• Internal Vibrator Maintenance 101: Assembly, Disassembly and Proper Regular Maintenance of your VIBCO Internal Vibrator

    by [user not found] | Jul 20, 2015

    Having a properly working internal vibrator is essential to any job. No one wants to find out on the way to a job site or midway through a job that the internal vibrator you're using aren't working at full capacity or unable to perform within minutes of use.

    To achieve this long life, regular maintenance is required. Even the finest concrete vibrator are lost if the proper maintenance instruction is not followed.

    This post will help you develop regular maintenance schedule for your internal vibrator.

    In this post we're going to examine:

    • how to properly make sure your internal vibrator is working correctly and
    • how to safely disassemble and reassemble your vibrator

    How to Make Sure Your Internal Vibrator is Working Properly

    Before we get into disassembly let's first check and see how the vibrator parts are working.

    First, it's very important to check your vibrator shaft for any distortion or kinks. If any permanent bend or kink has developed in the shaft, the vibrator will not perform properly and the shaft will need to be replaced.

    Next, check to see if the vibrator is operating within its rates/amperage. To do this, connect the vibrator to an ammeter and activate the vibrator. The vibrator should pull the amperage that is marked on the nameplate, or less. If the amps do not drop below the nameplate rating after 15 seconds of running, the shaft and head will need servicing.

    Your vibrator should not be operated for more than 15 seconds without the vibrator head inserted into concrete.

    After the vibrator motor has been turned off and had a chance to cool, disconnect unit from the power supply. Check the brushes and make sure that they are not sticking and that you have sufficient brush length for continued operation.

    Finally, check the rear ventilation holes and make sure that they are clear of concrete or other grime that may accumulate there.

    Disassembling and Checking Your Internal Vibrator

    pull-out-shaft internal vibrator maintenanceNow we can begin the disassembly process. Your VIBCO internal vibrator was assembled at our factory in Wyoming, Rhode Island and was put together with Loctite Blue 242®, an adhesive for threads and bolts, so the elements would not loosen when the machine is vibrating. As a result, the vibrator might be difficult to take apart initially.

    locking internal vibrator power supply diagramTo disassemble your vibrator for an inspection and cleaning:

    1. Unlatch the shaft from the motor. This is accomplished by:

    • Locating the lever on top of the motor unit and

    • Pressing in the direction of the arrow on the lever and pull the shaft connector directly out of the motor unit.

    At this stage the removing the shaft should not give you too much resistance.

    2. Remove the shaft connector. This is accomplished by simply unscrewing it from the shaft.

    This may be done by hand, without tools, but on occasion it will be seated so tightly that a couple of adjustable wrenches may be required for disassembly.

    remove-connector internal vibrator repair

    Once the shaft connector (part #1A712) is removed from the shaft. Clean the threads of the shaft removing any remnants of the grease and Loctite® that may be there. Be sure to be on the lookout for wear on the vibrator head and shaft and lubricate the inner shaft after 40 hours of use.

    To lubricate the inner shaft of the vibrator:

    1. Pull the inner shaft out of the housing about half of the vibrator's length. If the vibrator has a 7 foot shaft, pull it out about 3 1/2 feet. Check for signs of wear such as frayed cable or small kinks. 
    1. Apply a liberal coating of grease (1/16th of an inch) to the exposed shaft. We recommend Flexi-Lube grease, available from VIBCO in 1 lb and 5 lb containers, but most good quality flexible shaft greases will work.
    1. Re-insert the shaft and re-clean the threads if necessary. Apply some Loctite Blue 242® or equivalent and tighten the shaft connector back onto the shaft.
    1. Open the release lever on the motor unit and re-insert the shaft connector.
    1. Move the lever into the locked position and you are ready to get back to work.

    If you need to check the motor while the shaft is removed, snap the motor 'on and off'. The motor should start quickly and run smoothly. This is a quick snap on and the off. The universal motor of you vibrator is not intended to be run at  high speed without a load attached.

    Wrap Up

    Vibrators are an essential tool when working with concrete. All the more reason to make sure that the internal vibrator you're using for the job is working as it should and delivering it's best.

    Developing a consistent maintenance schedule for your internal vibrator is the best thing you can do. Doing so will ensure that your vibrator will deliver the best performance time after time and save money on new parts and new equipment. Following these steps and these maintenance tips every 40 hours of use and operation will ensure just that.

    Go comment!
  • Lean Manufacturing in Action: 3 Lean Implementation Case Studies

    by [user not found] | Jul 10, 2015

    A successful Lean implementation is one of the most trying and challenging things a company can embark on. It’s a demanding experience for both management and employees. It requires a whole team of people seeing the possible end goal and believing that this transformation is one for the better. For the average organization, that’s a tall order.

    lean manufacturing principlesFailure rates of Lean implementation are staggering. One study from iSix Sigma found that failure rates of Lean implementations, conservatively speaking, hover around 50 percent and can balloon as high as 90 per cent (failure defined as a return to the organization’s original way of doing business) Statistically speaking, there’s a real chance your company won’t make it through the first year of Lean.

    That being said, that doesn't mean hope is lost.

    Lean is a very possible to implement but far from simple. Us at VIBCO, for example, began Lean in the early 2000s when it became apparent to us that our current system of manufacturing our vibrators and making deliveries and fulfilling orders on  time was not sustainable. The changes that needed to take place were dramatic and pressing. Management was working over time learning the language of Lean and serving as the beacon of where to go and how to keep the company focused and engaged. 10 years later, we’re still invested in the cause and continuing to improve. When we host Gemba Walks and tours throughout our factory, we insist to those on the tour that we are far from finishing our Lean journey and it is (and was) far from easy.

    Successful Lean implementation case studies are finite but they do exist, validating the belief that a successful Lean transformation is possible. It’s these case studies that help to shed light on just the kinds of trials and tribulations that an organization must endure going through the implementation, the work required before the implementation to acclimate and familiarize the company with what’s around the corner and the work after - the act of sustainability and keeping on course towards improvement.

    Here are 3 lean manufacturing case studies that highlight how Lean has been successfully implemented.

    1. Case Study #1: New Balance

    If you've ever walked into a JC Penney or Kohl's shoe department, you've seen the New Balance brand.

    Meet New Balance

    new balance headquartersNew Balance is an American shoe and apparel company based out of Boston, Massachusetts with a factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1906 in Boston and began as a manufacturing company for arch supports, later expanding into footwear in the 1960s and later apparel lines including clothes and socks shortly after. The company has remained in the United States and prides itself on its Made in the USA seal and commitment to American manufacturing and Lean as its driving manufacturing compass as of 2003.

    Naturally, the idea of Lean was approached dubiously by New Balance staff. As John Wilson, executive vice president of manufacturing at New Balance explained, "The cardinal rule we made when we started was that that no one was losing his or her job," said Wilson. "If people leave and we don't replace them that are a different story." Part of the challenge of successfully implementing Lean was convince the workers that none was going to lose their job, one of the common fears associated with Lean or any kind of substantial shift in management style and operations.

    Lean Education and New Balance’s Start With Lean

    To help usher in the idea of Lean to New Balance, the company began holding educational sessions.

    Managers from all parts of the company learned lean principles, as well as employees from divisions of the company that one immediately might not think would have any direct association with ‘Lean manufacturing like the accounting staff or design teams. Executives' 30 hours of instruction included a myriad of topics including the foundations of the original Toyota Production System (TPS) concepts, lean product development principles, and value-stream mapping, both the practice of and the theory behind.

    Management on the factory floor and those directly affiliated with the day-to-day factory operations got approximately 100 hours of training in areas including TPS, strategy deployment, the plan-do-check-act problem solving cycle, standardized work, and lean leadership.

    The Lean Implementation: Action, Struggle and Work

    new balance factory lean implementation case studyProblem solving periods happened daily and followed rigid timetables. Members of New Balance’s value stream team would meet with supervisors at in the morning. for production meetings at the stream's designated problem solving location. Members would also meet with also meet with quality assurance engineers on the shop floor daily between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. to review quality issues.

    As one profile piece on the New Balance Lean transformation from the Lean Enterprise Institute details, “during twice daily audits, each team's coordinator uses a check sheet while observing whether operators are following the step sequence for their processes within takt time. Supervisors spot check that the coordinators' audit sheets are up to date”.

    Sustainability is one of the most challenging aspects to a successful Lean transformation. New Balance remedied this by routinely reviewing results from teams operations and reports and charted the findings from one meeting to the next. Additional follow-up audits or reflection times are often scheduled.

    New Balance’s biggest problems were with batch and queue processing and extensive works-in-progress. Prior to Lean, New Balance’s manufacturing process focused on designated stations where specific activities of the product making process would take place. As one station was occupied making a component of a shoe, the other stations were either left with too much work, too little work or no work at all and left waiting for work to come through their space. The batches had long lead times and the inventory required to sustain these large lead times ate into the company’s profit and profit growth potential.

    The addition of single-piece flow (or one pair flow as New Balance referred to it) was pivotal to their production. By ending the batch and queue process, New Balance was able to:

    • Remove excessive inventory and free up space in their factories for more machines or employee focused learning areas

    • Improved faster takt times per unit

    • The ability to take on greater order demand without falter

    • Improve lead times and cut production costs

    • and continue to grow as a company and stay competitive with a wholly American made produce

    lean implementation case study new balance work in progress reduction chartFrom a business logistics perspective, New Balance needed to change there as well. The company focused on how they were going to fulfill their 24 hour promise, a promise to retailers that New Balance  will turn around orders for core style shoes in just 24 hours. "We will ship it in 24 hours from receipt of order," Wilson said from the Lean Enterprise Institute piece. To make sure this promise was met, New Balance made sure it’s core shoe line was made domestically and since it was going to be made domestically and closer to the retail outlets, the application of the aforementioned Lean concepts was all the more critical.

    The most popular domestic styles have annual inventory turns as high as 18, New Balance’s domestic plants can generate at least 24 turns of finished goods due to the lean production improvements. Production planners were able to see what customers are buying by electronically monitoring what shoestyles, sizes, and widths the distribution center has shipped to retailers during a one to five day period.

    They schedule production to replenish what's been shipped, maintaining a level of finished goods to provide a 98% "at once" availability to retailers.

    The ideal level of finished shoes inventory is as low as possible without running out. "It's easy to have 100% availability if you're carrying 200 days of supply," Wilson said. "We're trying to keep finished goods inventory down to 22 days or even lower." Currently some styles are made daily. Most are made weekly, but the company is gradually moving these to daily production as the lean transformation progresses. Planners adjust inventory levels to account for demand spikes in peak months or the introduction of new styles.

    Read more on New Balance’s Lean Manufacturing Implementation:

    2. Buck Knives

    Ever been hunting or know a friend that’s an avid hunter or fisherman? It’s likely you’ve come across Buck Knives. The Buck Knives name has become synonymous with hunting, fishing and outdoor sport much the same way Kleenex has become an interchangeable word for tissue. While the Buck Knives name holds considerable weight in the outdoor equipment market, there was a time when the company was in serious financial trouble and needed a solution.

    Meet Buck Knives

    buck knives headquartersBuck Knife as a manufacturing company is unique compared to the aforementioned New Balance shoes, but benefitted none the less from a Lean transformation. As one can imagine, commercial hunting knives require a different manufacturing process than shoes and serve a different market. Buck Knives must overcome creating a safe (accent on safe) high quality knife product with materials that are subject to very volatile price changes and availability and a high learning curve to the knifemaking process itself and a very, very uneven demand (45% of the company’s sales come during 3 months of the year).

    Back in 2001, Lean proved to be the best solution to the survival of the Buck Knives company. The combination of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and the increased cost of doing business in California, the company’s home since it’s inception in the 1940s, Buck Knives was on the brink of collapse. None was buying knives and the cost to make knives was unsustainable. A factory re-location was imminent and a big pivot from the old way of manufacturing was required to keep the company afloat through very trying times.

    The first step was to develop for how to survive and move forward. First, the company set out to reduce their costs that began by moving to a state that charges less for energy, regulatory and labor costs (their current location in Port Falls, Idaho), buying a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and becoming a Lean-oriented culture. The latter being the most important for long term survival.

    Prior to 2001, Buck Knives worked in a way many manufacturing operations tend to work: with a batch and queue model. By this design, the factory floor’s operations were disconnected and left individual stations waiting for the station prior to it to complete its work before beginning on it’s own. Additionally, like New Balance, abundance of works in progress were very common.

    Naturally, the first major shift was to assembly cells and away from batch and queue. This was the first step Buck Knives made and the factory workers saw the improvements instantly and became inspired to keep going. Cross training began and leaders from one group trained another who then trained another over the course of several months until the factory floor was completely converted to assembly cells.

    To support the practical application Lean, learning and teaching sessions were held. Experts from around the country were summoned to share their knowledge and insights into the Lean transformation process and to offer insights into how to sustain the positive changes that were already taking place. The overarching positive was a “60% reduction” in work in progress projects.

    lean manufacturing case study buck knives factoryThe sport knife market experiences a very uneven market with large peaks and valleys with regards to demand. To tackle these inconsistent in an already beatdown market landscape, the company began by working to reduce their finished goods inventory to one month’s worth of product but with the ability to ramp up or throttle down production for the fluctuating demand cycles. This way, there was always just enough stock on hand. Buck Knives also began vendor-managed inventory programs with large clients like Walmart and Cabelas. Using Walmart’s 12-month sales totals, the best indicator the company has had for measuring demand, the sales team would then divide the 12-month sum into 10 equal amounts between January and October to determine how much product should be made and kept in stock.

    Though our the company’s implementation of lean into their manufacturing processes, wasteful spending was uncovered. C.J. Buck, the company’s CEO, explains that the company uses a specific kind of fine blank machine to cut blades from metal and was faced with having to invest in new customized tooling for the machine to produce a new product. To acquire and equip this machine with the proper tooling usually costs Buck Knives around $80,000 and yields a marginal turnaround time.

    Brian Maskell from BMA, Inc., a Lean accounting firm,  asked if the company had idle capacity elsewhere that could handle the increased demand. As it turns out they did in fact have something idle: a laser cutting machine, but it cuts blades at the rate of 60 to 80 an hour while the fine blank machine can produce 600 to 800 an hour.

    lean manufacturing case study examples buck knives box scoreAccording to traditional-accounting principles, the large-batch option would have been most profitable. But using lean-accounting principles, which favor flexibility over large-batch production, the laser machine was the better option, and that’s what the team chose. The laser machine allowed for smaller batches and save money on not investing in acquiring the needed tooling for the machine.

    For Buck Knives, Lean came at a turning point for the company. The company was faced with a series of extreme situations at the same time - the September 11th attacks, a national change in the feelings towards buying weapons and specifically sports knives, and an increase in the cost of doing business in California - that shattered the company’s original way of meeting customer demand and forced them to adopt a new way of doing business that could endure these changes.

    The results spoke for themselves in a few short years. Buck Knives cut down on excessive machinery, improved lead times, removed excessive inventory and stock product, cut costs and got a company behind the vision.

    Read more on Buck Knives’ lean implementation process:

    3. Case Study #3: The Wiremold Company

    The Wiremold Company still holds the title as one of the best cases of a successful Lean implementation in manufacturing activities.

    The history of The Wiremold Company began in 1900. D. Hayes Murphy, a college graduate with an ambition to jump into the manufacturing business. Murphy, along with his father Daniel E. Murphy, became interested in the Milwaukee-based Richmondt Electric Wire Conduit Company, a company that manufactured a special kind of wire conduits. Richmondt’s conduits were zinc-coated, and pipe-like allowing for wires to be housed within them, protecting the wires from wear and corrosion.

    While the product was in high demand, the company was inefficiently run, wrestling with difficulties meeting the high demand for their product. Amidst their management issues, the Murphy family confronted management with an offer to buy them out for 10,000 dollars. The transaction lead to what we now know as the Wiremold Company. Since the buyout the company uprooted from Michigan and settled in Connecticut.

    Warren Packard and Wiremold Before Lean

    The Wiremold Company was not always a beacon representing the ideals of Lean manufacturing come to life. Wiremold came to prominence after Art Byrne become the company’s CEO in 1991. Byrne and then vice president of Wiremold’s finance Orry Fiume who spearheaded the company’s now famous Lean initiative, transforming the company from one that was losing money and running at a fraction of it’s potential to a well oiled, flowing machine increasing sales from 100 million to 450 million dollars in 10 short years up until the company was sold in 2001.

    Wiremold’s Lean transition, like Buck Knives and New Balance, suffered from a stagnant, stifling way of doing business. Despite being an international leader in conduit casing, by the 1980s, Wiremold was slowly becoming paralyzed by company inefficiencies. Tools and machines in the factory were and the company was quickly being matched by competition and unable to respond quickly. It was taking too long to get new products to market, deliveries were lagging, customer service was declining, and overall growth was falling off.

    Under Warren Packard, Wiremold’s company treasurer since 1973, Wiremold launched several initiatives aimed at righting the ship, including a first stab at implementing a Japanese style just-in-time production system. The initiative failed. Equipment failures unable to maneuver the new expectations to personnel difficulties with the idea of increased production on that scale. Moreover, employees were hesitant and apprehensive to the idea of change and let the idea go slack when it was left to them to carry on. Packard soon realized that himself realized the company needed a new leader to make the sort of fundamental changes which would spark a turnaround.

    He thus announced in early 1991 that he planned to retire and then led the search for his replacement. Late in the year Art Byrne was hired on as the new CEO.

    Byrne, Fiume and Wiremold’s Lean Transformation

    lean operations case study art byrne wiremoldArt Byrne joined Wiremold  years of experience as a group executive with the Danaher Corporation, where he had successfully made use of kaizen to improve the company’s factory floor processes and manufacturing operations.  At Wiremold, in an unusual theme uncharacteristic to Lean but consistent with Packard’s belief that the company needed a fresh start, Byrne first reduced the workforce, offering early retirement packages to unionized workers and implementing a modest layoff of salaried employees.

    Byrne then encouraged management to join him in replacing the traditional hierarchical system of management with a more ambitious team-based model. As Byrne saw it, the team structure provided the important framework for his implementation of both kaizen, in which small groups participate in problem-solving sessions, and just-in-time manufacturing as well as to encourage management to go to the gemba with their fellow co-workers rather than sit perched above the day-to-day fray. Within a few years the manufacturing process had shown a steady stream of improvements, and both defects and inventory were dramatically reduced.

    Kaizen, Byrne’s biggest asset at Wiremold, spearheaded many of the changes. While kaizen workshops on the production floor attacked long lead times, delays, batching, wasted space, and poor material and information flow, kaizens in the tooling department attacked the same problems in tool maintenance, design, and fabrication. Management as well as floor workers were involved in kaizen. The mindset became lasting at Wiremold, shifting away from ‘doing kaizen’ - implying a start and end point to kaizen - to always being in a state of kaizen where employees as well as management were encouraged to act on their ideas in the name of improvement.

    The results spoke for themselves. Productivity at Wiremold improved by 20 percent in each of the first three years.. Between 1991 and 1995, inventory levels were reduced by more than 75 percent. The time to develop new products was reduced from three years to less than six months. Sales, wages, and profits were all growing at a substantially greater pace, with revenues doubling from $100 million to $200 million between 1991 and 1995. As a result of the lean techniques that Byrne had championed, Wiremold became a model to be emulated, its turnaround story told in the books Lean Thinking (1996) and Better Thinking, Better Results (2003).

    The newfound company performance and skyrocking profits opened up new doors for Wiremold in the way of acquisitions to improve the company’s supply chain and introduce new products. Perma Power Electronics Inc., a producer of super suppressors, line conditioners, and uninterruptible power supplies was acquired in 1993 as was Walker Electrical Products, a manufacturer of in-floor and overhead systems for distributing power, lighting, and communications.  Raceway Components, Inc., the leading brand of poke-thru systems, which provided invisible wire and cable management for open-space areas was acquired in 1995.

    The kaizen approach also aided new product development efforts. One of the newer introductions came late in the 1990s when Access 5000 decorator raceway debuted. This nonmetallic multi-channel raceway came in a selection of finishes, including real wood veneers, thus offering a combination of architectural trim and cable and wire management in one package. By 1999 the acquisitions and new products had helped revenues double yet again, to approximately $400 million.

    Byrne embodied the often overlooked Lean pillar respect for people. While most managers beginning on a shift towards Lean focus on the idea of improvement and cutting waste, Byrne focused not only on those ideas but making sure his employees were listened to and respected throughout the process. Moreover, Byrne’s methods for exercising this idea were far from complicated. Byrne simply included everyone in kaizen, elected strong leadership to kaizen, empowered his employees to act if they saw something needed change and provided positive reinforcement when something good changed. He encouraged his team to learn by doing and going to where the work was done and the money was made for Wiremold in the name of perspective and understanding. He challenged his employees with a tone and demeanor that was less ‘do this now because I said so’ and more ‘I believe you can do this because you are a skilled, competent individual’. The change in tone and delivery made all the difference when communicating and striving to bring a team to new levels of insight and action.

    The 1990s were a fantastic time for Wiremold. The company was the talk of the Lean world and crowned as the best implementation of Lean in an American business and sought after by business leaders for guidance and insights. However, by the start of the next decade things turned sour for the company. In 2001, Wiremold was bought out by a French competitor company Legrand and the Lean improvements championed by Fiume and Byrne were halted. Legrand purchased Wiremold believing this immense profitability was self-sustaining and would continue even with the change in management. They were wrong.

    Micromanagement returned to Wiremold, employees were not encouraged to act and study as they were under Byrne and, worse, the batch and queue model of manufacturing returned. The Lean improvements were thoroughly undone within a few short years of the acquisition and the company was returning to a pre-Byrne workflow and profitability.

    Art Byrne, since his retirement from the company in the early 2000s, has spoken extensively on his time with Wiremold, sharing his learning experiences and insights with thousands of other business and organization leaders around the world. While Wiremold remains a part of Legrand to this day, there aren’t as many clear examples of what happens before and after a Lean transformation as well as what happens when a company gets behind Lean in every way - from management to janitors.

    Read more on Wiremold’s Lean implementation case study:

    Wrap Up

    Lean is difficult, but far from impossible. From a theoretical perspective, it’s fairly easy to understand the idea behind the concepts and the tools. From a practical application perspective, the action is vastly different.

    Many companies struggle with Lean and achieving a successful Lean implementation and make the mistake of believing there is an end to the journey. There isn’t. VIBCO still considers itself on a Lean journey. Every day it’s staying on point with the ideas of watching out for the 7 (some say 8) wastes, respecting the ideas of those around you and for management keeping up with making sure that your company has their eye on the end goal.

    These are a few of the case studies that have stood out as remarkable in the world of Lean implementation. All these companies had a certain way of doing business but it wasn’t until something came along that was going to jeopardize the future of the company was a change made. Each of these companies had a top down management style, processed good batch and queue and, without knowing it, were working at a fraction of their potential. For all these companies, including VIBCO, it wasn’t until some massive event occurred that caused management to realize that a change needed to be made, rally the company behind a cause and go forward.

    It’s very easy to talk about Lean but it’s very difficult to implement it, but with a management structure willing to hear some new ideas, a team ready to get to work and a whole lot of commitment coupled with the understanding that it’s going to be a trying experience and it’s going to be difficult, any company or organization can undergo a successful Lean transformation.

    Go comment!
  • Falcon Structures Launches Their Lean Initiative With Help From VIBCO

    by [user not found] | Jul 10, 2015

    Falcon Structures CEO Stephen Shang has been working very closely with VIBCO's president Karl Wadensten to launch Falcon Structures' Lean transformation.

    Today is the day the initiative goes live - and Karl got a special mention in the company's official unveiling.

    falcon structures lean initiative karl wadensten vibco

    All of us at VIBCO Vibrators are thankful for the opportunity to help and wish Falcon Structures the best of luck on their Lean journey!

    Go comment!
  • 3 Big Reasons to Invest in a Concrete Vibrator

    by [user not found] | Jul 02, 2015


    You only have a little bit of time and a little bit of money to make sure your concrete pour happens and happens correctly. Resources are valuable and finite and you're under a lot of pressure to make sure that this jobs gets done and gets done right.

    Should you worry about consolidating your concrete? Should you worry about buying a vibrator? After all, that's money that needs to be spent and time that needs to be invested choosing the right vibrator, learning how to mount the vibrator and then actually running it and running it properly.

    Why bother, right?

    Well,  here are 5 reasons why you should make the investment in an industrial concrete vibrator for your job - even if you're working quick and working on a budget.

    3 Reasons to Invest in a Concrete Vibrator For Your Next Job

    1.Your Final Product Will Last Longer Than Without Vibration

    When concrete is poured, that concrete mixture can have between 5 and 25 percent air worked into the material. If that concrete were laid down as is, the concrete will set riddled with air pockets and places for water and vegetation to seep in and ruin the final product.

    Vibration, whether external or internal, will prevent against:

    • Excessive entrapped air
    • Sand streaking
    • Cold joints
    • Subsidence cracking and more

    All this is to ensure the client is satisfied not just for the short term but for many years down the road.

    2. You Get Consistent Results Time After Time

    smooth concrete wall finishWorking with concrete is not a small affair. There are many organizations that need to be coordinated, people that need to be contacted and schedules that need to match to a tee.

    Moreover, the fact that concrete is being used means that the job is going to be a permanent one, or at least one that the end result is meant to be used extensively or expected to be visible to the public for years to come.

    Nothing can turn a job sour faster than having pillars, structures, molding or sidewalk pieces that come out uneven or non-uniform.

    With vibration, there is less human error in making the first piece look the same as the second, third, fourth and so on piece produced. Traits including appearance, strength and consistency are all uniform from product to product.

    3. The Learning Curve is Not as Extensive as You Might Think

    Unlike Europe where vibratory equipment operators must go through a certification process and months and months of guided training, the United States doesn't offer much in the way of guided training for workers. As a result, it's no small wonder why vibrators used on job sites are misused, under used or flat out used incorrectly causing a group of workers to wonder why they felt they should have bought this thing in the first place.

    With that reality, there are many resources to turn to to familiarize yourself with the basics of applying vibration properly. You, your team and your customer will surely notice how simple these best practices are to learn and apply quickly on the job site.

    Becoming familiar with vibratory technology and the best practices for using it are far from out of reach. Here are some resources from us as well as from around the Internet to help familiarize your team and yourself with industrial vibration and what vibration can do:

    Go comment!
  • The Future of Concrete: 3 Emerging Trends on the Way for Concrete Technology

    by [user not found] | Jun 23, 2015

    Concrete: the rock solid material that makes up our bridges, buildings, sidewalks, streets and more. This remarkable building material has become a construction staple for it’s low cost to put together and ability to mold into just about any shape.

    That is until the last 15 years or so. As science and technology move faster and faster and steady innovation and iteration become the norm, concrete is another innovation due for a modernization.

    Here are 3 emerging trends on the way for concrete and concrete technology.

    1. Self-Repairing Concrete

    Structures made from concrete. is subject to the elements. Wind, rain, freeze-thaw cycles all playself-healing-concrete-bacteria a role in affecting the lifespan of concrete. Cracks and chipping are going to occur and when that happens, towns and cities tend to set aside funds to rebuild or repair their crumbling infrastructure or engage in a whole new public works project.

    Cracking concrete isn't a new issue, but it's one that has continued to jeopardize concrete's longevity. Cracks lead to water seepage and the leaking water can wear away concrete. Additionally, if concrete is reinforced with rebar the rebar can corrode away and the concrete structure's integrity can fall apart.

    In the face of this reality, the question must be asked: is a future around the corner where buildings will be able to repair themselves? It would certainly look like that.

    Bioconcrete is among the latest developments for concrete. Bioconcrete is concrete made with a special bacteria called Bacillus genus and bacteria-supportive nutrients and supplements.

    One CNN profile piece explains how bacteria is used to heal concrete:

    "The bacteria then germinate, multiply and feed on the lactate, and in doing so they combine the calcium with carbonate ions to form calcite, or limestone, which closes up the cracks."

    According to Henk Jonkers and Eric Schlangen of the Delft Technical University in the Netherlands, "[bioconcrete has] been able to heal cracks up with a width of .5mm." The concept of self-healing concrete and bacteria-infused building material is relatively new, but Jonkers and Schlangen are beginning to take their experiment out fo the lab. 

    The two are experimenting with how the concrete survives for prolonged periods of time outdoors, how the concrete works with larger projects like sidewalks and buildings and if costs can be reduced to produce it en masse.

    2. Smog Eating Concrete

    Roads are not going away and cars are certainly becoming cleaner and more environmentally conscious, but there is still a ways to go when it comes to totally environmentally sound travel and transit. Imagine for a minute if the roads themselves could soak up carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses emitted by cars, trucks and busses passing over the miles of interstate that connect the United States. Smog eating concrete is the unofficial name of a special kind of concrete called photocatalytic concrete.

    Photocatalytic concrete contains special nano particles of titanium dioxide that 'eat' smog by removing the nitrogen oxide gasses from the surrounding air and expelling hydrogen dioxide in its place. This kind of concrete was first implemented across Chicago's 2-mile long Cermak Road and Blue Island Avenue in the town's Pilsen neighborhood and accompanying sidewalks and later in Houston, Texas.

    The places paved with the photocatalytic concrete found a 19 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide air pollution over the average day along the road. Ideally, reduction could reach 45 percent, according to one Chron piece.

    While self-healing and bendable concrete seem to have been receiving abundant funding for further research over the years, smog eating concrete hasn't as one Motherboard article points out.

    From the article:

    "'I’ve been working on it for 20 years,” said Italian chemist Luigi Cassar, the inventor of smog-eating concrete. “Not everyone will invest in the research.'

    While with the Italcementi Group, Cassar first invented smog-eating concrete back in the 1990s. The first building was completed in 2000 by architect Richard Meier, while the smog-eating product hit the market in 2006 as TxActive. Today, anywhere between 20 and 50 buildings have been built with smog-eating concrete."

    3. Bendable Concrete

    Imagine a block of concrete.

    Now imagine some of its qualities. Heavy, grey, tough might be some of the words that come to mind when you think of a concrete block. But probably not bendable.

    As it turns out, one team of researchers is out to make concrete less of a rigid building material and more of an uncharacteristically flexible one.

    Researcher Victor Li of the University of Michigan has been the forerunner in uncovering the possibilities of a bendable, flexible concrete. Li's research lead him to a concrete he has called Engineered Cementitious Concrete or ECC for short.

    Unlike regular concrete which turns brittle when hardened and is vulnerable to cracking and breaking, ECC provides give when a load is imparted onto it adding almost "300 times the bendability" of regular concrete. "The concrete behaves plastically - gives and flexes and holds a load. It bends but doesn't break," Dr. Li explains in a short feature piece from the University of Michigan's civil engineering department.

    bendable concrete university of michiganThe secret of ECC comes from coated microscopic fibers. The fibers are built to share the weight of the load and disperse the weight. As the weight is imparted on the concrete, tiny hairline cracks form "about the width of a human hair", rather than a small series of large cracks. The hairline cracks allow the concrete to yield to the weight without ever failing.

    ECC concrete can also ensure outward stress when steel rebar rusts and corrodes. When steel rebar rusts, expands outward and causes concrete to break apart and fracture - a very common issue on bridge decks. ECC, according to Li, can endure the outward force exerted by the rusting steel and won't crack.

    Go comment!
  • 4 Must-Know Things About the American Agriculture Industry

    by [user not found] | Jun 16, 2015

    The American agriculture business is a massive portion of the United States economy. A multi-billion dollar industry encompassing far more than just crops, feed, grain and livestock. The agriculture business in the United States, as the United States Department of Agriculture defines it, includes many more satellite industries including forestry, fishing, food, beverage, tobacco, textiles, apparel, leather products, food services and much more,

    Agriculture is big business rich with opportunity, but like with any opportunity and decision making process it helps to understand the full picture first.

    Here are 4 must know things about the American agriculture industry.

    1. Agriculture is One of America’s Most Dangerous Industries to Work In

    Agriculture is a dangerous industry. 

    How dangerous?

    In 2012, agriculture was listed number 4 on Yahoo’s list of 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. Agriculture, and specifically feed and grain, are such dangerous areas of work because of:

    Agriculture was, again, deemed among the most dangerous industries to work in in 2013 by Farmers Weekly and Health and Safety Executive

    2. Agriculture is a Family Affair

    According to the 2012 census of American agriculture:

    • 3.2 million farmers operated 2.1 million farms
    • 44% of all farms reported having 2 operators and 7% reported 3 operators
    • Farm operators tend to be older males who see farming as their primary profession. Second operators are usually (67%) women and the spouse of the primary operator

    Demographics american farming demographic usda 2012 census.jpg

    • Most farms are operated as a family operation
    • Principal owners tend to be between the ages of 45 and 65 with the average age being 58.
    • Since 1982, the average age has been increasing by 1-3 years every 5 years starting at age 50.

    family make up principle farm owner united states usda census 2012.jpg

    Most, or at the very least a sizable majority, of American agriculture comes from family owned farms.

    Farms are passed down from one generation to the next with the hopes that the new generation will carry on the family’s biggest asset and livelihood.

    Few farms sprout up organically and don't have some kind of connection to a family or a family lineage so it's important to remember that farms in most cases 

    3. Financially, American Farms Have a Lot to Worry About

    Working in agriculture means being subject to many variables that can affect the total price of farming. Many of these variables are out of the farmer’s hands.

    Weather, soil conditions, climate changes, changes in equipment rental prices, changes in market valuation of farm equipment and many more all factor in to the collective bottom line of the American farmer.

    “We face lower incomes, inflated land values and raising costs to farming. We have plenty of reasons to be worried” said one farmer was quoted saying in one CNBC article.

    As of recently, land prices and the topic of debt have become the biggest issues.

    "Land values can't stay as high as they are now," said [Blake] Hurst, [a farmer who grows corn and soybeans on a 450-acre farm in Tarkio, Mo] and who's written on the subject. "They've increased at a double-digit rate for the last seven years in the Corn Belt..."

    "We can see debt already increasing," Hurst said. "A Kansas Farm Management Association report says that the number of farmers with a 40 percent debt ratio is higher now than it was in 1979," and that there are three times as many farms with a debt ratio of more than 70 percent, he added.

    4. There’s a Shortage of Railcars in the United States (and it’s Costing Farmers)

    On the heels of the point made above, there are many outside influences that can positively – or negatively – affect the bottom line of an American farm.

    Alongside land prices and debt, as of late 2014 one of the biggest issues has been the shortage of railcars and crop-transportation mechanisms.

    As the Wall Street Journal points out and one NBC News article backs up, “used grain hoppers – some of which are more than 30 years old – are leasing for about $400 a month, up 40% from a year ago. Some new hoppers are leasing for twice that amount.”

    The article goes on to explain that the cause of the shortage today and in recent years is directly tied to the 2008 financial crash. “During the 2008 recession and its aftermath, [railcar] car owners scrapped thousands of cars after customers decided now to renew leases. When demand picked up recently, car owners were short-handed, especially for grain hoppers…”.

    Farms don’t just lease a few cars come harvest season. The number of cars leased though a multi year contract can be in the high hundreds and thousands. 

    Take a moment and calculate what $400 dollars times a conservative number like 500 amounts to. It’s a staggering number that farms and distribution companies must shoulder to get their harvest to storage and beyond.

    Go comment!
  • My First Day as a VIBCO Vibrators Intern

    by [user not found] | Jun 05, 2015

    This post comes from VIBCO's newest summer intern Emily Verardo-Goodrich 

    emily-450 profile shotI felt excited and a little apprehensive as I walked in to VIBCO for the first day of my internship. Before I began my internship, I talked to a few people about what to expect from the experience. They all said that it’s an interesting place – in a good way!

    “What does interesting mean?” I wondered.

    So my first walk into the building was filled with curiosity and more than a few nerves. I’m happy to report that, within just a short time, the nerves disappeared and my curiosity took over. I met almost every person who worked in the office - from sales to accounting to HR. I even got the chance to meet a few people from the engineering department and the factory.  

    After meeting everyone and getting a chance to learn about how everyone worked individually and together in the offices, it was clear that VIBCO was not only a friendly environment but a very open environment. Most of the desks face each other, allowing for everyone in the room to converse and collaborate quickly and easily.

    Lunch was the most exciting part of the day. I sat a table right next to Karl, the president of VIBCO, and many of the other people form the office. I got to experience first-hand the VIBCO team working and brainstorming ways to solve a problem.

    Based on this first group encounter at lunch, it was clear that VIBCO encouraged ideas and whole-team involvement. Employees are not afraid to offer input to fix the problem of the day, and everyone works off each other’s ideas to come up with a better solution.

    After one day at VIBCO, I learned how so much goes on in the office day-to-day. I got hands-on experience in many different things. I am excited for the rest of the summer so I can explore everything else VIBCO Vibrators has to offer!

    Go comment!
  • Governor Gina Raimondo Visits VIBCO, Signs Executive Order to Implement Lean in Rhode Island Government

    by [user not found] | Apr 10, 2015

    Today was a big day for Rhode Island. And a proud day for VIBCO.

    gov-raimondo comes to vibco vibrators 2015 lean in rhode island initiative signingThis morning, Governor Gina Raimondo and a team of just over 50 Rhode Island state government officials from all sectors of the Rhode Island government came to VIBCO Vibratos in Wyoming, RI to learn about Lean and operational excellence.

    The governor and state officials were broken up into small groups for a fast-paced tour of the VIBCO machine shop, reception desk, shipping area, engineering office and assembly floor.

    VIBCO team members shared their perspectives on Lean - from building flow and reducing lead times, and using common sense, sustainable solutions, to creating smart data management and collection, to Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) machine changeovers - each team member explained how their improvements help increase value to VIBCO customers. 

    The enthusiasm and genius of VIBCO's workforce was contagious and set an extremely positive tone for the main event... the signing of an Executive Order bringing Lean Government to Rhode Island!

    Rhode Island's WPRO was there to cover the story as well as the Westerly Sun and the Providence A.P.  

    From the Westerly Sun, “Rhode Island state government is going to begin a systematic implementation of Lean across all executive branch departments and quasi-public agencies,” Raimondo said. “All Cabinet directors will participate in a Lean mentorship program with members of the private sector so we can continue to learn and build efficiencies.”

    Watch Governor Raimondo's address signing of the order here:

    Here are some shots from the day's event:








    Read Governor Raimondo's full initiative here: http://www.governor.ri.gov/initiatives/lean/

    Go comment!
  • The Pothole Patrol Visits Narragansett Public Works Team

    by [user not found] | Apr 10, 2015

    Pothole season is in full swing and Rhode Island is in the thick of it.

    Last week, we received a call from the Narragansett Public Works Department expressing an interest in getting some help and guidance on how to properly patch their potholes. 

    The Narragansett Public Works team had purchased a VIBCO Pothole Patcher in the past and had been using it diligently. But this year, some extra help was needed.

    So we packed up the VIBCO van and took a ride down to Narragansett to answer the town's call.

    The workers explained that the biggest problem that Narragansett were being supplied with insufficient patch material from businesses, often, not from the New England area.

    Moreover, the workers explained their issues with the Pothole Killers that the state of Rhode Island has begun using to patch their holes en masse. The workers seemed dubious of the quality of repair these machines were doing.

    Combine this with the fact that Narragansett is very close to the ocean and suffers from very moist soil, getting a clean, dry work surface to patch a pothole on is a recurring problem.

    Needless to say, pothole patches were coming undone often over the span of a few weeks! Leading to reworked jobs many times in a few months and distraction from getting more serious road issues dealt with in a timely manner. The workers were frustrated and wanted help.

    The Pothole Patcher combined with the best practices of pothole repair and maintenance, we knew, would help to alleviate the pressing pothole problems Narragansett was facing.

    Here are some shots from the day with the Narragansett Public Works team. Below are photos from meeting with the team in their offices and shots of patching two potholes on Boon St. in Narragansett:






    It's no secret that potholes are a pain. Read more about the VIBCO Pothole Free Rhode Island and Pothole Free USA initiatives here and our goal to end potholes in Rhode Island and the United States.

    Go comment!
  • Shaking Concrete? Go External.

    by [user not found] | Mar 27, 2015

    The construction sector and the manufacturing sector have been showing signs of growth and rejuvenation in recent years. As a construction industry supplier, we feel a deep responsibility to make concrete vibrators, dump truck vibrators, and vibratory rollers & compactors that provide exceptional value. The growth in construction in encouraging - we are doing our part to ensure that the growth is sustainable and smart.

    Commercial Construction Spending is Up

    Recent data is showing considerable strength in commercial construction.  A U.S. Census Bureau News report that was released this past February indicated that there was almost an additional 8.5% increase in private construction spending between 2013 and 2012. Spending towards non-residential construction projects increased by about 2.1% and public construction spending projects increased 2.3% across the same time range.

    Additional reports have been released reflecting similar figures. A Construction Report from the same agency for the month of June 2014 has indicated that spending has increased across the board in private and public.

    These numbers become even more interesting to observe when you look at the bigger picture. Federal Reserve of St. Louis, Missouri has tracked the total construction project spending across commercial and private and measured the results year over year. Here is the bigger statistical picture mapping data from January 2004 to June 2014:


    Within this context, it becomes very apparent how spending towards construction is on the rebound and where there are construction projects, there is concrete that needs to be properly managed.

    Gilbane Construction and the Consolidation Discussion

    Just because spending on construction projects has gone up, that doesn't mean there should be any more room to allow for preventable re-works and mess ups.

    We recently held a tour here at VIBCO for Gilbane Construction, nationally recognized leaders in real estate construction and development. While on the tour, we had an extensive discussion with Gilbane leadership about the changing construction jobsite and the increased use of rebar support structures for safety and maintaining the long term structural integrity of the project.

    Rebar isn't going away any time soon, but this isn't the prevailing mindset among site workers. With the introduction of more rebar, workers are still using old, insufficient ways of consolidating their concrete amidst the nest of rebar supports.

    This is bad news.

    Insufficient consolidation leads to air bubbles accumulating in the concrete, cracks and breakaways as time goes on, ultimately shortening the lifespan of the finished project and begging for rework.

    Here's a great example of concrete that was not properly consolidated and left to set:

    poorly consolidated concrete

    The cracking is apparent and plant life has begun to take up in the cracks further exacerbating the problem and racing the structure closer to failure.

    Now, how do you get proper consolidation?

    External vibration.

    What's external vibration. Here's the breakdown:

    External vibration is applying an industrial vibrator to the outside of the project usually by means of a mounting bracket. The vibrator shakes the concrete so all the air bubbles release and the concrete settles neatly. Additionally, external vibration provides the smoothest possible finish to the final product.

    Here's a video to help illustrate the point:

    Many contactors are unfamiliar and nervous about switching to external vibration and there really is no need to be. External vibrators are an easy to set up, and low-cost-high-value alternative to not having vibration to consolidate concrete at a job site.

    The Magic of External Vibration

    The sheer volume of knowledge and nuance that goes into understanding proper external vibration is immense and it's very easy for someone to fall down a wormhole and get lost in all the information.

    External Concrete Vibrators: 5 Things to Know

    When vibrating concrete, there is an area of influence that comes into play. The area of influence is the area around the vibrator that expands outward, shaking and consolidating everything that's within its range.

    Moreover, checking to make sure that your vibrator is up to snuff is a whole other matter worth checking. More often than not, improper installation is the biggest problem that many operators are guilty of. Additionally, it's an improperly installed vibrator that ruins the vibrator itself AND can ruin the surface that its mounted on.

    Luckily, we covered how to catch an improperly installed vibrator early and covered it with a slew of solutions. http://www.vibco.com/news/vibration-nation-blog/vibration-nation-blog/2013/04/23/electric-vibrator-performance---4-things-to-check

    Go comment!
  • Crumbling: 21 Facts About the Current State of American Infrastructure

    by [user not found] | Mar 11, 2015

    No roads, no bridges, no nation.

    rust bridgeThe United States of America has almost 4 million miles of roads, including 604,000 bridges. Those roads and bridges are the economic lifeblood of our nation. And many of them are crumbling.

    Since the 1990s, public outcry has grown louder and louder to address the state of America’s infrastructure. Report after report  concludes that a large percentage - most estimates are about 30% - of America’s roadways are in "poor or mediocre" condition, and roughly 10% of America's bridges are in urgent need of repair.

    A quick Google search for the term ‘American infrastructure’ tells a clear story of where we are in the discussion of repairing America's infrastructure. The words ‘failure’, ‘short term’, ‘crumbling’, ‘deteriorating’ and ‘fix’ are common key words.

    Take a look around you the next time you’re out for a drive. If you see pothole-laden and cracked roads in desperate need of repair, rusted steel beams, cracking brick and mortar, chipped, cracked concrete pillars holding up bridges and parking garages (probably due to poor consolidation on pour), you're looking at the problem.

    How in need is America of a massive restoration project? Below are 24 facts about the current state of America’s infrastructure.


    1. The number of bridges that are considered ‘structurally insufficient’ is growing. As of 2014, 1 out of every nine bridges in the United States is at risk of structural failure.
    2. Almost a third of all roads, or 32 percent, in the United States are in need of major repairs.
    3. Business and labor are united in the effort to fix America’s infrastructure¹. Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce and Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO came before a Senate hearing both voiced strong support for raising the Federal Gas Tax to support infrastructure improvements.
    4. The last major 6-year infrastructure-funding bill was in 1997 - 18 years ago². Since then, there have been 21 minor short-term extensions to the bill, but not another major piece of legislation for infrastructure restoration and massive public works projects.
    5. Our ports soon won’t be able to accommodate new ships³.
    6. Our airports are some of the most congested in the world.  American airport runways cannot accommodate the steadily increasing demand for air travel and additional airplanes. As of 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers have given American airports a D rating.
    7. The United States is ranked at number 19 for quality of infrastructure, behind Denmark, Spain, Portugal and United Arab Emirates.
    8. Infrastructure spending has plummeted since 2008. Through a combination of state spending getting cut and national budgets for public works projects getting slashed, both have played central roles to the freefall of American infrastructure spending.
    9. We’re on the cusp of a failing grade for infrastructure. America’s Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has given the U.S. a D+ grade in terms of its infrastructure condition, with $3.6 trillion worth of repair and restructuring costs needed by 2020. The grade encompasses aviation, bridges, drinking water, dams, energy, hazardous waste, levees, ports, public parks, trails, roads, schools, solid waste removal, wastewater removal and transit. 
    10. It’s not just what’s going on above ground. New Orleans, LA reports that as much as 2 of every 5 gallons are fresh water are lost as a result of damaged plumbing infrastructure beneath the city.
    11. Gravel roads are becoming a popular alternative to asphalt roads because they’re easier to maintain and cheaper to lay down. South Dakota is the most notable example of this trend with over 100 miles of asphalt roads converted to gravel.
    12. Almost 50% of American households do not have access to a bus or some kind of transportation.
    13. Our electricity infrastructure is also in need of immediate attention⁴. Rolling blackouts, brownouts and general shortcomings in the US electrical grid costs around 80 billion dollars a year.
    14. One bridge has been called the Achilles Heel of train-based commerce – and it’s been deemed grossly unsafe⁵. The Portal Bridge in New Jersey is responsible for supporting almost 500 trains a day to go up and down the eastern seaboard from Boston to Washington DC. The bridge is a swing bridge - a popular model when built in 1910  - but already considered antiquated by 1950. The bridge must periodically unhinge and swing outward to allow ships and barges through, and then lock back into place. This process costs the United States billions of dollars in delays and waiting times. The wait times to cross the Portal Bridge can be so extensive that trains are backed up all the way to Boston.
    15. 300 bridges become structurally deficient each year in the state of Pennsylvania - or 1% annually of all the state's bridges⁶ .
    16. Traffic jams are not just annoying, they’re expensive. Traffic congestion is expected to increase. The cost of traffic congestion costs the United States approximately $124 billion each year. Between 1995 and 2004, highway mileage grew at an average rate of .2 percent, while vehicle miles traveled increased at an average rate of 2.5 percent. In other words, Americans are travelling more than the rate of highway development.
    17. Every time you fill up your car, you’re paying for your roads. The Federal Gas Tax (18 cents per gallon) represents 90 percent of the total revenue for the National Highway Trust Fund, the fund responsible for federally funded public works and road restoration projects. The fund is currently so underfunded that there have been talks to inject emergency money into the fund through other means of government to avoid total bankruptcy.
    18. Our water infrastructure needs improvement, too. According to the 1999 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey put out by the Department of Environmental Protection, over $150 million will need to be invested in restoring piping and water systems over 20 years to keep water safe enough to consume.
    19. An overwhelming majority of American dams and water retention apparatuses are deemed ‘unsafe’.  In addition to more than one third of all dam failures or near-failures happening in the last decade since 1874, over 4,000 of America’s dams were considered ‘unsafe’. 1,300 of these dams are considered ‘high hazard’
    20. One third of all highway fatalities are the result of poor road conditions, dated road designs and layout or roadside hazards.
    21. We have a ready and able construction workforce. In 2012, nearly 16 percent of America’s construction workers were unemployed.

    Are Things Expected to Look Up Soon?

    Unfortunately, things aren’t looking so good for American infrastructure spending.

    In June of 2014, Congress passed a series of measures aimed at moving money from different areas of federal spending into the Highway Trust Fund. The steps taken to prevent the fund from reaching zero and falling into bankruptcy. While it’s encouraging to see elected officials acknowledging and acting on the fact that one of the largest sources of funding for public works project is seeing funding, it’s “hand-to-mouth funding” according to one Economist article addressing infrastructure issues nationally and internationally. According to the author, this type of funding strategy makes planning for major projects difficult and ‘encourages city, state and local governments to put off repairs as long as possible’.

    What can you do?  How can you help?

    Write your elected representatives and demand that they focus on infrastructure improvement. Let them know that roads, bridges, dams, water systems, and transportation systems are more important than any other "issue-of-the-day" and that you expect them to take a leadership role in addressing the real problems.

    We are a nation of innovators, builders, and creators. We have the skilled tradespeople, the exceptional engineers and solid manufacturing base to solve our infrastructure problems. All we need is the political will to make infrastructure our highest priority.

    Get involved, stay involved, and use your vote to elect individuals who are committed to solving the problem.

    Check out all of the CBS 60 Minutes feature hosted by Steve Kroft called Falling Apart for more insights into America's infrastructure situation:

    1-6. Falling Apart: America's Neglected Infrastructure. CBS. 23 November, 2014. Television.

    Go comment!
  • Potholes are Coming. Contact Your DPW About Them Now.

    by [user not found] | Mar 06, 2015

    As the weather gets warmer, snow-covered roads will soon give way to pothole-riddled roads.

    And none likes potholes.

    pothole imagePothole are dangerous to motorists and expensive for residents as well as cities and as spring approaches, towns across America thawing out from this rough winter are going to experience a scourge of potholes.

    This spring, VIBCO is running a special program to help communities around the United States get the help they need with their pothole problems: encouraging people to contact their Department of Public Works (or DPWs) themselves and demand action on pothole-riddled roads.

    The Department of Public Works is the agency in each city and town across the United States that handles pothole repair and letting your local DPW know that there are potholes that need fixing now is the first step towards making a positive change in your area.

    We at VIBCO have set up a special template that those having pothole problems in their town are encouraged to use to express where and what their pothole problems are to their public works team or DPW.

    Using the template is easy. Simply replace the town and location information spaces with your own town, and location and information about the pothole you're writing about and hit send.

    Visit the link below to learn how a simple copy and paste template is all you need to get the ball rolling towards getting your potholes fixed in your town.

    Let Us Help You Contact Your DPW Today

  • Come See VIBCO at Booth #430 at Work Truck Show 2015

    by [user not found] | Feb 18, 2015

    Trade show season is here and that means that VIBCO will be coming to a town near you!

    From March 4th to March 6th, VIBCO will be setting up shop at the Work Truck Show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. For 2 days, come down and visit the Expert Vibrator guys and our array of DC vibrators for ice control, dumpbody vibrators and more.

    For more information on the location, the dates, what we'll be showcasing and more click the link below:

    Come See VIBCO at Booth #430 at Work Truck Show 2015

    Keep up to date with all the latest VIBCO news and trade show appearances by checking our Events page.

  • Finding the Right Employees: Why VIBCO Supports the SAMI Program

    by [user not found] | Feb 03, 2015

    Finding great manufacturing employees is hard work. Finding great manufacturing employees who fit, and who are ready, willing and able to be part of a high-functioning lean culture is even harder.

    antone chery speaking at gov workforce board meeting jan 2015 vibcoThank goodness for our excellent partnership with the New England Institute of Technology's SAMI program 

    Last Friday morning, VIBCO's CMO Linda Kleineberg, and Machine Operator Antone Cherry, spoke to the Governor’s Workforce Board of Rhode Island to share their experiences with the SAMI (Shipbuilding/Marine Trades and Advance Manufacturing Institute) program. Their primary message was that SAMI provides exceptional value for both employers and unemployed/underemployed workers, and that their success is driven by the SAMI staff's genuine desire to help Rhode Islanders find meaningful work.

    The SAMI program (short for Shipbuilding/Marine Trades and Advanced Manufacturing Institute) is a program operated by the New England Institute of Technology and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program began in February 2013 with a 2.5 million dollar Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Training (TAACCCT) grant from the United States Department of Labor. The program's focus is to train unemployed Rhode Islanders and provide them with the trade skills RI employers currently need.  Their mission is to develop a "pipeline of skilled workers for Rhode Island's marine and manufacturing industries" with a focus on welders and machinists.

    Through partnerships with employers around the state of Rhode Island, SAMI has played an important role in helping Rhode Island manufacturing businesses find needed talent for their operations, including VIBCO's.

    Antone,a VIBCO employee and SAMI Graduate, hired through a work immersion experience funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board of RI, stood in front of the Board and the audience to share his story. He explained how participating in the SAMI Program has changed his life. Antone had driven a fork lift for 10 years before SAMI and VIBCO. Long hours at multiple jobs meant that he was not able to be present for his family. He shared that his new career in machining would allow him to support his family and spend more time with his children - a win-win-win for everyone. 

    SAMI Case Manager Kathleen Partington had this to say about Antone's time during the SAMI program and his small presentation on Friday,

    "Antone Cherry, who was hired by VIBCO in October, 2014, is an excellent example of the impact of employer driven skills training can have on both unemployed Rhode Islanders and employers in need of skilled workers who want to work!  Antone is a young man who faced many challenges, and after completing SAMI is working for VIBCO, and as he said earlier this week at the Governor’s Workforce Board of RI meeting (one of our funders).  “I love my job!  I am happy!  I don’t even mind getting up in the morning.  I have never said that about a job before. My plan is return to NEIT to get a college degree.”  In a matter of 8-10 weeks Antone completed this program, and was hired by VIBCO.  His life is forever changed.  He has a career and a plan for the future.”

    The SAMI Program is a great example of a Rhode Island Number One moment.  An active initiative to not only provide jobs for Rhode Islanders but a vehicle to build important, lasting relationships between Rhode Island workers and employees. Rhode Island is very fortunate to have the SAMI program providing a pathway toward careers in manufacturing. We look forward to seeing the program grow and help more Rhode Islanders.


    Read more about New England Institute of Technology and SAMI here:

    SAMI Program Overview

    SAMI Program Student Testimonial

    About New England Institute

    Go comment!
  • Stop by the VIBCO Booths at This Year's World of Concrete

    by [user not found] | Feb 03, 2015

    World of Concrete kicks off today in Las Vegas, Nevada and VIBCO will be showing off our best concrete vibration solutions from February 3rd to the 6th.

    This year VIBCO can be found at two booths, one indoor and one outdoor. VIBCO's indoor booth is N2962 and VIBCO's outdoor booth is O32026.

    VIBCO will be holding daily demonstrations of the SVRLS-6500 vibrator at Superior Concrete's outdoor booth, booth O31644.

    Read more about VIBCO at this year's World of Concrete here.

    Go comment!
  • Application Bulletin: Stik-It™ Warehouse Application

    by [user not found] | Jan 13, 2015

    Did you know that peanut farmers and peanut processors need vibrators?

    We've been working with the industry for years, but this story is particularly special because our customer cared enough to share with us, in impeccable detail, their VIBCO experience with the VIBCO Stik-It™ vibrator mount and the SVRFS-4000AL.

    The following was written by our Southeast Regional Sales Manager, Carl Patton.


    On Wednesday 9-17-14, I did a test demo of the Stik-It™ and an SVRFS-4000AL high frequency vibrator at a bulk material warehouse in Alabama. The application is emptying refrigerated super sacks of shelled peanuts into railcars via a center-fill, gravity-load spout.

    The gravity spout loading process creates a peak that disrupts filling (left). When this occurs, operators have to stop loading in order to push and shovel the peanuts into the corners of the car to depeak the peanuts and reduce the angle of repose.

    The Problem: 

    Manually shoveling the peanuts lead to peanut breakage and the possibility of contamination. Moving the peanuts manually took two operators 20-30 minutes - approximately 1 full labor hour - to complete the task.

    The Solution:

    VIBCO recommended a single Stik-It™ vibrator mount with a SVRFS-4000AL to depeak the peanuts and allow the railcar to fill without interruption.  The test was a success (see video below).  We mounted the Stik-It™ and vibrator high on the side wall of the railcar. The unit was activated when the railcar was about 90% full.

    The Results:

    Using the combination of  Stik-It™ and SVRFS-4000AL:

    • Prevented peanut peaking and disruptions during filling
    • Allowed for railcars to fill and unload continuously
    • Eliminated breakage and wasted product and contamination
    • Removed the need for shovels and manual labor required to move peanuts
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  • VIBCO's 2014 Christmas Party On Pinterest

    by [user not found] | Jan 09, 2015

    The holidays have come and gone once again - but we have the pictures from our holiday season.

    To close out 2014, VIBCO held their annual Christmas party and it was a day to remember. After an intense company-wide game of the Amazing Race, everyone came out to the shop and shared food, laughs and good times.

    Take a look at the highlights from this year's holiday party here.

    While you're checking out the Christmas party pictures, take a look at the other VIBCO Pinterest boards. The  Vibration Nation blog, VIBCO apparel, jobsite pictures and more are all up there, too - in picture form!

    Oh - and Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by for a visit, too and before heading back to the North Pole took a photo-op in front of the VIBCO sign.

    vibco christmas party 2014

    Go comment!
  • It's Christmas Time Again at VIBCO

    by [user not found] | Dec 12, 2014

    It's Christmas time again and that means Christmas carols!

    We're bringing back our VIBCO-ized Christmas carols back for another go around for this year's holiday season. 

    Give them a listen below!

    VIBCO Silent Sam Santa

    We're Shakin Up Your Concrete VIBCO Xmas Song

    The VIBCO Team Xmas Song

    Let it Shake! Let it Shake! Let it Shake! VIBCO Xmas Song

    It's VIBCO! It's VIBCO! It's VIBCO! Xmas Song

    Frosty the Millwright VIBCO Xmas Song

    VIBCO Vibration Nation Xmas Song
    Go comment!
  • For Plow Drivers: How to Speed Up End-Of-Shift Truck Bed Cleanouts This Winter

    by [user not found] | Dec 05, 2014

    Does this story sound familiar?

    You've worked 14 hours straight and you know you need to be back to work in just a few hours. There's been one challenge after another whether fighting to stay awake, fending off persistent hunger or just keeping the spreader on the back of the truck from clogging up. You're making progress but the roads you just finished plowing seems to be getting recovered in snow again.

    How do you feel?

    Are you tired? Are you hungry? Are you frustrated by all of the things that keep you from finishing your work so you can go home to your family? Are you on the verge of throwing your hands up in the air and calling it a night?

    But you can't because you know that the work you're doing saves lives and keeps your town functioning. So you keep going.

    Plow drivers across the United States all share this same story. More often than not, plow drivers go un appreciated for their work and contributions. In this post, we're going to provide a solution to make sure that plow drivers can wrap up their work sooner, with better results for residents, and get home to their family - and bed - after a job well done.


    Plow drivers’ work is physically and mentally demanding. As we talked about before in For Plow Drivers: How to Stay Awake Without Caffeine On the Job, exhaustion is a key problem.

    Many folks don't realize that exhausted drivers don't just get to go home when the roads are done. They need to clean out their trucks to reclaim unused salt and sand - precious winter resources. They wait in line for an extra 30 and sometimes 60 minutes for the opportunity to clear out the rest of their bed, a job that can take an additional 30 minutes to finish. Reaching for a shovel to 4:30 in the morning after working an 11 hour shift on little sleep is not fun.

    What Plow Drivers Always Wanted

    We heard it straight from drivers: you want a single tool that makes cleanouts easier and faster at the end of a shift. You want to get out of the yard faster, while still reclaiming material, and saving labor hours.

    VIBCO developed the Big Bertha vibrator and Sandbuster DC vibrator lines with truck and plow drivers FOR truck and plow drivers. Our vibrators feature easy push-button switches inside the cab, complete wiring harnesses, mounting kits for good, fast installation and they do exactly what you want. They make material move out of your bed - whether that's on the road or at clean-out time - so that your job is easier.

    See for yourself:

    For end-of-shift truck bed cleanouts, the vibrator makes fast work of frozen, stuck material - releasing it and flowing it down to your spreader/auger. Contact VIBCO today for more information on Big Bertha and Sandbuster today.

    Our Big Takeaway

    First, many thanks to the Richmond, RI Public Works Team for the time, honesty and sharing.

    Through them, we learned that while the act of actually plowing snow is tough work, the lack of sleep and poor eating on the roads are the real challenges.

    We learned that the biggest headache comes at the end of a shift, when drivers need to clear out their trucks. Already tired and longing for their bed for a night’s sleep, it really stinks to have to wait in line for 30-60 minutes before spending another 30-60 minutes to manually clean out the bed or box. In Lean terms that's up to 2 hours of non-value-added activity, and it comes at a time when a good meal, and a comfortable bed are most needed.

    VIBCO SandBuster™ and Big Bertha™ Vibrators are in stock and ready to ship. Call us for a referral to a local dealer, or contact your favorite truck equipment dealer and ask for VIBCO by name.

    All VIBCO Vibrators are proudly Made in the USA at 75 Stilson Road, in Wyoming, Rhode Island

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  • VIBCO Mentioned in the Harvard Business Review

    by [user not found] | Dec 01, 2014

    Early this morning, Mark Graban brought to our attention via Twitter that we were mentioned in a Harvard Business Review piece titled "Learning New Things Means Getting Up From Your Desk".

    Power's piece showcases the merit of getting away from the computer screen and actually going out to learning new things. Power explains that learning from other companies is a learning experience whose returns can be far greater than what's compiled through big data or reading articles from major authority publications.

    The article places VIBCO alongside other forerunners in operational excellence and systems improvement including GE Appliances and Autoliv, Here's the excerpt with our mention:

    "At VIBCO, a small manufacturer in Wyoming, R.I., big organizations like Citizens Bank and GE Locomotive, as well as many hospitals, have visited the plant to learn about the company’s continuous improvement efforts. VIBCO offers tours 3-6 times per month. Each tour lasts for 3 hours and is followed by a debrief, facilitated by CEO Karl Wadensten. During the tour, visitors engage directly with VIBCO’s line employees. This direct interaction gives visitors a real look at the hard work of continuous improvement, and it gives VIBCO employees the opportunity to feel like superstars as they show and talk about their hard work with visitors who are deeply interested in what they have to say. The interactions refocus employees on continuous improvement. Ideas inspired by visitors are welcomed, considered, and implemented. Some examples of “tour-inspired” improvements include a new assembly cell layout, improved visuals to communicate standard work, and development of new machining fixtures."

    Read the whole piece here: 'Learning New Things Means Getting Up From Your Desk' by Brad Power via Harvard Business Review

    Go comment!