From the raw material to the finished product: discover the 9 steps of the whole manufacturing process of our glued laminated wooden columnsJuly 8 2020 - Process & material
For the past 40 years, our products have been designed and manufactured in France in our specialised woodworking workshop. To date, more than 500,000 products are installed worldwide.
We have the manufacturing process fully controlled, from the raw material, the wood, to the product installed on site. Each product leaving our factory complies with the European requirements and directives, is CE marked and its manufacturing process, rigorously controlled.
Our experience enables us to bring our customers a one-of-a-kind, hand finished quality product. This is the fruit of many years of know-how and respect for wood, a noble, living and sustainable material. Our singular and timeless products fit naturally in their place of installation.
Christophe Piasco, head of the Aubrilam manufacturing site in Brioude (Haute-Loire) outlines the entire manufacturing process of a glued laminated wooden column.
These are the steps below:
1 – The material
Traceability – durability – quality
The wood we use comes from sustainably managed forests. It is the heartwood, untreated and taken from selected trees (slow-growing Scots pine). We source it from Scandinavia and bring it into our factory in France in the form of laminated wood boards. Our engineers and buyers have drawn up rigorous specifications and each laminate board has a barcode that is tracked throughout the production process.
The boards are then left to rest in our workshop until the best conditions for woodworking are obtained.
“The wood must have a moisture content of between 10 and 14%, in order to obtain a good finish, a good impregnation of the stain and also to guarantee durability in its future location.”
2 – Planing and edging
Precision – optimisation
This step entails obtaining perfect calibration of the boards while saving as much material as possible. The planing process ensures thar the boards have the right dimensions. The edging is then designed to saw the boards lengthwise with a straight or oblique cut depending on the shape of the body: straight or conical.
“The shavings are recovered, to be recycled, they are sorted into size and then used a horticultural mulch or animal bedding”
3 – Gluing
Resistance – strength
Gluing consists of applying adhesive in a controlled and homogeneous manner to the 4 boards making up the column. The new glued column is then “clamped” for several hours on a clamping Bench (from 8 to 10 hours).
4 – Shear tests
Control – traceability
Shear tests are an integral part of our manufacturing process. Each gluing process is tested and validated in line with the European conformity standard. The shear test involves taking a sample of timber section and subjecting it to a load test to check and validate its resistance. All our tests and results are kept in our laboratory.
5 – Machining and turning
Engineering – know-how
The machining allows us to work with precision on the material in order to obtain our final product: drilling, shoulders, cutting to length, etc. These operations are performed on a high-tech numerical machine and optimised upstream by our technicians in order to save as much energy as possible.
The timber body is turned, resulting in a cylindrical column.
6 – Sanding and scraping
Hand finishing – respect for the material
The surface of the wood is sanded down to make it smooth and even, this will allow for good adhesion of the stain. This is when the finishing operations are carried out: filling, removal of defects and sanding. Our experienced operators make sure that the surface of the wood is smooth and perfect for the application of the stain. Scraping is a special “brushed textured” finish that reveals the veins of the wood. The “soft” part of the wood is removed by scraping with a brush, without altering the structural performance of the product.
“Each product manufactured in our workshop is inspected and reworked by our specialised workers to prepare it for the finishing stages. Wood naturally has knots or roughness, this is what makes our products distinctive and unique. Our experience tells us whether these natural “defects” should be kept as they are, or reworked.”
7 – Staining
Finishing – experience
Wood staining is the process of applying colour to the wood, then a protective layer is applied that will protect it from UV rays and ageing. Our wood stains are water-based, solvent-free and applied evenly with a flow-controlled spray gun and all the excess residue floating in the air are extracted. After this we have to allows some time before the colour layer is Added, followed by the varnish which imprégnâtes the timber & gives a protective top layer.
8 – Assembly
Precision – inspection
This is where all the component parts of the product are assembled. Each product is inspected by our fitters and has a CE conformity label to ensure traceability. Each component making up the product is tracked from the beginning of the production line and assembly is the moment when everything comes together. We pay particular attention to this process.
9 – Packaging
Optimization – Engineering
Each product ready to leave the factory is packaged according to the transport and the place of installation. All our packaging is designed in-house and is carefully examined upstream of each product project.
“We have initiated a rigorous packaging procedure; all our product packaging is studied according to the transport. We use wood waste materials from the manufacturing process to protect our products.”