AN $8 million upgrade of Carter Holt Harvey's Monkland plant came to fruition this week as the first Yellow Tongue flooring rolled off the production line and delivered to local businesses.
Carter Holt Harvey facility manager Laurie Armstrong said the upgrade of the plant, which included a new wood chip dryer and production line, was “good news for Gympie” and would help secure the jobs of the factory's 100 employees.
“We're going flat out at the moment making as much board as we can,” Mr Armstrong said.
The factory is geared up to produce 24,000 cubic metres of flooring this calendar year.
The new production line, built by Gympie company Darren Groves Engineering, trims the particle board and squares it up before grooving and waxing the edges.
The final stage sees a plastic tongue inserted into one of the grooves before the product is stacked and packed ready for delivery.
Most of the flooring will be sold in Queensland with Carter Holt Harvey having a 65 per cent share of the Queensland structural chip board flooring market.
The company's expansion of the Monkland factory will take pressure off Carter Holt Harvey's Oberon plant in New South Wales which had been supplying the flooring for the Queensland market.
“We've taken over the Queensland supply - the company will save money on transport costs with our factory being based in South East Queensland,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Our first two packs were picked up by Melco and delivered to local business Mecano yesterday.”
The facility manager said the new second hand dryer the company had imported from Germany had been instrumental in the factory being able to produce the extra board along with other products such as bench top particle board and door cores.
“The new dryer has boosted our capacity,” Mr Armstrong.
“And we haven't had a fire since it came on line.
“When running at full capacity the line can push out an extra 1.8 tonnes of flooring every three minutes.”
Mr Armstrong said local companies had been instrumental in the completion of the project.
Apart for Darren Groves Engineering, the computerised controlled system was installed by Gympie firm Industrial Controls Australia and Pat Hogan Electrical installed the electrics.