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  • VIBCO Stickers Show Your Pride

    by Linda Kleineberg | May 29, 2013

    Show Your VIBCO Pride with Hard Hat Stickers!

    hardhat stickers

    Get them here!

    It's easy to spot a VIBCO fan... just look for the Hard Hat Sticker!

    Why do our fans love us? Because VIBCO isn't just any manufacturing company. We are fiercely proud of our Made in USA products and we are world-renowned for our approach to organizational culture and Lean Manufacturing.

    We are actively helping to build a better future through our efforts to share the core principles of Lean - Continuous Improvement and Respect for People.

    Learn More About VIBCO

    We recently got an email from one of our neighbors. While surfing through Yahoo! headlines, he stumbled across this incredible photo. It was taken while the spire of the World Trade Center was floating down the Hudson on it's way home

    VIBCO and the World Trade Center

    A truck driver in Connecticut sent us this "Big Bertha Bumper" photo...


    Dakota in Colorado wrote: 

    "Good Morning, I am writing  because the stickers that you guys sent with our last order have caused quite a stir around the office. Shannon only received 3 and to be honest isn't willing to play nice and share with the other staff members. 
    I'm contacting you this morning to see if there is any way you guys could send us some extra stickers. 
    Thanks for taking time out of your day for this silly request even if you only had to read it.
    I hope that you have/had a terrific holiday weekend. Thanks again"

    AND we got a fun call this morning from Leroy in Georgia requesting 14 more sets of stickers... one for each guy in his crew.

    Want some VIBCO Stickers for yourself? Request them here

    Go comment!
  • Is Rhode Island at the Tipping Point for Lean?

    by Linda Kleineberg | May 21, 2013

    Process Improvement.
    Regulatory Reform.
    Workforce Development.
    Factory Tours.
    Government / Private Sector Collaboration and Sharing.

    These were the themes at the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Manufacturer's Association (RIMA). Looking around the room, I was struck by the number of attendees that have "Come to the GEMBA" at VIBCO Headquarters. To date, we've toured more than 6,000 people through our plant. They come to VIBCO to learn about Lean, Operational Excellence, and Organizational Culture; to gain inspiration to change and improve their own organizations; and to see the potential of an engaged workforce. Visitors have included private and public sector employees; manufacturing and service sectors, union and non-union, government officials and news media. 

    "The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshhold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." - Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
    Now Available in the VIBCO Bookstore

    Is that what is happening in Rhode Island right now?  Have we finally reached the threshold? Has "Vibration Nation" thinking Tipped?

    • Bob Nangle, CEO of RIMA, spoke about the strength of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Community. It is cleaner, faster, more innovative, and more responsive today than ever before.
    • Deborah Gist, Education Commissioner, spokeDeboarah Gist about an in-progress initiative to tour manufacturing facilities and to collaborate with the manufacturing sector to ensure our young people are ready to work in Rhode Island industries upon graduation. Show Support for Commissioner Gist at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, May 23 at 5:30pm.
    • Bill McCourt recognized the efforts at the Department of Environmental Management to implement Lean - those efforts have long been championed by Terry Gray. They are gaining great support and momentum under the leadership of Janet Coit, with the help of Tom Pesaturo of Exceeda Consulting.
    • Governor Lincoln Chafee highlighted Regulatory Reform and his challenge to government departments to really listen to the Voice of the Customer

    It's gratifying to hear words, hopes, and ideals that we hold so dear become the framework for a conversation on how to create a new future for Rhode Island. We are proud to be part of the solution.

    Go comment!
  • We're Humbled... and Proud

    by Linda Kleineberg | May 16, 2013

    Members of the Providence, RI Chapter of APICS (The Association for Operations Management)  toured the VIBCO Factory on April 4, 2013. They spent about 3 hours touring the factory - talking to line employees, observing operations, and asking a lot of questions.

    APICS Providence Chapter Visits VIBCO

    facebook See a Photo Album from the Visit on Facebook

    The following is a first-hand account of the tour from Ray Krause - a Six Sigma Blackbelt and APICS Member. Our thanks to Ray for sharing his incredibly compelling, thoughtful and honest impressions from his visit to the VIBCO Vibration Nation...

    Trip Report - VIBCO Tour – Richmond, RI
     April 4th, 2013

    First Impressions can be deceiving….

    At the risk of offending 2/3 of my audience, some will read this report, some will read a paragraph or two and some will discard it immediately. Do so at your own peril. The place was a gold mine for belts or non-belts interested in lean technology and company transformation.

    I arrived at VIBCO to find a small (from our perspective) 50,000 sq. ft. factory nestled behind a rock quarry, and met a couple of friendly receptionists who handed us badges. The tour we were invited to had about 45 people with half the contingent Johnson & Wales students and the remainder various engineers, managers, and lean “types” who wanted to tour the facility. The walls were full of paintings, cartoons and marketing history of the nearly 50 year old company. This gave me the first impression of a “touchy – feely” environment. That would change.

    APICS Providence Visits VIBCO

    Initially all of us were staged in the cafeteria where a brief overview of VIBCO was given alongwith some of their lean & continuous improvement history. They pride themselves as “Made in the USA” and their mantra is “Same Day, Next Day, Quality, Throughput, Innovation”. The one thing to note about the cafeteria is that it obviously doubles as a main conference room for team meetings and the walls were lined with personality profiles, mission statements, meeting minutes (and the kitchen sink, it was busy!).

    Just an FYI on their product line, VIBCO Inc. manufactures vibrating equipment for construction, trucking and various equipment that requires shaking to move or transport. They mentioned breakfast corn flakes as an example and said it may get vibrated something like 60 times between the field and your kitchen. They did say vibrators are mandatory for large concrete pouring to help the curing process and to alleviate air bubbles to improve strength.

    Being one of their larger tours, we were then divided into three groups and our tour proceeded to the shipping area to see the end of the process supply chain (begin with the end in mind?). We saw a main terminal station and a small conveyor belt with various sized boxes awaiting shipment but nothing out of the ordinary (at first glance). The first thing shown was the box storage area and their Kanban system. A large stack of flat boxes were on production shelving and about 1/3 of the way down the stack were these “flags” which were laminated cards with bar codes to reorder. Basically when the supply gets low enough to release the flag the operator walks to a bar code reader, scans the code and the order for new boxes is automatically placed. Quantities and consolidation had all been done in a previous Kaizan event along with a decision to have a preferred supplier brand the boxes with “VIBCO” logos and markings on virtually all of them. No standard brown boxes existed. All were white and red and the tour guide said “in the event of a lost box” that UPS could find a VIBCO box much easier by sight.

     VIBCO Boxes

    She also introduced us to the lead shipping clerk who showed the visual aids they implemented to ease the burden of determining what to ship and when. A color chart was on the wall with colors representing days of the week. Monday = Red, Tuesday = Yellow, Wednesday = Brown etc. With their same day, next day philosophy they needed to readily see evidence of the workflow. Being Thursday was “Blue” day most of the boxes lined up for shipping had the information printed on blue paperwork that was right with each package. The clerk then explained that the goal was not to see day to day workflow but rather the exclusions or “out of the ordinary” shipments. Purple papers were used to represent either Friday shipments or Hot Priority jobs. At that point you could virtually step back and see at a glance exactly what was prepared and when it needed to go. I did not get photos but it was simple and it worked well.

    The next part of the tour was the machining area. We were given safety glasses and proceeded to the back of the factory where a series of Chiron (similar to Mazak) CNC machines were there along with various manual presses and Bridgeport machines. The guide asked if anyone had heard of SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die) and only a couple of hands were raised so the technician explained the process of going from 2 ½ hours of setup time to 8 ½ minutes. It not only required tooling right next to the machine but was also using computer links to automated setups, along with daily schedules pre-programmed. The one takeaway I gleaned was “Neat and Organized”. The description from five years ago to what I witnessed was hard to put into words. Almost all of the tooling was on carts which gave them the full ability to move and reset quickly. Nobody seemed rushed or “under the gun” and quite of lot of activity was witnessed during the 15 minutes we were there. This was also the part of the tour they mentioned the “One Schedule” and what it represented. Master schedules of all orders were sent electronically but each cell would receive their “One Schedule” of items only for that day. They didn’t go into a lot of detail, but from what I saw it was small, efficient, and very clear what the daily marching orders were.

    The third part of the tour was the main assembly areaWe were also introduced to Lucy, a 25 year employee who initially balked at continuous improvement, but was now one of their biggest advocates. Her work station was simple but extremely functional. Magnets were used to hold wrenches until needed and to hold a screwdriver in place they simply drilled a hole into the wooden bench and put the screwdriver in the hole! Bins were marked and labeled and it was another area where you had to really key in on just how efficient things flowed. “Low budget but Lean” was my takeaway here. Nobody said lean had to be expensive assembly area. Various cells and pods were all centrally located in the factory and our guide brought us to a pair of CNC’s directly in front of the cells and said they were experimenting with spaghetti charts and moving the machining work into close proximity with assembly. One person questioned the work being on the CNC’s as different from the others in the machinists’ area, but the guide said the work was the same. It was truly a project in progress that would cut significant time off of transport and conveyance. 

    Leadership Rhode Island Visits VIBCO 2

    The fourth part of the tour took us back to the front desk and I was wondering if the tour was ending. It was at this time we were introduced to Karl Wadensten, the president of VIBCO. Instead of ending we were introduced to the head of sales and marketing which was the receptionist! She had three video screens wired to her computer and proceeded to show us an amazing type of “Data Mining” and customer service. VIBCO strongly believes in direct contact with their customers and not a switchboard approach. She (and a 2nd person) would field around 300 calls per day and properly get them the support they required for questions and answers. Karl said the one constraint from their perspective is the computer (speed) could not keep up with the operator. In the short time we were there she fielded multiple calls and used various internet sites to capture names, numbers and addresses into their ever expanding customer base (they mentioned 190K customers worldwide with a 16% growth rate annually).

    One of the final segments of the tour was meeting the various buyers and customer support personnel who help VIBCO achieve their sales approach. With a worldwide customer base and many unique applications this focused group would not only research solutions but would take customers actual photos and drawings and superimpose the various pieces of equipment “photoshop” style to explain how, when, and where to install. One story was told of a difficult application that was solved by ingenuity and it triggered orders for 100’s of units and a long term repeat customer.

    After that the teams rejoined in the cafeteria for a final Q&A. In a surprising move Karl actually asked for feedback and comments from every single person. Their “twin pillars” (as he put it) were “respect for people” and “continuous improvement”. It was after the Q&A that he mentioned over 6000 people had toured the facility in the past three years and they had submitted feedback from all of them.

    After the tour I asked Karl about Takt times and throughput and where the information was (how are priorities and bottlenecks figured out?). He pointed me to another conference room and told me to walk inside. What I saw on the inside was basically a “war room” of takt time charts, product structure and resource availability. Many histograms and other assorted tidbits but it was enough to see the “One Schedule” approach in progress. Control Central.

    To summarize: A small factory, 70 people, single shift, all interacting and marching forward to True North: Same Day - Next Day, Quality, Throughput, Innovation and 100% Employee Engagement. It was obvious they live this mantra and used it extensively. Some may say it’s still too touchy-feely. I get the impression that VIBCO is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Two links:

    1) VIBCO’s home page. Good interactive site. Also a link to Karl’s talk show “Lean Nation”

    2) The book they use to do their employee profiles. Every employees profile is printed and visible throughout the factory.

  • Electric Vibrator Performance - 4 Things to Check

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 23, 2013

    An Electric vibrator is an engineered solution. It must be installed and operated according to the manufacturer's instructions to get maximum benefits and longest product life. 

    Improve Your Electric Vibrator Performance Today!

    If you have problems with the performance and operation of your electric vibrators, it's usually due to an easily fixable problem with the mount or installation. Please refer to our online manuals for complete instructions and best practices for VIBCO electric vibrators. 

    We can help you fix any of these electric vibrator issues...

    • Vibrator draws high amps and "kicks" the breaker
    • Vibrator "burns out" after a short time in operation
    • Performance or useful life of a replacement vibrator is significantly lower than previously installed equipment
    • Vibrator makes a humming noise, but does not run properly

    Installation Error is the Most Common Root Cause

    Answer the following questions to get to the root cause of your electric vibrator performance problem. Still stumped? Use our Virtual Van Visit program to diagnose and solve your vibrator problems.

    Is your electric vibrator mounted directly to the bin or hopper rather than to a mounting plate and channel iron?

    Mounting directly to the bin or hopper can cause the bin or hopper to crack, can cause damage to your vibrators, and can cause a high amperage draw. It is critical for electric vibrators to be mounted to a plate and channel iron combination. 

    electric vibrator mounting

    Is your electric vibrator mounted to just a plate or just a channel iron?  

    It is extremely important to mount electric vibrators in the manner recommended by the manufacturer. Vibration, while an effective material flow aid, can be a destructive force if it is not applied correctly. Using a mounting plate or channel iron alone may not be sufficient to secure and isolate the vibratory force. For best results, use a channel iron and mounting plate together.

    Is your electric vibrator mounted in the wrong position or orientation?

    Electric units should be mounted perpendicular to the channel iron. The mounting plate should be checked for warping and, if necessary, shimmed to achieve a tight seal. Any looseness or "give" will prevent the vibratory force from being properly isolated and transferred. A sufficient length of channel iron should be used to distribute the force along the bin or hopper walls. Refer to our service manuals to determine the correct length of channel iron.

    Is your electric vibrator mount correctly welded, shimmed and/or bolted?

    Mounting channel should be stitch-welded to the hopper or bin, with no welds on the corners of the channel. Welding on the corners of the channel can lead to bin damage and unit failure. All bolts should be tightened down securely to prevent slippage and all shims should be positioned to keep the mounting plate flat.

    Remember - your electric vibrator mount is critical to maximizing the benefits of your equipment. Our technical support staff is happy to assist you to ensure that you get the most out of your VIBCO electric vibrators. Contact us 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 800-633-0032 for assistance.

    1. Your electric vibrator is drawing high amps and kicking the breaker.
    2. Your electric vibrator is burning out after just a short time in operation.
    3. Performance or useful life of your new electric vibrator is significantly lower than a previous electric vibrator.
    4. Your electric vibrator fails shortly after being repaired.
    5. Your electric vibrator makes a humming noise, but does not run properly.
    Go comment!
  • All About Air Cannons

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 17, 2013

    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Air Cannons... but were afraid to ask

    So you have material flow problems like sticking, clogging, ratholing and bridging. How do you know whether to use an air cannon or a vibrator? 

    Air cannons are most effective on low density material. Fine powders and fluffy, lightweight material like wood chips and saw dust easily absorb vibration - making air cannons a better choice. ."Stringy", irregular and faceted particles have a tendency to lock together. The blast of an air cannon separates locked particles and promotes flow.

    Heavily reinforced or rigid bins - including those made of concrete and heavy gauge steel - may not respond well to vibration and are prone to material flow problems. Coal and ore bins, grain silos and elevators, and large mineral hoppers are all ideal areas to use air cannons because they are not affected by the rigidity of the bin construction. 

    How Do Air Cannons Solve Material Flow Problems?

    An Air Cannon consists of a high pressure tank that stores compressed air (80-125 PSI), and a quick release piston valve. When the air cannon is activated (via a solenoid valve), it delivers a high-powered blast of air into the bin or silo. The blast breaks the friction between the particles and the bin walls, releasing and fluidizing the material.

    Play the short animation to the right to see the action of an air cannon.

    Types of Material Flow Problems Solved With Air Cannons

        Sticksides               Ratholing           
     Sticking to Sides  Bridging  Ratholing   Arching

    Learn more about air cannons at or request assistance selecting the right air cannon for your needs now

    Go comment!
  • Reducing truck damage and improving driver safety are reasons to install VIBCO Big Bertha Vibrators

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 09, 2013

    VIBCO's Big Bertha Dumpbody Vibrator DC-3500 and XL Bertha DC-5000

    Improve Worker Safety

      VIBCO Big Bertha DC-3500
    • Reduce risk of truck rollover caused by top-heaviness caused by material hanging up in corners of lifted bed
    • Reduce risk of falls and injuries associated with manual clean outs
    • Reduce need for driver to exit the cab of the truck with easy push-button operation

    Reduce Truck Damage

    • Reduce wear and tear on tailgate, breaks, and hydraulics caused by tailgate slamming, bouncing, over-hoisting 
    • Reduce dents and damage caused by banging bed with back-hoe buckets, shovels, sledge hammers

    VIBCO's Big Bertha and XL Bertha dumpbody vibrators are sold as complete kits* including: mounting plate, wiring kit, cable, and mounting bolts. Also available in 24 Volt.

    For complete product information:

    Big Bertha DC-3500

    XL Bertha DC-5000

    *Mounting channel sold separately

    Go comment!
  • As We Share, We Learn

    by Linda Kleineberg | Mar 08, 2013

    There are few things as rewarding as sharing knowledge and inspiration. It's a hallmark of how we do business at VIBCO. Time and time again, we're asked about why we invest so much time in touring people through our company...

    "Doesn't it cost too much?"
    "Isn't it a huge burden?"
    "How can you afford to spend so much time with the tour groups?"

    Anyone who has visited our plant knows that the spirit and genius of the VIBCO employees is at the heart of our successful Lean culture. Improvements happen because our team members live and breathe improvement focused on our mission of Same Day, Next Day for our customers. By touring people through our facility, we give VIBCO team members the opportunity to gain extraordinary recognition for the work that they do and to reinforce that, as a company, we are 100% committed to continuous improvement.

    You just can't put a price on that. (Though a recent tour visitor said that their company would be "willing to write a very big check to get that kind of employee engagement".)

    Here's what's been going on at the VIBCO Vibration Nation

    American Dragon Filming Episode at VIBCO

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO 2

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO 3

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO 4

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO 5

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO 6

    American Dragon Films at VIBCO 7

    Leadership Rhode Island Visits VIBCO

    Leadership Rhode Island Visits VIBCO 3

    Leadership Rhode Island Visits VIBCO 1

    Leadership Rhode Island Visits VIBCO 2

    Go comment!
  • We have weathered the storm.

    by Edward Huff | Feb 14, 2013

    We have weathered the Blizzard of 2013 and everything is back to fully operational. We had a few bumps along the road have met the challenge and still have happy customers.  Ultimately we had over 2 feet of snow and many members of the Vibration Nation went without power for several days. Fortunately most of us made it back to work for Monday morning and with the exception of the loss of our phones for a while it was back to work as usual. Today, Valentines Day, brought another couple of inches of snow which just made everything look pretty.

  • VIBCO Vibrators at the World Of Concrete in Las Vegas

    by Edward Huff | Feb 05, 2013
    VIBCO Concrete Vibrator Guy Giovanni

    The VIBCO Concrete Vibrators crew is at the Las Vegas Covention Center and The World Of Concrete. If you are in the area be sure to stop by booth O31544 or N2555!

    VIBCO Concrete Vibrator Guy Javier

    The new VIBCO Concrete Vibrator Tshirts are AWESOME!  Order yours today!

    VIBCO Concrete Vibrators TShirt 2013

    Go comment!
  • VIBCO's President is Helping Rhode Island

    by Linda Kleineberg | Jan 14, 2013

    VIBCO's President, Karl Wadensten, has been in the news lately... there's speculation that he's weighing a run for Rhode Island Governor in 2014. While speculation about the gubernatorial race is the topic-du-jour for the local news outlets, Karl's real passion and message is a vision how we can make it easier to do business in Rhode Island...  

    Want to know more? Listen and watch these interviews. Scroll down to listen to Karl on Buddy Cianci.

    Wadensten Interviewed by Helen Glover on WHJJ-RI

    Wadensten Interviewed by Vincent "Buddy" Cianci on 630 WPRO AM/FM

    Karl Wadensten Interview with Buddy Cianci (audio)

    Go comment!
  • Spooky Happenings at VIBCO Vibrators

    by Linda Kleineberg | Dec 27, 2012

    At just 1,212 square miles and with a population just over 1 million people, VIBCO's home state of Rhode Island is a place where interesting connections and chance meetings happen... A LOT. 

    Here's a classic Rhode Island story...

    Fans of the SYFY network show Ghost Hunters know that Jason Hawes, TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) founder, is from Rhode Island and that TAPS is headquartered in Warwick, RI. This picture appeared on Jason Hawes' Facebook Profile on Christmas Eve... see the post here  I'll warn you that some of the comments likely landed a few folks on Santa's Naughty List...  

    A few fun notes about VIBCO's Rhode Island "eerily" close connections to Jason Hawes/TAPS:

    • TAPS filmed an episode at Hoofinfeathers Carriage Inn in North Kingstown, RI in 2008 - which at the time was owned and operated by Chef Linda Wadensten - the sister of VIBCO President, Karl Wadensten Episode 416, Original Airdate 9/17/2008 "The Boy in the Brothel"
    • A former VIBCO employee, John Paul Endicott, wrote a short VIBCO Ghost Story on 5/18/1996... Click Here to see a scan of the original story

    Happy New Year!

    Go comment!
  • It's Holiday Time at VIBCO!

    by Linda Kleineberg | Dec 03, 2012

    The whole VIBCO team had so much fun writing "VIBCO-ized" versions of some popular Christmas Tunes last year... we loved them so much that we had them professionally recorded!  Listen to them here or enjoy them while you're on hold waiting for your VIBCO service agent or technical support person to come on the line!

    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!
  • Make Someone's Day!

    by Linda Kleineberg | Nov 29, 2012

    "Thank god! You've got my vibrators!" yells the purchasing agent.VIBCO Boxes

    The whole room turns to look... including the young woman texting on her smartphone, the salesman preparing to present his pitch, and a young man waiting for a job interview... every eye is on Gary as he crosses the room carrying a white box with huge black and red "VIBCO VIBRATORS" printed all over it. Smiles creep onto each face as the realization sets in that the vibrators in question are VIBCO Industrial vibrators... not the other kind.

    The purchasing agent - we'll call her Cindy -  is in her "mature" years and normally a very proper, well-mannered soul... so what got her so excited?  

    It turns out that on the previous day at around 3:00 pm, the engineered plastics firm where she worked had a line go down due to a vibrator failure. The company supplies injection-molded plastic components to the automotive industry. They needed a replacement vibrator and they needed it right away...  it was Cindy's job to make it happen.

    So Cindy called Gary, her local industrial equipment supply salesman. Gary immediately called VIBCO, knowing that same-day, next-day shipping was possible. Through the magic of emailed purchase orders and UPS Red overnight service, Cindy got her vibrators the very next morning, Gary got to share a funny and memorable moment with his customer, and the VIBCO team got to make someone's day

    So why is this story important?  Because the happy ending was made possible by an organization that cares, that works to improve each day, and who is genuinely Happy to Do It.

    As a complete team, VIBCO employees read FISH! Tales a few years back and decided that we had no intention of being or working in a "toxic energy dump"... that we wanted to enjoy our time  together and create great customer experiences. So we love it when we get to make someone's day.

    What have you done to make someone's day today?

    Go comment!
  • Athena or Not - the First Nor'easter Means It's SandBuster™ Time!

    by Linda Kleineberg | Nov 07, 2012

    The first Nor'easter of the season arrives on our doorstep, one thing is certain - salt and sand trucks do a better job with more consistent ice control with a VIBCO SandBuster™ spreader hopper vibrator on board.  And since the operators and drivers get to stay warm and safe in the cab vs. clearing clogs out in the cold... it's a win-win-win for all!

    Learn more about VIBCO SandBuster™ Vibrators right now!

    vibco sandbuster spreader hopper vibrators

    The Athena Controversy explained...  sort of.

    The Weather Channel is calling the first Nor'easter of the 2012 winter season "Winter Storm Athena" (See the explanation from and the National Weather Service is not playing along...  here's an image of their notice to employees:

    text on naming winter storms from the nws

    Seems interesting to have another battle of semantics in the weather world so soon after the controversy with the National Hurricane Center NOT posting hurricane and tropical storm warnings for Rhode Island... choosing instead to use High Wind Warnings. Anyone in the area knows that we were hit with a hurricane...  

    Stay tuned... it will be interesting to see if the marketing folks at The Weather Channel win this battle and force the NWS to start using names for winter storms...

  • VIBCO is Touring VIBCO... Finally!

    by Linda Kleineberg | Sep 19, 2012

    VIBCO is Touring VIBCO... Finally!

    VIBCO Assemblers Tour

    Most people familiar with VIBCO Vibrators know that we open our doors and regularly conduct plant tours to help other organizations see how improvement can happen and find inspiration for their own improvement efforts. To date, more than 5000 people from more than 400 organizations have toured our facility, met and spoken with our employees, and been amazed and encouraged by the end-to-end genius of VIBCO employees.

    Imagine our embarrassment when we realized that we hadn't actually toured our own employees through the entire plant so they, too, could benefit from seeing the whole picture. We're a pretty close-knit group, so we just assumed that everyone had an idea about what everyone else did. We've collaborated on countless projects, we've shared great moments together, we've gotten through difficult challenges together... but we somehow forgot to share the incredible tour experience within our four walls.

    Not anymore!

    Last Thursday, about half of the VIBCO assembly team spent the morning "going to the gemba" to see how the other parts of VIBCO function - reception, sales, accounting, shipping, machine shop - the whole enchilada. In the coming weeks, every VIBCO employee will take the famous VIBCO tour. 

    "I didn't really know how everything worked up there in the office... they do a lot!" was one comment. 

    "Wow - I didn't realize how much the office was using Lean - that was awesome!" said another.

    Already, we're seeing an improvement energy boost and improved communication across the organization. Just this morning, assembler Lucy Manley was proud to show off an improvement that was inspired by her tour through sales and marketing.  Lucy collaborated with Sue, Amy and Ron to change the way she receives and organizes her job orders. 

    job order improvement folders

    This is just the first of many improvements that will certainly result from the VIBCO employee tours.

    Want to inspire your team?  If you're interested in taking a tour of our plant, please send an email to 

    Go comment!
  • The Dragon Pants Story Has Legs... Video Now Available!

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 13, 2012


    Who knew that one pair of interesting, "bold" pants would stir up so much interest?  The social networks have been buzzing about the guy who asked GOP Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, a question while wearing "dragonpants". 

    Read the real story about why Karl wears "fancy pants"

    The burning question...  What did the "Bold Pants" Guy Karl actually ask Mitt Romney?

    In the true spirit of The Lean Nation and The VIBCO Vibration Nation, Karl asked Mitt Romney about what policies Romney supports that will help to reshore more manufacturing to create jobs and opportunities, specifically for small to mid-size producers who don't have huge resources or tax incentives on their side. 

    Want to learn more about reshoring?  Harry Moser and his team are leading the charge: Go to

    Now for the video and some links to online stories and comments:

    WPRI Providence: Romney says he wants to win RI in November

    Up close shot of #dragonpants by Maeve Reston of the LA Times

    Fishbowl DC:  The Man with the Dragon Pantaloons

    Buzzfeed: Romney Questioned By A Man in "BOLD Pants" 

    Go comment!
  • Karl's "Bold Pants" are a Hit with Mitt. Here's the real story behind the pants

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 12, 2012


    Karl's "Bold Pants" are a Hit with Mitt... now for the real story behind the pants

    VIBCO President asks GOP Candidate Mitt Romney a Question Wearing Bold PantsVIBCO President, Karl Wadensten's "dragon pants", were a big hit with GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a town hall meeting at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, RI on Thursday night.

    While Karl's pants are buzzing around the social network sphere (check out this link to the original photo), the real story is why Karl started his practice of wearing bold pants in the first.  So here it is...

    Back in 2003-2004, VIBCO Vibrators was at a crossroads.  Was the company going to be like every other struggling manufacturer, or was it going to become something special?  Was the status quo good enough or did VIBCO need to dramatically change how it operated?

    The answer was clear to VIBCO President, Karl Wadensten.  VIBCO needed to change... and the change needed to start with the hearts and minds of every single employee.  VIBCO's culture was at the center of it's operations and it was where Karl focused his leadership. Learn more about VIBCO's Cultural and Lean Transformation now

    One of the very first pieces of inspiration came in the form of an email blast that caught Karl's attention.  The message was clear, simple and profound.  It quickly became (and still remains to this day) the mantra of the entire VIBCO organization.  It is the real inspiration behind Karl's bold pants.




    The following blog post is by Jeffrey Gitomer, #676 Are you always right or wrong? Probably right. Too bad.  You can read the full post and visit Jeffrey's site at

    When a customer calls and has a question, a concern, a complaint, or needs an answer, the first words out of your mouth set the tone for the transaction. And these words lay the foundation for the future of the relationship.

    The bad news is: more than 90 percent of the people that respond, either in sales or service, don't give an answer; they give an excuse. The only good news inside that bad news is that 80 percent of the 90 percent is your competition. So all we have to do is fix the 10 percent-which happens to be you.

    I went to return a pair of pants that had a hole in the pocket. All I wanted was another pair of pants. On the surface it seems pretty simple. Except for the fact that the store has policies and procedures that precluded me from getting a pair of pants.

    Here's the exchange: Did I have a receipt? No. Did I buy them on a credit card? Yes. Did I have the credit card number? Yes. We'll look it up in our central bookkeeping office. Unfortunately, the central bookkeeping office has no record of your purchase.

    I said, "Keep the pants. If you ever figure out what to do, here's my card."

    Yesterday I got a call from the store's general manager telling me all about how their business operates and why the poor salesclerk could not give me new pants. I told the general manager I wasn't really interested in how the store operated; I was only interested in pants. Could she get me some pants?

    She began to tell me about her procedures and I said, "Stop! You have my address, you have my pants. If you can send me a new pair that would be the greatest, if you can't, I totally understand. Just keep them, send me the new pants, and keep my business for the next 20 years."

    Three pairs of pants arrived today. I could select the one I wanted and send the other two back. No charge. No papers. No procedures. Just pants.

    The sad part of this is that they could have done this from the very beginning, and could have scored WOW on the service meter. But no, they chose to "satisfy" me at the last moment, after almost all hope was gone, in an effort to salvage my business (for the next 20 years).

    The moral of this lesson is the same as it is in your business. Every day your customers call with a problem or complaint. The first thing you do is tell the customer why it happened, why it wasn't really your fault, why the computers went down, why the credit department made an error, why your order didn't get shipped, or some other excuse ad nauseam.

    REALITY: All the customer wants is friendly, helpful service. And an answer.

    It's even worse in sales. Salespeople will make promises, not confirm them in writing, and fail to deliver. The customer has an expectation. The salesperson or the company does not meet the expectation. The customer, somewhere between angry and disappointed, calls the salesperson. Does the salesperson try to recover? Or does the salesperson give an excuse? Answer: excuse-every single time.

    MAJOR CLUE: No one is interested in your excuse. Not your customer, not your boss, not your mother, not your teacher, not your children. No one wants to hear your excuse. All they want is friendly, helpful answers.

    If you just begin the conversation in response to your customer with my three words, "Oh that's horrible" followed by, "I hate when that happens, but you're in luck because I'm the best person to handle that. Here's what we are going to do..." all would be wonderful.

    Should you apologize? Yes, if the situation warrants it, but the customer is one billion times more interested in the solution and the outcome than in the apology. In fact, the apology means nothing if it's not followed with an action or a solution that resolves the situation, completely. And if you want to keep the customer, resolve the situation memorably.

    HERE'S THE SECRET: The secret is knowing the difference between offense and defense. In sports it's very clear. In football, they even change players. But in business, it's a lot more subtle. When you're making excuses, or casting off blame, or giving your version of why it wasn't your fault, that's the defensive position. You're defending the fact that you were wrong even though in your mind you thought you were right. In the customer's mind you were wrong, and that's the only mind that matters.

    The offensive position is the one that's friendly and helpful. The offensive position is the one that provides the solution and omits the (lame) excuse. The offensive position is the one your customers want you to take every time they call. They called for help. They called for answers. They called for understanding. They called for friendly. They called for a solution.

    Nowhere in that set of words do you find "excuse." If you want to build your business, if you want to make more sales, if you want to retain loyal customers, all you have to do is admit your mistakes, harmonize with the customer, figure out how to get them what they want, deliver it, and then take an additional memorable action that proves to them that you're the greatest.

    And, if you're worried about how much it will cost you to remedy customers problems and provide real solutions, let me remind you of my customer service adage: It never costs as much to fix the problem as it does to not fix the problem.

    Go comment!
  • Increase sales and build customer loyalty with VIBCO

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 11, 2012

    Keep more customers calling you and only you!

    Let's face it. Budgets are tight and increased cost controls are wreaking havoc on your business. Customers are "shopping around" and it's difficult to maintain your key sales relationships. So how can you keep more customers calling you and only you?

    Give them exceptional service that consistently solves their problems and keeps your name top-of-mind. Here's a recent example of how VIBCO helped one of our dealers to do just that...

    The Situation.sandblasting truck

    A sandblasting contractor had extremely slow material flow though shallow hoppers on a sand and paint chip recovery truck.  From bondo on the hopper corners, brooms, shovels... you name it, they'd tried it. Their dealer saw the problem and recommended installing VIBCO vibrators. Happy to have a solution, the contractor made the purchase.

    VIBCO received a desperate call from the dealer – his customer installed the dealer-recommended vibrators but was still having flow problems! They needed help and they needed it fast…

    VIBCO Had a Rapid Solution.

    Within 48 hours, VIBCO had a field technician at the contractor’s location to provide on-site assistance. The VIBCO tech quickly determined that the vibrators were not in the correct position.  He worked with the contractor to reposition his vibrators and it worked like a charm!  Take a virtual tour of the installation site

    The Result.

    Repositioning the vibrators immediately and significantly improved material flow.

    The VIBCO Story.

    Solving your customers’ problems is VIBCO's top priority. We will stop at nothing to make sure that your customers are happy with our product’s quality and performance. We have decades of experience engineering vibration solutions. That means that you and your customers get the most effective, most efficient, best performing vibrators on the market. Bring us with you on your next customer visit  to see how a VIBCO expert can help you increase sales.

    Go comment!
  • Identify Your VIBCO Ball or Turbine Pneumatic Vibrator

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 11, 2012


    Identify your VIBCO Ball or Turbine Pneumatic Vibrator in a few easy steps!

    It can be difficult to tell the difference betwen ball vibrators and turbine vibrators, nevermind between all the different VIBCO models of ball or turbine vibrators available.

    Here are a few easy steps to help you identify whether you have a VIBCO ball or a turbine vibrator, and which model/style you have:

       STEP 1: Does your vibrator rattle when you shake it?

    If it does, then you have a ball vibrator.  VIBCO offers three styles of ball vibrators - BBBV and V models.  If the unit does not rattle, then you have a VIBCO turbine vibrator.

       STEP 2: Does your vibrator have a "foot" style mount or a single-bolt mount?

    If your vibrator has a single-bolt style mount, then it is either an FBS or BBS turbine vibrator, or a BB ball vibrator.  If it has feet, then it is a BVS or VS turbine vibrator, or a BV or V ball vibrator.


    STEP 3: Stand your foot-mount unit on it's mounting base (where the bolt holes are).  Does the air port in from the top down, or from the side?

    If it is top-down with a threaded exhaust port, then you have either a BVS turbine vibrator or a BV ball vibrator.  If it is a side inlet with or without a threaded exhaust port, then you have a VS turbine vibrator or a V ball vibrator.


    Do you have a ball vibrator? Consider replacing it with a VIBCO Silent Turbine Vibrator... here's why:

    Lower Noise — average turbine vibrator is around 72 dB

    Lower Operating Costs— turbine vibrators do not require lubrication

    Lower Energy Consumption — turbine vibrators use 50% less air

    Longer Life — turbine vibrators typically outlast ball vibrators 3 to 1

    Greater Efficiency — turbine vibrators maintain speed and efficiency throughout life vs. ball vibrators that start to lose speed and efficiency from the very start

    As always, VIBCO Vibrators technicians and customer service agents are ready to help you select the right vibrator for your needs.  

    Call us at 800-633-0032 in the USA, 800-465-9709 in Canada, or 401-539-2392 from outside North America for help right now!

    Go comment!
  • "Paying it Forward" to Support Growth and Learning

    by Linda Kleineberg | Apr 04, 2012


    Pay it forward. It's a simple concept. We share what we've learned so that others may benefit. 

    Yet time and time again, I'm met with incredulity when I talk to individuals, reporters, and social network acquaintances about VIBCO's commitment to helping others succeed.

    "You do what?"

    "Are you guys for real?" 

    "What's in it for you?"

    I can understand the cynicism hidden behind those questions... as a society, we've been conditioned to question motives and to trust sparingly.  So here's the real scoop on VIBCO.

    "You do what?"

    We share our customer focus and show others how we're improving processes every day to remove waste and increase value to customers while holding pricing.  We open up our doors and invite other manufacturers, public officials, and service providers to get up-close and personal with our internal processes and our employees... for free.  We never charge for our plant tours.  We spend a tremendous amount of time and energy sharing our lessons learned with anyone who will listen.

    And we love it. 

    It's our way of helping to sustain and grow a vibrant, innovative and thriving manufacturing community.  It's our way of helping our public officials understand that there are ways to improve constituent services without the need to raise revenue. It's our way of helping to create better opportunities for all; of working to support a happier, more engaged, better trained workforce; and it's our way of saying thank you to all who have freely shared their knowledge and help with us.

    "Are you guys for real?"

    Yup! We really do believe in the power of each and every person to be brilliant and that our very survival depends on supporting employee engagement and creativity. Our customers want and need rapid delivery, low prices, quality products, and responsive support.  Those things don't happen by magic - they are only possible because we innovate all the time. We do things that skeptics and cynics think are strange or "out there" or "wacky," and that may appear to be an industrial fairy tale.  We've even had people ask if the employees they met on our plant tour are actually paid actors. 

    Let me assure you that VIBCO is 100% authentic.  Throwing a fish around the shop, decorating a bar stool, wearing silly hats, spray painting graffiti on the wall, doing a conga line through assembly, smiling, stretching together each morning...  they're all very, very real.  And they help us to achieve our real business goals.  Innovation and creativity can't be mandated, they have to be nurtured and practiced.  Our relentless commitment to customers can't be programmed, has to be lived.  At VIBCO, those emotional connections to our business come from being uniquely, strangely us. 

    "What's in it for you?"

    If you look at the investment we make in sharing, touring, and having fun from a traditional P/L, ROI standpoint, you won't see a huge financial benefit.  Most of the people who come to visit the VIBCO factory are not current or potential customers.  We don't charge for tours or speaking engagements, and we don't use our web TV show as a revenue stream. 

    BUT... and it's a big BUT... we do, in fact,  reap incredible rewards from our efforts and so do our customers. We get to support and develop a learning, growing, innovating and thinking organization that is creative, engaged and enthusiastic about PROCESS IMPROVEMENT. We get to demonstrate behaviors and values that reinforce the need for each and every VIBCO employee to question the status quo and seek opportunities to improve value to our customers.

    And really, with great products, competitive pricing, and a culture of improvement like ours, why the heck would you buy your vibrators anywhere else?

    Go comment!