Meet the Engineered Team at Carlisle

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While Carlisle has grown from a Pine flooring manufacturer to a worldwide industry leader in floor covering fashion, the heart of manufacturing has remained local in Southwestern, NH. This year the company celebrates the fifth anniversary launch of their engineered department. We met with Steve Lamoureux, Engineered Lead, who has been with the department since the beginning, to get a craftsman’s perspective on what elements are critical to manufacturing an extraordinary engineered floor.

Carlisle lead engineer Steve Lamourex

THE INTERVIEW

Steve Lamoureux, Engineered Lead

C: What factors helped contribute to the success of the engineered launch back in 2012?

S: Well, we’re still learning. But we weren’t under any pressure at the time. We had a slow ramp up so that we could do the research and really understand the product before we put it out on the market.

C: Why is teamwork important in a manufacturing industry?

S: Because every step affects the next step. Everybody does the best that they can because they know it affects the next guy down the line. Our teamwork is also what makes our finished product better than anyone else’s, and better for the customer too.

C: What makes someone an “artisan/artist” at the trade, versus a standard mill worker?

S: Artisans are people who care about the quality of work that they’re doing. They craft something specific – with their hands – versus something that is mass produced in bulk.

 

Thee Carlisle engineers working on solid wood planks
LEFT: John Geoffrey, a 12 year employee of Carlisle, selecting the solid planks which will yield four “lamellas.” MIDDLE: Darryl Thompson, a 4 year employee of Carlisle, checks the finished product to ensure the 3/16” Walnut lamella and 11-Ply Baltic Birch backing combine to yield an overall thickness of ¾”. RIGHT: Kenny Roy, an 11 year employee of Carlisle, checks the lamella thickness to confirm it meets the standard required to produce a 3/16” solid finished layer.
Solid wood planks being milled into
LEFT: Solid Walnut planks before they are milled into “lamellas”. RIGHT: Each solid Walnut plank produced four “lamellas” for every board.

C: What are some quality control measures your team does to ensure the quality of each engineered board?

S: We check everything at an arms’ length. So we check an 8’ board at least three times on one side before we flip it over and check the other side again. Then that board is turned into four “lamellas” which we check at an arms’ length again. That lamella goes into the press with the Baltic Birch backing and then we check that board too.

C: What makes Carlisle’s engineered “the best” in your eyes?

S: The number of checks that we do. I can’t tell the difference when I look at a solid and an engineered Carlisle floor. That says a lot. And you don’t see many 10″ wide engineered boards among our competitors. It is extremely challenging to hold that tolerance spec.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

At the end of the day, the success of the engineered line goes back to the artisans in the NH mill, making decision after decision, to get things right for the next guy in line and for the customer. If you took these ten passionate guys and the rest of the craftsmen out of the equation, you’d be taking the “extra” out of “extraordinary”. Because while engineered floors can replicate solid, you cannot replicate the sincere passion these guys have for what they do every day.

Meet the Engineered Team:

A sheet of Walnut lamella goes into the machine where it will be mechanically pressed
A 3/16” Walnut lamella goes into the machine where it will be mechanically pressed with an 11-Ply Baltic Birch backing.

Steve Lamoureux — 14 years with Carlisle
John Geoffrey — 12 years with Carlisle
Ken Roy — 11 years with Carlisle
Alex Drouin — 4 years with Carlisle
Darryl Thompson — 4 years with Carlisle
Nick Lloyd — 4 years with Carlisle
Jeff Carey — 3 years with Carlisle
Connor Bunker — 3 years with Carlisle
Ben Rodier — 1 year with Carlisle
Mike Sprig — 1 year with Carlisle

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Exceeding Industry Standards One Plank at a Time.
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