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SWI Interiors of Osage holds open house showcasing new addition

Dan Pachel, left, and Ryan Mowery operate the Computer Numerical Control machine. This machines cuts all the flat work for cabinet and drawer parts, as well as cuts all necessary dados, shelf holes and outlets in each piece as specified by the order. (Photos by Kevin Cederstrom / Enterprise)1 / 4
Steve Pachel, who started SWI Interiors in 1996, sits in his office as part of the new addition to the Osage facility.2 / 4
Cabinets are faced and sanded on the assembly line in preparation for the finish room.3 / 4
Bob Miller, left, and Jason Miller run the unisaw machine at SWI Interiors. This machine cuts down on waste by reading each board and detecting defects to optimize cuts.4 / 4

SWI Interiors of Osage opened its doors to the public during an open house Oct. 14, giving people an opportunity to tour the new addition and learn a little more about the cabinet making business.

SWI Interiors has grown from its humble beginnings 20 years ago to an operation that now employs 44 employees and this year completed a 12,000 square foot addition which increases efficiency in shipping and receiving. A showroom was added to the front of the building, along with a conference room and offices upstairs.

Steve Pachel founded Steve’s Woodworking, Inc. in 1996 as a one man shop building modest kitchen and bath cabinetry. Pachel started out with his grandfather stripping and refinishing furniture, which then grew to building cabinets. Pachel said he looked to grow the business and by 2004 he was doing local and wholesale cabinet building. He expanded business by contacting customers in Detroit Lakes and developed a philosophy and approach of: “We’ll build it, you sell it. Let us do what we do best,” he said.

Technology helped push SWI forward and into today where Steve and his wife Heidi, along with long-time employees have developed the state-of-the-art facility equipped with CNC machining, finishing, and design center with the latest in custom cabinetry software.

SWI offers custom built cabinetry, laminate and solid surface countertops, closet systems, pre-finished hardwood flooring, tongue and groove paneling and custom finishing of millwork.

A big part of SWI’s growth has to do with Pachel’s commitment to his employees and investing in technology to increase production. Two such machines are the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and the unisaw. The CNC utilizes software to machine and cut the flatwork for the cabinets, and the unisaw reads each board and detects defects to optimize cuts and minimize waste. The plant also features automated sanders and a state-of-the-art dust collection system installed a year ago.

“We are not going to grow without optimizing production and putting this equipment in,” Pachel said. “There is a lot of automation out there. What we used to do in an hour takes a couple minutes now.”

SWI can produce up to 15 kitchen cabinet sets at a time in the facility and a typical residential home kitchen takes one week from start to when it’s shipped.

The new space added to the facility allows for more efficient movement of product coming in and the finished product going out, Pachel said. Work on the addition started April 1 and was completed in May.

SWI completes roughly 1,000 complete cabinet sets per year for commercial contractors mainly in Fargo-Moorhead, Bismarck, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

SWI does continue to build locally and last week’s open house gave folks an opportunity to learn more about the Osage company.

“I have a ton of people asking to come see this so we wanted to invite the community and get all of our vendors and customers out here to see what we do,” Pachel said. “The word is out and we get a lot of people walking in. Putting this addition on, we’ve got way more traffic. We’re very pleased with the addition.”

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