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Pictured are Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PENROD, Edward A. Heidt Jr., along with Foresbec President Albert Lacroix.

ForesFloor Opens To Grand Fanfare

St.-Eugene, Quebec–Foresbec Inc., a recognized worldwide leader in the distribution and manufacturing of North American hardwood flooring, is now successfully operating in its new ForesFloor facility, which is located in Quebec, Canada.

ForesFloor, established in 2000, is a division of Foresbec that manufactures high quality hardwood flooring products.

Albert Lacroix, president and chief operating officer at Foresbec, commented, “It is a fitting time to put a new face on ForesFloor, as well as our facility, because it falls right in line with our latest technological advancements, our new product lines and the expansion of our business in the United States. Unlike our competitors, we are our own supplier and control the entire manufacturing process from forest to finished products to ensure quality at every stage. Our hardwood flooring truly reflects our company brand, Beauty That Endures.”

The new state-of-the-art facility includes a two-bandsaw sawmill with a weekly capacity of 250,000 board feet, a 150,000
The company’s sawmill and lumberyard.
square-foot flooring production plant and drying kilns. The new facility features a quality control system driven by an artificial vision technology scanner, which improves productivity on the floor while ensuring ForesFloor products are of premium quality.

ForesFloor offers an extensive line of hardwood flooring products including the Classic collection and two new flooring collections: the New Expression line and the Technique collection. For added protection and value, ForesFloor implements the DuraStar coating process, a unique ultra-resistant urethane formula, and the exclusive Moisture Guard system, designed to help prevent strip expansion caused by seasonal humidity.

The new facility was heralded by gala events, including Community Day, which offered carnival-type games and amusement for all ages. Employees were in attendance, along with their families and friends. Community Day also included sawing and hammering contests, demonstrations and a grand tour of the factory.

The grand opening ceremony featured remarks from Foresbec President Lacroix and Edward A. Heidt Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of The PENROD Co., the parent company of Foresbec. Lacroix, Heidt and Carl Gade, presid
The newly unveiled ForesFloor plant in St.-Eugène, Quebec.
ent and chief operating officer at PENROD, sawed a board into two pieces to kick off operations at the ForesFloor plant. Sixty invited guests witnessed the official sawn-board ceremony that replaced the traditional ribbon cutting that typically signals the opening of a new facility.

Lacroix told attending guests and employees that the facility’s opening is significant to the company’s future. He added that Foresbec has dedicated a global $27 million CDN budget in capital improvements and miscellaneous expenses for the completion of this project, which began in 1998. The ForesFloor plant employs more than 160 people in St.-Eugene.

The highly efficient facility will adhere to and advance Foresbec’s environmental policies, noted Lacroix. The company has pledged to protect the environment and natural resources by using 100 percent of its raw materials and by using recycled materials to package all finished products.

According to Lacroix, the ForesFloor installations were planned according to a logical integration of all st
An optional view of the Foresbec facility.
ages of hardwood flooring production. The firm has a vast storage yard for the logs that are cut into raw boards by band saws. Boards are either transferred to the company’s Drummondville plant for the export market or selected for hardwood flooring production. The lower grade wood is resold for wood pallets and blocking. ForesFloor also sells the sawdust, bark and residues ripped in shavings.

At ForesFloor, the sawn wood retained to make flooring is planed on two faces, put on sticks and dried artificially according to the company’s rigorous quality criteria to ensure dimensional uniformity.

During the production stage, boards are placed on the ripping line and humidity sensors allow only those boards that have the correct humidity level to be further processed.  An optical sensor selects the best cut, which then allows the plant to obtain the best yield with the least amount of waste. Strips are then transferred to the moulder.

Production lines have been restructured to guarantee maximum efficiency at ForesFloor. For example, the current production goal of 85,000 square feet of flooring weekly is expected to increase to more than 175,000 square feet of flooring after a second work shift is implemented in the near future.

From left: Carl Gade, president and chief operating officer of The PENROD Co.; Foresbec President Albert Lacroix and Edward A. Heidt Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of PENROD, the parent company of Foresbec, outside the newly unveiled ForesFloor plant in St.-Eugène, Quebec.
Also, to respond to the growing demand for factory-finished flooring, ForesFloor is equipped with a finishing and stain line. This enables the firm to add a personal touch by systematically affixing a protective layer against humidity variations under each strip. Where applicable, the wood is stained and then receives up to 10 coats of urethane. A continuous UV drying system completes the process.

ForesFloor offers customers 5,000 combinations of varying species, widths, stains and styles, and all carry a 25-year residential warranty.

Foresbec purchased 1.6 million square feet of property in 2002 with plans to expand the St. Eugene factory. The company then constructed a sawmill in 2003 to partially feed the Drummondville facility as well as the hardwood flooring plant with quality raw materials. After that, Foresbec built four dry kilns and added a rip line.

Foresbec employs more than 300 people who staff various divisions. The Drummondville manufacturing plant includes a receiving facility, a rough lumber yard, 22 kilns, two automated grading lines, a ripping and planing plant and warehouse facilities.
Foresbec President Albert Lacroix joins PENROD Chairman and CEO Edward A. Heidt Jr., and Carl Gade, PENROD president and COO, for the official
 “board-cutting” at the new ForesFloor facility in St.-Eugène, Quebec.

Founded in 1980 in Drummondville, Foresbec has subsidiaries in France and in England, as well as international offices in China, Japan and Thailand. The company exports 75 percent of its production to more than 45 countries.

Foresbec is a PENROD Group Company, which is a diversified operation headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  PENROD specializes in forest, metal and PVC products and has offices worldwide with distribution centers on five continents. 
Foresbec hosted a “public day” to allow guests to tour the new facility.

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