Ever been curious about what happens inside The Willamette Valley Company? A new video is offering viewers a rare look into the day-to-day operations of the Willamette Valley Company facility in Eugene, Oregon. Take an aerial journey into our new 110,000 sg ft. building with over 60,000 sg ft. of manufacturing space on Owen Loop Road and get a birds-eye view of our technicians, scientists, and engineers hard at work creating high-performance custom solutions in the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast- WVCO’s PRE-TEC division.
PRE-TEC has been creating innovative, automated solutions for manufacturing companies throughout North America for over thirty years. The experienced automation team of mechanical and electrical engineers believes that the one-on-one communication with each client, on every project, when designing and building systems has been the key to their success. The company strives to collaborate with each customer to develop a consistently reliable and cost-effective solution which address the customer’s manufacturing challenges, can be successfully implemented, and rapidly deployed. PRE-TEC is proud to introduce their new operation to manufacturers in the Western States and across North America.
Happy New Year! Now that 2018 has come to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the events and news that defined our year for Willamette Valley Company. We were founded with a mission to create innovative products and provide great customer service, and we feel honored to have done that for 66 years. We can’t wait to continue our work into 2019 and beyond!
The biggest news of 2018 for Willamette Valley Company happened in late October when we were honored with the APA Supplier of the Year award for the fourth year in a row and for the 9th time overall. This award is given annually at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The 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. It was a great honor to once again join APA member manufacturers, EWTA members, suppliers and hundreds of other wood products industry professionals from all over the country at this important event.
After three decades of exceptional leadership as our CEO and president, John R. Harrison transitioned to his new role at Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) last March. John Murray, a 38-year Willamette Valley Company employee, was selected as our company’s new president. Bob Halligan was tapped as the company’s new chief operating officer while Rob Loomis was selected as the business manager of the performance products and railroad divisions.
In March, WVCO proudly represented our wood products division at the 2018 International Mass Timber Conference, the premier, global conference for cross-laminated timber and other mass timber construction!
Our PRE-TEC division moved from its 38,000 sg ft. facility on McKinley Street, to a new 110,000 sg ft. building with over 60,000 sg ft. of manufacturing space in Eugene. 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.”
2018 was another year of innovations for WVCO. PRE-TEC introduced the new Fanuc SCARA robot line, offering new opportunities for our customers to make use of a cost-effective and robust product for their small, fast, and simple applications.
2018 was another big year for Industrial Robotics and Automation. Our PRE-TEC engineers continued to work with our industry partners to advance the use of industrial robots as a cost-effective way to produce higher quality products and increase productivity.
The need for cost-effective fiber optic installation grew significantly in 2018 and business and civic leaders continued to turn to reliable concrete repair solutions like FastPatch to quickly repair roads, sidewalks and other important infrastructure. In June, WVCO attended the 2018 Fiber Connect conference, the premier fiber broadband event in North America to present our concrete repair products to industry leaders, fiber broadband network operators, and other cutting-edge vendors and equipment providers.
Willamette Valley Company is proud to partner with many outstanding organizations that have helped to lead the way in our industries. These unique partnerships have enabled us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.
This month, we are spotlighting our partnership with REMSA (Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association), a non-profit trade group representing over 330 railway engineers, contractors, and consultants and maintenance-of-way suppliers across the country.
One of the things we value the most about our partnership with REMSA is their efforts to advance initiatives in support of the rail industry (a $5 billion industry supporting over 35,000 jobs nationwide) and the business development opportunities the organization extends to its members on a national and international scale. Since 1965, the organization has strived to provide its members with the very best equipment, machines, and services in the railroad industry.
REMSA’s Mission is to facilitate global business development opportunities to companies and individuals who manufacture or sell maintenance-of-way equipment, products, and services or are engineers, contractors, and consultants working in construction and/or maintenance of railroad transportation facilities.
Watch the video below to learn more about REMSA’s key membership value initiatives and its role in supporting the maintenance of way industry.
REMSA is also a sponsor of Railway Interchange, the largest combined railway exhibition and technical conference in North America. WVCO has had the honor of participating in this world-class rail industry event a number of times by showcasing our WVCO Railroad and POLYQuik products. In addition, the organization supports the rail industry through actions such as:
*Maintaining long standing alliances with the Federal Railroad Administration, Association of American Railroads, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), the Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc., the Railway Supply Institute, the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and the U.S. Congress, among others.
*Publishing a quarterly newsletter that includes interviews with industry leaders, articles on foreign opportunities, legislation and lobbying efforts, company profiles, as well as exhibition and meeting news.
*Providing scholarships to REMSA member company employees and their families.
Supporting networking with an interactive job board, Career Network, that offers easy-to-use and highly targeted resources for online employment connections.
*Association representatives are politically active on behalf of its members and the railroad industry by meeting with lawmakers in Washington, DC, and at the state level.
To learn more about REMSA and the other contributions the organization has given to our industry, please visit www.remsa.org.
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!
We’re happy to announce that Willamette Valley Company has been honored with the APA Supplier of the Year award for the fourth year in a row and for the 9th time overall at the APA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the EWTA Info Fair! The EWTA Info Fair took place October 27th – 30th, 2018 at the La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas.
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.
“This is a very prestigious award as it is voted on by APA member companies, who are our customers,” says WVCO Vice President Tony Vuksich. “I couldn’t be prouder of our WVCO/Pre-Tec team and the tremendous effort they put forth every day to provide our customers with great quality products, terrific service, and innovation”.
The EWTA Info Fair is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers from other EWTA member companies. WVCO has participated as an (EWTA) Info Fair Gold Level sponsor for a number of years and has been honored with numerous awards for our wood products. In addition to “Supplier of the Year”, the WVCO team has also recognized with the prestigious “Innovation of the Year” award for our new product Wil-Spray 500.
The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry. EWTA is based in Tacoma, Wash. Read more about EWTA here.
Willamette Valley Company was in San Antonio for the EWTA Info Fair back in 2014! Photo @EWTA Info Fair Facebook Page
Willamette Valley Company has a long-standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. “It forges great partnerships,” says Willamette Valley Company Vice President, 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 Willamette Valley Company is proud to once again be a Gold Sponsor for this important event and 2018 Golf Tournament sponsor on Sunday, October 28th. In past years, WVCO has been recognized with distinct honors including multiple Supplier of the Year and Product of the Year awards!
The APA 2015 Supplier Award Winners: Hunt, Guillot & Associates LLC, Panel World Magazine/Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., Willamette Valley Company and KADANT Carmanah Design
Come see us in Booth #55 and learn more about our wide variety of wood products and custom solutions relating to plywood, LVL, OSB, lumber, cabinets and furniture, moldings, doors, trims and fascia, overlays and more!
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.
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.