Automation: Oregon companies automating

December 2017


Companies Automating in Oregon

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The Boeing Company

The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC), located in Scappoose, Oregon, represents the innovative growth our region needs spearheaded by the private and public sectors. Focused on developing game-changing tools, techniques and technologies needed to keep Oregon manufacturing globally competitive, OMIC will provide the catalyst for industry-driven applied research. Championed by Oregon Senator Betsy Johnson, this proven model of collaboration between industry, academia and government is led by The Boeing Company and partners Charter Members Silver Eagle Manufacturing, ATI, Vigor, Blount, Daimler Trucks North America, the Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University and Oregon State University.

OMIC will provide economic, strategic and technological solutions for its industry partners and statewide stakeholders, bringing together the best talents and capabilities of manufacturing and the three universities. The state-of-the art facility will provide “outside-in” applied research, technical advice and support driven by manufacturing enterprises of all sizes to define the research and development (R&D) focus. The facility will support new supply chain linkages and small- and medium-size manufacturing companies, as well as provide a critical mass of innovation to promote the region as a major source of engineering and manufacturing expertise.

OMIC will coordinate its R&D facility research projects with hands-on “earn and learn” training programs led by Portland Community College (PCC). The PCC-OMIC Training Center, located adjacent to OMIC and scheduled to open in fall 2019, will emphasize craftsmanship, professionalism and placement of graduates into high-wage, high-demand jobs. PCC is also leading efforts to reach out to underserved populations such as women and minorities to fill its training pipeline.

Daimler Trucks North America

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) believes that automated vehicles, when developed and deployed responsibly, can provide significant benefits regarding safety, efficiency, driver productivity, and convenience. As a technology leader, Daimler, with its different business units, has accumulated knowledge and expertise in the development, testing, and deployment of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The development of ADAS and active safety systems are the foundational building blocks that lead to the future evolution of crash avoidance and automated technologies. DTNA believes that progress in AV technology is best characterized as a development of thoroughly tested building blocks, which incrementally automate driving operations over time.

Vehicle automation has the potential to enhance driver safety and the driving experience while increasing driver productivity, DTNA expects the truck driver/operator will still be a crucial piece of the automation system as the step-by-step transition to automated vehicles develops. As the level of automation in trucks increases, the role of the truck driver will also change to reflect the advanced capabilities of the vehicle. Ultimately, DTNA believes that the primary mission of vehicle automation is to improve safety, which is measured by the reduction of crashes and the saving of lives.

DR Johnson

Since the Great Recession and the continued decline of federal timber harvest, the timber industry in Oregon has been working to recover to more stable times. One example is Southern Oregon’s DR Johnson. It is helping lead the industry back with the development of cross-laminated timber (CLT), a new engineered wood product used in mass timber building systems. CLTs are manufactured with perpendicular layers of boards glued together for extra strength and then engineered into a building system that is sustainable, visually appealing and highly durable. What makes CLT unique is its environmental benefits – renewable material that sequesters carbon – and its construction benefits – as strong as steel and five times lighter than concrete. Because it is used in a highly detailed building system and sold prefabricated, the manufacturing and fabricating process is automated. DR Johnson was the first U.S. company certified to manufacture structural CLT – and still one of only two in the country. With the lumber industry in Oregon reinvigorated, DR Johnson, CLTs and a growing mass timber building market are helping to take it even higher.  It is a prime example of how traditional industries are innovating and adapting to the modern environment.


Over the years, Intel has successfully evolved and grown its business as computing has diversified from the device, or client, to the network, the cloud and beyond. Intel believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will drive the next wave of computing, transforming the way businesses operate and how people engage in every aspect of life. This includes AI-fueled improvements in the fields of education, business and finance, medicine and health care, and scientific research – to name a few.

Today, Intel is powering AI across the broadest set of use cases, enabling AI everywhere – from car to cloud to edge to data center. In October 2017, Intel announced that it would begin shipping the Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor (NNP) before the year is over. Using Intel AI technology, companies in all industries will be able to utilize AI in innovative ways that maximize the amount of data processed, allowing customers to use new products and services to solve real problems.

Metal Toad

Metal Toad, a product development company based in Portland, is a growing business that exemplifies how automation can improve day-to-day business operations across all industries and spur the growth of small tech businesses. Specializing in technology consulting, development and support services, Metal Toad contracts with several of the biggest names in the media and technology industry, including Sony, ABC, NBC, Disney, the Golden Globe Awards and many others. These companies rely on Metal Toad’s services to establish a technological infrastructure that ensures smooth business operations and a dependable network that their customers depend on for products, services and entertainment. In 2017, Metal Toad expanded and opened an office in downtown Los Angeles, California.

Oregon Health & Science University

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) knows that computational biology is a necessary part of the overall effort to end cancer as we know it. The Knight Cancer Institute has established the Kids First Data Resource Center to support the discovery of new and improved treatment for children with cancer or structural birth defects by gathering clinical and genetic sequencing data from volunteer cohorts comprising thousands of patients and their families. The idea behind the Data Resource Center is to allow researchers and clinicians across the world to easily apply advanced analytics to as much pediatric cancer and rare disease data as possible. OHSU has recruited seven faculty, a total of 50 people, and has brought in more than $20 million in grants funding to build this computational program that is bringing nationwide recognition to OHSU and Oregon. There is an unprecedented amount of genomic data available, and these data hold the promise of yielding breakthroughs for debilitating pediatric diseases.

Teeny Foods

In operation since 1964, Teeny Foods – a family-owned food processing company based in Portland – specializes in custom formulation of recipes for nationwide clients in the restaurant industry, sports arenas, schools and frozen grocery. When the company was founded 53 years ago, Teeny produced mainly pocket bread, but has since diversified into flat breads, pizza crust, focaccia bread, cheese-filled breadsticks, hand-held bakery entrees and much more. The company has grown and expanded steadily since its establishment, employing nearly 150 people today in a state-of-the-art facility near the Portland International Airport. In order to remain competitive, the company reluctantly embraced the technology boom and has made significant investments in automation. What was once done by hand in the 20th century is now almost fully automated in the 21st – tasks that range from dough processing to product packaging. Throughout the past decade, Teeny has been able to expand their facilities and increase their product output through automation, despite the climbing cost of labor in our state.