2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Panel Processing, Inc

Panel Processing, Inc. headquartered in Alpena, Michigan, was founded in 1971 by Robert M. Granum and a small group of local investors. Prior to founding Panel Processing, Mr. Granum was a plant manager at a local hardboard manufacturer that produced millions of square feet of board but struggled with the customization process. In late 1970, the hardboard company decided to stop all customized processing operations and that is when Mr. Granum decided to establish his own manufacturing plant to undertake and expand the customized processing service. In 1971, Panel Processing was incorporated and built the 16,000 square foot processing plant that started it all.

Over the years Panel Processing has built a tradition of excellence in providing its customers with quality, custom solutions. Panel continues to work closely with customers to help identify and develop innovative solutions to meet their specific needs.

In 1994, Panel Processing appointed the current President and CEO, Eric Smith. Under his leadership Panel has grown to be one of the largest panel fabricators in the nation. Panel expanded by opening locations in multiple states and offering one of the widest ranges of custom board fabrication capabilities.

With Mr. Smith at the helm, Panel continues to emulate its core values by continually improving products and ensuring their customers are satisfied. With a continued dedication to serving their customers, Panel has grown to nine facilities in four states. Panel has developed unequaled experience in fabricating, painting and laminating to serve the customer’s growing needs.

In 1981 Panel Processing, Inc. embarked on a different journey by establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and slowly purchasing the Company for the benefit of its employees.  Since 1998 Panel Processing has been a 100% employee owned (ESOP) company. As an ESOP company grown from a small plant, Panel understands the importance of support and guidance. With all of Panel’s employees being owners, they work together and rely on each other to make long-term success possible.



50 years ago, in 1971, Panel Processing was created.

Let’s go back in time and see what was popular and happening in 1971 when Panel started!

Alpena Michigan Facility


Panel Processing, Inc. was founded

A small plant on the shores of Lake Huron in Alpena, Michigan was the start of Panel Processing, Inc.

Jacksonville Texas Facility


Jacksonville, Texas

In an effort to expand offerings and manufacturing space, PPI purchased a hardboard finishing plant in Jacksonville, Texas.


New Facility in Coldwater, Michigan

In 1978 Panel Processing built a 42,000 square foot facility in Coldwater, Michigan.


Additional Coldwater, Michigan Facility

To meet demand, an additional site was acquired in Coldwater, Michigan to expand operations further.


100% Employee Owned & Alpena Plant Expansion

1999 was a big year for PPI, the company not only became 100% employee owned but also expanded the original Alpena plant. The Alpena plant was expanded by 66,000 square feet and an additional paint line was added.


Coldwater Plant Expansion

2002 brought another plant expansion. The Coldwater, Michigan plant was expanded by 30,000 square feet.

Eufaula Alabama Facility


Purchased the business operations of Alabama Inter-Forest Corporation

In 2004 PPI purchased the business operations of Alabama Inter-Forest Corporation in Eufaula, Alabama.


100% Owned by ESOP

Panel Processing became 100% owned by the ESOP.

Holland Michigan Facility


Purchased Assets of AFCO Industries Inc. in Holland, Michigan

PPI purchased certain assests of AFCO Industries Inc. in Holland, Michigan during 2005.


Eufaula, Alabama Plant Expansion

In 2006 PPI completed an expansion to the Alabama plant that is currently 243,000 square feet.


Aquired Claudville, Virginia Facility

In 2012 PPI purchased the assets of Modular Wood System based in Claudville, Virginia.


Surplus Capacity Offering

Panel Processing maintains surplus capacity to meet the unexpected requirements from customers.


Purchased Assets of Thermo Pressed Laminates in Klamath Falls, Oregon

Panel Processing purchases the assets of Thermo Pressed Laminates in Klamath Falls, Oregon.


Purchased Assets of National Display Group in Pennsauken, New Jersey

In 2016 PPI purchased certain assets of National Display Group in Pennsauken, New Jersey.


Purchased Assets of Down River, LLC in Klamath Falls, Oregon

Panel Processing purchases the assets of Down River in Klamath Falls, Oregon becoming Panel’s newest facility.


Purchased a New Corporate Office in Alpena, Michigan

Panel moved the Corporate Office to 1030 Devere Drive in Alpena, Michigan. Our manufacturing facility still remains at our 120 North Industrial Highway location.


Panel Processing Commemorates 50th Anniversary

Panel Processing, Inc. proudly celebrates its 50th anniversary as a leading flat panel fabricator. Panel Processing was incorporated on the 4th of February in 1971 and since then Panel continues to work closely with customers to help identify and develop innovative solutions to meet their specific needs.