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 joined the USFA (Utah Steel Fabricators Association) to assist in the effort to support and improve the steel fabrication industry in Utah. USFA members are comprised of steel distributors, steel processors, steel fabricators, and providers of many products and services related to metal fabrication. This is an exciting opportunity to network with other folks in the steel industry and to help strengthen the educational core in Utah’s steel industry.
Albina provided 109,000# of bent steel for the Eli Lilly San Diego Biotech Center in La Jolla, CA. Eli Lilly doubled the size of its research facility to 300,000 square feet during this project.
Tube Steel 8″ X 8″ X .500″ WALL A500 GR B
8 5/8″ OD X .625″ WALL A500B
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!
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.
Albina provided 41,000# of bent steel to a Arizona fabricator for the St. Augustine Cathedral Square Conference Center and Offices project located in Tucson, AZ.
Albina was responsible to bend 13 different materials including angle, square tubing and rectangular tubing. Sizes ranged from 2” x 1½” angle up to TS 16” x 4” rectangular tubing. This project shipped on multiple trucks, but to help reduce freight costs to our customer we were able to combine the different releases with other goods shipping to the area allowing our customer to pay for partial trucks vs. full trucks.
The bent steel is part of a $12 million, 50,000 square foot four story complex (click here to see rendering). The first, third and fourths floors will house the cathedral offices, while a 500 seat conference and education center will reside on the second floor.
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!
Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) recognizes projects where structural steel has been utilized in an innovative manner. We have been an integral part of many award winning projects, but this year, our curved steel was featured on the award-winning project of the UC Davis Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.
In honor of this years award winners, the AISC produced a high quality coffee table flip Book of the winners. The UC Davis Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is featured on pages 39 and 40 Feel free to check out the whole book to see the entire list of winners.
Our new “Picture Vault” has been live for almost two weeks and our customers are loving it! We have sent picture links to dozens of customers and have gotten extremely positive feedback. Customers think the vault is “cool”, “informative” and “a great way to learn about the steel bending process.”
If you haven’t heard about the vault yet, here is a recap! We recently added a new bar coding system to our shop orders which allow our operators to take pictures during various stages of a bending project. Customers can now login to a secure portion of the Albina Co., Inc. website to see their jobs in four various phases of the steel bending process: raw material, in-process, in quality control and ready to ship.The objective is to offer yet another value-added service for our customers and to keep them well informed throughout their project. Once pictures are taken and uploaded to Albina’s internal picture vault, the project manager at the customer site will receive an email with a secure login username and password, as well as a link letting them know that they have new pictures ready to view. Pictures will be categorized based on Purchase Order Number and Project Name and will remain available for viewing indefinitely. If customers like the pictures posted in the vault, they are welcome to contact us and we will provide a JPEG image for both internal or external use.
The secure site is also useful for ordering Standard Duct & Component Parts online! So quick and easy! If you haven’t ordered online yet, call us today and we will get you set-up immediately to start ordering online.
This is just the first phase of the secure site. Our plan is to provide a resource for customers to view and track other items including invoices, packing slips, order confirmations, etc.