Siempelkamp supplies Steves & Sons with equipment for door skins manufacturing

Siempelkamp’s forming line of the multi-daylight plant for the production of door skins (Image: Siempelkamp)

US door manufacturer Steves & Sons has placed an order for two forming and press lines for the production of door skins with Siempelkamp, with plans to enter the door skins manufacturing business.

Steves & Sons also placed an order with Siempelkamp subsidiary Büttner for two fibre dryers and an energy plant. The two press lines each consist of a fibre classifier, mat forming, forming line and the multi-daylight press yielding millions of door skins per year. For the press line design, the focus was specifically on the product variety, combined with the minimisation of trim waste.

For the process heat supply of the mill, Büttner contributes an energy system, based on biomass combustion, including flue gas pre-cleaning as well as two fibre drying systems. The energy system not only supplies thermal energy to the drying systems, it also heats thermal oil for press heating and generates steam for wood defibration.

The decisive factor for the cooperation is Siempelkamp’s experience in the wood-based panel industry, which includes plants for the production of thin medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and high-density fibreboard (HDF) boards.

This experience is also in demand for the production of door skins: thin molded hardboard panels which, glued to frames on both sides, are used as interior doors.

The surface qualities of the panels require highest demands: From appearance and material density to thickness tolerances, various factors affect the appearance, the final quality, and ultimately the production costs of the door skins.

In addition, other factors contributed to the fact that two family-owned companies with almost identical longevity came together in this project. Steves & Sons has been in the market for 157 years.

“Our experience in the North American market, our competence in being able to adapt technical designs very specifically to local requirements, convinced Steves & Sons,” said Dirk Koltze, president of Siempelkamp LP/Büttner in Charlotte, US, and Andreas Krott, senior sales and project
engineer of Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau.

“We can also bring our exceptional expertise in the planning of complete plants to the table. This ensures an optimal process technology and operating cost design, for example in the form of low maintenance and energy costs, a minimised use of raw materials, and a high degree of automation.”

Siempelkamp reported that commissioning and start-up for all the equipment is scheduled for 2024.