April 2017
Spring is in the Air.  Baseballs too.
PFS TECO Begins 9th Full Season with Major League Baseball
If we were to tell you that our staff of wood scientists, engineers, and inspectors help manufacturers of engineered wood products comply with product regulations to ensure a desired level of safety when their products are used, that description fits perfectly with the plywood, OSB, LVL, wooden I-joist and other EWP manufacturers who use PFS TECO for certification of their products. But it also describes manufacturers of wood baseball bats used in Major League Baseball (MLB) games whose season kicked off earlier this month.

Working with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and MLB's Safety and Health Advisory Committee, PFS TECO staff work to reduce the likelihood that wood bats will break in two when they make contact with a fastball or slider thrown by a pitcher. The incidence of multi-piece failures has dropped by more than two-thirds since the project started halfway through the 2008 season (the photo above shows some of the game-used bats inspected that first year). And the technical expertise in wood science and quality control in manufacturing that our staff brings to EWP manufacturers is not unlike what we bring to wood bat manufacturers like Louisville Slugger, Mizuno, Marucci, Sam Bat, and many others. The result is enhanced safety for players and fans alike.

Time to play ball.   
 Wind Pressure Testing of Tornado Safe Room Components Made from Wood
PFS TECO Cooperates with USDA Forest Products Laboratory
In a cooperative project between the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and PFS TECO, two safe room components were tested to evaluate their ability to resist wind pressures produced by a tornado. Deepak Shresthra, PhD, PFS TECO Senior Scientist and co-author of the recently published research report, led the testing effort that determined whether a tornado safe room ceiling panel and door met safety levels required of ANSI's Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters.

These two components had been previously tested for impact load and these additional tests were for wind pressure strength. The tests were conducted at PFS TECO's Wisconsin laboratory using vacuum test equipped designed by Dr. Shresthra.  See the full paper at this link: Research Paper FPL-RP-688.

For additional information, email Deepak Shresthra.  
 The New Normal for Housing
Wells Fargo Economists Remain Cautious About Housing
Wells Fargo
April 3, 2017 -- Spring has come early for the new home market. Sales of new single-family homes through February are running 7.1 percent ahead of their year-ago pace. New home construction has also gotten off to a solid start, with starts of single-family homes 3.5 percent higher than their year-ago rate. Some of the strengthening is due to improving economic fundamentals. Job growth has been exceptionally strong so far this year and consumer confidence has soared to its highest level since December 2000. Builders are also more upbeat than they have been since the height of the housing boom, with buyer traffic and sales both running at the best pace in years.

Amid this backdrop, the Wells Fargo Economics Group remains cautious about the housing outlook. 

PFS TECO Certifies CLT
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a new generation of solid-wood structural panel that can be used for roofs, floors, and walls in mid-rise residential and non-residential applications. Developed in Austria in the mid-1990s and used in Europe since then, CLTs were introduced to North America just a few years ago. Development of The CLT Handbook and a CLT manufacturing standard, both for use in the US and Canada, has spurred interest and understanding in CLTs across North America.  

Like other engineered wood products, CLTs must be tested and certified by a recognized and accredited third-party certification agency. PFS TECO is accredited to the three ISO international standards for testing, inspection, and certification and is therefore recognized to certify CLTs. To aid manufacturers, designers, and code officials, PFS TECO has developed two TECH TIPS on CLTs.  Follow this link to the TECH TIP library:   Cross-laminated timber TECH TIPS >>

For information about PFS TECO's program to certify CLT, contact Steve Winistorfer 
Being an ESOP
PFS TECO Managers Participate in ESOP Conference
As an employee-owned company, PFS TECO operates as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company. An ESOP operates as a sort of employee benefit plan, similar to a profit-sharing plan. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, companies with ESOPs and other broad-based employee ownership plans account for well over half of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" list year after year.

PFS Corporation has been an ESOP since 2000 and the number of employees that became owners grew when PFS merged with TECO in 2015. As owners, PFS TECO employees feel more invested in the work they do and in the commitment to do the best for all PFS TECO clients and other stakeholders.  

The Wisconsin chapter of the ESOP Association held its annual spring conference in Sheboygan, WI, on March 16th.  Debbie McDaniel (Controller) and Ron Reindl (Vice President) attended the conference and shared what they learned with fellow employee-owners when they returned. Over 100 people attended the conference, coming from all industries and several guest companies. McDaniel and Reindl agreed that the c onference was very beneficial as we continue to learn and understand the full effects of PFS TECO being an ESOP. 
 Meet Our Staff
Dan Hovanec
Technical Support Specialist, Building Products
Cottage Grove (WI) corporate office
Dan Hovanec joined PFS TECO in 2015 after graduating with a BS in Wood Science and Technology and MS in Forestry (emphasis in Wood Science and Technology), both from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. His MS research investigated the effect of wood characteristics on adhesive bond quality of yellow-poplar for use in cross-laminated timber panels.

As a Technical Services Specialist, Dan works with the rest of the Building Products technical staff to support the certification and testing needs of engineered wood product clients. His primary focus is with panel product clients, including plywood, OSB, and those whose products require approval to the CARB (and soon to be EPA) formaldehyde emission regulations. And with his background on CLTs, Dan also participates on the PRG 320 CLT standards committee that is working now to ballot the next edition of the standard.  

Shortly after joining PFS TECO, Dan took time off to marry his college sweetheart Katherine. Since wood was a big part of his life (at a n early age Dan started doing woodworking projects), Dan made the table centerpieces out of various species of wood, each engraved to display the species' name. Dan and Katherine met while they were involved with the WVU Marching Band -- Dan was a member of the drumline and Katherine was on the colorguard.

Dan is originally from Scottdale, PA (southeast of Pittsburgh) and Katherine grew up in Pocahontas County, WV. Although they both miss the mountains, they are enjoying their new home in Wisconsin.

Email Dan at [email protected] to learn which instrument he played in the WVU drumline.  

 Springtime Thoughts
"When you start the game, they don't say 'Work ball,' they say 'Play ball.'"
-- Willie Stargell
American professional baseball player

Calendar of Events
Apr 25, 2017
Seattle, WA
Visit Bob Nelson at the PFS TECO booth
  Apr 27-29, 2017
Orlando, FL  
Jun 26-28, 2017
Nov 8-10, 2017
Chicago, IL
Visit us at the PFS TECO exhibit booth
PFS TECO, 1507 Matt Pass, Cottage Grove, WI 53527, USA  •  P: 608.839.1013