In the manufacturing world, consistency can overcome most hurdles. Consistent quality, consistent customer service, and consistent on-time delivery are just a few examples of how companies can transform from being just another supplier to the preferred partner. The most important aspect in controlling consistency in manufacturing are the ingredients. For cake manufacturers, it’s easy to control the ingredients being used. Very few variants are at work. This does not hold true with hardwood scantling manufacturing. Let’s explore some of the challenges and why Bingaman Lumber helps to overcome them.
Environmental factors have a tremendous effect on tree characteristics, more specifically American white oak. White Oak is grown and harvested from Maine, through Iowa, all the way south to Louisiana and nearly anywhere in between. This is obviously an extremely large geographic area, and each region has drastic differences in biodiversity. Changes in the soil, topography, temperature, and sun exposure all have an effect on white oak characteristics, more specifically in grain pattern and color variation. This can result in a dramatic inconsistency in scantling manufacturing when utilizing or sourcing lumber from different regions. Given the variability from region to region, and yet the need to maintain consistency, it’s important that scantling manufacturers choose a specific geographic area of the United States and source their white oak raw material from that region. White Oak from Bingaman Lumber has significant advantages. First and foremost, it’s harvested from the same region, Pennsylvania, which helps ensure consistency. But just as important, due to high elevation, soil, and shorter seasons (tighter rings), Pennsylvania has the most volume of consistent heartwood color.
There is no absolute scientific formula when grading wood. It’s a subjective process typically performed by one individual mill employee, complete with his/her personal biases and perceptions, along with external factors such as the mill’s supply and demand, who must make a grading decision that can have a dramatic affect on scantling manufacturers. Inherently, this process produces inconsistency that lowers yield and increases waste. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to fix this problem of grading inconsistency. Sourcing from the same geographic area, grading and manufacturing by the same people are ingredients for a consistent color, texture, and quality.
Traditionally, scantling manufacturers make purchase decisions of American White Oak lumber solely on price and availability. The lumber serves as the raw material for in-house scantling production. But when factoring in lower yields, coupled with higher waste, plus the character inconsistency, the final product ends up being more expensive, but lower quality. And purchasing from different areas results in inconsistency in texture and color. When dealing with American White Oak it may make sense to find a supply partner who can dramatically reduce inconsistency and guarantee a predictable cost. Bingaman Lumber is the only scantling manufacturer in the United States. Bingaman’s operations are entirely vertically integrated, controlling the entire process from harvest, milling, and ultimately to manufacturing. Bingaman Lumber provides consistent color, consistent grading, solid layers (no edge-glued or finger-joint layers) which results in bundle-to-bundle consistency, month after month, year after year.
Ask your current scantling distributor for BING Scantlings.