Tampa, Fla.-based Masonite® International Corp. recently opened a 200,000 square-foot door manufacturing facility in Denmark, S.C., with a fully automated production line. With its premier automation technology, Masonite says the manufacturing facility in Denmark will help the company improve product quality and safety while distributing its interior residential door products to the southeast market faster.

Masonite's automated plant features a door flipper inspection station.
Masonite’s automated plant features a door flipper inspection station.

“Masonite has enjoyed working with many talented and dedicated people that brought this next generation facility to reality,” says executive vice president of operations Glen Coulter.  “The fully automated production line allows Masonite to build a door in minutes that used to take up to six hours or more. All of this while employing additional people.  By the end of the year, Masonite expects to employ 200 people at our Denmark facility.”

The Masonite technology investment of more than $14 million is a direct response to changing customer demands. Lead time expectation has changed and inventory is now turned as quickly as possible, according to the company. The company says in a statement that the fully automated production line for interior doors gives Masonite the capability to reduce process time and when operating at full capacity and will give Masonite the capability to produce significantly more residential interior doors than a typical manual plant.

“To manufacture a door manually can require up to six hours or more.  The automated line can build a door in minutes,” Coulter tells DWM. “The automation eliminates the variability of the manual process, which allows Masonite to consistently produce a higher quality product. And, because no human touches any component except for the core, employee safety is greatly improved.”

More than 70 percent of the interior molded panel doors are expected to be run on the automated line in the new Masonite facility. The Masonite Safe ‘n Sound® door with its patented DorCor™ and other solid core doors as well as Masonite bi-fold doors will continue to be produced on a manual line.

Masonite has been a member of the Denmark community since October 2010 when it purchased the 175,000-square-foot Lifetime Door manufacturing facility on Mayfield Street. At the time of the acquisition, Masonite determined the plant was in need of substantial new investment given manufacturing advances and changes in the residential door marketplace since its original construction in 1963. The decision to expand and update the Denmark facility made sense to Masonite on many levels. Strategic state and community partners, a great local workforce and the proximity to I-95 and I-20 were key factors in Masonite’s decision to make the investment in South Carolina.

Additionally, the company has filed a Form 10 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in order to register its common shares under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In connection with the registration, the company has applied for the listing of its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DOOR.” Masonite had previously filed a Form S-1 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to a proposed $150 million initial public offering of its common shares under the Securities Act of 1933. The Company intends to withdraw the Form S-1 Registration Statement when the Form 10 Registration Statement and NYSE listing become effective.

“Given Masonite’s strong balance sheet and future growth prospects, the company decided to register under the 1934 Act and list the Company’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange without a concurrent equity offering,” says Mark Erceg, chief financial officer and executive vice president.

“This action is consistent with the desire expressed to us by a large portion of our shareholder base that they be able to maintain their existing ownership positions in advance of what many economists expect to be a multi-year, multi-stage recovery in the United States housing and construction markets,” adds Fred Lynch, president and CEO.

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