On Friday, March 2nd, almost a year-and-a-half after announcing the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the University of Oregon broke ground for the new campus! The project is slated to be complete by 2020. A signature sky bridge over Franklin Boulevard will connect the campus to other U of O research facilities while creating a gateway corridor between Eugene and Springfield. Albina Co. Inc. bent 22″ OD X 1″ WALL CARBON STEEL PIPE to a 105 foot centerline radius for the sky bridge. What an amazing project! Stay tuned for install pictures!
Another high purity project in the books! We have been staying real busy with a number of stainless steel projects recently. Not only are they bright and shiny to look at, but they often present a unique challenge depending on the configuration and specifications for each piece. For this project, Albina bent 1¾” OD X .065″ WALL T304 Stainless Steel Tubing into multiple coils from 20 ft lengths to a 26.75” diameter.
As we continue to strive to be an industry leader with our “out of the box thinking” and with our push to work smarter with the use of technology, we sat down for an interview with the “Tube & Pipe Journal” to discuss what exactly we are doing to achieve our goals. Log into the digital edition of the “Tube & Pipe Journal” to read the fabulous article written by Eric Lundin!
After many years of consideration, we determined it was the right time to move our shop workers into personal digital devices and start “working smarter.” The initial desire was to have workers get rid of the old, antiquated paper time card system and move to a better digital solution. What evolved was a very powerful personal digital device that shares a wealth of information internally and externally. Some highlights include:
1. Picture Vault. Operators have the ability to take pictures of a customer’s project during various phases of production and easily upload those pictures for sharing with the customer via our website. 2. Time cards. We no longer fill out paper time cards or punch a clock. Workers are able to apply time automatically to orders and machines with a simple click of the button. All of the time is automatically tied into our job costing and payroll system avoiding double entry and extra handling of paper time cards. 3. Daily and Weekly Schedules are now available for all workers on their personal device, instead of being on a central computer that all workers had to walk to. 4. MTR’s are now available for workers to review for all jobs that require heat numbers to be verified and transferred. 5. Internet allows workers to access our Bending Calculators page and use our powerful bending calculators to help with daily math. 6. Email is available to certain workers that have Albina email accounts to allow for documented communication between workers. 7. Scientific calculators are available to all workers. 8. Access to Albina’s vast library of tooling. 9. Access to saved production notes for repeat parts. 10. Access to setup pictures that can be zoomed to get a detailed view of what is required. 11. Ability to preview a work order without tracking down printed paperwork. 12. Access to a company wide vacation schedule so workers know when vacation time is coming up and when vacation time is available. 13. Ability to preview a purchase order and receive a purchase order. 14. Ability to update job status and mark when parts are complete in real time. 15. Performance Review. Each worker has the ability to review production productivity and production efficiency percentages weekly, monthly and annually.These personal digital devices have become very powerful tools for our workers and certainly help with efficiency. We continue to strive to be an industry leader with innovative, “out of the box thinking.”
In addition to bending, Albina can assist its customers by providing added processes to materials we handle. Many value-added processes can be included with our scope of work allowing our customers to receive turn key parts. Whether the parts are rolled, or standard straight sections, we are here to help. Albina has countless pieces of fabrication equipment allowing us to provide complete parts whenever required. Our talented fabrication personnel and equipment can reduce a customer’s lead-time and overall cost by handling some fabrication processes in house.
Albina employs several full-time welders and fabricators that carry various welding certs from AWS to fit the various needs of our customers. Our fabricators can weld steel, aluminum, stainless and copper nickel materials. We have MIG, TIG and Stud welding abilities in most of these materials. In addition to being able to weld, our fabricators and equipment allow us to add production cut (CNC), precision CNC trim (saw or plasma), punch/drill holes, CNC plasma cut holes (round, square, diamond, triangle and oval), rollbead ends of round material, flare ends of round material (37° and/or 45°), cope (manually and CNC) up to 6” OD material, split and taper both wide flange and HSS sections, cope T,K and Y connections in round and square materials, and thread or tap items.
Albina continues to grow and evolve as a full-service shop. We have invested in CNC technology over the years to provide repeatable quality parts. Many of the secondary processes we offer customers can be performed using manual processes (for smaller quantity runs) or CNC processes (for larger quantity runs). We are constantly adding to our capabilities and capacities. Please contact sales or estimating if you have specific questions regarding our ability to assist with your next project.
If we can’t do it….we know who can. The industrial area of Tualatin where our facility is located is home to many businesses that can assist with the needs of your project. We have developed some very close-knit ties with local vendors allowing us to partner up and service all of your needs. External services such as laser cutting, hot dip galvanizing, sandblasting, painting, powder coating and precision machining are all within a mile of our facility.
I often take time at the beginning of each new year to reflect on some cool projects we have done over the years and to make sure that we get those out to the digital world and share them with steel enthusiasts. One of the coolest art projects we have been a part of was the “Molecule” by Larry Kirkland for Winona State University in Minnesota.
Albina rolled 200, 12 foot lengths of ½” SOLID ROUND 6061-T6 Aluminum to net 133 full circles. Our customer then trimmed and fabricated the “Molecule” complete.
Another Awarding Winning Project in the books for Albina Co., Inc. “The Spheres” have received the AISC 2019 IDEAS2 Presidential Award for Excellence in Fabrication! Albina bent 750,000# and 1,050 pieces rectangular tube steel bent the easy way and a portion bent off-axis for this project. Almost 8 miles of welding work and grinding was avoided because of Albina’s ability to bend a portion of the project. Almost NO correction was needed during fabrication or erection as the bends fit to the fixtures within 1/32nd of an inch! Numerous Pacific Northwest businesses collaborated to make The Spheres possible. Way to Go Team & Congratulations!
The Albina Co., Inc. team recently spiraled a true HSS stair stringer to a very tight configuration for a spiral staircase project in Washington. The project consisted of using an induction heat source, on our custom made bending equipment, to spiral bend tube steel 16″ X 12″ X .625″ WALL A500 GR B the easy way to a 77” Center Line Radius. VERY TIGHT and VERY IMPRESSIVE! Great work team!
Albina Co., Inc. is drawing a lot of attention locally and nationwide as we celebrate 80 years in the steel bending business. Our story is one of the unique ones as we span three generations of Smith owners! Check out the article on the Portland Business Tribune website.
We recently bent 215 pieces of .79” OD X .083” WALL C-276 for a chemical processing application. C-276 alloy is one of the most corrosion resistant alloys currently available. This project is a perfect example of how consistent, accurate and reliable we are with jobs that require extreme precision!