Keith Malmstadt, president of Great Lake Woods, a manufacturer of hardwood and laminated mouldings and components based in Holland, MI, would certainly prefer that business was humming along as it had pre-recession. The silver lining, he says, is that the downturn has created opportunities for research and development of new products.
A prime example of taking advantage of downtime to build for the future was Malmstadtâs visit to the Ligna Hannover fair in Germany in May 2009. Great Lake Woodsâ negotiations with Weinig to produce the first textured moulder for the Western Hemisphere culminated with the installation of a specially-outfitted Powermat 500 moulder in April 2010. With installation and the addition of a second Rondamat knife grinder, the total investment was about $600,000.
The new moulder now running at the 103,000-square-foot main plant features a special texturizing head and 12-inch board capacity, allowing parts more than 33 percent wider to be processed than the standard 8-7/8-inch capacity.
The 12-inch capacity is allowing Great Lake Woods to produce plank flooring and other wider products. For the purpose of textured wood mouldings, the machine is limited to 10-inch-wide mouldings because the texturizing heads require 1 inch of clearance on each side of the part.
While the machine can operate at 40 to 50 feet per minute to process standard mouldings, feed speeds are reduced to about 20 feet per minute for running textured mouldings. Immediately after the part is profiled it passes under the seventh head that randomly produces a series of approximately 1/4-inch grooves in the moulding.