Concrete Products

NOV 2012

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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NEWS SCOPE MANUFACTURERS Vibco marks 50th anniversary Vibco Inc., a leading manufacturer of indus- trial and concrete vibrators, air cannons, vi- brating tables, plate compactors and vibratory rollers, is celebrating 50 years of innovation, service and domestic equipment production. Employees commemorated the 50th anniversary of the company's incorpo- ration with a fun-filled luncheon last month at the Vibco factory in Wyoming, R.I. Vibco was founded in a Sparta, N.J., chicken coop in 1962 by Theodore Waden- sten, an immigrant from Sweden. Waden- sten had immigrated to the United States as a sales engineer for a European vibrator manufacturer. Shortly after arriving state- VIBCO PLANT, 1966 side, Wadensten recognized that the Amer- ican market needed a no-maintenance vi- brator with greater durability for rough applications. His attempts to communicate his design ideas back to his European em- ployer fell on deaf ears, so Wadensten em- braced the American entrepreneurial spirit and set out on his own. Wadensten perfected his revolutionary idea for a Silent Pneumatic Turbine Vibrator and took his product to market. The new vibrator was quiet, required little or no maintenance, and stood up to the rigors of heavy use. As a result, sales took off and Wadensten quickly had to move his opera- tions from his chicken coop in Sparta to a larger manufacturing space in Lodi, N.J. In 1972, Wadensten was awarded a U.S. patent for his pneumatic turbine vibrator de- sign, and began searching the northeast for a permanent manufacturing location for Vibco. Wadensten ultimately chose Wyoming, R.I., and permanently moved all manufacturing operations in the fall of 1974. "My dad started this company with a great idea and a few thousand dollars he'd borrowed from a family member. He didn't listen to the naysayers, critics and cynics. He just believed in his idea and made it happen. That can-do spirit is an important part of Vibco's culture to this day," said Vibco President Karl Wadensten. Theodore Wadensten semi-retired in 1995 and his son, Karl, assumed respon- sibility for Vibco's operations. Since his retirement, Theodore Wadensten has con- tinued inventing and advising Vibco's en- gineers. He has applied for and received nine additional patents post-retirement, the latest in 2008 for a new approach to vibrators for railroad cars, currently mar- keted as the Vibco RailBoss. Under the leadership of current presi- dent Karl Wadensten, Vibco has quadru- pled its annual sales and successfully implemented Lean methodologies based on the Toyota Production System. The company's organizational culture and op- erator-led continuous improvement pro- gram is world-renowned and featured in countless articles, books, blogs and other publications including a Harvard Business case. Vibco regularly hosts plant tours to share energy and inspiration with other improvement-minded organizations. To date, Vibco has hosted more than 5,000 employees from over 600 organizations including service, manufacturing, educa- tion and government. 16 | NOVEMBER 2012 ENGINEER MODELS PAVEMENT VEHICLE FUEL EFFICIENCY As part of the Denmark CO2 Energy Effi- ciency (COOEE) project, Danish Road Di- rectorate officials have enlisted Austin, Texas-based mainline and precast con- crete pavement specialist Transtec Group to identify measures of decreasing vehi- cles' resistance to motion or rolling re- sistance. Chief Engineer Dr. Robert Rasmussen, P.E. attributes part of the re- sistance to texture, where tiny pavement bumps and indentations interact with tires—the mechanics of which have yet to be widely studied. To model the slab–tread relationship, COOEE brought in Transtec engineers to use their robotic laser profiler, RoboTex, to collect data capable of creating 3D images of various concrete and asphalt pavement surfaces. Danish Road Direc- torate's Bjarne Schmidt, project man- ager, says his agency will use this data, along with other measurements, in a model to determine surface characteris- tics minimizing resistance, conserving energy, and reducing Denmark's carbon footprint. A nationwide energy conser- vation effort is projected to save $100 million, or 12.5 million gallons of fuel equating to 45,000 tons of carbon diox- ide emissions, annually with roadways engineered for greater energy efficiency. While in Denmark, Transtec engineers also measured the tire–pavement noise factor, which joins texture among envi- ronmental and economic concerns, ac- cording to Dr. Rasmussen. In addition to adjusting texture and noise, Transtec pavement surface experts focus on fric- tion, smoothness, splash and spray to achieve safe, quiet slabs. Denmark ex- pects to complete the research portion of COOEE in mid-2014. — www.COEE-; The RoboTex robotic laser profiler traveled to Denmark along with Transtec engineers to gauge tire and pavement texture interface. WWW.CONCRETEPRODUCTS.COM

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