Penciling in Some Time at Tianjin Custom Wood

Dongli district manufacturer gives exclusive tour into the not-so-simple pencil manufacturing process

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AmCham China Tianjin Chapter, in its series of advanced manufacturing company tours, took members to Tianjin Custom Wood (TCW) this month get a glimpse at the highly technical processes involved in making a pencil. Located in Tianjin’s Dongli district, TCW is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Attendees were greeted by Jon Reed, Executive Vice President of TCW and the Vice Chair of the Tianjin Chapter of AmCham China. Attendees then got the chance to see how TCW makes pencil slats, thin wood components used to produce wood-cased pencils. A surprising amount of technology and expertise was involved in making the high-quality cedar pencils.

CalCedar, the California-based parent company of TCW, is the world’s leading supplier of pencil slats. TCW produces pencil slats in a variety of wood species, from China to California and Russia. Each species has particular advantages and disadvantages and offers a variety of economic, ecological and technical performance benefits to the pencil manufacturer and to the consumer. And, each species requires a specific TCW manufacturing process in order to produce pencil slats that will meet the demands of the global pencil manufacturing industry.

This tour is the 17th stop in AmCham China Tianjin’s series of company tours introducing our members to the world of advanced manufacturing, with previous stops at Toyota, Caterpillar, Boeing, GE, ADM and many more.