by Rich Christianson
Adding capital equipment can get complicated - especially when the new additions require new construction. For architectural millwork firm On- site Woodwork Corporation, that’s what happened after a visit to IWF 2016 in Atlanta resulted in a move into automated materials handling. Onsite Woodworks production team was wayed by a compelling demonstration of a Biesse Winstore storage and retrieval system, and decided then and there to go in an entirely unexpected direction. The team adopted a materials
management strategy that would require fast-track
construction of an entirely new facility at its Loves
Park, Illinois main plant.
Building Construction Roots
Luckily Onsite Woodwork is rooted in the build-
ing and construction industry and could draw on
its own experience for the project. The Winstore
system uses sophisticated robotics and inventory
management to receive, store, track and retrieve
panel supply. “Before we bought the Winstore we
had about 50 different types, sizes and thicknesses
of panels stored in channel racks,” according to
Ralph Peterson, chairman of Onsite Woodwork.
“We had one guy whose day was consumed
unloading delivered sheet goods and digging
through the racks to arrange stacks of material to
be fed into the panel saw. He might have a 5 by 12
½-inch sheet followed by two 4 by 8 ¾-inch sheets.
The production guys would tell him what they
needed and he’d put it all together in the loader
and roll it to the saw where panels would be cut
one at a time. We’d been doing it that way forever.”
“Then we saw the Winstore concept at IWF and
we thought, ‘If we can get rid of the process of
manually handling these sheets, we could find a
more productive use for our personnel,’” Peterson
Intending to add beam saw and CNC, millwork firm thinks bigger.
Onsite Woodwork moves panels
faster after snap decision
Onsite’s founders came from a construction background,
building luxury homes and commercial projects.
Onsite’s Selco WN630 panel saw cuts faster and
quieter than the saw it replaced, the company said.