At Champion Technologies, we are very proud of our long tenure providing the best and highest quality brake & friction products in the industry. The original Champion Friction was founded in 1927 by Mr. William Clubb. He envisioned a major improvement in the friction material used in steam hoists used to remove timber from the forests of the Northwest. Over time, Champion Friction Blocks became the industry standard. Champion expanded its friction materials line to include industrial brake linings and disc brakes and entered the sawmill field with a line of guides used to control and position band saw headrigs and edgers. Advanced Friction Technologies was opened in 1988 to manufacture friction compounds for the industrial friction market and merged in 2005 with Champion Friction to create Champion Technologies. Today, Champion Technologies is under fourth generation management run by Robyn Willoughby - President
Late 1800's to the Early 1900's
In the late 1800's and early 1900's, many logging operations utilized horses, oxen, steam tractors, steam donkeys and even dogs to facilitate the moving of their logs. The logging industry has always worked towards improving and advancing ways for timber to get from the forest to the mill.
Still functioning thermometer when Champion was still located in Aberdeen.
In the early 1900's a new logging tool began to emerge. The steam donkey was a large piece of equipment mounted to large logs that used steam and a winches to pull itself and/or logs up to a log landing site. Champion began manufacturing the friction blocks the steam donkeys used for braking and holding in 1927. The original friction blocks were made from layers of friction material compressed together with resin. W.H. Clubb, the founder of Champion, used to use his Aberdeen, WA home as his first press. He would jack the home off of its foundation, put the blocks in place and then lower the home down. Most friction block sets are 6 to 24 blocks. The friction blocks job has morphed over time and is still used today in many logging, mining and dredging applications.
During the 1930's, Champion moved into a manufacturing facility in downtown Aberdeen, WA. The primary product continued to be friction block sets for the steam donkeys. During the early 1930's, Mr. Clubb went up to the logging sites where he would install the friction blocks onto the steam donkeys, limiting the downtime experienced by the logging crew. Caterpillar type equipment was also becoming more common during this era. Champion had the ability to re-line the existing brake, winch, and clutch bands, lowering costs and extending equipment life.
1940's & 1950's
The donkey engine was a mainstay in the logging industry by the 1940's. The caterpillar tractor was enabling loggers to cut and load the time more quickly. Champion continued to expand its line of available products and services to keep up with the times. In 1940 Mr. Clubb's daughter, Helen, and her husband Chet, moved to Aberdeen, WA To join Mr. Clubb at Champion. In 1949, the family, with now a grandson William, moved the company to Eugene, OR. The logging community was strong and thriving in the northwest, providing an excellent opportunity for Champion. By the 1950's, the friction block had expanded and was being used in a larger variety of applications. Champion could provide a variety of friction block sets and continued to expand its re-line service. In 1952, the Aberdeen, WA facility was closed down, leaving only the Eugene office in operation. This set forth a movement in the variety of products Champion would be able to offer. Helen's husband Chet became on on-the-road salesman for the company.
1960's & 1970's
In the late 1960's Champion began expanding the product line to include manufacturing of new brake bands. Champion also began the development of anti-friction materials for sawmills and the development of their own veneer-drying bearing. Champion continues to manufacture and produce E Z® Glide and Sawguide material today. The veneer dryer bearing market grew in a direction where Champion could no longer be competitive. The friction block was continuing its usefulness in construction, mining, dredging, and forestry markets. Champion was beginning to expand its territory to beyond the west side of the nation. During the 1970's, Champion continued the growth of its anti-friction product EZ Glide®. EZ Glide® utilized the benefits of graphite to enhance the lubrication and reduce wear on the bandsaw and circular blades. Champion continues the manufacturing of EZ Glide® today. They also have expanded their fabrication departments and selection of friction lining continuing to build to keep up with the demand for their products and services.
Beginning in the early 1980's, Champion began supplying the government with friction material for their heavy-duty applications. The first large order Champion received was for the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier and was dubbed the "BGO" part for "Big Government Order". Champion continues to supply these parts for the United States Government and its allies today. Champion's products are also used on many other brake and friction applications in the defense department. Champion's non-metallic formulas are used heavily in the hydro-electric industry. The Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and many Public Works Departments utilize Champion's quality materials to slow their generator's turbines. The brake block accelerate the rate the turbines can be slowed. During the 1990's Champion began expanding its large brake band fabrication to include marine applications. The Champion-built band provided the braking power needed on both local and transoceanic barge towing vessels. Champion incorporated Eaton and Wichita parts into its inventory and began supplying the oil platform industry with coppers, expander tubes, and frictions. Champion works with a variety of companies in the Gulf Coast as a parts supplier. The brake bands are used on the winches that help stabilize oil platforms.
In the 1960s Champion began developing and researching its own friction compounds with a formula for their anti-friction department or saw guide. EZ-Glide is still used today. Beginning in the 1980s environmental and industry changes allowed for Champion to develop their own in-house friction materials. AFT-100, a molded, medium-to-heavy coefficient of friction material; and AFT-200, a woven heavy-duty friction material, were proven standards by the early 1990s. Since then, Champion has gone on to create ten more formulas: AFT-100NM, AFT-132, AFT-200NM, AFT-1006, AFT-1011, AFT-1109, AFT-610, AFT-1202, AFT-1123A, and AFT-1107. Champion's research and development department is constantly looking to improve or create new friction material formulas for new applications and projects.
Champion Technologies is celebrating 90 years of business in the friction industry. During our first four decades we primarily supplied the timber industry and today Champion has expanded into a variety of industries with friction materials for many applications. During the last decades we have developed many processes, products, and friction materials for the off-highway and industrial sectors. W.H. Clubb had a vision in 1927; his daughter Helen built upon that vision through the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. In the 1970s his grandson Bill moved it into the modern world and Clubb's 4th generation great-granddaughter Robyn will continue the legacy with a team of people, many with 30 years of loyal experience, into the years ahead. As we move into that future, we will continue to explore and expand our methods and products. Since 1927, and still Champion.
Champion Technologies Inc
845 McKinley St, Eugene, OR 97402 PO Box 1459, Eugene, OR 97440 Toll Free: 1-800-547-6180 Phone 541-687-8015 Fax: 541-344-0104