Prefinished hardwood moulding manufacturer Artistic Finishes Inc. has revealed details of its proposed plant expansion and recent capital equipment investments including a state-of-the-art moulding facility and improvements to the existing production line.

"To meet the challenges of soaring market demands, we anticipate these investments will result in multifold increases in capacity and significant reduction of turnaround times," said Tom Leach, Artistic Finishes' vice chairman and vice president of Marketing/Sales.

An additional building located adjacent to the current company headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., has been secured to increase the total manufacturing facility by more than 30 percent. In addition, a reorganization of the existing manufacturing plant has been completed to allow for placement of new production equipment and workstations.

The resulting space reallocation tripled the footprint of the Special Finishes Work Center, which is dedicated to distressing and hand-scraping products. Additional hand-scraping equipment and dust collection tables were also incorporated to handle the increased volumes of Special Finishes products.

To address the need to "do more volume, faster" and face the challenges of small lot sizes and an increased number of product SKUs, Artistic Finishes has reduced outsourcing and brought the necessary equipment in house.

"We found that a majority of the moulding blanks ordered from our suppliers were for less than 200 pieces," noted Denny Leach, company chairman and vice president of Production. "Our solution lies in taking the small quantity items out of the conventional moulding shop and putting them into a manufacturing environment that supports rapid changeovers."

To achieve this, the company has purchased a six-head Weinig molder and accessorized a tool room with full grinding capabilities. The molder will enable Artistic to respond quickly and cost-effectively to orders for specialty items in small quantities. All of Artistic's mouldings are profile sanded, which produces a much higher-quality finished product. To continue to make this possible with the increase in demand, a second state-of-the-art lineal profile sander has been added to the company's arsenal.

"In addition to growing our infrastructure to support our industry-leading moulding manufacturing and distributor programs, these investments mean something more -- they demonstrate our unwavering commitment to on-time deliveries and increased quality product, while supporting the profitability of our distributor network," explained Randy Hambright, Artistic Finishes' director of Sales.