Opportunity knocks at Oshkosh Door
August 15, 2011 | 11:10 am CDT
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Oshkosh Door serves a diverse range of markets. Projects range from schools and educational
facilities, to corporate headquarters, healthcare centers, government buildings and religious

Click here to view video of the company's edge processing line.

With more than 150 years of experience in the industry, Oshkosh Door Co. has done it all. In addition to offering five-ply architectural doors, the Oshkosh, WI-based company also specializes in the manufacture of LEED- and FSC-certified doors, as well as CARB-compliant products.

According to Gene Miels, president and COO, what sets this door company apart from many competitors is its quick turnaround. In one shift, Oshkosh Door can produce 2,000 to 2,500 doors per week.

“We’re a very lean operation and can pull product through quickly,” says David Johnson, controller. For example, he says, the company has reduced its production cycle time down from one week to less than 1-1/2 days. The average lead time is four weeks standard, which includes engineering and production.

To help the company track its inventory and work in process, Oshkosh Door uses Friedman’s ERP software in conjunction with bar coding throughout the plant.

Oshkosh Door uses a two-pass water-based/UV process
which provides a TR6-level finish quality. The company’s
products are sold nationwide as well as internationally.

Five-Ply Construction
According to Johnson, the company’s doors meet or exceed the standards of the WDMA IS.1A, NEMA and NFPA. Oshkosh Door also manufactures veneer grade A and AA door faces. The company offers these doors in a variety of species, including: red and white oak, natural and select white birch, maple, Honduras and African mahogany, cherry, walnut, sapele and teak.

Oshkosh Door uses an automated core assembly, sanding and hot press line to produce its lines of five-ply architectural flush, prefit and beveled doors. Inside the 110,000-square-foot plant is a Wild core line, at which the panel is cut to size and stiles and rails are glued using Franklin Doorbond adhesive. The surface is sanded on a Timesavers and prepped for pressing.

At the Wild press line, which the company installed in 2001, panels are fed into a Black Bros. glue spreader, which applies Franklin PVA onto two sides. From there, they are sent to a five-opening hot platen press, after which they are automatically transferred to the SCM/Stefani trim saw/edgebander stations, which the company installed in 2005. The sizer scans the barcode and automatically adjusts to the correct width, bevel and length while selecting the specified edgebanding. Oshkosh Door also has a Stefani double-sided Evolution edgebander which can be used with thin, ABS and solid wood processing, and has the capability for aluminum edges or softform processing.

In addition to edgebanding, the company also offers full machining capabilities, and has three-axis and five-axis machining centers, including an SCM Routech, which it installed in 2006. Prior to finishing, parts are sanded and inspected on the Stiles/Heesemann polisher.

“We have good quality control at every phase,“ says Miels.

Focus on Finish
Oshkosh Doors has earned a reputation for the high quality of its products, including the finish. The company uses a fully automatic Sorbini/Cefla water-based/UV line, which provides a WDMA TR6 level finish quality, Miels says. Each door receives a stain or clearcoat, two sealer coats, precision sanding using Heesemann and Dubois sanders, and two topcoats with UV curing between each step of the process. Each pass is approximately seven minutes, Miels adds, and the current production rate for finishing is approximately 350 to 450 doors per shift.

Approximately 60 percent of the doors produced are stained, and the remaining 40 percent receive a clearcoat finish. The company does its stain mixing in-house.

The company offers LEED- and FSC-certified products
as well as CARB-compliant doors. To make the doors,
Oshkosh Door uses an automated core assembly, sanding
and press line, incorporating equipment from Wild for
the core production as well as Stefani edgebanders and

Guaranteed Quality
Oshkosh Door takes steps to track quality control — not only within the plant, but beyond.

It has been almost a year since Oshkosh Door added Shock Watch indicators on all pallets of doors shipped via an LTL or common carrier. The purpose is to identify and reduce issues resulting from freight damage due to rough handling, etc.

According to the company, “the indicator is activated each time the pallet receives a shock that may cause door damage. When activated, a red liquid is released into the clear tube in the middle of the sticker. This becomes a permanent record of rough handling.”
If the device does get activated, Oshkosh Door advises customers to make a note of it on the bill of lading and to then conduct a thorough inspection of the shipment.

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