Co-Line’s newest facility began to take shape mid-January during one of the snowiest days of the month. The 120’x200’ building is being built by Pro-Line. At the end of January, crews brought in a crane to hoist up the overhead trusses that were actually pre-built on the ground before hoisting 24 feet in the air.
Total weight lost: 543.72 lbs.
Biggest Loser: Mark Van Wyk | 24.96% | 67.2 lbs.
Runner up: Doug Richards | 21.52% | 51.6 lbs.
Forty-four Co-Liner’s signed up for the Biggest Loser Challenge held October, November, and December. Weekly prizes were given to the biggest percentage lost from week to week. The winner of the challenge was announced at the company Christmas party; Mark Van Wyk lost 67.2 lbs. and received $500! Doug Richards lost 51.6 lbs. and was named runner up, winning $250. The 44 lost collectively 543.72 lbs.! To celebrate and visually demonstrate the amount lost, Co-Line donated 543.72 lbs. in dog and cat food to the Jasper County Animal Rescue League. Congratulations, Team Co-Line! Thank you for your dedication and hard work!
The top 10 losers are shown above with the 543.72 lbs. of food donated to the Jasper County Animal Rescue League. The top 10 lost collectively 325.40 lbs. Back: Shawna Tice, 19.17%; Cory Tice, 18.57%; Doug Richards, 21.52%; Mark Van Wyk, 24.96%; Tom Orr, 12.08%; Gary Goings, 8.89%; and Doug McClelland, 14.08%; front: Faye Brand, 11.37%; Stefany Knowler, 10.76%; and Brenda Smith, 11.53%.
The 2019 Co-Line Christmas Party was full of joy, laughter, and good food. The wonderful meal was served by Julie Roose and her team at Country Catering. After lunch, there was fun and frivolity with lots of games and big prizes (and some pies in the face) and an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. After a vote by his peers, Bryce Romick was found to be the ugliest of them all in his elf dress and tights. He was rewarded $50 to Bass Pro for his attire and bravery. It was announced that the years of service bonus of $111,000 was paid out. The afternoon ended with a hearty Merry Christmas speech from Eric Brand and some special holiday cheer in a can for anyone who wanted it. It was a Merry Christmas indeed. Cheers to a new year, and a big thank you to all for choosing joy at Co-Line!
Check out the photo gallery from the party below.
1. CO-LINE SUPPORTS THEIR OWN.
Several times throughout 2019, Co-Liners stepped up and helped co-workers in need, donating cash, Co-Line coins, PTO hours, prayers, words of encouragement, and more.
2. CO-LINE CELEBRATES 40 YEARS!
April 9, 2019, was a milestone anniversary for Co-Line and a BIG surprise party was pulled off for Rail and Tana. The 40th anniversary celebration continued in June with an Open House for vendors, customers, and special guests.
3. CO-LINERS WORK SAFELY.
Team Co-Line wrapped up 2019 with ZERO work-related time lost accidents. Currently, 305 days is the second highest record, that’s 459,317 hours! The last time this number was achieved was October of 2015!
4. THERE WERE 52 FABULOUS FRIDAYS IN 2019.
From food to games, gift cards to beer, Fabulous Fridays were enjoyed by all throughout 2019. Rumor has it they will continue into 2020!
5. ANOTHER RECORD $111,000 was handed out in years of service bonuses. That’s 1,110 years of collective manufacturing expertise at Co-Line!
6. IMPLEMENTING BAR CODING of sheet material locations, drop racks, and jig/fixture locations reduced chaos in 2019. Plans for bar coding structural materials is underway for 2020.
7. INSTALLATION OF PAINT and POWDER EQUIPMENT including four separate drive chains, four booths, four ovens, two drying and cooling tunnels, is nearing completion in the south building.
8. AN AMAZING CO-LINE “BEST OF THE BEST” PICNIC WAS HELD IN AUGUST with a special tribute to Rail’s little sister Lisa Jansen who lost her short battle with cancer. The moment is one everyone in attendance will always remember.
9. ANOTHER FIBER FLAT LASER is installed along with automation taking Co-Line’s laser cutting capabilities to a whole new level. The 30 tray tower holds 196,000 lbs. of material!
10. GROUNDBREAKING BEGAN on Co-Line’s third facility. Two new parking lots, two evaporation basins, and site work for a 120’x200’ facility took shape in late 2019.
Co-Liners teamed up for their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive on Nov. 22. This year in one day only, the team brought in 862 pounds of food. Dale, Tana, Eric, and Faye Brand, matched the employees’ generous food donations with a dollar per pound netting a check for $862 to the East Jasper Christian Food Pantry. A friendly competition is held each year between the two buildings on the Co-Line campus to see who brings in the most weight in food. This year, for the second year in a row, bragging rights went to the north building. All those employees who donated enjoyed a free pizza lunch provided by Co-Line. “Our employees continue to exceed our expectations each year sharing food generously with those that otherwise might not have enough during this holiday season,” said Faye. “This year, nearly 200 pounds more was brought in over last year’s numbers. We are excited to see if we can top 1,000 pounds in one day next year!”
Earthmoving for Co-Line’s next expansion project began in early August. Since that time, busy schedules and Mother Nature’s unpredictable weather has thrown some curveballs into the progress. Two of the three employee parking lots are now done to grade and ready for concrete. The third parking lot is nearing completion, as well. The slab for the new cold storage building has also been finished to grade. In September, a large 12 ft. tall concrete drainage structure was installed for the evaporation basins for the new paint and powder system. The basins themselves are slowly starting to take shape, but Mother Nature has made it more challenging.
Several Co-Liners have gotten in on the dirt moving including Marty Van Wyk, Derrick Brelsford, Quintin Dewey, Eric Brand, and Rail Brand. Next steps include concrete for two parking lots and gravel for the third. Pro-Line has been awarded the bid for the new 120 x 200 cold storage building and Extreme Concrete will be doing all the exterior paving. The remaining storm sewer structures and piping along with shaping and sealing of the evaporation basins will continue with completion date projected in the next month.
When Rail Brand and his sister Lisa put their heads together, you never know what creativity will happen! Earlier this spring, Co-Liner LeAnn Hjelmeland put a few designs to paper for some signs Lisa could give to some of her favorite nurses and people she met at Mayo during the weeks of her cancer treatments. Fast forward a few short months, and Rail was having the nesters nest up hundreds more of these signs as they had space on the laser sheet. As pallets of these signs were being cut, no one at Co-Line really knew what the plan was. On July 3, Lisa lost her fight against cancer surrounded by family at the Comfort House in Pella. Rail and Lisa’s husband, Ron Jansen, quickly moved forward with the plan to hand out a steel “choose joy” sign to all who attended Lisa’s visitation and funeral. Always a party planner herself, Lisa would have approved of a party favor at her celebration of life!P
However, the hundreds of signs that had been laser cut, were not painted and some weren’t even bent yet. On the eve of a long four-day holiday weekend, Co-Liners teamed together and made the impossible possible. The press brake guys got right on the signs that needed bent the afternoon of July 3. Teal, one of the colors representing the type of cancer Lisa had, was the chosen color. However, teal is not one of Co-Line’s colors in stock. Tony Van Wyk made a call to Diamond Vogel Paint Rep, Dan Popma, and Dan had the paint mixed and delivered before end of day, another feat that seemed impossible! And to top it off, Diamond Vogel donated the special paint to the cause. Tony, Josh Nikkel, and Joel Struik stayed after hours on Wednesday to get the painting done on over 1,000 Choose Joy signs. Cory Brand also needed to cut and print hundreds of vinyl stickers to apply to one of the sign designs.
On Saturday morning, another amazing feat happened, Rail, Tana, Eric, Faye, Carter, Abigail, Cory, Heidi, Braxton, Breckyn, Brooks, and Briar Brand teamed up and packaged and applied a vinyl sticker to 100’s of the signs! A true assembly line, indeed! The jury is still out, but Rail and his numerous “breaks” giving the grandkids golf cart rides might have been our production constraint that morning. The signs were then hauled to Pella Third Reformed Church awaiting the chance to spread joy to everyone who knew Lisa.
Over 1,000 signs have been handed out and there are still more! If any Co-Liner would like one or would like to give one to someone that has impacted their life in honor of one amazing woman, our sister, aunt, daughter, friend, mom, and wife, Lisa Jansen, please stop at the office and pick one up. Several unique stories have been told since these signs hit the streets of Pella and surrounding communities. One was even spotted attached to a hitch of a pickup in Pella recently!
Thank you to all who helped make the steel choose joy signs a reality. The Brand family appreciates your prayers, words of encouragement and sympathy, random act of kindness, memorial gifts, and most of all understanding as we figure out our new normal without our amazing Lisa!
Continuing to strive to be a world-class manufacturing facility, earlier this year Co-Line invested in its first Mazak 8 Kw Fiber Flat laser with a 6’x12’ sheet capacity. Not long after the first was installed, a second 8 Kw Fiber Flat Laser was on order. In July, Remmert began installing the load and unload automation over both lasers.
Located in the south facility, this production cell brings the laser cutting capacity and capabilities to a whole new level! The automation should be fully functional soon.
The tower (will hold 196,000 pounds of raw sheet steel, that’s equivalent to more than four semi-loads!
Top customers, vendors, and special guests were invited to Co-Line’s 40th Anniversary Open House on June 6 and 7. Special thanks to all of those Co-Line employees who helped make the event a success. The facilities were tour-ready and definitely made a lasting impression on all who visited. Customers and vendors from around the nation made the trip, traveling from CA, OK, IL, NE, WI, and MO.
Visitors checked in at the newly redecorated front lobby and then made their way through the connection between office and north building, where Co-Line’s timeline, products, and culture were on display. Rick Harrill and other supervisors provided golf cart rides to guests between buildings during the tours. Tour guides then guided the guests through the tool and die area with special interest on the new UR10 robot that was running a VMC. Traveling down through the press department, guests saw our wide range of tonnage Co-Line has to offer. Quality, maintenance, paint and package, along with warehousing and spotwelding were all stops along the tour.
Representatives from First State Bank enjoyed learning about the exciting growth opportunities in the paint and powder area of the south building from Todd Johnson. The bank has been an instrumental part of Co-Line’s 40-year history, taking a chance on Rail and Co-Line when no one else would!
The new 350×200 foot addition was also announced during the tour as guests rode on golf carts through where the new building will be.
In the south building, the tour weaved its way through the flat laser department and bending department stopping at the new fiber flat lasers for some show and tell moments of what’s to come. Continuing through the new vertical storage areas, tube lasers, tube bend, folder, and welding were all areas of interest. At the quality office, Gary Smith had several fun examples of what our high tech quality equipment can do. A definite showstopper on the tour was the 16 feet tall globe highlighting Co-Line’s creativity and fabrication skills in the Projects Group area! Look for the globe to be placed at the entrance of Co-Line later this fall. The grand finale of the tour included the new paint and powder coat area. Todd Johnson shared the future plans and capabilities of that area.
Co-Line employees, including Joel Schmidt and Jeff De Jong, dig into some great BBQ at the free lunch on June 7 for employees, customers, and vendors. Guests enjoyed food and gifts and left with many positive comments about Co-Line’s facilities and team members.
“Thank you to all who made the 40th anniversary open house a huge success. The facilities were tour ready and our guests were very complimentary of everyone. Here’s to the next 40 years!” said the Brands.
The third annual Amazing Race was held in conjunction with Fabulous Friday on June 28. A record number seven teams competed this year from the laser, quality, office, welding, tube laser, maintenance, and paint and packaging departments.
For the second year in a row, Team Laser (Kyle Van Dyke — Kayak, Jeff Smith — running, Tanner Briggs — biking, Jay Mitchell — basketball, and Dale Maston — bag throwing) won and each member received a $50 Target gift card.
In second place, the Paint and Packaging Team (Shane Jansen-Kayak, Logan Shipley – running, Josh Nikkel-biking, Justin Flander – basketball, and Ben Arkema – bag throwing) nailed their bag in the hole just seconds after the laser team.
Co-Liners enjoyed Gatorade, granola bars, and bananas after the race. New this year, Travis Messer added a little firework excitement just prior to the storm clouds rolling in. It was a fabulous Friday indeed!
Special thanks to all who participated!