Five Fun Projects to Kick Off The School Year in Style

Allure E6000

Now that summer is winding up, we thought this would be a great time to share some stylish kid friendly back-to-school project ideas using top-of-the-line adhesives produced by Eclectic Products’, a division of Willamette Valley Company.

The E6000® line of adhesives can be found in most arts and crafts stores and offer a wide range of products to suit all your adhesive needs, including Fabri-Fuse, Jewelry and Bead, Stitchless, and Spray Adhesive to name a few.  These five Back-to-School project ideas, presented by our good friend Mark Montano of Make Your Mark, are fun ways for the kids to kick off the new school year in style.

No Sew! Easy Rag Rug Pillows

The great thing is that with Fabri-Fuse, No Sew really means No Sew! A bit of adhesive and some materials and you’ll end up with stylish rag rug pillows worthy of sale in even the trendiest of artisanal markets!

Recycled Paper Jewelry

DIY jewelry is a fun and relaxing way to get ready for the new school year. When you can make creative, wearable jewelry out of old magazines and adhesive, it’s even better!

Octo Love DIY Sweater

Now, if you’re somehow Octo-opposed, don’t worry, you can use these same techniques to create all sorts of fun patterns on sweaters and fabrics! Your kids will have a blast coming up with different designs to create!

Allure-Ing Fabric Bracelets

This project is named after E6000®’s Allure Dimension Design Adhesive Paint in Gloss! As you can see, beyond simply sticking things together you can use E6000 to create some fun designs and bring out the true “Art” in “Arts and Crafts.”

How To: Ginger Jars

Create some fun jars to keep around the house for decoration and a sneaky place to store school supplies!  You can pattern these however you see fit to bring out the unique style you’re after.

Five fun ways to use E6000®, five very different projects to make with your kids! Click here for more uses and fun project ideas!

About Eclectic Products, Inc.

Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Eclectic Products specializes in adhesive/patch/coatings and repair products ranging from 0.18 oz. tubes to industrial totes and drums. The company offers powerful brands with exceptional performance and high-level technical R&D abilities. Eclectic Products has earned numerous awards for product performance, innovative design and excellence from organizations such as theNational Retail Hardware Association, HGTV Magazine and Handyman Magazine. Eclectic’s manufacturing facility based in Pineville, Louisiana has also been recognized by the State of Louisiana for demonstrating exceptional quality of work and a commitment to community. All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

Are You Robotic Industries Association Certified?

RIAMember

“Our experience and capabilities in robotic programming will be further recognized through this certification. It demonstrates our continuing commitment with providing customers arc welding and cutting solutions for a completely automated system.” – Justin Percio, Business Manager, Welding Automation Systems, Lincoln Electric

Robotics are a fundamental part of WVCO and of our shared passion. Our PRE-TEC division builds custom and pre-engineered robotics, from multi-axis robot arms and end-of-arm tooling, to conveyance systems, and safety hardware —backed by all the support, training, programming, and maintenance you need. Beyond our own manufacturing, however, we are also a member of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), a relationship that has enabled us to better serve customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.

RIA

RIA is the only North American trade group dedicated solely to robotics and robot safety. It was first founded in 1974 in an effort to “drive innovation, growth, and safety in manufacturing and service industries through education, promotion, and advancement of robotics, related automation technologies, and companies delivering integrated solutions.” They’ve succeeded in their endeavor, providing companies with a venue to seek help, answers, information, and certification.

RIA Certified Robot Integrator

RIA certification is an invaluable way for robot integrators and inventors to highlight their experience, capabilities, and aptitude to users, suppliers, investors, clients, and partners alike. It demonstrates that they’ve met the critical criteria determined by the RIA, which in turn means they’re an expert in best practices.

The certification is relatively new, first established in 2012. Prior to it, end users struggled to determine robotic integrators’ expertise and business requirements.  The certification plays a crucial role in establishing an industry standard for end users to evaluate vendors and ensure the best possible partnerships.

“The RIA certification program doesn’t only benefit end users, however. It’s the perfect opportunity for certified robot integrators to differentiate themselves,” says Armando Barry, certification consultant to RIA. “Achieving RIA certification will reflect a significant commitment by robot integrators, that elevates their technical expertise in applying robots in a consistent manner,” Barry concluded.

PRE-TEC Robotics

How to Become Certified

In order to become certified, integrators go through a rigorous process which includes an on-site audit, safety training and hands-on testing of key personnel among other important criteria.

There are three basic parts to the on-site exam and audit:

1. Hands-On section
2. Expert Response Section: (Participant industry tenure & biography)
3. On-site audit of business infrastructure per completed “Self Score Card”. Supporting evidence will be gathered before any certification date is scheduled.

The entire certification process demonstrates the requisite level of technical knowledge required to execute robotic system projects and tasks in a safe, efficient, and economical manner. It also signifies not only the company, but the technician has the ability of working with various codes and standards.

To learn more about this certification, we hope you will visit the RIA Certified Robot Integrator Program page. For more information on RIA, membership and the certification program, please contact RIA Headquarters at 734/994-6088 or visit Robotics Online at www.robotics.org.

Sources:

RIA

Intelligrated

Latest SpikeFast® Products to be Unveiled at 2016 AREMA Expo

Railroad SpikeFast It is widely agreed among transportation industry leaders that the WVCO Railroad Division is among the best in providing innovative new products and application systems for today’s railroads. Our proprietary product, SpikeFast®, is considered to be the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes. Other solutions include railroad tie products for wood and concrete ties, and unique application systems.

In just over a month, team members from our WVCO Railroad Division will arrive in Orlando, Florida to demonstrate our railroad products and POLYQuik Roadway Repair materials to railway engineering professionals representing all segments of the industry, at the AREMA 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition August 28-31, 2016.

This annual event attracts generations of leaders in the railroad industry who go there to network, attend technical presentations, seminars and more. This is a unique opportunity for us to see and hear all that is new and innovative across the entire rail supply industry while developing solutions to some of the many challenges facing the transportation industry.

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) is one of the outstanding organizations WVCO has partnered with; thus enabling us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources. The 5,500+ members that comprise AREMA include a diverse group of railway and transit engineers, consultants, contractors, suppliers, academicians, federal and state governmental employees and others.

If you are attending this year’s expo, please be on the lookout for our team at Booth #301 on the interactive expo floor!

About AREMA
The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) was formed as the result of a merger of three engineering support associations, namely the American Railway Bridge and Building Association, the American Railway Engineering Association and the Roadmaster’s and Maintenance of Way Association, along with functions of the Communications and Signals Division of the Association of American Railroads. The rich history of the predecessor organizations, each having over 100 years of service to the rail industry, is the legacy of AREMA.

Featured Innovator: Charles Marohn, a man building Strong Towns

CharlesMarohn

Charles Marohn presenting his TedX talk – Photo Source Governing.com

“When we look at our cities today, we see that we have been so obsessed with getting that dollar for that grand huge project that we’ve just overlooked the pennies, the nickels and the dimes that are just waiting to be picked up in our core neighborhoods.” – Charles Marohn

Charles Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s APWA PWX conference. For those unaware, Strong Towns is a national media nonprofit that hosts events, publishes articles, and shares weekly podcasts all with the goal of rethinking how communities can generate long-term prosperity. Charles Marohn should know; he’s Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a published author, and has been considering this very question for a while now.

“After I got out of engineering school I was ready to go build a great America. It was actually going out and working for an engineer for a number of years and seeing that even in places that were experiencing incredibly high rates of growth, that growth was not making us wealthy. It was not giving us prosperity,” says Marohn. “I started asking some really hard questions. Why, even though we’re doing these projects and we’re creating jobs and economic development and all the things that these programs are set up for, are we’re not seeing the long term success? That got me asking questions about the money we spend, the money we get back, how the tax systems encourage certain types of investments and not others.”

Strong Towns works to address the issues of America’s land use and the financial procedures to allocate funds to different communities by advocating for: a functioning transportation system that promotes prosperity in a community, job creation and economic growth as a result of a healthy local community, long term prosperity through financial solvency, the proper management of land and resources, and other beneficial principals that strengthen communities.

To date Strong Towns has released over 300 podcasts, published posts on the daily, and had over 6,000 people attend Strong Towns events in 23 states and Canada in the last year alone. To fully understand the influence Strong Towns has, however, one need look no further than the testimonies of their members.

“Our community has recently gone through an assessment of our downtown to attempt to revitalize. Strong Towns gave me tools and language to address our planning committee and planners, and resources to point to as I began to engage city officials. It also equipped me to begin this process, identify who to approach and how, get involved in local government, not as a partisan but just as a concerned citizen who can work for change.” ~ Curran Bishop, Carbondale, IL

“Strong Towns has the potential to cut through all that murkiness with its clear, concise explanations of how we got here and move us more quickly to the path of recovery. They are performing a vital service to our country.” ~ Susan Horst, Bellingham, WA

Innovation is most often all about rejecting complacency and constantly questioning our prescribed methods and procedures. Charles Marohn and Strong Towns do just that, challenging the status quo in order to create stronger local communities with a chance for long-term prosperity and possibilities. This is why we’ve named Charles Marohn our “Featured Innovator of the Month.” We are very excited to hear him speak at PWX 2016!

Note: Charles Marohn does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is he affiliated with our company.

Sources:

Strong Towns

Time

Fergus Falls Journal

Ledger Inquirer

Broken Sidewalk

Featured Innovator: Linda Bauer Darr is Transforming Transportation

Linda Bauer Darr

Photo Source -NVLConvention

“We want the organization to be more inclusive and supportive of small railroads, develop a strong safety product and be recognized by Class Is as an essential part of their networks.” – Linda Bauer Darr

Transportation is a topic that’s of utmost importance to us at WVCO, with many of our divisions are focused towards public and automobile transportation. We do our part to push for innovation and safety in those sectors, and her 25+ year career, Linda Bauer Darr too is working to do the same. She has lead associations and companies in many of transportations biggest sectors and has brought positive and real change to them. If you’re planning on taking part in the AREMA 2016 Expo, you’ll have the opportunity to hear her speak on the subject.

From 1989 to 1998, Linda Bauer Darr acted as Vice President for the American Trucking Association, a far cry from her once vocation of choice, criminal law. “The trucking industry was opening up and going more international. I was 26 years old and meeting with ambassadors and senators,” says Darr. Her international experience would only grow from there as she made the transition to the U.S. Department of Transportation, adopting the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budgets and Programs. In her role she oversaw a department-wide process reform for the review of large-scale transportation projects and lead the development of a $60 billion dollar annual budget to go towards rail, highway, Coast Guard, and aviation funding. “Here I am in my early 30s and meeting with the Coast Guard commandant talking about eliminating part of his budget,” said Darr.

ABA

Her role in the transportation industry didn’t end there. From 2001 to 2007, Linda Bauer Darr took on the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Policy & Communications at the American Bus Association. As executive director, she directed the day-to-day activities of the ABA Foundation (the research and education sector), created grant programs for rural buses firms, and lead initiatives that resulted in a multi-million dollar infusion into the industry. The next step in her illustrious career took Darr to the American Moving & Storage Association, where she acted as President & CEO from 2007 to 2014 and lead the AMSA through a transformative period. Her Industry Certification initiative removed hundreds of problematic AMSA members, an initially daunting proposition that resulted in short term due loss but long term gains.

These days, Darr is the president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the first woman to ever to fill the role in its 102 year history. She’s already brought progress in the form of the Short Line Safety Institute, a non-profit corporation that promotes safety, training, and research for short line and regional rail roads.  “Safety is a critical focus,” says Darr. “We need to help create a culture in this diverse industry, and a level of understanding and compliance.” Though she’s only been president since 2014, it’s clear that under her tenure the association will be moving towards greater efficiency, training, and overall security.

It is a difficult task to briefly sum up the crucial role Linda Bauer Darr has played in the transportation industry throughout her professional career; she has pushed for safety initiatives, championed researched and awareness, brought funding to industries that were previously struggling, and embraced forward thinking processes no matter how daunting they may seem in comparison to the status quo. For these reasons and many, more we have named Linda Bauer Darr our “Featured Innovator of the Month.” We hope you’ll enjoy her lecture at AREMA 2016.

Note: Linda Bauer Darr does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is she affiliated with our company.

Sources:

Progressive Railroading

AREMA

Short Line Safety Institute

How One Man Is Helping Develop China’s High Speed Railway

ZhaiWanming

Photo Source – South Jiaotong University

“China is developing its high-speed train technology fast enough to catch up with the best by, among other things, funding research teams to develop advanced monitoring and early warning systems, and quake-resistant technology to ensure the safety of high-speed railways. Even in environmental protection, China has gained enough experience while building the railway that connects Lhasa, Tibet with Qinghai province.” – Professor Zhai Wanming

If you’re attending this year’s ASCE International Conference on Transportation and Development, you will have the opportunity to listen to a lecture presented by Professor Zhai Wanming on the Technology Challenges in Rapid Development of High-Speed Railways in China.

Professor Zhai Wanming is a railway engineering dynamics specialist who fills the roles of chairman of Academic Committee of Southwest Jiaotong University, director of the Train and Track Research Institute, elected member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Rail Transportation. With all that in mind, it should be safe to say that he has played a fundamental role in the development of safety protocols and frameworks for China’s high-speed rail system and abroad.

HighSpeedTrain

One of China’s High-Speed Trains. Photo Source ChinaDaily.com

To understand the importance of Zhai’s work, one should also understand the necessity of the High-Speed rail in China. To date, it is the world’s longest high-speed rail network and the most heavily used in the world, with over 2.5 million passengers a day. In 2011, a devastating crash between two high-speed trains in Wenzhou, as well as some political circumstances, prompted a greater focus on safety and a reexamining of current systems. It is through the work of experts like Professor Wanming that the rails have been tested and secured for considerable use.

Professor Wanming’s endeavors include developing a method for analyzing and assessing the safety of high speed trains passing through bridges and the development of a vehicle-track coupled dynamics framework, used throughout the country. As China expands their high-speed rail system, Zhai Wanming’s processes have been used in over 20 large-scale field engineering projects to date. His work also extends to over 160 papers he has published on the subject and such books as “Vehicle-Track Coupling Dynamics” and “Advances in Environmental Vibration.”

Zhai has won the first-class prize of Science and Technology Progress Awards by the Ministry of Education in 2003 and the first-class prize of National Award for Science and Technology Progress by State Department in 2005. He received the achievement prize of Zhan Tianyou Railway Science and Technology Award in 2003, as well as several honors including the National Expert with Outstanding Contribution in 1994 and the Award of Chinese Youth Scientist in 2006. Lastly, he was named Chang Jiang Professor by the Ministry of Education (the highest honor issued to an individual in higher education by the Ministry of Education).

Over the course of several decades, Zhai Wanming has brought considerable advances to railway engineering and safety both in China and the world over through his frameworks, systems, and publications. It is this unwavering drive to improve the way we handle railway transportation systems that has made Zhai Wanming our “Featured Innovator of the Month.” We hope you all get the chance to hear him speak at International Conference on Transportation and Development, it will not be one to miss!

Note: Zhai Wanming does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is he affiliated with our company.

Sources:

ASCE International Conference on Transport and Development

China Daily

International Conference on Frontiers of Design and Manufacturing

New York Times

Up Next: ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development

Houston

Hello Houston!

WCVO is headed to Houston later this month to demonstrate and exhibit what our concrete repair products can do for those in the transportation and public infrastructure industry.

The ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD 2016), happening June 26th-29th, will be a great opportunity for us to learn more about the range of challenges developing in our industry and what WVCO can do to help overcome them. In addition, it’s an exciting opportunity to learn more about the latest innovations from leaders in our industry and seeing major infrastructure projects that are reshaping Houston and the rest of the country.

The conference is presented by The Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI), a specialty membership organization focused on transportation and development professionals. It is one of the American Society of Civil Engineer‘s eight specialty Institutes.

If you are headed to the conference, we invite you to stop by our booth to learn about what POLYQuik can offer. POLYQuik & Fastpatch concrete repair products are fast curing, tough materials. Each product is designed with ready-to-use package to meet your application needs. For more information, please visit www.polyquik.com.

Could a Robot Learn By Itself?

Ashutosh Saxena

Photo Source Cornell Engineering

“We now live in a world where robots are helping humans in their daily lives, and just like humans, robots need to learn new skills in order to do their jobs successfully. And we shouldn’t expect a robot to learn on its own from scratch, any more than we’d expect a human to do so—imagine a child growing up with no access to textbooks, libraries, or the Internet.” – Ashutosh Saxena

What if robots could learn to carry out tasks autonomously? In other words, when giving a robot a new task it could “figure out” on it’s own how to do it? This is exactly the question that Ashutosh Saxena is working to answer.

Professor Saxena is a roboticist at Cornell University working to develop a massive online search engine that robots could access and find the required knowledge to carry out tasks, the aptly named RoboBrain. When given a question, RoboBrain will search the internet for relevant knowledge databases and images, sidestepping the need to teach robots to do tasks through step by step instructions.

“In 2014, I started a project called RoboBrain at Cornell University along with PhD students Ashesh Jain and Ozan Sener. We now have collaborators at Stanford and Brown. What we’re working on is a way of sharing information that allows robots to gather whatever knowledge they need for a task,” writes Saxena. “If one robot learns, then the knowledge is propagated to all the robots. RoboBrain achieves this by gathering the knowledge from a variety of sources. The system stores multiple kinds of information, including symbols, natural language, visual or shape features, haptic properties, and motions.”

The implications of such a project, if successful, could be enormous. It would lead to an increase in efficiency and reduce downtime and spending spent in “training” robots how to carry out tasks. RoboBrain could also lead to robots with more capacity to carry out objectives than previously intended.

Saxena’s work has garnered him several awards and recognition, including Eight Innovators to Watch in 2015, Smithsonian Institution; World Technology Award, 2015; The 50-years of Shakey at AAAI-RSS Blue Sky Ideas award, 2015; RSS Early Career Award, 2014; NSF Career award, 2013; Microsoft Faculty Fellow, 2012; Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 2011; Best Cognitive Robotics paper, IROS’14. Best student paper, RSS’13; CUAir at AUVSI’12: First prize, mission performance; Google Faculty Research Award, 2012.

These breakthroughs in robotic learning coupled with the unparalleled potential of a developed RoboBrain is what makes Ashush Saxena our pick for “Featured Innovator of the Month.”

Note: Ashush Saxena does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is he affiliated with our company.

Sources:

Stanford University

Rethink Robotics Youtube

MIT Technology Review

Smithsonian

New Product Spotlight: FAMOWOOD® GLAZE COAT® High Build Epoxy Coating from Eclectic Products, Inc.

glaze-coat-family-usEclectic Products, Inc., a subsidiary of the Willamette Valley Company, has recently unveiled FAMOWOOD® GLAZE COAT® HIGH BUILD EPOXY COATING, another innovative solution for crafters and home improvement DIYers.

This ultra-clear, high gloss finish epoxy is versatile enough to be used on just about any surface, either smooth or rough, stained or painted. It’s great for coating tables, bar tops, game boards, preserving photographs, ceramics, or to imbed coins, rocks, sea shells, flowers or any non-waxy material. It can be used on Wood, Cloth, Styrofoam™, Metal, Pine Cones, Leather, Paper, you name it!

Want to see how it works? Watch this table get a cool new makeover using Glaze Coat.

Now watch Mark Montano shows Glaze Coat in action:

The possibilities are endless!  Here’s what some customers on Amazon had to say of their experience with the product:

“This stuff works great. Creates a solid, clear surface.” – David G. Gantt

“Hard and durable. Tried it in crafting this year to make water in a miniature pond to put in a fairy garden. Is holding up beautifully so far.” – Deb in Ohio

“Famowood is pretty amazing. I do resin jewelry and I’ve definitely been through my fair share of tests and experiments.” – Cilla

Click here for more uses and fun project ideas!

About Eclectic Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Eclectic Products specializes in adhesive/patch/coatings and repair products ranging from 0.18 oz. tubes to industrial totes and drums. The company offers powerful brands with exceptional performance and high-level technical R&D abilities. Eclectic Products has earned numerous awards for product performance, innovative design and excellence from organizations such as the National Retail Hardware Association, HGTV Magazine and Handyman Magazine. Eclectic’s manufacturing facility based in Pineville, Louisiana has also been recognized by the State of Louisiana for demonstrating exceptional quality of work and a commitment to community. All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

2016 APWA North American Snow Conference

APWA_snow_show_2016

Wait, it’s not even summer and we’re already thinking about snow and ice? You betcha! Snow and Ice management is a huge challenge to our infrastructure, so now is the time for public works professionals to prepare for next winter!

That’s why we’re headed to Hartford, CT later this month for four days of winter training and exhibiting new concrete maintenance solutions at the 2016 APWA North American Snow Conference. The special conference will bring together more than 2,000 snowfighters from every corner of the winter maintenance community, including our own representatives from POLYQuik, a division of Willamette Valley Company.

Snow and Ice Conference

The 2016 Conference is an excellent opportunity for us to introduce public works professionals to our high-performance concrete repair products, custom application systems and more.

Organizers will also be presenting quality education programs and technical tours, and opportunities to exchange ideas with manufacturers, distributors, consultants and other public works professionals.

The APWA North American Snow Conference is hosted by the APWA New England Chapter (and who would know more about snow and ice?). Be sure to stop by booth 441 to learn more how POLYQuik products are an effective solution to common concrete maintenance challenges relating to snow and ice.

About APWA
The American Public Works Association is an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services. Originally chartered in 1937, APWA is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, an office in Washington, D.C., and 64 chapters throughout North America. APWA provides a forum in which public works professionals can exchange ideas, improve professional competency, increase the performance of their agencies and companies, and bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.

To learn more, read our post 5 Ways American Public Works Association Impacts Your Community or visit www.apwa.net.