Major PGE Power Expansion Underway at The Ulven Companies to Meet Production Demands

Oct 18, 2012

The Ulven Companies have announced expansion plans for electrical power for their primary manufacturing plants in Hubbard, Oregon. The project has been a collaborative effort between The Ulven Companies, PGE, and local contractors requiring extensive excavation, directional drilling, capital equipment and electrical work. The expansion will directly provide power requirements for manufacturing facilities for Ulven Forging, Inc., and Wolf Steel Foundry.

The Ulven Companies have grown significantly in recent years and this continued growth and expansion of the company has driven the need for expansion of the power capacity available on The Ulven Companies campus.

Jordan Reed, Industrial Engineer at The Ulven Companies said, “The expansion enables our continual growth, our ability to meet the needs of our customers, and positions Ulven to have a positive impact in new markets and industries.” In addition, the new power capacity will allow the company to incorporate more energy efficient equipment and manufacturing processes, which help the company be more competitive in the market.

The Ulven Companies have been in the forging industry for over 40 years – starting with the creation of Ulven Forging, Inc. in 1971. The Ulven Companies now comprise a group of four different American companies and are privately held. Each company has its unique set of process capabilities in different areas of the industry and is known for bringing high quality, cost-effective products to its customers with reliability and integrity.

Contact: Dan Ulven, President TUC
888-558-9779

Lean Manufacturing Summit Between The Ulven Companies and Samson Leads to Increased Production

Oct 11, 2012

During one of the routine vendor visits that Samson, a synthetic rope manufacturer, paid to The Ulven Companies this year, they heard and saw the progress TUC had made in the first year of implementing Lean Manufacturing. Samson became eager to have TUC visit their company to share and compare experiences along the journey towards Lean Manufacturing excellence.

Lean Manufacturing is a business philosophy with a goal of maximizing customer value by minimizing waste. Lean Manufacturing focuses on creating more value for customers with the concept of eliminating 9 main types of waste – transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects, environmental/energy, and underutilized people. Ulven Forging has been consulting with Tom Wright-Hay of OMEP (Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership) to implement Lean company-wide.

The Ulven delegation sent four equipment operators and four managers for a 2-day trip to Samson headquarters in Ferndale, Washington. Tom Arnold, Lean Champion at Ulven said, “It has become clear that when a company embraces and embarks on a Lean Manufacturing transformation, it joins a fraternity of companies that are on the same path. One of the core beliefs in Lean is that information hoarding is of no benefit to anyone.” This was clear over the course of the meeting between these two companies. The purpose of the meeting was to share each company’s journey with Lean Manufacturing and share tools and ideas that may be useful to support each other in the shared mission of domestic manufacturing success.

Samson was originally founded in 1878 by J.P. Tolman, in Massachusetts. The company’s association with the strength of the biblical character is apt, since its ropes have long been the best in strength and durability. By the time the company relocated to Washington State, the company was a conglomerate of several well-known cordage companies. Today Samson engineers continue to lead the exploration of new fiber and rope construction technologies to meet the demands of the industries as diverse as commercial and recreational marine, arborists, logging utility, and more.

The Ulven Companies have been in the forging industry for over 40 years – starting with the creation of Ulven Forging, Inc. in 1971. The Ulven Companies now comprise a group of four different American companies and are privately held. Each company has its unique set of process capabilities in different areas of the industry and is known for bringing high quality, cost-effective products to its customers with reliability and integrity.

Contact: Dan Ulven, President TUC
888-558-9779

The Ulven Companies Participation in MECOP produces Full Time Employees

Oct 08, 2012

The Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP), a cooperative effort among Oregon State University, Oregon Tech, and Portland State University, is available to students in disciplines related to the engineering field. The program was conceived in 1978 to close the growing gap between what was being taught in the classrooms and the skill and expertise needed for actual application in the work place. The program has now grown to include nearly 100 companies and over 400 students.

Jordan Reed was hired by the Ulven Companies last year after completing a semester in the MECOP Program. Jordan began working full time last year as an Engineering Intern for Ulven where he led an energy study to quantify energy use and identify cost saving opportunities. While working on this project, it became apparent that a re-design of the natural gas system could significantly cut costs for the company.

The study resulted in a proposal advising a consolidation of multiple gas meters (previously spread across the Ulven campus), to a single meter, which would ultimately result in a $25,000 annual savings. Of this change, Jordan said, “This project has been a shining example of how adding resources in key departments and taking a fresh look at old problems can result in very positive changes. This project has been beneficial to both NW Natural and Ulven because it simplified the natural gas system on our campus, reduced the amount of equipment that must be maintained and resulted in our gas meter being located in a safer place.”

As a MECOP intern turned employee, Jordan has been an immediate asset to the company as they drive Lean methodologies, manufacturing process optimization and implement other physical plant improvements.

Continuing to be active within the MECOP program, The Ulven Companies recently bid farewell to their second MECOP intern as he returned to school. This year, Joel Duhn, a Senior in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University, worked as an Engineering Intern at Ulven Forging, Inc. Joel had a significant positive impact on work-cell layout and facilities planning during his time at Ulven. Looking forward, Ulven plans to stay involved with MECOP and has an eye towards increasing the number of interns employed in coming years.

The Ulven Companies have been in the forging industry for over 40 years – starting with the creation of Ulven Forging, Inc. in 1971. The Ulven Companies now comprise a group of four different American companies and are privately held. Each company has its unique set of process capabilities in different areas of the industry and is known for bringing high quality, cost-effective products to its customers with reliability and integrity.

Contact: Dan Ulven, President TUC
888-558-9779

Forging Industry Association elects Mike Ulven to its Board of Directors

Apr 12, 2012

During the 2012 Annual Meeting for The Forging Industry Association, Mike Ulven of the Ulven Companies was elected as the newest member of the FIA Board of Directors. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, The Forging Industry Association is comprised of 116 North American producers of forged metal components. There are also roughly 86 additional members that supply equipment, materials, services or supplies to the industry. The Association has been functioning since 1913 and has as their mission to “improve members global competitiveness.”

As a recognized leader in the industry, Mike will be providing the association with his unique perspective on the forging industry needs and will represent his peer companies in this regard.

Mike Ulven is the Chief Operating Officer of The Ulven Companies and has been with the company for over 20 years. Mike’s role currently includes Operations Management, M&A, business relocations and integration, contract negotiations, strategic planning and leadership of Lean Manufacturing programs. In addition to this new role with the Forging Industry Association, he is also a member of the Association of Wire Rope Fabricators, the American Foundry Association, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Association for Operations Management.

The Ulven Companies have been in the forging industry for over 40 years, starting with the creation of Ulven Forging, Inc. in 1971. The Ulven Companies now comprise a group of five American companies and are privately held. Each company has their unique set of capabilities in different areas of the industry and together bring high quality, cost-effective products to their customers with reliability and integrity.

Contact: Dan Ulven, President TUC
888-558-9779
ulven@ulvencompanies.com