States Industries automates hardwood plywood panel production with Biele press
May 5, 2022 | 9:32 am CDT

States Industries' new automatic press line from Biele can handle hardwood plywood panels up to 10’ in length.

EUGENE, Oregon -- States Industries LLC and the Biele Group, handling equipment machinery specialist, have successfully implemented their first project collaboration consisting of an automatic line to produce hardwood plywood panels, up to 10’ in length, through a short cycle multi-opening press.

The project consists of fully automatic handling and cleaning of the substrate, gluing on top and bottom surfaces, and semi-automatic lay-up of top and bottom hardwood veneers that then feed the four-opening press.

Behind the press, the line is also cleaning the overhanging veneer of the panels without any trimming of the substrate and includes a vertical putty section in the case panels that need to be repaired before stacking. All these processes are completed continuously without stops.

Using a customized design of the system, Biele accommodated the required process in the available floor space, adapting to customers’ needs.

The investment has been a strategic move by States Industries LLC and having brought the new line into operation early in 2021, the Eugene-based company has increased its production capacity of high-value panels as well as the manufacturing product quality from a wide array of panel sizes, substrates, hardwood veneers, and order quantities. 

Ted Downs, States Industries' vice president of manufacturing, said, “the deployment of capital toward manufacturing higher value hardwood plywood has been well-timed for the demand we’ve been experiencing in the market.

"We’ve been able to produce significantly more 3-ply and 2-step production at a much lower fall down rate than through our conventional vertical multi-opening presses," he added. "Biele’s automation simply brought us better efficiency and recovery of grade, which we’ve been able to reinvest into our people and additional automation. It’s allowed us to increase our focus toward customers with more demanding expectations and products requiring greater panel engineering, higher value, and tighter standard quality expectations. Biele has been a solid partner, developed a wonderful engineering solution, and provided great support so that we could accelerate our move in this direction.”

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).