When the merchandise looks its best in a department store, chances are it is on display either in or on a case made by Wood Designs Inc. In the 1980s, this Oklahoma City-based manufacturer made the switch over from making quality homes that were featured in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens to applying its craftsmanship providing display cases to some of the country’s high-end retailers. Along with wood, the company works with metal, glass, laminate and fabric.
Their success has enabled them to grow into a 140,000-sq-ft, state-of-the-art facility, which has been recently augmented by another 30,000-sq-ft building in Atoka, OK. Goff’s Vinyl Curtainwalls are helping them get the best use out of this additional room. Goff’s strip curtains provide access into the sectioned off areas provided by the Goff’s Curtainwalls.
“Granted we have a lot of floor space and we appreciate the flexibility,” notes Wood Designs Senior Vice President Scott Griffin, “but if it is not organized properly we would be misusing our investment.”
They knew this from experience. Within their former plant they had built 12-foot-high sheet rock walls that had to be torn down once they vacated the building. Traffic flow could be pinched by the doorways into the sections.
“Of course the first question you have when you take over a new space is how are you going to lay it out. It was very much on our minds,” recalled Griffin. A process layout consultant they were working with suggested Wood Designs take a look at curtainwalls for the finishing area, and then they came across Goff.
“The nice thing about the Goff’s Curtainwalls is they designed their product to go up fast,” states Griffin. “We were able to use our new finishing area in no time.”
“When we moved into our latest plant in Atoka we again specified Goff’s Curtainwalls. Though we had a totally new crew here when the box arrived we just laid it out on the floor. The guys quickly figured out how to hang the Curtainwalls and within a week of their spare time the enclosure for this large area was up and ready.”
Along with the fast set-up, Goff’s Curtainwalls are made for flexibility. The heavy-duty galvanized track that hangs from the ceiling establishes the area to be enclosed by the curtains and can be changed as Wood Designs’ business changes. Curtainwall sections attach to the roller system using #2 brass tooth grommets on 1-foot centers, which glide along the track for easy curtain separation.
In both places the Curtainwalls enclose a finishing area. The Oklahoma City plant has five large paint booths for applying an automotive finish to ensure the longevity of the product, with ventilation systems in each section. Once the finish is applied the product moves by hand pushed carts into the finishing area.
The product remains in the finishing area to set up and dry to the point that debris will not stick to their surfaces. Within the 5,000 sq ft of the curtained off area, half is a work area and the other portion is for inventory. When the displays are dry the crew moves them into a post assembly department where hardware, fabric and any attachments are added.
The plant ceiling reaches 40 feet high. Nearby is a 30” diameter sock air makeup system. This is part of a $750,000 dust collection system. “The area within the Curtainwall,” says Griffin, “is the most dust-free in the plant.” Most importantly, Griffin credits the finishing area created by the Curtainwalls with cutting down on their rework costs.
The curtains do an excellent job of providing a quality assurance envelop for these hi-end wood products by containing airborne contaminants. The Curtainwalls are made of rugged 14 oz. reinforced vinyl and have a chain-weighted lower hem that prevents air currents from flaring up the curtains. In the middle of the curtain section is a clear 20-mil double polished window section. Griffin appreciates the visibility the window provides for safety, supervision and product flow.
Organizing is very important because quite often the company is involved with major national rollouts such as the recent changeover of many department stores to the Macy’s chain. Often much of the work is custom. “In our plant, it is all about product flow and the curtains don’t get in the way,” says Griffin. “We get better product handling flow and by doing it right we avoid a product handling nightmare.”
Because of their growth Wood Designs pays special attention to flexibility. Should their needs change the tracks can be reconfigured in little time. “The nice thing about the curtains is with our growth mode we are never boxed in.”
“For the new plant,” recalls Griffin, “our procurement requires us to look at a couple of bids when considering assets. We had a bid from someone else that was $200 cheaper, but our experience with their product and service kept us with Goff.”
Based on what their retail accounts are looking for, Wood Designs’ reputation is really skin deep and depends on the quality of the finish on the displays. “On top of the fact that the Goff’s Curtainwalls are so economical,” remarks Griffin, “they enable us to provide the better quality our customer demand.”