Traditionally, lightweight panels have been a wood component primarily found in Ikea plants. OFC Panel Processing has been producing lightweight panels for several years. However, production manager Eric Olswolds acknowledge that the idea hasn't been immediately understood or embraced by the woodworking industry. And there are many different kinds of benefits. Lightweight panels can often run 50% of the weight of solid wood products without sacrificing structural stability or strength. The lighter weight makes the ergonomics of handling the parts much better. The panels have an eco-friendly benefit as well. According to Eric Olswold, when OFC began producing lightweight panels the financial benefits of lightweight panels weren't very clear to manufacturers. Despite the increased interest in lightweight panels, the Olswolds say they see a repeated problem with inquiries. The process of making lightweight panels is fairly straightforward. Eric Olswold says that while interest is picking up now, they realize they may have been a little ahead of the industry.
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