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Blum Mass Produces Furniture Hinges, Slides

The drawer slide and hinge business is booming in Lincoln County. Julius Blum Inc., a furniture fittings maker, has been in Lowesville since 1979 and makes an average 70 million hinges a year and millions of drawer slides. It’s not a small operation. Roughly 20 trucks a day leave the Blum plant to deliver drawer slides and hinges all over the United States and to Canada and Mexico. The hardware comes in all different sizes and shapes. “We make some that self close,’ said David Billerman, Vice President of Production. “That way you can’t slam it.” The finished products are sent off to cabinet makers all over the country. Prior to shipment, they are stored in a 90 foot storage area which is equivalent to nine stories tall. The storage room is all powered by robots, which log a code to pick up an item and then drop it back off. The six automated robots can travel at 30 mph and run 24 hours a day. The company was started in Hochst, Austria, on March 1, 1952, by Julius Blum, a blacksmith. In 1962 the first hinges were made. When it first came to the United States the company located in Hickory in 1977 before it moved to Lowesville two years later. “We made the switch to closer to a larger city,’ said General Manager Karl Ruedisser. “We are closer to Charlotte, the airport, and location of interstates.”