Willamette Valley Company’s Year in Review ~ A Look Back at 2018

Willamette Valley Company Year in Review

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!

Winner of the 2018 APA Supplier of the Year award

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.

NEW LEADERSHIP


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.

WVCO at the 2018 International Mass Timber Conference

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.

Representatives from our FastPatch division attended a number of exciting conventions throughout the country like the ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD 2018) and the League of CA Cities Annual Expo to introduce our concrete repair products like the New FastPatch 100NS, an affordable, easy-to-apply high-performance single component sealant perfect for vertical or sloped application. The division also introduced TrenchSeal TS6, an innovative concrete repair product that saves our customers 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.

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.

Representatives from our rail division had another successful appearance at the largest U.S.-based technical conference and trade show for the railroad industry. The  2018 AREMA Annual Conference and Exposition (AREMA 2018) was a combined railway industry event sponsored by WVCO partners AREMA, RSI, REMSA, and RSSI.

We are so grateful to have had such a successful year at WVCO! We are looking forward to working with our partners, distributors and customers in 2019 and beyond!

WVCO Partner Spotlight: Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA)

Photo Source: REMSA

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. 

What WVCO is Giving Thanks for This Season

Happy Thanksgiving from WVCO

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 Moves to New Location- Stays Committed to Innovation

Pre-Tec's New Home

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.
PRE-TEC Moves into New 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.

Click here for the full report.

Three Cross-Laminated Timber Projects We Are Happy to See

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.

Watts Grove Under Construction in the U.K

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.

What trends have you noticed in the Cross Laminated Timber Industry? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or on our LinkedIn Page!

Six Easy Halloween Craft Projects You Can Make With Eclectic Products Paints and Adhesives

Halloween is just around the corner so it’s time to get crafty! Whether you want to transform an old flower vase into a spooky centerpiece or make a creative “no-sew” costume, Halloween craft projects are fun and easy when you have ingenious materials like adhesives from E6000 line of products, Amazing Goop Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain and Glaze and Allure Dimensional Design Adhesive Paints.

Here are a few of our favorites. Visit eclecticproducts.com/project for more creative craft ideas and easy DIY home projects!

Halloween Project Idea #1: No-sew bird costume

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. 

How Is Automation and Robotics Good for the American Workforce?

PRE-TEC Robotics Willamette Valley Company

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

– From How Robotic Automation is Changing the Job Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The FastPatch Products Team to Exhibit at Two Major Events in September

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.

Representatives from the FastPatch products division will attend and exhibit at the League of CA Cities Annual Expo September 12-13 in Long Beach, CA before heading to the AREMA Annual Conference and Exposition (AREMA 2018), September 16th-19th, 2018 in Chicago, IL. AREMA 2018, a combined railway industry event, is sponsored by WVCO partners AREMA, RSI, REMSA, and RSSI, and is the largest U.S.-based technical conference and trade show for the railroad industry.

Railway_Interchange_

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.

FastPatch Microtrench Systems from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

To learn more about these and all of our concrete repair products, please visit the FastPatch Website or email us directly at FastPatch@wilvaco.com.

 

Benefits of Industrial Automation Demonstrated in PRE-TEC Video

PRE-TEC

What Can Industrial Automation do for Manufacturing Businesses?

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

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

 

Is Cross-Laminated Timber a Game Changer?

Cross Laminated Timber

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”.

Nearly every day, there is news about new multi-family and commercial structures constructed using this seemingly “magical” material. It’s even being embraced by mainstream companies like McDonald’s.  In fact, demand for this material is expected to grow by as much as 15% over the next decade.

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.

Fire-Resistant
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.

Sustainable
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.

Acoustic Insulation
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.

Thermal Insulation
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.

Pleasing Aesthetics
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.

To learn more, visit CLT Basics on www.apawood.org & Is the Construction Industry About to Enter a Timber Age? on our blog.

Photo labeled for reuse @ flickr.com/photos/designmilk