R & D Facility Eugene, Oregon

At WVCO, we make it a point to develop unique and customized solutions designed to enable companies to take on whatever challenges they wish to conquer. Recently, we had the pleasure of achieving the same goal for our own Research & Development team in Eugene, Oregon when we opened our newly remodeled R & D Center!

The beautiful new facility is equipped with the latest and most sophisticated analytical technologies on the market and designed with our entire R & D team in mind. This innovative and talented group that includes some of our region’s top chemists and engineers now have an improvided workspace and the necessary tools to devise better products and solutions, improve functionality and efficiency, and enhance the process and product performance.

Want to see for yourself? Watch this video from our recent Grand Opening Celebration.

We are thrilled with our newly remodeled facility and look forward to seeing what “game-changing’ inventions and technologies will come from it.

Headed for Tucson for the 2019 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair!

2019 Info FairThe WVCO team is thrilled to once again join APA member manufacturers, EWTA members, suppliers and hundreds of other wood products industry professionals from all over the country November 2-4, 2019 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona for the 2019 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers.

Each year, managers and executives from the top engineered wood products associations, the Engineered Wood Technology Association( EWTA) and APA – The Engineered Wood Association gather to review and discuss key issues affecting the wood products industry.

Willamette Valley Company in San Antonio for the EWTA Info Fair

Willamette Valley Company team at the EWTA Info Fair. Photo @EWTA Info Fair Facebook Page

Willamette Valley Company has a long-standing history as with this important annual event, and we always look forward to it. Last year, WVCO was honored with the APA Supplier of the Year award for the fourth year in a row and for the 9th time overall.

“It forges great partnerships,” says Willamette Valley Company Vice President, Tony Vuksich. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners: Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design

The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners:
Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design

Come see us in Booth #216 and learn more about our wide variety of wood products and custom solutions relating to plywood, LVL, OSB, lumber, cabinets and furniture, moldings, doors, trims and fascia, overlays and more!

Association Teamwork
The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry and is based in Tacoma, Wash. APA – The Engineered Wood Association has a long history of providing quality service and programs to its nearly 160 member mills in the engineered wood products industry. A key to APA’s success is the teamwork between EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org

You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

Spotlight on the WVCO Agriculture Division

Potato Seed

Through the decades, WVCO has led the way for innovative wood products, railroad maintenance productsconcrete repair solutions and automated systems, but our capabilities extend beyond these industries. Our Agriculture Division is the premier supplier of potato seed treatment bark flours which include Agri-Fil Premium Alder and AgriFil Premium Douglas Fir, an all-natural eco-friendly product line is used for organic and conventional potato production.

From Spudman Magazine, February 2018

Potatoes have been an integral part of much of the world’s food supply for centuries and is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. In fact, the potato is known to produce more food per unit area of land planted than any other major-planted crop so it might suprise you to learn that nearly all potato seed grown in North America is coated with our potato seed treatment bark flours which helps heal and suberize the cut seed and decreases seed treater and planter build-up.

Conventional potato producers may blend it with an active dry fungicide. It is quickly gaining popularity in liquid potato treatment as a follow up to dry the liquid and hold it on the seed piece. All products are manufactured to exacting standards, which are critical to insuring performance in the field.

Click here for additional properties and technical data.

APA – The Engineered Wood Association Publishes New Engineered Wood Case Studies

WVCO is proud of its longstanding partnership with the APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers. APA represents approximately 150 mills throughout North America, ranging in size and structure. The association is considered the “Leading Resource for Information About Engineered Wood Products”.

This month, the organization published two new case studies illustrating the benefits of engineered wood and mass timber products. Both case studies are available as free downloads on the APA website, www.apawood.org.

Beauty and the Budget APA-Wood Case Study
Photo @ APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Beauty and the Budget showcases Portland, Oregon, LEVER Architecture’s use of plywood and mass timber elements throughout the Flex building, a multi-purpose structure in Portland. In addition to exposed plywood for the shear walls, the LEVER team used exposed glulam beams throughout and glulam for the stairs as well.

“Innovative use of wood allows us to create powerful architecture even for projects with limited budgets,” architect George Michael Rusch said. “When you can use mass timber for its inherent structural properties, you can make buildings that speak volumes. It’s about the morality of the material.”

Download Case Study: Beauty and the Budget or visit www.apawood.org. 

APA Case Study-Mass Timber Has Banks Seeing Green
Photo @ APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Mass Timber has Banks Seeing Green features the new First United Bank branches in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and Fredericksburg, Texas. Both the first mass timber structures in their states, these net-zero buildings were designed with engineered wood for economic and sustainability reasons.

“First United wanted buildings that really showed how they were built and related to their customer base,” according to Gensler project architect Taylor Coleman. “Using mass timber was the best way to accomplish those goals.”

Download Mass Timber has Banks Seeing Green or visit www.apawood.org.

APA – The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association that works with its members to create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility, and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists and engineers at APA’s 42,000 square-foot research center with the knowledge gained from decades of fieldwork, and cooperation with our member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry.

Learn more about APA – The Engineered Wood Association.

Willamette Valley Company to Exhibit at Railway Interchange 2019

 

Railroad SpikeFast

Willamette Valley Company is looking forward to exhibiting our Railroad products and FastPatch products at Railway Interchange 2019, the largest U.S.-based technical conference and trade show for the railroad industry! The combined railway industry event, sponsored by AREMA, RSI, REMSA and RSSI, takes place September 22-25, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

An estimated 7,000+ attendees and hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world are expected to attend this world-class rail industry event. The event combines the technical conferences of AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) and CMA (Coordinated Mechanical Associations) and the exhibits of RSI (Railway Supply Institute), REMSA (Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association) and RSSI (Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc.)

Photo @ Railway Interchange

Railway Interchange is an ideal venue for our Railroad Division to share it’s leading-edge systems and products for plugging spike holes in both concrete ties and wood ties as well as unique application systems to accurately apply them. Our team will meet with railroad professionals from around the world as they seize the opportunity to see and hear all that is new and innovative across the entire rail supply industry.

The demand for WVCO’s railroad maintenance and repair products continues to grow steadily, but it’s our proprietary product, SpikeFast, that is becoming known by most railroads as the industry standard.

SpikeFast, a non-foam polyurethane product, was created in 1999 as an alternative to wood plugs and other plugging materials. The result was a more reliable and efficient system of wood-tie remediation. Performance tests commissioned by national railroads indicate that SpikeFast outperforms wood plugs, polymeric foam, and epoxy foam. Watch the video for more details.

We hope you’ll stop by our booth to learn more about these and other repair and maintenance products.

WVCO Railroad Division to Attend National Highway Rail Grade Crossing Safety Conference

WVCO RailroadThe WVCO Railroad Division is pleased to announce we will be exhibiting products and application systems related to rail and highway safety at the 2019 National Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Conference Aug. 19-22, 2019.

This year’s conference, held at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel, will bring leaders in the rail and highway industries together while presenting contemporary topics and new technology to an international audience. We are looking forward to introducing our solutions designed to make today’s railroads and highways safer and more economical to event attendees that include representatives from FRA, State DOT’s, Class I, II, and III Railroads and representatives of railroads from Canada, Mexico, and overseas.

Our proprietary product, SpikeFast®, the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes, frequently generates a great deal of interest during exhibitions and conferences. We are also there to provide information and answer questions about our railroad tie products for wood and concrete ties and unique application systems.

For more information about the 2019 National Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Conference, please visit nathwyrrsignalconf.com.

About the WVCO Railroad Division
We aim to create the most economical and safest solutions for the railroad industry, by building innovative, high performing products and equipment. As a transportation industry leader, the WVCO Railroad Division has tackled some of the most challenging issues in this industry while providing ground-breaking new products and application systems for light and heavy rail systems all over the world. To learn more, please visit www.wvcorailroad.com.