Eugen Decker Holzindustrie

Ten years of CLT

Article by Martina Nöstler, translated by Susanne Höfler | 12.12.2018 - 13:28

For 20 years now, Eugen Decker Holzindustrie from Morbach/DE has been active in the field of laminated timber production. In 1998, the company was the first in Rheinland-Pfalz to produce KVH and duo beams in its factory 1. Around the same time, the opportunity came up to buy an industrial area only a few kilometers away. This is where in 2000, the glulam production started and in 2008 as one of the first ones – the production of cross-laminated timber commenced under the brand name ED | BSP.

Initially, Decker started production with two vacuum presses. In 2011, a new hydraulic press by Minda was the ticket into industrial, fully automated production. Managing director Brigitte Decker-Wilbert quantifies the current output volume with 25,000 m³/yr. Due to the good order and demand situation, she is already considering to introduce a second shift starting next year.

Special tongue-and-groove milling

Decker is offering cross-laminated timber of up to 330 cm of height and 15 m of length. The plate structure of wall and ceiling elements usually has three up to nine layers in thicknesses of about 6 to 30 cm. Other dimensions are available on demand. With regards to surfaces, customers can choose between spruce, larch and Douglas fir in visual or non-visual quality. One of Decker's specialties are single layers: They are milled in a way that resembles tongue-and-groove boards; thanks to this milling, the layers automatically align when the boards are laid. "Ribbed profiles", as the manager calls it. The narrow faces are not glued. For layer gluing, PU adhesive is used. After glue curing in the laminated timber press, two portal milling hubs from Hundegger take care of joining.

Top service

Eugen Decker Holzindustrie is offering extensive services to its customers: "Our experienced timber engineers plan the buildings together with the timber construction companies, calculate statics, produce on time and deliver the components to the construction sites", Decker-Wilbert elaborates. The advantage for customers is evident: The timber company is delivering all kinds of components – from CLT and bar-shaped laminated timber like KVH, duo or glulam up to planed goods. Timber construction companies therefore only need one contact for planning and manufacturing. This is the service that customers appreciate in particular.

However, timber construction companies are only one sales channel for Decker. Two years ago, the timber specialist started enforcing CLT sales via retail and offering trainings in this sector. "We have always been a very retail-oriented company. This is why we also offer CLT via this channel", Decker-Wilbert explains adding that this business track has caught on by now.

Together with partner companies, numerous projects have already been realized – from single and multi-family houses, daycare centers and schools up to public buildings such as the parliament building in Lausanne/CH and youth hostel Panarbora in Waldbröl/DE. The latter is located around 50 km east of Cologne in a nature discovery park. In 2015, its operators built a treetop trail of 1600 m, a watch tower of 40 m as well as a youth hostel with tree houses. A project like that of course suggests that the main construction material of choice should be wood. Decker delivered the required cross-laminated timber. Due to the large pre-fabricated components, installation time was minimized. The massive wood walls provide a cozy room climate.

Dreams of the future

Not only softwoods are important for Decker. "Within the 'European Hardwoods for the Building Sector' project of the MPA Stuttgart, we are investigating the use of beech in middle layers", Wilbert-Decker reports. Results are outstanding, approvals are currently pending. A production start in 2020 is conceivable.

But not only for CLT, expansions are being contemplated: At the end of the year, Decker will close the shuttering panel production in factory 1. In this hall, a new KVH line will be launched next year.

Eugen Decker Holzindustrie

Location: Morbach/DE
Founded: 1983
Managing director: Brigitte Decker-Wilbert
Employess: 160
Cutting capacity: 250,000 sm³/yr
Laminated timber production: 100,000 m³/yr, 25,000  m³/yr of CLT
Types of wood: Spruce, larch, Douglas fir
Export share across all products: 85%