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Ekornes elevates automated system.

MORGANTON — J.E. Ekornes USA Inc. began manufacturing furniture in Morganton in January 2012. 

The company has just installed automated leathercutting equipment in the facility to maximize production efficiencies.

This cutter is one of the first dual-head leather cutters in the United States. The custom-made machinery represents an investment of approximately $750,000.

In the company’s efforts to promote training and automation education, it sent several employees to the main factories in Norway.

While in Norway, they visited three Ekornes factories and saw firsthand the automation of furniture production — from conveyor systems throughout the factories moving product, to CNC routers and CNC cutters, to robotics producing the furniture.

They returned with new visions of furniture manufacturing. 

Those making the trip to Norway were:  Peter Bjerregaard, Margaret Roderick, Rolf Aarseth, Astrid Aarseth, Amy Pennington, Cindy Hudson and Bobby Cooke (pictured left to right in photo).

Shown in photo below is Amy Pennington who works at the double cutter machine at Ekornes.  Here she marks imperfections in leather for a sofa. The leather goes through the laser-cutting machine and cuts around any imperfections.