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Concrete Products Division Blog

  • Customer Profile: Grupo Industrial Canal

    by Columbia Machine | May 18, 2016
    Grupo Industrial Canal based in Panama started their block and paver business in 2008 with one 1600-UL37 complete plant. Through hard work and an excellent business direction, they are now a major player in one of the most economically active Central American Countries.

    As of today they operate 2 Model 1600-UL37 plants, one Model 16HF-UL26 plant, and just started up the operation of their newest investment, a Columbia CPM50-PTSII plant that will increase their market share and leadership to an even higher position. On the most recent visit to their facilities by Ricardo Birkner and Raymundo Pastrana, GIC reported excellent product quality and low production cost.

    GIC is a company with very clear goals and the drive to achieve them. Their maintenance policy is aimed to obtain superb production throughput and equipment reliability every day. Plant personal training in all aspects is one of GIC main goals. For that purpose, their plant personnel have attended all of the diff erent levels of technical schools Columbia has off ered in Latin America, making them top-level producers.

    It was in 2008 when Grupo Cochez, the GIC parent company, considered investing in the production of concrete masonry units for their chain of construction materials stores. Several equipment vendors were then evaluated, and after receiving details on production cost, return of investment and a thorough revision on Columbia support and equipment benefi ts, a decision was made. Their fi rst Model 1600 plant soon proved that they made the right decision.

    Their economic analysis in the planning stages became a reality with the achievement of the expected profi ts. Their next investment decision was straightforward, a second Columbia Model 1600 plant located on their large property in Panama City and a Model 16HF plant for the growing city of Chitre. Both plants were all Columbia, from the aggregate hoppers to the cuber. They worked very closely with Columbia technical and sales personnel in every step of the project investment, equipment confi guration, fast plant startup, commission and plant efficiency.

    Due to increased cost for plant personnel, their evaluation for the next investment confi rmed that they needed a complete automated plant. Suppliers from Europe were considered for large pallet equipment, and GIC visited their customers in the US. Columbia off ered the CPM50 with pallet 1400x770 mm with PTSII and provided full details on cement savings, real production capacity and superior customer support. GIC Operations Manager, Mr. Randolph Mitre, visited Unacem’s Model CPM60 plant in Lima, Peru (1), and after this visit he confirmed their previous assessment that their final decision was to purchase another Columbia plant and the CPM 50 PTSII was selected.

    The Supply Agreement was signed by GIC CEO Mr. Roberto Lombana, followed shortly after by a visit from Richard Armstrong to thank GIC for their business, and then the manufacturing of the equipment was started. While the equipment was being manufactured, we visited their construction site as part of our regular preinstall technical support assistance. This was to verify plant layout, equipment foundation, rail location and PTS II curing kiln construction, which resulted in a fi rst-class installation, with only a short amount of time required. The plant started in August 2015.

    We are proud to count GIC as one of our customers and certainly look forward to more collaboration opportunities in the future.

    (1) Unacem article Volume 58 issue 1 Feed drawer 2015.

  • Bring Your Child to Work 2016

    by Columbia Machine | Apr 29, 2016
    Columbia Machine, Inc. hosted its annual Bring Your Child to Work Day Event with this year’s theme being “Sparking Aha Moments”. The event itself focused on kids in middle and high school and gave them a chance to try their hand at different jobs in both the skilled trades and business areas. The majority of the 70 kids in attendance took advantage of the opportunity to try welding, machining, assembly, engineering and finance to name a few.

    In addition to the hands on event Columbia also hosted an on-site career fair with Clark College, Clark County Skills Center, Portland State University, Oregon State University, University of Oregon and Washington State University-Vancouver. Parents and their kids were able to talk with admissions representatives about different options at each of the schools together. Something that doesn’t get to happen often. Columbia hopes that events such as these spark more “aha moments” and inspire more kids to enter into the many STEM fields that Columbia has to offer.

    Bring Your Child to Work Day 2016
  • Bauma 2016 Recap

    by Columbia Machine | Apr 28, 2016

    Columbia Machine recently exhibited at the 2016 Bauma Trade Fair located in Munich, Germany. With over 3,400 exhibitors from 58 countries and over 580,000 visitors from 200 countries. Bauma is the largest construction equipment and building materials machinery trade show in the world.  

    The fair provided Columbia Machine a great opportunity to present its CPM+ concrete product machine. The in-booth equipment demonstration showcased the machine’s new capabilities including its completely hands-off / automatic mold change.  The booth also promoted our extensive product solution and mold offerings, focused on customer product samples and helped announce Columbia Machine’s recent acquisition of Polish company Techmatik S.A. (learn more about that here).

    This year’s Bauma was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone that made it possible. Thank you to all of the visitors that stopped by out booth to say hi and check out what Columbia Machine has to offer. Thank you to all of the customers who supplied their beautiful product to help showcase our machinery capabilities, and a special thank you to all of our employees whose hard work and dedication helped to make this year’s Bauma the success it was.

    We are already looking forward to see everyone again at Bauma 2019.

    Bauma 2016 Recap

  • Happy Holidays from Columbia

    by Columbia Machine | Dec 23, 2015

    This Holiday Season at Columbia has been full of exciting events and celebrations. We hosted our fourth annual Holiday Bike Build on December 10th. A big shout out to Waste Connections, Bike Clark County, Columbia Machine, Vancouver Bicycle Club, Swift Racing Team, Camas Bikes and all the volunteers for making this happen! We built over 500 children’s bicycles that will be distributed out to kids in Clark County for the holidays. 

    We’d also like to say thank you to the Columbia employees for making 2015 another successful year! As per tradition we distributed turkeys to employees for Thanksgiving and hams for Christmas. We also kicked off our holiday break with a potluck. Thank you to everyone who contributed to that event. With 2015 coming to an end, we’d like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

    Holiday 2015

  • National Manufacturing Day

    by Columbia Machine | Oct 02, 2015

    Everyday Columbia Machine embraces its manufacturing heritage and today we join in the celebration of National Manufacturing Day. This annual event helps promote awareness of the positive effects that manufacturing has on the US economy, as well as on the local communities it supports. 

    Please join us in celebrating National Manufacturing Day and in the continued support of manufacturing traditions in the United States. 

    To celebrate this great event and as a Thank You to all of our hard-working employees, Columbia Machine served up a BBQ dinner and pancake breakfast to its entire workforce.

    National Manufacturing Day
  • Concrete Show South America 2015

    by Columbia Machine | Sep 08, 2015

    For the 7th consecutive year, Columbia Machine exhibited at the Concrete Show South America in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The event represents one of the most important events for the construction and infrastructure industry in Latin America and is the perfect venue for Columbia Machine to display our equipment solutions. The show is historically well attended and the 2015 didn’t disappoint, with over 30,000 people from more than 150 segments of the construction industry in participation. 

    We’d like to thank everyone in involved in making this years show a success and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2016.

    Concrete Show 2015

  • Taking Technology on the Road

    by Columbia Machine | Aug 13, 2015

    With technology constantly changing, Columbia is continually utilizing innovating tools to meet the needs of our customers changing product mix. One such way is through the use of Columbia’s mold department’s 3D scanning capabilities. An in-house service offered to our customers since 2009, the mold department has implemented the process of scanning customer pavers, stones, or any surface desired onto any product manufactured by our equipment as well as competitive equipment.

    In a recent visit with one of our customers, sending product to Columbia’s engineers for 3D scanning was not an option due the customers time constraints and meeting market demand for new style paver products.  We quickly responded by mobilizing personnel, and our 3D scanning process, and arrived onsite to meet customer request.  Within 48 hours of being at the plant, all needed customer products were scanned with zero impact to production. The customer was thrilled with the zero impact on their schedule, and also impressed with the flexibility of our scanning capabilities.  

    Columbia Machine takes great pride in taking care of our customers; always striving to continuously improve, while being easy to do business with. Coupled with great customers, this is what drives us every day!

  • WorkSource Hiring Event

    by Columbia Machine | Jul 08, 2015

    The WorkSource Vancouver office is hosting a Columbia Machine hiring event on Monday, August 3rd from 10am to 1pm. Head over to the official press release for all of the event details!

  • Safety Milestone and BBQ

    by Columbia Machine | May 28, 2015

    Columbia Machine and Columbia/Okura celebrated another Safety milestone, 180 days without a loss time injury! The achievement was celebrated with a BBQ lunch in the sun, catered by Big Kahuna. Thank you to all the employee that work hard every day to make Columbia a safe place to work. Keep it up!

    Safety BBQ

  • Concrete Show Mexico

    by Columbia Machine | May 20, 2015
    If you're at the Concrete Show Mexico, be sure to stop by and see us at stand #826.

    Concrete Show Mexico
  • Bring Your Child to Work Day 2015

    by Columbia Machine | Apr 23, 2015

    This years theme for Bring Your Child to Work Day was ‘Building the Future’. Engineers from all divisions sat down with groups of kids to show them the processes that they follow when designing customer orders. The kids were able to get some hands-on experience using our various design software while working on an art project. The kids then followed the design out to the laser to see the pieces being cut and then to the Fabrication Department to see the pieces welded together. The finished product is something that will hang at Columbia for years to come. A big thank you goes out to all of our volunteers in the Engineering departments, as well as those from the Manufacturing areas that helped make this another huge success. 

    Bring You Child to Work Day

  • Latin America Tech School

    by Columbia Machine | Mar 27, 2015

    Latin America Tech School

    Columbia Machine, Inc recently hosted a Technical School for its Latin American customers. The 17 professionals represented 9 companies from Mexico, Panama and Argentina. The training objective was to increase customer ability to maintain a higher throughout with improved maintenance practices and efficient equipment operations. 

    A special thank you goes out to Raymundo Pastrana and Edgar Perez for their preparation of the training presentation. 
  • Mansfield Brick Virtual Plant Tour

    by Columbia Machine | Mar 24, 2015

    As shown at ICON-Xchange, check out our newest virtual plant tour featuring Mansfield Brick.

  • Trade Show Update

    by Columbia Machine | Mar 11, 2015

    World of Concrete 2015

    World of Concrete 2015

    Columbia Machine recently exhibited at the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas. The show is the industries only annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries. The 2015 show was the largest in six years and gave Columbia Machine the opportunity to present our capabilities to many of the industries major players.

    Thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s trade show a success.

    UK Concrete Show

    UK Concrete Show

    On February 25th, Columbia Machine exhibited at the UK Concrete Show in Birmginham, England. The show is Europe’s number one specialist concrete event with over 200 exhibitors in over 150 product groups. The event gave Columbia the opportunity to showcase our vast array of capabilities, touch base with existing customers in the UK as well as create new opportunities for growth.

    A special thanks goes out to Mark Hamilton and Stephen Wilson for their representation.

    ICON Xchange

    ICON Xchange

    We recently participated as a Platinum Sponsor at the ICON Xchange in San Antonio, Texas. The event is hosted by the National Concrete Masonry Associate and co-promoted by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.

    In addition to the Business-to-Business meetings and the Marketplace (both of which were hugely successful), we presented a Virtual Plant Tour to the attendees. This year we featured Mansfield Brick Co, a great customer located in the UK. In case you missed it, below is the video recap of the tour for your viewing pleasure.

    A special thanks to all of the B2B participants, those who visited us at the Marketplace and attended our Plant Tour. ICON Xchange 2015 was another successful event and we look forward to seeing everyone again in Flordia next year!

  • International Women's Day

    by Columbia Machine | Mar 09, 2015

    In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’d like to say thank you to all of the wonderful women at Columbia Machine, Inc. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the team!

    We’d also like to recognize our own Bryan Goodman, who spoke at the Association of Women in the Metal Industries event last week.

    Women of Columbia

  • Feed Drawer Volume 58 Issue 1

    by Columbia Machine | Feb 27, 2015

    Check out the latest issue of our Feed Drawer publication, Volume 58 Issue 1 digital copy now available.

    Feed Drawer V58I1

  • UK Concrete Show

    by Columbia Machine | Feb 24, 2015

    Are you visiting the UK Concrete Show this week? Be sure to come by and see us at stand G14 to learn more about all of our latest innovations!

  • World of Concrete 2015

    by Columbia Machine | Feb 03, 2015

    Are you at World of Concrete in Las Vegas? Be sure to stop by booth #N819 and talk to our team about all of the latest products from Columbia!

    World of Concrete 2015

  • Super Bowl Spirit Day at Columbia

    by Columbia Machine | Jan 30, 2015
    Another strong showing of support by the Columbia Machine 12's. We're looking forward to the big game on Sunday, Go Hawks!

  • Go Hawks!

    by Columbia Machine | Jan 16, 2015

    Another year, another NFC Championship game. Good luck, Go Hawks.

    Go Hawks