By Melissa Donovan
Garnica is a global leader in the plywood industry. Its goal is to explore new methods to manage and utilize natural resources intelligently and manufacture exceptional plywood solutions.
Founded in 1941 as a sawmill in La Rioja, Spain, today it boasts five locations in Spain and two in France. It expects to open an additional plant in Uruguay in 2024. Between the multiple locations it staffs over 1,200 employees that help serve customers in over 45 countries. Its main markets are in Europe and North America.
As an industrial customizer, Garnica is designed to adapt to its clients’ specific needs. According to the company, it is flexible and able to offer quick turnarounds for its range of products. Simultaneously, high-volume production is completed efficiently and competitively.
Its plywood is used in applications like mobility and transportation, exterior and interior construction, furniture manufacturing, the packaging industry, and do-it-yourself products.
Services include combining raw materials, XL sizes and special dimensions, in-stock products for immediate delivery, exclusive product ranges, customized products, global shipping with predefined routers, small parcel service and multiple deliveries, and specific certifications for each market.
Up and Running
Garnica is always on the look out for manufacturing technologies that meet customer needs like flexibility and quick turnaround, as well as uphold its sustainability standards.
Traditional technology used to decorate plywood includes wood veneers and laminates, like high pressure laminate or continuous pressed laminate. In 2015 it began looking at digital printing, specifically hoping to use it as a substitute to wood designs that are widely distributed but not sustainably sourced, such as tropical wood species.
It adapted digital printing swiftly and today it is up and running with a proprietary technology. Utilizing this printing process has opened the door to endless design possibilities.
“Using digital printing, it is possible to print any image or design onto plywood with high precision and accuracy. This revolutionary technology has opened up possibilities for our clients who can recreate the look and feel of authentic hardwood panels with increased cost efficiency and sustainability,” explains Hugues Paulin, VP, North America, Garnica.
According to Paulin, digital printing helped the company achieve specific goals. These include delivering a perfect surface, which is difficult when using wood as it is a natural product and has discrepancies like cracks, splits, or knots. Digital printing ensures a consistent and uniform pattern as well as reliable color.
It also wanted to offer total customization to clients, with any design potentially developed from replicating an existing wood veneer or something truly customized. In addition, these products are endlessly scalable.
“Digital printing allows us to endlessly scale custom designs, no matter how large the project. Imagine a decorative project for a new store in a retail chain. Digital print would allow for the replication of the exact same design in a potential new store that opened a couple years after,” explains Paulin.
Digital printing improved the manufacturer’s service level by eliminating availability or sourcing issues.
Finally, it allows Garnica to offer a sustainable product made of real wood. With hardwood veneers and exotic wood species considered rare natural resources, utilizing digital printing to recreate the products helps to preserve them.
Infinity, the name Garnica uses to refer to its digitally printed products, utilizes proprietary technology to print veneer designs over European poplar plywood. The front and back faces of the board are digitally printed maple and the core consists of both short and long grains of poplar. A UV finish improves durability and offers a decorative appearance. Applications include wood paneling, ceiling paneling, trade shows, retail, indoor furniture, and kitchen cabinets.
An example of a typical application is wall paneling in a retail store. The Infinity line of products are offered in standard and customized options. For standard, predefined designs, the print and a manufacturing process takes approximately four weeks.
Customized designs can take longer. This process involves scanning the original pattern that the customer is looking to replicate and editing the image to meet the necessary requirements. After this step, samples are produced for customer approval—once approved the job moves into production.
Garnica is a trend setter when it comes to innovation and sustainability. Its adoption of digital print in manufacturing is a true testament to this. Digital printing enables the company to create endless design opportunities for its customers while simultaneously eliminating sourcing issues.
Oct2023, Industrial Print Magazine