Another sanding innovation is a
custom Doucet stroke sander for sanding the curves of casket covers. The
machine consolidates rough and finished sanding of three covers at a time
into a single step, reducing the number
of operators from three to two.
To achieve the flawless finishes
required, the company still uses
traditional nitrocellulose lacquer and
painstakingly sands and polishes by
hand to a high gloss.
New England Casket is always looking
for ways to improve, adopting tenants
of lean manufacturing, custom ma-
chinery and modern technology. “We
always have ideas on our radar,” said
Tobia, who regularly is on the shop
floor talking with production workers.
“We’re here everyday,” says Tobia of
himself and his father, Louis Tobia Sr.
“We walk the plant every day.”
Tobia Jr. points to the change in
rough mill operations as one of the
first big steps that led to more up-
grades. More custom machines and
Hand-sanding and hand-polishing are still required to achieve the desired finish. The company
is looking into robotic finishing options.
The upholstery area of the company finishes the interior of caskets using a variety of materials,
even camouflage cloth for a “sportsman” model.
A stack of mouldings awaits assembly into
caskets. The company uses specialized
equipment to finely sand all mouldings