Walnut Creek's Lean & Green Wood Components

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 10/07/2013 8:10AM


Walnut Creek Planing redefines lean manufacturing, removing the waste from its process and turning it into a profitable product.

Founded in 1998 by Dwight Kratzer, WCP produces hardwood components including stair parts, dowels, mouldings and door stiles. From the estimated 30 tons of wood waste generated per day, WCP also produces Eco-Brick briquettes, processed using an RUF 1100 briquetter.

Lean Manufacturing

At the vertically integrated Millersburg, OH-based firm, kiln-dried lumber is graded then recorded to inventory. WCP uses Global Shop Solutions, an ERP software which has helped reduce inventory, improve scheduling and view work in process.

Inside the 90,000-square-foot facility, a self-centering Timesavers planes lumber before ripping on an Eagle Ripmaster. Lumber also runs through a WoodEye scanner which feeds the Weinig/Grecon optimizing chop saws.

For stair treads, blanks are glued and clamped on Taylor glue clamps, then moulded on a Stiles Kentwood before sanding on the Timesavers line. Blanks for balusters are cut to length on double-end tenoners then machined on Weinig moulders. Western Pneumatic and Industrial fingerjointers are used for the handrails and machining for the handrail fittings is done on an SCM Routech CNC router.

The company was one of eight woodworking facilities recently toured as part of the 2013 Wood Component Manufacturers Association's annual Conference and Plant Tour Event in September.


About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at kkoenig@woodworkingnetwork.com or Google+.

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