Wood-Mizer's European headquarters and its band sawmill and wood processing kit manufacturing facility celebrates twenty years in 2010.
The Polish based operation serves Europe, Africa, India and Asia, including the Far East, and its director Richard Vivers anticipates a fair wind this year. He justifies optimism with evidence that the measures he took during the recent credit crunch across all his territories are working.
"Last year, having arrived at some painful personnel decisions we devised new approaches to engineering design, purchasing, manufacture, assembly and transportation.
"The moves have saved costs and led to wood processing equipment more suited to changing times. They are bearing fruit", he adds.
The plant, located in Poland was opened in 1990 a year after both the fall of the Berlin Wall and the re-democratisation of political and public life in Poland. Since then, it has been enlarged from a few hundred square metres to over 6000 m2, with state of the art machinery and processes, winning personnel and corporate awards.
Notably, Wood-Mizer, the only band saw manufacturer which makes blades too has increased its Polish blade lines to fourteen. It launches a new band saw blade this year.
In 1990 the plant produced a few sawmills per week. In 2008 it turned out 50-60 mills. In 2009 that figure declined to 2007
levels. This year a greater number of mills than in 2007 will come off production lines.
The headquarters' inception was the brainchild of the Laskowski family who founded Wood-Mizer Inc., in Indianapolis in 1982. Donald Laskowski, together with fellow engineer Daniel Tekulve had invented the thin kerf technology for their small band sawmills in an Indiana garage in 1982. They sold the first mill, which resembled a modern LT40, to a Joe Bistrovich.
There are now 40 000 of the company's band sawmills operating worldwide.
Wood-Mizer’s service centres are increasing, with representatives in more than 100 countries. These are in addition to wholly owned branches in Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Romania and Russia (which has its own network of blades distributors in 20 Russian regions).