Armstrong World Industries Inc. has announced that it will cease production of its residential stencil manufacturing process at its Lancaster, Pa., floor plant effective Sept. 26. Declining volumes and a shift toward new products utilizing next-generation design capabilities are drivers of this decision, Armstrong says. The company anticipates that fewer than 50 employees will be impacted at the Lancaster plant.

Inventory levels of the most popular stencil products, including Jaspe and Stencil Craft, will be available to fill demand through first quarter 2004.

Earlier this year, Armstrong introduced 48 vinyl sheet products using its next-generation Inlaid Color Graphics manufacturing process and its new MasterWorks Technology. Forty-six products that require these new technologies will be released in first quarter 2004.

Among these new products will be the reintroduction of Armstrong's signature product, Designer Solarian using the new technologies to create the new and improved structure.

Products that utilize MasterWorks Technology are produced at the Lancaster and Stillwater facilities. Products using the next-generation Inlaid Color Graphics process are manufactured at Armstrong's Holmsund, Sweden, plant. These technologies are designed to dramatically improve the clarity and fidelity with which flooring imagery can be reproduced, Armstrong says.