Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. has invested more than $6 million to increase painted cabinet door production in Lancaster County.
The East Earl Township-based company, which makes cabinet components, such as doors, completed an estimated $4 million expansion of its paint finishing facility. It also purchased new equipment to streamline the finishing process, Conestoga Wood announced this week.
Construction was complete in January 2016, and new equipment was installed over the summer. The shop is just now starting to reach full production, according to spokesman Jeff Eichenseer.
Conestoga Wood added 47,000 square feet to its finishing facility, and York Township-based Kinsley Construction Inc. was the contractor.
Conestoga Wood also purchased a $2 million automated finishing line system, which sends wooden doors, for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, through robotic sprayers and into a drying oven.
The finished product is then sold to cabinet manufacturers, Eichenseer said.
The finishing line system was built by a German company, and it will help Conestoga Wood increase its production by 200 percent, Eichenseer said.
Whereas Conestoga Wood’s old finishing line would have taken eight hours to pass four pieces of wood, the new equipment will get the job done in half the time, Eichenseer explained.
Conestoga Wood is doing over 3,000 pieces a day in finishing alone in Lancaster County, and it expects to more than double that with its recent investment.
Yet, finishing only makes up about 1/3 of its business here, Eichenseer said.
The other 2/3s of its business are unfinished cabinet doors and other components that manufacturers then paint themselves.
Increasing production in the finishing facility will not lead to more jobs in that area, because the new equipment will get more work done with the same amount of people, Eichenseer said, adding that Conestoga is always hiring for other jobs at its plant.
The company has a total of about 1,250 employees between its five locations – three in Pennsylvania, one in North Carolina and one in Washington.
Conestoga Wood’s headquarters are in Lancaster County where the company was founded in 1964. It started in a two-car garage that still stands on the property today.