BARNWELL, S.C.—Kronotex USA has announced the expansion of its Kronotex Flooring manufacturing facility here. The construction project, expected to start immediately, will enhance clean energy development and increase production capacity by 60% with the installation of a third set of high-speed laminating and profiling lines.
“The expansion of our Barnwell facility will enable us to produce a complete line of high-end laminate flooring prod- ucts with improved design, which were previously only produced in the company’s European factories and imported by Kronotex USA,” said Norm Voss, president and CEO of Kronotex USA. “The increase in both capacity and capability will create new jobs in Barnwell while providing our customers with higher value products more quickly and more reliably, in addition to reducing their delivery costs and working capital requirements.”
Kronotex’ expansion project, which includes 225,000 square feet of addition- al warehouse factory space, and new administrative and sales offices, will create 40 new jobs with a capital investment of $45 million. According to Voss, the expansion will be used to manufacture both Formica and Kronotex branded products as well as private-label offerings. The expansion is due to be completed in mid- summer 2011.
“This significant investment during a time of weak economic growth is a testimonial to the excellent quality of our products and our work force in Barnwell,” Voss said. “We could not have continued to grow our business during these tough economic conditions if it weren’t for the close working relationships we have developed with our customers and critical vendors.”
When asked, once complete, if the expansion will meet all of the company’s U.S. needs, Voss told FCNews, “Over time, probably 99% will be made in Barnwell with only a few, lower volume specialty products purchased from Europe.
“In the beginning,” he explained, “we will run out the European inventories of décor papers while in some cases the SKU assortment is being refreshed with new American-designed decors.”
According to Travis Bass, vice president of sales and marketing, “in order to be competitive, we had to invest here. The new equipment will allow us to make the full spectrum of laminate products. Our plans for the factory were well under way before Wilsonart left the business. We hate to see a good competitor go, but its specialty was commercial, so there could be opportunity there.”
For more information on Kronotex USA, call 866.334.9923 or visit kronotexusa.com.