PG Flooring Invents & Employs Robotics to Compensate for Manpower Shortage
Saint-Édouard-de-Lotbinière, Quebec, April 1, 2022-In December 2021, major projects valued at $4.6 million started in PG Flooring’s production plant, in Saint-Édouard-de-Lotbinière, with the installation of new custom-made robotic equipment.
This reorganization, as well as other innovation projects, is a response to the critical issue which is the manpower shortage of the last years.
The installation of the six sorting robots and the new pallet maker has been completed in two weeks. Although the equipment is still in the running-in period, PG is already noticing a considerable increase in productivity, as well as a reduction of seven employees per shift required in this plant. The employees in the abolished positions have all been assigned to open positions of the same plant or in one of the adjacent plants. None of the employees have lost their jobs.
PG Flooring says it is the first hardwood manufacturer in the world to fully automatize the sorting process of wood grades. The new robotic equipment is allowing the optimization of hardwood cuts and grades, as well as automatizing the wood sorting, bundling, and palletizing. A new technology which has been patented by equipment manufacturer Mekanica (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce), a specialized company in manufacturing equipment for the wood industry.
To make this project possible, the PG Flooring team had to invent and conceive a machine that could apply filler in some minor imperfections. This new equipment also allows to maximize material yield and consequently minimize the number of trees used to manufacture floors. This task, formerly done by hand, required two to five employees per shifts. The patented equipment by PG Flooring Inc has been operational since this fall, and PG is currently working in collaboration with an important industrial equipment manufacturer to optimize