The U.S. Department of Transportation Releases National Freight Strategic Plan

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation Releases National Freight Strategic PlanUSDOT lays out a vision on how to improve the safety, security, and resilience of the national freight system.

Every day, America’s transportation network moves over 51 million tons of freight and energy products valued at nearly $52 billion via highways, railways, ports and inland waterways, pipelines, and airports. The demand that has resulted from the increased use of e-commerce and global supply chains is presenting a series of challenges to our already taxed transportation system. 

Challenges affecting our freight system include increased safety risks, increased congestion, and declining infrastructure conditions. According to the USDOT, these challenges could have a negative impact on America’s ability to stay competitive across major industries like agriculture, manufacturing, energy production and E-commerce along with a lack of preparation for incorporating innovative technologies.   

Earlier in the month, the United States Department of Transportation addressed these problems when it released its National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP). The plan lays out the USDOT’s vision for long-term investments in infrastructure, the workforce, and other essential parts of the freight system. “The safe and efficient movement of goods through our freight system is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT),” it states in the NFSP Executive Summary. “This National Freight Strategic Plan defines the U.S. DOT’s vision and goals for the national multimodal freight system, assesses the conditions and performance of the freight system and barriers to freight system performance, and defines strategies to achieve its vision and goals.”

The strategic goals stated in the plan are to:  

*Improve the safety, security, and resilience of the national freight system.

*Modernize freight infrastructure and operations to grow the economy, increase competitiveness, and improve quality of life.

*Prepare for the future by supporting the development of data, technologies, and workforce capabilities that improve freight system performance.

The USDOT says that the plan details how we can modernize freight infrastructure and operations, however, critics of the plan say that it’s lacking details on how these initiatives will be funded and the data necessary to do so. “Economists recognize that all plans need to be re-evaluated because of changed circumstances,” says Railroad economist and planner and Railway Age Contributing Editor Jim Blaze. “That is not evident in this 2020 document.” Click here to read more of Jim’s NFSP analysis.  

Read the USDOT National Freight Strategic Plan (Full Report) and let us know your thoughts on the plan and the challenges ahead. To learn more about the NFSP, visit transportation.gov/freight/NFS. USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao’s remarks about the plan can be viewed HERE.

Sources: 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Makes Historic Announcement on America’s Freight System (Press Release)

USDOT Releases National Freight Strategic Plan

USDOT National Freight Strategic Plan (Executive Summary)

 

Proud to Be An Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

PRE-TEC Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

FANUC, a global leader in automation for manufacturing, is home to the industry’s largest and most trusted network of industrial robot system integrators. PRE-TEC, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, is part of this elite group of robotic system integrators, known as the FANUC Authorized System Integrator (ASI) Network for automation systems. 

PRE-TEC has been designing and building Flexible Automated Solutions using six-axis robots as the cornerstone of its turn-key systems for more than thirty years. By focusing on producing solutions that are designed around the customer’s specific production needs like dispensing, material handling (load/unload functions), material finishing (deburring, polishing), and wood product applications (painting, tagging, and wrapping), PRE-TEC has evolved into FANUC’s largest integrator in the Western United States.

Take a look at this Robotic Spray Booth System, the first of its kind in North America. Using PRE-TEC’s previously proven components in conjunction with a six-axis robotic arm, the booths have greatly increased paint transfer efficiency and dispensing system reliability.

Being an exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator has also enabled the company to produce game-changing turnkey material handling solutions like their FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells.

Take a look at PRE-TEC’s FASWeld 1 which integrates the FANUC ARC Mate 100iD 6-axis robot, FANUC R-30iB+ Robot Controller with Touch Pad iPendant and FANUC ARCtool software. FASWeld 1 is ideal for companies new to automation that want to develop their in-house robotic welding abilities. 

Our PRE-TEC division is ready to analyze your system requirements and provide a robotic solution that will improve quality, throughput, and productivity to give you the return on investment you are looking for. Our systems combine multi-axis robot arms, custom end-of-arm tooling, conveyance systems, and safety hardware to address, resolve and optimize the most challenging manufacturing applications. Click here to get in touch with one of their engineers today! 

Engineered Wood Product 101- What is Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)?

Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)

Photo Credit: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Engineered wood’s surge in popularity through the years comes as no surprise to us. Willamette Valley Company is a leading supplier of wood products and custom solutions for engineered wood manufacturers and we are seeing an increase in demand for engineered wood products like never before. More and more architects and construction builders are embracing them for their economic advantages, construction quality, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics. There is an extensive range of engineered wood products we’ve written about in the past like Plywood and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), however, we’re taking a closer look at Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) and in this post. Here are some frequently asked questions.

What is Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)?

Structural composite lumber is defined by the APA – The Engineered Wood Association as “a family of engineered wood products created by layering dried and graded wood veneers, strands or flakes with moisture-resistant adhesive into blocks of material known as billets, which are subsequently resawn into specified sizes”. 
APA- Structural Composite Lumber (SCL)

What Are Examples of Structural Composite Lumber?

Some common examples of SCL include Laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL). 

-Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is the most widely used of the structural composite lumber products and is often used in headers and beams, hip and valley rafters, scaffold planking and the flange material for prefabricated wood I-joists. 

-Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL) is frequently used as load-bearing columns. Like LVL and glulam, PSL is used for beam and header applications where high bending strength is needed.

-Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) is used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.

-Oriented Strand Lumber (OSL) is made from flaked wood strands and also used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.

Why Do Builders Use SCL? 

There are a range of reasons why structural composite lumber  (SCL) products are an appealing choice, here are just a few. 

-Stability & Consistency. SCL is known by builders and architects for it’s solid, uniform properties and is virtually free from warping and splitting, making it ideal for a range of industrial uses and building projects. 

-Quality & Design Flexibility. The material’s high quality and design flexibility are also appealing qualities in the building and construction industry. 

-Cost Savings. SLC is not subject to the same price volatility found in solid lumber markets. 

Environmental Sustainability. SLC is sourced from sustainably managed North American forests and produces very little waste. It can be manufactured using small, fast-grow and underutilized trees, therefore representing an efficient use of forest resources. Another interesting fact: APA-trademarked SCL products are exempt from U.S. EPA and California formaldehyde regulations due to their very low emission rates.

What is SCL Used For?

SCL’s high quality and strength makes it a practical choice for rafters, headers, beams, joists, studs and columns. Typical uses for SCL are also

Upholstered furniture frame components
Wood furniture substrate
Case goods, shelving and retail displays
Door and window components
Recreational vehicles
Truck and trailer components
Bench and seat components
Engineered flooring substrate
Concrete form wales and bracing
Domestic and export crating and packaging
Substrate for counters, tables, pool tables, and bowling alleys

About Willamette Valley Company (WVCO)

The Willamette Valley Company is a leading supplier of wood products and custom solutions for engineered wood and mass timber product manufacturers all over the world for over six decades. WVCO works to fulfill our mission by maintaining close partnerships with leading wood products organizations like APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers. To learn more about engineered wood products and custom solutions, check out our wood products division and be sure to visit www.apawood.org.

How the WVCO Railroad Solutions Are Revolutionizing the Rail Supply Industry

Division Spotlight: WVCO Railroad Division
WVCO Railroad
Did you know that the rail industry’s roots go all the way back to 1st millennia BC when the Ancient Greeks used a prepared earth road that forced land cars to follow a predetermined path? European countries began to use railroads back in the 1600s to help transport coal and eventually other materials. 

By the early 1800s, it began transporting passengers and for the last 2 centuries, railroads have been the backbone of the U.S. economy and have evolved to provide efficient and advanced transportation solutions to American businesses and consumers. 

Maintaining our modern rail system is no small feat and the rail supply industry has also seen advancements in repair products and methods through the years. Before 1999, the only spike-hole plugging products on the market for wood-tie remediation were wooden plugs and rigid foam products.

While these products were effective, they presented numerous challenges to railroad maintenance crews. They needed spike-hole plugging products that could last longer and perform well in extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain, freezing temperatures and high humidity. WVCO’s Railroad Solutions responded to this challenge and developed and engineered a new solution, SpikeFast®, a dual-component, non-foam polyurethane product that is currently regarded as the industry’s most reliable product for plugging spike holes. 

Today the railway supply industry plays an essential role in the U.S. economy in terms of jobs, tax revenue, and gross domestic product (GDP) on both the state and national level and we are proud to be a part of it. The importance of this industry and it’s many challenges is what drives us to provide some of the most innovative maintenance solutions on the market for modern railroads including wood and concrete tie repair materials, dispensing systems and FastPatch® and POLYQuik® products to improve the durability of structural applications. 

We have partnered with leading organizations like Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) and American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) to better serve our customers by having access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources. 

Visit wvcorailroad.com/products to learn more about WVCO’s Railroad Solutions.

Twelve Facts About Engineered Wood You May Not Know

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Photo @ APA — The Engineered Wood Association

Since launching as a small business distributing mill supplies to the wood products industry in 1952, we’ve always had the same credo: Partnering through service, innovation, and integrity. This core belief drives our quest to find custom, innovative solutions to serve the wood products industry. 

WVCO works to fulfill our mission by maintaining close partnerships with leading wood products organizations like APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers. Considered a leading resource for information about engineered wood products, APA regularly provides resources illustrating the benefits of engineered wood and mass timber products. 

Construction Benefits of Using Mass Timber Products
Here are just a few interesting facts you may not know about the benefits of building with engineered wood products like glulam, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) and more:

➢ Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is just one example of engineered wood that can use insect-damaged lumber. While areas may be discolored, it’s still structurally sound, and the natural blue stain adds visual interest to the project! Learn more

➢Treated glulam is an ideal building material for exposed applications, like bridges, because it stands up to extreme weather conditions. Click here to learn more. 

➢ Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels are six times lighter than concrete. Requiring no set time and fewer laborers to install, CLT panels are a great building material for larger applications. 

Sustainable Impact of Wood Products
There are many questions about the environmental impacts of harvesting wood. APA recently hosted a webinar to clear up some misconceptions about using wood as a green building material.  Click here to access the webinar, Wood as a Sustainable Building Material. In the meantime, here are some quick facts about the sustainable qualities of building with wood. 

Wood products facts

➢ Forest management and replanting efforts have resulted in steadily increasing timber volume. 

➢ Industrial output per unit of wood input grew 40% over the last 50 years, meaning more wood fiber ends up as usable building materials. Click here to learn more about the efficient manufacturing process of engineered wood. 

➢ Engineered wood products are manufactured mostly with wood-based biomass fuels, reducing both the number of fossil fuels used and resources wasted in manufacturing. Click here to learn more. 

➢ A young tree’s vigorous growth increases oxygen production and CO2 absorption. The carbon is then stored in the wood when harvested. Click here to learn more benefits of using wood as a sustainable building material.

The U.S. wood products industry accounts for 60% of the nation’s bioenergy production and use. Discover more facts and learn how to #buildgreen with sustainable #plywood and #OSB panels at https://www.performancepanels.com/sustainability

➢ The U.S. wood products industry accounts for 60% of the nation’s bioenergy production and use. 

Discover more environmental benefits of engineered wood at www.apawood.org/green-building. 

How Robots & Automation Are Helping to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

covid-19-coronavirus-covid-cell-pandemic-corona-virus-1608807-pxhere.com

As the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelms healthcare systems and devastates economies all over the world, there has never been a greater need for advances in science and technology. As a leading automation systems integrator, we’re following these developments with great interest. Scientists and engineers around the world propose that robots could be an essential support for humans in fighting the virus by performing tasks that would otherwise put human workers at risk, speed up the production of test kits, and other critical supplies through automation. 

MIT roboticist Kate Darling notes that machines helping humans do their jobs has plenty of precedent in this piece published recently on Wired.com. “ATMs allowed banks to expand teller services,” she says. “Bomb disposal robots let soldiers keep more distance between themselves and danger.”

The COVID-19 crisis is not the first time scientists have recognized the potential role robotics could have in combating infectious diseases. According to ScienceRobotics, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation identified three areas where robotics can make a difference during the 2015 Ebola outbreak: clinical care, logistics, and reconnaissance (monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines).

Some countries and organizations have already embraced the technology to overcome the massive challenges caused by the pandemic. Here are just a few examples of how automation and robots could be used to fight COVID-19 by reducing the workload of overburdened essential workers and help prevent the spread of the virus.  

⎹ Collecting patient samples and automating lab tests.
⎹ Allow doctors and nurses to treat patients remotely.
⎹ Enable experts all over the world to perform medical tasks and contribute to research without having to travel.
⎹ Using automation to make  COVID-19 testing more efficient. 
⎹ Automate cleaning and food preparation jobs that are currently put humans at risk. 
Disinfect potentially contaminated surfaces in healthcare facilities and public spaces either using UV light that kills bugs or by repurposing agricultural robots and drones to spray disinfectant. 

Click here to see more ways robots are being used to minimize the spread of COVID-19 around the world. 

In addition to fighting the pandemic, robots are being utilized around the world to help keep the economy and infrastructure intact by tackling the many logistical challenges created by the crisis and carrying out crucial deliveries of food and medication without exposing humans while some grocery stores are beginning to use robots to keep shelves stocked

While robotics and automation cannot replace the advanced skills and the quick life-or-death decision making required from health care workers, scientists and engineers around the globe believe that the technology can go a long way to help human workers stay safe and fight the virus. See some additional resources below to learn more about the important role robotics and automation will play in this crisis.

Combating COVID-19—The role of robotics in managing public health and infectious diseases

COVID-19 pandemic prompts more robot usage worldwide

The Covid-19 Pandemic Is a Crisis That Robots Were Built For

This robot could make COVID-19 testing faster and safer 

How Robots Are Helping Grocery Stores During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Robots to the Rescue: How They Can Help During Coronavirus (and Future Pandemics)

How China, the US, and Europe are using robots to replace and help humans fight coronavirus by delivering groceries, sanitizing hospitals, and monitoring patients

Robots And Drones Are Now Used To Fight COVID-19

Pre-Tec

PRE-TEC, a division of WVCO, is a leading automation systems integrator specializing in turn-key material handling solutions. For more than thirty years, we have been building Flexible Automated Solutions designed around our customer’s specific production needs. The PRE-TEC engineers can provide more information about our services and custom robotic technologies. Contact us today for an engineering review of your needs.

A Message Regarding COVID-19

As we come together as a Nation to combat the spread of COVID-19, Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) is honored to be counted as a Critical Infrastructure partner by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Transportation and Critical Manufacturing sectors as outlined in the CISA Memo, 3/19/20.

We are hard at work at all of our manufacturing sites (Oregon, Washington, Louisiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Idaho, Canada, and Chile) fulfilling orders, and providing services during these challenging times. WVCO is working closely with our employees and customers to ensure their safety first, while providing world-class support to our customers with quality products through our service, innovation, and integrity.

We are reminded of the quote by Simon Sinek, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.” We are passionate about our products and passionate about our customers. We are not stressed; we are hopeful, we are robust, and we are focused on our mission to serve our Nation, Communities, and Customers.

We will stay connected with you as we all tack through these headwinds together, and if you have any questions or need anything, please contact us at 800-333-9826 or info@wilvaco.com.

How WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division Partners Through Service


Willamette Valley Company is more than just products and solutions. We partner with our customers to support their business in every way possible and ensure that we are contributing to their ongoing prosperity and success. WVCO’s PRE-TEC division has prepared hundreds of robotic systems and is currently the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast but some say that the legendary service provided by our technicians is our greatest asset. 

WVCO Service

Partnering through service means one-on-one interaction with each customer to develop the most appropriate, affordable, and reliable solutions for your service needs. PRE-TEC offers support in areas of training, programming, spare parts, and preventive maintenance. Here’s what one can expect when they engage the services of our PRE-TEC division.  

*One of our Service Applications Engineers will work directly with your company to provide support in training, programming, spare parts, and maintenance.

*We provide training before installation, and follow-up as needed to assure trouble-free operation.

*PRE-TEC offers a Preventive Maintenance (PM) program to assure you achieve the maximum utilization after the purchase of your new robotic system. Pre-scheduled PM visits can be scheduled annually, quarterly, or any other defined period, according to your specific needs.

*Customers are encouraged to visit our full-service machine shop in Eugene, Oregon at any time during the design and manufacturing process to view their project as it is being built.

*Our design engineers partner with your project manager to develop solutions specific to your thermal or material handling requirements. 

*Replacement parts can be ordered by calling (800) 205-9826. Our order desk can inform you whether or not the parts are in stock, current price, and approximate shipping time.

Our qualified service personnel are here to make your production easier, faster, cleaner, and worry-free.  Service can be scheduled in advance by contacting Mike Fling at PRE-TEC at +1 (541) 984-4816. Visit pre-tec.com to learn more?

Major Milestones of the Softwood Plywood Industry

Major Milestones in Plywood

Article Source: www.apawood.org/apas-history

The average person may not realize the significance of the softwood plywood industry to our economy and culture.

Since our roots are in the wood products industry, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the history of the softwood plywood Industry and the impact it has had on the United States.

What began as a product introduced by a small wooden box company in Oregon has grown into a major global industry. Today, the United States is the leading producer of softwood plywood and world’s largest producer of softwood lumber, followed by Canada and Russia according to www.state.sc.us/forest.

“Plywood is widely regarded as the original ‘engineered wood product’ because it was one of the first to be made by bonding together cut or refashioned pieces of wood to form a larger and integral composite unit. This idea of “reconstituting” wood fiber to produce better-than-wood building materials has led in more recent times to a technological revolution and the rise of a whole new engineered wood products industry.”-www.apawood.org

Here are some of the important milestones in this industry:

Portland Manufacturing Company Photo Source: APA—The Engineered Wood Association

1905
Portland Manufacturing Company, a  small wooden box factory, produced “3-ply veneer work”, the first commercial softwood plywood product to be introduced to the public.

The product, made of Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir, was displayed at the World’s Fair held in Portland.

Orders started coming in from door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers.
Other mills began making the product and the new industry spread north to Washington.

1913
The first Canadian plywood was produced at Fraser Mills in New Westminster, British Columbia.

1920s
Automobile manufacturers began using plywood for running boards.

1925
11 U.S. plants were producing 153 million square feet of plywood per year.

1933
Douglas Fir Plywood Association, the first nonprofit trade association in the industry, was founded in Tacoma, WA.

The new association developed a nationwide promotion program and helped mills assure consistent product quality.

Douglas Fir Plywood Association also helped to develop new markets and new business during the Great Depression.

1934
Waterproof glue was discovered which led to even more product application opportunities.

1938
A new commercial standard was developed and the product was promoted as a standardized commodity rather than by individual brand names.

1940
Plywood was being used as subfloors, wall sheathing, roof sheathing, paneling and in other building construction applications.

The industry had grown to 25 mills and production topped one billion square feet.

Eighty percent of production originated in the state of Washington.

1941
The plywood production industry contributed to the WWII effort. Plywood was used in PT boats, assault ships, airplanes, barracks, military buildings, shipping crates, footlockers and countless other military applications.

1947
The post-war baby and housing booms took off which caused the industry to grow dramatically.

The industry had expanded to 40 mills producing 1.6 billion feet.

1950
The Plywood Manufacturers Association of British Columbia was founded (which is known as the Canadian Plywood Association, or CANPLY today).

1952
The founders of Willamette Valley Company company recognized the lumber industry’s need for solutions to production challenges and to create better wood products.

1954
The number of mills had grown to 100. 47 of them were in Oregon, 36 were in Washington, 17 were in California.

Softwood plywood production had grown to four billion square feet.

1960
U.S. production exceeded 7.8 billion square feet which beat what analysts had predicted by 15 years.
Canadian production topped one billion square feet.

1964
Georgia-Pacific Corporation opened the nation’s first southern pine plywood mill in Fordyce, Arkansas.

The Douglas Fir Plywood Association changed its name to American Plywood Association (APA) in recognition of the emergence of the southern pine plywood industry.

1982
The industry had expanded to 175 softwood plywood plants with a combined production capacity of nearly 23.1 billion square feet in the United States.

1994
American Plywood Association (APA) was renamed again to APA—The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the broadening product mix and geographic range of its membership, which now encompasses a wide array of engineered wood products manufactured in both the U.S. and Canada.

2005
Lumber mills in the South were producing 10 billion square feet (two-thirds of U.S. softwood plywood production).

Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana produced the remaining one-third—some 4.8 billion feet. Oregon has been the number one producing state for the last half century.

The residential construction market still accounts for about one-third of plywood market demand in the U.S.—an estimated 5.4 billion square feet.

Present Day
Plywood is commonly used for subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, siding, soffits, and stair treads and risers.

The largest single U.S. market for softwood plywood today is the industrial sector, including such applications as furniture frames, truck trailer linings, RV floors, agricultural bins, shipping containers, and pallets.

More information about softwood plywood and other engineered wood products can be found at www.apawood.org.

About APA—The Engineered Wood Association
APA—The Engineered Wood Association is a nonprofit trade association of and for structural wood panel, glulam timber, wood I-joist, laminated veneer lumber and other engineered wood product manufacturers throughout North America. Based in Tacoma, Washington, the Association was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association. APA represents approximately 150 mills throughout North America. APA members range from small, independently owned and operated companies to large integrated corporations. The Association’s primary functions are quality auditing, applied research, and market support and development

WVCO looks back on 2019 – the year of innovation.

WVCO Railroad Products

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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