2018 International Mass Timber Conference

“We believe that a greater use of cross-laminated timber and other mass timber products in mid- to high-rise building construction is the innovative, disruptive, modern, and sustainable choice necessary for building in a fast-growing world.”

masstimberconference.com

As one of the world’s top companies in the wood products industry, Willamette Valley Company continues to strive to be on the forefront of the advancement and possibilities of the mass timber industry and cross-laminated timber. Last week, WVCO proudly represented our wood products division at the 2018 International Mass Timber Conference, the premier, global conference for cross-laminated timber and other mass timber construction.

This conference, co-produced by WoodWorks and the Forest Business Network, is one of the largest gatherings of mass timber experts in the world. Architects, engineers, city planners, representatives from major construction companies, mass timber manufacturers, designers, fire officials, mass timber equipment suppliers, representatives from sawmills and many more gathered in Portland, Oregon for the 3-day event packed with presentations and learning opportunities from international experts and presentations.

Demand for cross-laminated timber and construction is growing all over the world. Recently, a new study by Grand View Research, Inc suggests the growing demand for sustainable houses made from wood is likely to drive the global cross-laminated timber market. The report states that the “market is expected to reach a valuation of USD 2.07 billion by 2025. Rising awareness among consumers regarding wooden products and increasing number of suppliers for cross-laminated timber (CLT) are likely to augment the growth. Based on product type, the market can be classified as adhesive bonded and mechanically fastened CLT.”

As more and more evidence is suggesting that CLT is the future of the construction and building industry, the Willamette Valley Company will certainly be participating in more of these types of conventions and pledges to remain one of the top innovators in the wood products industry.

 

How FastPatch Became an Innovative Solution for Concrete Repair

FastPatchDPROur roots are in wood products, but the Willamette Valley Company is much more than that. We are also leaders in providing high-performance solutions in a range of industries. Just over a decade ago, our company was approached by key transportation professionals who needed fast-curing and ultra-tough materials for repairing roadways and bridges. They were weary of antiquated repair materials that were non-flexible, required water, and were labor intensive to install.

Our solution? FastPatch.

The introduction of this groundbreaking line of concrete repair solutions was a significant leap forward in technology. The product proved to outperform and outlast traditional products, plus it was easier to install with our custom dispensing machine and easy-to-use kits.

FastPatch been approved by government agencies all over the United States for service on major highways and has been used to repair airports, highways, bridges, railroads, and other various applications throughout the United States and around the world. Its products can repair everything from broken concrete and asphalt, spalls, potholes, joints, driveways, highways, bridge decks, parking lots, Cracks slab repairs, ramps and loading docks, warehouse floors, post anchors, and trip hazards. It has been used by everyone from Public Works & Engineering/Construction industry professionals to home improvement “DIYers”.

To reduce waste, FastPatch uses recycled and renewable materials to repair existing materials. It is 100% solids and does not contain any volatile chemicals. Repairing with FastPatch, rather than removal, eliminates disposal costs and excess waste. FastPatch DPR (Distressed Pavement Repair) for example, is created from 80% recycled and renewable materials. Over 50 bottles of recycled glass are used in a single kit and the polymer is a blend of renewable bio-based materials.

A case study performed on Caltrans Maintenance in Santee, CA  states “FASTPATCH is easily dispensed, fast curing, flexible, and has excellent adhesion. Currently there is not a material on the market that can do the same thing as FASTPATCH and have the color of concrete. FASTPATCH is cold applied and allows Maintenance to repair all concrete distresses in the lane closure, which includes Spalls, Corner breaks, First & Third stage crack, and transverse & longitudinal joints.” –

To learn more about FastPatch and how to apply, visit FastPatch Academy: Equipment Tuturials. For more information contact us at FastPatch@wilvaco.com.

What is in store for Rail in 2018?

Rail

Photo Source: American-Rails

“We feel very good about the future and look forward to next year. We are committed to provide superior service to our customers, and with the volume growth momentum still ahead of us, we see good growth opportunity. A major focus as we move into 2018 is putting more of our resources in place: the people, the equipment and the capital investments.” — Canadian National President and CEO Luc Jobin

What’s the state of the rail industry in 2018? Today’s modern railroads face diverse and unique challenges in daily maintenance projects. There is a lot to be optimistic about in the coming year for rail, though at the moment it is a cautious optimism. A strong U.S. economy and increased consumer confidence could potentially bring new investments and policies that would positively affect all levels of infrastructure throughout the country.

Overall, 2017 was a good year for the rail industry, with the ASCE’s report card giving it the only strong grade of its infrastructure report card. NASDAQ also reported strong growth for railroads in the third quarter due in part to improved focus on deliverables like coal.

Of course, there are challenges to overcome that could impact the industry. Some lawmakers have called for budget cuts, stating that trains are not profitable. National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) President and CEO Jim Mathews responded by saying “those in Congress who believe that passenger rail is not profitable are mistaken. What they don’t see is the big picture. A robust national–and international–intermodal transportation system is crucial to economic growth, especially in those rural and less wealthy areas where travel options are already limited.”

Uncertainty with the North American Free Trade Agreement could also be a factor that greatly impacts the rail industry. Railroads such as the Kansas City Southern that deal heavily with Mexico could potentially feel the repercussions of the deal falling through.

Union Pacific’s Lance Fritz highlights Mexico is a strong business opportunity. “Despite uncertainty around NAFTA, we consider our Mexico business an opportunity that could benefit some of our submarkets. Union Pacific moves 70 percent of U.S. freight-rail shipments to and from Mexico through gateways at Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas; Nogales, Arizona; and Calexico, California. We support trade that helps the U.S. and Mexico economies grow.”

As new infrastructure plans and investments are revealed, the railroad industry’s future will become clearer. We hope it’s a bright one.

About WVCO’s Railroad Division
The Willamette Valley Company’s Railroad Division is the industry leader in providing innovative new products and application systems for today’s railroads. The Railroad Division’s proprietary product, SpikeFast®, has quickly become the most sought-after and reliable product for plugging spike holes.The Railroad Division also offers other railroad tie products for wood and concrete ties, and unique application systems to accurately and consistently apply proven products.

Sources:

https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/article/63203/expanding-passenger-rail-u-s-economy/

https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/news/62949/report-amtrak-cuts-cost-billions/

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/railroad-industry-outlook-december-2018-cm886615

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/rail_industry_trends/article/Outlook-2018-For-Class-I-railroads-moderate-growth-is-the-best-guess–53413

Feeling Creative? Add a Little Unicorn Spit into the Mix!

UnicornSpitUnlike its namesake, Eclectic Products’ Unicorn Spit is very real and extremely useful! This product mixes Paint, Gel Stain, and Glaze into one vibrant mixture, giving customers the ability to turn any everyday objects into a masterpiece.

Pick from 14 different colors and let your creativity run wild! Unicorn Spit penetrates into deep wood and glazes over existing finishes, making it the ideal final touch when fixing up some furniture. Of course, Unicorn Spit works on so much more than wood; add it to some fabric, glass, metal, concrete, or pottery to give objects a stylish new look.

Inspired? Here are some great ways people are using Unicorn Spit to take their creativity further.

If you’re ready to create your very own masterpieces, head on over to Unicorn Spit’s Directions and Tutorials for tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your product.

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.

A Look at Infrastructure’s 2017 and 2018

US Infrastructure

Photo Source: Inhabitat.com

As 2017 comes to a close it’s the ideal time to reflect on the year and look towards the future. Specifically, the present and future of the United States’ infrastructure.

In the views of many, 2017 could have been a better year for infrastructure.The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s 2017 report card gave infrastructure a national grade of D+.This grade is based on a total average of individually graded categories, such as aviation, schools, drinking water, and energy to name a few. The one category where infrastructure is succeeding is Rail, the highest rated category at a B rating. Find the grading breakdown of the report card here.

ReportCard

Image Source: ASCE

So how can infrastructure improve in 2018? The ASCE offers several solutions to raise the grade. One such improvement is for leadership to be emboldened. As ASCE President Dr. Norma Jean Mattei puts it “we need our elected leaders – those who pledged to rebuild our infrastructure while on the campaign trail – to follow through on those promises with investment and innovative solutions that will ensure our infrastructure is built for the future.”

Another such solution offered would be to increase sustained infrastructure investment, specifically from 2.5% to 3.5% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. Their third recommendation would be to ensure that infrastructure is more resilient and sustainable in order to prepare it for the future.

Will these solutions be implemented? It may be too early to say. The current administration has promised to announce their infrastructure plan and will reveal spending for the next few years. If the promise of $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investment is true, then it is very possible we may see the report card grade improve drastically in the coming years. One thing is certain: 2018 and the new infrastructure plan will bring drastic policy changes that will be felt throughout all facets of infrastructure.

Sources:

https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

https://www.asce.org/templates/press-release-detail.aspx?id=24013

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/363813-trump-to-release-infrastructure-plan-next-month-report

 

How Does a Robotic Wood Wrapping Machine Work?

PRE-TEC FANUC Robotics

Originally posted on www.fanucamerica.com

Wood manufacturers are discovering that industrial robots are ideal for the hazardous work environments they encounter in the woodworking industry. In this application video, PRE-TEC (a division of Willamette Valley Company) has implemented an automated wood wrapping system in which four FANUC robots apply protective wrapping, end sealant, and label to I-Joist Beams or Stacked Laminated Veneer Lumber. This system can automatically apply protective wrapping for multiple length, width and height units on the fly by calculating the load dimensions.

This system utilizes one FANUC M-710iC/70 robot, two M-16iB/10L robots, and one M-20iA/10L robot to complete the process. The FANUC robots transfer each piece, accurately measure and stretch the wrapping to match the piece size, apply the sealant, and stack the wood for distribution. The beams are measured continuously on the carousel to be sure the correct size wrapping is loaded.

The robots then wrap and staple the wood automatically. In this system, robots replaced an operation that presented stapling hazards as well as those that come with handling large pieces of engineered wood products. In addition to removing stapling and handling hazards, PRE-TEC says that this robotically automated process has made their system much more efficient. To learn more about this robotic wrap applicator system, please visit PRE-TEC’s website at http://www.pre-tec.com/custom-robotics.

Follow the link to learn more about our full line of Wrapping & Material Handling Robots.

WVCO Named “APA Supplier of the Year “for Third Year in a Row!

Photo via APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Huntington Beach, California- Earlier this week, WVCO was named APA Supplier of the Year for the third year in a row and for the 8th time in 11 years at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the EWTA Info Fair.

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 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. Last year, in addition to “Supplier of the Year”, the WVCO team was also recognized with the prestigious “Innovation of the Year” award for our new product Wil-Spray 500. It was the first time that the same company won both awards in the same year!

These awards mean a great deal to our company because it is a reflection of the quality and delivery of products, equipment and/or services, as determined by a vote of APA members.

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.

Positive Train Control Means Increased Rail Safety Measures

Rail systems get millions to improve safety

Rail systems get millions to improve safety

Last spring, the  U.S. Department of Transportation announced it would grant $197 million in funding for rail systems to implement the new rail safety measures called Positive Train Control.

Positive Train Control, or PTC, has been described as something of an “air traffic control” center for trains. PTC makes use of GPS satellites, radio towers, and ground sensors in order to better read a train’s speed and location. One such added benefit of this technology is that it can detect if a train is going too fast and allow on board computers to slow it down or stop it all together.

PTC

Photo Source – The Press Enterprise

“The number of passengers depending on rail has increased dramatically, which means PTC is needed now more than ever,” said Patrick Warren, FRA Executive Director. “This funding will get us closer to PTC implementation on some of the most significant railroads in the country that transport several million passengers to and from work every day.”

PTC systems are designed to prevent certain train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones, and trains routed to the wrong tracks because a switch was left in the wrong position. The grants under this program will be used to install PTC technology, including back office systems and wayside, communications, and onboard hardware equipment associated with railroads’ PTC systems.

“Millions of people rely on our nation’s commuter railroads and Positive Train Control will help ensure safe and reliable service,” said FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes. “Today’s announcement means that commuter railroads can move forward with the implementation of an important rail safety feature.”

Of course, a project of this scale and scope has been met with some hesitation. Some fear such a system could higher transportation costs in addition to redundancies that could potentially result in layoffs. Though the debate continues whether implementation is fiscally wise or will managed, few can deny that such a tech will not be a strong tool in helping prevent accidents caused due to human error.

To view a list of when railroads predict that they will achieve full PTC system implementation, visit Railroads’ Planned Timelines for Full Implementation of PTC TechnologyExternal Link.

Sources:

New Technology Coming To Help Make MARC Trains Safer

Rail systems get millions to improve safety

Regulators and railways spar over Positive Train Control, a controversial safety system that won’t arrive in time

WVCO Listed Among Leading Manufacturers Analysis in Global Wood Fillers Market 2017

The Willamette Valley Company has been listed among the leading manufacturers in the Wood Fillers industry in the Global Wood Fillers Market 2017 report.  Worldwide Wood Fillers Market 2017 presents a widespread and fundamental study of Wood Fillers industry along with a competitive landscape view of the industry. The report also includes development plans and policies along with manufacturing processes. The major regions involved in Wood Fillers Market are the United States, EU, China, and Japan.

The report also provides an analytical view of the industry by studying different factors like Wood Fillers market growth, consumption volume, market trends and Wood Fillers industry cost structures during the forecast period from 2017 to 2022.

Some of the key highlights of the Wood Fillers Market include

(✓) A Clear understanding of the Wood Fillers market based on growth, constraints, opportunities, feasibility study.
(✓) Concise Wood Fillers Market study based on major geographical regions.
(✓) Analysis of evolving market segments as well as a complete study of existing Wood Fillers market segments.
(✓) Discover More About Report Here: http://qyresearch.us/report/global-wood-fillers-market-2017/62675/

For Sample Copy Of The Report Click Here: http://qyresearch.us/report/global-wood-fillers-market-2017/62675/#inquiry

Event Packed Late Summer and Early Fall for WVCO!

WVCO tradeshow

The Willamette Valley Company is having a busy late summer/early fall! Last month, we had the honor of welcoming representatives from the Association of American Railroads (AAR), Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA), GoRail and several other Oregon rail manufacturers to honor Congressman Peter DeFazio at our Eugene, Oregon facility. Click here to learn more about this event.

In addition, team members from our Railroad, Wood Products and Concrete divisions have been meeting with a range of industry professionals on expo floors across the United States to discuss the challenges they are facing and present innovative new products and solutions to meet their needs. Our concrete repair products for transportation and infrastructure markets like FASTPATCH and POLYQuik have been utilized by several DOT’s and other public works and infrastructure professionals for a number of years.

We are so thrilled to be a part of the many industry events happening around the country. Here is a summary of the places where WVCO has appeared most recently:

APWA – PWX 2017
In late August, we met with thousands of Public Works professionals in Orlando, FL for APWA – PWX 2017 to showcase WVCO’s latest products, services and technologies specific to public works industries including construction management, engineering and streets/roads/bridges preservation and maintenance. WVCO has a longstanding relationship with the American Public Works Association (APWA) and has proudly presented our top rated Concrete Repair Products to members of the assocation for a number of years.

ASCE Pavements & Airfield Tech Conference
Also in late August, representatives from our concrete repair division were also on hand presenting POLYQuik Fastpatch concrete repair solutions to highway and airport project/construction managers at the ASCE International Conference on Highway Pavements and Airfield Technology in Philadelphia, PA. Transportation and airport safety professionals from all over the world attended to learn the latest technologies, implementation, construction, design, and research in this critical infrastructure field.

Western Bridge Engineers’ Seminar
In early September, we were in Portland, Oregon for the Western Bridge Engineers’ Seminar. This was a great opportunity to share our concrete repair solutions with bridge maintenance managers, superintendents, designers, crews, planners, programmers, inspectors along with local, state, federal, and other agency bridge owners involved in bridge maintenance activities. A number of educational meetings and seminars addressing the ongoing challenges of replacing the aging bridges across our country took place during the event.

League of California Cities – 2017 Annual Expo
This week, we wrapped up an exciting and productive week at the League of California Cities – 2017 Annual Expo in Sacramento, CA. An estimated 1,900+ city officials from 400 cities including mayors, council members, city managers and transportation officials throughout California attended the event. Our mission was to introduce products and services to ease the challenges and opportunities to help improve roads, rails, airports, seaports and bridges throughout the state.

What’s Next?
Members of our Railroad Division are now about to head to the Railway Interchange September 17th-20th in Indianapolis, IN. This massive event is the largest combined railway exhibition and technical conference in North America and is an experience we always enjoy.

Also coming up, Airfield Operations Conference(SWIFT 2017)September 18th-21st in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 55th Annual Road & Street Maintenance Supervisors’ Conference in Yakima, WA in early October and the EWTA Info Fair in Huntington Beach, CA in late October!  If you’re attending any of these events, stop by our booths and say hello!