How Is Automation and Robotics Good for the American Workforce?

PRE-TEC Robotics Willamette Valley Company

“The overwhelming conclusion of industry experts is that automation doesn’t spell the end of gainful employment for humans, but rather, the improvement of employment opportunities.”

– From How Robotic Automation is Changing the Job Market

As industrial automation technology continues to develop and evolve, our PRE-TEC team is here to help businesses all over the country prepare for the future by developing innovative custom manufacturing solutions to help businesses grow. Since the 1990s, WVCO’s PRE-TEC division has been at the forefront of innovative manufacturing solutions and the development of precision equipment. Our team has prepared hundreds of robotic systems through the decades that have led to measurable improvements for the company’s overall “bottom line”.

It is not difficult to understand how the use of industrial robots is a cost-effective way to produce higher quality products and increase productivity, but if you look deeper, you will see the benefits to human workers as well. In fact, there are a number of ways the evolution of robotics are improving conditions and creating new opportunities for workers. However, the use of robotics is not without controversy.

The Fear of Automation & Robotics
There is an unfortunate perception that robots will eliminate the need for the human workforce in the near future. Job security is always a primary concern among manufacturing workers and the projected increase in automation is causing anxiety among the American workforce. It is understandable why many employees and labor unions can perceive automation as a threat to their well-being and job security.

How Does Automation Benefit Workers?
In this post, we’d like to counter those fears and make the point that automation does not necessarily equal job loss. In fact, it’s quite the contrary- the evidence is showing that automation is actually improving prospects for American workers. A wide range of industry experts agree that automation will lead to better working conditions, higher pay and job growth.

1) Safer Working Conditions
By taking on the necessary manufacturing tasks that can be repetitive and cumbersome for workers, automation creates a safer work environment and reduces the risk of serious and sometimes fatal on-the-job accidents. Eliminating these tasks in a fast-paced production line reduces stress, mental fatigue, and injuries that can result from lifting and moving large objects.

2) More Satisfaction
Business experts predict that improving tasks like parts retrieval or transferring materials within a facility will allow workers to redirect their skills to better uses. If machines can perform tasks that are repetitive or even dangerous for employees to perform, workers have more opportunities focus their efforts on more engaging job functions that improve quality and customer service like Q.C. checks, special orders, machine operation, maintenance, repair, and line supervision.

3) Higher Pay
Historically, supply and demand drive wage increases and businesses can only pay workers more if they become more productive. Automation enables human workers to be more efficient and focus on more valuable tasks that justify a higher wage. Manufacturing job titles and tasks are changing and employers are adding higher paying job opportunities like system operators, supervisors, programmers, and technicians to keep operating systems in top condition and running efficiently.

4) More jobs
In most cases, utilizing automation for materials handling results in higher output for a lower cost. As a company grows, so will the need for more jobs in that industry. As an example, the Wall Street Journal cites the growth of the banking industry after automated tellers were introduced in the 1970s. After ATMs were introduced, more branches were opened which resulted in more positions and job openings to be filled for decades.

Like computers, automation does not mean job elimination. Despite their advanced capabilities, automated robotic systems do not eliminate the need for a human workforce. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, more than 90% of jobs will not be able to be fully automated. Robotics and automation will improve production, employee safety, and satisfaction, which results in a lower turnover. Adapting to the “age of robotics” is a necessary change businesses will need to make in order to stay competitive and to help maximize their worker’s potential.

Benefits of Industrial Automation Demonstrated in PRE-TEC Video

PRE-TEC

What Can Industrial Automation do for Manufacturing Businesses?

Numerous case studies conducted through the decades have demonstrated time and time again that implementing product line automation with robotic technology is a cost-effective way to produce higher quality products, increase productivity and improve safety. This PRE-TEC video demonstrates how automation increases precision while saving time:

As the technology develops, it is estimated that the number of industrial automation and robots deployed worldwide will go up to 2.6 million units by 2019. WVCO’s robotics division, PRE-TEC, is helping businesses all over the country prepare for the future by developing innovative custom manufacturing solutions to help businesses grow. We’ll let them tell you in their own words.

 

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

See You at the 2016 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair

EWTA Info Fair

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the APA Annual Meeting & EWTA Info Fair with 81 exhibitors 400+ attendees.

Once a year, managers and top executives from EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers meet to review and plan association programs. The 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 in Bonita Springs, Florida November 5-8, 2016 for the 2016 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The Info Fair is held in conjunction with APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s Annual Meeting.

“It forges great partnerships,” says Willamette Valley Company Vice President of Northwest Sales, 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 primary focus of this year’s meeting will be to devise solutions to the many challenges and opportunities that face the wood products industry today including affordability of single-family home ownership, mill and occupational safety, and how to increase interest in manufacturing careers and close the skilled labor gap.

This year’s meeting organizers have lined up an esteemed selection of guest speakers, roundtable discussion moderators and panelists like Bethany Mclean, author and columnist for Forbes, to lead these conversations that could potentially impact the state of our industry as well as the association.

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

Willamette Valley Company has a long standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. During last year’s conference, WVCO was honored with a 2015 Supplier Award at the Chairman’s Dinner and Safety Awards Recognition! This year, WVCO is once again a Gold Sponsor of the EWTA Reception and proud to help sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, an Annual Golf Tournament to honor the life of Pacific Woodtech executive and APA trustee, Mike St. John.

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.

A Unique View of the Sawmilling Process from Start to Finish

Lumber

Image @ Vaagen Brothers Lumber

When you think about engineered wood, one doesn’t always consider the enormous impact it has on our daily lives. Chances are there is engineered wood all around you; in the construction of the building you are sitting in, the furniture you’re using and the floors you’re standing on.

Engineered wood products are used just about everywhere from home construction to commercial buildings to industrial products. It’s so commonly used, most of us take for granted! One rarely considers the amount of skill, planning and innovation it takes to produce these marvelous materials.

It was exciting to come across a series of videos recently produced by Vaagen Brothers Lumber that provide an up close and personal view of the complete manufacturing process from logging to saw-milling, all captured with drone footage.

The forestry company’s first video, Start To Finish Logging, demonstrates the complexities of the logging process. The first step is to decide on a selective harvesting plan with the land owner. Local contractors are then sent out to operate the Feller Buncher, Skidder, Processor, and Loader to safely finish the job.

The next phase of production process is demonstrated in the video, Biomass Removal – From Forest To Power Plant. Here, we see the remarkable process of slash piles from harvest and fuels reduction projects being ground and hauled to nearby biomass power plants.

The final video of the series, Logs to Lumber, the Vaagen Brothers Lumber gives us an exquisite ariel view of the full sawmilling process inside their Colville mill.

About Vaagen Brothers Lumber
Colville, WA based Vaagen Brothers Lumber Inc. has been working in the forests of northeast Washington for more than 50 years. The company takes the best of traditional logging and lumber milling practices and combine them with advanced production technologies and forward thinking, sustainable forest management practices to create a company that’s as vibrant and growing as the healthy forests and ecosystems necessary to its success. Learn more by visiting vaagenbros.com/

 

 

Event Recap: 2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting

EWTA Info Fair

Photos via EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: A Look Back to Our Future

Last month, the WVCO team joined 75 exhibitors and hundreds of professionals from the wood products industry for the 2015 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The Info Fair is held in conjunction with APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s Annual Meeting.

This year’s product and services exposition, which celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Engineered Wood Technology Association, was the perfect blend of past, present and future.

Many of you may recall that October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day” a tribute to the beloved “Back to the Future Series”. So it was fitting that the theme of the 2015 APA Annual Meeting & EWTA Info Fair, held October 17-19, was “APA Looks Back-To-Our-Future: Driving the Road to Success!” There was even a DeLorean on display!

Willamette Valley Company has a long standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do,” says Tony Vuksich, Vice President of Northwest Sales, The Willamette Valley Company. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

This year, WVCO was a Gold Sponsor of the EWTA Reception and proud to help sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, an Annual Golf Tournament to honor the life of Pacific Woodtech executive and APA trustee, Mike St. John.

In addition to the exciting opportunity to introduce our latest wood products solutions to members of our industry, WVCO was honored with a 2015 Supplier Award/a> at the Chairman’s Dinner and Safety Awards Recognition!

Read APA and EWTA Members Travel “Back to Our Future” at 2015 Annual Meeting to learn more about the highlights from this year’s Annual Meeting. You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

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. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org.

WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division Partners with Fanuc to Integrate ‘The Big Robot’

Large Robots

Standing with M2000iA

WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division team are some of the brightest minds in the industry. Since the mid 1990s, this team has successfully created more than 220 robotic systems and is currently FANUC’s largest custom robotic Integrator on the West Coast.

Much of the success of our robotics division has been made possible by partnering with leading edge companies like the FANUC America Corporation to develop automated manufacturing solutions using six axis robots and other precision equipment gor customers all over the world.

Recently, this team delved into a BIG project. We mean REALLY big.

Meet M2000iA, FANUC’s largest robot available in the North American market. This beast of a robot is offered with a 900Kg (2,094lbs) capacity or 1350Kg (2,976lbs) capacity- in other words, it can handle enormous objects like car & truck bodies, and very large castings. Our PRE-TEC team has proudly partnered once again with FANUC to integrate this huge robot for a customer here in the Northwest.

It takes a very innovative company like FANUC to supply us with the broad range of robots and servo drives we need to build the flexible automated solutions that integrate the multi-axis robot arms, with end-of-arm tooling, conveyance systems, and safety hardware.

With headquarters in Rochester Hills, Michigan, FANUC America Corporation produces software, controls, and vision products that aid in the development of robotic systems. Their technologies help manufacturers like us maximize efficiency, reliability and profitability.

To get an idea of their extensive capabilities, just watch this video where they demonstrate four FANUC Arc Mate 100iC robots welding an automotive trailer hitch:

For more information about the FANUC America Corporation, visit www.fanucamerica.com.

PRE-TEC designs and builds automated solutions for challenging manufacturing applications, and support all projects with training, spare parts, and preventive maintenance programs. Download our company overview for contact information and to learn more: Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

Click here to download more info on M2000iA

POLYQuik Solutions to Be Presented at 2015 CCSA Pavement Preservation Workshop

Willamette Valley Company Vice President, John Murray will join POLYQuik Technical Sales Manager Rob Loomis and a handful of distributors to present our line of high-performance concrete repair products like FastPatch MD, FastPatch DPR and fillers & sealants like our EJC products at the California Chip Seal Association Pavement Preservation Workshop February 4-5, 2015.

The theme of this year’s CCSA Pavement Preservation Work Shop is aptly titled, “A Little Goes a Long Way”. Workshop attendees will include a range of transportation and infrastructure professionals who can expect to learn about the following concrete repair solutions at the Willamette Valley Company exhibit-

Expansion Joint (EJC) product line

The EJC product line is a unique hybrid polyurea that provides users with the ability to repair concrete expansion joints and passes the testing needed for airport runways, highways, parking decks, bridge decks, roofing and sidewalks that no other product of its kind can achieve. Even under extreme weather conditions and traffic, they retain the high performance characteristics needed for years to come. What you can expect from Expansion Joint Products: Rapid cure, 100% solids, Zero VOC, Self leveling, Highly elastic, remains flexible in freezing temps, Durable under stress.

FastPatch Products

It doesn’t matter if your concrete repair problem is up high, down low, in cold or warm temperatures, big or small, you’ll find the perfect solution in one of our FastPatch Products. This line of concrete repair products provides users with the ability to repair concrete spalls or voids in everything from roadways and parking lots, to warehouse buildings and sidewalks.

FastPatch MD’s meter dispensing is perfect for repairing large areas of damaged concrete while FastPatch DPR is ideal for distressed pavement repair in parking lots, warehouses, sidewalks and roadways. With each of these products you’ll experience excellent adhesion to concrete and an incredible cure rate that allows the repaired area to be open for use in as little as one hour!

To see it in action, watch this FASTPATCH MD/GC demonstration that features a large spall repair, longitudinal crack repair, and transverse joint sealing and filling:

POLYQuik products are tested and developed to the most stringent standards. Systems are thoroughly evaluated for performance with the latest in application equipment, physical properties testing, weather exposure, adhesion testing, chemical resistance testing and much more. The resulting concrete repair products are fast curing, tough materials.

Our laboratories and research centers are located in Oregon, Georgia, Louisiana and Chile. Our team of scientists and engineers consists of more than 45 members with more than 75 years combined experience in product development and application.

 

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.

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