COMPANY PROFILE

ONGUARD LLC

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CONTACT INFO

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Address

1034 Jennings Ave, Suite 306
Santa Rosa
CA, 95401
United States
Phone
707-508-5758
Fax
Primary
Michele Badker

ONGUARD SEISMIC SYSTEMS

 

 

INTRODUCING THE ULTIMATE SAFEGUARD

The consistency of large seismic events in recent years has proved that infrastructure and people in earthquake-prone areas are constantly at risk. Earthquakes do, and will, strike without warning.

 

ONGUARD’s Founder and Managing Director, Will Lomax, stood alongside a winery owner in the aftermath of a 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand M6.6 earthquake, and witnessed thousands of liters of valuable, hard-earned wine disappear down the drain as a result of damage inflicted to the tanks. He vowed to create an engineering solution that would protect liquid processing and storage tanks from this kind of damage in the future. The result is ONGUARD, with cutting edge technology it's the first genuine seismic tank system specifically designed to protect liquid storage tanks and their contents from earthquake damage and loss.

 

Developed in New Zealand by structural engineers with first-hand experience of the destructive power of earthquakes, ONGUARD’s patented tension and compression system dissipates seismic energy in a controlled manner, keeping the tank and its contents protected.  

The integrated system is built to provide high levels of seismic risk mitigation with the ability to continuously withstand multiple aftershocks. It can be specified from the ground up with new tank installations, including tanks on stands, or retro-fitted to existing tanks to improve their earthquake performance and introduce much-needed resilience.

 

ONGUARD provides an unrivaled level of performance, protection and peace of mind.

 

THE PROBLEM:

Earthquakes are a daily occurrence throughout much of the world and the risk of serious damage to your facility is a real and ever present threat.

Liquid storage tanks are traditionally fixed to their foundations with mechanical connections that, once a single earthquake pulse has caused them to fail, offer no resistance to subsequent cycles of the earthquake and aftershocks. Unfortunately, no one knows when, or how big, your next earthquake will be, and an event large enough to cause a failure could strike at any time.

 

The negative downstream impacts of these events are numerous, and often not appreciated until it’s too late: loss of product and expensive clean up; loss of sales and market share; infrastructure damage and costly repairs; business disruption; compromised workplace safety;  and financial blows to both the bottom line and the balance sheet.


 

OUR SOLUTION:

Until now, tank design the world over has been based on design codes that were developed to protect only people, not property. Knowing from experience that failing to protect your facility and your product from earthquakes could be catastrophic for your business, ONGUARD has reversed this approach and created a system focused primarily on preventing earthquake damage and loss, knowing that in doing so people will be inherently protected too. The result is a system that provides protection from seismic activity, can be quickly and cheaply reset after an event, and minimizes the potential for negative impact to both lives and livelihoods.


HOW IT WORKS:

The ONGUARD anchors are welded to the tank around its base where it connects to the tank foundation or welded to the base of the tanks where they connect with the stands. During an earthquake, they prevent the tank from overturning by holding it down, whilst dissipating seismic energy through yielding of the anchors.

 

The energy dissipating element within each ONGUARD anchor acts as a seismic fuse. Once the fuse has done its job it can be inspected and if needed quickly, easily and cheaply replaced using everyday tools and with no specialist skills or experience. Full earthquake readiness is reinstated with minimal fuss.

 

RETRO-FITTING:

Existing tanks with traditional anchorages pose a great threat to your operations. While most older tanks don't meet modern design codes, this threat is greater still.

 

Using gathered information, ONGUARD engineers are able to calculate the earthquake strength of an existing tank system and quantify the level of earthquake risk that it poses. They can then specify a type and number of ONGUARD anchors that, when added around the base of the tank to replace the tank’s existing anchorage system, will activate in an earthquake before any other element of the system fails. The new ONGUARD anchors protect the remainder of the system from damage by introducing much-needed ductility and resilience, delivering improved earthquake resistance and performance, and giving you peace of mind.

 

As you would expect, by reducing your exposure to earthquake risk and the negative consequences of damage from seismic events, retro-fitting the ONGUARD seismic system to your existing tanks can provide tangible financial benefits in the form of reduced insurance premiums and deductibles.

 

ENGINEERING & DESIGN EXPERTISE:

ONGUARD was born out of the innovation hotbed of Christchurch, New Zealand, a city with a reputation for producing some of the world’s finest structural designers and earthquake engineering techniques. In recent times this capability has been further enhanced by the need to regroup and rebuild following the city’s own devastating earthquake. Behind ONGUARD’s innovative seismic technology lies a very capable and experienced team of structural engineers and designers with a reputation for thinking outside the box. By combining the very latest design tools and methods with their customary innovative thinking, 

 

ONGUARD’s engineers consistently provide their clients with exceptional results.

With many years of experience working in the wine industry, the ONGUARD team has amassed an impressive portfolio of winery infrastructure and process design. Its thorough understanding of the subtleties and nuances of the wine industry has been a key contributor to the success of the ONGUARD seismic system. The ONGUARD team speak the same language as winery owners, winemakers and cellar staff, and as a result are well placed to meet the industry’s needs.

 

THE ONGUARD VALUE PROPOSITION:

Protects People:

By ensuring your tanks and surrounding infrastructure are secure, you reduce the risk of injury or death resulting from tanks rupturing or collapsing during an earthquake. By adopting the ONGUARD system you are meeting your statutory obligations to maintain a safe workplace and ensure the safety of your staff.

Protects Place:

Your infrastructure is a key asset, and its protection is paramount to the continuation of business during, and following, a seismic event. ONGUARD minimizes the risk of damage to your infrastructure, and of the costly repairs and downtime that would follow.

Protects Product:

Product is possibly your greatest asset and the lifeblood of your business. Your product delivers your profits. ONGUARD ensures it is held securely within your tanks during an earthquake and its aftershocks.

Protects Position:

We understand that market share is gained through consistency of delivery and customer satisfaction over a long period of time. Loss of product, or the inability to produce due to infrastructure damage, could result in loss of valuable market share to your competitors and take years to reverse. ONGUARD helps to guarantee a sustainable future for your business in spite of earthquake risk.

Protects Profit:

Profit is the fuel that keeps your business running. Lost product, lost markets, costly repairs to infrastructure and insurance deductibles all hit profits hard. By protecting your tanks, you’re protecting the entire feasibility of your business.

Protects Platform:

Being able to maintain your operation is crucial, especially during times of peak activity. After an event or series of events that may have activated the ONGUARD anchors, the sacrificial element within each anchor can be simply, quickly and cheaply replaced using everyday tools and with no specialist expertise or knowledge. ONGUARD protects your infrastructure, keeping any business interruption to a minimum and making sure that you maintain full production capability at all times.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ONGUARD


These are the specific products and services that ONGUARD provides to its clients to ensure that they benefit from world-class, unparalleled earthquake risk mitigation:

 

ONGUARD Services:

ONGUARD is an integrated system of tank, anchorage, foundation, and connected infrastructure such as maintenance walkways and piped services. We take a lead role in the design space, bringing together other partners and professionals to make sure that each part of the system will work in structural harmony with others and maintain our promise of protected tank and protected product.

 

This design is conveyed in the form of detailed design documentation and specifications produced by ONGUARD and its partners. ONGUARD delivers this through excellent communication and the use of tried and tested technical, administrative and logistical systems as part of an end-to-end service.

 

ONGUARD Products:

The key elements of the ONGUARD system are the patented energy-dissipating seismic anchors. These are manufactured in New Zealand to exacting standards and using a range of materials, each specifically selected and certified for its performance and durability. This hardware is provided as part of the ONGUARD system and is packaged and shipped to you, your contractor, tank supplier or other installer.

 

Detailed drawings, methodologies and specifications are provided to assist with installation and set our standards for quality. ONGUARD representatives or partners are always on hand to give technical advice before, during and after installation.

Onguard Seismic System on Tanks
Onguard Seismic System on Tanks
17 ton capacity Onguard anchor units fitted to 60,000 gallon tanks
Onguard Seismic Anchor
Onguard Seismic Anchor
Onguard anchors provide controlled yielding in both tension and compression throughout an earthquake and its aftershocks.
Onguard Seismic Anchor Disassembled
Onguard Seismic Anchor Disassembled
The energy dissipating element within each ONGUARD anchor acts as a seismic fuse.
Ray's Station, Hopland CA
Ray's Station, Hopland CA
Onguard anchor units fitted to 65,000 gallon tanks
**NEW ** Tank-on-Stand Anchors
**NEW ** Tank-on-Stand Anchors
Introducing our new full range of Tank-on-Stand Anchors
Installation Process
Installation Process
Scott Stroh of Dimensions in Metal drilling the slab for an Onguard installation
Will in San Francisco
Will in San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
Premium Exports
Premium Exports
View
WIN Expo Interview w/ Will Lomax
WIN Expo Interview w/ Will Lomax
Interview with Will Lomax at WIN Expo 2019
This is Onguard
This is Onguard
Developed by structural engineers with first-hand experience of the destructive power of earthquakes.
We Are Onguard
We Are Onguard
Developed by structural engineers with first-hand experience of the destructive power of earthquakes. We are Onguard.
About the Onguard Group
About the Onguard Group
Developed by structural engineers with first-hand experience of the destructive power of earthquakes.
Onguard Customer Testimonials
Onguard Customer Testimonials
Hear about our process and anchor system from clients that have experienced it in action as well as those proactively protecting their business.

News Archive


Innovative Tank Anchoring Design Protects People and Product from Potentially Devastating Earthquake Loss
10 February, 2020

According to Will Lomax, most people are fatalistic about the possibility of a destructive earthquake happening sometime in their lives. They cross their fingers, hope for the best and figure if the big one comes, there’s nothing they can do about it anyway.

But they’re wrong, Lomax believes. People can get prepared. And he should know.

Lomax is the Founder and President of Onguard seismic systems, a company dedicated to providing engineered solutions for controlled and dependable protection of liquid storage tanks during an earthquake event.

As a structural engineer working in the New Zealand wine industry for more than 15 years, Lomax had long been seriously concerned about the ability of storage tanks to withstand the powerful shaking caused by seismic shifting.


His fears were realized in 2013 when a strong earthquake hit Marlborough, wreaking havoc in several of the facilities he was working in.

“Sauvignon Blanc was spraying all over the wineries from tanks that had been ruptured,” Lomax reminisces. “I saw all this business literally going down the drain. I decided to do something about it.”

The Onguard system Lomax developed as a result works through a series of energy dissipaters that connect a storage tank to its foundation or supporting structure. In the event of an earthquake, the energy is absorbed through the anchor system, keeping the wine in the tank and sparing the tank itself from damage.

“We have a range of sizes of dissipaters,” Lomax explains. “We can adapt the size and quantity of the anchors to any particular tank or site.”


Two years after Lomax rolled out Onguard in New Zealand, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake again struck the region, causing two full minutes of shaking.

Lomax says that the 300 or so tanks his company had fitted with his Onguard system revealed no damage anywhere.

“Pretty much every other tank with wine in fell over,” he reports. “It was a great endorsement.”

The benefits of the Onguard seismic system are compelling. It protects:

  • Product – the lifeblood of a business
  • People – through reduced risk of injury or death caused by rupture
  • Position in market – guaranteeing a sustainable business future
  • Profit – essential to a business’s entire feasibility
  • Place – provides infrastructure safety, minimizing the risk of damage and downtown
  • Platform – keeps business interruption to a minimum

The insurance industry recognizes this risk reduction and offers benefits to those who invest in the system. Onguard is actively working with re-insurers to provide preferential insurance terms that will encourage owners to reduce earthquake risk.

Onguard has also released a new software system to its U.S. customers, which was created to make the design of the system even easier. Called “Mohawk,” the software allows users to design the Onguard system of tank shell, anchors and foundation to their own site specifications in-house.

In addition, a telemetric monitoring system called “Tygr Eye” is currently under testing in New Zealand. Tygr Eye will enable the precise monitoring of Onguard’s sacrificial dissipaters after a seismic event to determine if they need replacement to ensure complete efficacy and safety into the future. Replacement is cheap, fast and easy.

For more information and orders go to: https://www.onguardgroup.com.


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Onguard Seismic System Provides Tangible Benefits for Your Tanks
27 January, 2020

Earthquakes do, and will, strike without warning. Is your business at risk?

ONGUARD can help Protect your People, Protect your Product, Protect your Facility, Protect your Market Share and Protect your Profit.

FEATURING:

  • Anchors for TANKS on STANDS
  • RETRO FITTING for existing tanks

As you would expect, by reducing your exposure to earthquake risk and the negative consequences of damage from seismic events, the ONGUARD seismic system on your tanks can provide tangible benefits. To learn more, stop by our booth P2263 at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium!

Onguard LLC
UWGS Booth: P2263


Onguard Makes It Easier to Support Tanks on Stands
26 December, 2019

Following recent innovations made by our designers and engineers, Onguard is now able to fit seismic anchors to tanks that are supported by stands. This development also opens up the possibility to retrofit a huge variety of liquid storage tanks; giving winery and tank owners who keep their tanks on stands the ability to safeguard thousands of gallons in the event of an earthquake – without needing to purchase entirely new tanks.

In the past, whether it was a new system or a retrofit, the Onguard hardware would typically anchor the tank to its concrete base or foundation. However, we’re now able to design and install the hardware at the tank/stand interface on most of the new or existing tanks on stands that we’re seeing across the USA.

This new development also has the potential to lower the cost of new winery construction. If your stands are of sufficient strength, the reduced load that this places on concrete slabs underneath means that wineries can be designed with thinner slabs and potentially less steel. It also means that the Onguard system is often compatible with existing thin slabs that would otherwise need to be removed and replaced.

To learn more about this cutting-edge development, click here to see how the seismic tank system works. By yielding and shortening in tension and compression, Onguard’s ductile anchors keep tanks safe in the event of an earthquake and protect the valuable contents inside.

Alternatively, contact us today to find out how we can help to safeguard your facility.


Onguard Wins 2019 Wine Supplier Award for Securing Tanks from Quakes
13 December, 2019

For developing systems designed to limit damage to wine tanks from quakes, Onguard of Santa Rosa is picked for the supplier category of North Bay Business Journal's Wine, Beer + Spirits Industry Awards of 2019.

Onguard engineered a game-changing tank and silo anchoring solution. Our solution is the first genuine seismic tank system specifically designed to protect liquid storage tanks and their contents from earthquake damage and loss.

What is something about your company that people would be surprised to learn?

Founder Will Lomax is an Englishman with residency in New Zealand who’s now spending a great deal of time in the U.S. Onguard takes earthquakes and seismic-anchoring seriously, but our focus on the customer experience called for a “Director of Hugs and Cuddles.”

How have requirements of your customers changed in the last five years, and what has your company done to meet those requirements?

Since our company is only five years old and in the U.S. for three years, we are continually learning new ways to best educate customers about our seismic- anchoring system.

What are two or three projects your company is in the midst of or planning to begin within the next year?

Onguard just developed a smaller size anchor that works for tanks on stands. With the hiring of a new engineer, Onguard will start retrofitting existing tanks. We are also launching a cloud-based monitoring system, called Tygr Eye, to be installed in conjunction with the anchors.

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL - December 11


IQ 2019: CALIFORNIA IS CALLING
14 May, 2019

We’re off to IQ 2019 - the Wine Business Innovation and Quality event – being held on the 22nd and 23rd of May in Napa, California. As this is a one-of-a-kind forum focused on innovations that advance wine quality, it’s the perfect time and place to showcase Onguard.

The Onguard seismic system is a world first for protecting people, product and property throughout earthquakes and aftershocks.

We’ll be setting up at booth 201 with our world-class technology and engineered solutions for controlled and dependable seismic protection of liquid storage tanks. Whether you’re a grower, winemaker, or vineyard owner or manager, we encourage you to visit us to learn more and have any questions answered face to face with our experts.


Visit Us at IQ 2019 May 22-23
18 April, 2019

Onguard Seismic Systems delivers world class technology and engineered solutions for controlled and dependable seismic protection of liquid storage tanks.

Come visit Onguard LLC at booth 201 to learn more about our products and services.

 

Take a Look How an Onguard Anchor Works During an Earthquake
09 January, 2019

Our system is a world first for protecting people, product and property throughout earthquakes and aftershocks.

Check out our video to see all the components in macro detail and get a rare look at how the inside of an Onguard anchor works when the unthinkable happens.

 

 


We Are Onguard
25 October, 2018

Developed by structural engineers with first-hand experience of the destructive power of earthquakes. We are Onguard.


Alpine Fault Earthquake Likely to Happen
26 September, 2018

Studies at Alpine Fault (New Zealand) excavation sites have showed that a large earthquake is expected to occur on the fault every 300 years or so. And this article explains it well!

With the last one occurring in 1717, now more than ever it’s important to be prepared and avoid any risks. ONGUARD Systems have been designed to prevent earthquake damage and loss to your product and property.

 

Secure your business and protect your people with unparalleled earthquake risk mitigation: https://www.onguardgroup.com/

 

 


Premium Exports Equal Premium Lifestyles
21 April, 2017

In the global marketplace, real sustainable export success comes from being the best in the world at what you do. Make no mistake, trying to break into intensely competitive global markets with second rate products doesn’t cut the mustard. New Zealand has proven it’s right up there in some fields. For example, the country’s farmers have been brilliantly successful at dairying. Unfortunately, our dairy industry is also heavily focused on exporting milk powder, which is a commodity and vulnerable to volatile swings in demand and supply. This puts farmers, banks and the wider New Zealand economy at risk. Another challenge with being so successful at dairying is the industry has reached its scale limits because of environmental constraints. The risk to rivers, flora and fauna is now too great to scale further. From this point, we must look to develop and export high value products packed with knowledge. To be fair, New Zealand’s top 100 technology companies already export around $5 billion per annum, which is great start. But…we need to do better. To match Australia's current per capita GDP New Zealand needs ten times the current output of environmentally benign businesses. That’s a big stretch with our current attitude to producing premium, high-value export products.

So, what do we do? Sir Paul Callaghan famously suggested, “What we excel in are the niches, the little pieces of the world of technology where the big players can't be bothered, but which, because of the 500 times factor, can be huge for us.”And why is this per capita GDP thing such a big deal? Pretty simple really. New Zealanders enjoy some of the best lifestyles in the world and I’m pretty sure most of us would like this to continue. The landscape is beautiful, the people are warm and welcoming, and the future is full of potential. It isn’t called Godzone for nothing. The challenge of course, is making sure it stays this way and even though New Zealand is one of the world’s premier agricultural powerhouses, being good at ‘Ag’ just isn’t enough.

In the engineering and technology space Onguard Seismic Systems, a Christchurch company backed by innovative engineering group Structex has shown that investing in world class thinking can be converted into world class exporting. The development of Onguard Seismic Systems supports Sir Paul Callaghan’s statement above. In many ways, Onguard should have been unlikely, even improbable. This incredible engineering innovation, which now protects hundreds of wine tanks in New Zealand and California, originated from a boutique engineering firm operating in one of the smallest wine producing countries in the world. Sure, New Zealand is highly seismic, so there is an obvious problem to be solved, but so is nearly every other wine growing region in the world. In particular, San Francisco, which is becoming the global exporting platform for Onguard.

Wineries, tank manufacturers and consulting engineers there are embracing and widely specifying the new technology. This is the sort of ‘smarts’ New Zealand needs. This is how you increase per capita GDP and this is how you retain a premium lifestyle and a world class standard of living. Equally relevant, is not one of the huge multi-nationals resplendent with unlimited R & D budgets managed to see the opportunity. The engineers at Onguard did. By doing so they have provided some clues to those watching about what is required to innovate a premium class technology, and successfully export it to the world. I might add, they didn’t get much help. The entire commercialization program was managed and funded in-house.

The fact is though, Onguard is a rare stand out. Unfortunately, New Zealand R&D still ranks in the bottom quarter of the OECD and far below leading small countries. Business investment in R&D (BERD) is 0.54 percent of GDP, a third of the OECD average of 1.62 percent, which places New Zealand in the bottom quarter of the OECD. Small advanced economies like Denmark, Finland and Israel typically invest more than 3 percent in R&D. Onguard is one company bucking the trend. They have proven it can be done…so come on innovators, take Onguard’s lead and let’s have plenty more. Our premium lifestyles depend on it.

 


AN IMMINENT THREAT TO YOUR WINERY & INVESTMENT...
30 January, 2017

The consistency of large seismic sequences in recent years has proved that infrastructure and people in earthquake-prone areas are constantly at risk. Earthquakes do, and will, strike without warning.

ONGUARD’s Founder and Managing Director, Will Lomax, stood alongside a winery owner client in the aftermath of a 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand earthquake, and witnessed thousands of liters of valuable, hard-earned wine disappear down the drain as a result of damage inflicted to the tanks. He vowed to create an engineering solution that would protect liquid processing and storage operations from this kind of damage in the future. The result, ONGUARD, is the first genuine seismic tank system specifically designed to protect liquid storage tanks and their contents from earthquake damage and loss, which may only be a small part of the real loss you will incur if you can’t supply your valuable markets.

Developed in New Zealand by structural engineers with first-hand experience of the destructive power of earthquakes, ONGUARD’S patented tension and compression system dissipates seismic energy in a controlled manner, keeping the tank and its contents protected.

 

 

No other system on the market today offers the same level of performance, protection and peace of mind.

 


THE ULTIMATE TANK SAFEGUARD SURVIVES THE ULTIMATE TEST
02 December, 2016

Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine growing region, was put through another brutal and destructive display of mother nature’s power on November 14th 2016. This time she wasn’t playing around. The earthquake released energy equivalent to eight million tons of TNT or if you prefer, the power of 400 atom bombs. In anyone’s language, that’s a BIG event. The repair bill is going to

be big too. Current predictions are already going past NZ$6 billion and counting. Seismologists are still trying to digest the complexity of the latest multiple-fault event.

There have been thousands of landslides, destroyed roads, damaged bridges and buckled railway tracks. Buildings have fallen and peoples’ lives have been completely disrupted. Along the coastline you can now walk out to where there was once water and hand pick stranded lobster and abalone off the rocks.

In a winery setting, a quake of this magnitude with this level of destructive power is a winery owner’s worst nightmare. As soon as they feel it, they know it’s going to cause expensive, disruptive and energy-sapping chaos. It’s going to impact their cash f low, their profit and loss, and their balance sheet. When seismic events of this magnitude hit, apart from doing your best to protect yourself, there isn’t much else you can do. If wine is running down the road, all you can do is watch.

You’re powerless and you either lean on lady luck, or get philosophical. Both, probably, and some great wine might help too.

Of course, there is always an amazing story to be derived from such an event. This time one of the biggest stories is definitely the amazing performance of Onguard

Seismic Systems. The system has delivered everything it promised. It has lived up to its billing as the Ultimate Safeguard. Standing amongst damaged and fallen wine tanks the wine tanks designed and protected by Onguard have distinguished and differentiated themselves

by performing remarkably. There are zero reports of damage. The progressive wineries who took the plunge and made the decision to specify and install the new system after the last quakes are breathing a sigh of relief. As the images demonstrate, they are dealing with a lot less stress, a lot less damage, and a lot less expense this time around.

Onguard originated from the Marlborough earthquakes in 2013. Will Lomax and his innovative team of engineers

were simply not satisfied with the current levels of design or with the seismic technology on offer. They knew they could do better and the latest event proves beyond any doubt these guys know what they’re doing. Onguard Seismic Systems has stared down mother nature and passed the ultimate test with f lying colours

No other system on the market today offers the same level of performance, protection and peace of mind.

 


Onguard: On the Road to Sonoma
15 November, 2016

WINEXPO 2016 

The 5th Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo is getting ready to showcase the best of the best in the wine industry for this year on December 1, 2016. This North Coast event just keeps growing, getting bigger, and getting better every year. Its approachable, interactive format allows people to get up close and personal to important industry players: the cutting-edge thinkers making a difference in the wine world. The by-word for the WINEXPO has to be innovation. It’s also about letting wine industry people see things they haven’t seen before, and allowing them to meet people they haven’t met before. In this way, the event brings innovation and people together. It’s how new ideas gain traction. Everyone loves something new and being able to talk with the manufacturers and innovators first-hand really helps. Industry commentators are saying for this reason the Sonoma-based event is quite different from its Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Sacramento cousins, which makes it a must see wine event.

Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino Counties represent some of the most incredible and beautiful vineyards in the world and they’re home to some of the greatest wine and wine makers on the planet. Alongside this wine industry firepower and on display at the EXPO will be some of the most advanced thinking and products available in the wine industry today. It’s an absolute must see for anyone wanting to understand the wine industry cutting edge. The vibe at Sonoma will be innovation focused and it will encompass future proofing. Exhibitors will be demonstrating how making the right calls today can ensure you have a sustainable, efficient and profitable wine business tomorrow.

Sitting amongst the industry’s elite innovations this year will be a New Zealand developed seismic system designed to protect wine tanks. Onguard Seismic Systems has rapidly become the default specification for wineries across New Zealand where winery owners face the constant threat of damaging earthquakes. There was a 5.0 magnitude quake shaking houses yesterday at the same time this blog was being written. They happen, and they happen all the time.

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and with snow-capped mountains comes fault lines and seismic risk. That said, it’s water off a duck’s back for Kiwi wine makers. They have proven to be resilient, innovative and most importantly they’ve shown they can make some of the world’s best wine. Like their colleagues in California, Kiwi wine producers have adopted a new world approach to growing grapes and making wine. Not constrained by tradition, New Zealand and Californian wine makers have successfully experimented with new processes and shaped new methodologies the old wine world would not have considered…and still struggle to consider. For all of us that love great wine, thank goodness our maverick new world wine makers have had the courage of their convictions.  We have some amazing wine to show for it, along with some class leading wine making technology.

Fresh thinking about wine making has allowed the gloves to come off elsewhere too. Traditional winery design, wine tank design and winery construction methods are all being challenged. Innovation lives and breathes. Non-conformist winemakers and engineers are continuously challenging and disrupting the status quo…in great ways. Their efforts are helping the industry make better wine for wine consumers, and better wineries for wine producers. Having access to the latest technology provides unfair advantages as well.

For example, being able to effectively address wine security, earthquake risk and safer working environments is critical to risk mitigation strategy today. It allows key wine executives, winery owners and bank managers to sleep at night.

Using technology to your advantage makes sense, and protecting what you love makes even more sense. One key way to achieve this is by making sure you include the best seismic systems available on the market today in your next project and the best seismic systems come from Onguard. They are the market leader in seismic systems for wine tanks and the latest research and innovation is built into every Onguard system, every Onguard design, and every Onguard product. There is no better protection. Onguard is…the ultimate safeguard.

Catch up with Onguard Managing Director Will Lomax and Administration Manager Libby Ornsby at the WINEXPO 2016. Come and meet the guys and get the full story behind one of the great innovations in the wine industry today. Onguard will be at Sonoma Showgrounds Booth # 806 on Thursday, December, 1, 2016.

Will and Libby’s contact details are available at www.onguardgroup.com

 


Earthquakes
29 August, 2016

Shaken, Creative and Perfectly Engineered.

Stirred, shaken, neat, on the rocks, with a twist, straight up, with a kick or dirty. And that’s just to get the creative juices flowing. In 2013, earthquakes, entrepreneurship and engineering were mixed together in a cocktail of innovation. Mother nature had made a visit to Marlborough and like a good night out, left many with a pretty big hangover. This was certainly true of winery owners who saw their beloved wineries damaged in front of their eyes.

Witnessing this phenomenon unfold was a group of entrepreneurial engineers from Christchurch who live for the challenge of solving technical problems. To these guys, the damaged wine tanks presented an opportunity to stretch their minds, test their engineering capabilities and push limits. History convincingly demonstrates that combining entrepreneurship with engineering, more often than not, equals progress. It started with the wheel and its never stopped. In this case, it started with a forensic analysis of why wine tanks in Marlborough wineries had incurred so much damage. It finished with an innovative new seismic anchoring system being offered to the market. That system is now being rolled out across the wineries of New Zealand and California. Two pin up poster locations for seismic activity.

Factoid: “The San Andreas fault line in California is the longest in the world. It sits between the Pacific and North American plates and measures 1300kms.” Paglin, M. 2016

Now, back on point. Progressing new technologies isn’t easy, and achieving a quantum leap is even more challenging, but that’s what happened in Marlborough. With the invention of Onguard, winery owners finally have access to an advanced seismic system. It’s being called the ultimate safeguard and it is. Bringing the product to market wasn’t easy. It hasn’t been all Mojitos, Manhattans and Martinis. At Otago University they teach Master of Entrepreneurship students to expect a failure rate of nine out of ten. That shows you how hard it is to get an idea off the ground. There are a gazillion reasons not to do almost anything.

Despite the odds, Onguard is alive and well and protecting wine tanks. It’s a great New Zealand success story and it’s a powerful case study in how to identify a problem, develop a solution, validate a market and commercialize a new technology. Onguard has provided a real time lesson for all innovators in ‘how’ you do it. It’s the kind of innovative venture the New Zealand government (and many others) are trying desperately to encourage. Interestingly, sometimes, it just comes down to an attitude, an entrepreneurial attitude and that can’t easily be grafted on, conjured up, or invented. It lives in the culture of the organization…or it doesn’t. At Onguard it lives.

The net result and well deserved reward for this collaboration between entrepreneurship and engineering is a finalist nomination in the 2016 Champion Canterbury Business Awards. There will be plenty of support for these guys too and one thing is certain, no matter how the night ends up, there will be cocktails shaken and stirred and there will be one seismic celebration. Congratulations to an innovative Christchurch engineering company and its very earthquake experienced engineers.


AIRBAGS FOR WINE TANKS?
15 August, 2016

Airbag Protected Wine by Onguard

 

Well, ok….not quite, no such thing exists. There is however, a seismic system now available to protect wine tanks from damaging seismic events and it shares the airbag concept. It is designed to protect what’s valuable. Just like an airbag it’s there when you need it, its insurance. Designed and developed in response to the recent 2013 earthquakes in Seddon and Marlborough the ONGUARD Seismic Tank system is specifically tailored for the protection of stainless steel wine tanks. The idea and concept comes from Structex Studio 2, an engineering company based in Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand.

So do Marlborough Wineries really need to bother? Here is an excerpt from the Marlborough District Council’s own website:

http://www.marlborough.govt.nz/Environment/Natural-Hazards/Earthquake.aspx

“Marlborough lies within the highest earthquake risk zone in New Zealand. This is because the district is crossed by a series of fault lines associated with the relative movements of the tectonic plates beneath New Zealand. The Wairau, Awatere and Clarence faults are an extension of the Alpine Fault, as are a number of other active faults of limited extent.”

Losing valuable wine is expensive and in many situations preventable with correctly designed seismic systems. Damage to tanks, associated infrastructure and barrel racks can be mitigated significantly with the right approach to seismic design and systems.

On August 24, 2014 a magnitude 6.0 quake caused an estimated USD $80 – 100 million in damage to wineries in the Napa valley. Total damage in the region is estimated to be in the billions and they’re still counting.

“The Napa Valley Vintners trade group was collecting damage assessments from its members. The toll appeared to be worse at wineries close to downtown Napa and the quake’s epicenter. But with more than 500 wineries in the region, a complete estimate of total damages to the valley’s $13 billion industry could take at least another day. Many of the largest wineries were tight-lipped about their condition.” Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Airbags…seismic systems…nice to know they’re there, just in case.


“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels….”
15 August, 2016

As the great Steve Jobs highlighted, “You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things...”. Will Lomax, Onguard’s Founder and Technical Director, is intent on changing things too. He would have got on well with the late Steve Jobs. Both men share a love of superb aesthetics and quality design. Both men demand excellence and both have a proven appetite for challenge. Bringing Onguard Seismic Systems to life has demanded the astute use of, and commitment to, all of these traits. It’s a salient point, because pushing the edge isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people deliberately step away from edges of every kind. That’s why changing anything isn’t easy.

The catalyst for changing the way wine tanks are protected came from Will and Onguard’s engineering team working alongside Marlborough winery owners while assessing the damage to their wineries after the 2013 earthquakes. Delivering the news on expensive repairs and seeing the resultant pain and frustration on owners’ faces focuses the mind. It was patently obvious the failure of traditional systems was demanding a better engineering response, and now, so were owners. Team Onguard responded by designing an innovative, more capable and significantly better seismic system. In doing so, they’ve changed things. A better mouse trap is here. Their new system is rapidly becoming the default specification for savvy structural engineers and risk averse winery owners.

The highlight for the company in 2016 has been setting up the operation in hustling, bustling, and ultra-cool San Francisco. California dreaming is no longer a dream. It’s now reality and proves yet again that a ‘can-do’ and ‘will-do’ attitude helps New Zealand firms punch well above their weight. That said, there’s more to being innovative than just having a great idea. Any idea needs believers, and businesses need their believers to prove their belief by becoming paying customers. Winery owners are certainly doing just that and as a result Onguard is in growth mode. Successfully crossing the pacific the company has installed the new system into the premium Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma, California.

Kenwood Vineyards was established in the 1970’s. They were a pioneer then, and after 46 vintages, they’re still a pioneer. This time they’re showing their pioneering spirit by becoming an early adopter of Onguard’s new seismic technology. Not surprisingly, pioneers have a habit of being first, and pioneers generally ‘get’ other pioneers. Kenwood’s winning philosophy is built around an uncompromising commitment to producing the very best wine. Onguard’s philosophy is built around an uncompromising commitment to producing the very best protection for that wine.

Onguard has been an upstart with attitude right from the beginning, and like all upstarts, it wouldn’t lie down when it was told to by those who wanted to believe the world is still flat. Onguard engineers knew there had to be a better way to protect wine tanks from earthquakes and they were the first company to really stand up and challenge the status quo. Not satisfied with the traditional approach to protecting customer’s wine tanks they came up with a completely new approach, and in doing so have created the ultimate safeguard.

www.onguardgroup.com

Author: Jim Wilkes, Managing Partner @ Troika.


INTRODUCING THE ULTIMATE SAFEGUARD: ONGUARD SEISMIC TANK SYSTEMS
02 July, 2016

 

THE PROBLEM

 

THE SHORT STORY

Earthquakes are a daily occurrence throughout much of the world and the risk of serious damage to your infrastructure is a real and ever present threat.

Liquid storage tanks are traditionally fixed to their foundations with mechanical connections that, once a single earthquake pulse has caused them to fail, offer no resistance to subsequent cycles of the earthquake and aftershocks. Unfortunately, no one knows when, or how big, your next earthquake will be, and an event large enough to cause a failure could strike at any time.

The negative downstream impacts of these events are numerous, and often not appreciated until it’s too late: lengthy, expensive and unplanned remediation work; business disruption; compromised workplace safety; loss of hard-won market share; and financial blows to both the bottom line and the balance sheet.

 

 

 

OUR SOLUTION

 

THE SHORT STORY

 

Until now, tank design the world over has been based on design codes that were developed to protect only people, not property. Knowing from experience that failing to protect your facility and your product from earthquakes could be catastrophic for your business, ONGUARD’s inventors reversed this approach and created a system that is focused primarily on preventing earthquake damage and loss, knowing that in doing so people will be inherently protected too. The result is a system that provides protection from seismic activity, can be quickly and cheaply reset after an event, and minimizes the potential for negative impact to both lives and livelihoods.

 

(Click image for a larger view)

Trade Show Booth # Information
WiVi Central Coast Wine Industry Conference and Tradeshow 2020
31 Mar, 2021 to 31 Mar, 2021
Paso Robles, CA
600 Introducing Onguard's new Tank-on-Stands anchors. We will also be talking about Tygr Eye, our new anchor monitoring system.

Justin Winery - Paso Robles CA

Francis Ford Coppola Winery - Geyserville CA

Kenwood Vineyards - Kenwood CA

Ray's Station / Vintage Winery - Hopland CA

Meridian Vineyard - Paso Robles CA

Caymus Vineyards - Vacaville CA

Ozeki Sake - Hollister CA

 

 

Download(s):

Title Name Email Phone
Founder / Managing Director Will Lomax wlomax@onguardgroup.com 707-308-5299
Global Operations Manager Libby Ornsby lornsby@onguardgroup.com 707-308-5731
VP Business Development Michele Badker mabadker@onguardgroup.com 707-508-5758
VP Sales Scott Erwin serwin@onguardgroup.com 805-712-9023
Design Engineer Sterling Wallstrum swallstrum@onguardgroup.com 707-703-6899
Main Office onguard@onguardgroup.com 877-475-3653
ONGUARD seismic tank system for Tanks-on-Stands
ONGUARD's patented tension/compression anchors for tanks on stands
ONGUARD seismic tank system
ONGUARD's patented tension/compression tank anchors