ARAUCO held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 16 at its new particleboard and lamination facility in Grayling, Mich. Executives from ARAUCO, ARAUCO North America, as well as customers and public officials from Chile and the state of Michigan attended the ceremony, which also included a plant tour. The Grayling mill represents a $450 million investment toward supporting ARAUCO’s North American customer base and increasing the company’s ability to meet the furniture manufacturing industry in the U.S. Midwest market area and beyond.
The 820,000 sq. ft. operation is the company’s first greenfield facility in the U.S., its 11th North America manufacturing site and the largest of its kind globally. The operation is designed to be one of the most productive in the world and houses North America’s highest-capacity, single-line particleboard press, two thermally infused laminating (TFL) lines and a large stocking warehouse for just-in-time service delivery. The plant currently staffs more than 200 full-time employees and has generated 700 additional jobs in related supplier and logistics industries since construction commenced in spring 2017.
“This is a historic day and milestone for our company,” said Matías Domeyko, CEO, ARAUCO. “The official start of production at Grayling exemplifies the outstanding innovation and sustained growth ARAUCO is known for globally, and what has been central to propelling our positive business results. The Grayling mill achievement also is the culmination of unwavering commitment from our valued investor who shared our vision for capturing significant market opportunity in North America.”
Kelly Shotbolt, President of ARAUCO North America, acknowledged the
significant contributions of the Grayling project managers, and praised state of Michigan officials and local Crawford County representatives for creating an environment conducive to undertaking such a large-scale business endeavor.
“We are grateful for the incredible support received both from Grayling
community leaders and the state of Michigan. It has been vital to enabling ARAUCO to renew our industry in North America through what is arguably the most advanced, automated and large-scale facility of its kind anywhere
in the world,” Shotbolt said. “While known for automobile manufacturing, Michigan also is the office furniture capital of the world. We are pleased to substantially expand our production capacity to assure a strong, sustainable supply of quality, raw and finished product for
this growing region.”
With an annual production capacity of 452MMSF, the Grayling plant will soon produce the full breadth of the company’s high-quality raw particleboard in a variety of thicknesses, as well as ARAUCO’s PRISM TFL collection.