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Isabela firm grows with DOST-FPRDI lumber dryer
July 11, 2016

Trader's Design Furniture Shop, Cauayan, Isabela.
(Top) Mr. Nestor Viloria inspects the lumber inside his dryer. (Bottom) Trader's Design Furniture Shop is now known for its quality products.

Using the DOST-FPRDI’s furnace-type lumber dryer (FTLD) in his woodworking shop changed the life of Nestor Viloria, a businessman in Cauayan, Isabela.

Barely surviving for two and a half decades, Viloria’s Trader’s Design Furniture Shop “sprang to life” four years ago with the coming of the FTLD. It then started to bloom, bear fruit, and become the strong company that it is today.

Trader’s Design started 1986 and makes floor tiles, railings, doors, mouldings, cabinets, jambs and furniture, mostly from Gmelina wood. Viloria started with only a 2.5 horsepower bandsaw and Php 20,000 cash from his father and brother.

Pre-FTLD, he relied simply on air and sun-drying to season his wood. This kind of drying took two to three months per batch of fresh materials and resulted in 100% back jobs as poorly dried wood tended to become unstable and crack.

Back jobs cost 10% of the production cost per item and meant that customers did not return for more orders.

This prompted Viloria in 2011 to ask help from DOST-FPRDI in designing and putting up a 5,000 bd ft FTLD in his shop. Things changed fast for Trader’s Design after the dryer was put in place.

The FTLD cut drying time from two to three months to one week for 1-inch thick lumber and two to three weeks for the 2-inch thick. It likewise gave thoroughly dried materials, meeting the 14% moisture content buyers were looking for.

With satisfied customers, back jobs became a thing of the past. Production doubled, as well as the prices of products. Gross monthly income soared from Php 50,000 to Php 600,000 during peak season. Seven more full time workers were hired, plus three subcontractors.

On top of earning Php 90,000 a month from furniture, the firm gets Php 14,000 from kiln-drying services for three other furniture shops in Cauayan. Its market has grown from Isabela only to include Metro Manila outlets.

As his company thrived, Viloria was able to regain his investment of Php 1 million after only three years. In 2014, he adopted the DOST-FPRDI wood moisture meter which has become very useful in his operations. Within the year, he plans to ask the Institute to also help him with his wood preservation and finishing needs.

As Viloria looks forward to many more years of growth for his once struggling firm, he also takes the time to share his blessings by helping fund civic projects in his community. (Rizalina K. Araral, Carolyn Marie C. Garcia, Anita A. Decena /16 June 2016)#