Steves & Sons Opens “Smart” Manufacturing Plant in Sandston, Virginia
“This is a momentous day in the 150-year history of Steves & Sons,” said Gregg Killelea, General Manager of Steves & Sons Inc., Richmond. “The door-manufacturing business has changed dramatically in recent years, and our business has grown by leaps and bounds. With the opening of this new plant, we will be at the forefront of the industry technologically, enabling us to handle even greater production levels while remaining true to our high standards of quality, craftsmanship and environmental responsibility.”
Steves & Sons opened its original 62,000 square-foot Richmond manufacturing plant at 5325 Glen Alden Drive in 1983. The new plant, triple the size of the old one, opened in 2014, but is now fully functional with the addition of computerized operating systems. The new high-tech equipment includes a “smart press” used for making various types of doors and 42-inch screens used for lay-up, sizing and shipping that display images of the product being manufactured over each work station.
Killelea said the Richmond plant’s increasing business and the addition of one particularly large client had made it apparent that expansion was necessary to create opportunities for customer growth.
The company doubled the amount of equipment that was in its previous local plant, adding 12 adjustable press machines that can press up to 40 doors at a time. The addition of smart technology to the plant’s systems will optimize manufacturing processes by creating more flexibility and capacity; accelerate time to market; decrease breakdowns and downtime; and increase energy efficiency, helping Steves & Sons Richmond meet sustainability goals.
The increased capacity at the Richmond plant also means increased jobs. Steves & Sons hired about 50 new employees with the opening of the new plant, and as production volume goes up, they anticipate hiring 50 more.
“Steves & Sons has been part of the fabric of America for a century and a half,” said Gloria Steves Dilley, Vice President of Steves & Sons. “It is both fitting and remarkable that a family of true pioneers in the door manufacturing business should be leading the industry in the 21st century with some of the most advanced manufacturing technologies available today, while creating jobs and supporting the economy.”
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