In its fourth generation of family ownership, Hormann has invested approximately $10 million in its Hörmann High Performance Doors facility in Burgettstown, Pa. The 68,000-square-foot structure that opened in October 2013 houses a manufacturing plant, offices and a full-size showroom.
The new facility replaces one in Leetsdale, Pa., and is making the overall production process more efficient. “We have automated fabric cutters, automated tube welding for the end shafts, automated storage carousels for our hinges and automated parts carousels,” lists Peter Burnham, vice president of sales and marketing. Along with a conveyor that automatically feeds the fabric to the cutter, the company has invested up to $1 million for those five pieces of equipment, he estimates.
Burnham believes this level of automation is a competitive advantage over competitors. “The difference is the investment the owners gave in automated equipment to satisfy our customers today and to be able to increase our outflow even more, so that we can keep up with the increasing growth of the Hormann product,” he says. “If you look at our door, what we call the curtain a competitor will cut on the floor with kneepads. We use an automated machine to do that. We are a growing company, and we’re investing in the growth of our company to succeed even more.”
The Burgettstown plant also manufactures products for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. “We are not so much a production as an assembly facility,” Burnham declares. “We source a lot of our components, including the control panels, the drive units and the side frames. The key components are supplied from local vendors. We’re American-made. We do get some of our components from Germany. One of our plants in Germany is the mother ship of the Hormann empire. We get better volume buying through them.”
Hormann High Performance Doors’ previous plant was leased. “It was not set up to be as efficient,” Burnham says. “We laid this facility out as we do our 25 Hormann facilities worldwide.”
The company offers 20-plus models of industrial, high-performance doors that are manufactured on three different production lines. The door models have different weights and configurations of fabric. Some steel doors – such as for sally ports at police stations, correctional facilities or courthouses – are insulated with polyurethane foam.
Instead of opening at 8 to 10 inches per second, Hörmann High Performance Doors open at 80 inches per second hundreds of times daily. “There’s no stock-size doors,” Burnham emphasizes. They are all custom-built for each customer’s needs.
Keeping Quality High
Hörmann High Performance Doors uses the Five “Ss” of just-in-time manufacturing – sort, systematize, shine, standardize and self-discipline. “We try to do two to three weeks from order to delivery,” Burnham says. “The norm in the industry is four to six weeks. We keep an inventory of components on-hand. We will do what’s needed to satisfy our customer dealer base.”
The Burgettstown facility is aiming for LEED Silver certification. The metal building is fully insulated and has a large number of skylights for natural lighting. The energy-efficient lighting in the building adjusts its level automatically based on the amount of natural lighting an area is receiving.
All window openings have shutters that adjust automatically to regulate the amount of sunlight the windows receive. These can allow more sunlight in the winter and shade the building from the heat of the sun in the summer. The plant also has drive-through bays and a crane for completely climate-controlled off-loading. All mechanical systems are energy-efficient, and recycled materials were used in its construction.
Besides manufacturing, the new facility’s showroom functions as both a sales aid for the dealers through whom the company distributes its products exclusively and as a training center. It has eight fully activated, working doors that measure 11 feet 6 inches wide by 11 feet 6 inches high. Additionally, the entire building has been designed so it can be expanded in two phases to 220,000 square feet as the market demands.
Hörmann High Performance Doors’ competitive advantage is its long history. “We’re not going anywhere,” Burnham emphasizes. “I want to put the best-quality product out there that I can, and in time we will become No. 1. We are having significant growth, and that creates its own challenge of making sure your quality standards are high. We grew in excess of 30 percent last year from 2012 to 2013.”