Swiss Krono breaks ground for $230 million HDF mill and laminate expansion in Barnwell, S.C.

Barnwell, S.C. – Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of laminate flooring, and its American subsidiary, Swiss Krono SC, LLC, held a groundbreaking ceremony on July 13, 2016, for its $230 million high-density fiberboard (HDF) mill and laminate flooring production expansion. Swiss Krono anticipates adding 105 new highly-skilled technical and management jobs to the Barnwell area, increasing its total employment to 275 employees. The project commences this summer and HDF operations will likely begin by the summer of 2018. This expansion will allow Swiss Krono to produce 300,000 cubic-meters of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million square-meters. “Strong consumer demand for our quality laminate flooring drove our decision to expand,” said CEO Zeb Portanova. “And our strong retail partners who choose to sell our innovative products are the real foundation on which this expansion is built.” The company gratefully acknowledges the collaborative efforts of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance and various Barnwell County governmental agencies. Their patience, perseverance and continuous support have been and will continue to be instrumental in the future success of this project. The SWISS KRONO GROUP has its origins in a company founded in Menznau, Switzerland in 1966. Today it is one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products with more than 4,500 employees working in Switzerland, France,... Read More

New management to implement a sustainable growth strategy under a new umbrella brand

Lucerne, 30 June 2016 – The SWISS KRONO GROUP ranks among the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered wood products. With ten factories in eight countries, products for timber construction as well as for decorative furniture and interior fittings are manufactured. In the area of laminate flooring, the SWISS KRONO GROUP is the global market leader. Services tailored to customer requirements and regional differences complete the package of offered products. At the beginning of 2016, the names and logos of the individual sites are being replaced by a single, unified brand image. Since then, the corporation is acting as an integrated group under the name of SWISS KRONO. The group will also prepare itself to use organic and external growth to actively take advantage of the development opportunities for modern engineered wood products that will come its way in the next few years. The broad customer base, a leading technological role as well as a strong capital and financial base provide the ideal preconditions for this. At this time, significant investment and expansion projects are also being implemented at four locations (Hungary, Russia, Switzerland and the USA). In order to implement this strategy consistently, the corporation will have new strategic and operative management. Beginning on the 1st of October 2016, Martin Brettenthaler will take over as the new CEO of the SWISS KRONO GROUP replacing Maciej Karnicki. Mr Brettenthaler (45) has dual Austrian and Swiss citizenship, is at home in Basel, married and father of two children. He was educated in economics in St. Gallen and Paris and worked for a few years as a management consultant at the Boston... Read More
KronotexUSA changes its name to SWISS KRONO LLC

KronotexUSA changes its name to SWISS KRONO LLC

BARNWELL, S.C. – KronotexUSA, a dominant player in the U.S laminate wood flooring industry, announced at Surfaces the latest of several changes that will provide distributors, retailers and consumers the best innovations and quality in laminate flooring. Effective with Surfaces 2016, KronotexUSA is changing its name to SWISS KRONO LLC to reflect the parent company’s and the products’ Swiss heritage in woodworking and precision technology. “It has been an exciting start for 2016,” said Travis Bass, EVP of U.S. Sales and Marketing. “The name change, our new CEO, and the expansion of our plant signal the awakening of a company known as the ‘quiet giant’ of laminate flooring.” All eight countries where Swiss Krono operates are changing their name and logo to reflect this pooling of expertise, intensifying R&D, and forging of a common identity. According to Ines Kaindl, President of the Board of Directors of the SWISS KRONO GROUP headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland, “We want to leverage a strong, uniform brand to spotlight our tradition and history while making a greater international impact. This will enable us to help shape the market’s future.” The Group’s member firms in Germany, Poland, Russia and Switzerland unveiled the new corporate design at a shared stand at DOMOTEX 2016. “This consistent image and our modern, visually striking new logo are giving the Group a single face with a clear profile,” says Max von Tippelskirch, CMO of the SWISS KRONO GROUP. “We are clearly differentiating ourselves from our competitors and strengthening our presence in the global marketplace.” In addition to this news, the U.S operations announced late last year the hiring of CEO... Read More

Swiss Krono USA announces $230 million expansion in Barnwell County, S.C. to create 105 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products, and its American subsidiary, Swiss Krono USA, today announced the expansion of its existing operations in Barnwell County, S.C. The company is investing $230 million to build a high-density fiberboard (HDF) mill and expand its laminate flooring production, creating 105 new jobs over the next few years. Headquartered in Switzerland, Swiss Krono Group’s origins can be traced back to 1966. With facilities today in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States, the company employs more than 4,500 workers worldwide. In an effort to meet increased customer demand, Swiss Krono Group is expanding its existing Swiss Krono USA facility at 810 Technology Drive in Barnwell, S.C. This expansion will allow Swiss Krono USA to produce 300,000 cubic-meters of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million square-meters. Preliminary engineering has been completed and construction is expected to start by mid-2016, with HDF operations to begin by the summer of 2018. Once completed, this expansion will increase Swiss Krono USA’s Barnwell County’s workforce to 275 employees. Those interested in applying for one of the new positions should visit the company’s careers page online. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $1 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Barnwell County to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project. Quotes “South Carolina has been a great investment partner for European... Read More

KronotexUSA Announces New President and CEO

Barnwell, S.C. – KronotexUSA, a leading manufacturer of laminate flooring products, is pleased to announce the appointment of Zeb Portanova to the positions of President and CEO, effective February 1, 2016. KronotexUSA is a subsidiary of the SWISS KRONO GROUP headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland, and operates a 670,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Barnwell with a capacity of more than 275 million square feet. “Zeb is a proven leader with deep operations, technology and business experience. He is well known for his collaborative style of leadership with partners, customers and employees,” said Max Von Tippelskirch, member of the SWISS KRONO GROUP Management Board. “We are looking forward to the energy and creativity he will bring to the U.S. operation,” Von Tippelskirch added. Mr. Portanova succeeds Mr. Norman Voss, who has served as KronotexUSA interim CEO since March 2014. Mr. Voss will remain with the company as a Member of the Board of Directors and continue to be actively involved in future expansion, investment, and raw material sourcing activities for KronotexUSA. “I am excited and honored to join the team at KronotexUSA,” said Mr. Portanova. “I am very pleased that Mr. Voss will remain in an active role on the Board and I look forward to having his experience and guidance as we move forward”. Prior to joining Kronotex USA Holdings, Inc., Mr. Portanova held a variety of leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Company and other nonprofit and for-profit companies. He serves on numerous boards of directors, including the Alumni Council at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, the Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Mavuno... Read More

KronotexUSA Renames Charity Golf Event In Memory of Employee

BARNWELL, SOUTH CAROLINA — KronotexUSA, one of the leading U.S. laminate manufacturers, recently renamed and dedicated its employee golf tournament to honor a recently deceased employee. The Dean Scarbeary Memorial Golf Tournament for Charity is scheduled for June 27, 2015, and has already raised more than $7,500. Mr. Scarbeary, the Receiving Lead at KronotexUSA’s Barnwell laminate flooring plant, was one of the organizers of the annual employee golf tournament and worked at the laminate plant for 9 years. The money raised is being donated to the Barnwell County (S.C.) First Responders who tried to save Mr. Scarbeary during the house fire that claimed his life. “Our company has put down deep roots in Barnwell since building our 575,000 square-foot facility here beginning in 2005. We see this as just another way to thank those in our community who tried to help one of our own,” said Jeff Martin, the human resources manager for KronotexUSA. To learn more about this event or KronotexUSA, please contact: Barbara June (770) 891-9986 direct... Read More

American Concepts Is the Answer to Consumers’ Concerns About Unsafe Imported Laminate

Barnwell, SC, March 3, 2015 – In response to inquiries following a recent 60 Minutes segment on certain laminate flooring made in China, KronotexUSA is helping consumers answer questions and concerns about the safety of laminate that is imported from China. We want to remind you that there is a safe, quality alternative to these Chinese imports. It’s called American Concepts, a brand that is made by Americans; made for Americans. All 57 decors in the American Concepts laminate flooring line are manufactured by KronotexUSA in our 750,000 square-foot factory located in Barnwell, S.C.  The plant is approximately 100 miles northwest of Charleston, S.C., where we have been producing laminate flooring from this facility since April 2005. KronotexUSA’s manufacturing standards are among the most stringent in the global laminate flooring industry.  Our U.S. manufacturing practices are compliant with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure 93120 Title 17, California Code of Regulations, the most restrictive air-control law in the United States.  These are the same standards mentioned in the 60 Minutes segment, and our American Concepts products meet the CARB Phase 2 standards. CARB Phase 2 standards are necessary when assessing the core board component of laminate flooring.  All of our laminate core board suppliers have been certified as CARB 2 compliant.  Our suppliers have delivered the requisite independent Third Party Certifier documentation to us, and are regularly audited by the Composite Panel Association. We require a chain of custody certificate for all core board that is delivered into our factory for manufacturing. Current CARB Phase 2 Emissions Standards are shown below.  The core board that... Read More

KronotexUSA Launches New ‘American Concepts’ Line

Barnwell, S.C., July 29, 2014 —  KronotexUSA is launching a new brand called American Concepts in response to consumers’ desire for flooring that has American style, quality and value while being green and made by Americans, for Americans. Beginning August 2014, the new brand will be available at specialty retail stores and will offer 57 laminate flooring choices in a wide range of thicknesses, colors and finishes. KronotexUSA’s Executive Vice President, Travis Bass, said, “American Concepts by KronotexUSA is a combination of our best existing decors and our most fashion-forward new decors. And being made in America is a good start, but it’s not enough. American consumers also value quality, design, products that are healthy for their home, and sustainability. Retailers can now give their customers everything they need in one practically priced floor.” Barbara June, the Director of Marketing at KronotexUSA, said, “American Concepts is about more than where it is made. It’s also about how a laminate floor is made. Redecorating a room has usually meant compromises between how the flooring looks, how it’s priced, and how well it’s made. And this brand is about no compromises.” American Concepts will launch with the tagline, “Inspiring style. Uncompromising quality.” The new brand will feature seven collections ranging from 12-mm to 7-mm thicknesses, some with an underlayment pad attached. All 57 items will be made in Barnwell, S.C., and are GREENGUARD certified for indoor air quality and without such harmful substances as petroleum, halogen, chloride or dioxin. According to Fred Giuggio, the Vice President of Brands, American Concepts will replace Formica Flooring as KronotexUSA’s primary brand for specialty retail. “For eight... Read More

KronotexUSA Receives ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Barnwell, S.C., January 22, 2014 — KronotexUSA is proud to announce that its quality management system has been certified and found to be in conformance with procedures listed in the International Quality System Standard. The scope of this registration and the approved quality management system applies to the design and manufacture of laminate flooring in Barnwell, S.C. ISO 9001:2008 is a set of international standard and guidance documents for quality management and quality assurance. The standard represents an international consensus on good management practices with the aim of ensuring that the organization can, time and time again, deliver the product or services that meet the client’s quality requirements. “This certification further strengthens our commitment to our customer and supports our management philosophy of continual improvement,” said Jody Smith, the Quality Manager for KronotexUSA. The certificate is accredited by American Systems Registrar, a provider of third-party system registration and accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board. To maintain certification, ASR will perform audits to ensure compliance and to assess initiatives for continued improvement. Customers can be confident that KronotexUSA will continue to provide the high quality products they have come to expect well into the future. To learn more about KronotexUSA, visit... Read More