Concept in Millworks created this project for Western UnionA longtime fixture in the architectural woodwork industry, Concepts in Millwork has been recognized throughout its 35-year history for many of its high-profile projects.

Based in Colorado Springs, CO, the firm has drawn equal renown for its ability to provide turnkey services for a wide range of national — and international — commercial projects, including those in the healthcare, office, higher education and government arenas.

The company also is known for projects literally in arenas. Included in Concepts in Millwork’s portfolio are projects at: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home to football’s Denver Broncos; Pepsi Center, where NBA’s Denver Nuggets hold court; the Arizona Diamondback’s ballfield, Chase Field; and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids show off their soccer skills.

Concepts in Millwork’s own skill set — including design, project management and the ability to combine unlike materials to create unique projects — has helped distinguish the firm from its competitors, notes Scott Robinson, company president.

The Western Union building in Englewood, CO, is an example of one such project, says Sherri Lindsey, sales and marketing manager. The company worked from renderings that contained “some very unique ideas, colors and materials,” to help develop the final design, constructability, manufacturing process and installation.

The variety of materials used in the project also set it apart. “There were acrylics, glass, wood, laminates — things that you wouldn’t typically envision together — came together beautifully in this project,” Robinson adds.

While the mixing of media can often present challenges, particularly in the manufacturing phase, Concepts in Millwork’s range of capabilities ensured the process went smoothly. “We’re often providing much more than [traditional] architectural millwork,” he says.

Quality and service are also key to the company’s success, stress Robinson and Lindsey. Concepts in Millwork is AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute) premium-grade certified for fabrication and installation. “That’s our standard requirement,” Lindsey says.

Sustainable Manufacturing

Compliance toward LEED certification is also a requirement in many of the company’s projects, particularly those for government and higher education facilities. With that in mind, Concepts in Millwork uses only NAUF (no-added urea formaldehyde) panels and sustainably certified woods for all its jobs. The company has been FSC-COC (Forest Stewardship Council-Chain of Custody) certified since March 2012.

“It became easier for us to standardize and go to one type of material,” Robinson says of the decision. “We use them for all our projects, whether they require it or not.”

Raw and finished materials are purchased on a just-in-time basis, although the company maintains an inventory of particleboard and MDF.

“It can be a challenge coordinating with our customers and our vendors,” Robinson notes. “It also goes back to the fact that we have such a wide range of products and sizes.”

The panel products and solid wood components are machined inside the 36,000-square-foot plant. Also fabricated in-house are solid surface and structural steel products; the company has a full-time maintenance and machine shop on the premises. The cutting of ornamental metals, glass and stone are outsourced.

Inside the shop, veneered and laminated panels are cut-to-size on a Holzma panel saw before proceeding to the Homag edgebander for edge processing.

Using Microvellum software, cut bills are downloaded to the saw, and a barcode is affixed to parts with further machining instructions. “Most everything runs through the panel saw,” Robinson says.

Boring and doweling is performed on a Weeke CNC machine. On the agenda for this year is improving the automation of the glue line along with other machine upgrades, he adds.

On the production floor, projects are broken up in releases, with 20 or more running through the shop at any given time. There are no minimums or maximums with regards to the scope or size of the project. “We have projects ranging from a thousand to multi-millions of dollars. It makes us very versatile,” Lindsey says.

And with the range of markets served, there are no seasonal lulls. “I think the fact that we are so wide ranging on our products keeps the production moving at all times,” Robinson adds.

Working with the project managers are project coordinators who help ensure all commitments are met to customers’ satisfaction, Lindsey says.

“We’ve got a good group of people that’s allowed us to stay on top,” Robinson adds.

Milestones

Concepts in Millwork has marked a number of milestones in its 35-year history. In terms of national significance, Robinson says, one of the most notable projects to date for the firm has been the reconstruction of the Pentagon following the September 11, 2001, attack. Working with the construction team of Hensel Phelps, Concepts in Millwork manufactured and installed casework, counters, architectural paneling and trim work at Wedge 2 of the Pentagon.

“We were very proud of everyone for getting that accomplished,” Robinson says of the Concepts in Millwork team’s efforts.

Team effort, along with customer service, have been qualities of the company since its founding by Robert Silcott in April 1980.

Involved in the wood industry for more than 40 years, Silcott saw the company evolve from a four-man shop manufacturing countertops, to a full-scale architectural millwork and fixture firm, with approximately 80 employees. Silcott semi-retired five years ago, leaving the day-to-day operations of the family-owned firm in the hands of Scott and Stephanie Robinson, Silcott’s daughter and controller at the firm.

“Bob was very detail oriented,” Scott says. “Concepts in Millwork wouldn’t be where it’s at today without his having managed all aspects of the business.”

Scott also has been involved in the wood products industry for a long time, dating back to his years as a high school student working in his grandfather’s architectural woodwork firm.

Scott joined Concepts in Millwork in 1990, making this his 25th year at the company. And with 30 years there herself, Stephanie also will be poised to take over from Bob, making Concepts in Millwork not only a woman-owned firm, but also keeping it in the family.

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