Bohlke steps up investment in new technology

Fairfield-Ohio / Rietberg (Germany), in October 2017 - "Our strategy is to make sure that we always have a technical head start," says Manfred Bohlke. The founder and President of the successful American company, M. Bohlke Veneer Corp., that specializes in fine veneer, is investing even more in cutting edge technology to take its equipment to the next level. The newly developed crossfeed veneer splicer Kuper ACR with EVB (end-splicing and trimming machine) has just been put into operation in the factory.

 "We originally wanted to purchase a Kuper CrossRunner, but then we quickly decided in favour of the higher capacity machine. The benefits for us were compelling," says Manfred Bohlke. The innovative machine ensures much more flexible production at a consistently high standard. The cutting-edge intelligent control system of the ACR allows perfectly coordinated processes.
"The ACR also allows very fast processing of narrow and wavy veneers," says Marty Jones, the Product Manager of Kuper's North American sales partner, Stiles, and adds: "That is possible due to the infeed transport belts that take the pre-glued veneers, align and measure them, and transport them to the splicing zone. Depending on the strip width, the integrated first strip pull-in facility switches on automatically."

The linear moveable top pressure unit of the ACR can be precisely positioned by a simple touch at the touch panel and is easily accessible for maintenance purposes. The integrated cross cutting knife cuts the veneer sheet to the preset fixed dimensions. The ACR stacks the cut veneer automatically and precisely in the stacker. "Our machine operator can immediately see all production parameters listed in the clearly laid-out control panel on the screen," says Nick Bohlke, President of Manufacturing and grandson of Manfred Bohlke.

"Our American partners are now able to process all lengths (5´, 8´, 10´) and depths up to 8´ on one machine", says Kuper Sales Manager, Horst Seiter. This allows Bohlke to meet small customized orders, and diversify and extend its product range and value-added chain. "The ACR allows us to do all that to our full satisfaction," says Manfred Bohlke.

Planning and installation of the machine was completely trouble-free. The KUPER ACR was quickly integrated into the running production process. Manfred Bohlke explains: "We are not active in the mass veneer splicing business and we do not intend to change that. However, the new technology puts us in an even better position to offer special, finest quality veneers. It is an important addition for us." The timber experts are thrilled with their investment. Thanks to this investment, M. Bohlke Veneer Corp. is perfectly positioned in the market for the future.

Bohlke has been well diversified and positioned in the market for decades, and supplies products of the finest quality to customers in many different areas of industry: Furniture manufacturers, door producers, kitchen manufacturers, interior contractors, shopfitters and even the automotive and aviation industries. The American timber specialist predominantly produces cut veneers, square-edged lumber, and even customized veneer sheets. 

"Anybody who visits Bohlke is overwhelmed," says Siggi Hager, Kuper Customer Advisor for North America. "Everything is equipped with the finest, top-notch veneers: the entrance hall, offices, conference rooms, showrooms and even the doors in the washroom facilities." It could not be more modern or more high-class. Every room, every wall or ceiling creates a wow effect. The visitor can find wood and veneer art wherever he looks: A world map in the conference room is in veneer marquetry, the  wood slaps in the shelves are petrified wood.

The team from the largest veneer producer in North America celebrated its 50th year in business last year. The company founder and President, Manfred Bohlke, emigrated from Germany to the USA in 1963. Only three years later he founded his own company with two employees. Today, M. Bohlke Veneer Corp. employs a staff of 250. The company founder has always developed and expanded his company with strong partners. All these activities are today supported by his grandson Nick Bohlke.
The contact between Bohlke and Kuper is an excellent example of long-term successful cooperation. Kuper and Bolhke have shared a common passion for wood for quarter of a century. This partnership across the Atlantic has held for generations and has been continuously strengthened. In addition to the new ACR, the timber specialists from Ohio also work with the ACR-Superquick, KLM, the FFM, the FL Innovation and a Josting ZFS, also supplied by Kuper. 

For the president and founder of the company, Manfred Bohlke, and his son, Marc Bohlke, cooperation with the German special machine manufacturer began with the "Kuper Superquick". "Quality and performance were what convinced them then. Today I believe it was the right decision to always rely on Kuper," says Nick Bohlke, who is successfully managing the company.