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Engineered Floors breaks ground on new carpet tile plant

EF-TILE-PLANT-050317-1Dalton—Engineered Floors recently broke ground on a new carpet tile manufacturing facility in Dalton, Ga. The initial phase of the plant will total 520,000 square feet and is expected to open January 2018.

“This plant is sign of continued growth and marks the beginning a new era for Engineered Floors,” said James Lesslie, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “As the popularity of modular carpet tile has grown, especially for Main Street applications, Engineered Floors is answering this need with a new state-of-the-art facility.”

In 2016, Engineered Floors launched its Pentz Commercial Flooring Solutions brand to be sold through its dealers and with collections that offer modular as well as broadloom styles.

“Our commitment to the modular carpet segment continues our commitment to be the flooring brand of choice now and in the future,” Lesslie said.

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Galleher invests in custom wood finishing plant

April 10/17, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 22

By Reginald Tucker
Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.12.09 AMPhoenix—Galleher, a top five floor covering distributor, has begun the process of building a factory here dedicated to the production of high-end custom-made wood flooring products. The new, 60,000-square-foot facility, which includes both production and warehouse space, is expected to be up and running by June 2017.

“Today, high-end contractors are turning more to prefinishing—either in their own shops or through custom prefinishing like ours,” said Todd Hamar, senior vice president, who conducted a tour of the site earlier this month. “The colors designers are demanding nowadays are often only achieved through processes like fuming, bleaching and reactive stains that are difficult—if not impossible—to work with on site. Designers are also increasingly seeking to customize texture in ways that are too tedious to achieve on the job site.”

That’s where the new facility comes in, Hamar said. The new plant—when completed—will offer the following capabilities:

Custom platforms. Customers can choose from a wide range of unfinished platforms Galleher stocks in house or it can press and profile the client’s custom-made engineered flooring in virtually any combination of species, grade, width or length. This includes reclaimed material.

Custom texturing. Services include precision wire-brushing, hand-scraping, tumbling and edge distressing.

Moldings and stair parts. Tread assembly, CNC cutting and finishing.

Reactive stains. Colors are applied and dried in a carefully controlled environment to maintain proper humidity levels—which is crucial to the reactive staining process.

Custom fuming. Ideal process for creating the base for popular colors such as neutral grays and browns.

State-of-the-art coating capabilities. Dedicated lines for UV oil and urethane finishes, plus vacuum coaters, standalone spray booth and a spray line. Hand finishing as well as commercial-grade finishes are also offered.

“By coloring and texturing in a shop, customers have the opportunity to work with these processes in a controlled environment using labor-saving machines,” Hamar said. “More importantly, clients have the opportunity to dial in the look and get approval before installation.”

When the plant is complete, Hamar estimates the facility will be able to process anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet per month. The site will also handle production of Galleher’s high-end Monarch Plank line.

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Shaw LVT plant ramps up

March 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 20

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.50.16 AMRinggold, Ga.—Three months after its first planks rolled off the line, Shaw Floors is already strategizing to manufacture more of the LVT and WPC products in its portfolio out of its brand spanking new facility here. After a substantial investment to convert the former Shaw Rugs facility to domestic LVT production, the game plan all along was to start with one collection and grow quickly from there.

The first Shaw domestically made product is All-American, a 2.5mm thick, 6 x 48 plank with a 12 mil wear layer. All-American is a glue-down product, but a click version is in the cards for later this year. Eventually COREtec from USFloors will be manufactured here as well as other lines. There’s certainly enough room: The facility—acquired by Shaw in 1992 with the purchase of Salem Carpet Mills—comprises 13.5 acres under one roof.

The facility was built with the future in mind, launching an initial product in January with additional offerings coming online in the second quarter. “We put in infrastructure for expansion, said Stephen Morton, plant manager at Plant RP, Shaw’s new resilient facility. “Everything is open. Why? The floors will be modular. As we determine that next generation of equipment, we can put the floors and walls exactly where they need to be rather than trying to fit a piece of machinery inside a constraint. That gives us a lot of flexibility in what that next generation of machinery for that product will look like. In addition, all systems like heating equipment, cooling equipment, compressed air are in a position to be installed very quickly when we expand.”

The project was among the largest expansions in northwest Georgia in quite some time, Morton said. Among the facility’s highlights is a state-of-the-art R&D lab that allows Shaw to test its formulations. “We are able to quantify or qualify materials here,” Morton said. “It is very sophisticated. We have the ability to press layers here and do mock-ups of what we will be doing on the production line. We also have the advantage of having our innovation technical group here so we can develop next-generation designs and patterns inside our complex. That helps us control some of our IP.”

And with that comes what Morton called a pilot line, which gives Shaw the ability to run some of those layers in a smaller format before it goes into production. Thus, testing does not have to interrupt main-line production. For the record, Shaw only manufactures the bottom three layers of its LVT; the visual and protective layers are sourced.

Aesthetics also play an important role in the uniqueness of the facility. Cylinders are 2 meters wide instead of the more common 1 meter. “This allows us to use a much bigger print film,” said Clark Hodgkins, resilient category manager. “So there is a much bigger repeat. Normally you get a six- or seven-plank repeat with LVT. We will often get a 13-plank repeat based on the size of the cylinder.”

Performance of Shaw LVT is enhanced by virtue of a two-coating process. While LVT is known to be much less scratch resistant than laminate, Shaw’s proprietary ScufResist Platinum coating goes a long way toward closing that gap, Morton said.

The facility also exemplifies Shaw’s culture of environmental stewardship. In illustration, a regrind room takes the trimmings from its calendaring process and prepares for reuse. “Any manufacturing process is going to have waste or byproducts,” Morton explained. “You can either send them to the landfill, sell them or reuse them. We are opting to reuse the material. Anything left over from this process will be re-extruded. It doesn’t degrade the product in any way; it’s just a way to displace virgin material with re-ground material.”

There are currently more than 160 Shaw employees who call this facility home. That includes line associates, the technical group, and management leadership and hard surface quality sourcing teams. “What makes this plant unique is the fact it is shared by all the channels,” Morton said. “For the first time ever, we have both our contract teams (Shaw Contract and Patcraft), our Main Street team (Philadelphia Commercial) as well as our retail, builder and home centers teams under one roof. Specialty markets will also eventually be here.”

 

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Beaulieu announces closure of model facility

DALTON—Almost two weeks since the announced closure at the end of the year of its Riverbend facility and the securing of $230,000,000 in loan refinancing, Beaulieu of America officials announced today the reduction of operations at its Dalton Model Plant, effective January 2, 2012. The plant has been in operation since 1989. Continue reading Beaulieu announces closure of model facility