The Second Annual Motor Mania contest was held June 15. Employees had the opportunity to show off their sweet rides, from vintage cars to tractors to motorcycles. You can still see the tire marks in the parking lot from the burnout contest — Jake McElroy was burnout winner. In second place was Jason Teft. Ironically, both guys are from Co- Line’s maintenance department.
On Mar. 24, Roger Van Hal, Ryan Johnson, Chris Tice, Jason Allbee, Cory Tice, and their families geared up to package 1,728 meals in less than an hour at Lynnville Friends Church. Team Co-Line was part of eight groups that packaged nearly 15,000 meals that morning for the Jasper County Take Away Hunger event. This year, these meals are staying in the United States, helping those in Texas and Florida. The groups even got to taste test the meals.
Along with the greater cause of helping others, Co-Liners also enjoyed a few laughs seeing Ryan Johnson’s beard in a hair net and Roger “Tall” Van Hal might have been a little too tall for the assembly line. Great job, Team Co-Line!
Above: Carter Tice, Mckayla Tice, Kinsley Tice, and Brilynn Tice. Back: Ryan Johnson, Logan Allbee, Roger Van Hal, Deanne Tice, Jason Allbee, Chris Tice, Hadley Tice, Shawna Tice, and Cory Tice.
On Hawaiian shirt day, numerous Co-Liners showed their true colors and pretended, only for a while, that it was sunny, 80 degrees, and that Lake Seven-A was a tropical beach, not a frozen pond. Winners for best shirt won a pair of pineapples and Co-Line coins.
SOUTH BUILDING WINNER
The winner by popular vote was Dale Maston with his pink lei necklace. Rumor has it that he shared his winnings with others who actually dressed up.
NORTH BUILDING WINNER
Reggie Kaldenberg was named the winner for her full getup, complete with purple hair.
Linda Arkema won for her matching lei headband and bracelets.
This Valentine’s Day, it paid to be dating or married to a Co-Liner. Co-Liners shelled out the big bucks for their loved ones (or maybe it was all for themselves — we’ll never know). Seventy-seven employees participated in ordering a range of gifts made available by the company.
- Cranberry Stone Cupcakes: 270 cupcakes
- Van Wijk Winery Wine: 82 total bottles
- Sweet Creations Cookies: 253 cookies
- Flower Bouquets by Thistles Flower Shop: 32 total bouquets
- Dinner-to-Go by Country Catering: 41 meals
- Laser Cut Love Signs: 19 signs
- Merle Norman in Pella: 6 Manicures, 1 Pedicure, and 5 Mani/Pedi combos
Indian Hills brought their welding class of high school seniors for a tour of Co-Line on Jan. 18. The 14 students and two instructors toured the north building with Eric Leonard and were wowed by the big stamping presses. They learned about the application and interviewing process at Co-Line and listened to Zach McClellan share his career path story. Dan Schutte toured a variety of areas in the south building and shared with the group the variety of welding that happens at Co-Line. The group was active and asked a lot of good questions, and we hope to see so me of these students as future Co-Line employees!
Eight students and a tool & die instructor from DMACC visited Co-Line as a part of their curriculum on Jan. 23. The group arrived after 4 p.m. and had class at Co-Line for the evening. They have been studying press operations and feeders in class via videos. The opportunity to visit Co-Line and see stamping presses and feeders in person was a great opportunity, “especially since there is a quiz on feeders tomorrow,” said instructor John Neumeyer. Mike Helleur, Chris Tice, Dave Hobbs, and Eric Leonard participated in the demonstration by explaining the process, materials, and various press and feeder operations. This opportunity to visit with students who will be finishing their studies this summer is a great way to make an impact on students who are about to join the workforce. A big thank you to those who shared their talents with these youngsters!
Pella Christian High School senior and Pella native, Ethan Van Zee (shown left), got a week long’s worth of on-the-job welding experience at Co-Line, January 2-11. For the sixth year in a row, PCHS held its program called Winterim right after students come back from Christmas break. Seniors and juniors can choose to go on a service trip, take a class, or intern at an area business to explore potential occupations in their areas of interest.
“Interning at Co-Line has been a great experience,” said Van Zee. “I got to do a little of everything and work with some nice people. My trainers were knowledgeable and gave me experience in all parts of the job.”
Van Zee’s foreseeable plans after graduating would be to either go to school for welding or go straight to work, potentially coming back to Co-Line to officially join the Co-Line welding team.
Shown below: Randy Vinton, welder, training Ethan Van Zee on the welding procedures used at Co-Line.
The new 4000 watt Fiber tube laser will increase our capability, capacity, and productivity of our tube laser department. Acting on a last minute opportunity buy at the end of 2017, Eric and Dale Brand are excited to see this latest technology in action.
“This system will give Co-Line the opportunity for efficiency gains in laser operations and processing of orders,” said Brand.
One week later, nearly all pieces of the Fiber Tube Laser are in place as of the first of February and initial “power on” has happened.
A great vendor experience with the gentlemen from BLM has made the installation process enjoyable!
Also in January, new laser feeding automation was installed over the cell of three Optiplexes in the south building. This automation will include over 100,000 lbs storage capacity in a 20 bin sheet tower and four bin storage for processed material. After a lengthy install process by Mazak, a vendor of Co-Line’s, the laser department hopes to be fully functional within a week.
Co-Liner Frank Ready applies his expertise to the new flat laser automation.
Last month and continuing into February, overhead hoists are being installed over the expanded weld area in the south building. With the final touches almost complete, it will be the most professional and most versatile welding set-up that Rail has ever seen. Additional welding booms, blueco tables, and 6S initiatives will bring this department to world class. Bring on the welding! 2018 is going to have more sparks flying than ever before!
The Goalsetter weld team began 2018 in a new location in the south building. Jeff Schultz, Kevin Chapman, Mike Moore, and Brad Elder are meeting increased customer production needs with improved process flow, component staging, and job traveler sequencing. Great job guys!
The support operations are essential to the weld team’s success. Jamie Tyrell, Dale Maston, Steve Davis, and Justin De Jong keep the area well-stocked and well-organized preventing expensive outages and delays to the weld cell.
Keeping tube cut ahead of the weld group has been Jeff Schut’s priority and has also improved the production flow.
Saw cut parts, staged with travelers attached, make an efficient and chaos free transition to the weld cell. Jeff Davis, saw operator, enjoys being ahead and using road runner approach.
United diversity for exceptional performance defines Co-Line’s current maintenance department. With a never-ending To-Do list, Co-Liners Marty Cross, Mark Van Wyk, Dennis Nolin, Jason Teft, Joey James, Frank Ready, Roger Belcher, Jake McElroy, and Roger Bruxvoort along with independent contractor, Josh Hickie, have had a very busy and very successful January. Topping the maintenance list last month included moving of the Mazak 150 Tube Laser (shown in group photo) in preparation for the new BLM Fiber Tube Laser.
“The latest collective accomplishment of moving one of Co-Line’s tube lasers in under 3 days is amazing!” said Dale Brand. “I suggest that we have a very ‘diversified and united’ maintenance team. Each member having differing areas of strength, united with other team members for a common objective.”
Simultaneously, the new automation at the Optiplex flat laser cell also required the skills of Co-Line’s maintenance team. Moving a machine, setting a new machine, addition technology to flat laser, all in addition to meeting the daily maintenance and TPM demands of the organization.
“This team is as strong as I have seen in the 39 year history of Co-Line. They are results-driven and willing to subordinate to each other and the objective. No drama, no arguments, just great team members solving problems together as needed. This team and this accomplishment is a real-life demonstration of all five of our Co-Line values.”
1. CO-LINE HIRES A RECORD 40 NEW EMPLOYEES. Out of 484 applicants, 40 new faces made the cut to join the unique Co-Line culture.
2. A RECORD $103,950 WAS PAID IN YEARS OF SERVICE BONUS. Also noted in 2017 was the first 12% bonus paid in Q2.
3. FIBER TUBE LASER: A late year end decision to purchase Co-Line’s first Fiber Tube Laser will increase Co-Line’s capabilities and capacity for 2018.
4. A 6% ACROSS THE BOARD RAISE AND CHANGES TO THE BONUS STRUCTURE FOR 2018. This announcement highlighted the October Employee Quarterly Meeting.
5. CO-LINE ACHIEVES ISO 9001:2015 CERTIFICATION IN AUGUST. The new “risk-based thinking” is the core of the new certification and Co- Line is required to determine risks and opportunities for processes, products, and services as well as overall quality management systems.
6. EMPLOYEES ENJOYED A COUNTY FAIR THEMED COMPANY PICNIC. This year’s picnic was complete with unique contests such as husband calling, Mr. Legs, cutie, pie eating, and bucket of junk. The night capped off with another impressive fireworks show.
7. NEW EVENTS FOR CO-LINERS this year included the Co-Line Amazing Race, Motor Mania, Company-wide dodge ball, and a food drive. Add in the Hawaiian luau, wear pink day, Halloween costumes, ugly sweater contest, and Christmas lighting contest, there was something for everyone!
8. TWO NEW TORNADO SHELTERS WERE COMPLETED. These new shelters in the south building continue Co-Line’s commitment to safety.
9. 2017 SAW A RECORD YEAR IN EQUIPMENT PURCHASES including two Marvel saws, laser automation for two lines, two Mazak flat lasers, press feedlines, forklifts, Roemer 3D laser scanner, Haas VF3, UR 10 robot, welding equipment and much more! Reinvestment is the key to all our futures!
10. RECORD BREAKING SALES YEAR, NEW CUSTOMERS, AND DIVERSITY OF PROJECTS made 2017 one of the most successful years in the company’s history. Putting on the finishing touches of the south building expansion, Co-Liners say “Bring on 2018!”
Co-Liners were so good this year, Christmas came early for them on December 22. Lights twinkled, good food catered by Julie Roose and Country Catering was devoured, fireworks blasted, and “pie” was served…in the face. A good time was had by all.
In appreciation for everyone’s hard work, $103,950 was paid out in years of service bonus. An additional $24,485 was handed out in 10-year trips, 20-year shopping sprees, jackets, prizes, and more. Each employee was recognized for their years of service during the party.
The Co-Line family keeps growing, with 40 new employees hired in 2017, who were also recognized — one of the largest number of new hires in one year in Co-Line’s history.
Co-Liners stepped up to the challenge of a Christmas lighting contest in their areas. The judges were third generation, future Co-Liners Carter and Abigail Brand (photo above right). Press Brake group, thanks to Travis Messer, dazzled employees at the 6 a.m. start-up meeting with a fireworks light show while snow was falling down, a memory most will not soon forget. Some neighbors were awed by the wake-up call while others weren’t sure what was happening! The Brand kids were teased, tempted, and bribed with candy, toys, gifts, stockings as big as they were, and more! Several Santas made appearances. Lumps of coal could be found in Eric and Faye’s stockings by the flat lasers. But ultimately the Maintenance Department wowed the kids with the funny car and fire truck decorations.
Bragging rights for the year went to:
- South building welders
- Press Brake Fireworks
Each employee received a raffle ticket for each year of service they have been at Co-Line. Random numbers were drawn by the Brand kids and the “Steal a gift” game began. The final gift was to go to the person sitting in a lucky chair, but as luck would have, no one was sitting in the chair with the Co-Line sticker. So another random raffle number was drawn and Marty Cross decided to keep the gold box instead of stealing someone else’s prize and he made the right choice, keeping a $250 Best Buy gift card. Other gift card prizes included Amazon, Texas Roadhouse, Theisen’s, Menards, Lowes, Co-Line Logo Shop, Under Armour, Nike, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more.
The Price is Right Line ‘em Up game was played by 15 volunteers. It was a relay race to put the numbers in the right order to guess how much money Co-Line was giving out in Years of Service Bonus and prizes. The winning team members each received a $20 coin.
Back by popular demand, the party ended with the pie in the face game. Raffle ticket numbers were drawn and Roger Van Hal, Bryan De Jong, Don Steenhoek, Zach McClellan, and Margaret Vander Weerdt each had to name who they thought they were going to give a pie in the face too. However, there was only one pie, and at the count of three, Dale Brand, Wayne Woollums, Andy Elbert, Linda Russell, and Faye Brand were surprised by silly string instead of a pie!