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Armstrong, Steelcase partner to produce noise-dampening panels (updated)

Lancaster County-based Armstrong World Industries Inc.
recently signed a four-year partnership deal with Michigan-based Steelcase Inc.
to produce sound-reduction ceiling panels and canopies for offices.

Lancaster County-based Armstrong World Industries Inc. recently signed a four-year partnership deal with Michigan-based Steelcase Inc. to produce sound-reduction ceiling panels and canopies for offices.

The deal, announced Monday, could lead to future
collaborations between Armstrong, which manufactures cabinet, flooring and
ceiling systems, and Steelcase, an office-environment services and products
company, said Mike Lobbestael, Steelcase’s general manager of architectural
solutions.

“We see opportunities to collaborate in other areas and feel
that the two companies share common values and synergistic areas of expertise,
so we mutually aspire to a longer-term partnership,” he said in an e-mail.

The market for acoustical systems is growing as offices
incorporate more open space for team collaboration, Lobbestael said. Steelcase
sought out Armstrong because of its expertise in acoustical engineering and
ceiling products, he said.

About half the work for Steelcase will be done at Armstrong’s Marietta plant, which makes commercial ceilings, said Armstrong spokeswoman Beth Riley. The company will not add staff for the work, she said.

The deal comes after Manor Township-based Armstrong
announced up to 600 job cuts at its hardwood flooring plants in the U.S. and Canada. The layoffs do not affect
the Lancaster County plants.

Armstrong shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AWI.

Steelcase shares are traded on the same exchange under the
symbol SCS.

This item was modified from its original version to add that 50 percent of the work for Steelcase will be done at Armstrong’s Marietta plant.

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