All Aboard and Ready for the 2015 NRC Conference!

Rail Industry As the rail industry continues to grow and evolve, so does our selection of innovative rail maintenance and repair products. The WVCO team is always eager to connect directly with railway engineering professional representing all segments of the industry to introduce them to new products and ideas. We also appreciate the opportunity to listen to their questions and concerns about the growing number of challenges this industry faces.

This is one of the primary reasons we will be exhibiting products and services from our Railroad Division at the 2015 National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Conference in Hollywood, Florida January 7-10, 2015. The NRC is a trade association serving the needs of railroad contractors and suppliers. This annual event attracts some of the leading professionals in the industry who are there to network, attend technical presentations, seminars and more.

The WVCO Railroad Division team will join other members of the railroad industry including service firms, manufacturers, suppliers and contractors to exhibit our railroad products and POLYQuik Roadway Repair materials, Joint Fillers and Light-Rail Grout.

The annual NRC Conference and NRC-REMSA Exhibition will encompass more than 1,000 attendees, 150 exhibitors and over 25,000 square-feet of meeting space. We have a unique program agenda lined up with chief engineers from the major freight railroads, and other key speakers covering topics on:

2015 Class 1 and Regional Railroad Capital Spending Plans
Florida Rail Projects
Commuter Rail and Transit Contracting
Financial View of the Rail Industry
High Speed Rail Updates
Rail Infrastructure Legislation
Rail Projects of National Significance
Railroad Construction Safety

Please be sure to stop by the WVCO booth!

photo credit: Timothy Wildey via photopin cc

Top Ten Rail Trends 2014 from Progressive Railroading’s RailTrends® conference

RailTrends
Tony Hatch is an independent transportation analyst and consultant, and a program consultant for Progressive Railroading’s RailTrends® conference. Read some of his takeaways from the recent conference which took place November 20-21, 2014 in New York City.

RailTrends 2014: Top 10 takeaways
By Tony Hatch

The 2014 edition of RailTrends® (Nov. 20-21 in New York City), was our 10th and it was, well, fantastic. It wasn’t just the speaker lineup; the attendee list, too, was superb. In addition to suppliers and rail finance execs, the audience comprised two Class I railroad CEOs, a head of rail domestic intermodal, a major rail treasurer, a chief rail strategist or two, the incoming head of the ASLRRA, the RAC’s CEO and shippers. I cannot recreate the networking discussions (you had to be there), but the content and dialogue surrounding same were terrific. Here’s my “Top 10” list of takeaways:

1. Service should improve by spring.
Railroads get it: They see the problems and, if they address them, the opportunities; I expect significant trend-line improvement by spring, assuming a “normal” winter. We heard from Matt Rose on BNSF’s big money allocations ($6 billion capex in 2015), as well as strategists and operating heads at CN, CSX, NS and CP. They have plans to add capacity, purchase locomotives and bring on trained T&E employees. Overall, I expect Class I capex to be up about 5 percent in 2015.

2. The demand is there.
We heard directly from one of the rails’ and rail/intermodal’s largest customers, United Parcel Service (via Ken Buenker), who stressed the need for regularity and certainty (UPS holds rails to a 95 percent standard, the rest to 99 percent), and that rails’ current performance was “very concerning.” But he acknowledged that they continue to invest, that UPS is “confident in rails’ future” and “will continue to invest in their rail partnership.” Shippers in the audience echoed that sentiment.

3. Consolidation may not be the answer, but it is the question.
Every Class I but one (CP, of course) came out against it, including BNSF (heretofore officially silent), noting the terrible risk/reward outlook at present.

4. Keith Creel accepts the Progressive Railroading “Railroad Innovator Award.”
He talked about change during a career that has spanned the IC, CN and now CP, and noted that M&A was but one of the outside-of-the-box solutions to fluidity issues that ought to be considered by a tradition-bound industry. Creel was a well-deserved winner and looks to be well on his way to becoming a model modern rail leader.

5. And then there’s Chicago.
Neither Creel, who delivered a gracious acceptance speech, nor CP’s Hunter Harrison, who was there only to support his protégé, took questions from the audience. But Harrison did tell me that CP, BNSF and others had created a Chicago policy study committee comprising retired rail operations all-stars (names I heard included Shoener, Trafton and Harris) who will report back in early 2015 with concrete answers to the service issues in the congested hub — 400 freight trains a day plus 500 passenger trains! It’s something Harrison believes could be of real value and, if so, was the biggest piece of news to come out of RailTrends 2014.

6. Mexican demand is real.
KCS’s Pat Ottensmeyer delineated how foreign direct investment is leading to industrial buildout in not just autos but aerospace, white goods, etc., which will benefit rails disproportionately — KCS and UP, in particular.

7. Rail-car OEMs above-average build rates here to stay. While we wait till next year for the issuance of tank-car standards, pent-up demand is building up for other car types, which should keep production above 50,000 cars well into the 2020s, said FTR’s Dick Kloster.

8. CBR to continue to grow through 2017 in North America.

While still rather small (2 percent to 4 percent of the carload total) and incredibly volatile, crude oil is worth the hassles associated with moving it, railroads told us. PLG Consulting’s Taylor Robinson sees a seven- to 10-year industrial buildout for rail due to “unconventional energy” and its effects on industry.

9. Washington still playing defense, but there’s a ray of hope for the offense.
If railroads show first-half 2015 improvement, there’s a chance that rail interests in D.C. could go on the offensive next year and with the next Congress — for example, in terms of getting an STB reauthorization bill through the Senate Commerce Committee that they can live with, or getting through to lawmakers about the undue risk rails take on by moving dangerous goods.

10. How can we top this?
We said that after RailTrends 2013, as well. As BNSF’s Rose said about the rails, capacity and demand — it’s a rich man’s problem, but a problem, nonetheless. We’ll get to work on the 2015 program soon.

TONY HATCH HAS BEEN A SENIOR TRANSPORTATION ANALYST ON WALL STREET FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS. HIS COVERAGE HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON THE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION SEGMENT, PARTICULARLY SURFACE TRANSPORTATION. WITH OVER A QUARTER CENTURY’S EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD, MR. HATCH HAS BEEN ACTIVE AS AN INDEPENDENT ANALYST AND CONSULTANT, DOING WORK FOR MAJOR RAILROADS SUCH AS NORFOLK SOUTHERN, CSX, UNION PACIFIC, BNSF, KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN, CANADIAN NATIONAL AS WELL AS THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS, THE AMERICAN SHORT LINE AND REGIONAL RAIL ROAD ASSOCIATION, THE UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION, THE CANADIAN TRANSPORTATION AGENCY, THE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA, THE INTERMODAL ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA, THE NORTH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RAIL SHIPPERS, AREMA/NRC/RSI, THE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF THE UK, AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS, RAILINC/STEELROADS, VARIOUS OTHER FREIGHT SHIPPER AND SUPPLIER ORGANIZATIONS (INCLUDING NITL, NGFA, AND NEARS/SEARS/MARS/SWARS, ETC), AND MANAGEMENT CONSULTING FIRMS SUCH AS
OLIVER WYMAN/ MERCER MANAGEMENT, AND MITCHELL MADISON GROUP / USWEB.

photo credit: SP8254 via photopin cc

Time to Get Crafty! Make Your Own Mixed Media Desk Accessories with E-6000 Spray Adhesive

HOW TO Make Mixed Media Desk Accessories

Are you wondering what to get your loved ones for Christmas this year? Consider a giving a handmade gift! Handmade gifts are a great way to save money and while giving a special one-of-a-kind gift. All you need is a little creativity and the right tools, like craft glue!

Our friends at Eclectic Products, Inc. are a great resource for ideas and instructions for fun crafts this year. Here is a simple idea to get you started:

In this episode of the “Make Your Mark” Web Series, author and craft guru, Mark Montano, uses E-6000 Spray Adhesive along with leftover scraps and jewelry pieces to make adorable recycled mixed media desk in this video. Watch below:

MARK MONTANO
Designer, Crafter & Author

Mark uses Amazing GOOP and E6000 in his craft books and public appearances. Crafting is a big part of Mark’s life and he enjoys sharing and encouraging everyone to have fun with your projects. Have fun crafting and enjoy the crafts from Mark and others. Follow these links to more videos of Mark using E6000 Spray Adhesive!
WATCH NOW Lampshade
WATCH NOW Gold Leaf Bracelets

About The Eclectic Products, Inc.
The Eclectic Products, Inc. AMAZING CRAFT Adhesives are a complete collection of products for every project imaginable. Eclectic Products, a subsidiary of Willamette Valley Company, manufactures adhesives, wood fillers, and do-it-yourself products for home and commercial use.

 

Is America’s Infrastructure Neglected?

“60 Minutes” investigates America’s Infrastructure Problems

This week, “60 Minutes” aired a report on why our roads, bridges, airports and rail are outdated and need to be fixed. The piece, titled “Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure“, features an interview with Ray LaHood, former US Secretary of Transportation from 2009 until 2013, who is urgently working to convince lawmakers to invest in the much needed restoration of America’s outdated roads, rails, bridges, airports and seaports.

According to the report, of the 70,000 bridges in the United States, 1 in 9 of these bridges is considered “structurally deficient”. With tens of millions of people using these roads and bridges every day, this certainly caught our attention.

The piece, which aired on November 23rd, showed the rust and the cracked concrete developing on bridges across the country, especially in Pennsylvania, where the problem is most critical according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

LaHood says that even though the roads and bridges urgently need to be fixed, there is no funding to do so because Federal Highway Trust Fund is financed by the federal gas tax which hasn’t been raised in 20 years.

What are your thoughts? Do you think our lawmakers will be able to work together to solve this serious problem?  What is the solution?

photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

FastPatch Repair on the CSX Louisville Subdivision Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati, Ohio

CSX Transportation

Photo @ CSX Transportation Historical Society

The team of experienced chemists and engineers at Willamette Valley Company are continuously searching for better ways to apply our products and enhance your production.  Concrete repair products like FastPatch MD/GC-MD, developed by our POLYQuik Division, are a testament to our commitment of providing unrelenting quality and innovative solutions to the transportation industry.

FastPatch was used to conduct a repair on a scale chair in the CSX Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the largest rail classification facilities in North America. Queensgate Yard, considered one of the most productive hump yards on the CSX system, is located along the Mill Creek west of downtown Cincinnati and covers approximately 70 miles of track. Constructed at a cost of over 71 million dollars with the purpose of consolidating several small yards in the area, the yard was dedicated on October 20, 1981. In 2012, our POLYQuik Division conducted a repair on a scale chair using a total of 5 lifts and 14 bags of gravel. The FastPatch procedure took 90 minutes to complete.

The following presentation illustrates the repair process:

FastPatch MD

Chair prior to removal

WVCO FastPatch

Chair removal

Concrete Repair

Old material and concrete removal

Concrete Repair

Area prepped and primed before application

FastPatch

Chair was set in place prior to any work being done

FastPatch Repair

Gravel was poured and FastPatch dispensed around chair. First lift was 6 inches. Anchor bolts were set in place while product was being applied.

Rail Repair

Chemical was allowed to cure for 55 minutes before train cars were allowed on the scale.

About FastPatch MD/GC-MD
FastPatch MD/GC-MD is a flexible, two component urethane designed as a fast curing repair product for concrete roadways. It is a 100% solids product supplied in ready-to-use kits or drums/totes for metered applications. FastPatch MD/GC has excellent adhesion to concrete. Concrete repaired with FastPatch MD/GC can be opened to traffic in as little as an hour. Click here to learn more about how POLYQuik Fastpatch concrete repair products.

 

Content Resources:
www.cincyrails.com/queensgate
www.csx.com
www.wilvaco.com/Cincy_Scale_Chair_Repair_PolyquikCSX

Fall Conference Round Up: UDOT Annual Conference & 2014 EWTA Info Fair

EWTA Info Fair

WVCO Team at the 2013 EWTA Info Fair. Photo source: EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

After a very busy summer of traveling to various expos and presentations around the country, our reps are not about to slow down!  Next week, our POLYQuick division is headed to UDOT Annual Conference to introduce transportation professionals from all over the state of Utah our innovative concrete repair solutions and services.

This event, held October 28-30, 2014, offers top-notch training opportunities for attendees including specific tracks for maintenance and construction, design, and other disciplines.

This event features an interactive exposition floor (where we will feature POLYQuick products and services), along with keynote speakers like UDOT Executive Director, Carlos M. Braceras; Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox; leadership expert Stephen M. R. Covey and several other distinguished industry leaders. Attendees will also be able to take care of great training and networking opportunities available in a wide range of breakout sessions.

Our Wood Products team will be traveling to San Antonio, TX for the EWTA Info Fair November 8-10, 2014.  This annual event, sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers.

Willamette Valley Company is proud to be a part of this important event which brings together members of the engineered wood industry – Plywood, OSB, Glulam, SCL or I-Joist- in a relaxed setting and intimate venue.  The event is a perfect opportunity to share new information, best practices, introduce our new wood products solutions during productive business meetings and socializing.

WVCO’s Vice President of Northwest Sales,  Tony Vuksich, had this to say about the event “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do—it allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

About APA – The Engineered Wood Association 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.  The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) is a nonprofit trade association of and for product, equipment and service providers to the North American engineered wood products industry. EWTA is a related organization of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the leading North American association of structural engineered wood product manufacturers.

Featured WVCO Partnership: International Concrete Repair Institute – (ICRI)

ICRI members are recognized around the world as companies and individuals that provide the utmost quality in their products and services. It is this recognition that leads prospective customers to you through ICRI services such as our annual Membership Directory “Who’s Who in Concrete Repair.”

For decades, WVCO has been recognized as an industry leader around the globe. This recognition has enabled us to forge valuable partnerships with leading industry associations and organizations to better serve our customers and memberships by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.

Our association with International Concrete Repair Institute – (ICRI) is a prime example of how our partnerships make us a better company. The concrete restoration and repair industry has grown from a niche market to an industry all its own and ICRI is the only association in the concrete industry devoted solely to repair and restoration.

It’s global network of members, which include contractors, manufacturers, engineers, distributors, owners, and other professionals have a common goal: prolonging the useful life of concrete through quality repair, restoration, and protection.

ICRI began in February of 1988 at a World of Concrete seminar to address the need for better standards, training and guidelines for concrete repair. In response to these concerns, the International Association of Concrete Repair Specialists was formed.
In 1993 the name was changed to the International Concrete Repair Institute. The organizing members agreed on a statement of purpose, which is:

To improve the quality of concrete restoration, repair and protection, through education of, and communication among, the members and those who use their services.

 

Learn more in this video: What is the International Concrete Repair Institute?

Today, the organization stays true it’s original mission by conducting countless regional networking opportunities publishing a bimonthly magazine and technical guidelines for concrete repair, and cosponsors the World of Concrete. To learn more about this organization and how you can be a part of them, please visit www.icri.org.

Maintaining a State of Good Repair at the 2014 Pacific Northwest Bridge Maintenance Conference

One of the biggest challenges transportation engineering and maintenance personnel face today is around the clock bridge maintenance. Think about it, our safety depends on their service and expertise as they work to maintain the integrity of these massive structures used by millions of people every day.

Our POLYQuik Performance Products team is looking forward to meeting with these individuals and many others who provide such a critical service to the infrastructure of our country and abroad at the Pacific Northwest Bridge Maintenance Conference in Portland, Oregon October 14-16, 2014!

This conference will feature a number of innovative seminars led by industry experts including representatives from the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation. The keynote speaker this year is Sandi Doughton, the award-winning science writer for The Seattle Times and the author of Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Here she is speaking at TEDxBellingham:

A number of important issues and topics will be covered relating to bridge maintenance information, innovations, ideas, and best practices. Other goals of the 2014 conference are to:

• Provide a means for bridge maintenance personnel to obtain training and a better understanding of bridge maintenance / repair techniques
• Foster the development of leadership skills
• Promote technology transfer within the bridge maintenance community
• Provide a forum for networking
• Promote “Fix it First” Strategies

Why POLYQuik?
Our POLYQuik division produces high-performance concrete repair products that are utilized in bridge maintenance. The conference is an opportunity for us 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.

Our experienced chemists and engineers are continually searching for better ways to apply our products and enhance your production. Stop by our exhibit booth #16 to learn more about our latest concrete repair products and discuss the very latest technology and techniques!

photo credit: Éole via photopin cc

Spotlight on SpikeFast®, the Signature Product of the WVCO Railroad Division!

For nearly two centuries, the railroad industry has played a vital role in our economy and continues to grow throughout the world.  Why?  Railroads are one of the most economical and efficient modes of transportation resulting in more jobs and billions of dollars saved annually. As the industry continues to grow, so do the challenges; prompting the Willamette Valley Company Railroad Division to create successful solutions for railroad maintenance.

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

Performance tests results show that SpikeFast® is the leading spike-hole filler in the railroad industry.

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.

Here’s how it works:

Headed to to the 2014 American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association in Chicago? Be sure to visit us at booth #401 to learn more about how we can serve you!

top photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

Robotic Industries Association Certified Robot Integrator Program

Our partnership with the key Robotic Arm Manufacturers enables us to provide you with the right automated solutions for your application.

“Certification in any industry is a mark of professionalism”- Robotic Industries Association (RIA)

Some of today’s most flexible, automated turn-key solutions come from our PRE-TEC division, where we build 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.

PRE-TEC’s relationship with the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the only North American trade group dedicated solely to robotics and robot safety, has enabled us to better serve customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.

We are proud that PRE-TEC is not only a member of RIA, it is part of of RIA’s Certified Robot Integrator Program.

This program, established in 2012, provides robot integrators with a way to benchmark against industry best practices and allows robot users to develop a baseline for evaluating robot integrators. 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.

“The RIA certification program is a perfect opportunity for certified robot integrators to differentiate themselves,” says Armando Barry, certification consultant to the RIA. “Achieving the RIA certification will reflect a significant commitment by robot integrators, that elevates their technical expertise in applying robots in a consistent manner,” Barry concluded.

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