WARN INDUSTRIES: American Made Winches & So Much More!

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Were it all started for Warn. Willies Jeep with Warn hubs and winch in the companie’s HQ entry way.

Factory Tour (Oct. 10, 2012)

Warn is a Oregon company with 2 Portland, OR area facilities totalling over 400,000 sq ft and employing around 500 people. They are well-known around the world for their high quality and durable wheel hubs and winches for 4×4 applications. They also make other 4×4 accessories like bumpers, tire carriers, lighting, body armor and fender flares. Besides the consumer 4×4 market they also have a large range of products focused at military, industrial, OEM and powersports customers.

I had the pleasure recently to visit Warn’s facilities and take a tour from Andy Lilienthal, Warn’s online marketing manager. I’ll let all the pics below tell the story, but I’d like to send out a huge thank you to Warn and Andy for all the time and hospitality. It is really great to see such high quality manufacturing happening right here in the good old USA.

The hot story from Warn is the ZEON line of winches that will officially debut at the SEMA show, last week of October, with winches available at your local Warn dealer later in November. This new winch is stylish and brings each winch component to a whole nother level. It features an all aluminum drum and end housings, making it light weight and allowing it to dissipate heat more effectively. The drum also has a new line attachment system that features a pass through with a thimble instead of the traditional small screw attachment, creating a much stronger line attachment system to the winch. The list goes on from there and includes less bolts holding the end housings on in order to create less entry ways for water into the winch ends. In the end this new winch should set the standard for top of the line off-road recovery winches and I look forward to seeing the industry scramble to catch up. Innovation drives competition and competition is good for the industry and the consumer.

The big question is always: Why spend the high price tag to buy a Warn winch over the competition? The answer is a global distribution network, full parts support, tons of R&D, extreme durability, american production and a lifetime warranty on parts. A winch is a tool that needs to work every time when it is needed, and with Warn winches you can be assured that it will.

Some of the MANY patents that Warn Industries holds.

The NEW Zeon series from Warn. It took some work to get this shot, but this photo proves the Xeon does exist! Check back here soon for full coverage of the launch at SEMA ’12.

New Zeon winch spools. Check out the new pass through line attachment, should be much stronger than the old screw on style.

Warn gets LOTS of raw steel. These rods are cut down into gears for the winch internals.

Huge gatling guns at the Warn factory! Actually they are called Wickman and take huge raw steel rods and cut them down into small pucks to make gears out of.

These are the cutters that fit into the broach machines, basically a huger vertical hydraulic press that takes metal donuts and creates gears. Warn has one of the bigger broaches around called “broachzilla” for cutting big winch and hoist gears.

This is what the broach creates. Amazing to think that the broach bit is basically pressed through the metal to create this. HUGE amount of force involved!

This is a final assembly station were winches go from finished parts to fully packaged retail ready units.

Warn makes many Industrial winches and hoists as well. BIG drums and planetary gears are used on units like this!

Warn also makes many off-road items like bumpers that start out as sheet steel. These two huge laser cutters turn that flat steel into parts to be welded together to make the bumpers.

This wall is entirely made up of welding jigs. Each jig is for a different weld on a different part.

Hand welding is still highly utilized for many parts.

Fully robotic welding is also utilized.

Raw steel bumpers are just sexy!

Warn also specializes in accessories for side-by-sides and quads. This man is using a hydraulic press to shape plow blades.

Warn’s also in the OEM business making many products for the trucks you buy new on dealer lots. These are Ford 4×4 wheel hubs.

This is a wire EDM machine that Warn uses to cut prototype parts for new projects. Very cool stuff!

This is the top-secret fusion reactor that Warn is working on in order to take over the world, or it might just be another EDM machine cutting some prototype parts;) I love the humor of the fish sticker on such a high-tech machine.

Donner Pass, better known at Warn as the lunch room:)

Warn has quite a fleet of custom company trucks that tow around some really cool toys!

This fully tricked out Jeep just got back from Eastern Oregon shooting photos for the Xeon Winch release. The Xeon is so rare and valuable at this point that they don’t even leave them on vehicles that sit outside.

Warn was even nice enough to outfit my Sportsmobile with a new Zeon 12. I like how it nicely integrates into the factory front bumper. The rig has seen some road miles lately and badly needs to have some bug removal performed.

(Be sure to check back on ExploringElements.com for full coverage of the SEMA show and the launch of the Zeon Winch from Warn.)

-Get great deals on Warn Winches and help keep the adventures going at Exploring Elements by using this Amazon.com link: HERE-

(Disclaimer: At the time of this article I have no connection to Warn Industries, do not own any of their products and do not receive any compensation, besides the key chain seen above, for writing this article.)

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Comments

  1. Nice post!

    My buddy David works in Warn’s advanced projects group. It’s really cool to get an inside view of their workspace.

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