History - Arkansas Laminating

Go to content

Main menu:

History

History

Arkansas Laminating, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ArkLam, L.L.C.  (“ARKLAM” or the “Company”) is engaged in the design, manufacturing and sale of custom engineered, laminated wood products.  ARKLAM is believed to be the largest volume seller and manufacturer of custom laminated wood products in the United States.

Among some of the plant’s better known projects are the Winery at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina; the L. L. Bean retail store in Freeport, Maine; numerous buildings and structures at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina and on the island of Hilton Head; Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; Cleveland Cavaliers Practice Facility in Cleveland, Ohio; Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City Missouri; Yale University Boat House, Derby, Connecticut; buildings and bridges for Disney World in Florida and Sea World in both, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas; Emmaus Catholic Church, Lakeway, Texas; Crystal Bridges Museum and Amazeum Children’s Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas; Love Field Air Terminal, Dallas, Texas; a prototype Wal-Mart “green” (environmentally friendly) store in Lawrence, Kansas; HEB Grocery chain in Austin, Texas, El Dorado High School Gymnasium, El Dorado, Arkansas. Plus numerous wedding chapels, natatoriums, equestrian arenas, credit unions, libraries, travel centers, medical and dental offices, aquatic and athletic clubs, churches, light risers, salt storage warehouses, shelter and bridge packages.

Arkansas Laminating and its predecessors have operated the Magnolia, Arkansas, plant since the 1950's.  The principal office and manufacturing facility are located in Magnolia, Arkansas.



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Glued laminated timber is an engineered, stress-rated product consisting of assemblies of selected and prepared wood pieces (laminations) that are glued together with adhesives.  Laminations consist of dimension lumber that is end-jointed to form longer sections, face glued to make deeper sections, and/or bent to form curved shapes.  Laminated wood products are used as load-carrying structures, framing for roofs and other structural portions of buildings.  They are also used in other structures such as bridges, marine installations and other outdoor applications.

ARKLAM manufactures and markets custom engineered laminated products.  Custom products include arches, beams, columns, trusses and a variety of structural components for most every type of commercial or public facility.  Custom products are generally specified by architects and engineers for a particular project. The engineering group at ARKLAM works with the project designers to refine specifications and to address applicable industry and building code requirements.  Agreed upon plans and specifications are then used by ARKLAM in the custom manufacture of the products.  Lumber and adhesives comprise the raw materials necessary to produce laminated wood products, which are often then fitted with custom or standard steel mounting hardware.

Most custom and standard products are fabricated in accordance with the standards of the American Institute of Timber Construction (“AITC”) including ANSI/AITC standard A190.1-latest edition.  Individuals affiliated with ARKLAM have often been officers and directors of the AITC, which now operates under the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB).  Currently, Gary L. Burley, CEO, of ARKLAM is serving on the WCLIB board, representing District10.


ARKLAM’S MARKET

Approximately seventy percent (70%) of the Company’s custom-engineered products are sold through by independent distributors and sales agents.  The majority of custom-engineered products are sold directly to general contractors or project owners.

The Company has been able to capture and maintain its market share by maintaining its in-house sales force and offering engineering services.  A significant portion of the Company’s sales are to religious and other not-for-profit customers.

THE STRUCTURAL GLULAM INDUSTRY

Southern Pine; Douglas Fir.  The industry uses two major raw materials, Southern Yellow Pine and Douglas Fir.

The materials have different properties and require different processes in the manufacture of laminated products.


                                    Southern Pine                                                             Douglas Fir

                          Planed prior to lamination                                            Planing not required.
                              (Loss of 8% of wood)

                            May be pressure treated                                         Cannot be pressure treated.
                  with preservatives before lamination.         (“incising” costly and less effective post-lamination).
           
                       Preferred in outdoor applications.                       Of limited use in outdoor applications.

               More curvability, greater design flexibility.                                Limited curvability.

            Generally considered to have pleasing appeal.            Aesthetic appeal in the eye of the beholder.


Douglas Fir is mostly located in the Rockies and Northwest U.S.  Southern Pine is located in the Southwest and Southeast U.S.

The universe of producers may be segmented into four categories based on raw material used and whether products are custom or standard (e.g., straight beams).

CUSTOM PRODUCTS

ARKLAM uses a very personal marketing approach by having salesmen and agents directly contact the people who can influence a design and product decision.  They focus on providing “value added” services by providing an engineering staff to assist in design work.  ARKLAM also packages associated construction products (fabricated steel, heavy timber deck,) to go with the laminated wood.  

Producers of stock beams generally sell to wholesale firms, distributors, fabricators and like intermediate customers.  They provide few or no services and price their products as commodities.  Their margins come from mass production and cost controls.

ARKLAM IN THE INDUSTRY

ARKLAM has the largest custom plant in the U.S. allowing ARKLAM to produce higher volumes as well as the largest custom products.

ARKLAM competes in all regions east of the Rockies.

EMPLOYMENT
ARKLAM START-UP EMPLOYEES – 2012
Total: Approximately 55

 
Back to content | Back to main menu