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U N I T I N G M AT E R I A L S , T E C H N O L O G Y A N D D E S I G N

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Mark Wasnewsky Environmental Process Supervisor Interprint, Inc.

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Mark’s not motivated to be

environmentally responsible

because of some policy, job description or

the latest marketing craze. No, Mark’s motivation comes from understanding the environment itself – a relationship formed long before the latest green movement became all the rage. Like all of his Interprint co-workers, Mark and his family are fortunate to live in a region where clean air, pristine water and unspoiled vistas are plentiful. It would be easy to take these natural resources for granted, but as Interprint’s Environmental Process Supervisor, Mark knows better. Each day, the water treatment system he operates returns thousands of gallons back to the municipal system his family, friends and neighbors rely on. His attention to detail helps ensure the safe reuse of this critical natural resource.

But to Mark, being environmentally responsible is more than just doing a good job. “When you realize how limited our natural resources are, you realize sustainable practices can’t stop at the end of the work day,” he says. A case in point, after evaluating the different heating options for his newly built home, Mark learned that a solar panel system was the best solution. “It’s the right thing to do, it’s a good lesson for our children and it keeps our energy bills low.” Mark shares in the excitement surrounding an increasing global demand for sustainable products. His motivation, however, is preserving natural resources and decreasing demands on the globe.

101 Central Berkshire Boulevard, Pittsfield, MA 01201 413.443.4733

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The Weather is Changing It has been a long road since the economic downturn began, for many of you as early as mid-2007. Without a doubt, this is the longest and most severe recession since the great depression. We are certainly either at the bottom or moving up. Since all of us are in one way or another connected to the construction industry, let’s take a look at some recent forecasts for homebuilding and commercial construction. RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION…THE SUN WILL COME OUT

Check out our new website at and look for the 2010 Surface & Panel Buyers Guide in print and online in February 2010.

October housing starts dropped 10.6% and building permits dropped 4%. This is rather disheartening news considering the extension of the first time home buyer tax credit. We are entering the slowest season for home building and since the tax credit was recently extended, it may take more time for it to take effect. The better news on the housing front is that existing family home sales rose 9.4% in September, an indication that we are working through the inventory. After all, you would not expect a large jump in new home construction until the existing inventory is reduced. The National Association Home Builders forecasts existing home sales at nearly five million units in 2010 and to top six million in 2011. New home starts should increase to 716,000 in 2010 and exceed one million in 2011, a level not achieved since 2007. COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION…STILL CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS

Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw Hill Construction states that “We are turning a corner. More optimism is being seen in the market in recent months. This year and next is the start of a new cycle.” After a 25% decline in commercial construction in 2009, he forecasts an 11% increase in 2010. The commercial construction markets have been hammered in 2009, with commercial, institutional and manufacturing building off 43%, 15% and 62% respectively. Public works projects were flat in 2009, which could be considered the only bright spot. The wild card and the most looming threat will be commercial mortgages in 2010 and 2011. “If credit remains too tight, this could trigger the next financial crisis,” says Murray. Government spending will continue to support the public works segment with projected growth of 14% in 2010. $130 billion has been earmarked for construction related spending in 2009-2011, but very little has been spent to date. That should change in 2010 as the stimulus funding begins to flow in earnest. As we come to end of 2009 I know many of you are glad to see it go. Yes, it has been a rough couple of years for the construction market, producers of furniture, cabinets and fixtures and for all of us who serve the industry, but better days are definitely ahead. The stock market has been on an incredible bull run and it almost always portends the health of the economy six months down the road. Economic growth may be slow and steady in 2010, but will definitely pick up steam leading into 2011. One of America’s greatest investors, Warren Buffett just spent billions on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. When asked why he made the investment, Buffett said he was “betting on America”…and his bets tend to pay off. To all of our readers and advertising partners I want to wish you and your families a very happy holiday season and an exciting and prosperous new year.


All the best,


John Aufderhaar Publisher, Surface & Panel •


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cccccccccccccccccccccpccccccccccccccccccccc at clarion boards, our company is as stable as our product, so rest assured the only thing that’s going anywhere is your order.



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volume 7 • number 5 | o c t o b e r / n o v e m b e r












16 IKEA: the Brand that Made the World Love RTA IKEA customers are more than consumers, they are collaborators in a process that makes stylish home furnishings available to the masses. 24 Delivering Home Office Solutions Bush Industries, Inc. targets telecommuters in the development of their unique quick-assembly commercial office furnishings.


31 Designed to Heal Los Colinas Medical Center exemplifies an important factor in the quality of patient care: the actual design of the treatment facility, which must perform both functionally and aesthetically.


34 Surface Design Guide 2009 As trends trickle into specific regions and markets, design professionals in the realm of surface materials are better equipped than ever before to meet the consumer’s increasing desire for customization.


John Aufderhaar Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 920-206-1766 fax: 920-206-1767 advertising

Ryan Wagner National Accounts Manager East, S&P Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 920-262-2080 fax: 920-206-1767 KJ Rouse National Accounts Manager West, S&P Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 608-216-5572 fax: 920-206-1767 Circulation

Michelle Bruhn Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 920-674-6943 fax: 920 206-1767

48 Digital Inkjet Flooring Perfected Advances in digital printing technology are the new frontier of décor printing. Bipan-Astrid, a subsidiary of the Italian industrial Gruppo Frati, has taken innovation further by applying patent pending inkjet technology to digitally print décor designs directly onto the surfaces of individual HDF flooring planks. 52 It's All About the Customer Quest Engineering in West Bend, Wisconsin balances the equation... happy customers on a slim today’s challenging business climate. On the cover

Bipan-Astrid introduces a new generation of flooring product called NextFloor.




p a

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4 From the Publisher 9 About the CPA 10 Industry News 29 Regenerate National legislation and the road to stewardship on formaldehyde. 46 Tech Spec Life Cycle Inventory compares the environmental performance of composite wood and alternative materials. 57 Advertiser Index 56 Resource 58 From the Editor



Editorial Director

Suzanne VanGilder Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 608-698-0375 fax: 920-206-1767 Design/production

Karen Leno/ KML Design, Inc. 923 Forest Edge Circle, Coralville, IA 52241 Ph: 319-430-5108 C o m p o s i t e Pa n e l A s s o c i at i o n Main Office

19465 Deerfield Avenue, Suite 306, Leesburg, VA 20176 Ph: 703-724-1128 fax: 703-724-1588 Toll Free 1-866-4COMPOSITES Canadian Office

Post Office Box 747, Station “B” Ottawa, Ontario CANADA K1P 5P8 Ph: 613-232-6782 fax: 703-724-1588 International Testing and Certification Center

73 Lawson Road, Leesburg, VA 20176 Ph: 703-724-1128 fax: 703-724-1588

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Surface & Panel is published bimonthly by Bedford Falls Communications, Inc., 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, Wisconsin 53098, telephone 920-206-1766, fax 920-206-1767. John Aufderhaar, President, Christine Aufderhaar, CFO. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical without written permission from the publisher. Subscription policy: Individual subscriptions are available, without charge, to manufacturers who engage in panel processing, qualified service providers and suppliers. Publisher reserves the right to reject non-qualified subscribers. One year subscription to non-qualified individuals: U.S. $50, Canada/Mexico $75, all other countries $100, payable in U.S. funds. Single issues are $15, and must be prepaid. Bedford Falls Communications, Inc., does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the material contained herein, regardless of whether such errors result from negligence, accident, or any other cause whatsoever. Printed in the U.S.A. Postmaster: Send address changes to Surface & Panel, 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098. Please direct all subscription questions and mail to: Surface & Panel, 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 ph: 920-206-1766

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Whether you’re looking for time-tested performance or eye-popping aesthetics, you won’t find a broader range of decorative laminates than those available from OMNOVA Solutions. More designs. More constructions including NEW EFX™ 3D Laminates. More value. And all in one place. TFM Matches. A broad offering of 3D Laminate designs that match popular HPL and TFM products, including those from Tafisa, Panolam and Flakeboard. Multiple Constructions. A full complement of stock and make-to-order Paper, Flat, 3D and Specialty Laminates. Largest Design Library. Our selection of laminates represents hundreds of textures, embossings, patterns and colors, as well as realistic woodgrains and effects. Custom Capabilities. Custom colors, designs, embossings, coatings and constructions to meet a unique or specific requirement. Eco-Preferred. New EFX 3D Laminates offer a non-PVC alternative to traditional 3D Laminates. To learn how OMNOVA Laminates can make a difference in your cabinetry, furniture and fixtures, contact us today! Or visit our online Design Center to see our broad offering, obtain additional information and order samples –


EFX (pronounced: e-fex) 3D Laminates are a new environmentally preferred surfacing alternative to traditional 3D laminates. EFX 3D Laminates exhibit the same functional and decorative characteristics as OMNOVA’s surf(x)® 3D Laminates and can be membrane-pressed or vacuumformed to contoured surface profiles. Their dimensional flexibility eliminates the need for T-molding, edge banding, visible seams and special edge treatments.

866.332.5226 • • Office furniture photo: Retail photo courtesy of Hallmark Cards Inc. SURF(X) is a registered trademark of, and EFX is a trademark of, OMNOVA Solutions Inc. © 2009 OMNOVA Solutions Inc. circle #04 on reader service card

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About the Composite Panel Association


CPA offers an Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) certification program, which certifies composite panel products that contain 100% recycled or recovered fiber and meet low formaldehyde emission limits. Most EPP-certified mills have also achieved compliance with California‘s tough new regulation on formaldehyde emissions-the CARB rule.

& 2009 UNITING




009 UARY 2







The three types of wood-based composite panels in the marketplace today are particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF) and hardboard. These panels can be engineered to the customer‘s specific physical properties and surface characteristics to create durable, functional end products. By their very nature, wood-based composite panels are among the greenest materials in the world, and a great choice for environmentally-conscious consumers. D EC O R ATIV E SU R FAC E S

Decorative surfaces are used in a wide variety of applications including: cabinets, mouldings, flooring, furniture, countertops, store fixtures, doors and shelving. Composite panels provide an ideal substrate for decorative surfaces – one that is consistent, uniform in strength and free of defects. Decorative surfaces are broadly separated into overlays and coatings, and are applied to composite panels by various techniques. Overlays include foils, high pressure laminates, light basis weight papers, TFM (thermally fused melamine), veneers and vinyls. Coatings are available in both liquid and powder forms.

This first-ever Voluntary Compendium of 2009 Standards for Decorative Voluntary Compendium of Overlays sponsored by Standards for Decorative Overlays the Decorative Surfaces Council (DSC) covers overlays made from celluD S C losic or polymeric materiC P A als. This comprehensive resource, published in August 2009, highlights the six major types of overlays; describes industry-accepted test methods to determine the performance and physical characteristics of different overlay types; and helps the reader select the appropriate product for a particular application. SPONSORED BY





ANSI Standards for Particleboard and MDF (2009)








2, 2009

nal Stan Earlier this year the American dard Particleb oard National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved ANSI A208.12009 Particleboard and ANSI A208.2-2009 MDF for Interior Applications, the revised national voluntary standards for these products. Sponsored by CPA, the standards include new grades and product Standard National categories as well as American ) oard (MDF nsity Fiberb Medium De or Applications harmonization with the For Interi formaldehyde emission requirements recently enacted by the California Air Resources Board. an Natio

19465 Dee

Com nue, Suit posite Panel Ass e 306, ociation Tel (703 ) 724-112 Leesburg, VA 20176 8, Fax (703 Web www ) 724-1588 m

rfield Ave

2-2009 ANSI A208. 2, 2009



ciation e Panel Asso 6 Composit burg, VA 2017 306, Lees 724-1588 ue, Suite Fax (703) field Aven m 724-1128, Tel (703) Web www

19465 Deer

Visit for more information or to order these publications. M O R E IN FO R M ATI O N

Composite Panel Association 19465 Deerfield Avenue, Suite 306 Leesburg, Virginia, USA 20176 (703) 724-1128


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of the




Compendium of Voluntary Standards for Decorative Overlays (2009)





CPA‘s EPP has been extended to include finished (downstream) manufacturers that use EPP panels. Products carrying the EPP Downstream logo were manufactured by a company that has demonstrated its DOWNSTREAM environmental commitment LICENSED FACILITY by purchasing EPP-certified composite wood panels. CPA sponsors the 2009 Surface & Panel Buyers Guide, which is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive product information available about North American composite panel and decorative surfacing products. The Guide includes in-depth descriptions of the different types of composite panels and decorative surfaces available, along with key features and services offered by the E ID U G S ER major producers of BU Y these products.

ANSI A208.2

Founded in 1960, the Composite Panel Association (CPA) is dedicated to advancing the North American wood-based panel and decorative surfacing industries. CPA represents both industries on technical, regulatory, quality assurance and product acceptance issues. CPA General Members include the leading manufacturers of particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF) and hardboard, representing about 95% of North American manufacturing capacity. CPA Associate Members include manufacturers of decorative surfaces, furniture, cabinets, mouldings, doors and equipment, along with laminators, distributors, industry media and adhesive suppliers. All are committed to product advancement and industry competitiveness. CPA is a vital resource for both manufacturers and users of industry products. The association provides leadership on federal, state and provincial regulatory and legislative matters of interest to industry, particularly those with environmental implications. As a highly-regarded and accredited standards developer, CPA writes, publishes and maintains industry product standards. CPA operates an International Testing and Certification Center (ITCC) in Leesburg, Virginia and manages the Grademark Certification Program, the largest and most stringent testing and certification program of its kind for North American composite panel products. The association also helps manufacturers create in-plant quality control programs through educational programs and on-site assistance. CPA compiles and publishes the most definitive industry performance data, as well as technical bulletins on the use of industry products and other educational materials. The association also partners with Surface & Panel magazine in publishing this magazine as well as a yearly "Buyers Guide."

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Arclin Announces the Addition of its Portland, OR and Hayward, WI Facilities to its FSC Chain of Custody Certification Arclin, recently announced that their Portland, OR and Hayward, WI Surfaces facilities have been added to its FSC Chain of Custody Certification. The Certification now covers all of Arclin’s Surfaces facilities including Tacoma, WA which received its certification in 2008. Arclin’s FSC Chain of Custody Certified overlays will fall under its proprietary E-Gen™ designation as a more environmentally friendly and sustainable product. “We are proud that our Tacoma operation was the first decorative saturating facility to reach this milestone in becoming a more sustainable operation,” said Bjorn Wahl, SVP Building and Construction for Arclin. ■

Interprint USA Announces FSC Certification New Website for Surface & Panel Surface & Panel magazine, the official magazine of the Composite Panel Association, is pleased to announce their new website: The site is designed to be an up-to-date online resource for manufacturers and specifiers alike. Designed with advanced architecture for easy navigation and search engine optimization, the site is poised to grow with the industry. Check it often for events, special features, digital editions, galleries, news, community pages and the digital Buyers Guide. ■

Interprint USA announced it has obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification (SCS-COC-002794) by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). The certification means that Interprint meets the strict tracking requirements to ensure that the FSC-certified papers it prints, those manufactured with pulp coming from responsibly managed forests, can be sold to its customers as FSC-certified products. FSC classifications for these products include FSC Pure and FSC Mixed. ■

Kerfkore Company Earns Forest Stewardship Council Certification

HOMAG Awarded Patent for Laser Technology Stiles Machinery is pleased to announce HOMAG Holzbearbeitungssysteme AG has been awarded a patent for laserTec, the revolutionary laser technology for application of edges onto panels. HOMAG unveiled laserTec to the international trade public at LIGNA 2009. The innovative process entails melting the surface of the edging material to be banded by means of a laser beam before pressing it directly onto the workpiece. This process produces edges to a previously unattainable standard of quality with practically no visible join. ■


It is with great pleasure that we announce our Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification number SCS-COC-002720 for FSC Pure and FSC Mixed products. Kerfkore Company believes “Providing responsibly managed products to our clients should not be a luxury, it should be standard practice”. The FSC has created principles, criteria and standards that address social, environmental and economic issues. According to the United States Forest Stewardship Council, these standards represent the world’s strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. Kerfkore Company adheres to the FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) standard which ensures wood is accounted for as it passes along the supply chain. Selected products will qualify for recognized CoC designation as requested. ■

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NexGen Event 2010 is Coming... Save the Date! 5 days:

February 8 - 12, 2010 From 8:30am - 5:30pm

10 locations:

Biesse, Cefla, Costa & Grissom, C.R. Onsrud, Delmac, HOLZ-HER, Holzma U.S., Stiles, Superfici, Weinig

4 ways to contact us:

Web: Toll Free: 866.285.1958 Email: Twitter:

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Lamitech HPL Earns Greenguard Certification LAMITECH S.A. is proud to announce that our High Pressure Decorative Laminates have been awarded the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification and GREENGUARD Children & Schools SM Certification. Lamitech’s HPL is rated as Level 3 non-emitting products, which indicates that they not only satisfy the standards, but also exceed them. LAMITECH promotes the correct use of renewable resources and will continue taking actions to reduce pollution agents in order to preserve our planet. These GREENGUARD certifications verify our serious commitment to contribute to a healthy environment and prove our interest in promoting indoor air quality by meeting the standards of this rigorous third-party testing program for low-emitting materials and products. ■

Stiles Education Courses Aligned with Skill Standards Stiles Machinery is pleased to announce that Stiles Education now provides training that is in compliance with the woodworking industry’s skill standards as developed by the Wood Career Alliance of North America (WCA). The WCA skill standards were developed to provide a means for employers, employees and educational institutions to determine at what level a

worker should execute tool and machinery set-up, operation and troubleshooting. The soon-to-be released 2010 Stiles Education course catalog will identify the courses which are aligned with the Woodwork Career Alliance Skill Standards. For more information on the standards, contact Duane Griffiths at Stiles or the Woodwork Career Alliance web site at ■

Uniboard’s New Melamine Press Uniboard, a subsidiary of MDAX listed Pfleiderer AG is investing more than $2 million in a new short-cycle press at its Canadian plant in Val-d’Or. This new press, which will be installed in the fourth quarter of 2009 and will go into operation in the first quarter of 2010, will strengthen Uniboard’s position in the North American market for thermofused melamine panels. As a result of this investment, the Uniboard site in Val-d’Or will be able to expand its existing portfolio to include value-added products for the furniture industry and for kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. ■

KCMA Supports Federal Formaldehyde Legislation Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association announces support for S.1660, a legislation to adopt, as a national standard, the CARB controls on formaldehyde emissions from particleboard, hardwood plywood, and medium density fiberboard panels. Formaldehyde occurs naturally and is found at low levels in myriad useful and safe consumer products including medications, apparel, wood products and many others. Ingestion of food and water is a significant source of exposure to formaldehyde. KCMA supports efforts in Congress calling for the National Academy of Sciences to review the health effects of the low levels of formaldehyd typically found in domestically manufactured cabinets. ■ 12

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Announcing 2010 NexGen Dates, Participants The NexGen Event continues to evolve in response to the needs of the marketplace. The 2010 event has been expanded to include additional equipment manufacturers and distributors in the woodworking industry. Biesse, Cefla Finishing Group, Costa & Grissom, Delmac Machinery Group, Holz-Her, Holzma U.S., C.R. Onsrud, Stiles Machinery, Superfici America, and Weinig America will participate in the 2010 NexGen Event, which will be held February 8-12 at their respective facilities in the Carolinas. For more information, visit ■


Smartech is the source For Steinbach Membranes.

Süddekor is Moving – for Surfaces 2010. Süddekor is pleased to be hosting its Surfaces 2010 design presentations and hospitality at the new and exciting Encore Las Vegas. The Chopin 4 Ballroom is a short walk, or very quick cab ride from the Sands Convention Center. It offers an elegant and upscale setting to show off a spectacular 2010 design portfolio as well as a beautiful backdrop for the evening entertainments – an extremely popular Las Vegas dueling pianos act on February 2nd and on February 3rd, an evening of blues featuring very special guests. ■ surface&panel

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Wilsonart Launches New Sustainability Website Wilsonart launched a new website to present a comprehensive view of what the high pressure laminate (HPL) leader has done and will continue to do as a responsible partner in global environmental stewardship: The site presents the company’s holistic approach to sustainability, focusing on people, products, processes and the planet. ■

Intermac America and Emmegi USA Announce Joint Sales Collaboration DISTRIBUTION CONTINUES TO EXPAND THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA

Intermac America, the leading manufacturer of glass and stone fabrication equipment and Biesse S.p.A. subsidiary, and Emmegi USA, the leading CNC machinery supplier to the aluminum and light alloy profiles industries, have signed agreements to cross market each other’s products in the glass, stone, wood and aluminum markets throughout North America. The relationship between Intermac and Emmegi spans years, as both companies have common roots both in Italy and USA, through doing business with each other for a number of years, and serving different segments of the same markets. ■



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New Georgia-Pacific LEAF™ Wood Adhesives Aid in CARB Phase 2 Compliance Georgia-Pacific Chemicals announces the launch of its LEAF™ low-emission adhesives. These adhesives are designed to aid in complying with a variety of green building standards and the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Phase 2 requirements. LEAF wood adhesives are designed for use in particleboard and medium density fiberboard that is used in furniture paneling, cabinetry and other products with composite wood parts. ■

Forget Yesterday, It's a New Tomorrow for 2010 Woodworking Industry Conference Industry professionals looking to network and discuss strategies for recovering from a difficult 2009 should plan to attend the 2010 Woodworking Industry Conference in Monterey , Calif. Set for April 21-24, WIC 2010 is themed, Forget Yesterday, It's a New Tomorrow as a reminder that one of the keys to surviving an economic downturn is planning to best position your organization to take full advantage of the economic recovery as it begins to inevitably gain momentum. The Hyatt Regency Monterey will host the conference. ■

Flakeboard Announces Green Achievements Flakeboard is pleased to announce the Duraflake particleboard and Eugene MDF plants have been certified by the SmartWood Program of the Rainforest Alliance to FSC Chain-of-Custody and Controlled Wood Standards SW-COC-000444. We are also pleased to offer ultra low emitting, CARB Phase 2 products now at the following mills: Bennettsville, South Carolina: MDF and Particleboard; St. Stephen, New Brunswick: MDF; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario: MDF. ■

Who’sWHO W H O ’ S


Interprint Promotes Jens Bauer and Roland Morin

Biesse Group Proposes New CEO

Interprint-USA Managing Director Jens Bauer will become the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) of the international Interprint Group, headquartered in Arnsberg, Germany. Interprint-USA VicePresident Roland Jens Bauer Morin will become a Managing Director, along with Managing Director Bill Hines, Jr., of Interprint-USA. Both promotions will take effect on January 1, 2010. Morin remarked, “I’m grateful to be presented the opportunity to help lead such a dedicated team and look forward to our continued Roland Morin success.” ■

At their recent October 9 shareholders meeting, pending approval of an increase in the number of board members from seven to eight, the Biesse S.p.A. Board of Directors proposed that Dr. Giovanni Barra be appointed to the Board of Directors with the specific role of Chief Executive Officer. The Pesaro based Group, which since 2001 has been listed in the Star segment of the Italian stock exchange, operates in the markets for wood, glass and marble processing machinery. Dr. Barra has been an active member of the Dr. Giovanni Barra Group’s management team since October 5, and will be nominated as CEO at the Shareholders’ Meeting on November 12, 2009. s&p


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Making a Market


t takes commitment for an individual to build a piece of furniture, even if all the necessary lumber, hardware and clearlydrawn instructions are provided in a flat packed box. Yet nearly 700 million IKEA customers worldwide are willing to make that commitment yearly, spending $31 billion in fiscal year 2008 alone. IKEA customers are more than consumers, they are collaborators in a process that makes stylish home furnishings available to the masses. In a sense, the thriving IKEA customer base is the unique product of an integrated business process that not only makes goods and brings them to market, but actually shapes the market.


Now everyone who stayed awake in econ 101 is likely shaking their heads, after all, markets are not created, they are served. Which is true in a direct way, for example when a designer is selling an idea or when a supplier is selling to a manufacturer. What makes IKEA unique as an organization is that it is not just the alpha and omega of designer and retailer; through its industrial subsidiary Swedwood, it also controls the supply of materials, manufacturing and distribution in between the concept and the consumer. “We are in a fairly unique position,” says Joseph Roth, director of public affairs for IKEA in North America. “As a manufacturer IKEA has a guaranteed distribution network and market share. As a retailer, IKEA has control over the production end. By having control over the entire pipeline we can consider the big picture and really focus on the economies of scale.” This vertical integration allows IKEA to make stylish products of consistent quality widely available, which has changed the way that people all over the world think about RTA furniture. All IKEA operations are guided by the official vision statement, “to create a better everyday life for the many people, by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishings at prices so low that as many people as possible can afford them.” But there is more to IKEA’s success then high style at low prices. Since its inception in 1943, IKEA has been dedicated to innovation and sustainability. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad grew his tidy little business of selling ballpoint pens to farmers in rural Sweden (he piggybacked on the local milk van for

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As a manufacturer IKEA has a guaranteed distribution network and market share. As a retailer, IKEA has control over the production end.

distribution) into more than 300 stores in 37 countries, and he did it by building the industrial infrastructure necessary to support the expansion. A detailed exploration of IKEA’s carefully calibrated design, production and distribution system would fill volumes, but a look at Swedwood’s first North American furniture manufacturing facility, that opened in Danville, VA in 2008, provides a good insight into what makes IKEA so successful. Manufacturing IKEA Style

In recent history many companies tried to streamline their operations by closing plants and outsourcing production. IKEA has thrived because it took a different approach. As the company’s territory expanded worldwide, their network of suppliers and manufacturers grew with it, with IKEA sourcing local materials whenever possible.

Light weight panels in Swedwood’s Danville facility

There are currently 1,220 suppliers in 55 countries around the world. Significant concentrations of those suppliers are located in Eastern Europe. Following the political and economic upheaval resulting from the fall of the Berlin Wall, IKEA made the strategic decision to form the industrial subsidiary Swedwood as a means of safeguarding itself against the loss of vital suppliers.

Since its establishment in 1991, Swedwood has opened one to three new facilities each year. There are currently 45 production units in 12 countries. Swedwood has evolved to become an IKEA supplier with advanced production facilities of its own, and along the way it has afforded IKEA a means of further streamlining their integrated design, production and distribution system.

W AT E R - R E S I S T A N T, S U S T A I N A B L E


Introducing an industry first—SynDECOR®— a Water-Resistant, Sustainable Overlay (WRSO) SynDECOR® delivers:

exceptional resistance to water penetration sustainability adhesion miter-foldability machinability To learn more about SynDECOR®, call 1.800.688.2044 • • • • •

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The Co



Each Swedwood factory is process oriented, using modern techniques to concentrate on one production process, one base raw material and a limited product range. This type of manufacturing optimizes efficiency and production volume. The Danville facility that opened in 2008 specializes in the manufacture of IKEA’s LACK, EXPEDIT and BESTÅ lightweight panel furniture and storage systems. All panel processing and finishing is done inhouse, including the construction of the product lines’ signature honeycomb panel.

In the big picture, IKEA’s Distribution Services division controls the movement of product, allowing IKEA to plan, manage and maintains high levels of inventory globally. Six distribution centers serve the 37 retail locations in the United States and 11 stores in Canada. Distribution Services functions as a wholesaler for IKEA, securing local storage capacity for stores and transporting inventory to retail locations. Products generally follow the typical path from suppliers to distribution centers, where they are held until they are ordered by a store. But IKEA is always looking for innovative ways to maximize the economy of scale, so sometimes the typical path is not the most efficient way to move product. For



Considering that IKEA stores carry a product line of approximately 10,000 items, which are for the most part available at all IKEA retail locations, efficient distribution is a vital part of the company’s vision to bring welldesigned home furnishings to as many people as possible. Certainly the location of production facilities factors heavily on transportation costs. By concentrating manufacturing to large factories and specific countries, IKEA is able to efficiently distribute a lot of product with short lead times. “IKEA’s presence in North America has recently reached the point of critical mass where we can have more local suppliers and production to support all these stores with a very cost effective distribution network. And that helps keep prices low for customers,” explains Roth.


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The Collins Companies | S&P SEP/OCT09 | 9 x 10.875

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IKEA’s Expedit bookcase

example, Swedwood’s Danville facility is well positioned to provide direct delivery to IKEA stores located in the eastern seaboard, much of the Midwest and Texas. “Since our primary focus is reducing distribution cost, we have started to eliminate the middleman, even if it is us, to have direct delivery from the manufacturer to the retail locations,” says Roth. In a smaller sense, smart packaging is used to minimize distribution costs and the environmental impact of transport. According to Roth, the ubiquitous IKEA flat pack allows for seven times as many units to be transported per shipping container then if the products were assembled. The result is reduced number of freight shipments, emissions and transportations costs. Carefully choosing the materials used for the production of larger furniture pieces, such as the honeycomb panels used in the storage systems produced in Danville, also helps to minimize freight costs. It is interesting to note that one of the risks North American companies face in outsourcing manufacturing for cheaper materials and labor is the increasing cost of shipping back to the consumer market. IKEA’s approach of partnering with or building production facilities in relatively close proximity to their retail stores is the inverse, and it allows them to bring a huge volume of product to market efficiently. That economy of distribution is one of the ways IKEA keeps prices low for customers.

From the target price range the designers work backwards to factor in the costs of materials, manufacturing, packaging and distribution. To ensure efficiency IKEA developers borrow designs from existing products and also look for innovative materials and manufacturing techniques. When choosing materials, product developers consider sustainability and innovation. IKEA draws from a broad palette of wood and wood composite materials, including HDF, particleboard, plywood and hardboard to precisely value engineer products based on performance and geographic manufacturing capacity. Most product families offer a variety of finishes such as paper foils, TFM and UV lacquers with ABS plastic; and sometimes the finish slightly changes the price of the end product. The LACK, EXPEDIT and BESTÅ furniture and storage systems made in Danville are a good example of IKEA’s product development process. Light-weight panels like the ones produced in Danville are a favorite in IKEA products because they are easy for individuals to handle and assemble in their homes. The inner honeycomb core is made from recycled materials, which is in line with IKEA’s commitment to sustainability and wise materials usage. These product segments utilize a board on frame design. The frame is assembled in the consumer’s home and the panel inserts into the frame, effectively eliminating the challenge of designing hardware or connectors that work with light-weight panels.

Products At a Low Price, But Not At Any Price

The entire IKEA process aims at creating products that leave minimum impact on the environment. To ensure that partners and suppliers share the same values, IKEA has developed a code of conduct for business called IWAY, which is the IKEA way of doing business. Because 50% of the raw materials used in IKEA products are wood based, the company is deeply committed to responsible forest management, and does not accept timber from intact natural forests or high conservation forests. IKEA also contributes to several forestry projects, supports FSC certification for suppliers and uses recycled content whenever possible. Despite its gargantuan expansion, IKEA takes care to operate responsibly. “We like to say that we can be a good business while doing good business,” says Roth. The same attention to detail that guides the design, manufacture and distribution of products also carries over into how IKEA operates retail locations and treats employees. The company’s policies of social and environmental responsibility have earned them a lot of recognition, including a running spot on Fortune 500’s list of the top 100 companies to work for, the EPA’s Environmental Excellence Award and a place on Business Week’s “World’s 25 Most Innovative Companies” list. IKEA customers love the stylish and functional RTA furniture and home accessories that the company offers at remarkably low prices. But it is the company’s commitment to sustainable value, achieved through carefully integrated design, manufacturing and distribution, that make consumers feel good about bringing IKEA into their homes. s&p

Designing Inside the Box

IKEA product design and development is a complicated job handled in-house by a team of between 50 and 100 individuals located in Älmhult Sweden. The company’s vision to bring well-designed products to as many people as possible is reflected in the developers’ first consideration in the design process, the price tag. For example the team might set out to design a coffee table that will cost $39.99. IKEA’s BESTÅ storage system 20

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Futura is available in 3 versions: • Smove decelerated closing • Integrated Push opening for cabinets without pulls • Traditional Self-closing As a leading innovator in concealed hinge technology, Salice brings the same superior quality and respected customer support to the Futura line. Easily installed and dependable, customers receive advanced technology, innovative design and solid construction. Specifications: • Exceeds ANSI TESTING 156.9 load capacity • Safety feature to prevent drawers from turning over during transport • Drawer height adjustment (+3 mm) • Finish – bright zinc plated • Lifetime warranty

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Swedwood Danville’s Lean Production Flow


he Sedwood Facility in Danville, VA is set up similarly to the highly automated European facilities. At start up, the facility processed an estimated 20,000 panels daily for IKEA’s board and frame LACK, EXPEDIT and BESTÅ product segments in a cost-effective continuous flow. Strong but light-weight panels are produced with a board-on-frame technique. A Schelling panel saw cuts particleboard and HDF panels to size. The particleboard sides are matched with a recycled paper honeycomb core and an HDF panel is placed on the top and the bottom. This “sandwich” of materials is put through a Buekle press, and the finished panels are cooled before being transferred to an integrated production line for edge processing and finishing. Panels for the LACK, EXPEDIT and BESTÅ lines are sent through a Homag Profiline KFR 620 double-sided sizing and edge-processing machine. Next they are cut with a Holzma Powerline before going through a Homag Profiline KFL 620, which can perform double-sided longitudinal edging, profile trimming and transverse edging. A Weeke Profiline BST500 bores holes in the panels before they are cut down the middle, turned with a Bargstedt panel turner and conveyed to a Homag Optimat KFL 525 sizing and edgebanding machine. A Bargstedt panel loader loads the panels at the end of the processing line. Pieces for the LACK and EXPEDIT furniture families go through a UV finishing line equipped with RBO material handling equipment to minimize the amount of lifting employees have to do. Up to nine different layers of finish can be applied by a series of Costa sanders, Sorbini roll coaters and Cefla UV ovens. Akzo coatings are used to finish the panels in birch, black, black/ brown and woodgrain. BESTÅ products carry a foil finish applied with a Friz wrapper for solid color finishes. The wood based pieces are paired with hardware and instructions, then flat packed and shipped to IKEA stores. s&p



MD for

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circle #13 on reader service card

Setting the standard Setting the standard

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The new Moncure MDF plant is 95% complete and less than a month remains until production is scheduled to begin. Once complete, Moncure will be the biggest MDF plant, with the largest production capacity in all of North America.

When you think MDF, think Uniboard and think big.

The new Moncure MDF plant is 95% complete and less than a month remains until production is scheduled to begin. Once complete, Moncure will be the In building plant wethe aren’t justproduction looking tocapacity increasein our line, biggest MDFthis plant, with largest all ofproduct North America.

we’re staking our claim as the industry’s leading engineered wood products Inmanufacturer. building this plant we aren’t just looking to increase our product line, we’re staking our claim as the industry’s leading engineered wood products This new facility will pump out 225 million sq. ft. (3/4 inch basis) of MDF a manufacturer.

year. In addition to MDF, the Moncure mega-site also produces particleboard This facility willmelamine pump out panels, 225 million sq. (3/4 inch basis) MDF and new thermofused making a one-stop shopoffor all ayour year. In addition to MDF, the Moncure mega-site also produces particleboard manufacturing needs. and thermofused melamine panels, making it a one-stop shop for all your manufacturing needs. made with the Moncure fiber are now available, and the MDF product samples

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MDF product samples made with thesizes: Moncure available, product samples in the following 8” xfiber 10”,are 24”now x 24” and fulland 4’ xthe 8’ sheets, positive response from our customers has been truly overwhelming. To request ask your Uniboard sales representative or Customer Service. product samples in the following sizes: 8” x 10”, 24” x 24” and full 4’ x 8’ sheets, ask your Uniboard sales representative or Customer Service.

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MDF plant at Moncure currently under construction MDF plant Moncure currently for start-up in at December 2009 under construction for start-up in December 2009

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The Call of Technology


he fuel crisis of the early to mid 1970’s launched the concept of working from home, but the technology of the time was prohibitive. Sure an employee could have more than one telephone line and work away at an electric typewriter, but then what? Send reports via snail mail? Maybe carrier pigeon? Despite the availability of party lines, communication was problematic; both for the employees trying to stay on top of important developments, and for the employers trying to make certain their employees were doing more than watching The Love Boat all day. But that was then. This is now. Instead of “working from home” it is called “telecommuting.” And not only does the technology exist, but things like voice over data Internet protocol, fax machines, PDA’s and even the dreaded webinar make telecommuting a viable option for many companies. In fact, virtual private networks allow employees to be anywhere in the world where there is Internet access and dial into a company’s mainframe enterprise platform, which not only grants them to access information, but also lets employers track performance. These technological advances, combined with an increasingly tech-savvy workforce, have changed the way business is done. It has allowed entrepreneurs to start endeavors out of their living rooms and larger regional companies to significantly reduce their real estate portfolios.


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It is precisely this target market, made up of entrepreneurs, sub -100 employee businesses and Fortune 1000 companies sending people home, that Bush Industries, Inc. has in mind when developing their unique quick-assembly commercial office furnishings. ANSI/BIFMA international statistics report the entire U.S. office furniture market, including RTA, to be right around $12 billion for 2008. According to Bush Industries Inc. CEO Jim Sherbert, about a quarter of that goes to companies with less then 100 employees and of that, about $700 million of the market share is telecommuters. Bush’s easy, fast and affordable office solutions use furniture and logistics technologies to meet needs of those markets. Meeting Technology with Technology

Bush understands what is important to the sub-100 employee customer base. Whether in a home or office setting, small businesses are typically busy businesses that maximize time and space. Few people can dedicate several hours of professional time to tearing open a box containing 100 pieces, unfolding a road map of instructions in three different languages and assembling a complicated RTA project. Durability and aesthetics are impor-

tant, particularly for clients who literally have to live with their offices, but purchases have to make sense economically. “Small business owners have lots on their minds,” explains Mike Evans, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Bush. “They often think of funds as their money, not like they come out of an abstract budget. Affordability is crucial.” Every business, no matter the size, is a big business in the eyes of the person doing the work. It has to be, any job worth doing is worth doing well. With this in mind, Bush engineers their modular office casework and desking to live up to the user’s expectation of quality. In the spring of 2009 they launched three new collections of Work@Home ANSI/ BIFMA certified professional home office furnishings for the telecommuter, and expanded their Quantum, Milano and Enterprise commercial series. Bush uses quality hardware combined with proprietary panel processing technology to make office solutions that have the look and feel of premium custom furniture, but at a fraction of a cost. At the end of the manufacturing line, their carefully designed packing process allows the light-assembly products to be sent via UPS to any zip code in the U.S.

smart Even in today’s economic climate, the demand for contoured work surfaces continues to increase. Stiles is proud to introduce a smart solution for contour edgebanding challenges. The Vector Revolution 180 is truly innovative with its simple operating logic. Visit to watch a video of the machine in action and learn more about how the Vector Revolution 180 is a smart solution. For more information, visit or contact Stephan Waltman at 616.698.7500 or

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versatile Wemhöner pressing solutions from Stiles set the standard for versatility and production integrity. For faster lay-up of parts and reduced labor, the automatic Variopin® system eliminates the need for fixture boards and provides speed and efficiency. Membrane pressing technology delivers a better heat transfer to help the foil stretch and provides a higher quality glue line. Versatile Wemhöner pressing solutions maintain the integrity of your products with a consistent, durable finish. For more information, visit or contact Stephan Waltman at or 616.698.7500.


“We have a consumer group that takes care of pre- and post calling, as well as punch list resolution, so we are able to give even small businesses the feel of big business installation and customized service.” BUSH INDUSTRIES INC. CEO JIM SHERBERT


While divisions of Bush do sell big orders to larger corporations, the typical telecommuter or small business only needs a few pieces at a time. Bush believes that this segment of the market still deserves easy access to quality goods, and has a multi-faceted sales model to provide that service. According to Sherbert, sales in this market break down approximately like this: 1/3 the employer does the purchasing and has the furniture delivered, 1/3 the telecommuter does the purchasing and the employer reimburses them in full or in part, and the remaining third act on their own behalf. Ed Bonner, Bush’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales, says Bush sells its commercial products through dealers, online furniture re-sellers (e-sellers) and via the contract side of office super stores such as Staples, Office Depot and Office Max. This diversified approach helps Bush to reach customers telecommuting from outlying areas. “For the companies that send people home, we build a couple of standard solutions, and then we will actually create a brochure for the individual company, with their logo, and

if applicable, the reseller’s logo. It explains how to order and receive the furniture. The employees pick from that selection, and get a discount that makes it a little better than if they buy it themselves,” says Bonner. Bush is also working on intuitive, shopper insightsbased Internet tools that will facilitate this customized buying experience on the web. FAST

Speed relates to Bush office solutions in terms of delivery and installation. Once an order is received it typically ships the next business day, either from Bush’s 1.1 million square foot assembly and distribution center in Erie, Pennsylvania or the west coast distribution point in Reno, Nevada. Orders are shipped via UPS directly to any zip code in the U.S. By engineering components and packaging that is UPS-able, a unique feature for large pieces of furniture, Bush is able to deliver product in 3-5 business days. Products arrive in easy -open cartons, and with a pull of the zip tab, the components are available, packed in the order necessary for assembly. Flat surfaces (top, back and side panels) are flat packed, while drawers,

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circle #14 on reader service card

pedestals and overhead storage pieces come in a box. Bush furniture uses a combination of quick-assembly fastening solutions called Install-Ready™ , that makes the light assembly as easy as possible. With a half turn of a few cam-locks the components come together with a secure dowel and groove joint. If lightassembly is prohibitive for a customer for any reason (time constraints, stairs etc.) then Bush has a solution for that too. A contracted third party installation company will bring the furniture to the location, assemble it, polish the furniture, clean up and remove the packaging. No matter who performs the installation, orders can be tracked from any point of origin through delivery and follow-up via an EDI (electronic data interchange) system between carriers. “We have eliminated or minimized the customer service issues that can occur when distributing small lot sizes,” says Sherbert. “We have a consumer group that takes care of pre- and post calling, as well as punch list resolution, so we are able to give even small businesses the feel of big business installation and customized service.” Affordable

People who work from home spend a lot of time at their desks, and they want to be able to do the necessary tasks without worrying about scratching the finish. Worse yet is a work surface that does get nicked, and the flaw becomes a distraction. What people want are large, durable work surfaces that will look good in the long term.

Bush Industries has been manufacturing casegoods for 50 years, and has spent the past decade developing a proprietary Diamond Coat work surface process. The resulting product provides a very cost effective solution that is one of the most durable surfaces in the furniture industry. Independent testing shows that the Diamond Coat has up to ten times the scratch resistance of competitive products. It also gives furniture featuring the specially engineered surface superior clarity, depth of visual and smooth feel normally associated with high-end custom furniture. Combining the Diamond Coat surface with TFM, laminate and full extension ball bearing slides, allows Bush to offer beautiful and functional office solutions at very affordable prices.

fast Would you like to produce twice as much in a fraction of the time? The Weeke BHX 500 from Stiles can process two panels simultaneously with 32mm line boring, two dado grooves on the Y-axis and a toe kick in well under a minute. Designed for routing, boring, and grooving flat panel components, the Weeke BHX 500 is a flexible CNC machining center that addresses just-in-time manufacturing needs. Learn how you can speed up your CNC processing. For more information, visit or contact Stephan Waltman at 616.698.7500 or

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To create the Diamond Coat, Bush initially used a robotic spray line in their Erie, PA manufacturing site. This line applied a UV cured poly coating to MDF substrates with recoatable paper laminates. Most recently, significant enhancements in the process were achieved when Bush reached an agreement to use the latest European decorative laminate treating process. The resulting patented method is now being used for the first time on furniture. It features a micro-encapsultation technology that suspends specifically engineered particulates in a melamine resin layer. Key suppliers in the process include Tafisa, Uniboard, Panolam, Süddekor and Langboard. When Evans started with Bush 11 years ago, the


DiamondCoat was his first assignment. “The new process is working so well that we can get a flooded finish with extremely good clarity of the décor paper, which is something that does not always happen with melamines,” says Evans. “We have developed specialized press plates that give the surface the optimal smoothness without being high-sheen or glossy, which is not ideal for a work surface that people have to look at all day.” Bush manufactures panels in its 450,000 square foot facility in Jamestown, NY. This facility features a Grecon laminator, Schelling panel saws, over a dozen Homag edge treatment lines, Homag BAZ CNC router, band and boring centers, Morbidelli boring machines


and Koch door lines. To maintain efficient production of the many components and finishes offered within the commercial and Work@Home lines, Bush runs relatively small lot sizes on a frequent basis. Complete unit SKU’s are manufactured to stock and shipped to order, usually the within one day.

Working For the Telecommuter

According to Forrester independent technology and market research company, more than 34 million adults in the U.S. telecommute at least occasionally. That number is expected to increase by 43% to 63 million telecommuters by 2016. Already Bush Industries receives around 10,000 individual commercial orders a month, and considering the advancing fields of communications and collaboration tools, business is likely to increase. At the moment Bush employs around 500 people (and yes, some of them telecommute) at the three North American manufacturing and distribution facilities. The combined efforts of those people make it possible for every telecommuter to order high-quality office solutions and have them installed within 3-5 days. If you are one of those millions of telecommuters, maybe you are reading this feature in the digital edition on Surface & Panel’s new website. The site launched early in November 2009, and is designed to be an integrated on-line resource center for materials, technology and design. The site is ever-evolving, so visit often for supplementary information, links and image galleries. Feel free to join our digital community and post feedback in the forum. Then get back to work. s&p

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How Unlikely Partners Crafted National Legislation to Protect Consumers: The Road to Stewardship on Formaldehyde Landmark legislation calling for a national standard on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products was introduced in the U.S. Senate in September 2009. The road that led to the national effort that is now underway was several years in the making and has become a priority focus of the Composite Panel Association (CPA) and the Sierra Club. The road began on the west coast in September 2001 when California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) started a process to regulate formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products and develop a comprehensive Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM). The stage was set for an “us versus them” struggle, with industry pitted against an environmental regulatory agency, but it didn’t quite work out that way. The North American composite panel industry (the manufacturers of the panels directly subject to regulation by California) decided early on that the right approach was one of constructive engagement and stewardship with the state regulators in California. Led by the CPA, industry struck out on a road less travelled. A six-year regulatory effort commenced involving industry, California authorities and public interest groups. In April 2008, CARB gave final passage to its ATCM for

“Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products,” a rule that has become the most stringent production standard on formaldehyde emissions in the world. California’s ATCM is reducing average emissions by up to 85% and putting in place a tough but fair system of third party testing and certification, along with chain of custody documentation to make sure compliance is universal. The days of domestic manufacturers

being held to tough regulatory standards while offshore manufacturers operated without concern for US regulatory oversight was about to be over – and the winner was the US consumer. The North American composite panel manufacturers quickly embraced the new rule, though some others did not. Domestic manufacturers made it a high priority to become compliant with CARB Phase One emission limits [see chart below] months in advance of the January 1, 2009 deadline. Phase One represents a carefully considered path forward to the more stringent Phase Two (final) emission requirements that begin in 2010 and 2011, and the domestic industry is already preparing to meet those requirements.


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“EPA’s notice included a range of complex regulatory options. All of them led to a rule making process that would be divisive and drag on for years. We knew right away there had to be a better way. We reached out to other industry groups and environmental advocates, as well as to regulators in California and at EPA.” TOM JULIA, CPA PRESIDENT

California’s approach to formaldehyde regulation is working, and CARB has shown continued willingness to work with industry to modify some of its implementation processes that were not fully considered when the rule was first written. CARB has also stood up to those interests wanting to repeal the rule or exempt themselves from its coverage. And in Asia, where so much of the world’s panel production takes place and exports of finished goods to the US are significant, much of the panel industry has started to embrace the CARB rule. That’s the good news for consumers. The bad news is that the CARB rule is unenforceable outside of California. Thus, questions about the lack of a national standard quickly became a topic of conversation among not only environmental groups and government regulators, but also within industry groups now regulated by CARB. Those questions took on a new urgency when high formaldehyde emissions levels in FEMA-issued trailers for Hurricane Katrina victims grabbed headlines in 2008. This prompted the Sierra Club to file a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in mid year. Signed by 5,000 citizens and many interested groups, the petition called on EPA to develop a national regulation for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products based on the California rule. In response EPA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule making in December 2008 and set the stage for a complex rule making with no certainty about its reach and outcome. The CPA acted quickly, and with strategic and pragmatic considerations in mind. According to CPA President Tom Julia, “EPA’s notice included a range of complex regulatory options. All of them led to a rule making process that would be divisive and drag on for years. We knew right away there had to be a better way. We reached out to other industry groups and environmental advocates, as well as to regulators in California and at EPA.” In that outreach, CPA began an unlikely collaboration with the Sierra Club, organized labor, housing and other environmental organizations – as well as key industry partners – to craft national legislation to spur EPA in its rule making process. The fruit of this collaboration was introduced as legislation in the U.S. Senate on September 11th of this year. S. 1660, The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, would establish the first ever national standard for product emission ceilings. It also directs EPA to implement regulations on testing, certification, record keeping and enforcement to give American consumers the highest level of confidence about composite wood products used in building construction and purchased for their homes and offices. “By focusing on our shared commitment to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products through an enforceable standard, CPA and the Sierra Club have forged a strong partnership to protect all Americans,” said Tom Neltner, Co-Chairman of the Sierra Club’s National Toxics Committee. 30

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), is based on the CARB regulation, and would add a new section to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and require EPA to enact a national rule in the next couple of years. Senators Klobuchar and Crapo sit on the Environment and Public Works Committee as well as the relevant subcommittee that oversees TSCA. In addition to the two chief sponsors, fifteen Senators from both sides of the aisle have already signed on to sponsor the bill, and a companion bill will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives. A national standard, modeled on California’s approach, will ensure that composite wood products are manufactured with the most stringent formaldehyde emission limits in the world; encourage the development of lower emitting and alternative technologies; and establish a transparent chain of custody for purposes of enforcement. The latter includes manufacturer-based quality assurance measures along with third party testing and certification to give consumers the highest level of confidence in the composite wood products they purchase, no matter where in the world they are manufactured. The legislation does not copy the CARB rule but instead extracts its core components and writes them into TSCA.

Why a national standard? The reasons are many and include these: • Avoid a proliferation of state regulations that will confuse consumers and industry alike; • Avoid future concerns such as those raised about emergency housing units provided by FEMA to those displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and • Provide the highest level of public confidence in all products made with composite panels (particleboard, MDF and hardwood-plywood); • Level the economic playing field so that manufacturers who are willing to meet rigorous emissions standards are not placed at a substantial competitive disadvantage; and • Promote green jobs North American manufacturers of composite wood products have put in place rigorous programs to meet the California rule. “While almost 100% of US production is now California compliant, without a national standard it will be difficult to monitor the compliance of products sold and imported into states outside California, as well as those manufactured offshore,” said Julia. “CPA believes a national standard is the right thing to do, that California has provided a starting point, and that the bill now before Congress represents a rare bipartisan opportunity to serve the American public,” he added. Other organizations supporting the legislation and participating in its development include the Alliance for Healthy Homes, American Forest & Paper Association, APA-The Engineered Wood Association, Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association, National Center for Healthy Housing, National Environmental Health Association, Sierra Club, United Steelworkers Union, among others. For more information, please contact the CPA or follow the progress of the legislation at s&p R E S O U R C E S

Composite Panel Association (CPA) | U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) | Sierra Club |

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istorically, hospitals in the United States were not cheery places. According to the National Association of Public Hospitals, most Americans in the early nineteenth century gave birth, endured illness and even underwent surgery at home. The largely rural population had few occasions to visit hospitals, and did everything they could to avoid ending up in the dreaded institutions. Before the turn of the century, hospitals in the United States were primarily almshouses that provided care and custody for the ailing poor with no family. Winding up in a hospital was a hopeless, desperate and scary thing. Then in the early 1920’s something amazing happened. Medical treatment became effective. Advances in medical training, pharmacology and sterilization made hospitals places where one could hope that illness might be treated, or even cured. People started bringing their health issues out of the homestead and into the medical community. Economic historian and professor at the Miami University in Ohio, Melissa Thomasson, says that beginning in the 1920’s hospitals were able to focus on happy outcomes, and even started marketing themselves as places to have babies. With the development of health insurance, people no longer waited until they were deathly ill to seek treatment. Hospitals started to see patients for minor concerns and preventative medicine.


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“It is sometimes a challenge to find materials that look really good but can stand up to a harsh healthcare environment.” L auren Marshall, interior designer, Perkins & Will

The past 90 years have seen astounding developments in medical treatment and technology. In recent history, hospitals have further enhanced their services by combining high-tech medicine with customer service and tender loving care. Beyond science, an important factor in the quality of patient care is the actual design of the treatment facility, which must perform both functionally and aesthetically. Some guidelines for designing modern medical interiors are rooted in hard science. As early as the 1850’s, Florence Nightingale understood the crucial role of sanitation in successful patient care. Modern design focuses on surfaces that are easy to keep clean and do not harbor contaminates; but it is not enough to be germ-free. Recent studies reveal that emotional components also affect the success of medical treatment. Patient outcomes improve when the healthcare environ-


ment is comfortable and community-like. This new understanding is driving the trend of contemporary hospital design to move away from the “sterile institution style” toward medical facilities that feel more like spas and resorts. “Our main concerns for hospital design are functionality, cleanability and infection control,” says Lauren Marshall, interior designer for the Dallas, TX-based firm Perkins & Will. Marshall recently worked on an addition to the Las Colinas Medical Center, a relatively small, 100-bed facility in Irving, TX. The new amenities include a luxurious VIP postpartum suite and a state of the art cardiovascular program. “For the patient rooms and the VIP suite, LCMC wanted the atmosphere to look fantastic, like a spa or hotel,” explains Marshall. “It is sometimes a challenge to find materials that look really good but can stand up to a harsh healthcare environment.” Although the surgical suites are designed to be purely functional, LCMC’s common areas and patient rooms give the impression of a vacation resort rather then a healthcare facility. To achieve this Marshall specified Wilsonart Contract Flooring in Bamboo-natural throughout the VIP suite. Crossville tile and Tabu veneers were interspersed with HPL and solid surface materials to give a luxury feel to the postpartum suite, which includes a large spacious area for visitors, and Murphy bed for dad, a kitchenette and a separate area for mom to rest.

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Engineered materials provide healthcare designers with high performance decorative options.

Despite all the advances in medicine, there is still a level of stress associated with medical care, and smart providers understand that alleviating apprehension is good for outcomes, and good for business. “We are very proud of our suites because they are truly a differentiator in our market,” says Chip Zahn COO of the Las Colinas Medical Center. LCMC is part of the larger company Hospital Corporations of America, a healthcare organization with over 200 hospitals. “One of the challenges of this work is that we are dealing with patients’ lives on a day to day basis, they are coming in with high anxieties. It is up to us to create an environment for our patients that is not only soothing, but also provides excellent quality of care,” says Zahn. While traditional wood palettes are warm and inviting, Marshall notes an increase in clients seeking a cleaner, more modern look. “Hospitals are fun projects to work on. Particularly now because the design concept is changing,” says Marshall. “Clients are open to using different materials and creating new looks, and with the performance of laminates, it is possible to have variations on white with colors, and to keep that white clean. We typically do built-in custom millwork in all of our patient rooms, and it is almost always engineered laminates.” Decorative surface technology is in sync with the spa-like style of modern healthcare because it offers impenetrable materials with limitless design options. HPL is a popular choice in healthcare settings because it easy to clean, extraordinarily durable and does not harbor germs. Vinyl films are also quickly gaining status within the market because of their unique ability to be profile wrapped around contours and edges, offering great visuals without seams. There is no question that hospitals in the United States are centers where highly trained professionals practice the miracles of modern medicine. But technology and hard science alone do not put patients at ease. Zahn and his team understand that, which is why LCMC does not look or smell like a hospital. It looks like a spa, with inviting furnishings, an executive chef and even a concierge. After all, patient comfort is more than just a marketing tool. It is part of the highly effective holistic model of treatment. s&p

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Behind the Designs


urface design is informed by the same forces of fashion that guide style across many disciplines. Although the connection between office furniture and women’s handbags may not be obvious, they share a common lineage of thought. Two primary philosophies that are driving décor development into 2010 and beyond are the environment and the economy. Jean Guyon, Director of Marketing for Tafisa, observes, “Currently, the most important trend seems to be the need to create elegant rooms with a good value product that meets the requirements to be considered as ‘green’.” A closer look at these concepts reveals how they reinforce each other, and in combination, affect nearly every aspect of architecture and design. While the broad view of style may seem perplexing and arbitrary, there is an underlying harmony to the factors that influence fashion. As trends trickle into specific regions and markets, design professionals in the realm of surface materials are better equipped than ever before to meet the consumer’s increasing desire for customization. “The great thing about laminate is the fact that we are not limited to absolute reality. We can change and edit whatever our source material or manuscript might be to suit the eventual end product,” says Rick Murnane, product designer for Interprint USA. Decorative surfaces present a unique opportunity for the modern designer to have tight control over both the visual of a project and the function. Depending on the application, surfaces can be the star of a design or play a supporting role. This versatil-

ity in material makes it easier then ever to realize pure fashion concepts with different performance characteristics (“value engineering”) or to experiment within the current trend of purposefully mixing opposing styles.

OIKOS The prefix “eco” comes from the Greek “oikos,” meaning “house”. But oikos is more than just a physical edifice, it refers to a household and its operation. As agriculture was by far the greatest asset to the ancients, the quality of the land played a large role in determining how sufficient the oikos was. This concept is also at the root of the economic and ecological sensibilities driving contemporary design. LEFT AND ABOVE: CHEMETAL'S 300 SERIES METAL IMAGES INCLUDE "AGED STEEL" AND "WEATHERED STEEL."



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Designers everywhere are feeling the demand of clients who are concerned with oikos in terms of value and sustainability. Whether in residential or commercial applications, the cautious nature of today’s market requires materials to deliver. According to Ron Gangnon, Vice President of marketing and design for Wilsonart, “Designers are looking for value oriented, proven materials at an affordable price. Technology induces innovation and new materials; Visual and performance attributes are expected to go handin-hand. If something looks good, it also has to perform. It’s expected.”


VALUE-CONSCIOUS The economy is recovering, but the recent recession has re-shaped consumer sensibilities. It has also created an ideal environment for perfecting new technologies. A definitive return to simple, elegant, classic designs reflects the cautious nature of customers all along the value chain. “This year trends driving our product development seem to be related to the economy,” says Geoff Schaefer, Creative Director, Vice President of Chemetal/Treefrog. “It may be considered unfortunate, but it’s also the reality. We’re looking more closely at variations on popular designs. We introduced “The New Classics” in spring 2009, which are variations on our classic metals.”


Just as consumers tend to gravitate toward familiar and comforting styles, many downstream companies are promoting designs that are historical best-sellers. Printers and designers are taking this opportunity to apply cutting-edge technologies to classic favorites. Laser-engraving for print cylinders, opalescent pigment layers and heightened fidelity are some of the ways that printers are bringing new realism to design. In addition, advances in texture and finish are important components in the evolution of surface design. Technology also benefits the boutique end of decorative surfacing, where design is less susceptible to fluctuations of the market. In fact, the conservative nature of mainstream style sets the basis for carefully developed differentiation in the specialty markets. “We are driven to introduce products our competitors do not offer,” says Tony Damiano, President of ABET LAMINATI, Inc. “We do not seek to ride trends set by other laminate producers. Financially viable innovation is our ultimate master.” A hybrid market, well suited to customized design, is growing out of the increasing capabilities of digital printing technology. Specialized printers, quick production and advances in coating and finishing technology make digital printing a cost effective method for developing original manuscripts and shortrun designs. Digitally printed surfaces are gaining popularity as focal points in projects (proprietary logos and images), as well as supporting roles such as flooring.

SUSTAINABLE DESIGNS The underlying trend of environmental responsibility permeates design, both in terms of the origination of materials and their affect on the spaces where they are installed. Although the term “green,” has been over used to the point of spawning a new term “greenwashing” to describe the marketing abuse of the concept, sustainability remains a driving force. Decorative surfaces carried on composite panels have always been very environmentally friendly materials. Composite panels, constructed from pre-consumer recycled wood, make wise use of materials that were once considered wood waste. While the adhesives used in the production of composite panels have faced scrutiny for the emission of VOC’s, those measurements reflect the bare panel, which is effectively sealed with the application of a decorative surface. Still the importance of environmental responsibility, from production to application, cannot be ignored. Companies that manufacture the carrier materials for decorative surfaces are changing their

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2009 production methods to meet the demands of the market. “The biggest trend driving Uniboard’s new product development is our commitment to Green Initiatives in the development of our particleboard, MDF, HDF and Design Trends in the color development of our value-added melamine,” says Susan Doherty, Product Manager for Uniboard Canada Inc. Low-emitting and VOC-free products are just some of the available substrate materials that are engineered to adhere to LEED standards, CARB regulations and other environmental measurement tools. Surfaces can also carry the message of environmental responsibility. Conscientious designers are increasingly specifying laminates that carry the visual of limited resources without actually depleting those resources. This contributes to the popularity of exotic species and old growth designs. New surface designs with large flowers and natural themes connect the interior to the outside world.

Surfacing materials made from recycled content (wood and metal) are in demand, and the visual reminder of re-using resources is also in fashion. Mark Smith, Senior Design Manager for Schattdecor/Décor USA is developing décor designs based on reclaimed materials. “The trend to recycle stems from the whole sustainability movement. The desire to conserve natural resources means more end users are looking for reclaimed materials. Designs based on wood from old barns and log cabins give a sense of history. Plus people have a sense of pride knowing they are preserving trees and beautiful wood.” Décor designs based on recycled materials are an interesting example of art imitating life. A substrate made from recycled materials carries a photorealistic image of reclaimed wood. It is a new approach to using natural resources wisely, and it meets consumer’s desires to have beautiful materials without compromising environmental integrity.



THE HOUSE OF STYLE Contemporary interior fashion, in general, employs diverse materials for visual and tactile effects. It is not uncommon to see stone, glass, metal and wood working together to create a cohesive look. Contrast within a project is prominent, with divergent styles (shiny + matte, old + new, textured + smooth, organic + luxurious) purposefully used to add interest. In light of this, surface designs have become more elegant, with subtle tonal gradients and clearly defined intentions. The brilliance of emerging surface design is in the harmonious juxtaposition of opposites. It draws inspiration from nature and technology. It takes advantage of the economic climate to reinvent a baseline of realism while introducing rich colors, textures and compositions that are impossible to find in nature. Although fashion’s criteria are always changing to reflect the feelings of the market, the goal for decorative surfaces remains the same: to develop great designs that will stand the test of time. A SUBSTRATE MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS CARRIES A PHOTOREALISTIC IMAGE OF RECLAIMED WOOD IN THESE FLOORING PATTERNS BY SCHATTDECOR. LEFT IS "MAURITIUS" AND BELOW IS "CANYON BAMBOO."


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Contemporary Surfaces Disclaimer: The following information is meant to provide and introduction to emerging colors, finishes, and designs. It is a summary of information collected from many different sources that serve the interior design community in general. The next section of the Surface Design Guide will explore in more detail how surface design relates to different areas of the market.

BEYOND SUPERFICIAL From the intriguing world of fashion, surface design professionals divine what colors, textures and patterns the future holds. It is a relative art. “Trend colors are developed in conjunction with other materials used in interior design, including fabrics, carpet, etc. Most are inspired through fashion and honed through Color Marketing and other trend watching organizations,” says Lana Cella, Product Manager for American Renolit. Although fashion shifts according to region and market segment, there are some design themes that transcend those differences. While a pervasive warmth drawn from familiar sources is driving fashion, technology enables new interpretations of what people already know and love. “Colors are moving toward chameleon neutrals and saturated strong colors, says Jane Brecht, Design Development manager for OMNOVA Solutions Inc. “Light and the use of light is becoming a more important design feature. In surfaces it is simulated with lustrous inks and coatings. That technology will continue to offer new visuals that may not have a color name.”

Fashion’s inclination toward mixing styles has led to surface designs that are simple and clean. According to Gwen Petter, Director of Surface Design for Wilsonart, “This is a modern movement. Tone on tone, ‘less is more interiors’ feature soft movement, subtle pattern and low contrast.” In addition to natural manuscripts and accents Petter says, “Simple color combinations dominate: classic black/ classic white/ classic black and white are still viable.”

COLOR Neutrals are becoming more colorful, and are often used in contrast with darker hues. Earthy colors that convey comfort, such as brown, gray, amber, beige and eggshell are important. When considering the neutrals, there is a connection to the things that make people feel cozy. In one sense, long standing security reminiscent of weathered-wood, soil and worn heirlooms is encouraging. But comfort is also drawn from the little luxuries that provide dayto-day reassurance, things like mocha, coins and scotch. White is still a stand alone, and black is beginning to push forward in varying values. Both black and white are added to the bolder neutrals for temperature control. This also creates an organic “ashy” effect that softens the more colorful neutral palette.

The subtlety of well-mannered surface designs is balanced by pops of contrasting lively hues. This palette of brighter, crisper colors: orange, lilac, purple, turquoise, leafy green, soft yellow, clay and deep red, unapologetically relates to the same colors used in nature to draw attention. Conversely, these vibrant colors also represent the high-tech digital impetus of design, showing up in geometric, floral and abstract patterns. Color is even used to enhance organic designs beyond the possibilities of nature, demonstrating the capacity of laminate surface designs to go beyond standard.


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exotics and domestic woods, which are more complex and elegant in very dark colors, with less contrast than previous years, “ says Albert. The exception to the tone on tone of wood designs is the development of linear grains, often accented with beige, which fit nicely into the trend of wood grains running horizontally. Striated wood designs (bamboo and walnut for example) are emerging in both subtle color combinations and starker contrasts. Re-mastered classic designs incorporate layers of iridescent inks to enhance light play and design fidelity. And laminated wood veneers, such as in Laminart’s new VeneerArt line, offer architects the opportunity to use real wood in surface applications that require the performance of HPL. New technologies and ideas are also taking wood to places it has never been before. Source materials for manuscripts are undergoing surface treatments, such as white washing and worn paint, to mimic the effect of genuine wear on boards, but with more “highend” appeal. Designers are also keeping the structure of wood, and re-coloring portions of the manuscript (and occasionally the entire design) with supernatural hues. Organic cellular patterns, textiles and graphic designs are influencing abstract designs. Traditional floral and plant motifs have been re-invented to fit modern, optimistic design expectations. While some clients claim to be “all granited out” there is still a place for natural stone, particularly marbles based on current colors. According to Rick Murnane, product designer for Interprint USA, “Ceramic and glazed looks are gaining strength with stone. There is a need for the human touch.”

Metal also plays an important role in the current colors of surface design. Stainless steel and pewter add a high-tech effect, while soft gold and bronze give old world warmth. Metallic-influenced colors neutralize design compositions, helping them to assimilate into larger project themes.

INNOVATIONS IN DESIGN Global and cultural influences are translated through color and materials. The market, influenced heavily by the economy and environmental responsibility, has prompted a re-invention of classic wood designs, as well as a turn toward exotic species. Other natural looks, stone, marble and metal, are also being made over. Abstract and geometric patterns continue to pique the interest of futureoriented designers, and have absorbed some of fashion’s nature-oriented sensibility. Ethnic accents are creeping into focus. Meanwhile solid colors, both in flat matte finish and luminescent pearl, are used throughout projects to compliment patterned designs. Wood designs continue to make up a large portion of laminate surfacing. In the realm of realism, rustic and distressed styling, including the “recycled look” is popular. According to Beverly Albert, Marketing Coordinator for Süddekor, “When times are tough there is a lot of focus on the home being a haven. Because of this, the weather-worn looks are comforting and deep, dark, rich woods create a warm, mellow atmosphere.“ Laminate surfaces, by nature of their construction, permit the look of rare species without threatening their existence. “There is an increase in



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SURFACE AND LIGHT According to Hans Mutzke, Design Director for Laminart, “The future of surfaces is about finishes, and how light bounces off the dimensionality.” Cella agrees, “Surfacing is not just about appearance, but also touch. The texture, gloss and feel of the surface can make a big difference in the perception of quality and design sense.” Surface design’s love affair with light is forged through many smaller relationships. Large and boutique companies alike are employing iridescent inks, textured papers, coating technology, press plates and inclusions to enhance the colors and patterns of surface design. High gloss finish as a trend has been strong in Europe, and it is gaining ground in North America. At the same time, super-matte solids are being added as complimentary choices. Embossed overlays are continually being refined to increase design fidelity. Paula Lozano of Lamitech says, “Finishes, without a doubt, is one of the more important new trends – not only Gloss and Matte, but vertical and horizontal lines, stone looks and natural woodgrains.” Inclusion overlays, which are embedded with natural fibers or metal shavings, are another method of adding depth to laminate surfaces. Chemical embossing methods are also being employed to give decorative foils unprecedented 3-dimensional visual effects.

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THE FIT Surfaces have an obligation to work in concert with the other materials used in interior design. They must be versatile enough to be a focal point or a supporting element as the project requires. Though inspired by fashion, they must also perform, standing up to the demands of the application and the environmental expectations of the end users. To learn more about the surface materials that carry these carefully conceived designs, be sure to take advantage of the CPA’s upcoming Continuing Education Credit dedicated to surface materials and their applications, running in Surface & Panel magazine's 2010 Buyer’s Guide. And check the new online resource for up-todate information that unites materials, technology and design.

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Surfaces Applied


Choosing a surface material for a project requires the evaluation of criteria beyond aesthetics. Where is the project located geographically? Even common design sensibility varies regionally. What are the environmental demands? Function must be taken into consideration when specifying surfacing. Carefully chosen products, engineered for precise performance standards, can stretch design budgets significantly without compromising the objective.

GEOGRAPHICA Although underlying trends transcend geographical boundaries, location influences design. In general, European markets tend to be more open minded to color, metallic finishes and abstract/ geometric designs. The North American market, particularly the United States, tends to have a more conservative design sensibility, though the expression of that varies substantially from region to region. Considering the audience and space limitations, this portion of the Surface Design Guide is geared toward the North American market. European influence enters the United States via manufacturers who have counterparts on the continent, dedicated design professionals and the North Eastern Canadian (Quebec) market. Those styles are regionally tailored as they flow throughout North America. Overall, palettes tend to reflect the local environment. Darker colors are favored in colder areas. Throughout the southern states, pastels and lush colors are favored in the east, with dustier variations dominating the southwest. Both coasts are considered to be more fashionforward, though the east coast is more severe and the west coast more experimental.


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Unlimited selection

SERIGRAFIA 2009: new patterns


RESIDENTIAL Most Americans have morphed into consumers who place long-lasting value above cheap, disposable goods. This is in part due to tighter lending practices. To that end, they look for surfacing with traditional, strong neutrals, which can be easily accented throughout time to change the look of a room. “Modest luxe� describes that consumer who still desires nice things, but is wary of opulence. Style that lends itself to translucency and light is an underlying character of contemporary residential design. It is subdued, but optimistic and clean. For functional pieces, people seek storage solutions that look like furniture. Because the kitchen is the hub of the home, it is an area where people are willing to take a few risks and personalize their environment, particularly in terms of direction of woodgrain, color/metal accents and finishes. The use of textile and graphic designs on decorative foils/papers for interiors (closets, cabinets, drawers etc.) to create a secondary retro-look is also popular. Regardless of the room, consumers are sensitive to sustainability, and want to feel good about the products they purchase.


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These areas are tied together because they are both heavily influenced by technology and require surfaces that can stand up to significant abuse. Modular furnishings that can be easily COURTESY OF WILSONART reconfigured are important. In both sectors there is a movement toward group efforts, but it is also necessary to provide people with areas where they can work uninterrupted. These environments tend toward sure value, rather then flair. Uncomplicated mild-tone wood and warm colors dominate. Surfaces need to cooperate with lighting and be non-competing with technology (computers, light boards, AV equipment etc.).


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HEALTHCARE Norman Rosenfeld FAIA, FACHA is principal of Norman Rosenfeld Architects. He has been designing hospitals for 40 years. In that time he has witnessed a huge change in surface materials, noting that they are now more design oriented. A contemporary objective for healthcare facilities is the enhanced patient experience. “Creating an environment that makes a patient feel like they are going into a facility that provides good healthcare, because someone cares about how the place appears and how it is maintained, is important,” says Rosenfeld. “Patients are apprehensive, and the appearance is the only evaluation a layman can make entering a facility.” This shows up across healthcare as a turn toward comforting, almost spa-like interiors. “It is clear that the concern for infection is very high, so one must specify materials that are either innately infection proof or can be easily cleaned,“ says Rosenfeld. And those materials need to look good throughout their 10-15 year lifespan, or else the facility looks behind the times. Color palettes are classic and clean, avoiding trends in general, though white and woodgrains are increasingly popular choices. Because all surfaces, flooring, walls, corner guards, furnishings etc. need to be aseptic, seamless materials, such as 3-D laminates, and non-porous surfaces such as HPL and solid surface, perform well in healthcare environments. “Lighting is another core issue,” says Rosenfeld. “One wants to provide lighting appropriate to the task without blasting the area. And types of light that render the skin color accurately are important.” Rosenfeld also says that clients are regularly asking for LEED certification on projects.


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These market sectors promote a sense of welcome and comfort. They are charged with providing visitors with an “experience.” To accomplish this, designers of restaurants, coffee shops, theatres, venues and casinos are given more freedom of design themes and can employ more interesting material palettes. Contemporary graphic designs, as well as bright colors and specialty surfaces that impersonate other materials, such as Dackor’s embossed leather design, are all tools available to entice patrons into service-based businesses. Specifying materials for high traffic areas requires special consideration for wear. The trend toward dimensionality also has a functional advantage of hiding scuff marks. Water- and scratch- resistant HPL, with décor paper or real wood veneer is the workhorse of horizontal surfaces. Decorative metals, TFM, traditional veneers and vinyl films are great options for vertical surfaces.


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The areas of retail and store fixtures have experienced both design expansion and contraction within recent history. Darayus Kolah, architect and retail specialist for Brand + Allen Architects Inc. in Houston says,” I think under current conditions, innovation and budget are very important. Even the larger retailers, where we used to see that price was not an issue, even they are now very conscious about cutting costs.” Kolah would know, his firm designs stores for luxury retailers, such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci, as well as specialty stores like Fendi. Although retail design is very fashion-conscious, the economic downturn hit the market hard and it is still recovering. “Right now we do not always use the materials we would like to use. We keep up on new materials and technology, but everything has to adhere to the budget and be abusive resistant.” Textured panels, HPL, glass, resin panels with inlays and metals are some of the popular choices for retail environments.



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Store interiors work to find the balance between being attractive and unique, yet not competitive with the merchandise. “We do a lot with lighting, splitting the budget between the surface materials and lighting fixtures,” says Kolah. “You could do a design fairly inexpensively, but you can really make it sparkle if you have done your lighting properly. Both surface and light are important for the wow factor.” Higher end retail chains typically customize individual stores to fit the local character. Digitally printed designs are thriving in more mid-range stores, where logos, unique patterns and large graphics are effective design elements, on floors and wall surfaces alike.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Architects and designers are charged with the task of staying just ahead of unfolding trends and right on top of material technology. Translating client and consumer values into projects that adhere to budget and performance guidelines require professionals to be artists and engineers. Fortunately, most suppliers share this burden. The surfacing industry, from manufacture through conception and application, shares a common goal: to unite materials, technology and design. s&p


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Life Cycle Inventory Compares the

Environmental Performance of Composite Wood and Alternative Materials



emand for green building products continues to grow, as does consumer confusion. It’s an ongoing challenge to identify credible ways to compare competing products, as well as to make environmental claims that are more than “green washing.” Life-cycle inventory (LCI) and assessment (LCIA) methodologies provide one of the most important answers to these challenges. Recently a science-based study was conducted to examine the environmental performance of particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF) products versus competing products made of steel, concrete, plastic and/or glass based on LCI and LCIA methodologies. The study was based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) practice of examining both manufacturing impacts as well as the totality of all impacts. The latter includes resources in-ground as well as those used in product manufacture. Also assessed were the products’ carbon storage, carbon footprint, net carbon, global warming potential, acidifi cation, eutrophication, and smog indices. Based on objective and standardized ISO data inputs and analysis, the results clearly demonstrate a significant degree of preferability for wood over alternative materials. When comparing energy consumption, carbon storage and environmental pollution, wood as a naturally renewable and sustainable resource is the material of choice for environmentally conscious manufacturers, specifiers and consumers.


Consumers are growing the green marketplace in part because they have to “go green” as a result of standards and codes, and in part because they want to go there. The challenge for the consumer is to determine what is really green. Science-based guidance comes from ”cradle to grave” analysis, which documents the environmental impact of a product from manufacturing (in-ground resources through all aspects of production and transportation to produce a finished product). If a product’s end-use and method of disposal or recycle is known, a cradle-to-grave analysis can also be done. These analyses can be used to establish whether or not a product is green by assessing its impact upon such environmental factors as resource use, climate change (net carbon flow), energy use, and emissions; as well as how its performance compares to alternative product selections. 46

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Copies of the complete LCI reports for particleboard and MDF are available from the Composite Panel Association (CPA) at or

Densities of materials in units of kg/m3; particleboard 746, MDF 741, hot rolled steel 7,850, cement 3,120, HDPE plastic 950, and flat glass 2,440.


All materials, processes and actions have some type of environmental impact for their production, use, and disposal. When selecting a material or product, the best approach is to choose one with the least environmental impact that still meets its use requirements. LCI and LCIA data can be used to compare alternative material selections, ideally based on the intrinsic use of the material in an intended product such as office furniture or building construction. Particleboard, MDF, and most of the alternative materials, are generally purchased on a volume basis. Therefore, the environmental impacts of the various materials are given per volume (1.0 m3) considering all impacts from cradle-to-gate. [see Table 1]. The volume values can be converted to weight (1.0 kg) values using the densities of each product.1 As shown in Table 1, in terms of emissions to air, water and soil, particleboard and MDF perform better than alternative materials. They have a smaller carbon footprint for their production than all but glass, store more carbon than all but plastic, and they are the only materials to have a net carbon negative that not only offsets their carbon footprints, but can also offset CO2 in the atmosphere. Wood panels also result in less acidification and smog contribution than any of the alternative materials. SUMMARY

By using international standards for life cycle inventory data evaluation, a comparison was made of particleboard and MDF to alternative materials of steel, cement, plastic, and glass. In almost all cases the wood composite products performed better than non-wood materials in terms of in-ground resource use, fossil fuel use, and water use. Likewise the wood products performed better in terms of their carbon footprint which is also a measure of their impact on global warming. Thanks to stored carbon, the wood products were found to be carbon negative – an attribute that makes wood even better than climate neutral. It also allows for the offset of additional CO2 emissions created by transportation, use, and disposal, and an offset for CO2 in the atmosphere. Choose wood, and invest in a truly green environment! s&p



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A New Approach


dvances in digital printing technology are the new frontier of décor printing. Bipan-Astrid, a subsidiary of the Italian industrial Gruppo Frati, has taken innovation further by applying patent pending inkjet technology to digitally print décor designs directly onto the surfaces of individual HDF flooring planks. Bipan’s new generation of flooring product, called NextFloor, is made with this revolutionary approach. The process combines specialized plank preparation and hot coating technologies with digital inkjet printing to effectively eliminate all the paper-related steps involved in manufacturing conventional laminate products including: paper production, printing décor paper, paper impregnation and the application of paper and


wear layers to standard size panels. In addition to significant cost savings, Bipan’s process reduces waste and environmental impact while offering unprecedented design flexibility. Trends are like winds: they can change direction sharply and unexpectedly. Bipan’s digital direct printing process provides a cost effective means of following trends in real time. But more than that, the technology opens up new ways to market flooring products that were previously impossible to approach, such as custom flooring for special events. Every product in the NextFloor catalog (including all the AC class ranges and décor possibilities) requires the same basic materials: HDF boards, four inks, primer and proprietary hot coating developed by Kleiberit. Available

designs are limited only by imagination, not by existing décor paper storage stocks. And because production time is not dependent on external suppliers’ wait times (printing rolls, printed paper) NextFloor can fulfill small runs and custom orders as quickly and efficiently as bigger jobs. In fact, the printing technology is so precise and versatile that the printer can switch between different décor designs in “zero seconds” without stopping production. Gruppo Frati developed the digital inkjet direct printing equipment and method in partnership with Kodak, and has exclusive rights to the technology as it relates to wood-based panel application. Kleiberit adhesives developed the innovative HotCoating finishing system that uses a simplified line of Barberan

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machinery to apply adjustable coats of extremely flexible and durable reactive PUR to the printed HDF. The overall technology, including applications for furniture components, is promoted on the market by Dieffenbacher, which offers complete plants from panel cutting through final coating. Preparing the Substrate

The direct décor printing process for NextFloor is a series of manufacturing steps applied to the base HDF boards. Preparing the substrate for printing is a two-step procedure. The first step applies a filler coat to a standard size HDF panel to seal and smooth the surface. This also prevents moisture migration from the HDF board to the upper layers. Next a roll coater applies the print base layer coat. Successful digital inkjet décor printing requires the print base coat to have exactly the right degree of absorbency, so that the surface accepts the ink, but the ink does not spread sideways. This receiving layer will also fix the ink after printing, protecting the image from moisture and ultraviolet light exposure. A backside coat of UV lacquer is applied with a single roll coating machine during this phase. As the panel proceeds down the line, a UV dryer cures the bottom of the panel, protecting the bottom of the finished flooring from subgrade moisture. At this point in production the panel is sliced into planks and stored in a buffer between single process phases, a necessity due to the speed differential between individual processes.

Printing the Images

The image files for digital décor printing can come from a scanner (NextFloor uses a Cruse Scanner), professional digital photo equipment or files created using specialized software. The minimum resolution for the final décor file has to be 300 dpi in a TIFF-RGB format. Proprietary software RIP creates the CMYK color separation files for the printer, which can be modified to correct small defects and sized to match plank dimensions. Quality control for image sampling and color verification is done on the production line without extra setup. Completed décor files are stored on a server for future use, and then prior to printing, the files are queued to the printer, which can cycle through one, or tens of files at a time. The printer makes use of “variable data printing” technology, so elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next without stopping or slowing the printing process. This printing capacity effectively breaks

through the traditional limit of 10 different repeating plank designs common in conventional laminate flooring production. The printing is done with a four-head inkjet printing machine that can run up to 100 meters a minute with a 300 dpi resolution. Each print head is dedicated to just one CMYK color and contains pumps, valves and filters that are governed by system controller software. As ink is pumped in a continuous stream through the nozzles of the print head it is broken into droplets via a piezoelectric actuator. Some of the droplets are charged, and as they pass over the high-voltage deflection plate the charged droplets are deflected to hit the surface. The uncharged droplets are caught in a gutter and returned to the ink supply. The system is very fast because there is no major restriction to speed aside from how fast the ink can be pumped through the print head nozzles.

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“The philosophy behind digital printing is the same as HotCoating. Both emphasize individual, creative design and technical performance.” Jens Fandrey, Director of Project Management, Kleiberit

Digital inkjet printing commonly uses a UV ink or solvent-based ink, which produces the signature inkjet odor. NextFloor’s process is able to use eco-friendly water based inks because of the custom print base coat that fixes the ink and gives the image proper light and water fastness. An added bonus is that the water based inks are cheap, costing about 1/10 the price of UV ink. Protecting the Digital Print

A plank of HDF with a digitally printed image cannot perform as flooring until it receives surface treatment. NextFloor uses a twostep process of HotCoating PUR topped with acrylic UV lacquer to protect the flooring from wear and give the finished product the right appearance of gloss and depth of color. Jens Fandrey, Director of Project Management for Kleiberit headed the team that developed the PUR HotCoating used in the initial finishing treatment. “The philosophy behind digital printing is the same as HotCoating,” says Fandrey, “both emphasize individual, creative design and technical performance.” The high speed of the direct digital printing (about 100m or 330 ft per minute), combined with the water-based inks, makes the con-


ventional process of laminating a wear-resistant overlay impractical. Instead NextFloor uses a reactive PUR HC (Polyurethane Hot Coating) hot melt system to give the surface of their flooring the desired wear resistance. Because the performance is directly related to the thickness of the applied PUR HC layer, the coat weight can be adjusted to meet customer requirements (for example, about 40 grams/sqm are enough to give the surface AC3 class properties). The specialized PUR contains aluminum oxide particles and is solid at room temperature. When melted in the pre-melter the PUR HC is more viscous then traditional liquid lacquer, creating a very homogenous wear layer with extraordinarily shock resistant. A single roll coater applies

PUR HC to the digitally-printed planks, which chemically cross-links with the humidity in the air and the substrate to cure without additional energy sources. The PUR HC treatment is so flexible that it can be profile wrapped or carry dimensional embossing. An additional very thin layer of Kleiberit’s UV curing acrylic lacquer TopCoat allows for precise variations in gloss level and gives the NextFloor surface scratch resistance. It also lets the PUR HC to cure over a longer period without damage because the UV TopCoat gives immediate scuff protection. The Future Now?

Bipan and its partners’ care in developing a viable means of direct digital inkjet printing for flooring is right in line with the demands of the consumer market. In addition to the benefits of producing high-fidelity custom designs at incredible speed, an unbeatable advantage of the digital décor flooring product is its low environmental impact. Compared to conventional laminate products, manufacturing NextFloor takes significantly less energy and creates less pollution. And considering the ecologically benevolent nature of waterbased inks and surface treatments that perform without emitting VOC’s, NextFloor will certainly get a lot of attention from professionals designing around LEED points. The innovation exhibited by the creators of NextFloor is just one example of how advancing technology can be applied to meet the increasingly high expectations of the consumer market. The applications of direct digital inkjet printing will keep designers and manufacturers busy for a while, but the question always remains, what’s next? s&p Surface

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An innovative finishing system based on a reactive, PUR hot melt system KLEIBERIT HotCoating® is applied like a polyurethane hot melt to the substrate – the coat weight is adjustable depending on


customer requirements. An additional very thin layer (inline) application of KLEIBERIT’s UV curing TopCoat allows for precise variations in gloss level and variations in coloring. The surface is then finished!

All types of surfaces can be finished:

• Flat materials like flooring, doors, flat panels, etc.

• Rolled materials like veneer, paper, etc. al!


• Natural look and feel • durable finish (up to AC5) • Unlimited design possibilities and small batch sizes

Kleiberit Adhesives USA, Inc. 109-B Howie Mine Road Waxhaw, NC 28173 Phone: (704) 843-3339 Fax: (704) 843-4930 email:

the perfect alternative to lacquering circle #21 on reader service card

Surface & Panel ad USA 0809.indd 2

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It’s All About the Customer b y K i m O ’ S u l l i v a n , R o g e r S h a w & Asso c i a t e s


e are all very aware that customer satisfaction is a “key” element to a healthy business model, but how does a company accomplish happy customers on a slim staff? Quest Engineering in West Bend, Wisconsin seems to have no problem balancing this equation in today’s challenging business climate. Quest Engineering was founded in 2001 by Chris Lefeber, President and Todd Lefeber, V. President – brothers and partners. Chris explains, “Our Company utilizes four team members; two in the office and two in production. Although we may only have four team members, we produce a lot of product. The physical space of our facility is 6500 square feet; 5400 manufacturing and 1100 office. Besides a lot of hard work our investment in CNC and automated equipment, Microvellum software and our constant efficiency systems improvements, are the reasons for our success!” “Building a solid reputation is the foundation for our success…it is all about the customer. We founded Quest on the principle of customer service; we take care of the customer. Our customers are busy; they have many aspects to cover on every project. With Quest, the millwork isn’t something they have to worry about. We get the an order, engineer and manufacture the product efficiently, deliver on time, every time, and follow up with any issues before the customer has time to ask. These are basic principles, but they certainly set us apart. Quest Engineering builds commercial casework and architectural woodwork, along with custom closet systems. We specialize in the casework; our plant is set up for efficiencies in casework manufacturing. About 80% of our work is plastic laminate commercial casework,” states President Chris Lefeber. Since customer service is such a high priority for Quest and with a staff of only four they knew the only way to continue to provide this type of “Customer First” philosophy was to take a proactive role in automation of their facility. Chris explains, “We did our research, and a lot of it before we made the leap to Microvellum and CNC at the same time. Our Microvellum was installed prior to receiving the CNC, so we could be familiar with the software and so we could be using the CNC right away. 52

After working through communications with the software and the CNC, we were producing product. I think the most important part of the leap is to learn the software before you get the CNC. Believe me; having that big, costly machine in your plant for the first time is a jaw dropping experience. Knowing that we can get it working right away is a huge comfort.” When asked the question by our staff, “What lead you to choose Microvellum as your manufacturing software solution?” Chris says, “For casework, there is no better tool. The parametric engineering capability of the software is where it stands alone. When you draw a library based product. That software already knows every part and every machine process involved in building that product. There is no making cut lists and such; it is all done for you and done perfectly, and according to how you want to do it.” What sort of learning curve did you undertake when you first got started with Microvellum? “Knowing that it is such a powerful tool, we were a bit nervous. After the install, we started working Microvellum on sample projects to learn the software. The library based platform is great. The products are there, just define all the parameters, and you have your product. We were experienced in AutoCAD, so the platform was familiar. We did not attend any of the training, and although we do not use all of its capabilities, we were using Microvellum efficiently in a month or two. There is no way we would go back.” Chris describes the process prior to automation, “Quest handled all their manufacturing manually. Parts were all cut on a Holz- Her vertical panel saw, then bored on a separate machine, then the back dado was cut, then to assembly. With Microvellum driving the Holz-Her machining center, parts go from the CNC to the bander, then directly to assembly. They run a Holz-Her Uni Master Meta. It is a Hybrid machine. They nest all case parts, then either bore components on the machining center, as a point to point, or on a secondary boring machine. “Our company owns a Holz-Her CNC that links seamless to Microvellum. The service we receive from both Holz-Her and Microvellum is great. We sell on service, we buy on service. We could have bought less expensive machines and software, but it wouldn’t have allowed us our current success.” When asked about the current and future of Quest Engineering, Chris explains, “We have been keeping up with 2008 sales through

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“As we continue to work through the economic downturn, our relationships are key. I tell our customers and our vendors the same thing, ‘We all need to work together in these times and stay flexible.’” CHRIS LEFEBER, PRESIDENT, QUEST ENGINEERING

September, although 4th quarter may tail off a bit. We have the potential to finish strong, if some of the projects that we are contracted for can start soon. In 2010 our plan is to further market diversification and expanding our customer base. Again, the relationships we build with customers are win-win for both parties. They trust us, and we do what we do so they are not let down We continue to grow with control. We don’t want to grow too fast; you can’t maintain our level of customer service in a rapid growth module. Something always gives. We work on relationships with our customers. It is a trust and comfort thing. As we continue to work through the economic downturn, our relationships are key. I tell our customers and our vendors the same thing, “We all need to work together in these times and stay flexible. I am no good without you, and you are no good without me. If we need each other’s help, it only takes a conversation to make the difference.” s&p CIRCLE #22 ON READER SERVICE CARD


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11/18/09 10:11 PM

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O C T O B E R / N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 9 – C A R D VA L I D U N T I L J A N U A R Y 2 010

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Demonstrated Record of Accurately Testing UltraLow Emitting Products such as CARB’S NAF & ULEF as well as Finished Furniture.

• Chamber Testing

CPA’s International Testing and Certification Center

Capacity Significantly Increased in 2009

• Now Offering Daily

QC Testing for Panel Manufacturers

• Accepting New CPA’s International Testing and Certification Center (ITCC) in Leesburg, Virginia, is a state-ofthe-art facility engineered with tomorrow’s ultra low-emitting wood products in mind. In 2009 the ITCC added six new ASTM D 6007 Small Chambers to significantly increase its chamber capacity. These new chambers are available for CARB quarterly compliance testing, daily mill quality control testing, informational/screening tests and servicing new clients. With a demonstrated 12 month track record, the ITCC’s state of ASTM E 1333 and D 6007 Test Specimen Conditioning Room the art sample conditioning area made entirely of inert material ensures accurate results for ultra-low emitting products. The ITCC also features three Large Chambers, perforators, desiccators and a full compliment of physical, dimensional and mechanical property testing.

Clients for Product Certification Services or Informational/ Screening Tests

• Specializing in

Particleboard, MDF, Hardboard and Hardwood Plywood

Opened in May 2008, CPA’s newest facility expands on 40 years of independent, reliable testing services and CPA’s designation as “TPC-1” – the first certification agency in the world to be approved as a Third Party Certifier by the California Air Resources Board. The CPA Formaldehyde Certification Program is the largest and most stringent in North America. CPA also offers its Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) and physical and mechanical certification programs, as well as certification to mill specifications. New ASTM D 6007 Small Chambers for CARB Compliance Testing or Mill QC Testing



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Contact the ITCC today about available services and fees. ITCC | 73 Lawson Road, Suite 101 | Leesburg, VA 20175 | 703-724-1128 Director of Laboratory Services: Director of Certification Services:

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O C T O B E R / N O V E M B E R • 2 0 0 9

Süddekor Introduces New, Domestically Produced Solid-color Array

Blum introduces AVENTOS HK-S

Süddekor North America has announced the launch of nine new, solid-color laminate options, now being produced in the U.S. The new product line has been added to Süddekor’s repertoire in response to industry demands for classic-yet-versatile solids made from sustainable materials that fit into many budgets. CIRCLE #25 ON READER SERVICE CARD

Blum introduces AVENTOS HK-S, the newest in the AVENTOS line of lift systems for kitchen cabinets. AVENTOS HK-S is a stay-lift system that is great for small cabinets like the ones above a large refrigerator.

Lamin-Art Expands VeneerArt Collection

AVENTOS HK-S works with cabinet openings of 7-3/8" to 14-3/16" high and door weights of 4.6 lb to 11.2 lb. Just like our other AVENTOS lift systems, AVENTOS HK-S will be available with either gray or silk white cover caps.

Veneer-Art® High-Performance Wood Veneer by Lamin-Art® has combined CIRCLE #24 ON the natural beauty and classic richness of READER SERVICE CARD real, hand-selected wood with the superior durability of high-pressure laminate. LaminArt introduces the next generation of VeneerArt: a contemporary collection of 18 species and colorations ranging from the traditional Cherry, Maple, and Oak to the more exotic Zebrawood, Bubinga, and Makore.

Rev-A-Shelf Base Organizers with Adjustable Racks


Baking storage has never been more versatile than with the 447 Pull-Out Organizers. Designed for 9" and 12" full height base cabinets, these organizers feature two and three compartments for storing baking sheets and platters. The removable center racks accomodate larger platters and bakeware. The units are made from maple and glides on patented "tri-slides" for stability. Door mounting is a breeze with our patented door mount brackets that provide up to 5" of flexibility for trouble free installation on any door style. CIRCLE #27 ON READER SERVICE CARD


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Flexible Stone Veneer In the past, the luxurious appearance of stone and slate could only be achieved by installing cumbersome slate and granite at very high costs. With Rapha Stone, you can now enjoy the aesthetic appeal of stone in virtually limitless applications. A few of these applications include: columns, interior walls, flooring, showers, and much more! RAPHA Stone is a real stone veneer, 1 to 2 mm thick, sliced from slate blocks. The rough split surfaces and the ever changing color variations in each layer make each leaf a unique piece and a treat for the senses. CIRCLE #28 ON READER SERVICE CARD

Planit Improves Alphacam Alphacam 2010 R1 – the industry standard CAD/ CAM software – brings a redesigned and enhanced user interface, improved 3D Z Contour Roughing, simple 2½D exact, and more. Exciting additions to the Essential module make it the standard for entrylevel systems. The Raster to Vector Add-In and the ability to batch program and nest Autocad DXF Anderson America announces the release of a new technology for files through the CAD to direct ink jet printing on wood, metal, plastic, and composites. CAM 2.0 Add-In, previously This is a very cost effective technology: $.10 - $.15 per sq. ft. available as additional cost items, are now included in all to print high impact digital images directly on to panels. levels of Alphacam.

Anderson COJET Ink Jet Printer for Wood Products




Schattdecor’s Wichita Walnut


43 . . . . . . . Abet Laminati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 . . . . . . . . AET Films/Syndecor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15. . . . . . . . Biesse America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 . . . . . . . Blum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . . . Boise Cascade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . . . . . . . . Clarion Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 . . . . . . . . Collins Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 . . . . . . . Composite Panel Association ITCC . . . . . . . . . 42 . . . . . . . Hopewell Plastics limited . . . . . . . . 2–3 . . . . . . . Interprint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 . . . . . . . Kleiberit Adhesives USA, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 45 . . . . . . . KML Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 . . . . . . . Microvellum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 . . . . . . . . NeGen Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 . . . . . . . . Omnova Solutions, Inc. . . . . . . . . 39 . . . . . . . Panolam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41. . . . . . . . Raphastone USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For 2009 there are several continuing trends that are maintaining popularity in industries ranging from healthcare and hospitality to retail and closets. And Schattdecor is continuing to develop new decors in colors that work well in all of these markets. Natural woodgrains, complete with knots and sap lines, have been gaining widespread acceptance since Neocon and Wichita Walnut is a new décor that gives a fresh twist to a traditional favorite.

21 . . . . . . . Salice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . Smartech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25/26/27 . . . Stiles Machinery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 (BC) . . . . Süddekor LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 . . . . . . . Surface Source International . . . . . 14. . . . . . . . Therm O Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 . . . . . . . Uniboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12. . . . . . . . West Fraser MDF Sales and Marketing . .



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11/23/09 11:51 AM















The Never-Ending Story Each story in Surface & Panel magazine is carefully crafted to include the most relevant information and images available on the featured subject. But inevitably, lots of great material cannot be included due to space limitations. It always makes me a little sad to see great images left out. And sometimes it is downright heartbreaking to turn my back on the fascinating back-stories, humaninterest angles and related endeavors that are often revealed during the research process. The things that we cover in S&P are important to our industry, but they are usually important in other contexts as well. I have often thought, “If I had more space I would love to include….”

The website blows the top off of circulation, providing a convenient way for people from all areas of the industry to refer clients and potential customers to the most powerful sales tool, the third party endorsement. It is all right there, at

I should know by now to be careful what I wish for. If editorial space was what I wanted, I am fully satisfied. Our new website has plenty of room for all the interesting information that I can dig up. But it has more than just that. The website has digital editions of past issues of S&P and will host expanded stories and sidebars. There are image galleries and technical guidelines that convey the many ways materials can be used. An integrated Buyers Guide with enhanced listings helps the specification community find suppliers and manufacturers. And the new site has a community page, a site designed to be an open forum. A place for you (yes, you) to make suggestions, ask questions, weigh in on issues and connect with industry professionals. I do not build websites, but I can tell you this: the new website is not a cheap and easy do –ityourself job. It incorporates cutting edge web-architecture to maximize search engine optimization and drive traffic. It is organized for easy navigation, and designed to be THE online resource for people to find industry/product information, news and events. And the best thing about it is that it is a live site. It is pretty nifty now, but it is made to grow with the industry, so it will continually improve. Just like S&P is your magazine, the new website is your page. And the more people use it, the better it gets. At Surface & Panel we often run stories about technology and how it is important for sustainable business. That is true in publishing too. While studies show there will always be a place for artisan magazines that people can hold, commodity information is better suited to the digital format. Aufderhaar knew we needed both. The past few months have been a whirlwind of organizing information and participating in training sessions. And while the whole project seemed a bit overwhelming at first, there is no doubt that it is a very good thing. And not just for the staff at S&P, but for our audience and advertisers too. Plus the website blows the top off of circulation, providing a convenient way for people from all areas of the industry to refer clients and potential customers to the most powerful sales tool: the third party endorsement. It is all right there, at Check it out, play around the community site and let us know your thoughts. Until next time,

Suzanne VanGilder • Editorial Director •


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Now coordinating your kitchen is as easy as coordinating your wardrobe. Pick out the perfect design and pull it through the entire kitchen with the endless style options of TANDEMBOX intivo. This feature lets you customize your drawers with any design element you choose.

Perfecting motion 800-438-6788 /

Perfecting motion

circle #32 on reader service card

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9/29/09 1:34 PM 11/23/09 10:32 AM

circle #33 on reader service card

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11/23/09 11:44 AM

Surface & Panel 2009 OCT/NOV  

Surface & Panel is the only magazine focused exclusively on the design, manufacture and marketing of panel-based furniture and casegoods. By...

Surface & Panel 2009 OCT/NOV  

Surface & Panel is the only magazine focused exclusively on the design, manufacture and marketing of panel-based furniture and casegoods. By...