(Photo above: Bright Wood Expansion in Madras includes upgrading existing building and adding 25,000 square feet | by Cascade Business News)
Focusing on Engineered Structural Lumber Production
Bright Wood in Madras is expanding their facility which will bring more jobs and year round industry to the city. As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wood components and millwork, Bright Wood will soon have more space for their operation to focus on Engineered Structural Lumber (ESL) production.
The renovations at Bright Wood consist of upgrading an existing 25,000 square foot building and adding an additional 25,000 square feet to double the buildings’ space for manufacturing and warehousing.
Construction is currently underway and nearly seventy percent complete on plant and equipment updates. The updated 50,000 square foot facility is expected to be fully operating by late November 2017.
The expansion was prompted by an opportunity to capture a share of the ESL marketplace. Over the past decade ESL has increased in popularity among builders due to a lower installed cost than dimensional lumber, ease of installation, dimensional stability and structural integrity of engineered products.
“We saw an opportunity in the Engineered Structural Lumber marketplace as a result of the comeback in the construction markets combined with the loss of other manufacturers during the nine year recession,” said Kevin Palmer, chief financial officer at Bright Wood. “Earlier this year we converted one of our manufacturing lines making it capable of making ESL products. Our initial customers loved our product and service and asked us to expand our product line which is what the new facility will be manufacturing.”
Engineered wood offers better consistency and stability thanks to the wood being fabricated in a manufacturing process that bonds together wood strands, veneers, lumber and other forms of wood fiber. Quality assurance programs are in place at Bright Wood to ensure that the product has uniformity in strength and stiffness for long-
“This new product line, broadly described as Engineered Structural Lumber, is used primarily in new commercial and residential construction,” Palmer said. “Historically, Bright Wood has been a manufacturer of millwork products. About seventy percent of our focus was on the wood window and door markets, while about thirty percent was focused on millwork trim products such as casing, base and door frames. The ESL product line will increase our total revenue once we have it fully staffed.”
Engineered lumber has numerous benefits including its unlimited sizes, depths and lengths. Whereas dimensional lumber is limited to the size of the timber cut to make them, fabrications can make engineered lumber in a variety of sizes based on need.
With less traditional and public forest timber available for wood product manufacturing producers and builders alike are turning to engineered wood as an alternative.
Bright Wood began as a company in 1960 by manufacturing ponderosa pine cut stock. Since then the company has undergone many changes but still takes pride in being a family owned business focused on quality, innovation, on-time delivery and total dedication to customers
“Bright Wood has been a locally owned one family business for decades,” said Rick Allen, former Mayor, City Manager and local business owner in Madras. “The Stovall family lives here, their kids go to school here and they give back in many ways to the community. Sometimes it’s a financial contribution but other times it’s sharing a huge BBQ on wheels for events with 100 or more people. They might fabricate something for one of the local nonprofits or work with the schools. It can be something as allowing EDCO to use their huge conference room for an important meeting;they are always there to help. They been rock solid through the good and bad times.”
Bright Wood has diverse and state-of-the-art equipment for engineering components and a well-trained and experienced team of experts running each machine efficiently. The company is able to manufacture high performance components for doors, windows, furniture and can accommodate almost every custom job.
The extensive research and development team conducts testing and performance capability studies on new products. The thorough quality assurance department introduces process controls to assure that engineered components are manufactured
The expansion project is well under way and will soon be complete. The North addition to the building is fully approved and construction is complete. The South addition is pending final approval from city planners and Bright Wood representatives do not expect any delays.
“Bright Wood is a major economic driver in Madras and surrounding communities and they have been since the early 70s. They are a progressive and forward-thinking company,” said Joe Krenowicz, Madras Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “Like many of our strong industrial site businesses in the Madras industrial area they have weathered many downturns and have tried to minimize the negative financial impacts to their employees during those times.”
Currently Bright Wood employs about 950 people between operations in Madras, Redmond, Menomonie WI, and Dubuque Iowa.The expansion will create 12 new jobs in Madras. There will be ten positions for people to run the manufacturing line and two new office jobs.
“The new business will provide additional sales volume year-round, including during the winter months which is the slow time for our traditional sales activity,” Palmer said.
With additional space and a new focus on Engineered Structural Lumber it is no doubt that Bright Wood will continue to be a fundamental business in Madras by providing exactly what its customers are needing for many years to come.
“Madras couldn’t have a finer business in our city,” said Krenowicz.
Bright Wood Corporation — Madras