Page 1

Furniture Design And Manufacturing Asia Established Since 1986



Magic Brush Of Sanding Lasering Away The


Breaking The

European Barrier


On The


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Furniture Design And Manufacturing Asia Established Since 1986

Contents May/June 2012 • VOL. 24 NO. 4


14 Let The Right Binder In

With a myriad selection of wood adhesives available in the market, the factors that influence consumer choice include cost, adhesive application and board assembly process, bonding strength and durability. By Eleftheria Athanassiadou, Chimar Hellas

18 Evolution On The Edge

Edge design and technology have evolved significantly over the past 125 years. From being used primarily to conceal the sides of engineered boards, the material has now become an essential aesthetic component for furniture making. By Hans Klingeborn, Doellken/Surteco

23 Lasering Away The Joint

The use of laser technology for edgeband processing has allowed manufacturers to reap the visible benefits of jointless bonds and a streamlined process. By Davy Tan, Rehau Asia & Pacific

24 Edgebanding Like From A Mould

As the industry moves towards ‘no joint’ edging of panels, advances in processing technology are

18 only one side of things, the other aspect lies in the properties of the adhesive. By Teoh Hock Chin, Kleiberit Adhesive Asia


26 CNC: Efficiency Without Overpowering

Just as manufacturing operations require streamlining, the choosing of CNC machines must be focused to avoid paying excess for underutilised features and unnecessary power ratings. By Can Tay, Michael Weinig Asia

30 All’s Well With Well Finished Edges

Franz Hubert has to edge different materials, from solid edges to very thin edges, that are used in his office furniture programme ‘Gloria’. For this reason, the carpenter started to think carefully about the features of an edgebanding machine. By Christian Härtel for VDMA

33 Origin Of Edge Finish

34 2 FDM Asia

may/jun 2012 |

The perfect edge finishing may be achieved with the support of different machine models. In order to correctly choose the adequate machine, a detailed prior analysis of individual machine equipment requirements will have to be made.


34 Nesting Material Utilisation To A New Level Product-level nesting can produce efficient material utilisation, but ignores broader manufacturing parameters. Manufacturing yield represents a more accurate metric that can accommodate flexibility in orders. By Avner Ben-Bassat, Plataine Technologies

Surfaces & Flooring 38 The Magic Brush Of Sanding

Brush sanders are becoming a popular option with their flexibility and effectiveness. Sealer sanding with a brush sander can significantly reduce the labour involved in sanding down the surfaces prior to applying top coats. By John Becker, SlipCon Finishing Systems

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

42 Translating Sustainability Into Design

Using green materials is what comes to most people's mind when the topic of sustainable design arises. However, designers are translating the concept of sustainability beyond the mere use of materials. By Sherlyne Yong

Cut your cost With the new ContiRoll速 generation 8

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Contents May/June 2012 • VOL. 24 NO. 4

46 How Will The EU Timber Regulation Affect You?


The EU Timber Regulation will be implemented in March 2013. Once in effect, traders will be required to ensure legality of their products. By Tom ter Horst, European Forest Institute

48 Breaking The European Barrier

With the European Union Timber Regulations coming to effect in March 2013, a conference was organised to help boost the awareness of Indonesia’s Timber Legality Verification System. By Michael Buckley, Turnstone Singapore

As trade opens up around the world, certification poses as a potential solution for businesses to stand out from competitors. At the same time, these schemes serve to increase consumer confidence by validating a product’s quality through mechanical testing, as well as the company’s engagement in corporate social responsibility. By Sherlyne Yong

Woods & Sustainability

56 Wood Biomass In Japan Despite having more wood pellet plants than countries such as Canada, Japan’s production capacity has been low. Some key factors must be addressed in order for biomass policies to be implemented successfully. By Masanobu Nagano, Katsuki Matsumura, Shizu Takami, Kochi University of Technology

60 Q & A On American Hardwood Lumber Grading (KD Rules)

Established in 1986, FDM Asia, formerly Asia Pacific Forest/Timber Industries, is a business magazine on sawmilling, woodworking, woodbased panels and furniture manufacturing. The Publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all editorial or advertising material and assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited artwork or manuscripts. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the magazine, in whole or in part, is prohibited without the prior written consent, not unreasonably withheld, of the publisher. Reprints of articles appearing in previous issues of the magazine are available on request, subject to a minimum quantity. The views expressed in this journal are not necessarily those of the Publisher and while every attempt will be made to ensure the accuracy



and authenticity of information appearing in the magazine, the Publisher accepts no liability for damages caused by misinterpretation of information, expressed or implied, within the pages of the magazine. All correspondence regarding editorial, editorial contributions or editorial content should be directed to the Editor. The magazine is available on subscription in Singapore at S$126.00 (GST applicable) per annum by surface mail. Subscription by airmail to readers in Asia Pacific costs S$160 per annum; Europe and the Americas, S$230 per annum. For further details, refer to the subscription card found within the pages of each issue. For more subscription information, please fax to: (65) 6379 2806 or email:

FDM Asia is published eight times a year (printed 2nd week of issue month) by


advertisers’ enquiry numbers.

Events & Exhibitions Exhibition Preview: 62 FMC China Exhibition Review: 64 MIFF 65 Positioned For Change 66 WMF 68 Dubaiwood Show

62 66 Member of Business Publication Audit of Circulation, Inc. IMPORTANT NOTICE The circulation of this publication is audited. The Advertiser's Association recommends that advertisers should place their advertisements only in audited publications. Associate Of of Associate

Endorse by Incorporating:

Eastern Trade Media Pte Ltd

Tel: (65) 6379-2888 • Fax: (65) 6379-2805/6379-2806 • Website:

Printer: Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd

4 FDM Asia

The grading rules for North American hardwood lumber were established more than 110 years ago by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). A basic understanding is essential in successfully buying and/or using hardwoods from North America. In this Q & A, the association will provide explanations to common questions on drying.

Trade Media Pte Ltd 1100 Lower Delta Road, EPL Building #02-05, Singapore 169206 an Eastern Holdings Ltd company

05 Editorial 06 Industry News 69 Calendar Of Events 70 Product Highlights 72a Enquiry Form 72b Subscription Form Page


52 The Certified Edge


may/jun 2012 |

The Academy TheChinese Chinese Academy of of Forestry Forestry

MICA (P) NO. 041/11/2011 • PPS 1204/06/2013 (022957) • ISSN 0219-2284



Published by:

Eastern Trade Media Pte Ltd (a fully owned subsidiary of Eastern Holdings Ltd) Registration No: 199908196C

managing director

Kenneth Tan


Tjut Rostina

assistant editor

Wong Tsz Hin


Sherlyne Yong

editorial assistant

Lena Chin

senior graphic designer

Agness Ng

advertising sales manager

Sim Eric

business manager (China)

Ding Yongmei

assistant business manager (China)

Yumi Gui

senior circulation executive

Brenda Tan


Can Tay Christian Härtel Davy Tan Eleftheria Athanassiadou Hans Klingeborn John Becker Katsuki Matsumura Masanobu Nagano Michael Buckley Shizu Takami Teoh Hock Chin Tom ter Horst Avner Ben-Bassat

Executive Board chairman

Stephen Tay

group executive director

Kenneth Tan



he EU Timber Regulation will come into effect in less than a year, requiring exporters and retailers to ensure that their wood products are from legal sources (page 46). This is another level of governance on the sustainability of the resource. On one hand, the regulation will have a direct impact on illegal logging activities. On the other, it also helps manufacturers back up their green credentials. The success of this in eliminating irresponsible extracting of wood resources will hinge on two factors. Firstly, the vigilance of the system in monitoring products on the market and the punishment issued to offending parties. Secondly, whether the rest of the world follow suit with similar policies to further limit the amount of alternative export channels. Countries such as Indonesia are stepping up their efforts to establish a recognised certification system ahead of the implementation to facilitate smooth export to Europe (page 48). Just like in the case of furniture safety testing, the lack of a cohesive programme that is universally acknowledged and adopted makes things a little complicated and messy (page 52). On the other front, the crusade towards renewable energy has inevitably increased the demand for wood biomass. The benefits of using alternative fuel sources are irrefutable, but the main concern at the moment is making sure that only waste wood is used for this purpose. As the UK has found out, the government's initiative to support the green movement may have associated side effects. The huge subsidies provided to encourage the use of wood as a fuel have now increased the price of the material and threatened the operations of furniture manufacturers. The year 2012 has so far looked more optimistic than many have originally thought. Revitalised construction markets have given hope to other downstream industries, while the promotion for biomass energy has led to an increase in wood demand. If everything falls into place, this year could be another crucial step in the recovery of the wood industry.

financial controller

Robbin Lim



Trade Media Pte Ltd an Eastern Holdings Ltd company

Head Office & Mailing Address: Eastern Trade Media Pte Ltd 1100 Lower Delta Road, EPL Building #02-05, Singapore 169206 Tel: (65) 6379 2888 Fax: (65) 6379 2805 Representative Office Shanghai, China Office: Shanghai New Eastern Media Co. Ltd 15D Block B, Victoria Plaza, No. 1068, Xikang Road, Shanghai, P.R, China 200060 Tel: (86 21) 6276 8394 Fax: (86 21) 6276 4170

Wong Tsz Hin | FDM ASIA may/jun 2012



Industry News


MAY/JUN 2012

Doellken/Surteco Expands Production In Indonesia Singapore: Doellken/Surteco Asia has built a factory in Batam, Indonesia. This is part of the edgings and profiles provider’s expansion plans to match increased demand in the region. The focus of the plant is to increase the scale of production in Asia. Its close location to Singapore enables the company to better serve its customers, who are from 17 countries in the region, with enhanced delivery times and volume requirements. The company has been manufacturing in Indonesia for over 14 years. One main reason for building a factory there as compared to China, is the greater ease in controlling and safeguarding production technologies.

with Japanese and Korean standards as well. All products

The plant will be equipped to cater to the needs of

manufactured at the plant will also be GreenGuard certified,

local Asian markets, such as colour matching and higher

which makes them suitable for indoor use for children

quality standards. Apart from producing items that adhere

and schools.

to European quality standards, the products will comply

Monar Enters Chinese Wood Market Hong Kong, China: Monar International announced that

exist for the supply of sustainable forest products to the

it has initiated a business strategy which it believes will

Chinese market.

significantly increase the scale and profitability of its China business activities and enhance shareholder value.

The Chinese market for wood products of all types has expanded rapidly in recent years and official figures for the first nine months of 2011 show imports of US$30.4

Chinese furniture, it became evident that major opportunities

billion, an increase of 36 percent over the same period in

Bev Sykes, California, US

In developing the supplier base for its online sales of

2010. Chinese demand for wood products will continue to be strong as growing cities receive additional population from the countryside. It has been estimated that over 350 million people are expected to migrate from China’s rural to urban areas from 2005 to 2025, which will sustain a continuing need for new housing. As a result, the company will make its main focus the supply of profitable wood products to the Chinese market based on sustainable and certified forest management practices. It is already identifying potential suppliers of both logs and sawn lumber in North and South America. The proposed online sales business is expected to be spun off and developed as a standalone business.

6 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

Industry News

Aurora & Fursys Partner To Venture Into China Taipei, Taiwan: Taiwan’s office furniture manufacturer Aurora,

million, generated by its 500 sales outlets in 30 countries,

and Fursys, a South Korean furniture brand, have signed an

mainly in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

agreement to set up a new company in Shanghai to turn out seating items for China and overseas markets.

In March of this year, Aurora scored revenues of US$40.33 million for a monthly growth of 10 percent or annual growth Howie Le, San Jose, US

Capitalised at an estimated RMB50-100 million (US$7.8-15.6 million), the joint venture will be equally invested by the two

of 14 percent, of which US$20.36 million was being generated by its operations in China, with a month-over-month rise

parties and is scheduled to

of 14 percent, or year-over-

run in the fourth quarter

year rise of 15 percent. In the first three

of this year. In 2010, China’s office

months of the year, its

furniture market was

combined revenues grew to

valued at about RMB80

US$110.67 million, up seven

billion, of which office

percent from the previous

chairs accounted for RMB

year, and US$53.33 million

eight billion.

from China for a yearover-year growth of three

In the same year, Fursys


posted revenues of US$400

Malaysian Furniture Exports See Promise Penang, Malaysia: According to an article by The Star, the

furniture entering China. About half of the urban population

US and China are expected to buy more furniture from

would by 2025 have a gross income of RMB13.3 trillion,

Malaysia this year, and the Malaysian Furniture Entrepreneurs

which would mean more purchasing power for imported

Association (MFEA) expects exports to increase by three to

and high quality products.”

five percent, to reach RM8 billion (US$2.61 billion). MFEA president Lor Lean Sen said China was still an

The US was another market that was expected to purchase more furniture products from Malaysia this year. In January

untapped market for Malaysian

2012, the US purchase of Malaysian-made furniture products

furniture manufacturers. This is

hit RM163 million, compared with RM158.8 million in January

because the China market has

2011, an increase of about three percent.

always bought furniture made

India is also expected to be a key furniture market

from medium density board,

for Malaysia in the near future, as the Indian government

which is a cheaper material.

plans to further reduce its import duty on Malaysian-made furniture soon.

“However, as the China middleclass has grown, the

According to a Malaysia External

country has started importing

Trade Corporation (MATRADE)

rubber-wood furniture products

report, Malaysia’s furniture export

from Malaysia since the second

sales came down by 14.7 percent

half of last year,” he said.

to RM571 million in January 2012, from RM670.6 million in last year’s

from us this year, as there is zero import duty on Malaysian-made

nic joly

“We expect China to order more

corresponding month. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Industry News

CFWC Earns FSC Certification Kentucky, US: The Center for Forest and Wood Certification

forest industry, loggers, and foresters to aid in promoting

has earned the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification

certification and ultimately the development of well-

from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

managed forests. Miguel Vieira, California, US

FSC certification is voluntary, and supports responsible forest management. By centralising efforts into a group certificate, the centre has helped local forest owners to achieve FSC certification through a more practical and affordable way. Group certification is designed to make certification more practical and affordable by relieving member owners of the responsibility for many of the administrative processes related to certification. The centre is a partnership venture that brings together the forest industry, consulting foresters, and non-profits. Housed at the University of Kentucky, it manages the certification of forest owners and develops programmes for

Liz Jones, Sheffield, UK

IBM Forecasts Gains In Home Furnishing New York, US: Sales of home furnishings in the US are expected to shoot higher in the second quarter, with in-store sales increasing nearly eight percent to US$23.222 billion and online sales increasing 28.4 percent, according to

• Homes are getting smaller, compelling consumers to ‘resize’ their furnishings to accommodate smaller spaces. • Disposable income is rising as more people go back to work.

an IBM analytics-based forecast.

• Rental activity is increasing.

Combined in-store and online sales

The forecast is produced using

of home furnishings are expected to

statistical and analytical software to

grow 16.6 percent in the second quarter.

evaluate both the long-term sales

The company’s experts cite a number

trend and seasonal peaks. Consultants

of important factors that could be

use these predictive techniques to

driving purchases, including ‘Year of

help clients improve performance by

the Dragon’ weddings and the trend

addressing complex issues of supply

toward accessorising living spaces.

and demand. These techniques also

Online sales of home furnishings

aid clients in planning product mix

are expected to post a year-over-year

and new store locations.

increase of 30.7 percent in April, 25.9

In producing the forecast of store

percent in May and 29.1 percent in June,

sales, the company uses economic data

with sales for the quarter coming in at 28.4 percent. This forecast of online

gathered by the US Census Bureau. The bolstering home furnishing sales:

data is derived from a survey of store

sales is based on real-time sales data

• The concept of ‘accessorising’ is moving

establishments primarily engaged in

from the web sites of more than 500

from the apparel market to home

retailing home furnishings. These store

leading US retailers.

furnishings as many homeowners

establishments are a representative

during the past few years have decided

sample and are not inclusive of all

to stay put rather than move.

industry activity in this category.

IBM retail and analytics experts see a number of important trends

8 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

MTU Reduces Leaching With Nanotechnology US Fish and Wildlife Service - Recovery Act Team

Michigan, US: Through the use of nanotechnology, researchers at the Michigan Technological University (MTU) have reduced the leaching of biocides in pressure-treated wood by 90 percent. In pressure-treated wood, the chemicals used to preserve it from decay can leach out, where they can be toxic to bugs, fungi and other creatures. A team of MTU scientists has used nanotechnology to keep the chemicals inside the wood. 9/14/10

6:10:23The PM

nanoparticles are tiny spheres of gelatin or chitosan

(a material found in the shells of shrimp and other shellfish), chemically modified to surround the fungicide tebuconazole. The little spheres require no special handling. The initial tests show that the nanoparticle-treated wood is just as resistant to rot and insects as conventionally treated lumber. The researchers will test the wood in the warm, wet weather of Hawaii.




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Industry News

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Industry News

Canadian Forest Industry Welcomes FTA With Japan Ottawa, Canada: The Forest Products Association of Canada

Last year the Canadian forest sector exported CA$1.2

(FPAC) is welcoming the announcement that Canada intends

billion (US$1.217 billion) of wood, pulp and paper products

to develop a free trade agreement with Japan.

to Japan, making it the third largest international market for

PM Stephen Harper said that Canada will undertake

Canadian forest products.

the task to deepen its trade and investment relations with

Many Canadian forest exports to the country are

Japan by entering negotiations for a comprehensive trade

currently subject to significant tariffs, which erode the

deal. The PM and the minister of international trade, Ed

industry’s competitive position relative to other suppliers.

Fast, made the announcement during a trip to Tokyo.

Eliminating these barriers would give Canadian forest

daveynin, Pittsburgh, US

companies a decisive leg-up over its competitors in the Japanese market. The government of Canada’s Forest Industry Long Term Competitiveness Strategy has been effective in accelerating the industry transformation through innovation, market expansion and diversification. A key element of the strategy, the Canada Wood Export Program, has allowed Canada’s forest products industry to deliver market diversification programs and activities in off-shore markets, including Asia Pacific. This has helped economic recovery and supported jobs in the more than 200 communities in Canada that depend on the forest sector.

Andrea Schaffer, Sydney, Australia

Weyerhauser To Produce JAS-Certified OSB Material Washington, US: Weyerhaeuser will soon produce JAS-certified oriented strand board (OSB) material for export to Japan. OSB panels are used in both residential and commercial construction in Japan, as wall and roof sheathing and as structural flooring panels. The company’s OSB mill in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, Canada will produce the material under a JAS certification received from the APA in February. The mill will use a proprietary formulation specifically engineered to meet JAS strength and stiffness criteria, as well as the stringent F4 requirements for formaldehyde emission levels. Production to this standard will begin in April with the

millions of North American users. Like material produced for

first material arriving in Japan in May. The Hudson Bay

North American use, the JAS material will meet Exposure 1

mill will produce JAS-certified panels in standard sizes —

classification, making it durable enough to withstand delays

such as 910 mm x 1820 mm (approximately 3’x6’) and 910

in construction.

mm x2730 mm (3’x9’) — to align with Japanese building

CSA and SFI certifications have been in place for material

practices, as well as custom sizes. Thicknesses from 9.0 mm

produced by this mill for years. Strands of a precise length,

to 28 mm will meet the appropriate JAS classifications — 1,

width and thickness are cut from the log, blended with a

2, 3, and 4.

proprietary adhesive, aligned and formed into a mat and

OSB is more resource-efficient and less prone to delamination than plywood, making it the preferred panel for

10 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

pressed into panels using high heat and pressure in a continuous feed process.

Industry News

Vancouver, Canada: Canfor Corp has announced that it will

Canfor Invests US$40 Million In Kootenay Sawmill Operations an existing sawmill, while the remaining balance will

invest approximately CA$40

be used to improve drying

million into its sawmill facilities

capacity at the company’s

in the Kootenay region of

Canal Flats sawmill.

British Columbia (BC). These

President and CEO of

are the first parts of a multi-year

Canfor, Don Kayne, has said:

investment program, which

“The fibre in the Kootenay

aims to enhance productivity

region is amongst the best

and cost performance in the

in the world, and these

company’s BC Southern Interior

investments will secure our

mill facilities.

ability to make top-quality

This first investment will be concentrated on the company’s Radium Sawmill. Approximately

products here to supply global markets.” The project at the Radium mill will commence in May 2012, while operations are expected

installation of a biomass energy system, and modifications to

to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.


CA$38.5 million will be used to build a planer facility, the | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Industry News

Milan, Italy: Mercedes-Benz has collaborated with

Timber Frame Set To Outperform Construction Market

manufacturers of designer furniture, Formitalia Luxury

London, UK: Wood for Good and the Timber Trade Federation

Group, to develop a furniture collection.

have welcomed a report from independent market research firm

Mercedes-Benz Launches Furniture Line The furniture collection comprises one sofa, a chaise

MTW Research, which shows that the timber frame building

longue, a dining room table, various chairs, a sideboard,

market is set to grow by nine percent and exceed £400 million

a shelf unit with integrated home theatre system, a

(US$526.68 million) in 2012 — outstripping the pace of growth

chest of drawers and a bed. All the pieces are produced

in other areas of the construction market.

by Formitalia and will be sold worldwide via exclusive

The report forecasts that timber frame sales will have

furniture stores, showrooms and interior design stores

grown by 60 percent in volume and 80 percent in value by 2016,

from October 2012.

suggesting a rapid expansion phase is imminent.

The furniture was unveiled at the Milan Furniture Fair.

The research firm highlights increased market share in housebuilding as the main area for timber frame growth, but also shows that non-residential projects in health and education will drive demand. Low-carbon regulations, such as the Code for Sustainable Homes, are cited by the report as key drivers where the timber frame industry is responding well and meeting changing market demand patterns and influences, with timber recognised as the least carbon intensive building material.

Paul Downey, Berkhamsted, UK

Report Reveals Increased Timber Growth In UK Bristol, UK: According to a report by the Forestry Commission titled ‘Standing Timber Volume for Coniferous Trees in Britain’, more timber is growing in the UK than previously assessed. Britain’s forests contain an estimated 336 million cubic metres of coniferous timber. Coniferous timber is timber produced by conifer trees such as pine, spruce, larch and fir species, and is also known as ‘softwood’. The report also reveals that: • publicly owned forests managed by the commission contain just more than one-third of the timber, at 125 million cubic metres; • forests in private and other forms of ownership contain about 211 million cubic metres; • Scotland has by far the largest volume of standing

• the next greatest volume of coniferous timber overall

coniferous timber, with 212 million cubic metres, followed

is accounted for by Scots pine, of which there are 51

by England with 87 million cubic metres and Wales with 37 million cubic metres;

million cubic metres; and • there is more timber growing in Britain than was indicated

• Sitka spruce trees account for slightly more than half of

by previous assessments based on the 1979-82 Census

all the coniferous timber, at 170 million cubic metres in

of Woodland and the 2010 Global Forest Resources

Britain overall;

Assessment (FRA).

12 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

Industry News

Stora Enso To Build Mills In China Helsinki, Finland: Stora Enso plans to build plantation-based integrated board and pulp mills at Beihai city in Guangxi, southern China. The mill site will initially include a 450,000


tonnes per year paperboard machine and pulp capacity of 900,000 tonnes per year, including necessary energy plant and auxiliary facilities. In a unique set-up, the board and pulp mills will be selfsufficiently integrated with wood supply from 120,000 hectares of self-managed eucalyptus plantations. The target is to expand the paperboard capacity to 900,000 tonnes at a later stage. The operations will be managed by an equity joint-venture company established by the company (85 percent) and the Guangxi Forestry Group (15 percent), a state-owned company under the Guangxi provincial government. The joint venture will serve the fast-growing market for liquid packaging board and other premium consumer board grades. The project investment will be approximately EUR1.6 billion (US$2.107 billion). Construction at the industrial site will commence when specific preconditions have been fulfilled, which is expected to be in the second half of 2012. Production is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Pöyry Awarded Engineering Contract For UPM Biorefinery Vantaa, Finland: Pöyry’s industry business group has been awarded an engineering contract for detail engineering in the UPM Biorefinery project in Lappeenranta, Finland. The order has been booked in the second quarter order book. The parties have agreed not to disclose the value of the assignment. The engineering assignment includes services for

• Quality woodworking adhesives Hotmelt adhesive for edge banding Hotmelt adhesive for profile wrapping EPI (Emulsion Polymer Isocyanate) adhesive for glued timber Finger-jointing adhesive Assembly adhesive Membrane press adhesive Lamination adhesive • Enhance your productivity & reduce cost • Clients including over 5000 furniture manufacturers and paper products manufacturers • Leader in manufacturing quality woodworking adhesives in China • All of our products meet SGS standard

d: nte a W nts Age

civil and plant engineering, project control, procurement, document management, and industrial safety. The services will be carried out during 2012-2014. This assignment would strengthen the company’s to the biofuels and oil refining industries. The Lappeenranta Biorefinery is UPM’s first step in its strategy towards establishing itself in advanced biofuels production and a vital part of the company’s

Shanghai Rocky Adhesives Co.,Ltd.

Address: NO.566 Huaxu R.D., Xujing Economic Development Zone, Qingpu District, Shanghai China. Phone: +86-21-59761668 Fax: +86-21-59761668 ext:204 Web: E-mail:

biorefinery strategy. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



position as a provider of engineering and project services


Right Binder In Let The

With a myriad selection of wood adhesives available in the market, the factors that influence consumer choice include cost, adhesive application and board assembly process, bonding strength and durability. By Eleftheria Athanassiadou, R&D support and IP protection manager, Chimar Hellas


he adhesive in wood panel applications bonds together pieces of wood, in the form of particles, fibres, veneers or strands, to form a wood-adhesive matrix. The strength of the product depends on an efficient distribution of the adhesive on the wood substrate. The wood-adhesive matrices are then formed into mats and pressed under heat into the final product. This type of process requires an adhesive that does not react immediately at room temperature (premature cure), but is heat-activated during the pressing operation. In addition, since the wood

14 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

surfaces are brought close together, gap filling is not an important issue, but over penetration is. However for plywood, the surfaces are not uniformly brought in such close contact, requiring the adhesive to remain on the surface. Light coloured adhesives are important for some applications, but many of these products have their surfaces covered by other materials. Most of the adhesives used in wood bonding have formaldehyde as a co-monomer, generating concern about formaldehyde emissions. Given the weight of adhesive (2–10 percent) compared to the product weight, cost is an important issue.

Formaldehyde Binders Thermosetting formaldehyde-based resins are the main binders used in current industrial production of woodbased panels. They are derived by the condensation polymerisation of formaldehyde (F) with either urea (U), melamine (M), phenol (P), resorcinol (R) or a combination of these monomers. Straight urea-formaldehyde (UF), melamine-formaldehyde (MF), phenol-formaldehyde (PF), resorcinolformaldehyde (RF) resins and combinations like UMF, MUF, MUPF, PUF and PRF are readily available. They are produced via reaction of

monomers to form aqueous suspensions of oligomers. The final setting of the polymers is affected through the application of heat and pressure during the hot-pressing step of board manufacture. The coreactant or combination of co-reactants used with formaldehyde is selected depending on the cost, production conditions, and expected performance of the target panel product. The issue of formaldehyde release from composite wood panels is mainly related to the use of UF resins as bonding adhesives for their production. UF polymers are contributing to the panel formaldehyde emission by their low resistance to hydrolysis and the presence of free non-reacted formaldehyde. The formaldehyde re-classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)’ and the reduced emission limits for panel products that were established henceforth have driven the resin industry in the development of low formaldehyde release UF resin systems, with or without the addition of melamine. At the moment, the available amino resin systems can meet even the most stringent prevailing formaldehyde emission standards for composite panel products, without deterioration in the panel performance or significant modification of the operating conditions of the panel industry, or the need to employ other types of binders. Formaldehyde-based resins providing panels with formaldehyde emission values at the level of natural wood are offered in the market. The prevailing emission standards and limits are well below the levels of concern for formaldehyde. Urea-formaldehyde (UF), along with melamine-formaldehyde (MF) and melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF) are the most important amino resins. They are generally sold in aqueous suspension



Cost is a big factor in the selection of a suitable adhesive.

form with content of active matter in the range of 50-70 percent (on a weight basis). Their curing is enhanced with the addition of an acid catalyst. UF resins are light in colour, fast curing, hard and abrasion resistant, and provide excellent dimensional stability, good flame resistance and a ‘clear glue line’ (point at which the wood element and adhesive meet in an adhesive binding). UF resins compete with other formaldehyde resins with regard to its end-use applications due to their lowest production cost. However, they are less moisture and abrasion resistant than melamine-formaldehyde (MF) and phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins. UF resins are generally used in applications requiring dimensional stability, but with only moderate exposure to heat or moisture, such as particleboard or medium density fibreboard (MDF) for furniture or cabinet making. They are also used in the production of panels for building and construction applications, such as interior grade particleboard and plywood. Melamine-formaldehyde (MF) resins are similar in chemical behaviour and

properties to UF resins. In addition, MF resins are tougher, more thermally stable, and are more moisture and chemically resistant than UF resins. They are most commonly used as adhesives in the production of exterior grade plywood, curved plywood and marine grade plywood, as well as in the production of structural panels (plywood and oriented strand board (OSB)) for interior applications. Another significant use is for impregnating paper sheets used as the backing in making decorative laminates. The resins for paper impregnation are different in many respects (such as degree of polymerisation, addition of copolymerising additives and viscosity). The limitation of the MF adhesives is their high cost due to the cost of the melamine. This has led to the use of copolymer resins MUF (with high level of melamine) or UMF (low melamine level) with many of the performance attributes of the MF resins, but at a lower cost. The MUF adhesives can replace other adhesives that are used for some exterior applications. Phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins are the first synthetic polymers that were developed and address a wide variety of applications. There are two classes of phenolic resins: resoles and novolacs. The resoles are used in most wood adhesive applications. They are produced under alkaline conditions and are cured under the application of heat. Resole PF resins offer comparable strength and dimensional stability to UF resins, but have higher moisture and chemical resistance than either UF or MF resins. For this reason they are the adhesives of choice for structural and exterior grade wood panels (mainly plywood and OSB). They are also used for the impregnation of Kraft paper to produce industrial and decorative laminates via high pressure lamination (HPL). | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



Other Types Of Adhesives Isocyanate adhesives have shown increasing use in wood bonding applications due to their high reactivity and bonding efficiency irrespective of the presence of high moisture/water levels. Their most common representative in wood panel applications is the polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanate (pMDI) binders. They are used in the production of OSB and are possible substitutes for PF resins in plywood production. There are also isocyanate adhesives which are technically feasible for particleboard and MDF production. Besides high cost, the limitations of pMDI binders are their tendency to stick to press platens and their toxicity due to the presence of free isocyanate groups. Both stickiness and safety issues have been addressed in the modern wood-

16 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

could be potentially used for particleboard and MDF production. They possess good dry strength characteristics but are limited by their poorer performance under moderately high temperatures and humid conditions.

based panel industry, but still pMDI binders represent a low share in adhesives for the global panel market. Another quality of pMDI-bonded panels is low formaldehyde release. However, the conventional route to producing MDI involves the use of formaldehyde. Hybrid UF/pMDI and PF/pMDI adhesives for wood panels have been recently introduced to the market for upgrading the existing adhesives technology and performance, and for solving the problem of free isocyanate groups.

Bio-Based Adhesives

Brendan C

The main limitation of PF resins is their deep red colour which leads to dark coloured panels. Their high cost together with long curing times, also limit their widespread use in wood bonding applications. A common additive for PF resins is urea, to reduce the cost and to provide improved flow properties. Resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) resins have the advantage over PF resins by being curable at room temperature. Like the phenol-formaldehyde resins, these adhesives form very durable bonds. They are resistant to both bond failure and to degradation. They possess the combination of adhesive properties and moisture resistance needed for exterior grade structural panels. Their main drawback is the high cost of the resorcinol which limits their use to specialty applications. To lower the cost, but maintain the room temperature curing properties, phenolresorcinol-formaldehyde (PRF) adhesives were developed. PRF adhesives are widely used in wood lamination and finger jointing.

100 percent soybean adhesives do not have sufficient dry and wet strength for application in wood panel manufacturing.

Water borne epoxy resins and copolymers are examined for their use as potential substitute adhesives for wood-based panels. They are water resistant, have low creep, and are dimensionally stable. Besides their high material cost, they are toxic and have longer curing times than UF resins, thus limiting the productivity of the wood panel production process. Water borne polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and polyethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) dispersions are mainly used for wood bonding in furniture construction and

Since ancient times, adhesives from plants and animals have been used for several gluing applications including the gluing of wood. In the early 1900s, bio-based adhesives were used in the manufacturing of cost effective wood products for replacing solid wood, thus leading to the expansion of the wood products industry. After the 60s, these bio-based adhesives were replaced by adhesives synthesised from petrochemicals due to cost, durability and availability factors. More recently, the environmental problems caused by the use of petrochemicals and the increases in oil prices have renewed the interest in bio-based products. The most common representatives of bio-based adhesives are protein-, tanninand lignin-adhesives. Several other lignocellulosic residues and materials extracted from biomass can be used as natural adhesives as well. They possess good dry strength, but have insufficient wet strength and durability when compared to synthetic resins. Protein adhesives are adhesives based on blood proteins, soybean proteins and casein. Soybean protein adhesives have attracted considerable attention over the years due to their low cost feedstock, and their renewable nature. However, 100 percent soybean adhesives do not have sufficient dry and wet strength for application in wood panel manufacture. Their performance can be improved by combining their use with other adhesives like PF resins or by using special cross-linking agents and additives, which can also be of natural origins.

Focus Tannins are polyhydroxypolyphenolics that occur in many plant species, but it is worthwhile to isolate them from only a few. They are more reactive than phenol and create water-resistant bonds when co-polymerised with formaldehyde. Tannin-formaldehyde resins have been used in the production of particleboard and MDF in countries like Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand due to the availability of tannin in these countries. The limitations for such adhesives are their high viscosity, limited availability

Jon Rawlinson

Soy-based adhesives are applied to a limited extent these days in the production of plywood in North America. Their use in particleboard and MDF production has been proposed as well. Feedstock availability and competition with food applications are important considerations in regard to the application of soy-based adhesives in bulk wood panel manufacture. Blood adhesives made from dried animal blood albumen are inexpensive but their use in board manufacture is hindered by the limited feedstock availability and the objectionable

Isocynate adhesives have shown increasing use in wood bonding applications due to its bonding efficiency even with the presence of moisture.

workplace conditions that they create. They are used in combination with PF resins at some plywood factories. Casein adhesives, derived from milk, possess high dry strength and better moisture resistance than either blood or straight soy adhesives. However, the cure time of casein adhesives is too long for cost effective industrial production of particleboard or MDF, and they are subject to microbial attack. Their cost is competitive with UF resins but their availability is limited as most of the feedstock (milk) is used by the food products industry.

and like many natural products, an inconsistent source and therefore leading to inconsistent reactivity. A promising way to tackle the problems of tannins is to combine them with PF resins. Lignins are phenolic derivatives but different from tannins. They constitute 16-33 percent of wood depending on the species and they are available in large quantities at low cost, as the by-product of the pulping processes for papermaking. Lignins are much slower in their reaction with formaldehyde and many researches have been devoted to

finding ways to convert lignin into useful thermosetting adhesives. Modified lignin from paper manufacture has been used as an extender for PF and UF resins. It has also been used in combination with PF in plywood bonding. However, such systems are still some distance away from wide commercial adoption.

Choice Of Adhesive The degree of industrial application and market acceptance of bio-based adhesives is still low due to availability and technical performance reasons. Combinations with synthetic binders are a preferable option for the moment. The choice of the wood panel adhesive highly depends on its cost and performance. Based on the form of the wood substrate, a wide variety of wood panel products can be made. Wood-based panels, being commodity materials, are highly sensitive to material input cost. A substantial increase in the cost of adhesive raw material or in board processing cost, due to the use of an alternative adhesive, can increase the board cost up to a point where it is susceptible to replacement by alternative panel products. Health safety issues are a further concern in regard to the adhesives used in wood products and therefore, a continuous evolution of synthetic binders has been occurring to meet the corresponding health standards. Modern formaldehyde-based resins can provide panels with formaldehyde emission values at the level of natural wood. Given the finite nature of the oil deposits, the long-term availability of petroleum-derived products is not guaranteed. The efforts to develop and apply effective bio-based binders for wood-based panels are intensified as a means to promote the sustainability of the resin and panel industries. FDM

ENQUIRY NO. 4101 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



Evolution On The

EDGE Edge design and technology have evolved significantly over the past 125 years. From being used primarily to conceal the sides of engineered boards, the material has now become an essential aesthetic component for furniture making. By Hans Klingeborn, MD, Doellken/Surteco


he furniture industry back in the early days focused on solid wood furniture before particleboard was invented. Modern plywood, as an alternative to natural wood, was invented in the 19th century, but by the end of the 1940s, a shortage of lumber made it difficult to manufacture plywood affordably. Particleboard, invented by Max Himmelheber of Germany, was intended to be a replacement. The first commercial piece was produced during World War II at a factory in Bremen, Germany. It used waste materials, such as planer shavings, offcuts or sawdust, hammer-

18 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

milled them into chips, and bound them together with a phenolic resin. Particleboard has had an enormous influence on furniture design. In the early 1950s, particleboard kitchens started to come into use in furniture construction, but in many cases, it remained more expensive than solid wood. A particleboard kitchen was only available to the very wealthy. Once the technology was more developed, particleboard became cheaper. Established furniture companies base their strategies around providing well-designed furniture at a low price. In almost all cases, this means the use of

particleboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF) or something similar. IKEA’s mission is to “create welldesigned home furniture at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford it”. They do this by using the least expensive materials possible, as do most other major furniture providers. However, manufacturers, in order to maintain a reputation for quality at low cost, may use higher grades of particleboard, such as higher density particleboard, thicker particleboard, or particleboard made with high quality resins. One may take note of the amount

Focus of sag in a shelf of a given width in order to observe the difference. In general, the much lower cost of sheet goods (particleboard, MDF and other engineered wood products) has helped to displace solid wood from many cabinetry applications.

Safety Particleboards need to be covered on the sides for it to look good.

construction of manufactured homes. This, however, was not solely because of the large amounts of pressed wood products that manufactured homes contained, but also because of other building materials such as ureaformaldehyde foam insulation. Formaldehyde is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a


more withless


why hold large inventories of lumber






...for the world’s



There are two parts to safety concerns. The first being fine dust released when particleboard is machined (such as sawing or routing), and occupational exposure limits exist in many countries recognising the hazard of wood dusts. The other concern is with the release of formaldehyde. In 1984, concerns on the initial indoor level of formaldehyde led the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to set standards for the

known human carcinogen. Consumers and developers these days are more aware of this issue and are demanding more certified products, such as GREENGUARD Indoor Air quality certified products that control the components used in production. Particleboards need to be covered on the sides for it to look good. In 1954, Döllken became one of the first companies to recognise the significance of plastics, and specialised in the extrusion of thermoplastic profiles. Today, there are many manufacturers of thermoplastic edgeband throughout the world that produce edges with various materials and quality. Various sizes had to be produced to match the different thickness of the boards. Plastics extrusion is a high volume manufacturing process in which raw

4002 L EGION D RIVE / H AMBURG , N EW Y ORK 14075 USA 716.649.2850 / 800.950.2850 / FAX : 716.649.2811 / EMAIL : INFO @BAILLIE. COM | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Focus plastic material is melted and formed into a continuous profile. Extrusion produces items such as edgebanding. The first thermoplastic extrusion was created in 1935 by Paul Troester in Germany. Shortly after, Roberto Colombo of LMP developed the first twin screw extruders in Italy. In the extrusion of plastics, raw thermoplastic material in the form of small beads (often called resin in the industry) is gravity fed from a top mounted hopper into the barrel of the extruder. Additives such as colourants and UV inhibitors (in either liquid or pellet form) are often used and can be mixed into the resin prior to arriving at the hopper. The material enters through the feed throat (an opening near the rear of the barrel) and comes into contact with the screw. The rotating screw forces the plastic beads forward into the barrel which is heated to the desired melt temperature. The profile can then be formed in to different shapes, sizes and designs.

Materials Used For Edgeband Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated as PVC, is the third-most widelyproduced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene. PVC is widely used in construction because it is durable, cheap, and worked easily. For more than 40 years, edgebands for the furniture industry have also been manufactured from this material and have turned out to be very successful due to their outstanding material characteristics. In particular, it is the excellent processing characteristics of PVC for specific applications that have contributed to its breakthrough in the furniture manufacturing market. PVC edgeband is made from PVC compound which contains other components such UV stabilisers, impact modifiers and fillers. The composition of the compounds will determine the

20 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

quality of the edgeband, its properties, UV stability and how good it runs on the machines. The cheaper the edge, the cheaper the compound, and the ‘cheaper’ the quality will be. This may induce great consequences during manufacturing. PVC should not be burnt or incinerated as it would pollute the air with chlorine toxins, which is bad for the environment. Other concerns are that some manufacturers want to reduce the price of their edges by adding plasticisers. Plasticisers make it possible to achieve improved compound processing characteristics, while also providing flexibility in the end use product. However, cheap plasticisers often contain endocrine disruptors which are chemicals that interfere with endocrine or hormone system in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects and other developmental disorders. Migration of plasticisers out of their host plastics leads to loss of flexibility, embrittlement, and cracking. It can also affect the gluing properties and bonding strength of applied edges and stocked edging may fail. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a copolymer made by polymerising styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene. Production of one kg of ABS requires the equivalent of about two kg of petroleum for raw materials and energy, which makes the material Edgeband has evolved to become an essential design element.

relatively expensive. The material can be recycled. The most important mechanical properties of ABS are impact resistance and toughness. A variety of modifications can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. ABS is also ecologically sound. For over 20 years now, this chlorinefree plastic has been successfully used in the furniture industry. It is the outstanding application, processing and disposal characteristics, in particular, of ABS that contribute to its extensive impact on the furniture manufacture market. Since pure ABS contains no halogens, its combustion does not typically produce any persistent organic pollutants when incinerated. On the edgebanding machines, some settings, such as rotation of the router directions, has to be modified to get the same processing results as using PVC edgebands. Polypropylene (PP) is a semicrystalline plastic that is primarily used in pipe extrusion and the packaging industry. Also known as polypropene, it is a chlorine-free material and has been used for edgebanding for the past 10 years. PP is normally tough and flexible, especially when copolymerised with ethylene. This allows polypropylene to be used as an engineering plastic, competing with materials such as ABS, but is more complicated to run on the edgebanding machine.

Focus More adjustments and settings have to be considered. Heat resistance is an advantage and therefore commonly used on high pressure laminate kitchen worktops in Europe. PP can be incinerated without producing any moderate amount of toxins. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMAAcrylic) is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a lightweight or shatterresistant alternative to glass. It is sometimes called acrylic glass and used for 3D edge production, which has a clear transparent layer and is printed on the backside. As the material is harder than PVC and ABS, sharp tools are necessary when processing these edges. Full processing manuals with property specifications should always be available from the manufacturers.

to print the decors, the better depth and more realistic the finish will get. This, in combination with realistic wood embosses and gloss levels, makes the overall feel very authentic. Whether it is HPL, melamine faced chipboards, surface foils or edgebanding, the feel and touch is more important and will differ

greatly according to the manufacturer’s craftsmanship. Another consideration of quality is that the batch to batch production lot is within acceptable tolerances. There is a tendency that the price has a large influence on these qualities and manufacturers’ technique.

Development Of Edges

a promise is being made . At Northwest Hardwoods we know that a promise is made every time we put our name on a bundle of lumber. It’s a promise to deliver a reliable, consistent product every time. And it’s a promise we’ve been delivering on for more than 45 years.



The process for edgebands developed as the surfaces for melamine-faced chipboards got more sophisticated. Embosses and wood structures on the edges had to match the surfaces. Edgebanding machines got faster and more sophisticated, and edge manufacturers had to make sure that the tolerances of the size produced, as well as the colour variances from batch to batch were under accepted tolerances. The faster the speed and output, the more important these are. Some companies developed sophisticated technologies to control these tolerances when producing the edges, and yet, they remain as the most important factors to judge the quality of edgeband. Surface colour, base colour, pattern structure, embosses and gloss levels have to be considered when judging a good match. Pattern structure and surface colours are often printed with only two colours from cheaper manufacturers and up to four colours from quality manufacturers. The more colours that are used

Shanghai, China: 86.21.6218.5218 • Vietnam/Guangzhou, China: 86.20.3878.1570 © 2012 Northwest Hardwoods, Inc. All rights reserved. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



There are different types of edgebands that can give variation in colours and textures.

Today, there is a great variety of embosses and gloss levels to choose from in the market for the perfect match. Surfaces are getting more complicated and the edges have to follow this development.

Contrast & Special Effect Edgeband The edge is an important accent in furniture design and can give amazing possibilities to designers. One of the first contrast edgeband that was developed was multiplex and duo colour edges PVC. Multiplex is one of the most common designs used as contrast edging that imitates block-wood or high-end plywood. It can be used with metallic stripes to create a special effect. Duo–‘HPL’ has the ability to create different kinds of design effects by extruding two colours into one edge. The line of the bottom layer will appear after milling the edge. Through-Grain DM was an edge that would imitate real wood at the radius. When milled, a wood line would appear imitating solid wood grains. Through grain edges have become a standard edge in Australia. Two In One has two colours on top of each other in one edge. It was first developed using PVC and later on in

22 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

3D. It has found use in both the office furniture, as well as, kitchen industry. PMMA (Acrylic) 3D Edgeband became the most important contrast edgeband as it could imitate real aluminium, brushed steel, brass and other metals, as well as glass. As the 3D design is printed on the backside and covered by the transparent acrylic, there is no loss in the décor pattern as the milled radius is clear. Iridescent edges were developed to give designers something new to play with. These edges shift in colour depending on the angle of the light source. PMMA Frosted edges that resemble frosted glass were something that were introduced in 2005 and used in the bathroom cabinet industry.

Digital Print Digital prints are one of the latest technologies in the edgebanding industry. It gives manufacturers the opportunity to match virtually any type of surfaces, including a picture like image on the edges. Sophisticated digital scanning equipment can also scan the most complicated pattern from a surface to be printed onto an edge. Instead of creating a printing cylinder for every pattern, the digital printing system can print the image immediately, speeding up the matching process.

This is especially important for more complicated decórs. The developments of edges is not only about creating or following the latest design and pattern trends on the market, it is also about following the latest machine technologies and developments. Plasma and laser processing technologies are examples where the edges were developed together with special technologies by leading machine manufacturers. These applications have become the standards in some markets. In Switzerland, laser edge technology is used by most high-end kitchen manufacturers. Edge processing machines are becoming more and more sophisticated, with speed and high quality output fast becoming a standard norm. Cleaning and cooling agents can be installed online in order to optimise quality and erase any potential touch-up or manual cleaning. The edge quality is important because output cannot be compromised. Leading edge manufacturers often guarantee that their tolerances in size and properties will not create any problems when using the state of the art machine technology. Downtime and rejects are very expensive and this should always be considered when investing in the right edge. Ask edge manufacturers for material properties and processing guidelines before making the choice. Cheaper edges might be cheaper per metre, but may not be so when the possible extra stoppage times and reject quota in production are factored in. Edgebanding is an exciting business and a very important component used in modern furniture. The quality of the edges will determine the quality of the furniture. It is amazing how much the materials have evolved over the years. Edges will continue to be developed into something FDM new for the market each year. ENQUIRY NO. 4102


Lasering Away



The use of laser technology for edgeband processing has allowed manufacturers to reap the visible benefits of jointless bonds and a streamlined process. By Davy Tan, marketing & communications manager, Rehau Asia & Pacific


dvancements in machine technologies have led to the development of pure polymer edgeband generation using laser technology. This does away with the need for adhesive in edgeband processing and creates a permanent, jointless bond between the edgeband and the board. In this method, the edgeband has a functional layer on the back made from a specially developed polymer, which is the same colour as the visible side, and is melted onto the substrate board during processing using a highly efficient laser.

A Seamless Connection The durable and jointless weld between the edgeband and the board completely eliminates the adhesive joint, which had to be considered in all existing edgeband processes until now. The use of adhesives in edgeband processing has always led to a less than perfect appearance, due

to the typical circumstances of yellowing and contamination in the area of the joint, as well as the visible transition between individual components. This type of edgeband generation and its use of laser technology prevents all visible disadvantages as mentioned above. Instead, it produces the appearance of a solid material, as if it was made from one piece. Furthermore, the welding of edgeband and board increases both heat and moisture resistance of the boards.

Optimising The Process The application of laser technology for the generation of edgeband materials, and its resulting abdication of adhesives has also entailed possible savings for the furniture manufacturer. For instance, the elaborate matching of edgeband material to primer and adhesive is no longer needed. At the same time, this has improved the manufacturing process by enhancing

process reliability while reducing the need for maintenance work and setup times.

Complementary Materials Material developments have also allowed the laser technology to be used with a variety of materials such as PMMA, ABS and PVC. Of note is polypropylene, an ecological material that is highly favoured due to its positive processing properties. It is chemical and UV resistant, insusceptible to dirt, and also impresses with its maximum resistance to heat and moisture. The properties of such materials, when complemented with laser technology, result in products with an enhanced quality. Adding on to the aesthetics the invisible joint provides, these materials can be used in tandem with decorative designs and threedimensional depth effect to broaden design perspectives. FDM ENQUIRY NO. 4103 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



Edgebanding A

Like From



veryone wants it, few can do it: the invisible edge bond. In the past, this was only possible with nearly impossible colour matching, and even then, only to a limited extent with hotmelt adhesives — now, technology has made this possible relatively easily. On an industrial scale, hotmelt adhesives are used worldwide for edgebanding without exception. Fast strength build-up in a short cooling down phase is a powerful benefit. This is the only way economical performance with regard to line speed is possible, but is also where the limitation lies for an invisible joint. When the hotmelt adhesive solidifies quickly, and it must, it can no longer be optimally pressed together using common methods. This means that the hotmelt adhesive application onto the materials to be bonded, as well as the joining, must take place at sufficiently high temperatures. On one hand, this is done for optimal material wetting, on the other hand, for the best possible joint.

Optimal Temperature The softening range of the corresponding hotmelt adhesives plays an essential role, and is also valued for its desired heat resistance. The application of hotmelt adhesive onto the board needs to take

24 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

place at sufficiently high temperature and optimal conditions with regard to the wetting. However, the edgeband is usually added later in the process so the contact temperature is no longer optimal. As the hotmelt cools down, even if EVA or polyolefin hotmelt adhesive is applied to the board at approximately 200 deg C, the wetting of the edge band in the subsequent ‘colder’ step is no longer optimal. Pressing of the already more or less solid hotmelt adhesive in the pressing zone is not effective. However, it is worth noting that reactive polyurethane does well with this process technology and achieves good results with nearly no visible joint. But polyurethane requires melting and application units which are protected from moisture. Therefore, an alternative is necessary, ideally with the abovementioned properties and is as easy to use as thermoplastic hotmelt adhesives. The ideal bonding process should take place with sufficiently high temperatures in all steps of the process so that wetting and pressing is significantly better than in the conventional process.

As the industry moves towards ‘no joint’ edging of panels, advances in processing technology are only one side of things, the other aspect lies in the properties of the adhesive. By Teoh Hock Chin, regional manager, Kleiberit Adhesive Asia the hotmelt adhesive to the board, but on the edgeband. This process has been known for decades and should be conducted on a separate line where set-up costs are significantly lesser than edgebanding or production lines. In order to optimally prepare the hotmelt adhesive for bonding, popular hot air or IR devices are not sufficient, as heating with typical machine technology is too far away from the joint. There is an excellent alternative to this. For example, laser technology is available which heats up the hotmelt adhesive directly on the joint to the optimal joint temperature. So is the challenge of ‘no joint’ resolved? Not entirely, as typical hotmelt adhesives do not heat up sufficiently with this technology. Through advanced testing, developers and technicians were able to formulate a hotmelt adhesive which can react with the laser beam in an ideal fashion and ‘melts’ exactly in areas where it matters. This type of adhesives, which can have a heat resistance of 140 deg C, can be used together with laser edging technology to produce ‘no joint’ edged FDM panels.

Adhesive On Edgeband One possible approach is not to apply


Unlock Opportunities for the Woodworking and Furniture Production Industry in ASEAN



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Efficiency Without Overpowering

Just as manufacturing operations require streamlining, the choosing of CNC machines must be focused to avoid paying excess for underutilised features and unnecessary power ratings. By Can Tay, product manager, Michael Weinig Asia


n the good old days, it would be magical to have produced parts in repetitive process performed through CNC machines. By its name, CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control and in layman terms, these are programs to turn ‘On’ and ‘Off’ certain devices. However, their capabilities have improved tremendously since the 1950s. The CNC machines have evolved from three to five axes since the early days. Table options vary from console to matrix. Processing methods can either be pendulum or nesting. Designs in processing vary according to the markets. There are pendulum, gantry (overhead bridge) and many different

26 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

modes and makes. Not only are these machines capable of processing panel and solid wood, but they can also process aluminium, plastic and even composite materials. In this explosive market where end users are spoilt for choice, decision over machine selection has become more challenging and tougher than ever. There are a few important points to consider when choosing a decent machine to achieve a high production rate. Let’s start with the gantry machines. This type of machine should have two drive motors running in synchronisation on both sides, which will carry the gantry to achieve maximum efficiency. If it drives the gantry in the same direction with

Technology the same power and torque, it will actually make the machine more stable and powerful. These effects translate into power saving and therefore money savings for the user.

Efficiency & High Performance The most important thing when considering a CNC machine is that it must be able to perform the basic functions like drilling, cutting and milling. Any other capabilities on top of these basic functions are additional advantages. Buyers should have a good idea of what they want in the first place. Unwanted functions, when available, could turn out to be an eyesore in the best case scenario; or a hindrance to high performance in the worst case scenario, not to mention having to pay for all these functions and features in the first place. The end user should consider the following points when sourcing for a machine: Is the machine length capable of processing the desired product? If the machine is too long, it will be a bad investment as the customer would be paying for something there is no need for at the moment. If the machine is too short, it will be difficult to upgrade the product in future. More importantly, the user should prioritise and use the current products as the main consideration when choosing a suitable machine. Otherwise, the user may end up buying a machine with the wrong specifications. It is important to plan for the future. As such, after giving due consideration to the current operation, the buyer should think about plans in the foreseeable future. What would be a good timeframe for reference? 10 years would be too long a period. A more realistic timeframe would be five years. Within the five years, the user should consider the machine specifications needed and perhaps discuss with a machine expert on which is the most suitable machine that can satisfy their future needs. More importantly, is the machine capable of blending into future production plan? Is it possible to integrate the machine into the future process flow of material?

Spindle Features Currently, most CNC machines run on cantilever-machining type. Its strength lies in the four guide carriages. The wider the distance between the guide carriages, the more stabilised the carriages will be during acceleration and deceleration. Another important thing to look out for is whether the linear guides are covered with steel plates. Leaving them open will expose them to sawdust from operations, causing damage to the bearings. Most manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty from manufacturing defects on the guide carriages.

The next point of consideration is the machining head. Most manufacturers are using the HSK Standard, which is currently the best in the market. The angle on the tool collet chuck provides an accurate hold on the tools even at high feed rates. This results in high productivity with short acceleration paths. Many suppliers sell machines featuring spindles with air-cools as this would bring the machine price down tremendously. However, when the spindle breaks down, the end user will be left in a bad fix.

The office version of the software is important as the draftsperson cannot be standing next to the machine all the time.

All spindle power is measured in kW. Preferably, it should be just enough for the production requirement. Excessively high kW would cause unnecessary power wastage. It is also necessary to have high quality ground and high speed ceramic bearings with quality grease, as this is more durable and ensures a high production precision in continuous operation. Various drilling units with up to 24 spindles should be considered for rational drilling. The design of the entire machining head should ensure that the chips are extracted effectively by the evacuation enclosure around all attachments. Another point worth mentioning is the interchangeable Vario NC unit. It offers flexible solutions with a total of 4.5 axes for significantly increased freedom of motion than the previous three-axes machines. The maximum programmable vector speed of 142 m/min provides extraordinary dynamics for more efficient processing. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Technology A smaller vacuum pump of 100 cubic metres/hr would be sufficient in this case. However for the solid wood industry, a more powerful pump of 250 cubic metres/hr and higher is strongly recommended as air would seep through the wood pore, causing irregularity from the wood grain and this in turn, would require a higher power pump to compensate for the loss in suction.

Laser Simulation Besides expensive collision software simulations, the laser is an alternative to simulate the cutting path before actual processing. Laser can also pin point the For solid wood handling, a more powerful pump is needed to compensate for loss in position of the vacuum cups to avoid suction due to wood pores. accidentally cutting of the panel. The laser must be adjustable from the software with just a few mouse This system is different from the ‘C’ axis, which controls the unit clicks within the macro. in A/B direction and does not change during processing. Another laser unit to consider is for the irregular contour The ‘C’ axis is necessary only if the customers have line, for example, staircase and arch window products. This plans to manufacture windows, doors and other parts which is called high frequency draw (HFD). HFD replaces the old require the use of ‘C’ direction (the circular rotation around and expensive lasers. It displays elements in steps. the main spindle). This option is useful when performing For complex parts like stringers, the contours and the complex operations, such as dove tails, 45 deg sawing and interior routing patterns for treats should be put on different slant drilling at an angle. layers with different colours. The layers can then be projected Horizontal milling spindle is worth investing in for door one at a time to demonstrate a clearer understanding of the manufacturers with a minimum capacity of 200 doors per day. work process to the operator. This laser can also help to This option drives the tool directly into the panel instead of position the label on the panel. Not only can they project line using the main spindle with the horizontal aggregate. and position, it can also project text and numbers as well. The door process could still be completed with the Every customer produces different dusts from their horizontal aggregate but it must be rested after two hours of products. The conveyor is good for customer working with usage and this cuts down output tremendously. solid timber, for example window or door manufacturers. As the machine generates a lot of chuck waste, it should allow Tool Changers the machine to clear the waste before the moving machine These days, tool changers come in various forms and numbers. damages some parts. The machines can change tools at eight to 18 places! A These conveyors come in handy as they continuously good tool place would preferably move together with the clear the rubbish from one end to the other. To enable this machining carriage. option to work properly, the cover and the design of the This can make the tool changing process faster. Usually for machine base must be constructed to allow the waste to a solid door production, the end user would prefer to have more ‘flow’ to the conveyor. tool places compared to a panel furniture manufacturer. In addition to the usual tool changer, some suppliers have tool chuck storage system options of up to 24 tools place. Software Program These options help end users in getting the job done without The control equipment should include at least one integrated having to add tools into the changer, cutting down processing cabinet drawing software. The package should also provide time by 30 percent. all prerequisites for effective machining and convenient The clamping of the panel on the console table mainly uses operations — such as barcode interface, hand-held control the vacuum cup system, which is suctioned by the pump. and import capabilities. Furniture making companies require better surface finishes, The machining software must show the occupancy of the which means less power loss during clamping. machine table. Tools, drilling heads and routers are automatically

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Technology optimised over the work piece as a whole and the operating times must be calculated. A full-fledged 2D CAD system must also be included as a standard feature. Is the machine capable of processing DXF file and whether the module is inclusive in the machine or as an option? End users should discuss this important point with the machine manufacturer. The module to read the DXF file should come as a standard in the machine. The purpose of this module is to read DXF files in the machine even when the machine is milling, so that the next job can be prepared simultaneously in the office. An additional software option would be the office version. It is advisable to go through all the options and to insist that this item be included in the machine standard. The draftsperson cannot be standing right next to the machine all the time to do drawings while the machine is executing another program.

Nested Based Manufacturing Nested based manufacturing (NBM), applied in nesting machines, is a popular trend in the market. This is a renowned concept in the US and Australia. India is picking up on it as well. The success of this new technology is the elimination of a beam saw and the transport of panels from beam saws to the CNC machine. A decent standard travel path of 4,046 mm in the X direction and 1,825 mm in the Y direction offers sufficient space for all special user requirements. In addition to machining wooden material panels, these machines must also be able to process synthetic and facade panel materials. High X and Y travel rates of 70 m allowing overall vector speeds of up to 100 m/min is preferred. A decent nesting machine should come with a continuous processing table with grid subdivision. This grid subdivision consists of continuous grooves in the X and Y directions at intervals of 50 mm, making sure the grid reached all the way to the edge of the table for full utilisation. Additionally, with four stops in the machine, it provides the required reference for the panels to be processed, allowing them to be cut subsequently without any problems. Naturally, working with automatic loading or charging has been made possible in today’s market. A vacuum pump of at least 250 cubic m/hr is needed to perform the clamping job. Since these machines mostly do not work with horizontal drill, but just as a precaution, higher vacuum cups must come as additional options. A light safety barrier is highly recommended for nesting machines. The pendulum process is usually not needed in nesting, so getting the light barrier on top of the safety mat to protect the operator helps to save cost and increase efficiency. CNC machines have become an integral part of modern manufacturing processes, especially those involving high levels of precision and complexity. With so many machines in the market, it can be overwhelming for users to decide which machine to procure. Investing in an expensive machine with a huge array of specifications can become an unnecessary financial burden if these features are underutilised. Worse still, the higher power rating will incur avoidable utility costs. The selection of CNC machine must be done with careful planning. Users must understand their requirements clearly while ensuring that the machine can accommodate future operational plans. There are also a range of side features to be considered which will increase efficiency, and are fastbecoming standard components found in machines. FDM ENQUIRY NO. 4201 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Technology Carcass Furniture Manufacturing This six-part article series by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), illustrates modern manufacturing processes carried out at the workshop of German carpenter Franz Huber. Part 1: CAD/CAM & Calculation Part 2: Sawing — Optimisation Part 3: Edge finish Part 4: Fittings — Boring & Milling Part 5: Tools for carcass furniture manufacturing Part 6: CNC processing centre

All’s Well With

Well W Finished Edges Franz Hubert has to edge different materials, from solid edges to very thin edges, that are used in his office furniture programme ‘Gloria’. For this reason, the carpenter started to think carefully about the features of an edgebanding machine. By Christian Härtel for VDMA

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hat is the perfect edgebanding machine for a carpenter who has to process relatively small quantities of edge materials and wants to economically manufacture high-quality products? This was the main question that Franz Hubert asked himself in the scope of his office furniture manufacturing process. Once the carpenter had defined his personal equipment requirements, he soon recognised that he also had to make a fundamental decision which would considerably influence the investment amount and the work method: whether the edgebanding machine should be equipped with a display-controlled motorised adjustment unit. This will mean considerable difference in terms of price and machine efficiency. He had no doubts whatsoever regarding the other machine parameters because these would secure the desired flexibility

Technology of the machine. Since the carpenter needed to process even solid edges, the machine should be able to process up to eight mm thick edges and 40 mm thick work pieces. These particular equipment features of edgebanding machines are characteristic for high-end manufacturing products. As far as the gluing system was concerned, he required a machine, which allowed rapid colour changes, and for this reason the carpenter decided to acquire a cartridge system with PUR glue, or easily exchangeable hoppers for EVAbased glue. With this equipment, it is also possible to process PUR glue as granulate. He had to secure high flexibility as far as the edgebanding material was concerned, as he must be able to process reel material either in the form of ABS, PVC, melamine and veneer edges, or strip cuts in the form of laminate, veneer and solid wood edges. The carpenter attributed major importance to high flexibility for a prompt reaction to new design trends.

Premilling/Jointing Cutter In the carpenter’s workshop, the material is cut by preciselyoperating pressure beam saws. For this reason, the decision on a joint unit was not an easy decision to make.

Once the feature has been stored in the programme, material removal of the jointing process and edge thickness will be automatically calculated. Since the formatted pieces are not always immediately edged, the jointing unit helps to achieve the perfect edge finishing. Even the fact that material packages get continuously dusty will no longer be a problem. The cutting units are diamond-tipped and this secures long tool lives and good cut quality.

Work Piece Pre-Heating Temperature and humidity of the work pieces are decisive factors for a perfect edging. If the climate in the panel storage area is different from that in the panel processing area, optimum edging cannot be achieved unless these climatic differences are balanced. Either the material temperature will have to be previously adapted to the workshop temperature, or the work piece will have to be pre-heated at the cutting edges by means of an appropriate pre-heating unit. This pre-heating unit allows the machine to balance temperature and humidity differences. There are several methods, which can be applied; apart from infrared radiant heaters, heated linear stops may also be used. “The premilling process, as such, also causes the heating of material edges so that the exact temperature difference that has to be balanced will have to be individually determined,” he said. According to estimates, more than 50 percent of the cases of wrong gluing can be put down to inappropriate temperature and humidity contents.

Snipping Most of the machines are equipped with two independently operating snipping motors, which run along with the work piece, securing the flush milling of the protruding long edge. Differences are to be found in the saw guide control unit.

Miller: Flushed, Chamfered Or Rounded Excessive glue material leads to time consuming and expensive post processing.

Since the trend is clearly moving towards an optical zero joint, he finally decided in favour of the jointing unit. He did not want to buy a new machine which does not meet stateof-the-art requirements. The material is cut according to final size. The jointing unit removes the material, which is then once again added by the edge. In the case of solid wood edges, the cutting optimisation software programme of the integrated panel saw thinks ahead.

For the flush-trimming of panel edges, the upper and lower sides of the work piece are scanned and simultaneously premilled. The process is completed by radius or chamfer millers, which are operated by additional tracing rollers bringing the edge into the desired shape. The millers may be installed either as individual units or as multiple units. Most of these tools are also diamond-tipped.

Corner Copying For work pieces with surrounding edging, a copy miller is used to process the front sides and corners. The profile miller/cutter chamfers or rounds the areas where edges abut. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Technology Scraper Blades & Finish If PVC and ABS edges are processed, scraper blade units may be useful equipment. With the help of these scraper blades, the edge profile is given a perfect finish since the so-called chatter marks can be levelled out. The subsequent buffer unit eventually removes adhering residues from the chipping process so that edge post-processing is no longer required.

Work On The Safe Side The edgebanding machine is considered to be the most failure-prone machine in a carpenter’s workshop, especially if it is an older model, and if it has not always been correctly maintained.

“Sometimes a thorough cleaning of machine parts is sufficient to achieve perfect results”, he explains. In order to adjust the optimum glue material quantity, it is recommended to reset all machine parameters and pressure rollers, and to have one machine run with a sample work piece but without edge material. Excessive glue material at the edges of the work piece is a clear indicator that too much glue is being applied. This method also serves to check whether the glue material is evenly applied on the entire edges. He is aware that these tests are only rarely made in practice, which is rather astonishing because this quality assurance method is cheap and requires little time. On the other hand, it can help to save costs and avoid later problems. Other possible reasons for deficient work results are the inappropriate temperature of glue material, soiled edges or inappropriately adjusted pressure on the edge material.

Thorough Check Besides the glue material, the processing parameters may be a possible source of errors. For this reason, it is particularly important to thoroughly check the results The upper edge has good application of glue material while the lower edge shows deficiency. and to secure the precise adjustment of the machine. Poorly adjusted millers/cutters or scraper blades lead to Let us be honest, when you start the production of a new time-consuming post-processing by hand, and this occurs work piece, don’t you have to readjust the machine several very often in the day-to-day work. But the opposite may be times at the beginning of the production process because true as well in over-adjusted machine units, for example, the result is not as perfect as you need it? during the flush trimming of solid edges. If the miller/cutter leaves marks on the material surface, Correct Application Of Glue Material the glue material will not be able to correctly join the overlay. Whether an edge has an optimum glued joint or not cannot Mr Winklhofer can give a long list of error sources; insufficient be revised immediately after the edgebanding process. If the material quality, for example, particle boards with too coarse joint has not been done correctly, problems may arise when chips, in connection with excessive contact pressure when the furniture piece is used later on and edges may detach. using thin edges. “It is, however, very simple to test the joint quality between In this particular case, the particle board structure can the edge and the material”, says Peter Winklhofer, who works easily copy on the edge, or the flat scraper destroys the pearl as a technical instructor for carpenters. “The only thing you structure at the plastic-laminated surface. have to do, from time to time, is to pull off one of the edges “The only thing that really helps is to have a close look from a sample work piece and have a closer look on it”. on the results obtained and not to immediately content with This is especially applicable for particleboard work pieces second-rate products. A machine can only produce the which can be easily tested using this method. If the glue edge quality that is allowed by the carpenter”, the technical material has been perfectly applied, the entire edge surface FDM instructor said. will be evenly covered with chipped wood particles. If not, a readjustment of the machine will be required because the ENQUIRY NO. 4202 glued joint will be deficient otherwise.

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Origin Of

Edge Finish The perfect edge finishing may be achieved with the support of different machine models. In order to correctly choose the adequate machine, a detailed prior analysis of individual machine equipment requirements will have to be made.


he first edgebanding machine was made in Germany in 1962. Since then, machine technique has experienced enormous development. Today, a broad range of models is available, starting with entrylevel machines for small-sized handcraft establishments up to fully automated solutions for industrial serial production. The perfect and impeccable edge finish is a must and the present trend moves towards the optical zero-joint, which means that the connection between material and edge is almost invisible.

Differences Only In Details It is not easy to find the appropriate machine among the broad range of machines that are offered. For this reason, the user should first of all answer the following questions:  Which kind of edge materials is being processed?  What quantity, material width and thickness?

 How often is it required to change the edges and the glue material due to different colours?  Is the machine used for serial or single-piece production?  Which materials have to be edged?  What does the work process look like and how much space is available? The answers to these questions will set the basis for the machine features that will be required. Once these questions have been answered, it will be easier to exactly analyse the specific details of the different solutions that are offered by machine manufacturers and the appropriate machine can be identified. Every machine is able to produce the perfect edge. The important thing is to find the appropriate machine, FDM which meets individual requirements. ENQUIRY NO. 4203 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



Nesting Material Utilisation To A New Level Product-level nesting can produce efficient material utilisation, but ignores broader manufacturing parameters. Manufacturing yield represents a more accurate metric that can accommodate flexibility in orders. By Avner Ben-Bassat, president & CEO, Plataine Technologies


est of class manufacturers track their performance by measuring a set of key metrics for a variety of needs such as continuous improvement and costing. Given the importance of these metrics, it is important to ask — are the correct metrics being used, and which potential savings are overlooked when measuring the wrong ones? The topics of ‘material utilisation’ or ‘material savings’ were the centre

34 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

of intense discussions and process evaluations conducted with dozens of manufacturers worldwide, specifically as it pertains to optimal roll selection, cut-planning and nesting. Effectively all manufacturers place a great emphasis on tracking their material yield. However, the vast majority of them measure the yield through the eyes of the product-level nesting process. Such manufacturers measure their ‘product-

level nesting yield’, which is the total area of the parts in a product divided by the area of the material used for the nest. In many cases, the nests are prepared once per product, on a given material size, and then stored for future use and reference. By associating nesting with the product-level entity, this metric completely ignores the broader realities of manufacturing and the actual level

Panels these inefficiencies allows them to cement themselves and become a given ‘cost of doing business’, until the time they bubble up to management as some amortised — fixed — factor that is added in all decisions related to material consumption or costs.

Remnants Utilisation & Its Impact To illustrate this concept, take for example a nest used to produce a single sofa product. This nest is 9.1 yards long, and its nesting yield is 89 percent. Mastercam

of material utilisation as driven by operational decisions such as scheduling of similar products to cut, selection of raw material to use (including remnant utilisation) and more. In fact, most manufacturers we meet are intuitively (and practically) aware that there is ‘additional waste in the process’, but they accept it as an unavoidable cost given the (lack of) systems and processes they currently have in place. By assuming that increased material utilisation can only be driven by better ‘nesting’ capabilities (software or human), many manufacturers feel they have already taken those to the limit, and therefore choose to focus on other areas for continuous improvement.

Product-Level Nesting Vs Manufacturing Yield To realise the true utilisation of material in production, it is important to look at the overall manufacturing yield, that is — the total material that becomes finished product, as a percentage of the total raw material purchased by the plant.

Product-level nesting does not take into account remnants of previous cuts.

Product-Level Nesting Yield

Manufacturing Yield

Total area of the parts in a product nest Total area of the material used for the nest

Total material that becomes product Total material purchased by the plant

Engineering (CAD/CAM) oriented metric

Manufacturing/operational metric

Independent of manufacturing plan

Tightly related to actual manufacturing

Static — Does not change as long as no new products are introduced

Dynamic — Changes daily according to actual product mix, scheduling decisions, selection of raw material (including remnants), etc.

On site process studies have shown that the gap between these two metrics typically ranges between five and 10 percent, exposing a set of significant inefficiencies. Conversely, overlooking

Then, the waste in production adversely impacts other processes and leads to excess purchase of raw material, over-priced products, over-costing of future contracts and more.

In a simplified world, let’s assume this is the only product in production, and that the manufacturer needs to produce six such units per day. By looking strictly at the single-unit yield, the overall yield would remain the same yearlong at 89 percent. However, by looking at the overall production sequence, one realises the manufacturing yield is much lower. For the sake of this example, let’s assume a roll of material is 50 yards long, and that the plant always cuts the same product with the same nest. Therefore, they could fit five sofas in a single roll (total of 45.5 yards), but cutting the sixth sofa would require starting a new roll, while leaving 4.5 unused yards in stock. Let's also assume that this remnant is discarded. In such a scenario, the | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Panels In practice, given the amount of labour and ‘hassle’ required to utilise remnants, those that are shorter than three to five yards are seldom used, certainly not consistently or in entirety.

to methodically utilise remnants in the routine manufacturing processes. First, why are remnants not typically utilised? In most cases, the nesting process is tied to the engineering room, or more precisely to Nesting Yield View Manufacturing Yield View the CAD system. The nest is pre-prepared for any given 9.1 yards each 9.1 yards each Sofas #1 to #5 style (or mix of styles), and (Total of 45.5 yards) (Total of 45.5 yards) is then retrieved and cut each time the products are Uses same nest as sofas #1-5. Uses same nest as sofas #1-5. Sofa #6 needed. Total: 9.1 yards Total: 9.1 yards Therefore, nesting is Ignored in metric Remnant included in metric, but Remnant typically disconnected from not used in production: 4.5 yards the production realities and are discarded variability such as order mix, material dye-lots/shades, 54.6 yards 59.1 yards Total Material Used (length) material width and more. 81.9 sq yards 88.6 sq yards Total Area of Material used If a given product requires (54" wide material) nine yards of material (as in this example), three distinct 72.9 sq yards 72.9 sq yards Total Area of Parts Cut capabilities are required to 89% 82% Resulting Measurement routinely use rolls shorter than nine yards for it, let alone three to five yard remnants: However, if one can boast a high level Utilising Remnants 1. An integrated or holistic approach: of remnant utilisation, it would typically In the previous example, it was assumed the knowledge that such remnants come at the expense of additional labour that the unutilised remnant is discarded. exist at the time the nesting decision and work-in-progress costs. This is a critical assumption which has is made. In any event, to the extent remnants a clear bearing on the manufacturing 2. A dynamic approach: given the are used, the gap between the nesting yield, but no impact on the nesting knowledge about the remnants, the yield and manufacturing yield will be yield. ability to utilise them by creating a narrowed accordingly. There are various ways that each suitable nest on-demand, that is not manufacturer deals with remnants, both reusing a pre-prepared nest suitable formally and informally. These are highly Increasing Manufacturing for some arbitrary standard. dependent on a variety of factors, and Yield 3. The practical ability (software algorithm get further complicated by the questions Once the manufacturing yield is or human-based) to nest a single of variable material width, yet they established as a more accurate metric, product to multiple rolls of various could be consolidated into two main the obvious question becomes how one sizes. practices. can improve it, or in this example, how manufacturing yield drops to 82 percent and the difference compared with the 89 percent nesting yield represents the waste ignored when using the wrong metric.


Return them to the shelf for future use, typically for re-cuts, and then discard them if no use was found.

Requires additional labour and attention on the shop floor, but at least attempts to use the material.


Discard them immediately (for example, if the remnant is shorter than 3 yards*, discard it)

Loses the material, but saves the labour of managing

* The definition of a ‘remnant’ also varies widely in the industry (typically between three to five yards).

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To be more precise, using software to support the third capability saves tremendous amounts of labour and ensures optimal decisions are made every time. Given these three capabilities, one can routinely utilise the remnants in stock, with each day presenting a different demand for products and a different set of rolls as resources.

Panels Nesting Yield View

Manufacturing Yield View II


Treatment of Remnants in Process

Remnants are discarded

Remnants are discarded

Remnants are utilised

Treatment of Remnants in Metric




Sofas #1 to #5

9.1 yards each (Total of 45.5 yards)

9.1 yards each (Total of 45.5 yards)

9.1 yards each (Total of 46.5 yards)

Sofa #6

Uses same nest as sofas #1-5. Total: 9.1 yards

Uses same nest as sofas #1-5. Total: 9.1 yards

5.7 yards in new roll + 4.5 remnant from first roll


Ignored in metric

4.5 yards remnant is discarded

4.5 yards remnant is utilised

Total Material Used (length)

54.6 yards (ignoring the discarded remnant)

59.1 yards (accounting for remnant, but not using it)

55.7 yards (both accounting for remnant and using it)

Total Area of material used (54" roll width)

81.9 sq yards

88.6 sq yards

83.6 sq yards

Total Area of Parts Cut

72.9 sq yards

72.9 sq yards

72.9 sq yards

Measured Yield

89% (ignoring the discarded remnant)

82% (accounting for remnant, but not using it)

87.3% (both accounting for remnant and using it)

Implementing Manufacturing Yield Effectively all manufacturers place a great emphasis on tracking their material yield, yet a vast majority of them measures it through the eyes of the product-level nesting process. By associating nesting with the productlevel entity, this metric completely ignores the broader realities of manufacturing and

the actual level of material utilisation as driven by operational decisions, such as scheduling of orders to cut, selection of raw material to use (including remnant utilisation, rolls width optimisation) and more. In fact, most manufacturers are aware that there is ‘additional waste in the process’ beyond what they measure, but they accept it as an unavoidable ‘cost of doing business’. After a while, this waste becomes a given: manufacturers do not attempt to reduce it, and factor it uniformly into a wide range of decisions made in the plant such as material purchasing, project costing and more. The manufacturing yield therefore represents a more accurate metric, and measuring it is a big first step towards improving it. The challenge of utilising short rolls is just one of many difficulties dealt with daily in an attempt to increase the manufacturing yield. Other dilemmas include those of scheduling, work-in-progress optimisation, and managing material width variations.

David M

The following table summarises this example: I. When remnants are both discarded and ignored in measurement, the nesting yield shows an illusion of a higher yield in production (89 percent). This deviation then adversely impacts other decisions such as purchase of raw material and costing. II. When remnants are considered in measurement, but not used in practice, the manufacturing yield is exposed at 82 percent. III. When remnants are methodically used in production, the manufacturing yield climbs up to 87.3 percent and represents a true figure.



Addressing these challenges methodically and efficiently requires a dynamic and integrated optimisation approach, based on close collaboration between the various teams involved (engineering and manufacturing), and bridging that gaps between the systems they use (ERP, CAD and PLM). Solving this truly complex problem requires suitable optimisation software tools and processes. Without them, improving the manufacturing yield becomes a labour-intensive task that is FDM often set aside.

ENQUIRY NO. 4301 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Surfaces & Flooring

The Magic Brush Of


Brush sanders are becoming a popular option with their flexibility and effectiveness. Sealer sanding with a brush sander can significantly reduce the labour involved in sanding down the surfaces prior to applying top coats. By John Becker, president, SlipCon Finishing Systems


rush sanding has become more and more popular over the last several years due to its flexibility and effectiveness for a variety of sanding applications in the wood, plastics and metal finishing industry. The main reason brush sanding has become so popular is the flexibility of the brush backed sanding strip. The sandpaper strip is backed with a flexible backer brush which allows the sanding portion to bend and flex, allowing it to match the contour of the part being sanded. A customer can switch from a crown moulding to a casing to a mitre door moulding without changing sanding heads, the brush backed abrasive strip will flex and follow the contour of the part.

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This system works equally well for both lineal parts and wider parts like cabinet doors, entry doors and face frames. There is a wide variety of grits, brush heights, stiffness and more that allows the user to quickly raw wood sand, sealer sand, primer sand, UV scuff with the same sanding systems. Some sanding systems even allow for double sided abrasive strips which will let the user raw wood sand then change rotation of the sanding head and sealer sand, simply by having two different grits attached to the flexible sanding strip facing opposite directions. Brush sanding is generally broken into two categories: ‘whitewood sanding’, generally described as sanding prior to stain and sealer coating, and ‘sealer sanding’, which is sanding after sealer coat or between coats for a positive mechanical bond. Automating with a brush sander will greatly improve product quality by removing loose wood fibres or ‘nibs’ that will pop up after the stain and sealer process. Fewer ‘nibs’ translate to a much smoother surface finish and reduce coating consumption. Sealer sanding with a brush sander greatly reduces the labour involved in sanding down the surfaces prior to applying top coats. Measurable amounts of labour are saved by automating whitewood and sealer sanding as well as greater control on quality, uniformity, and increased production rates.

mypolyonymous, Ontario, Canada

Surfaces & Flooring Sanding & Coating Brush sanding also gives an excellent mechanical bond for the next coat to adhere to. If a finisher uses a grit that is much too fine, the surface will be polished and the stain or any coating will ‘puddle’ on the surface and the next coat will not stick. The customer must be mindful of the relationship between sanding and coatings. It is strongly recommended for anyone getting into the sanding business to partner with a coatings supplier that knows the relationships of sanding, and how sanding affects coatings and finishing. With the change of higher production levels and a wider variety of product being processed, machinery technology has changed to incorporate advances in process adaptability. No longer is one style of machine going to fit every facility’s needs. Machinery and abrasives are now matched more precisely to a specific process. The change in coatings alone has sparked the need for more advanced and process specific brush sanders. As customers move towards eco-friendly water-based products and the increased usage of UV coatings, machinery will need to be adaptable to new applications. If a customer is planning on sanding 3D products like doors, drawer fronts and face frames, the sander should be able to sand the parts from all directions equally to achieve a uniform edge break and/or scuffed surface. Multi-directional sanding is vital to effective brush sanding. When investigating potential brush sanders, key factors to include should be the type of finish line, coatings used, feed rate, product being processed, shifts per day, and future potential changes to the finish line.

All of these will affect choosing the best possible brush sander. Machinery with a maximum amount of adjustability will allow a facility to adapt to changes from current applications to a future application, such as changing from solvent based mid-solids coatings to a UV coating without more than changing the abrasives in the brush sander. Although brush sanding is getting more and more popular, it is still not as well understood as wide belt sanding. The most common question or concern tends to be matching the correct abrasives with the specific sanding application.

Factors Affecting Sanding Performance There are so many variables within a sanding strip that a customer can be intimidated or overwhelmed by the number of options. Some of the variables of the flexible strip brush sanding application are grit, brush stiffness, brush trim height, sanding medium, type of backing brush, revolution

The brush backed sanding strip allows the sand portion to match the contour of the workpiece. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Surfaces & Flooring door from assembly all the way through the finishing with top coat. After the door comes out of the wide belt sander, it is run through an orbital sander to remove cross-grain scratches. At this point the door will be flat, dimensioned and have no scratches on it, but the door will have very sharp edges and many loose wood fibres that will raise when applying the stain and sealer.

Whitewood Sanding

Disc and roller heights can be adjusted to accommodate different parts.

per minute, feed rate and amount of abrasives installed. All of these play a crucial role in sanding performance. The more adjustable the sander, the more opportunity there is to achieve the best finish possible. Matching the correct brush machine configuration with the correct abrasives per sanding application will make or break a finish line, in both a high production facility or a job shop. It is also important that all parties agree on exactly what a brush sander will and will not do. A brush sander can often be over-sold as a magical machine that will do everything. Working closely with the brush sander manufacturer and abrasive supplier should reduce any guesswork about brush sanding applications. Here is an overview of the brush sanding process of solid wood doors, medium density fibreboards and composite doors. They are sanded similarly but in slightly different manners. There are two main applications for brush sanding panels and doors, ‘whitewood sanding’ and ‘sealer sanding’. The following shows the typical process of taking a solid wood

40 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

Next, the parts are run into one of the brush sanders set-up for ‘whitewood sanding’ with medium grit abrasives (usually 220) for two reasons. 1) The sander will gently ease all the sharp edges of the product. If the edges are not ‘broken’, when applying stain and sealer to the door, the stain and sealer will pull away from the sharp edge and there will be very little coating on that edge. The flat portion of the door may have a two to three mm thick coating, but the edge may only have half mm of coating. That will make that sharp edge look lighter in colour than the rest of the door and it will be next to impossible to sand that door without burning though the sealer and stain. 2) The brush sander will remove most of the loose wood fibres on the door so there will be less grain raise after applying the stain and sealer coat. This is especially important when applying water-based coating which will raise the grain even more than solvent based coatings. Another reason it is important to ‘whitewood sand’ the product is that it will blend all the pieces of a door together so that it will accept the stain more consistently. There will be better stain absorption and a better colour match with the rest of the cabinet parts. Next, the ‘whitewood sanded’ doors will be stained and allowed to dry before a sealer coat is applied to the stained door. After the sealed door is cured, there will be minimal grain raise that needs to be sanded down before a topcoat can be applied. If the grain or ‘nibs’ are not sanded, the ‘nibs’ will telegraph through the topcoat giving the product a bumpy finish.

Sealer Sanding After this, the doors need to be sent into one of the brush sanders set-up for sealer sanding with a fine grit, usually

Surfaces & Flooring 320 or 400 depending on the amount of grain raise and the hardness of the sealer coat. A brush sander will greatly help the sealer sanding process for two reasons. 1) Sanding the door with a fine grit will sand down the ‘nibs’ or wood fibres that were raised after the staining and sealing process, making the product flat and smooth. Since the door was ‘whitewood sanded’ and the edges were ‘broken’, there is much less chance of sanding through the edges and the sealer sanding application can be done more aggressively. Very small scratches on the product surface may be observed, but the scratches will disappear when the top coat is applied.

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2) The action of sanding with a fine grit gives the top coat a mechanical bond to the sealer coat. If the sealer coat is not scuffed, the top coat will not adhere to the sealer coat. When applied correctly, brush sanding can provide flexible and effective solutions to smoothing the surfaces of wood products prior and after the application of stains and sealers. Brush sanders allow for changes to the moulding without having to replace the sanding heads. This will allow the sander to process different types of products and surfaces FDM according to the requirements of production.

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Brush sand can provide flexible and effective solutions to smoothing surfaces of wood products.

ENQUIRY NO. 4401 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings


Sustainability Into Design Using green materials is what comes to most people’s mind when the topic of sustainable design arises. However, designers are translating the concept of sustainability beyond the mere use of materials. By Sherlyne Yong


ith climate change taking the global spotlight, consumers are becoming increasingly vested in contributing positively to the environment. That awareness has in turn influenced the furniture industry to be more ecologically friendly, as consumers expect manufacturers and designers to display environmental responsibility. As such, the recurring theme of sustainability and a drive towards innovation have inspired designers to explore alternative ways of going green.

Bringing Trees Back To Life Touted as a green material since time immemorial, wood is commonly utilised for its ecological properties. Not only is it a renewable source, it acts as a carbon storage and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Designer Ori Ben Zvi takes it further by using wood scraps to create the ‘Wake Chair’, a piece that has as much technical considerations as it has symbolic meaning. Inspired by the themes of death and resurrection, he seeks to revive the abundant amount of wood scraps that have been written off by the furniture and building industries as junk. Besides generating objects out of recycled material, he aims to return to wood, the grandeur it had as trees.

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The ‘Wake Chair’ makes use of hollow timber to preserve wood and reduce waste.

With the vision of using wood efficiently, his chair was conceived for places with heavy wood industries where there was a lot of scrap. The design makes use of hollow timber to preserve wood and reduce waste, and also underlies the trend of using mixed media. He shares of a visual in designs that incorporates both mixed and recycled materials, and aims to be part of the catalyst that drives the commercial use of recycled wood.

Maximising The Minimum As living spaces and lifestyle trends change continuously, designers are driven to produce furnishings that are adaptable. The flexibility to alter a piece of furniture eliminates the need to get a new piece when the space changes, and adds on to the green movement by reducing waste and increasing the life cycle of the product.

The ‘Megingjörò’ is an example of the shift towards flexibility in design.

Perturbed by the visual and physical heaviness of most couches, cabinetmaker Jonas Lyndby Jensen aimed for flexibility and lightness by coming up with a daybed that doubled as a couch. Based on a simple and classic frame, users could suit the ‘Megingjörò’ sofa to their own preferences with the use of loose cushions, and this could be used to customise the couch to different levels of comfort and styles. The flexibility in this piece of furniture has also created a form of practicality whereby users need only replace the cushions when they want a change of style, as opposed to buying a new couch. Mr Jensen believes that in time to come, sustainability will cease to become a label or trend, only to exist as an innate quality in all furniture.

Taking Time Out Of The Process


While the spotlight has been on the hunt for the greenest material, an alternative solution to sustainability is streamlining the manufacturing process. Being ecologically friendly also includes making the most out of a material, or saving energy and time during production. With this belief, Doonyapol Srichan was on a mission to build a chair with Sustainability can be only one sq m of extended to simplifying the manufacturing process. sheet metal. With his ‘Nude’ chair, | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings copious amounts of time was saved on the building process as the material was easy to shape, and the seating and backrest could be produced separately to the leg construction, which were held together by two simple rivets. Folding created most parts of the chair, and no welding was required. While this minimalistic take towards the manufacturing process saved on time and energy, riding on the inherent properties of the material reduced the amount of resources needed, which resulted in an end product that was stiff but light. Mr Srichan was held by the conviction that sustainability exists in all facets of production, and not simply in the kind of materials used, but how it is being used as well.

Disassembling Waste & Clutter The focus on sustainability has always been placed into how and what a product is made of, but rarely do people consider where the product ultimately ends up. As such, some have advocated for environmental friendliness to be considered throughout a product’s entire lifecycle instead.

A Classic Example Despite the changes in trends and living spaces, there are certain looks or items that never go out of style. Relying on the classic appeal of a product could enhance sustainability, by creating lasting relevance in a space, which leads to an increased lifespan as a result.

Sustainability has progressed into looking at a product’s entire lifecycle.

Incorporating this into his design is Marshall Leong, who aimed to build an item with the least amount of material while using the most streamlined, manufacturing process. He succeeded in developing his ‘ZØMM Stool’, made out of sheet metal that required only a two-step process. Apart from coming up with an entirely new manufacturing process, he designed the stool to be compact and made sure that it could be easily disassembled and recycled. He believes that future design trends would gravitate towards compactness, multi-functionality and user-centeredness, as people start to look at a product’s lifecycle as opposed to just one part of the process.

A Durable Alternative The ‘Jotter’ desk retains practical features that will remain relevant.

With this thought in mind, designer Jerry Low created the ‘Jotter’ desk, drawing inspiration from the wood workshop that he used to attend in school. The archetype of a standard workshop bench, the desk includes extra features that cater to the basic necessities of a user, such as paperweights, niches for ‘Post-It’ notes, or spaces for paper or notebooks. With only the basic functions, the desk focuses on practicalities that will not change. This echoes the designer’s thoughts of how certain elements will be retained even as furniture evolves in time with new technologies.

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It is perfectly common for homemakers to discard objects that are no longer functioning or fulfilling their purpose. Perhaps then, one of the simplest ways to reduce waste is by increasing the durability of objects. Subscribing to this idealogy, Rafaela Marsha Ciputra focused on the inherent strength of a particular material to create the ‘A4 Chair’. Made from concrete canvas, the chair was created by laying the material over a mould and setting it with water thereafter. Instead of employing subtractive manufacturing processes, the chair was formed by ‘folding’ the material, such that there was no wastage at all. Ms Ciputra explains the rationale behind her material choice, which was driven by its sturdy and durable qualities. Originally used for emergency shelters, she settled with this material, as the alternatives did not accord the chair with the amount of sturdiness that she was looking for.

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

One of the simplest ways to reduce waste is to increase durability.

Collapsing Boundaries A green design can have different meanings; materials and ecological weight aside, the construction of design and manufacturing methods play a big part as well. However, the main facets of the green movement can still be summed up with the three ‘R’s –– reduce, reuse, and recycle. With this in mind, Ng Ka Wei set out to create a chair that was minimalistic, multi-functional, as well as collapsible. His ‘RL Rocker Lounge’ comprised just the frame structure, bolts, and fabric. It could be collapsed to take up only a small space, which saves energy and resources during shipping and storage. This greatly reduces its carbon footprint during the transportation process.

Enhancing its usability, his furniture has the dual function of being a lounge chair and a rocking chair, and makes use of a weatherproof material so that it can be used outdoors and indoors. As consumers become more aware of the ecological side of design, they know that a product afterlife exists as well. Keeping this in mind, Mr Ng’s key goal was to lengthen the lifespan of the chair, which he fulfilled with a design that allowed individual parts to be easily replaced when spoilt. This also points towards a trend of creating furniture that is primed for reinvention and customisation. Designers are looking at the theme of sustainability with fresh perspectives. Instead of concentrating solely on the origins of a material, designers are looking at the manufacturing process as well as the qualities of the end product to ascertain its true ecological value. Similar to trends in the wood industry, the green movement goes beyond a fixation on just one aspect of production, but towards a broadened view that focuses on the product’s entire lifecycle instead. As a result, this has driven designers to incorporate themes such as durability, multi-functionality, customisation, and compactness, which all contribute to the ecological value of an item. FDM ENQUIRY NO. 4501

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Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

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How Will The


EU Timber Regulation

in helping eradicate the use n less than one year, the of illegal timber. rules of the game for The EU Timber Regulation selling timber and timber prohibits the placement of products in the European illegally harvested timber Union (EU) will change and timber products on significantly. On March the EU market. In addition, 3, 2013, new legislation The EU Timber Regulation will be implemented in it requires the EU traders will become applicable — March 2013. Once in effect, traders will be required who place timber products informally called the EU to ensure legality of their products. By Tom ter Horst, on the EU market for the Timber Regulation — which European Forest Institute first time to exercise ‘due applies to both EU and diligence’ to ensure the imported timber products on some of the world’s most valuable legality of their products. and covers a broad range of items made forests. It causes not only serious Traders further along the supply chain from wood, including furniture. environmental consequences but also must keep records of their suppliers and Furniture companies in Asia whose economic and social impacts. customers, so that these products can products directly or indirectly end up be traced back to their point of first on the EU market can expect to be placing on the EU market. As a result directly affected by these new market Timber Regulation of these due diligence requirements, requirements. The EU’s response to the problem detailed information on timber sources The EU Timber Regulation is part of is reflected in its 2003 Forest Law will become ever more important for a set of measures that aim to combat Enforcement, Governance and Trade European operators. the trade in illegally harvested timber. (FLEGT) Action Plan, which recognises the At the same time, some countries Illegal logging has a devastating impact roles of both producers and consumers

46 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

Affect You?

in Asia have started to negotiate FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU. These bilateral agreements between the European Union and timber exporting countries aim to guarantee that the wood exported to the EU is from legal sources, and to support partner countries in improving their own regulation and governance of the sector. As of March 2012, six countries have concluded VPA negotiations with the EU.

Impact of FLEGT Once the FLEGT licensing scheme set out in a VPA becomes fully operational, only FLEGT licensed timber can be exported from that country to the European Union. Timber and timber products with a FLEGT license are considered to be compliant

John Loo, Sunnyvale, US

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

with the EU Timber Regulation, therefore no further due diligence measures will be required. For the furniture industry in Asia, the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation means that their clients in the EU will need to know, and will ask for information about the timber used in furniture products. When a product is not made from FLEGT-licensed timber, exporters

will have to provide information on the timber origin, tree species, quantity, supplier and information on compliance with national legislation. The regulation covers a broad range of timber products including solid wood products, flooring, plywood, pulp and paper. Since many furniture companies have complex supply chains, providing this information may be challenging. It is therefore worthwhile to start preparations. By documenting the origin of the timber your business uses, and by working with your suppliers of timber, you can reduce the risk that your business may use illegally sourced timber, and you can stay ahead of the game and maintain market access. FDM ENQUIRY NO. 4502

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Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

Breaking The

European David Stanley, Nanaimo, Canada

USFS Region 5, Pacific Southwest Region, United States


With the European Union Timber Regulations coming to effect in March 2013, a conference was organised to help boost the awareness of Indonesia’s Timber Legality Verification System. By Michael Buckley, Turnstone Singapore


early 200 delegates from across the globe assembled in Jakarta, Indonesia, for a conference held from March 20 – 21, 2012. The conference’s aim was to help boost the awareness of Indonesia’s Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) established by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry in June 2009, otherwise referred to as Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS), in discerning international markets, as an effort to increase the exports of Indonesian Verified Legal Timber Products. A line up of speakers addressed participants, including Indonesian ministers, Indonesian and international business leaders and representatives

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from four continents — North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. These included ambassadors from the EU, an official from the Australian government, the President of the European Timber Trade Federation and experts in the field of solid wood and paper as well as consultants, ENGOs, institutions, corporations and other stakeholders.

European Union Timber Regulations With less than a year before new European Union Timber Regulations (EUTR) come into effect, which will prohibit the placing of illegal timber products in the EU,

efforts are being made to boost the preparedness of Indonesian producers of SLVK timber products and their ability to access the EU market. The EU imports US$1.2 billion in timber and paper products from Indonesia annually, or 15 percent of the nation’s exports. From March 2013, compliance with the new EUTR will be required. In line with the request of the Indonesian government to consumers around the world not to buy illegal products, this regulation will prohibit the trade of illegal timber products into the EU. It will also require EU operators to exercise due diligence (DD) to minimise the risk of placing illegal timber products

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings Australia. In each of these markets, new policies or legislative requirements such as the EUTR or the amended Lacey Act, are driving the market in verified legal or certified sustainable timber and paper products. She went on to suggest that systems which demonstrate a ’robust’ system of DD, such as certification or SLVK, should help assure importers and retailers in these markets that they are meeting the DD/due care requirements of the EUTR and Lacey Act in USA, but she noted that even this is not a guarantee.

Indonesian paper and gave supporting statistics from which he then suggested that “Indonesia can be very competitive in the global market.”

Impact Of SVLK Answering a question on whether legal verification is sufficient and if the Australian government will accept imports of Indonesian furniture, he pointed out the EU perception is that the Indonesian bar has been set low, whereas in fact, the issue of perception goes beyond certification and laws in Indonesia. Stuart

onto the EU market. This regulation will complement efforts from countries like Indonesia to tackle illegal logging on the production side. It could also facilitate Indonesia's access to additional markets in the EU. In May 2011, forestry minister Zulkfli Hasan and EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht signed a declaration on the conclusion of a deal on legal timber trade, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The new EUTR recognises that products from VPA countries will automatically be considered legal, making compliance by EU buyers easier.

Overview Of Global Forest Resource Dr Ken McDicken of FAO provided an overview of the global forest resource over 4 billion ha, representing 31 percent of global land. While the same area of forest resource still stands as in 1948, this figure masks regional differences such as a decline of forest resources in the tropics which offsets gains in the Northern Hemisphere. He pointed out that Indonesia’s forest area of 50 million ha of forest was larger than the other four VPA countries (all in Africa) combined. He reviewed the capacity of each country to produce legal timber and manage carbon stocks based on the results of FAO General Forest Resource Assessment (GFRA). “In the capacity to meet legality standards,” he said “Indonesia leads with SVLK.” He concluded that if SVLK meets future importer standards and the forest area follows, then Indonesia is well placed to lead. Kerstin Canby, of Forest Trends in the US, pointed out that in 2009, only 0.8 percent of the world’s certified forests were in Asia — compared to 56 percent in the US and 26 percent in Europe. Indonesia sends 41 percent by value of its forest products to the environmentally sensitive markets in Europe, North America, Japan and

Countries are stepping up their efforts to stop illegal logging.

John Talbot from the Australian Dept of Agriculture, Fish & Forestry gave a thorough description of the new Australian Law on Forestry aimed at eliminating illegal wood. The bill still needs to go through the Parliament and receive the official Royal Assent. Once passed, it will place requirements on importers and domestic raw material suppliers to undertake DD to determine the legality of a list of regulated products. Six countries had given inputs to the Australian government during a consultation process. Clive Suckling of PWC UK covered the prospects and opportunities for

Mr Talbot said that Australia is not accrediting any system but is just requiring importers to undertake DD. “If the SVLK is used by an importer for DD, then so be it,” he said. Ambassador Julian Wilson, head of delegation of the EU to Indonesia, said that the “impact on Indonesia depends on whether SVLK is perceived as credible by EU buyers”. James Carouso, US counsellor for economic affairs, said he wanted Indonesia to use its natural resources in a sustainable way and affirmed that the US would continue to assist financially in its efforts. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

50 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

zero risk under the EUTR, but as yet the implementing regulation and guidance is not published.

Chinese Certification

Wu Shengfu of the Chinese Forestry Products Industry Association discussed how to export legal timber products to China, for re-export to EU, USA and Japan, but added that time is needed to refine procedures. He said that the area under PEFC certificates in China is growing more rapidly than FSC. He also claimed that TLAS is as good as FSC and could be endorsed with Chinese Forest Certification Council (CFCC), which is now bigger than FSC. Rupert Oliver of Forest Industries Intelligence gave a comprehensive review of the American hardwood industries’ approach to its resource challenges through risk assessment. For years, he said, the US hardwood industry, which is EU Timber Regulation will require all products the largest hardwood lumber placed on EU markets to be from legal sources. producer in the world, had


Dr Agus Sarsito, director of International Cooperation, Ministry of Forestry, talked about the challenges and opportunities of SVLK and suggested that FSC is not the only game in town. He also expressed his concern about the cost of certification for SMEs. He pointed out that more and more wood in Indonesia comes from plantation forest — which accounts for 79.46 percent of Indonesia’s forest area. But most important of all, what he suggested, was that “we need partner countries to promote our SVLK. Then together we can meet the challenge.” Andreas von Moeller, president of the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF), talked of the decline in imports of Indonesian and other tropical timber products into the EU. “Buyers there are confused” he said, and suggested that the consumer pressure in EU is for certified rather than legal wood. “Buying wood should not be controversial, but clean and easy,” he concluded. Rachel Butler said that certification is likely to be viewed by trade as good evidence of DD. At present, the EUTR does not automatically accept certified timber products as exempt/

addressed the needs of verification for 3.7 million small forest owners, with 220,000 owners harvesting annually. The US industry commissioned an independent risk assessment of illegal logging that had shown less than one percent risk of illegal logs entering the supply chain. He concluded that the US could offer many lessons learned and that it was all about “getting incentives right”. Ir MS Hidayat, Indonesia’s minister of industry, stated that wood production accounted for 5.5 percent of the national non-oil and gas economy and that the trade had suffered from the effects of illegal logging. He asserted that this market had greater expectations and hoped that “we will continue in a sustainable way”. Dr Gita Wirjawan, minister of trade, pointed out that Indonesia’s export trade in 2011 at $2,003 billion had doubled in 5 years. The nation’s 2011 level of exports was due to trade with China and India which had enjoyed double digit growth. “The SVLK, done by the Ministry of Forestry was a noble effort,” he said, “and

Malaysian Wood_Eng54x240.pdf

1 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012



Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings is vital therefore that we understand the regulatory world within which we must operate” Dr Suryo Bambang Sulisto, chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN), said. “The US, EU, Japan and Australia are all establishing new schemes which present us with challenges that we have to overcome, so this meeting gives Importance Of Sustainability us the opportunity to understand,” Mr von Moeller, in giving a European he added. And he closed with the view, warned that “all of us are a little observation that “perception goes beyond bit afraid of EUTR” and added that certification.” bureaucracy is the biggest enemy of Dr Boen Purnama, senior advisor free trade. to the minister of forestry, presented a A representative from the furniture comprehensive overview of forestry in association ASMINDO, affirmed that Indonesia and stressed that the VPA, the 2,780 member association would which has been signed, must not become a non-tariff barrier. He hoped that countries will swiftly reject illegal timber and said that TLAS (SVLK) is the instrument to restrict it. Due to the nature of the US A wood tracking system and the cost of certification are some Lacey Act, the challenges companies faced in adopting SVLK. SLVK nor any other certification or verification scheme in support SVLK. He concluded that the the world, will never be formally recognised four main challenges, especially for as proof of automatic compliance. SMEs, are getting official, regional and However, assuming that it is seen national permission, a wood tracking as a credible verification standard with system, the cost of certification, and robust and independent third party review, securing international acceptance of it will likely be seen by retailers as able the scheme. to demonstrate the DD required under Anders Hildeman of IKEA said the US Lacey Act. Australia would not that the companies’ customers rated be able formally to recognise SVLK. sustainability at the top of their list of The global market for furniture, that expectations and called for harmonisation had averaged $100 billion in 2009 and in the field of voluntary certification. 2010, presented Indonesia with huge “SVLK will help IKEA and Indonesia in opportunities. FDM working at the often complex supply chains”, he stated. “The timber trade between Indonesia ENQUIRY NO. 4503 and EU amounted to $1.2 billion and it











was in line with the government’s policy towards added value and industrialisation.” He concluded that Indonesia is still at an early stage of industrialisation and therefore he was sensitive to the fact that implementation of SVLK would take time for Indonesia to be verifiable.

Jacob Bøtter, Copenhagen, Denmark

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings


Certified Edge

As trade opens up around the world, certification poses as a potential solution for businesses to stand out from competitors. At the same time, these schemes serve to increase consumer confidence by validating a product’s quality through mechanical testing, as well as the company’s engagement in corporate social responsibility. By Sherlyne Yong


ncreased trade is the byproduct of globalisation. It is an inevitable road that will only expand as countries develop and emerging markets appear. With technological and infrastructural advancements come increased connectivity, where business owners and consumers alike are no longer bounded geographically as they were decades ago. Manufacturers and retailers are following demand by delving into markets halfway across the world, and this holds true for the furniture industry as well. As more companies are exploring opportunities in foreign markets, certification is one of the ways for an organisation to better establish itself. Certification covers a variety of areas, but what it conveys to consumers

52 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

are an adherence to standards and an indicator of quality. This may span across areas as diverse as the mechanical aspects of the products, it’s societal impact, or even its origins and environmental footprint. Furniture makers can get their products certified to enhance consumer confidence, and obtain an edge over other companies who do not provide the same mark of assurance. At the same time, the inroads into different export markets have required companies to be mindful of the regulations and requirements that each country has. Certification is a form of validation that may ease the process of getting past local legislation. It proves that a product has met a certain set of standards, and therefore

reduces the amount of documentation or administrative work required to prove it. It also results in less hassle and easier access for exporters who are dealing with separate countries that recognise a similar set of requirements, such as countries belonging to the EU.

Safe & Sound Of all types of certifications available for players in the furniture industry, most pertain to establishing the quality of the product through its mechanical properties. As Clement Lim, VP, Certification Department, TÜV SÜD PSB explains: “Wood product testing is basically talking about the safety aspects, mechanical aspects of the furniture, whether it is safe for use, and the durability of the product.”

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings This includes testing components in terms of strength, durability, stability, abrasion resistance, acoustics and ergonomics. For instance, products may undergo tensile strength testing and continuous load tests, highly accelerated life testing and stress screening, weather resistance testing and simulations, as well as tests for package robustness. Some other types of testing for wood furniture products are those alluding to safety aspects as well. For instance, TÜV SÜD PSB offers fire testing and certification, which measures how upholstery and furnishing react to fire by its flame retardancy and ignitability. Flammability aside, chemical tests also help to ensure that a product is safe for use. Testing fulfills this by checking the chemicals used to treat the wood product, associating substances such as solvents and dyes, its levels of toxicity, and whether these materials emit harmful substances into the environment.

of standards that furniture makers can choose to comply with. For instance, the ANSI/BIFMA Safety and Performance Standards evaluates safety, durability and structural adequacy, while the BIFMA Quality System Standard is a basic quality system standard that is mostly utilised by the office furniture industry. In particular, ANSI is the only accreditor of standards developing organisations in the US, and is responsible for a national standardisation of requirements throughout the country. It also aims to facilitate the international standardisation by encouraging businesses to adopt international standards as national

ones. As a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ANSI has facilitated the adoption of US standards into the globally recognised ISO standards. At the same time, FIRA has its own set of standards for exports to the UK. The organisation has its own set of testing facilities, which covers various aspects of British, European and international test requirements for furniture and its components. In addition, it provides manufacturers with credentials, in the form of award and schemes. Some examples are the ‘Ergonomics Excellence Award’, the

Main Export Markets With the plethora of certifications and auditing services available, how do manufacturers decide what to pick? According to Mr Lim, this depends largely on where their main export markets are, and the standards that manufacturers want to test their products in accordance to. “In today’s context, most exports go to either the US or UK market, hence there are mainly two certifications – the BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture and Manufacturer’s Association) and Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA),” he adds. BIFMA and FIRA are two standards most closely followed around the world, as they cater to some of the largest markets globally. In 2011, the US saw imports of office furniture that was worth US$2.42 billion, of which approximately 40 percent of imports were from China. BIFMA has been working with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop guidelines and a set

Products may undergo tensile strength testing and continuous load tests during product testing. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings

‘FIRA Gold Certification’ that ensures a compliance of product and installation processes to the necessary standards, as well as the ‘FIRA Innovation Award’ that recognises businesses for unique offerings.

Standards Within Asia Pacific Meanwhile, several countries within Asia Pacific have developed or are building a set of standards as well. Australia is one such example, with the FurntechAustralasian Furnishing Research & Development Institute (AFRDI) currently in the process of developing Australian standards for furniture. Some areas for focus are stability, durability and ergonomics, in addition to the existing standards it has for commercial and domestic furniture. Singapore has also made available certain certification programmes aimed at helping local companies expand globally. One instance is the Certified Exporter Program by the International Import-Export Institute, which is aligned to global standards and recognised by the US Department of Commerce and Department of Labour. The focus of

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Assessing Conformity Although Asia might have a lack of certification bodies as compared to the Western world, businesses can opt to get certified by independent third party organisations. Apart from offering testing services, these accredited bodies are licensed to inspect a company’s operations and products, and its conformance to international standards. Mr Lim has shared that in the process of certification through third parties, the product first goes through type testing, where the design of the product is reviewed and tested for compliance to the standards required. Once that is completed, the relevant documents, such as product diagrams and other data, will be sent to the respective institutes for review and certification.

Alternatively, some third party bodies offer their own in-house certification as well. One example is TÜV SÜD, which offers businesses the option of a TÜV certification. According to Mr Lim: “TÜV is an in-house certification programme. It tests the products in accordance to the mechanical safety aspects, ergonomic aspects, the social and environmental aspects of the product itself.” It is a voluntary certification programme that incorporates more requirements, such as the need for factory inspections and audits. He explains that these inspections are part of the due diligence taken by the organisation in ensuring that the production process is sound, and the future products will share the same consistent quality.

Tackling The Softer Aspects Even as certification is dominated by product quality testing, organisations around the world are delving into areas that deal with the softer features of a product, such as its societal and environmental impact. There is a shift towards an ethics-based model of certification. Juhan Sonin, Boston, US

BIFMA and FIRA are two standards most closely followed as they cater to the largest markets.

this particular programme is to create customer assurance in the company’s work ethics, while providing participants with a better understanding of international trade practices. As compared to countries like the UK and US where markets are mature, Asian countries are still adopting standards for the furniture industry. Mr Lim has said that unlike in Europe, where EU members all agree on a harmonised way of doing things, the markets in Asia are more fragmented and are at different phases of adopting national/international standards. For instance, Vietnam and Indonesia are starting to develop their own set of requirements that are aligned to each country’s respective legislation. However, Indonesia is only at the initial phase where focus is on defining what illegal logging is, as opposed to BIFMA and FIRA that have ventured to developing standards at the product testing level.

With heightened awareness, consumers are seeking for products that display a certain level of corporate responsibility. They ask that products are sourced sustainably, produced under conducive environments, and do not harm the environment. This has led to the rise of programmes addressing these issues. Mr Lim has said that the social and environmental aspect is kicking in mainly

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

Furniture Design, Hardware & Fittings because the respective governments are pushing for it. Regulatory bodies are looking into the operations of a company and assessing its work ethics, such as labour conditions and its impact on the local community if any. For instance, TÜV SÜD offers the Social Accountability 8000 (SA 8000) certification, which is a standard for improving working conditions. It is the first globally recognised social compliance standard, and addresses child labour, forced labour, discrimination, remuneration and working hours among others.

Moving Towards Sustainability The growth of socially conscious consumers has led to the demand of greater corporate social responsibility and the need for sustainable practices. Regulatory bodies have begun adding measurements of environmental friendliness to their repertoire of standards. This is especially pertinent with regards to the wood furniture industry, as there is an increasing amount of legislation dictating the need for wood products to be certified as sustainably sourced. These regulations are concerned with issues such as illegal logging, the sustainability of forests, as well as a product’s carbon footprint. In particular, legislative developments in the US and EU, such as the Lacey Act and EU Timber Regulation, are veering towards a mandatory certification of wood products. The Australian Senate has also tabled a ‘Logging Prohibition Bill’ in 2011, which marks a move to restrict all importations of illegally logged timber products into Australia. As such, certification creates greater access for manufacturers and retailers into export markets that possess these requirements. It proves to regulatory bodies that the businesses have performed their due diligence in ensuring that a product adheres with environmental standards.

Certification proves to regulatory bodies that companies have performed due diligence in using sustainably sourced products.

Green Schemes One programme that companies can partake in to certify their products is the Chain of Custody (CoC), which is provided by the Forestry Steward Council (FSC), or through the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC). The CoC certification monitors the production flow from raw wood to final product to ensure that products are from responsibly produced raw materials. As Mr Lim has mentioned, the FSC is the forefather of wood certification and covers forest management as well as the share of custody. Depending on which part of the value chain one is at, different standards cater to different stakeholders, such as the various types of certification that the council offers. TÜV SÜD’s certification programme also includes an ecological aspect that according to Mr Lim, measures against specific ratings, where the wood from a specific product comes from, its colours, and the chemicals used to treat it. Some other initiatives include the ANSI/ BIFMA e3-2011e Furniture Sustainability

Standard, which evaluates furniture products on criteria such as energy and atmosphere, and human and ecosystem health. FIRA has also launched the Furniture Industry Sustainability Program, which displays a member’s focus on sustainability. Elsewhere in Asia, the Singapore Furniture Industry Council (SFIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) to promote the certification and adoption of green furniture. Both organisations are currently developing the criteria for the green furniture scheme, which will be an extension of SGBC’s Singapore Green Building Products certification scheme. Simultaneously, major trade organisations in Indonesia’s forestry sector have signed a declaration to engage in world-class timber production and trade standards, to support the Indonesian drafted Timber Legality Verification System (SLVK). The developments within the certification industry have only proven how export markets are buyer specific and driven by consumer demands. Like Mr Lim has said, a company’s main markets influence the compliance to a certain set of standards. For instance, a business whose main export market is in the UK would opt for a FIRA certification. However, there is a current lack of harmonisation within the furniture and wood industry, as each country adheres to their own legislation. As certification and standards for the industry move towards social and environmental responsibility and becomes a mandatory obligation in some nations, increased harmonisation might serve as an improvement that not only reduces costs for industry players, but also creates greater accessibility into global FDM markets as well.

ENQUIRY NO. 4504 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Wood & Sustainability

WOOD BIOMASS Andrew Michaels

In Japan W

ood pellet production in Japan started in 1982. The number of wood pellet plants grew rapidly, and by 1984, there were 26 pellet factories with a total production capacity of 28,000 tonnes/year. After that, due to the oil price drop, immature pellet burner technology and poor wood pellet quality, pellet production declined. As a result, the number of plants dropped to two with a total capacity of 1,500 tonnes/year. However, recent rising concerns about global warming and climate change have made wood pellets attractive as potential bioenergy. Consequently by 2009, pellets plants increased to 75 with a total production capacity of about 101,000 tonnes/year. By October 2010, 73 wood pellet plants were reported, of which 60 percent produced less than 2,000 tonnes/year. Although there are many wood pellet factories in Japan, it is hard to say that they are successful. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reported in the Evaluation

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Despite having more wood pellet plants than countries such as Canada, Japan’s production capacity has been low. Some key factors must be addressed in order for biomass policies to be implemented successfully. By Masanobu Nagano, Katsuki Matsumura, Shizu Takami, Kochi University of Technology

of Biomass Utilization Policy issued in February, 2011, that more than 137.4 billion yen was invested to 214 biomass projects. However, only 35 projects were reported as effective, whereas others were reported as ineffective or inefficient due to duplication among several ministries and departments of similar projects. In addition, only three facilities accounted for the carbon dioxide amount through total process of their production activities.

Comparison With Europe In Europe, the European Committee takes a leadership role in promoting renewable energy. Since 1990, renewable energy has been promoted as a strategy combating global warming and ensuring energy security. In 2004, 46 percent of energy supplies were imported from outside the European Union. However, reduction of fossil fuels due to the reduction of crude oil production was anticipated. As a result, in 2009, the Renewable Energy Policy set targets which member countries in the EU will work towards achieving by 2020. The targets are as follows: 1) reducing

20 percent of fossil fuel and natural gas usage, 2) reducing 20 percent of GHG emission, 3) increasing 20 percent of renewable energy. From 2007 to 2009, 22 countries showed a tendency to increase pellet factories, and a total of 102 plants were constructed. With regard to production capacity, the tendency to increase was found in 26 countries with a total increase of pellet production by 7.4 million tonnes. From 2009 to 2011, 12 countries showed the tendency to increase factories with a total increase of 36 plants. With regard to production capacity, the tendency to increase was found in 17 countries with total increase of pellet production by two million tonnes. Russia has the largest number of pellet plants, at 69 plants in 2011. However, this number is still fewer than Japan. Russia also has the biggest total plant capacity with the ability to produce 3.093 million tonnes/year in 2011 while the country with the smallest total plant capacity is Belarus, with the ability to produce 71,400 tonnes/year. On the other hand, total production capacity in Japan in 2009 was about 101,000 tonnes/year which is almost 1/30 of Russian capacity.

Comparison With North America Although Canada showed no dramatic increase in plant number, production capacity has been increasing consistently. The number of plants in Canada is almost half of that in Japan, while the US has about the same number of plants as Japan. Production capacity in the US in 2011 has decreased even though the number of plants has increased. Within Canada and the US, the biggest plant capacity in 2011 was found in Georgia, US, with a capacity of 750,000 tonnes/year, whereas the smallest capacity of 10,000 tonnes/year was found in several places in the US. In Canada, the total production capacity for 2011 was 2.958 million tonnes, which is almost 29 times of the production capacity of Japan. In the US, total production capacity in 2011 was 5.481 million tonnes, which is almost 50 times that of Japan.

Comparison With Asian Countries The wood pellet industry has not been active in Asian countries outside of China and North Korea. In China, both production capacity and number of plants have increased dramatically recently. This is because since 2000, the Chinese government has been promoting biomass as an energy policy to meet greatly increased demands from its rapid economic expansion. In 2011, the largest production capacity plant was constructed in Jiangsu, with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes/year. On the other hand, the smallest plant is in Heilongjiang with a production capacity of 12,000 tonnes/ year. The total capacity of 17 plants in China is 792,000 tonnes/year, which is almost 7.8 times that of Japan. In North Korea, a moderate increase was found in both the number of plants and production capacity. Since 2010, as a national policy, the North Korean

government has set a target to reduce 30 percent of carbon dioxide Japanese pellet emissions by 2020, together with plants are small the introduction of wood biomass compared to those of other countries. energy. As a national energy policy, the government aims to reduce fossil fuel usage from 83 to 61 percent, and increase renewable energy usage from 2.4 to 11 percent by 2030. Therefore, it is expected that the wood pellet plants in North Korea will increase considerably in the future. With regard to wood pellet production capacity per capita, Japan produces less than one kg/ capita, which is quite small when compared to other major countries. This result suggests that pellets have not been popularised in Japan. The first reason that Japanese pellet It is clear that compared to other plants are quite small when compared to countries, there are many small-scale those in other countries is that the main plants widely dispersed over Japan. purpose of pellet manufacturing is not However, pellet production is not promoted intended for energy production. Instead, in Japan. it is ancillary to the lumber industry for the processing of wood waste. The second reason is a difficulty in Plant Scale & Pellet Price collecting raw material for wood pellet due The scale of plant capacity relates to to forest management problems. Japanese plant management. Pellet production forestry has been specialised for timber cost is relative to the plant capacity; industries, but due to the low efficiency as plant capacity increase, production of timber extraction, timber prices have cost tends to decrease. been relatively high compared to other Currently, the pellet price in Japan countries. This gave rise to an influx of is approximately between 25-63 yen/kg cheap foreign timber into Japan, and (excluding transportation cost). Compared a resulting drop in the market share of to the prices in other countries, this is domestic lumber to 18.2 percent in 2000. higher by roughly 20-25 yen/kg (excluding As the result, forestry has declined and transportation cost). Most of the production the value of native forest is being lost. capacities of Japanese pellet plants are The total forest area of Japan is about less than 2,000 tonnes/year which results 250,000 sq km, which is about 66 percent in high prices. of the total area. Austria, as a geographically For instance, a feasibility study similar country, has a total forest area of conducted in Ehime prefecture proved only 38,400 sq km. However, the country’s that pellet price cannot be lower than lumber production is almost equal to that 30yen/kg at plants with capacities of 500 of Japan. Moreover, as of 2011, Austria tonnes/year or less without government has a more than one million tonne total subsidies. However, expanding the capacity pellet production capacity. and improving efficiency of production can The major difference between Japan reduce production costs since specific and Austria is the productivity of forestry. In material cost can be absorbed. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


dierk schaefer

Wood & Sustainability

Wood & Sustainability development of forestry technology would revitalise the forest, which would benefit not only the lumber industry, but also serve multi-function activities such as the energy market. As a result, the forest value could be enhanced. The revitalisation of forestry as the primary industry would also result in the revitalisation of secondary industries, such as wood pellet burner industry, which could consequently lead to the economy development throughout the region. The third factor which has led to the creation of small pellet plants is that the wood pellet market has not been developed yet in Japan. Energy policy in Japan has been focused on

Henrique Pinto, Recife, Brazil

North Europe, since the 1960s, investment has been mainly focused on forest road construction and the development of forestry machine technology to improve productivity and reduce production cost. In contrast, Japan's investment has been focused on forest plantation and the growing of high quality lumber. For this reason, forest road and forestry machine technology development have not progressed. For instance, even now, basic construction machines, which are not designed for forestry in steep forests, are being used as the main forestry equipment in Japan. As a result, production efficiency is quite low and production costs are high, about 4.3 times that of Austria.

Wood Pellet Plant Management System

Demand for wood pellet as a form of renewable energy source is expected to increase.

In this situation, the Japanese lumber industry cannot be competitive in the international market. According to the White Paper in Forestry, ‘forestry’ is defined as: “an industry which produces forest products from forest, such as lumber and so on. At the same time, forestry is an industry which demonstrates the multi-function of forests and contributes to job security in mountain regions though production activities”. However, in reality, Japanese forest does not have multipurpose functioning. Forestry is not only to extract timbers, but is also a circulatory activity that includes plantation and silviculture. The

58 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

without government subsidies. This situation creates a negative image of biomass and retards biomass policy implementation. In contrast, the pellet market arrangement in Austria is quite different. The government subsidies one-third of domestic pellet stove price, while the Austrian Pellet Association actively promotes the pellet stove market by focusing on heating contractors and maintenance technicians who are often consulted about heating systems by consumers. The Austrian Pellet Association provides accurate information about wood pellets and their heating systems and issues certification to pellet counsellors. These counsellors in turn disseminate pellet information to consumers, which results in pellet market growth. To enable a successful pellet market, creating pellet demand is as important as creating pellet supply. This task should be implemented concurrently. Otherwise, market mechanisms and logistic systems cannot develop, and the pellet market will never be formed.

maintaining existing industries and the current economic system. Therefore, the government has mainly been providing subsidies to the pellet supply side, such as wood pellet plants, without developing the demand by creating new industries or new pellet markets. Since the pellet market is small, pellet production is considered adequate to supply these limited demands. This corresponds to high production costs. Given the high production costs, the marketing mechanism naturally does not function well. In other words, the energy policy and its projects have created many makers which cannot manage themselves

One of the methods which improves the management of pellet plants is the biomass combined heat and power (CHP) system. CHP integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity), in one single, highly efficient process. Where the heat efficiency of a single pellet plant or single biomass power plant is low, integration of biomass power plants, pellet plant, and other facilities, such as commercial or educational facilities can improve heat efficiency through an integrated system. Biomass power plants release almost 70 percent of their heat as waste heat. This remaining heat can be effectively used by adjacent pellet plants and other facilities. The biomass CHP system enables efficient energy balance for an integrated system.

Wood & Sustainability

National Policy Of Renewable Energy One of the problems in developing a renewable energy policy which includes wood pellets is an over compartmentalised bureaucracy. As stated earlier, biomass projects have been proven to be ineffective due to work duplication among different ministries and departments. This implies that energy related agencies lack cooperation among themselves. This structure makes innovative and comprehensive energy policy difficult to develop. To achieve innovative and comprehensive energy policies, a new organisation, or reorganisation of existing energy related agencies into a single structure with strong authority, is critical.

Dissemination Of Knowledge Another problem for renewable energy policy in Japan is poor knowledge dissemination. Educational campaigns, such as energy education or proposal of new sustainable lifestyle with new energy, have not been emphasised. With the Kyoto Protocol, Japan has set a target of six percent GHG reduction by 2012. As a result, the Ministry of the Environment started a campaign called Challenge 25. However, public awareness about this campaign is considerably low, at approximately 20 percent. To cope with poor information dissemination, accurate renewable energy information and the trends of renewable energy development in the world should be required in school curricula and social education.

Through education, an awareness of the importance of renewable energy could be increased throughout society, which in turn would support decision making in the renewable energy market. Such knowledge dissemination is required for the introduction and practice of new technology. It is clear that the Japanese pellet plant production capacity is relatively low, and that plants are widely dispersed throughout Japan. This is due to its ancillary role of processing by-product from the lumber industry and the difficulty of collecting raw material due to inappropriate forest management. As a result of low pellet plant capacity, Japanese plants face high production costs and management difficulties without government subsidies. For these reasons, the image of wood biomass is poor, and biomass policy is hindered. In addition, ineffective renewable energy policies in Japan are caused by over compartmentalised bureaucracy and a lack of renewable energy educational campaign. Due to a significant increase in global awareness of future energy policies, it is time to fulfil a concrete target and implement a plan of renewable energy, such as biomass energy, to reform a safe and secure energy supply system. Key issues for successful sustainable and secure energy supply system are: the review of current forestry management as a multi-function industry, utilisation of a certain large scale pellet plant with the effective biomass CHP system, formation of the pellet market, and promotion of a renewable energy educational campaign. Steps toward creating a successful wood biomass project need to be taken using a cross-sector strategy, from forestry management to education to consumers, for the sustainable optimisation and management of valuable resources in Japan. FDM


Although it is often said to be poor in natural resources, Japan actually has an abundance of forest energy resources which have not been properly utilised. To optimise this rich forest energy resource, a large scale pellet plant with an effective biomass CHP system is necessary.

ENQUIRY NO. 4601 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Wood & Sustainability

Q & A On American Hardwood Lumber Grading (KD Rules) The grading rules for North American hardwood lumber were established more than 110 years ago by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA). A basic understanding is essential in successfully buying and/ or using hardwoods from North America. In this Q & A, the association will provide explanations to common questions on drying.



Can you explain the kiln drying process for North American hardwoods and why it is really necessary?



Dried lumber has many advantages over green lumber for both manufacturers and end consumers alike. Removal of excess water reduces weight, which reduces shipping and handling costs. When lumber is kiln dried correctly, both shrinkage and swelling in the wood is confined to manageable levels in all but extreme conditions of relative humidity. Properly dried lumber can be cut to precise dimensions and machined more easily and efficiently.

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This means that wooden components can be more securely fitted and fastened together with nails, bolts, screws, or adhesives. Warping, splitting, checking and other unwanted effects of uncontrolled drying are all but eliminated. There are as many steps to successful drying as there are species. Each of the world’s hardwood species has a unique makeup and cell structure and this must be taken into account when kiln drying. The first step is to refer to the Dry Kiln Operator’s Manual, published by the US Forest Service. Depending on the species, the wood may need some time to air dry, before being placed in the kiln. The lumber will need to be placed on sticks, which must be uniform in size, kiln dried, and properly stored to prevent them from getting wet. They should be properly aligned to

Wood & Sustainability

ensure that the lumber is evenly supported from the bottom to the top. When mixing lengths in a pack, we need to position the same longest lengths on the outside edges and fill the middle of the pack with the shorter boards. It is also necessary to make sure that the heavy cross pieces used to separate the individual packs are also aligned with the sticks. The sticks are ideally spaced every two feet (about 60 cm) and the end sticks should be placed as close to the ends of the pack as possible. The lumber is now ready to either be put out in the yard for air drying, or directly into the kiln. For slow drying species, such as the oaks, controlled air drying can reduce the time the wood needs to be in the kiln. There are also some important steps to be taken during air drying. The wood should be kept as dry as possible, with a cover on the top layer and it should be out of direct sunlight. For thicker stock lumber, a burlap type, breathable cloth can be placed on the outside of the pack in order to prevent the wood from drying too fast and checking. Typically, air drying will reduce the moisture content to around 25-30 percent, which is then ideal for placement in the kiln. There are numerous factors affecting the schedule and temperature to which the lumber should be dried. This is a very technical process and should be performed by a well trained operator. Suffice to say, a 1” (25.4 mm) oak board that has been air dried for 60 days under good conditions will take another 30 or so days in a kiln to reach the desired moisture content of around eight percent.

A tulipwood board will dry in as little as a week to 10 days. There are many factors affecting the end result, including species, thickness of the lumber, time of year, and area of the country. All in all, it is a very complex, technical and lengthy process, but any shortcuts in the proper drying process can result in severe degradation.



Are there any provisions in the rules for shrinkage in kiln dried lumber?



Yes, the rules make allowances for shrinkage in width and thickness. All kiln dried lumber is permitted to be ¼” (6.35 mm) less in width than the required minimum width. The thickness of rough sawn lumber less than 2” (50.8 mm) can be 1/16” (1.6 mm) less, and 8/4 lumber and thicker can be 1/8” (3 mm) less than the minimum required for thickness. The volume of wood going into the kiln compared to the volume coming out will be affected as well. Typically, hardwood lumber will shrink anywhere from 6-10 percent in volume in the kiln. When kiln dried lumber is sold, it is usually sold on a net tally, which means the actual footage after kiln drying. If the kiln dried lumber is sold on a green or gross tally, this refers to the footage before going into the kiln. The cost is less but you are also paying for the shrinkage. For accurate inventory and yield studies, it is recommended to always buy FDM on a net tally. ENQUIRY NO. 4602

Correction: In the previous issue, under the definitions of No. 2 and No. 3 grades, ‘No. 3A Common’ was described as ‘a clear-face cutting grade where 2/3 of the board is required to be clear’. In actual fact, ‘No. 3A Common’ is ‘a clear-face cutting grade where 1/3 of the board is required to be clear’. | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Exhibition Preview

FMC China 2012 September 11 – 14, 2012 • Shanghai, China


urniture Manufacturing & Supply China 2012 (FMC China 2012), FMC Premium 2012 and the first ever FFC 2012 will be staged at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC) from September 11 - 14, concurrently with Furniture China 2012 at Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). The show moved to SWEECC last year and saw overseas visitors increasing by 50 percent. In this year’s edition, Hall 4 will be used as well, bringing the total exhibiting area to 71,000 ​​ sq m, an increase of 20 percent over last year. Around 850 exhibitors are expected to attend, with a 14 percent increase and the number of visitors is expected to reach 35,000, representing a 10 percent increase. Purchasing groups from Vietnam, India and Mexico will bring 30-40 furniture manufacturers to visit related

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enterprises and factories during the show. The Taiwan Woodworking Machinery Association (TWMA) and the Italian Woodworking Machinery Association (ACIMALL) will each have more than 30 participating exhibitors showcasing their latest product technology.

FMC received positive feedback last year. Cheng Jue, the Representative of Zhongwei Holding Group, said: "This is the fourth time that we have attended FMC China. We are glad to see FMC moving to a new venue.” It is believed that the move of FMC China show will not only offer better conditions for exhibitors and visitors, but also create a stronger

Exhibition Preview

and more professional independent one-stop sourcing platform for woodworking machinery and furniture raw materials. FMC Premium will feature uniform display upgraded stands, without hindrance from walls and with catering service furnished. It provides exhibitors and visitors a harmonious, relaxed environment for concentrated business communications.

Furniture China 2012, held from September 11 – 15, will use the new Halls N1 – N4, four more halls than last year, with 600 more furniture manufacturers exhibiting their products. The following are some of the exhibitors for each category: Woodworking Machinery & Tools: Homag, Shanghai Chaolun, Weinig, Leitz, SCM, New Mas, Yuetong, Nanxin, Jangja and Yeheng.

Office Furniture Supplies & Gas Springs: Hangzhou Zhongtai, Zhejiang Zhongyi, Anhui Laite, Union Star, Anji Sinuoer, Young and New Haowei, Zhongwei. Upholstery Furniture Components & Supplies: Meixin Decorative Fabric, BLW Leather, Qianding Leather, Zhulian Industrial, Feili Hardware Spring, Changzhou Regal, Ningbo Xianfeng and Haining Boyuan. Furniture Coatings & Chemicals: Shanghai Fuchen, TT Tooltechnic Systery and Guangdong Taiqiang. Cabinet & Wardrobe Fittings/Furniture Lighting: Hettich and Blum. Furniture Hardware & Fittings/Furniture Inspection (15 percent increase in exhibiting area): Zhuo Kai, Shenfei, Meaton, Lusterful and SGS. Furniture Panels & Surface Deco (55 percent increase in exhibiting area): Xiongyi, Changzhou Weixing, Xiamen C&D, Heibei Ams and Shandong Farrandly. FDM ENQUIRY NO. 4701 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Exhibition Review

MIFF 2012


he Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2012 was held from March 6 – 10, 2012 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre. A total of 433 exhibitors from 11 countries, including Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and the US, showcased their products over 75,000 sq m of exhibition space. The exhibition welcomed 6,605 overseas buyers, an increase of 1.58 percent over 2011. Buyers from 140 countries comprised visitors from the ASEAN region (21.4 percent), the Far East (15.4 percent), Europe (12.9 percent), other Asian countries (12.8 percent), the Middle East (11.1 percent), Africa (9.4 percent), Australasia (8.9 percent), North America (6.1 percent) and South America (2.1 percent). Among the visitors was a 40-member

64 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

March 6 – 10, 2012 Putra World Trade Centre & Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Japanese group led by Atsumasa Kawasaki, chairman of furniture retailer SH Group, one of the largest furniture chains in Japan. In the group were buyers from areas hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Starting from this year, the show’s organiser has teamed up with UBM Asia with the intention of developing the event internationally. TaZ Corp clinched the platinum prize in the office category of the Furniture Excellence Award (FEA) for its team workstation that was designed by Swiss designer Daniel Korb. Tay Huah Furniture won the platinum award for the FEA household category with its ergonomically designed space saving chair called Match Chair. For the Best Presentation Award, Hen Hin Furniture Manufacturing took the top

prize in the Shell Scheme Booth category while the Bare Space Booth first prize was bagged by Laval Furniture. In the annual Ideation Award, design student Sim Chia Yi wowed the judges with a giant wok-shaped seat made of rattan and a curved metal base to take home the top prize from a total of 178 entries. The next installment of the show will be held from March 5 – 9, 2013. So far, Malaysian exporters such as Poh Huat Furniture Industries, Hin Lim Furniture Manufacturer, Shantawood Manufacturing, Safari Office System, Oasis Furniture Industries, Kinheng Furniture and the Taiwan Furniture Manufacturers’ Association have already confirmed their FDM participation. ENQUIRY NO. 4702

Exhibition Review

Positioned For


Although global markets have been inundated with financial crises one after the other, Dato’ Dr Tan Chin Huat remains positive about the growth of the Asian furniture industry. By Sherlyne Yong


inancial crises in Europe and the US have led to a recession that affected economies worldwide. Although many are cautious about 2012’s outlook, MD of Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), Dato’ Dr Tan Chin Huat is confident that the Asian furniture trade will weather through this period. While the furniture industry used to be dominated by the Western world, Asian countries are stepping up to replace production volumes. With developing markets and economies, Asia is fast becoming almost 50 percent of the world’s supplier. Replacing the production of what Western countries found unviable has also created opportunities for Asia. Dato’ Tan shared that the industry is still growing, and any changes in figures are merely due to currency fluctuations and not production volumes.

Repositioning Offerings To remain competitive in this fast moving world, one has to step up to changing market trends. Echoing this sentiment, Dato’ Tan has identified innovation as the way forward. Manufacturing costs in Malaysia have gone up along with the improvement of the economy. It

is an inevitable accompaniment to progress that Malaysian companies can work around with by repositioning themselves. Opportunities will be presented to those who have positioned themselves to meet market trends. Using Singapore as an example, he said that the country has done well in terms of furniture exports by adapting quickly to change. Citing the need to follow suit, he encourages furniture manufacturers to adopt that mindset by investing more into R&D. Simultaneously, MIFF 2012 marks the third installation of the Ideation Award, which was catered to “young talents, who are very innovative and creative, but had no opportunities,” shares Dato’ Tan. Working in tandem with these designers will only expand the innovative offerings of the industry. The Ideation Award pulls this goal closer as it “allows the trade to participate and realise that there are a lot of good young designers that we can train,” he adds.

Back To Basics Similar to the philosophy of tapping on local talents, Asian manufacturers need not look for new markets as existing

markets still have room for growth. This is attributed to the continuous pursuit for a better quality of life, which will boost furniture requirements significantly. With regard to the ASEAN region, Dato’ Tan said, “There are six hundred million people, and if you compare the average buying power, we are comparable to China. We have a good base here.” Instead of moving to overseas markets such as China or Europe that are further away, ASEAN manufacturers might be better off working with their neighbours. The similarity in culture and language within the region has facilitated greater understanding, which in turn makes these markets more accessible. By getting imports from suppliers in the region, companies can streamline the process by making do without a middleman. As a result, Malaysian furniture manufacturers have been exporting more to the surrounding countries. While opportunities abound for the Asian furniture industry, greater growth can be achieved with increased connectedness and cooperation between FDM the ASEAN countries. ENQUIRY NO. 4703 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Exhibition Review

WMF 2012


he 14th International Exhibition on Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Manufacturing Equipment (WMF 2012) and the 14th International Exhibition on Furniture Accessories, Materials and Wood Products (FAM 2012) were held from March 12 – 15, 2012, at the New China International Exhibition Center (NCIEC) in Beijing, China. They took place alongside the 2012 Beijing International Modern Forestry Equipment Expo (BIMF 2012) and 2012 Beijing International Landscaping Expo (BILE 2012). The four-day exhibition attracted 28,620 visitor from 75 countries and

66 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

March 12 – 15, 2012 New China International Exhibition Center Beijing, China

regions, of which 10.2 percent were overseas buyers. Over 2,000 machines, technologies and materials were showcased over a total exhibiting area of 60,000 sq m. The show gathered 600 quality local and overseas exhibitors from 15 countries and regions collaborating with six pavilions, including Germany, Taiwan Woodworking Machinery Association (TWMA), Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI), Qingdao of Shandong, Shanghai, Lunjiao of Shunde. Focusing on business effectiveness, the shows offer buyers with a onestop sourcing and exchange platform,

which attracted numerous local and overseas buyers and associations. More than 30 trade delegations visited the show, including Sichuan Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Furniture, Langfang City Wood Processing and Furniture Manufacturing Industry Associations, Shengfang Furniture Trade Association, Dalian Furniture Association, Harbin Furniture Industry Association, Shandong Furniture Association, Hebei Buyer Delegation and Xianghe Buyer Delegation. Among them, Dalian Furniture Association and Harbin Furniture Industry Association organised delegations to

Exhibition Review the show for the first time. Corporate representatives including Yuanlin Wood, Royal Furniture, Rizhao Foremost Landbridge Wood, TOSTEM, Chuang Zhan Zhan Ju, Bo Quan Jia Ju, Suzhou Saino Wood and Fuyuan Wood, participated as well. The exhibitions also attracted overseas buyer delegations, including The Malaysian Panel-Products Manufacturers' Association as well as buyer delegations from Russia, Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Peru. In addition, the shows attracted many furniture enterprises from China, including Kuka Home, Huari Furniture, Beijing New Building Material Group, Yuanlin Wood, Great Furniture, Royal Furniture, Kang Jie Furniture, Jilin Forestry, Boloni, Guangming Group, Doton, Dare Wood-Based Panel Group, Dongying Artificial Board Factory, Qiangli Furniture, Jingcheng Woodwork, Hinglee Furniture, as well as Yildiz Sunta (Turkey), Matha Wood Carving (India), Sandeep (India), Goldinjaya (Malaysia), Ares Peru (Peru), Trimatek (Ukraine), CNI Group (Italy), Demm S.L (Spain) and many others. The shows integrated market demand by providing a comprehensive sourcing platform for ‘woodworking machinery, furniture accessories and materials’. Li Jian Guo, secretary general of Langfang

City Wood Processing and Furniture Manufacturing Industry Associations, mentioned the visiting enterprises have convenient access to suppliers of bending machines, edgebanding machines, lamination machine, knives, blades, hardware and dust removal equipment. Wang Guang Wei, marketing manager of Qingdao Capital Resource Electric, stated, “We have received orders from places like Russia, Middle East and Brazil during the four-day exhibition with amounts reaching US$2 million.” Ralf Griesche, head of marketing communications at Siempelkamp, shared that the shows enabled the company

to collect market information, new technologies and meet customers. A series of seminars and forums addressing the market trends were held during the show, they include ‘China's Cabinet Industry (Beijing) Forum’, ‘Modern Forestry Technology Forum’, ‘Technical Seminar by IMAL & PAL Group’, ‘Technical Seminar by Dieffenbacher’, ‘Door Industry Forum’, ‘Floor Industry Forum’. Keynote speakers shared in-depth analysis on green industrial development and new industrial trend, which established an interactive and effective platform for exhibitors and buyers to create more cooperative opportunities.

The exhibitions are supported by the European Federation of Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers (EUMABOIS) and are honorably organised by the State Forestry Administration of China, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and China International Exhibition Center Group Corporation. They are organised and co-organised by China National Forestry Machinery Association, Adsale Exhibition Services, China Forestry Group Corporation and China Building Decoration Association. The next edition of WMF and FAM will be held in 2014. FDM ENQUIRY NO. 4704 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Exhibition Review

Dubai International Wood & Wood Machinery Show 2012

April 3 – 5, 2012 Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai


ubai WoodShow 2012 moved to the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, a better venue for a larger show, with increased space of more than 40 percent at 9,072 sq m. Several woodworking machinery manufacturers have returned to the show which featured two large halls equally divided between materials and machinery. The organisers also re-introduced a seminar element to the event to provide a focus on timber legality — a highly topical subject. By far, the largest international groups came from China with 45 exhibitors, followed by Germany with 31, and 26 from Italy. North America accounted for 35 exhibitors, of which the US had 23, Canada fielded 12, and both France and India had 10 each with nearly all in timber related materials. Local exhibitors from the UAE amounted to 33. Other country groups came from all over the world including Austria, Cameroon, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine. In total, 34 countries participated at the event. At the ‘Timber Legality’ seminar, delegates from producing countries around the world gathered to discuss the issue of ‘assuring verified legal timber products to meet new requirements in the global market and the impact on the Middle East and GCC market’. The Seminar was initiated by the show organiser and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN). Delegations from several African countries were present at the event, including Ngole Philip Ngwese, minister of forestry and wildlife in Cameroon, and Alhassan Attah, executive director of the Ghana Timber Industry Development Division of the Ghana Forestry Commission. Other participants include representatives from the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre, the Malaysian Timber Council and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council. A panel of expert speakers presented details of existing and new regulations for the trade in timber and wood products. Tom ter Horst, of the European Forest Institute explained the principles of the new European Timber Regulations (EUTR) that will affect almost all imported wood and many paper products from March 2013 to stop trade in illegal material at EU borders. Caitlin Clarke of World Research Institute in the US explained The Lacey Act Timber Amendment which focuses on illegal

68 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |

wood products at any part of the supply chain entering the US market. Maidiward, from the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, explained the Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) being implemented in Indonesia requiring all wood product exporters to be licensed under a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU. Professor Scott Bowe from the University of Wisconsin gave a comprehensive view of the sustainability of the American hardwood resource and discussed the importance of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) work now being undertaken by the American hardwood industry. Finally, Robianto Koestomo from KADIN discussed the challenges facing the trade in verified legal timber from an Indonesian business perspective. The exhibition is supported by many institutions and specialised councils in the ​​timber sector, including the American Hardwood Export Council, French Timber, Malaysian Timber Council, African Forest Model Network and other international councils. The next installment of the show is scheduled for April FDM 9-11, 2013. ENQUIRY NO. 4705

Calendar of Events MAY

24-27: ForMobile 2012

6-9: International Furniture Market

Anhembi Exhibition Centre

Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Serdang, Malaysia

Hungexpo Budapest Exhibition Centre

Tel: +55 54 8402 9588

Tel: +603 8024 7736

Budapest, Hungary


Fax: +603 8024 7735

Tel: +36 96/618 060



15-18: Ligno Novum – Woodtech





21-24: Wood Products & Technology 2012

14: AHEC 17th Southeast Asia & Greater China Convention

The Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre

St. Regis Singapore

Tel: +46 31 708 80 00



Tel: +65 6506 6888


Fax: +65 6506 67889


Gothenburg, Sweden

7-10: China International Furniture Fair China Import & Export Fair Complex Guangdong, China Tel: +020 8912 8068 Fax: +02 8912 8222 Website:

11-14: FMC China 2012


Shanghai World Expo Exhibition &

6-8: Carrefour International Du Bois 2012

22-25: IWF 2012 Georgia World Congress Center

La Beaujoire Exhibition Centre

Atlanta, US

Nantes, France

Tel: +404 693-8333

Tel: +33 (0) 2 4073 6064

Fax: +404 693-8350

Fax: +33 (0) 2 4073 0301




Convention Center Shanghai, China Tel: +86-21-6437 1178 Fax: +86-21-6115 4988 Email: Website:


25-26: Timber Expo 2012 8-11: China Furniture & Woodworking 2012


Ricoh Arena Coventry, UK

6-9: International Famous Furniture Fair

Tel: 0208 8708 794

Dalian World Expo

Guangdong Modern International Exhibition


Dalian, China



Tel: 86 411 8253 8681

Dongguan, China


Tel: +86 769 8590 0111


Fax: +86 769 8558 5780 Email: Website:

JULY 19-21: Woodmach Cebu Waterfront Cebu City Hotel Cebu, Philippines Tel: +63 2 7508 588/887 1304 Fax: +63 2 7508 585/887 1305 Website:

OCTober 2-4: Tekhnodrev 2012 Lenexpo St Petersburg, Russia

To be considered for inclusion in the Calendar of Events, send details of event (name, date, venue, organiser contact) to:

Tel: (812) 320 9684

The Editor FDM Asia Eastern Trade Media Pte Ltd 1100 Lower Delta Road EPL Building #02-05 Singapore 169206 Tel: (65) 6379 2888 • Fax: (65) 6379 2805 Email:


Fax: (812) 320 9694 Website:

Kindly indicate the events you are interested in and fax the sheet/s along with your details in the Product Enquiry Page to (65) 6379 2806 or enquire online at

*All details subject to change without notice. Please check with organisers for updates.

Product highlights Biesse: Beam Saw

Festool: Joiner

The Sektor 4 Series consist of two models, 450 and 470, which differ in maximum blade projection. Both models can be configured in their hardware and software aspects according to specific requirements. The machines feature the Twin Pusher system, which allows two cutting positions that are independent from one another. The two pushers enable more cuts to be made along the same cutting line at the same time.

The Domino XL is bigger and stronger than the original, and features an expanded range of thicker, as well as longer tenons. The tool is capable of joining massive slabs, doors and gates quickly and precisely. It can create mortises up to 14 mm thick and 140 mm long. Precise positioning and accurate mortising can be done with the aid of a viewing window. The two mortise width adjustments allow for fitting joints and fast assembly. It is easy to adjust while the joiner is operating. The 27 mm dust port extracts up to 95 percent of chips generated when used in conjunction with any of the company’s vacuum systems. Six retractable stop pins enable quick and exact duplication positioning on both workpieces. Other features include adjustment of mortising depths from 15-70 mm and robust inner mechanism for consistent routing results.

The main saw blade projection is automatically adjusted by the numerical control in relation to the thickness of the stack to be cut. Linear movement of the saw carriage is obtained by a helical rack and pinion system and by a brushless motor installed on the saw carriage itself. Air floatation panel can be added for more efficient loading if necessary. ENQUIRY NO. P481


Celaschi: Profiler

Hafele: Storage System

The Team profilers are suitable for high speed production of parquet with processing speeds of 40 to more than 250 m/min. The machines can process a wide range of materials, including wooden slats made of two or three layers, slats made of solid wood, as well as medium and high density fibreboard slats with melamine laminates or ceramic coatings. The slats may have tongue and groove joint systems, or clik joints of various types, including 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G. The profilers can machine slats with widths ranging from 58 to over 300 mm, lengths ranging from 300 to over 6,000 mm and thickness ranging from six to over 35 mm. Optional equipment such as painting units for edges, systems for size checking and detection of imperfections, systems for impregnating edges with water repellent liquid, and ‘tongue’ insertion system for Clik 5G locking can be added upon request.

The SmartCab Storage System is a cabinet organisation system which can be custom-configured to store a wide variety of household items into a standard base cabinet. The unit was specifically designed to fit into the 15” and 18” cabinet with a drawer about the door. It offers a wide range of options and inserts, like cutting boards, spice organisers and roll managers for foils and wraps, making it fully customisable without requiring a full height door. The system can be mounted to the base with just four screws and includes soft-close runners for a smooth and quiet operation.


70 FDM Asia  may/jun 2012 |


Product highlights Homag: CNC Machines

Minimax: Panel Saw

Venture 320 is a CNC processing machine with an integrated edgebanding unit. Similar to the 313, it permits the 5th axis to perform operations at any angle. The pre-snipping and pickup station are mounted at the front of the machine, allowing easy edge change, glue refilling and servicing. Venture 316 is a 5-axis entry level joining machine that is around 30 percent lighter than comparative products. It features a pneumatic interface at the spindle, rack and pinion drive in the X and Y directions, vibration sensor to protect the spindle and an effective component height of 250 mm. Similar to 320, Venture 313 is a CNC processing machine with an edgebanding unit. It features a 15 kW 4-axis trimming spindle with fluid cooling and a large-scale 35-spindle drilling head with 26 exchange slots. The machine can edge shaped components with edges of up to two mm in thickness and a workpiece height of 60 mm.

With a blade that has a maximum diameter of 315 mm with the scoring blade fitted, the Classic series is capable of cutting thick solid wood and panels, even those that are veneered. The wide sliding table and large squaring frame with telescopic fence offer stable support for easy and precise cutting. During the changeover from surfacing to thicknessing, the surfacing tables open simultaneously towards the inside of the machine at a 90 deg angle. The machine is equipped with a five kW standard motor with reduced overall dimensions. Digital readout of fence position for parallel cuts enables precise positioning with the use of the magnetic strip sensor. The series includes the following models: • CU410 and CU300 for universal machines • FS41 and FD30 for surfacing-thicknessing planers • ST3 for saw-spindle moulder • SC3 and SC2 for circular saws • T45 and T45W for spindle moulders



Microvellum: Management Software

Routech: Beam Machine Centre

The Scrap Management System helps manage and reuse scrap pieces of material left over from skeleton or irregularshaped leftover material. The system, which is available exclusively in Toolbox Version 7, will automatically trim sheets to reusable sizes based on user defined parameters for minimum part size and area. The reusable scrap items will be stored into the material inventory database for immediate use on any new project. The parts can be traced easily with identifiable labels. These labels are produced as the system identifies the reusable scrap in the original nest and can be printed on-demand and/ or included with sheet labels.

The Oikos is a compact specialty machine centre for structural beams and wall elements. It can machine on six sides of pieces of up to 1250 x 300 mm with no limit on the length. Routing and cutting can be optimised by loading a cutting program generated by a roof design software. The equipment can read BTL format files generated by a CAD software. It can also be programmed in parametric mode. Precision is enhanced with the use of Finite Element Analysis which runs simulations from the initial stage to the end product to obtain performance required. A eight-position tool change to which blade stations are added, as well as optional aggregates that can be used for mortising, deep hole boring and for an electric saw, helps enhance overall speed. The basic version uses a 500 mm diameter blade which can be replaced by a 800 mm one if necessary.


ENQUIRY NO. P488 | FDM ASIA  may/jun 2012


Advertising Index Enquiry No 351

Advertisers / Agency

Page No

American Hardwood Export Council OBC


American Lumber Co



Baillie Lumber Co



Bino (SH) Machinery Co Ltd IFC


Dunhua Yalian Machine Co Ltd



Fulpow Industrial Corp



Homag Asia Pte Ltd


339 IWF 2012



Jeffer Machinery Co Ltd



Koelnmesse Pte Ltd (FurniPro Asia 2012)



Malaysian Timber Industry Board


329 Northwest Hardwoods




Qingdao Friend Woodworking Machinery

Manufacturing Co Ltd

Siempelkamp Maschinen - und Anlagenbau



GmbH & Co KG


Shanghai Rocky Adhesives Co Ltd



Tong Fong Cutters Co Ltd



Taihao Woodworking Machinery Co Ltd


355 UBM Sinoexpo Ltd (FMC CHINA 2012)


FC Strip

Advertisers with e-Brochures

This quick reference guide is provided as an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or ommission.

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