Decades of Inventions by EFCO Chairman and CEO – Al Jennings

We all recognize how our world is advancing by leaps and bounds with technological computer developments more than you can imagine. It all started with the invention of the Atanasoff-Berry electronic digital computer at Iowa State University (ISU) in 1939. For EFCO, I, Al Jennings, was just three years out of college at ISU, an engineering graduate in 1956, when I was assigned the task of programming EFCO’s first electronic digital computer, an LGP-30. It was a great step going from a slide rule to a computer, wow! This was also a great step forward for EFCO by our company’s founder, W. A. Jennings. Fifty-nine years later (1959-2018) today, we are still at it, programming computer systems to control our own destiny.

As EFCO continues today to thrive with entrepreneurial computer-based successes, we have continued to grow and support the concrete construction industry with R&D. Our EFCO successes have not been based on copying the competitors. Neither has it been, as some people would say, taking entrepreneurial risks. Quite the contrary, EFCO’s successes have been and continue to be finding a need and filling it with great engineering, manufacturing, and field service unmatched in the industry.

One might ask, why is R&D so important to EFCO? This is because one of the most important things to a concrete construction contractor when selecting a forming and shoring system for a project is, “How can we save labor and reduce the time to deliver the complete project?” For many concrete construction projects, EFCO has the best solutions. As EFCO’s founder W. A. Jennings said, “It’s not only the cost of the formwork but the cost of the formwork plus the cost of using it that matters.”

EFCO is charging ahead with new labor-saving R&D innovations. The best example is with the new SUPER PLATE GIRDER®. Identifying the need and EFCO moving to fill it, road bridges are getting longer, wider, and heavier. This construction is being supported with stronger available concrete and stronger reinforcing steel, all weighing more. EFCO’s new product, SUPER PLATE GIRDER, now available has twice the strength of EFCO’s very successful original PLATE GIRDER.

EFCO’s POWER TOWER® is another excellent example of R&D work. This time for high-rise buildings using self-climbing, high-strength steel forms for construction of buildings where we have had the excellent PT-50 POWER TOWER system. EFCO has just now launched a new PT-100 system with single-stroke lift cylinders that has twice the capacity and even more important, a patent pending computer-controlled, multiple cylinders leveling system of self-lifting concrete formwork that also carries the concrete delivery system.

With these announcements, we cannot leave out the new all-important hydraulic-powered retractable inside corners for EFCO’s PLATE GIRDER® POWER TOWER® systems. If you know the industry and systems available for high-rise multi-story construction, EFCO’s new hydraulic retracting and expanding inside corner forms are a great time- and labor-saving invention. The hydraulic power source used to open and close the inside corners are readily available at each corner with the new PT-100 system. These new corners eliminate all the bolts and clamps and the hydraulics work with, so to speak, just the push of a button – all running on the computer systems as part of the new PT-100 system.

EFCO Research and Development, with its engineering and management staff, is continuing to deliver great results as it has for decades. If you are looking at shoring systems, as an example, our EFCO DECK® and E-Z DECK shoring systems deliver deck support beyond the shoring deck posts in both directions. This eliminates the need to assemble extra posts and costly fillers to reach walls and columns.

If you can use EFCO’s PLATE GIRDER self-spanning forms for, as an example, projects with bridge caps, you can eliminate shoring to the ground, the footings to support the shoring, and reduce your equipment required, along with the associated costs.

EFCO’s patented one-piece REDI-RADIUS® forming system can easily be adjusted as required for walls and tanks for inside and outside radiuses.

Using EFCO forms with their durable, high-strength alloy steel face plates, you get a single joint versus some competitors’ triple-joint concrete depressions that are left in the finished concrete and require additional effort to achieve an architectural finish.

If you have been a regular EFCO user of EFCO’s R&D products, then you benefited from a few additional products, ones we have not mentioned like E-BEAM®, Z-BEAM® and SUPER STUD®s. Take the EFCO E-BEAM galvanized lightweight steel beam, this is an updated replacement of a once popular Aluminum Beam. The E-BEAMs have a lot of advantages over its predecessor; things like lighter weight, less deflection, you can nail and/or bolt to it, it costs less, and thieves take all aluminum for scrap before they take steel.

The SUPER STUD, EFCO’s giant steel erector set, is another great EFCO invention. Just looking through this FORM MARKS magazine, you can see them being used all over, versatile and lightweight, they are great.

Here is another one, a very versatile EFCO product for handset formwork. EFCO HAND-E-FORM®s for decades and still to this date have been proven to take 25% less labor to set and strip than its nearest competitor. The panels are made of high-strength alloy steel, proven engineered accessories, and in each panel with its precision manufacturing accuracy when panels are clamped together, they give single-line panel joints that leave minimal impressions in the concrete.

We could go on and on with labor-saving features and benefits using EFCO forms and shoring equipment to save time and produce architectural concrete for projects ahead of schedule. Our mission to provide the “Best Value and Lowest In-place Concrete Costs” says it all. Please just give us the opportunity. Thanks!

Al Jennings

Chairman and CEO