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Panel industry targets value-added services.

VALUE-ADDED SERVICES

In today's custom panel market, customer demands are pushing custom panel suppliers to new limits. In the past, cut-to-size, thickness, quick delivery times and sanding were the major services offered by custom panel suppliers. The current trend among custom panel producers is to offer "one-stop shopping" to their customers by offering a wider variety of value-added services with a wider range of choices including custom boring, routing, laminating or veneering, and edgebanding to meet the demands of their buyers.

At least four major factors have invited custom panel suppliers to increase business by adding more custom panel services. Improved particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF) technology, installation of new automated machinery, producer diversification and reliable service have kept custom panel producers moving through sluggish economic times.

Better materials

Research and development of particleboard and MDF has rendered products far superior to boards produced in the past in terms of surface smoothness and machinability. This is due to increased trade communication and increasingly demanding application in the particleboard industry, according to National Particleboard Assn. Executive Vice President Bill McCredie. He parallels particleboard experimentation to baking cookies. "The more you bake, the better you get," he said.

Different types of particleboard are meant for certain applications and particleboard is classified into 19 different grades, according to Rich Margosian, general manager for the National Particleboard Assn. "Ninety percent of the particleboard sold today, however, is rated into one of three categories," he said, "1M1 is generally a lower-density particleboard used for underlayment, 1M2 is an industrial grade particleboard used for cabinetry and furniture, and 1M3 is used for high-loading areas such as bookshelves and desktops."

Tooling up

Despite the economic recession, many panel producers have invested, or "tooled up," in state-of-the-art CNC routers, boring machines, edgebanders and laminating equipment to increase production, minimize waste and offer better finished products.

Modar Inc., a Benton Harbor Mich.-based manufacturer of ready-to-assemble point-of-purchase displays, furniture and cabinet components and laminated casket parts, bought a Homag edgebander to fill out its existing softform, profile and flat edgebanding capabilities. The company also added a feed- through point-to-point Alberti drill to increase custom drilling capacity. Bob Petersen, sales manager for Modar, said the addition of this new equipment, "is more exacting and adds a higher level of service."

To extend its vinyl laminate panel line for cabinets, furniture and mobile home interiors, Oshkosh, Wis.-based Pluswood added a Walco laminator. Pluswood Product Manager Kathy Burgert said the addition, "increased productivity and allowed us to obtain the deep embossed look that is so popular with entertainment centers."

Other custom panel producers that have recently invested in new equipment include:

* Fiberesin Industries Inc. of Oconomowoc, Wis. added Weeke/Stiles high speed boring and routing equipment and expanded its sawing capacity with Jenkins slat bed and Schmidt saws.

* Louisiana Laminates Inc. of Bernice, La., installed a Byrnes/Manea edgebander, Biesse boring equipment and an Onsrud router.

* Panel Processing Inc. of Alpena, Mich. has added a Medalist M&M Research semi-automatic screen printer.

* Several companies installed computerized Schelling saws to enhance cut-to-size services, including Willamette Ind. SurePine Div., Ruston, La.; Temple-Inland, Diboll, Texas; and Union Camp, Franklin, Va.

* V.T. Industries of Holstein, Iowa, expanded with a Biesse cut-off saw and an Alberti boring machine.

Branching out

Many custom panel producers have diversified into other markets to fill a niche and keep up production. Jack Earhart, vice president of marketing and sales for the Lynwood, Calif.-based Goldenberg/Allied Plywood Co., commented, "When one market is slow, another seems to be very busy. On the West Coast right now, the housing market is slow, but the furniture industry seems to be doing OK."

Custom panel producers are recognizing that flexibility in production is necessary and have successfully found customers that require their products and services. One example is Bay View Industries of Oak Creek, Wis. The company has found a market in the hospital furniture industry with its Castform polyurethane edge treatment. Bay View's Operations Manager Geno Plitt said, "Since hospitals require sanitary conditions, regular edges like T-moldings can't be used because they trap dirt and other materials that cause infection. Castform is really sanitary because it seals the edge so well."

Service still most important

In a study conducted by WOOD & WOOD PRODUCTS of custom panel manufacturers, an overwhelming majority of them said that they can meet the panel processing needs of their customers through superior service. In addition to such service basics as on-time delivery, many companies surveyed have attempted to become total panel fabricators or "one-stop shops" as a convenience for their customers.

One service area that seems to be growing is the 24-hour price quote. Mark Sigman, vice president of New York Hardboard and Plywood, said he thinks there are many reasons customers value quick price quote turnaround. "Salespeople need them quickly for presentations and purchasing agents need them when coordinating projects," he said. He added that the quotes can help determine design possibilities and are a valuable asset when bidding against the competition.

By not depending on a specific industry for their bread and butter, custom panel producers can fight off economic woes by diversifying into niche markets, keeping abreast of new products and machinery entering the industry and improving customer service.

Guide to panel services WOOD & WOOD PRODUCTS contacted a number of panel manufacturers and panel fabricators in researching this second annual guide. The following are some of the products and services offered.

Algona Hardwoods Inc. Algoma, Wis. Substrate: Particleboard, MDF, veneered panels Services: Prefinishing, edgebanding, special sizes 297

Allegheny Particleboard Mt. Jewett, Pa. Substrate: Industrial particleboard panels made predominantly from cherry and soft maple. Services: Low-pressure melamine panels and non-standard lengths are available 298

Bay View Industries Inc. Oak Creek, Wis. Substrate: Laminated particleboard Main customer base: Office and contract furniture Standard sizes: Any size Thickness: 3/4 in., 1 in., 1 1/8 in. Services: Boring, routing, shaping, custom inlays, HPL layup, CTS, and a variety of edge treatments 299

Bohemia Inc. Eugene, Ore. Substrates: Fircraft and Fircraft exterior particleboard Main customer base: Furniture, cabinets, laminators Standard sizes: 4 ft x 16 ft, 49 in. x 97 in. Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 1/4 in. 300

Boise Cascade Corp. LaGrande, Ore. Substrates: 80% Ponderosa pine particleboard Main customer base: Industrial distributors, OEM plants Standard sizes: From 4 ft x 24 ft and 5 ft x 18 ft Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 3/16 in., every 1/16 in. and mm in between 301

Blue Ridge Lumber Ltd. Blue Ridge, Alberta Substrates: LDF, HDF, homogeneous density MDF, low formaldehyde MDF Main customer base: Furniture, cabinet and store fixture manufacturers Standard sizes: From 4 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 12 ft Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 1/4 in., 6mm through 32mm. 302

CabParts by Bookcliff Mfg. Inc. Grand Junction, Colo. Substrates: Particleboard and MDF Main customer base: Cabinet and casework manufacturers Standard sizes: 4 ft x 8 ft, 5 ft x 8 ft, 5 ft x 9 ft Thickness: 1/4 in., 5/8 in., 3/4 in. Services: CTS, milling for dowels, PVC, laminate or wood veneer edgebanding, custom sizing, thermofused melamine components 303

Combi-Board Bancroft, Ontario Substrates: Combi-Board three-layer particleboard Thickness: 3/8 in. to 1 1/2 in. Services: CTS, foil and thermofused melamine laminates, countertops 304

Conmel Inc. Albany, Ore. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF, hardboard Standard sizes: 4 ft and 5 ft widths Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: Kormel thermofused low-pressure melamine panels 305

Corilam Fabricating Co. Inc. Kernersville, N.C. Services: Wide selection of laminating materials, special edgebanding, solid surfacing materials, patterns and formed shapes 306

Davis Wood Products Hudson, N.C. Substrates: Particleboard, melamine, fiberboard, plywood Main customer base: Office contract, residential, dining room, case goods Standard sizes: Sheet stock and CTS Thickness: All widths Services: CTS, machine edging, custom inlays, fancy face veneer applications 307

Domtar Decorative Panels Headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, plants throughout the U.S. Substrates: Industrial pine and fir particleboard, commercial particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Cabinetmakers, furniture manufacturers, casework producers Standard sizes: 4 ft and 5 ft widths with various lengths, 49 in. & 61 in. x 73 in. through 145 in. Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 3/16 in. Services: Thermally-fused melamine panels a variety of finishes 308

Eaglewood Industries Inc. South Plainfield, N.J. Substrates: Fire retardant and non-fire retardant particleboard & veneer cores, MDF, particleboard, melamine panels Services: Full service distributor of edgebanded panels, cross-banding, backing sheets, flexible veneers and curved plywood 309

Eggers Industries Two Rivers, Wis. Substrates: Hardwood plywood, particleboard, MDF and others Main customer base: Furniture, high-end architectural paneling, doors Standard size: Up to 70 in. wide and any length Thickness: 1/8 in. through 2 1/2 in. Services: CTS, veneering banding, machining, finishing and custom ordering 310

Fiberesin Industries Inc. Oconomowoc, Wis. Substrates: 45-, 55-, 62-lb urea or phenolic particleboard, MDF and FR Main customer base: Office and institutional furniture Standard sizes: 30 in. x 96 in., 36 in. x 96 in., 48 in. x 96 in. Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 1/4 in. Services: CTS and complete fabrication of melamine laminated panels 311

Fibreboard Concord, Calif. Substrates: MDF veneered with hardwood or softwood Standard sizes: 4 ft x 8 ft, 48 in. x 60, 72 or 84 in. Services: Offer rotary and plain sliced veneers, veneer on both sides, 5.3mm MDF core panels 312

Flakeboard Distributors Inc. Farmington, Conn., Markham, Ontario Substrates: Particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Kitchen cabinets Standard sizes: 4 ft x 10 ft, 5 ft wide Thickness: 1/16 in. to 1 1/2 in. Services: Vinyl and melamine laminates, painted surfaces 313

Georgia-Pacific Corp. Headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., with plants throughout the U.S. Substrates: MDF Main customer base: Furniture industry Standard sizes: 49 in. x 97 in. through 97 in. x 145 in. Thickness: 7/16 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: CTS 314

Goldenberg/Allied Plywood Co. Lynwood, Calif. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF, hardboard Main customer base: Furniture and cabinet industry Standard sizes: 4 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 3/16 in. Services: Laminated paper and vinyls, CTS, edgebanding and wood grain drawer parts 315

Industrial Dimensions Inc. Fostoria, Ohio Substrates: Melamine laminate particleboard Main customer base: Store fixtures, cabinets and case goods Standard sizes: 3 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Services: A variety of melamine laminate finishes 316

Louisiana Laminates Inc. Bernice, La. Substrates: Hardboard, particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Fixtures, furniture and cabinet industries Standard sizes: 4 and 5 ft widths, up to 16 ft lengths, CTS Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: Contour/straight edgebanding, T-moulding, laminating, 32mm boring, routing, assembly, packaging 317

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Headquarters in Portland, Ore., with plants throughout the U.S. Substrates: Oro-Pine MDF, Arcata industrial particleboard, Missoula U.V. treated particleboard Main customer base: Industrial, laminators, RTA furniture manufacturers and cabinet manufacturers Standard sizes: MDF: 2 ft x 4 ft - 8 ft x 16 ft; Particleboard: 49 in. x 73 in. - 49 in. x 145 in. Thickness: MDF: 3/16 in. - 3/4 in.; P-bd: 3/8 in. through 1 3/16 in. Services: CTS, laminating, printing, production, finishing, edgebanding, shaping, dadoing and packaging 318

Masonite Corp. Chicago, Ill. Substrate: Melamine component panels Standard size: 4 ft x 8 ft through 5 ft x 12 ft Thickness: 1/4 in. through 3/4 in. Services: Choice of decorative or liner surfaces, paintable, glueable back, or one-sided 319

Medite Corp. Medford, Ore. Substrate: Standard, low-formaldehyde and formaldehyde-free MDF Standard size: Up to 5 ft x 18 ft Thickness: English and metric sizes up to 1 3/4 in. Services: CTS, custom ripping and special densities 320

Michiana Laminated Products Howe, Ind. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Office furniture, store fixtures Standard sizes: 4 ft x 8 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/2 in. through 1 1/8 in. Services: PVC and wood edgebanding, construction of merchandising tables, cabinets and medical installations 321

Modar Inc. Benton Harbor, Mich. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Components to residential, office and fixture manufacturers. Standard sizes: 4 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 3/8 Services: Softform, profile and flat edgebanding, point-to-point drilling, fully laminated panels, CTS, miter-cut, dovetailing, mortise and tenon 322

New York Hardboard and Plywood Corp. Brooklyn, N.Y. Substrates: Hardboard, particleboard, MDF Main customer base: P.O.P. display, store fixture, furniture, toy and housewares-related industries. Standard sizes: Most popular sizes Thickness: Most popular widths Services: CTS, shaping, drilling, perforating and die cutting, silk screen printing, paper, foil and vinyl laminating, edgebanding and T-molding. 323

North American Wood Products Seymour, Ind.; Evanston, Ind. Substrates: Particleboard Main customer base: Office, residential and contract furniture Standard sizes: 36 in. x 120 in., 60 in. x 96 in., 60 in. x 144 in. Thickness: 3/8 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: CTS, shaping, drilling, and edgebanding 324

Northway Industries Middleburg, Pa. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF and plywood Main customer base: Users of laminated component parts Standard sizes: 3 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft 12 ft Thickness: 3/8 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: Cutting, shaping, drilling, PVC and wood edgebanding, HPL, just pressed panels and packaging capabilities 325

Pacific Coast Laminates Chino, Calif. Standard sizes: 4 ft x 8 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 3/16 in. Services: Therma-Lam low-pressure melamine laminating process, CTS, full service capability for all RTA prefinished components 326

Panel Master Medina, Ohio Substrates: Particleboard, plywood Main customer base: Mill shops and cabinet manufacturers Standard sizes: 4 ft x 8 ft, 10 ft, 12 ft Thickness: Up to 6 in. Services: Facings of wood, hardboard, Formica, fiberglass, aluminum, steel, and plastic are available. Standard and custom laminated up to 6 ft wide, 16 ft long and 6 in. thick 327 Panel Processing Inc. Alpena, Mich. Substrates: Hardboard, particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Store fixture and P.O.P. display producers Standard sizes: 4 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 12 ft panels Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 in. Services: Fabricating, coating, laminating, machining, pegboard perforating, die cutting, silkscreening and edgebanding capabilities 328

Plum Creek Manufacturing Inc. Seattle, Wash. Substrates: 42-, 55- and 60-lb Thinboard MDF, Ultrablend embossing grade, low-formaldehyde emission panels Main customer base: OEM manufacturers, stocking distributors and fabricators Standard sizes: Up to 5 ft x 12 ft Thickness: 3/16 through 1 1/4 in. Services: CTS, printed drawer sides 329

Pluswood Oshkosh, Wis. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF, lauan, hardboard, veneer core Main customer base: Kitchen and bath cabinets, display fixtures, furniture, mobile home interior paneling Standard sizes: 4 ft x 7 ft through 5 ft x 9 ft Thickness: 0.115 in. through 1 1/8 in. Services: CTS, finished cut, edgebanding, lamination of 6- and 7-mil embossed vinyl, in-house printing 330

Ply-Gem Manufacturing Gloucester City, N.J. Substrate: Particleboard, MDF, plywood Main customer base: Distributors and OEM of cabinets, furniture and case goods Standard size: 4 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 3/16 in. Services: CTS, Polygloss polyester overlay, custom lamination, continuous decorative laminate 331

Ponderosa Products Inc. Albuquerque, N.M. Substrate: Western pine particleboard Main customer base: Manufacturers of kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, store fixtures and office furniture Standard size: 8 in. x 12 in. through 60 in. x 120 in. Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: Wide variety of stock and custom components, boring, routing and edgebanding with paper, vinyl, melamine or veneer 332

Potlatch Corp. Lewiston, Idaho Substrates: Western softwood particleboard, plywood Main customer base: Wholesale distribution for residential and commercial construction Standard size: 4 ft x 8 ft Thickness: Particleboard: 3/8 in. through 3/4 in. Plywood: 5/16 in. through 1 1/8 Services: Adding new equipment to start producing industrial-grade board 333

Precision Panel Technology Corp. Albany, Ore. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF, plywood Main customer base: Cabinet shops and closet system users Standard size: Up to 10 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/4 in. to 60mm Services: Custom precision panel processing, edgebanding, and boring capabilities 334

Rodman Industries Marinette, Wis. Substrates: U-F and phenolic based 62-, 55-, 45-lb particleboard Main customer base: Office landscape/architectural/OEM industrial Standard size: 4 ft x 8 ft, 3 ft x 8 ft, 4 ft x 12 ft Services: Predrilling, CTS, Resinfloor high-density panels, in-house machining, shaping 335

Roseburg Forest Products Dillard, Ore. Substrates: Particleboard, plywood Main customer base: Wholesale stocking distributors Standard size: 4 ft x 6 ft through 4 ft x 10, limited to 5-ft wide production Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 3/4 in. Services: CTS, priming, special solid and welded inner plies, all phases of melamine process, special sizes, thickness and construction 336

Selply Subsidiary of Medford Corp. White City, Ore. Services: Polyboard polyester laminates in 50 different colors, patterns and wood grains. Small orders with no minimum quantities. 337

States Industries Inc. Eugene, Ore. Substrates: MDF, particleboard, Appleply plywood Main customer base: Independent distributors to cabinet furniture and case good manufacturers Standard size: 4 ft x 6 ft through 4 ft x 8 ft Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: CTS, rectangular and circular cuts, grooving, routing, bullnosing, dovetails, edgebanding, boring and prefinishing 338

Stevens Laminated Products Teutopolis, Ill. Substrates: Particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Office furniture, store fixtures and cabinets, distributors of thermofused melamine sheet stock Standard size: 4 ft x 8 ft through 4 ft x 10 ft, 5 ft x 8 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Thickness: 1/4 in. through 1 1/2 in. and other sizes available Services: CTS, thermofused melamine on particleboard, HPL 339

Tafibra Corp. Coral Gables, Fla. Substrates: Hardboard and MDF 340

Temple-Inland Diboll, Texas Substrates: Hardboard, Temstock industrial particleboard, Overboard laminated particleboard, fiberboard and plywood Standard size: 49 in. x 97 in.; other lengths on request Thickness: 1/8 in. through 1 1/8 in. Services: CTS, custom lamination, countertops bullnosed and square edge tapered 341

Timber Products Co. Medford, Ore. Substrates: Hardwood plywood, softwood plywood, particleboard 342

Uniboard Panval, Panfibre, Forpan Ste. Foy, Quebec Substrates: Particleboard, MDF Main customer base: Melamine and foil furniture cabinetmakers Standard size: 4 ft x 8 ft, 5 ft x 8 ft, 4 ft x 10 ft, 4 ft x 12 ft Thickness: Particleboard: 3/8 in. through 1 1/8 in.; MDF: 5.6mm to 30mm. Services: CTS, raw and foil overlaid particleboard, optimal MDF panels, and melamine laminating 343

USG Industries Inc. Chicago, Ill. Substrate: Industrial particleboard Thickness: 5/16 in. through 3/4 in. Services: CTS 344

Union Camp Corp. Franklin, Va. Substrate: Southern pine industrial particleboard Standard size: Up to 5 ft x 16 ft Thickness: 3/8 in. through 1 1/2 in. Services: CTS, bullnose shelving 345

V.T. Industries Holstein, Iowa Substrates: Particleboard, MDF, plywood Main customer base: Residential and commercial Standard size: To customer specifications Thickness: 5/8 in. through 1 1/8 in. Services: CTS, custom laminating, boring and edgebanding 346

Weyerhaeuser Headquarters in Tacoma, Wash. with plants throughout the U.S. Substrates: MDF, hardboard and industrial grade fir or pine particleboard Main customer base: OEM supplier and distributor Standard sizes: 4 ft x 6 ft through 5 ft x 10 ft Services: Paper, melamine and high performance laminates mounted on particleboard, MDF or hardboard and embossing 347

Willamette Industries Albany Ore.; Lillie, La.; Bend, Ore.; Malvern, Ark.; Ruston, La. Substrates: Southern and ponderosa pine particleboard for a variety of applications, MDF Main customer base: Residential and commercial cabinetry, store fixtures, residential and commercial furniture, office furniture Standard Sizes: Sizes vary with plant location Thickness: Widths vary with plant location Services: CTS, vinyl, thermofused, Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsonart laminating, moisture and termite resistant particleboard 367

PHOTO : Louisiana Laminates' panels can be ordered in custom-matched patterns, cut to size, edgebanded, routed, shaped and drilled.

PHOTO : Uniboard's Panval thermally-fused melamine panels are easy to clean and will resist stains and delamination.

PHOTO : Stevens Laminated Products, offers choice of thermofused melamine or HPL. Vinyl embossed panels are a specialty of Pluswood.

PHOTO : Louisiana-Pacific offers Arcata industrial particleboard, Redex phenolic particleboard, Oro-pine MDF and Missoula ultraviolet treated particleboard.

PHOTO : At the factory, Willmette's Kor-Tron particleboard is electron-beam cured.
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Title Annotation:includes directory of panel manufacturers and fabricators
Author:Derning, Sean
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Directory
Date:Apr 1, 1991
Words:3416
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