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Program films vacuum cup manufacturer

.. manufacturer, 'Cool Tools'.


May 11, 2008
By Pat Bolen*

For information on future showings of the Woods Powr-Grip episode, visit the show’s web site at: www.diynetwork.com/diy/shows_dctl/episode/0,3178,DIY_30496_54059,00.html

Thanks to the appeal of its vacuum cups, the 120 employees of Wood’s Powr-Grip in Laurel, Montana, have become national television stars after being featured on a segment of the DIY (Do It Yourself) Network’s newest television series, ‘Cool Tools’.

In business since 1964, Wood’s Powr-Grip manufactures products which use vacuum to lift, hold and position materials such as glass, plastics, engine valves, sheet metal, stone slabs and appliances. The company offers a range of hand-held vacuum cups, vacuum mounting cups and below-the-hook vacuum lifters to make materials handling easier.

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A camera operator for the DIY Network program ‘Cool Tools’ films a Wood’s Powr-Grip employee.

Powr-Grip marketing director, Joe Landsverk says the company was contacted by High Noon Entertainment, which is a video company that works with DIY and had used tools made by Powr-Grip in some of their other productions. In February, High Noon sent a camera crew to document the creation of Powr-Grip products. Landsverk says the filmmakers were primarily interested in tools appropriate for use around the home and for contractors, and were especially interested in the feature of the vacuum cup that allows a camera to be attached to a vehicle or a desktop.

“The thing that makes our cup different from most other cups is the red line vacuum indicator. When you pump the cup up, the red line stays in and when the red line begins to appear, you have to re-pump it,” he says. While Landsverk says it was the first time he had heard of the Cool Tools show, the company has had their tools featured on other shows for DIY, PBS and HGTV.

“It wasn’t a complete surprise that someone would call up and ask if it would be okay to feature our product, but it was kind of odd that they called and said we want to come there and shoot,” he says. The shoot went  smoothly and he spent the day going ahead of the film crew and letting employees know the camera was coming into their area. “It was pretty much shoot, move, shoot and move,” he explains. “It was really interesting the way it unfolded.” He adds, while the employees enjoyed the day, there is always a certain level of discomfort for anyone on television, “but everyone did really well and everyone was really excited about it.”

While production employees demonstrated their individual jobs, senior staff members explained the manufacturing processes and uses for Wood’s Powr-Grip vacuum lifters. Other personnel demonstrated products and the camera crew captured everything from welding to molding and painting. At the end of the day, Powr-Grip CEO, Bryan Wood gave an in-depth interview covering topics such as corporate history, product development and distribution.

Landsverk says while Powr-Grip has received several calls and e-mails about its products since the show aired, it is difficult to judge how much response has been generated by the episode. ‘Cool Tools’ premiered November 22 and the Wood’s Powr-Grip vacuum lifters appeared in episode 106, which premiered November 29, 2007. -end-

*Pat Bolan is a freelance writer based in Exeter, Ontario.


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