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.”
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.
Albina Co., Inc., located outside Portland, Oregon, has been providing customers with innovative, quality curved steel services and products since 1939. A family owned and operated, third generation business, run by Brian Smith, specializes in structural steel, tube and pipe bending, plate rolling and fabrication. Albina produces virtually any metal component that needs to bend or curve without the use of pre-formed fittings. Albina has provided curved steel for many high-profile buildings, stadiums and structures in the United States and Canada. Albina was the steel bender of choice on the recently completed Amazon Spheres in Seattle,Washington.
Albina is an industry leader in research and development and in 2018, purchased an MCP30 by Davi, the first type of bending machine in the United States with a “iRoll” smart camera system, allowing operators to view the part being bent compared to a radius template on the control screen. The machine has the ability to “learn and remember” how different materials bend, where the rolls need to be positioned, and how much spring back is associated with a bend / material.
Albina also purchased a Bend-Tech Dragon A400 Plasma Cutter, a commercial grade CNC tube cutting ,engraving, and marking machine with the world’s most powerful CAD/CAM software. Other new equipment included new welders, jib cranes, induction heating coils, an electric forklift and 40 sets of tooling.
Albina was an instrumental player in the development of the first ever Design Guide of its kind in the United States offering information on the fabrication, design and detailing of curved members. Design Guide 33 “Curved Member Design” was released in October 2018 by the AISC Bender/Roller committee and is an invaluable resource for the industry!
Albina not only has one of the newest, most technologically advanced machines on the market, Albina also has one of the oldest, custom made bending machines ever created! In honor of the 80th Anniversary, Albina created a museum on site, called “The Smith-sonian”, honoring the family name and housing one of the first ever pieces of equipment that Albina owned and used to bend materials. Brian’s grandfather built the“Model-T” bending machine in the early 1940’s utilizing the transmission and differential from a “Model-T” Ford. This machine was used until the 1990’s to bend various materials such as pipe, tube, and square and rectangular hollow structural steel. “The Smith-sonian” is ready for visitors. Cheers to 80 Years!
With every New Year comes excitement about the anticipation of what is to come, but also a bit of caution as to what may lie ahead. That is why we took two New Year’s pictures this year as a family! We must stick to what we know to keep our family and business strong, but we must also have the fortitude to take a leap when a project or challenge comes our way. The uncertain economic and social times we live in pose challenges each and every day, but I am confident in the companies we partner with, the people we work with, and the projects we invest in. Maintaining a strong steel industry, just like raising a strong family, is a collaborative effort. All hands on deck! Lets work together to get through these uncertain times and come out stronger on the other end!
And with every New Year comes reflection about the year prior. 2018 was one for the record books as we worked on many exciting curved steel projects. Albina was fortunate to team up with some great fabricators on a massive project in California this last year. The project (to be named at a later date) consisted of 100’s of trucks, thousands of pieces and millions of pounds of bent steel. This was the largest project Albina has processed to date and we look forward to working on more projects that have this level of complexity and excitement in 2019, the 80th Anniversary of our company!! Cheers to 80 Years!
We collected toys this year for the U.S. Marine Corps,”Toys for Tots”. The team collected $488 in toys, and Albina Co.contributed $432, totaling $920.00 worth of toys! Way to go team!
In honor of our 80th Anniversary, Albina has created a museum on site, called “The Smith-sonian”, which honors the family name and houses one of the first ever pieces of equipment that Albina owned and used to bend materials. John Smith, Brian’s grandfather, built the “Model-T” bending machine in the early 1940’s utilizing the transmission and differential from a “Model-T” Ford. This machine was used to roll/bend various materials such as pipe, tube, and square and rectangular HSS (hollow structural steel). The machine would pull material around a bend die resulting in a smooth radius finished good. The “Model-T” was in operation at Albina until the 1990’s when it was replaced by more efficient bending equipment. “The Smith-sonian” is ready for visitors. Stop by to see us! Cheers to 80 Years! You can check out a virtual tour on YouTube.
This master bender machine offers the new and innovative iRoll camera system, allowing operators to view the part being bent compared to a radius template on the control screen. This is a new way to make quality and consistent parts. Another innovation with the master bender is the machine’s ability to “learn and remember” how different materials bend, where the rolls need to be positioned, and how much spring back is associated with a bend / material. This machine is a great fit for our shop, its size puts it right between our current Roundo R7 and R11 machines. Allowing us to reallocate work from two machines to three machines which should certainly help with our scheduling flexibility.
The MCP30 will allow us to bend up to 8” x 8” angle, 9” square HSS, W16 the easy way / W12 the hard way and 14” Sch20 pipe / 12” Sch40 pipe.
The Bend-Tech Dragon A400 is a commercial grade CNC tube cutting, engraving, and marking machine with the world’s most powerful CAD/CAM software. The machine will arrive in mid-November and is capable of cutting holes, notches and other designs on Round, Square, and Rectangular tubes. The machine can handle a material weight up to 400 lbs due to its heavy frame and support gate. The machine’s marking system is used for bend location marking and part identification. To see this amazing machine in action, click on this YouTube video from Bend-Tech.Yet another example of how we are willing to continue to add technology and additional machinery to service all of our customers needs!
We are now accepting Visa/Master Card as a form of payment. If payment is made with Visa/Master Card we will charge a slight surcharge to cover the costs of the transaction. Call our main office if you would like more information and ask to speak with either Debee or Cindy.