12th July 2007 – Wood-Mizer opened a major factory extension at its European headquarters in Poland before employees, local government officials and its head of European operations plus the American-based chief of its worldwide operations. In effect the manufacturing part of the European facility in wholehas grown another 100%.This extra facility is principally to increase production of Wood-Mizer’s three basic types of bandsaw blades to meet the burgeoning demand in European territories and also those in Africa and Asia.
The need to expand manufacturing facilities became evident as adoption of Wood-Mizer’s sawmills and ancillary wood processing products increased and quantities of blades purchased grew even more as non-Wood-Mizer sawmill operators bought the blades too. It took four months to build the 2,400m2
new blades plant and also to add another 865m2
to existing buildings. The company views this as essential since blades output rose to two million metres last year and is expected to double this year.
Personnel management programmes ensured that blade output continued during construction and improved production flow has resulted from the expansion. Simultaneously, product delivery times have shortened as new warehouses absorb blades and spare parts stocks. Richard Vivers, who heads European operations, explains:
"The principal reasons behind our new investment lie with a surge in the woodworking equipment market itself. Thanks to the expansion of our infrastructure we’re confident we shall fulfill our production aims, increase the quality of our products and speed deliveries to European, African and Asian customers.
" In September, Wood-Mizer’s European centre celebrates 17 years in Poland and this year the American parent logs 25 years since the first band sawmill was made. Now, its sawmills operate worldwide as a result of US innovation and, in the case of European, Asian and African countries, Polish engineering and ingenuity. With a drive to open new markets, distributors operate throughout most of the world.
Originally, all sawmills were manufactured in the USA but in 1992 European production began in Poland. The move to tailor mills to European requirements proved to be farsighted. It not only slashed prime costs but facilitated the penetration of far flung markets. Currently, more than 40,000 of its sawmills as well as many ancillary machines operate around the globe. Five basic ranges of sawmills are made: two small versions; a series of versatile small-to-medium mills; mid-range ‘workhorses’ that resemble the 1982 original; and a semi-industrial version. In addition, an industrial range of mills under the AWMV brand plus secondary wood processing kit are in production. Furthermore, kiln components and other equipment as well as the blades are in the firm’s product line. The culture of addressing customer needs is predominant in the plant. ISO 9001: 2000 quality typifies this.