Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and appreciate what we’re grateful for in our lives. As this cherished holiday approaches, we got to thinking about what WVCO is most grateful for.
As a family-owned company, we are grateful for the many relationships our company has enjoyed through the years with our employees, distributors, customers and partner organizations. We recently asked them to share what they appreciate about Willamette Valley Company and the responses were overwhelming. Here are just a few below.
From all of us at Willamette Valley Company, we wish you all a very happy and joyous Thanksgiving and holiday season!
PRE-TEC’s new building located at 990 Owen Loop North, in Eugene Oregon
PRE-TEC, the robotics division of Willamette Valley Company, has moved! The company relocated from its 38,000 sg ft. facility at 675 McKinley Street, to a new 110,000 sg ft. building with over 60,000 sg ft. of manufacturing space.
General Manager, Stan Reynolds commented, “ By more than doubling our manufacturing base, we are able to better serve our customers, and have room for future growth.” In addition to the PRE-TEC Division, all the groups at the corporate headquarters on Arrowsmith Street are now also in the Owen Loop building.
Founded more than 25 years ago, PRE-TEC is the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast. Known also for superior chemical metering products, PRE-TEC has prepared more than 165 robotic systems in the last decade alone.
In case you haven’t noticed, we talk a lot about Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). More and more architects and construction companies around the world are embracing CLT for its economic advantages, construction quality, durability, sustainability, and aesthetics. Some even refer to it as “Concrete of the 21st Century”.
“How can wood possibly replace steel and concrete in high-rise buildings? The answer is cross-laminated timber (CLT), a relatively new engineered wood product that is part of a broader category of products called “mass timber” that includes already popular products such as glulam beams. CLT panels can be made in dimensions up to 10 feet wide and 40 feet long and more than a foot thick.
The panels are composed of layers of individual pieces of lumber laminated together, with each layer arranged perpendicular to the next rather than longitudinally. An odd number of layers are bonded together by glue, dowels or nails. Once assembled, the panels form a box-like structure where the walls and floors provide both structural stability and lateral stiffness.” (Source: seattlebusinessmag.com).
It’s exciting to watch the innovative buildings and construction happening around the world right now using this engineered wood material. Proposals for new projects include a 500,000-sq-ft skyscraper in New Jersey, a 100-story tower in London, a 40-story building in Stockholm, and a residential complex in Vancouver. An 18-story CLT wood structure, a student residence at the University of British Columbia, is nearing completion (Source: woodworkingnetwork.com).
Here are a few projects that recently caught our eye:
McDonald’s New CLT Building in Chicago
McDonald’s new redesigned flagship store in Chicago is built predominantly with wood and cross-laminated timber (CLT) and features a number of sustainable elements. The LEED-certified building designed by Ross Barney Architects gives us a preview as to what all McDonalds stores will look like by 2020.
Builders in the U.K. are tackling the affordable housing shortage by constructing Watts Grove, a project being built for Swan Housing, “one of the UK’s leading regeneration housing associations.” This exciting project, designed by Thistleton Waugh Artchitects features innovative design using Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). Click here to see more or watch the video below
The Portland Flatiron
The timber-framed, mixed-use Portland Flatiron building currently under construction in North Portland is another project that will be a real asset to that community. This cross-laminated timber mixed-use building in North Portland is going to have four floors of office space above first floor retail space and basement level parking.
Halloween Project Idea #2: DIY Halloween Spell Book
Halloween Project Idea #3: Spooky Halloween Clock
Halloween Project Idea #4: Block Pumpkins
Halloween Project Idea #5: Creepy Skull Wreath
Halloween Project Idea #6: Vampire Vase
Want more craft ideas? Click here to create DYI Halloween Skulls, Custom Day of the Dead Plates and more!
About Eclectic Products, Inc.
Eclectic Products, Inc., a subsidiary of the Willamette Valley Company, manufactures a range of adhesives and various do-it-yourself products for residential and commercial customers including Amazing Goop, E-6000, Famowood and Wood-Tex, are available in over 35,000 stores worldwide. Eclectic Products also offers various wood fillers, epoxies and coatings, and oil and gas resistant adhesives. To learn more, visit eclecticproducts.com.
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.
WVCO’s Concrete Repair Division to exhibit new products at League of CA Cities Annual Expo & 2018 Railway Interchange, two major US infrastructure products.
The FastPatch team, a division of WVCO, is on the move again! Fresh off of a successful few days at APWA PWX in Kansas City, a major public works convention, the company will be showcasing concrete repair solutions at two major infrastructure conferences in September.
WHAT IS FASTPATCH?FastPatch products have been approved by government agencies all over the United States for service on major highways and have been used to repair airports, highways, bridges, railroads, and other various applications throughout the United States and around the world. The products offer an innovative solution to permanently repair and quickly return-to-service important infrastructure like roadways, airports, and facilities.
WHAT’S NEW? Conference attendees are encouraged to stop by our booths at both of these events to learn more about two of our newest products, New FastPatch 100NS and TrenchSeal TS6 . The FastPatch 100NS in an affordable, easy-to-apply high performance single component sealant perfect for vertical or sloped application.
The TrenchSeal TS6 saves time and money as it is cold-applied (no waiting time!) and offers exceptional adhesion strength to asphalt and movement capabilities to trenches, traffic loops, and cracks.
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.
If you haven’t already heard of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) by now, you will. More and more architects and designers are making the switch to building with Cross-Laminated Timber, some even going as far to refer to it as the “Concrete of the 21st Century”.
But what is it? Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel that is made up of kiln-dried wooden boards stacked in alternating directions (where the cross of the name comes from), then stuck together with structural adhesives. While at the mill, CLT panels are cut to size, including door and window openings, with state-of-the art CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) routers, capable of making complex cuts with high precision. Finished panels are typically 2 to 10 feet wide, with lengths up to 60 feet and thickness up to 20 inches.
Watch the video below for more details:
What are the Benefits of Cross-Laminated Timber? CLT is lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, fire, seismic, and thermal performance making it ideal for long spans in walls, floors, and roofs. It’s also fast and easy to install, generating almost no waste onsite. Finished CLT panels are exceptionally stiff, strong, and stable. Other benefits include:
Simple, Quick Construction
CLT panels are lightweight and arrive on site with a structural system ready to be assembled. The process is both simple and swift, allowing for immediate and accurate construction which in turn saves time and money.
Though it may sound strange to tout fire-resistance as a benefit of a wooden building material, it’s one of Cross-Laminated Timber’s greatest strengths. The lamination of CLT has an inherent fire-resistance to it, and the construction of the panels and structures allows little room for fire to spread. Additionally, the solid thermal mass of CLT prevents the conduction of heat from one side of the panel to the other, allowing extremely high temperatures to remain isolated to a side as the other remains at room temperature.
The nature of wood makes it the only building material that can be regrown and feasible in the long-term. Precision cutting of CLT minimizes on-site waste and its manufacturing requires less energy than producing steel or concrete. Cross-Laminated Timber’s light carbon footprint is one of its greatest strengths.
Solid wood paneling provides superior acoustic insulation, dampening both airborne and impact noises. Its lightweight nature also leads to quiet construction, making it ideal for urban development.
In the same way that Cross-Laminated Timber’s airtight design creates auditory insulation it also creates thermal insulation. Tightly packed panels can trap 90% of the heat that would ordinarily escape from a home. CLT’s previously-mentioned high thermal mass means that temperatures are kept stable and comfortable.
There’s a warm, soothing visual quality to building with wood that separates it from the lifeless concrete slabs that typically fill a city. Cross-Laminated Timber also grants designers with the freedom to experiment with more organic and creative structures than previously allowed by old-fashioned building techniques.
When comparing the manufacturing costs of certain steels and concrete, as well as the money saved on shorter construction time, CLT comes out as at a competitive price.
ICTD 2018 is organized by The Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) with the goal of facilitating the exchange of information, knowledge, and best practices among transportation and development practitioners and researchers, public infrastructure owners, policy makers, government engineers and planners, operations managers and leading academics from around the world.
“Emerging Technologies: Impacts on Transportation & Development” is the central focus for this year’s conference and gives transportation professionals a chance to network, share ideas and advance the knowledge on the impact of technologies on transportation and development. “With the rapid growth in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), V2V and V2I communication, on-demand location-based transportation, and other emerging technologies, there is a critical need to assess and prepare for the impact of these technologies on transportation and development as a whole” it states on the conference website. An outstanding panel of speakers and exhibitors have been assembled to discuss the impact of new technology on mobility, safety, transit, airports, freight, pavements and other key elements of transportation infrastructure and operations.
If you are headed to the conference, we invite you to stop by our booth to learn about our FastPatch concrete repair products and how agencies all over the United States and around the world are using it for service on major highways, airports, bridges, railroads and more.
As the demand for more bandwidth and widespread deployments of fiber broadband increases, so does the need for cost-effective concrete repair solutions. Fiber networks are enhancing economic development and social interaction in communities throughout the United States and the world. According to Cisco’s latest Virtual Networking Index, the average North American home has 7 Internet-capable devices going at any given time. And by the year 2020, that number will swell to over 12 devices per person.
Fiber optic installation must be precise and cost-effective so numerous civic, business and political leaders are turning to reliable concrete repair solutions like FastPatch to quickly repair roads, sidewalks and other important infrastructure while keeping repair costs down.
WVCO will be in Nashville June 4th-6th exhibiting products from our FastPatch division at the premier fiber broadband event in North America – the 2018 Fiber Connect conference, presented by the Fiber Broadband Association! We are looking forward to the opportunity to meet with industry leaders, fiber broadband network operators, and other cutting-edge vendors and equipment providers.
Filling voids, defects and damaged areas in roadways, parking lots, warehouses, and sidewalks.
Concrete foundations and footings, anchor bolts or rebar.
Repair cracks and spalls in roadways, warehouse, and freezer floors.
Roadway, warehouse floors, and dock repairs.
Pillars, curbs, sidewalks.
About the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA)
The FBA is a non-profit association consisting of organizations that deliver services over next-generation, direct fiber-optic connections – as well as companies that manufacture fiber products and others involved in planning and building fiber networks.
Gigabit-enabled networks are now possible and are beginning to appear in some communities, with expectations that these superfast, all-fiber services will become standard within a few short years. To learn more, visit www.fiberbroadband.org.