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ANTHONY TIMBERLANDS, Inc. IN THE MIDST OF MODERNIZATION
As the new millenium nears, Anthony Timberlands, Inc. (ATI) finds itself in the midst of what has become a ten year modernization phase which has encompassed each of its primary manufacturing sites at Bearden, Malvern and Beirne.
Begun in the mid 90s at its flagship mill in Bearden, to date nearly $35 million in plant improvements have been made or committed to. Additional projects near approval or are still on the drawing board.
In 1994, Phase I of what was envisioned as a three phase modernization project began at ATI-Bearden with construction of a 66 bay vertical bin sorter replacing an older 45 bay sling sorter which was no longer sufficient to handle the volume of production or range of products being manufactured at the Bearden mill. This was quickly followed up by Phase II, construction of a fully optimized and computerized remanufacturing mill which went on line in fall, 1995. Phase III at Bearden nears completion with installation of a quad band sharp chain and curve sawing versi-gang. This new mill replaces an older small log processing center and features more accurate scanning and positioning mechanisms as well as a more flexible and higher production system.
The ATI-Malvern mill has likewise seen substantial improvement, beginning with a new Planer Mill which went on line in 1997, allowing green-end expansion. Also becoming operational in 1997 was a new small log processing sharp chain. The new mill allows high speed conversion of small logs, previously a problem for the Malvern mill.
At Beirne, 1997 (a very busy year!) saw the replacement of an older end dogging quad band mill with a new computer optimized quad band maxi-mill. Greatly enhanced scanning and positioning capibilities yeild greater recovery of high grade oak lumber. Four additional dry kilns have also been constructed to handle the increased volume of production. While computer optimization is somewhat rare in hardwoods, ATI has been a pioneer in this area, and is currently investigating optimized remanufacturing equipment for installation in the coming years.
These are just a few of the biggest projects undertaken at the ATI millsites over the past five years. Dozens of smaller jobs have been completed or are on-going. Completion of these projects will position the various ATI mills to remain leaders in innovation and survivors in the very competitive South Arkansas forest products industry.
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