softwood and custom plywood. The company works
with a variety of veneer species including birch, mahogany, beech, ash, cherry, chestnut, hickory, maple,
rosewood, teak and zebrawood, according to Chief
Operating Officer Phil Hanna. The company also
manufactures cut-to-size panels and thermofoil doors.
“Our primary focus is customer satisfaction,” said
Vigneux. The company’s typical customers manufacture high-end cabinetry, fine furniture, architectural
millwork and store fixtures. “Our ability to service
the industry with a fast turn-around, higher grades,
service and quality positions Pro-Ply as one of the top
producers in North America,” he said.
From 60 to 65 percent of Pro-Ply’s deliveries are to
the U.S., with the remainder for domestic Canadian
consumption. Their approximate annual sales in
2016 totaled $22 million CAD.
Commitment to automation
Vigneux also considers his plant to be the most mod-
ern facility of its kind in North America. Pro-Ply’s
first robot line launched three years ago when they
put a Nachi robot to work offloading, trimming and
stacking panels coming out of a veneer press.
Early this year Pro-Ply added three Kuka material
handling robots to a line that feeds two Heesemann
sanders that can sand up to 1,000 panels a day. The
Heesemann sanders were added three years ago. Ac-
cording to Hanna it was relatively easy to incorporate
“Once the programs were established for all differ-
ent types of panels we fabricate, panels ran smooth-
ly,” said Hanna.
Another workhorse in Pro-Ply’s automation is a
Homag Ambition 2492 Edgebander. The machine can
be used for gluing edges, finish processing, and profiling.
It has a feed rate of up to 82 feet per minute. Hanna says
the machine is ideal for extra long workpieces.
“The Homag edgebander was pretty much plug
and play, our best integration into our plant. We did
not edgeband panels in the past. This is all new to
Pro-Ply,” said Hanna.
A Holzma HPL 33 panel saw facilitates Pro-Ply’s
cut-to-size program. Pro-ply’s new kitchen cabinet
Pro-Ply added three Kuka material handling robots to a line that feeds two Heesemann sanders that can sand up to 1,000
panels a day.