3 Custom Robotic Solutions That Are Elevating the Wood Products Industry

PRE-TEC Wood Products Automated Solutions

PRE-TEC’s Turnkey Material Handling Solutions are on the Forefront of Automation.

PRE-TEC, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, is a robotic systems integrator specializing in turnkey material handling solutions. As one of the largest integrators on the West Coast, the company has designed and installed hundreds of flexible automated systems using six-axis robots. For this post, we’re spotlighting some of PRE-TEC’s custom robotic solutions created for the wood products industry. 

Much of PRE-TEC’s success can be attributed to the company’s determination to produce innovative, custom solutions designed specifically for their customer’s production needs. Their automated systems combine multi-axis robot arms, custom end-of-arm tooling, and safety hardware to address, resolve and optimize the most challenging manufacturing applications. Technicians focus primarily on key applications, specifically dispensing, material handling (load/unload functions), material finishing (deburring, polishing), and wood product applications (painting, tagging, and wrapping).

Here are three automated solutions developed by PRE-TEC that are elevating the wood products industry. 

#1 PRE-TEC’s ROBOTIC SPRAY BOOTH
PRE-TEC was the first in North America to employ robotic automation in a wood products spray application system. Now in its sixth generation, the Robotic Spray Booth reduces waste and keeps mill interiors cleaner by using targeted sealer placement and advanced airflow management techniques. One of our favorite features of PRE-TEC’s state-of-the-art Robotic Spray Booth is the remote access monitoring option – this means faster service and fewer on-site visits to perform diagnostics and troubleshooting! Learn how this six-axis robotic system streamlines throughput with increased paint transfer efficiency. 

BENEFITS » Advanced spray gun technology provides consistent coverage and appearance while reducing waste » Four-stage filtration allows air to be safely released into the plant (no roof penetration required) » Negative air pressure inside the booth results in better containment and a cleaner mill environment » Tip access door lets operators service spray guns without entering the containment booth » Filter media location permits easy access by operators » Remote Access Monitoring option reduces the need for on-site visits to perform diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Learn more by downloading PRE-TEC’s Robotic Spray Booth Spec Sheet.

#2 PRE- TEC’s ALL-IN-ONE STENCIL/STRIPER SYSTEM
Pre-Tec’s Stencil /Striper system is an all-in-one system that stencils your products with your logo, and provides end-stripping identification for your products. The system will accommodate up to three colors and allows producers to quickly change markings, stripes and text, increasing throughput and debottleneck operations. It features a six-axis FANUC robot with a custom end-of-arm tool with a marking head and a spray gun to print logos and product information or apply striping.

BENEFITS » Clear, sharp logo images » Precise product identification » Better paint management » Two functions in one system » Potential for increased through-put 

Download PRE-TEC’s Stencil/Striper System Spec Sheet to learn more. 

#3 PRE-TEC’s ROBOTIC CARDBOARD APPLICATOR SYSTEM
PRE-TEC’s Robotic Cardboard Applicator System uses a six-axis, industrial robotic arm that uses multiple end-of-arm tools to automatically singulate, apply and secure cardboard protector sheets to the sides of OSB or plywood panel stacks. In addition to singulating cardboard, this system performs various tasks, such as folding and stapling. The flexibility and accuracy of the robotic arm allows programming of precise staple patterns and consistent cardboard placement for repeatable results on every load. 

BENEFITS» Reduces workplace injuries by automating a dangerous, manual task. » Requires minimal tending, allowing personnel to be utilized elsewhere for more efficient use of labor. » Increases throughput and offers the potential for 24/7 operation. Learn more by downloading PRE-TEC’s Robotic Cardboard Applicator Spec Sheet.

Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

MORE ABOUT PRE-TEC
PRE-TEC Enhances Robotic Weld Cell Automation With FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells

How WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division Partners Through Service

Benefits of Industrial Automation Demonstrated in PRE-TEC Video

PRE-TEC Introduces New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

Proud to Be An Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

 

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! 

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!

Where Can I Find Technical Data on WVCO Products & Solutions?

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For almost seven decades, innovators at Willamette Valley Company have introduced hundreds of custom solutions to companies multiple industries and specialties ranging from wood products to railroad, manufacturing, robotics, concrete and more.

Our elite chemists and engineers are working together to devise better products like coatings, fillers, adhesives, robotics, parts and more to improve the functionality and efficiency of your company’s operations. The list products and services produced by the following divisions is much too long to mention in a single post:

Wood Products
WVCO Railroad
PRE-TEC
FastPatch 
POLYQuik
Eclectic Products Incorporated
Idaho Milling and Grain
Tapel Willamette

We invite you to look through WVCO’s list of Technical Data Sheets to learn the specifics of our products and services like Paints & Primers, Inks, Synthetic Patch, Railroad Products, Extenders & Fillers, Epoxies, Putties and more so your company many benefit from them as well. Each sheet details the product’s features, benefits, where to use, typical properties, application details and contact information.

We stand by the quality of all of our wood products solutions, equipment, parts, railroad maintenance products, concrete repair solutions, wood molding products, flooring products, automated systems and agriculture solutions. Please let us know what WVCO can do for your company?

PRE-TEC’s Custom Robotic Technologies Featured in New Website

The Precision Technologies Division (PRE-TEC) of Willamette Valley Company recently launched a new, mobile friendly website to better serve our customers and help them understand our services and custom robotic technologies.

The new site integrates a series of helpful videos on nearly every page to clearly demonstrate PRE-TEC’s flexible, automated solutions designed for the Manufacturing and the Wood Products industry.

PRE-TEC began nearly thirty years ago when a group of innovative individuals at Willamette Valley Company saw a need for easy-to-use, accurate equipment for metering chemical products. When they discovered this kind of equipment could not be found, they formed the “Equipment Division”.

In the mid-1990’s, the Equipment Division delved into the robotics field and became “Precision Technologies”, later renamed “PRE-TEC” in 2009.

Today, our PRE-TEC Division team are some of the brightest minds in the industry. This group of engineers have demonstrated time and time again how to change ideas into reality by applying scientific knowledge and innovative manufacturing know-how to the development of precision equipment.

Our team has prepared over 220 robotic systems throughout North America and is currently the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast.

We hope you will visit our new website and contact us with any questions and feedback: pre-tec@pre-tec.com or (800) 205-9826.  Be sure to check out all of our PRE-TEC videos on YouTube.  

Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

FANUC America Introduces New CR-35iA Collaborative Robot Designed to Work Alongside Humans

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The FANUC CR-35iA collaborative robot allows shared workspace between an operator and the interactive robot. (Photo: Business Wire)

WVCO’s strategic robotics partner, FANUC America Corporation, recently announced the company has developed it’s new CR-35iA collaborative robot, the industry’s first 35 kg payload force limited collaborative robot designed to work alongside humans without the need for safety fences.

“The FANUC CR-35iA collaborative robot allows shared workspace between an operator and the interactive robot,” said Greg Buell, product manager, FANUC America. “The highly-sensitive robot gently stops if it comes in contact with the operator, allowing the robot and human to work side by side; in fact, FANUC currently has units running in production at General Motors.”

The CR-35iA robot was developed to help manufacturers solve ergonomic challenges by handling applications that are physically demanding for humans, such as heavy lifting.The robot’s shell is green to distinguish the collaborative robot from the standard yellow FANUC robots.

WVCO is proud to have a long time partnership with organizations like FANUC America.  Our robotics division, PRE-TEC, has partnered with the company to develop automated manufacturing solutions using six axis robots and other precision equipment for customers all over the world. Earlier this year, we introduced introduced M2000iA, FANUC’s largest robot available in the North American market.

Large Robots

Standing with M2000iA

Click here to learn more about FANUC’s CR-35iA collaborative robot. You can also visit the company’s website at www.fanucamerica.com.

About FANUC America Corporation
FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan, and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation. FANUC’s innovative technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize efficiency, reliability and profitability.

PRE-TEC is a Proud MotoMan Strategic Partner

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The Precision Technologies Division (PRE-TEC) of Willamette Valley Company has defined itself by integrating the best design, technology, and customer focus to produce precision solutions for your production environment.

WVCO’s PRE-TEC division is currently the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast.  Our engineers have prepared and installed numerous robotic systems for a broad base of industries including Aerospace, Consumer tools, Food/beverage, Medical/dental equipment, Household fixtures, Sports equipment, Vehicle parts and Wood products.

Motoman Partner PRE-TEC’s partnerships with leading robotics companies like Yaskawa Motoman, enable us to provide customers with flexible automated solutions designed specifically for their operation.

By participating in the Motoman Strategic Partner program, our engineers are able to design and build turn-key solutions using multi-axis robot arms, custom end-of-arm tooling, conveyance systems, and safety hardware.

Founded in 1989, Yaskawa Motoman is a leading robotics company providing automation products and solutions for virtually every industry and robotic application. Combined with sister and partner companies, Yaskawa Motoman supports robotic solutions throughout the world.

Motoman Robotics’ MSP Program is designed for “Best in Class” system integrators and application developers. As a Premier Motoman Strategic Partner, PRE-TEC is a considered a long term and national-based partner recognized as an industry leader in our field.

To learn more about how PRE-TEC can serve you, watch this testimonial of PRE-TEC’s flexible automation services and visit www.pre-tec.com.

After 25 Years, Our PRE-TEC Division is Still Changing Ideas into Reality

There’s an old saying that goes “Necessity is the mother of invention” and that most certainly applies to PRE-TEC, the equipment division of Willamette Valley Company.

More than twenty-five years ago, a group of innovative, take-charge individuals at Willamette Valley Company saw a need for easy-to-use, accurate equipment for metering chemical products. When they discovered this kind of equipment could not be found, they formed the “Equipment Division”.

In the mid-1990’s, the Equipment Division delved into the robotics field and became “Precision Technologies”, later renamed “PRE-TEC” in 2009.

Since then, WVCO’s PRE-TEC division has prepared over 165 robotic systems and is currently the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast having installed systems throughout North America.

Our PRE-TEC Division team are some of the brightest minds in the industry. This group of individuals understand how to change ideas into reality by applying scientific knowledge and innovative manufacturing know-how to the development of precision equipment.

PRE-TEC offers support in areas of training, programming, spare parts, and preventive maintenance. Download our company overview for contact information and to learn more: Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.