Willamette Valley Company to Exhibit Concrete Repair Products at ICTD 2018

WCVO is headed to the ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD 2018) in Pittsburgh July 15th-18th to demonstrate what our concrete repair products can do for those in the transportation and public infrastructure industry.

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.

To learn more, read How FastPatch Became an Innovative Solution for Concrete Repair or visit fastpatchsystems.com. For more information contact us at FastPatch@wilvaco.com.

WVCO to Exhibit FastPatch Fiber Connect 2018

Fiber-Connect

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.

Typical uses of FastPatch concrete repair products include

  • 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.

PRE-TEC Introduces New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

The Fanuc SCARA robot line is the new standard in that product line for precision high-speed picking and tracking and easy integration into process lines and systems.
PRE-TEC is committed to providing industry-leading, flexible, automated solutions through robotic integration. The new Fanuc SCARA robot line now offered by PRE-TEC introduces new opportunities for our customers to make use of a cost-effective and robust product for their small, fast, and simple applications.

The Fanuc SCARA robot line is the new standard in that product line for precision high-speed picking and tracking and easy integration into process lines and systems. Using a limited workspace, the SCARA robot is able to reach a large pick and place area.

Equipped with a 360-degree radius work envelope, work can be completed behind the SCARA robot with a compact inner radius that leaves more workstations around the machine for additional efficiencies. The system is perfect for applications with 180-degree operation in one second with precise part handling.

Ideal for applications across consumer electronics, automotive components, medical devices, plastics and rubbers, and food and beverages, the SCARA robot can be quickly integrated and redeployed with small footprints and with low power requirements. There is a flexibility achieved in the workspace, specifically when workflow and layout are critical. The SCARA robot can move in full z strokes, across a single plane or in a parallel plane motion, improving access and efficiency when cost is critical.

Competitive with linear actuators, the Fanuc SCARA robot is able to replace hard automation tools, specifically where a high level of stiffness is required for precise placement of small parts on high-speed lines.

PRE-TEC can design and build cost-effective and time-saving options for customers with the SCARA robot line, a solution that can compete with high-speed CAM driven hard automation solutions. Contact our team of automation engineers to see how we can help improve your manufacturing layout with a cost-effective and time-efficient solution using Fanuc’s SCARA robots.

To learn more, click here to download the SCARA Flyer or Contact a PRE-TEC Engineer.

Advances in Industrial Robotics and Automation on the Rise


The concept of utilizing industrial robotics in mass production is nothing new. In fact, the use of robotics and automation go back to the 1970s as industries wanted to find new ways to increase product quality and productivity without increasing costs. In the 1990s, a group of innovative, take-charge individuals at Willamette Valley Company saw the benefits of industrial automation for metering chemical products and launched our robotics division. This division was later named “PRE-TEC” in 2009.

As mass production evolves and grows, our PRE-TEC engineers understand that the use of industrial robots is a cost-effective way to produce higher quality products and increase productivity. Our team of engineers and scientists work closely with our industry partners to contribute innovative ideas and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to advances in the robotics field.

Our robotics partner, Robotic Industries Association (RIA), believes that the use industrial automation equipment is significantly on the rise. 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.

There have been numerous exciting advances made in industrial robotics over the years. One example is the use of Vision-Guided Robot (VGR) Systems. VGR robots, robotic systems fitted with vision sensors, are able to work for longer periods of time with a high level of speed and reliability. VGR systems not only surpass the use of traditional “blind” robots, they are highly adaptable and easy to implement.

“Flexibility is a key driver of ROI in robotics,” says RIA in this article. “3D vision capabilities have allowed robots to complete more than one task without reprogramming, as well as the ability to account for unforeseen variables in work environments. Further, 3D vision allows a robot to recognize what’s in front of it, to a certain extent, and react accordingly.”

By automating tasks that previously were done manually, 3D vision-guided robots are revolutionizing mass production. Using 3D smart sensors with onboard software, an industrial robot can perform tasks like “Pick and Place”, the action of automatically sensing and picking up the correct parts and placing them in the desired order and location. This function, something that could previously only be done by a skilled worker, was once a challenge for robots, but it is now a common practice in the day-to-day operations in most factories.

To learn more about 3D Smart Sensors in Vision-Guided Robotic Systems, click here.

PRE-TEC's New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

PRE-TEC’s New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

Another exciting advance in industrial robotics technology is the ability for robots to work in a more efficient and compact workspace. PRE-TEC’s new Fanuc SCARA robot line is the new standard for precision high-speed picking and tracking. Equipped with a 360-degree radius work envelope, work can be completed behind the SCARA robot with a compact inner radius that leaves more workstations around the machine for additional efficiencies. Click here to learn more about the Fanuc SCARA robot line.

About PRE-TEC
The PRE-TEC division of Willamette Valley Company is currently the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast having installed systems throughout North America. PRE-TEC offers support in areas of training, programming, spare parts, and preventive maintenance. Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

Celebrate The Power of Public Works During National Public Works Week

Public Works ProfessionalsNational Public Works Week is coming up (May 20-26, 2018) and we felt like this is the perfect time to reflect on the critical role public works professionals and organizations like  The American Public Works Association (APWA) have on our society.

“From providing clean water to disposing of solid waste, to building roads and bridges or planning for and implementing mass transit, to removing snow on roadways or devising emergency management strategies to meet natural or manmade disasters public works services determine a society’s quality of life” states the organization on its website.

The 2018 theme is “The Power of Public Works” and celebrates the enormous contribution public works professionals make every day to communities all across North America.

What is National Public Works Week?

National Public Works Week (NPWW) is a public education campaign sponsored by APWA that seeks to create a stronger conversation and association between public works and the communities they improve daily. Since its inception in 1960, NPWW has identified and honored hundreds of men and women that work in maintenance, construction, design, and operation of major public works throughout the country.

Getting Involved

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in National Public Works Week, the APWA has published several handy tools on the subject, including a How-To Guide for anyone looking for a good place to start. For more information on National Public Works Week or APWA, please visit npww.apwa.net.

About APWA

The American Public Works Association is a nonprofit organization founded to serve public works professionals in all branches of industry. The association has a worldwide membership in numbers over 28,500 and is open to any individual, agency, and/or corporation that bring with them an interest in public works.

What Exactly Are “Potholes” Anyway?

Potholes and Concrete RepairStory Source: AWPA

It happens to us all. We’re on a relatively smooth ride and suddenly- BAM. Your vehicle dips a few inches and you’re left wondering how much damage has been done on your brand new tires. Chances are, you just hit a pothole. You’ve heard the term and if you’re like most people, you detest them. Potholes are certainly a nuisance, but they can often be dangerous and will require fast repair.

But what are they? And how do they get fixed?

What causes a pothole?
Potholes are created when the top layer of pavement and the material beneath—called the base or sub-base—cannot support the weight of the traffic. Two factors are always present in such a failure: TRAFFIC and WATER. The “gestation period” for a pothole includes:

1) Snow-melt or rain seeps through cracks in the pavement and into the sub-base; if the moisture cannot adequately drain away from the sub-base and soil underneath, it becomes saturated and soft.

2) Trapped moisture is subjected to repeated freeze/thaw cycles–and with each occurrence the expanding ice lifts and cracks the pavement more. The passing traffic weakens the pavement, cracking it further.

3) As temperatures rise and the ice melts, a void is left under the pavement. This void collects more water, and during the next freeze, the void will enlarge.

4) Vehicles driving over the weakened pavement pound it until the surface breaks and collapses into the void below, thus creating a pothole.

Why are they called potholes?
According to the late trivia expert and syndicated columnist L. M. Boyd, pottery makers in l5th and l6th century England would take advantage of the ruts that wagon and coach wheels gouged into roads. Anxious for a cheap source of raw materials for making clay pots, the potters would dig into the deep ruts to reach clay deposits underneath.

Teamsters driving wagons and coaches over those roads knew who and what caused these holes and referred to them as “potholes.”

What affects pavement life?
Pavement life is influenced by many factors: vehicle loading (axle loads, tire pressure and gross vehicle weight [GVW]), traffic volume and mix, environmental conditions, topography, subgrade condition, initial pavement design and construction practices, maintenance activity and pavement age.

Traffic volume has increased significantly and this trend will continue —but few new lane-miles have been added to the nation’s highway, road and street network and are not expected to keep pace with the increased demand.

The decision and capability to patch potholes is influenced by: current weather; traffic conditions; imminent scheduled roadway construction; major maintenance work or utility work in the roadway; availability of personnel, equipment, and materials, and the demands of the traveling public.

How are potholes repaired?
Pothole patching is performed either as an emergency repair during harsh conditions or as routine maintenance scheduled for warmer and drier periods. Typically, emergency repairs are done only when a pothole presents a substantial safety or traffic operational problem and must be urgently corrected.

For example, a large pothole on a major arterial has contributed to collisions by causing drivers to swerve to avoid or lose control after hitting it. Or, one or more large potholes hinder the flow of traffic causing unusual slow-down and congestion. Potholes near activated traffic signals may expose embedded loop sensor wires, and when they break, the signals will not be responsive to traffic demands.

Emergency repairs usually are done in heavy traffic and can be a safety risk to maintenance workers. Repairs that are more permanent can be scheduled for times when weather and traffic are more conducive to safe operations.

There are a number of standard pothole repair methods used for any asphalt paved street or road, but here is a demonstration of how FastPatch products, a division of WVCO, can be used to repair a common pothole.

To learn more about FastPatch and what we can do for you, visit fastpatchsystems.com

2018 International Mass Timber Conference

“We believe that a greater use of cross-laminated timber and other mass timber products in mid- to high-rise building construction is the innovative, disruptive, modern, and sustainable choice necessary for building in a fast-growing world.”

masstimberconference.com

As one of the world’s top companies in the wood products industry, Willamette Valley Company continues to strive to be on the forefront of the advancement and possibilities of the mass timber industry and cross-laminated timber. Last week, 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.

This conference, co-produced by WoodWorks and the Forest Business Network, is one of the largest gatherings of mass timber experts in the world. Architects, engineers, city planners, representatives from major construction companies, mass timber manufacturers, designers, fire officials, mass timber equipment suppliers, representatives from sawmills and many more gathered in Portland, Oregon for the 3-day event packed with presentations and learning opportunities from international experts and presentations.

Demand for cross-laminated timber and construction is growing all over the world. Recently, a new study by Grand View Research, Inc suggests the growing demand for sustainable houses made from wood is likely to drive the global cross-laminated timber market. The report states that the “market is expected to reach a valuation of USD 2.07 billion by 2025. Rising awareness among consumers regarding wooden products and increasing number of suppliers for cross-laminated timber (CLT) are likely to augment the growth. Based on product type, the market can be classified as adhesive bonded and mechanically fastened CLT.”

As more and more evidence is suggesting that CLT is the future of the construction and building industry, the Willamette Valley Company will certainly be participating in more of these types of conventions and pledges to remain one of the top innovators in the wood products industry.

 

How FastPatch Became an Innovative Solution for Concrete Repair

FastPatchDPROur roots are in wood products, but the Willamette Valley Company is much more than that. We are also leaders in providing high-performance solutions in a range of industries. Just over a decade ago, our company was approached by key transportation professionals who needed fast-curing and ultra-tough materials for repairing roadways and bridges. They were weary of antiquated repair materials that were non-flexible, required water, and were labor intensive to install.

Our solution? FastPatch.

The introduction of this groundbreaking line of concrete repair solutions was a significant leap forward in technology. The product proved to outperform and outlast traditional products, plus it was easier to install with our custom dispensing machine and easy-to-use kits.

FastPatch been approved by government agencies all over the United States for service on major highways and has been used to repair airports, highways, bridges, railroads, and other various applications throughout the United States and around the world. Its products can repair everything from broken concrete and asphalt, spalls, potholes, joints, driveways, highways, bridge decks, parking lots, Cracks slab repairs, ramps and loading docks, warehouse floors, post anchors, and trip hazards. It has been used by everyone from Public Works & Engineering/Construction industry professionals to home improvement “DIYers”.

To reduce waste, FastPatch uses recycled and renewable materials to repair existing materials. It is 100% solids and does not contain any volatile chemicals. Repairing with FastPatch, rather than removal, eliminates disposal costs and excess waste. FastPatch DPR (Distressed Pavement Repair) for example, is created from 80% recycled and renewable materials. Over 50 bottles of recycled glass are used in a single kit and the polymer is a blend of renewable bio-based materials.

A case study performed on Caltrans Maintenance in Santee, CA  states “FastPatch is easily dispensed, fast curing, flexible, and has excellent adhesion. Currently, there is not a material on the market that can do the same thing as FASTPATCH and have the color of concrete. FastPatch is cold applied and allows Maintenance to repair all concrete distresses in the lane closure, which includes Spalls, Corner breaks, First & Third stage crack, and transverse & longitudinal joints.” –

To learn more about FastPatch and how to apply, visit FastPatch Academy: Equipment Tutorials. For more information contact us at FastPatch@wilvaco.com.

What is in store for Rail in 2018?

Rail

Photo Source: American-Rails

“We feel very good about the future and look forward to next year. We are committed to provide superior service to our customers, and with the volume growth momentum still ahead of us, we see good growth opportunity. A major focus as we move into 2018 is putting more of our resources in place: the people, the equipment and the capital investments.” — Canadian National President and CEO Luc Jobin

What’s the state of the rail industry in 2018? Today’s modern railroads face diverse and unique challenges in daily maintenance projects. There is a lot to be optimistic about in the coming year for rail, though at the moment it is a cautious optimism. A strong U.S. economy and increased consumer confidence could potentially bring new investments and policies that would positively affect all levels of infrastructure throughout the country.

Overall, 2017 was a good year for the rail industry, with the ASCE’s report card giving it the only strong grade of its infrastructure report card. NASDAQ also reported strong growth for railroads in the third quarter due in part to improved focus on deliverables like coal.

Of course, there are challenges to overcome that could impact the industry. Some lawmakers have called for budget cuts, stating that trains are not profitable. National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) President and CEO Jim Mathews responded by saying “those in Congress who believe that passenger rail is not profitable are mistaken. What they don’t see is the big picture. A robust national–and international–intermodal transportation system is crucial to economic growth, especially in those rural and less wealthy areas where travel options are already limited.”

Uncertainty with the North American Free Trade Agreement could also be a factor that greatly impacts the rail industry. Railroads such as the Kansas City Southern that deal heavily with Mexico could potentially feel the repercussions of the deal falling through.

Union Pacific’s Lance Fritz highlights Mexico is a strong business opportunity. “Despite uncertainty around NAFTA, we consider our Mexico business an opportunity that could benefit some of our submarkets. Union Pacific moves 70 percent of U.S. freight-rail shipments to and from Mexico through gateways at Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas; Nogales, Arizona; and Calexico, California. We support trade that helps the U.S. and Mexico economies grow.”

As new infrastructure plans and investments are revealed, the railroad industry’s future will become clearer. We hope it’s a bright one.

About WVCO’s Railroad Division
The Willamette Valley Company’s Railroad Division is the industry leader in providing innovative new products and application systems for today’s railroads. The Railroad Division’s proprietary product, SpikeFast®, has quickly become the most sought-after and reliable product for plugging spike holes.The Railroad Division also offers other railroad tie products for wood and concrete ties, and unique application systems to accurately and consistently apply proven products.

Sources:

https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/article/63203/expanding-passenger-rail-u-s-economy/

https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/news/62949/report-amtrak-cuts-cost-billions/

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/railroad-industry-outlook-december-2018-cm886615

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/rail_industry_trends/article/Outlook-2018-For-Class-I-railroads-moderate-growth-is-the-best-guess–53413

Feeling Creative? Add a Little Unicorn Spit into the Mix!

UnicornSpitUnlike its namesake, Eclectic Products’ Unicorn Spit is very real and extremely useful! This product mixes Paint, Gel Stain, and Glaze into one vibrant mixture, giving customers the ability to turn any everyday objects into a masterpiece.

Pick from 14 different colors and let your creativity run wild! Unicorn Spit penetrates into deep wood and glazes over existing finishes, making it the ideal final touch when fixing up some furniture. Of course, Unicorn Spit works on so much more than wood; add it to some fabric, glass, metal, concrete, or pottery to give objects a stylish new look.

Inspired? Here are some great ways people are using Unicorn Spit to take their creativity further.

If you’re ready to create your very own masterpieces, head on over to Unicorn Spit’s Directions and Tutorials for tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your product.

About Eclectic Products, Inc.

Headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, Eclectic Products specializes in adhesive/patch/coatings and repair products ranging from 0.18 oz. tubes to industrial totes and drums. The company offers powerful brands with exceptional performance and high-level technical R&D abilities. Eclectic Products has earned numerous awards for product performance, innovative design and excellence from organizations such as theNational Retail Hardware Association, HGTV Magazine and Handyman Magazine. Eclectic’s manufacturing facility based in Pineville, Louisiana has also been recognized by the State of Louisiana for demonstrating exceptional quality of work and a commitment to community. All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.