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tfl: star of reality tv

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rolling in style

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Finishing matters

countertops 2013

5/28/13 9:53 AM


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house to Feature Industry’s FInest

MaterIals, technology and desIgn

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he land is secured. The architect has been chosen. The Interior designer can’t wait to begin. The possibilities are endless. The architect and designer’s challenge; unite our industries finest materials and technology in new and unique applications to show the world what’s possible in residential interiors.

Nationally recognized architect John Vetter, principal of Vetter Denk Architects along with interior designer Amy Carman, founder of Amy Carman Design have accepted the challenge. John Vetter revealed the materialicious house, also known as the m house, concepts at the Composite Panel Association spring meeting in San Diego on May 7th to industry professionals. When asked about the project Vetter replied, “Integrating the interior and exterior architecture with so many amazing decorative surface materials will be a pleasure and a unique learning experience. We are proud to contribute our expertise to such an inspiring collaboration and innovative home. The m house will certainly surprise and delight.” The m house will provide unique exposure and a wide range of promotional opportunities for participating companies. Never before has a high-quality modern home been built specifically with the interior architecture and surface materials in mind. The selection and use of surface materials, value-added components and finished products in the m house will be documented from beginning to end, providing endless educational and promotional possibilities for every sponsor. As a residential research lab for tomorrow’s modern home, the m house project is all about “what’s possible.” By showcasing the versatility of sponsors’ products, the m house will stretch the imagination in a way rarely discussed in theory….and almost never done in practice. What may have seemed impossible…becomes m-possible in the m house.

c o n t i n u e d

Integrating the interior and exterior architecture with so many amazing decorative surface materials will be a pleasure and a unique learning experience. We are proud to contribute our expertise to such an inspiring collaboration and innovative home. the m house will certainly surprise and delight. – JohN VeT Ter, AIA

☛ surface&panel

hnologies, Inc.

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Q2 2013

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As a residential research lab for tomorrow’s modern home, the m house project is all about “what’s possible.” By showcasing the versatility of sponsors’ products, the m house will stretch the imagination in a way rarely discussed in theory….and almost never done in practice. What may have seemed impossible…becomes m-possible in the m house.

Most consumers can’t tell you exactly what they want, but know what they like when they see it. The m house will reveal the world’s most innovative and compelling decorative surfaces in unique and creative ways. Every room in the house and every product in those rooms will showcase our industry’s best. From floors to walls to ceilings and everywhere in between, look for remarkable innovation from a global list of suppliers. Applications include kitchen, bath, closet, furniture, bedroom, garage, media center, wine room, exterior cladding and much more. The m house is named after our materialicious website www.materialicious.com which focuses on shelter, materials and objects. Materialicious is gaining in popularity around the world. It is a powerful lead generator for our advertisers and over 1000 content providers. With over 700,000 page views each month, materialicious will be used extensively to promote the m house and its sponsors. The m house will be comprehensively documented in still photography, video and feature stories. Features will run in Surface & Panel magazine, online at www.surfaceandpanel.com, on www.materialicious.com and a new digital home dedicated to the project. The combination of each of these media outlets covers business to business (architects, designers and fabricators) and consumers worldwide, representing a powerful promotion machine for each and every m house sponsor. In addition, John Vetter will be the keynote speaker, presenting the latest m house developments at the Decorative Surfaces Conference to be held in New Orleans on November 4, 5 and 6. For more information on the DSC, go to www.surface-conference.com For more information and a sponsorship prospectus, please contact Ryan Wagner at 920262-2080, rwagner@surfaceandpanel.com or me at any time. We will look forward to hearing your thoughts on the m house project and discussing how you can participate in this unique opportunity. All the best,

John Aufderhaar, Publisher | Surface & Panel | jaufderhaar@surfaceandpanel.com | 920-206-1766

Selected students from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) will participate in a summer internship at Vetter Denk Architects. Their challenge: create unique products and applications from m house sponsor materials. The student’s creations will be judged by a panel of MIAD professors, local architects including John Vetter and designates from sponsoring companies. The winning designs will be featured in the m house.

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www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Optimizing for the Future editorial staff from Surface & Panel magazine recently attended the 11th annual Executive Briefing Conference hosted by Stiles Machinery.

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visionary production Companies that are truly forward thinking have a firm grasp of the current marketplace and an aggressive willingness to not just meet the future, but to shape it. fabritec is just such a company.

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Future-driven Operations By design ClosetMaid continually expands and refines its operational model. It is not an effort to sustain current business, but rather to meet the needs of future demand.

publisher

John AufderhAAr/Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 920-206-1766 fax: 920-206-1767 jaufderhaar@surfaceandpanel.com www.surfaceandpanel.com ryAn WAgner, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 920-262-2080 fax: 920-206-1767 rwagner@surfaceandpanel.com

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rolling in style Schattdecor’s Dietmar Höglmeier, sales manager for motorhomes, brings expertise to the American RV market by introducing 3D surface effect Postfoils.

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tFl: star of reality tv TfL recently made its television debut on the A&e network’s popular reality show “Sell this house Extreme.” Despite being introduced to hundreds of thousands of viewers and undoubtedly expanding its fan-base, stardom has not changed TFL; just the public’s perception of the material.

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Finishing Matters A special section highlighting the finishing industry.

advertising

JAke gAWeL, Marketing Director www.materialicious.com/www.surfaceandpanel.com Ph: 920-728-0369 fax: 920-206-1767 jake@materialicious.com

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From the publisher designer spec tami michaels advertiser index From the editor

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Finishing big at home with powder coating spray equipment selection and set-up

circulatiOn

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JennIfer SChroedL/Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 fax: 920 206-1767 jsstudio123@yahoo.com

speaking socially Stressing the importance of a social media presence in today's business environment.

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these Materials are tops Many materials, both natural and engineered, make great countertops. Surface & Panel presents a small sample of some of the great options available.

editOrial directOr

SuzAnne VAngILder/Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 Ph: 608-698-0375 fax: 920-206-1767 svangilder@surfaceandpanel.com art directOr / graphic design

On the cOver: fabritec’s technology makes it an extremely quick and agile manufacturer. Offering a vast array of design and material options for eurostyle frameless cabinetry helps to distinguish the company. On the FM cOver: MasterBrand Cabinets applies the science of process consistency to the art of finishing for predictably excellent results.

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kAren Leno/KML Design, Inc. 923 Forest Edge Circle, Coralville, IA 52241 Ph: 319-430-5108 kmldesign@mchsi.com Composite panel assoCiation Main OFFice

19465 Deerfield Avenue, Suite 306 Leesburg, VA 20176 Ph: 703-724-1128 fax: 703-724-1588 Toll Free 1-866-4COMPOSITES www.CompositePanel.org 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 20175 Ph: 703-724-1128 fax: 703-724-1588 www.itcclab.org

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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

5/17/13 12:55 PM

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4/12/13 9:11 AM 5/17/13 9:09 AM


Decorative Surfaces Conference Coming to New Orleans

www.surfaces-conference.com TCM Americas presents the fourth annual Decorative Surfaces Conference to be held at the Loews New Orleans Hotel on November 4-6, 2013. presented by

The continuing theme of the DSC is to explore the latest advances in surface materials, technology and design. with media sponsors

www.surfaceandpanel.com

www.materialicious.com

If you manufacture, specify or use decorative surfaces in any residential or commercial environment, this conference is for you. Prominent industry leaders will present at this years conference including architect John Vetter, principal of Vetter Denk on the progress of the exciting m house project (see pages 3 – 4 in this issue for details). Decorative surface materials and surfaced composites have rapidly become the products of choice in retail, healthcare, education, hospitality, residential and commercial environments. At the DSC you’ll witness the best this global industry has to offer.

If you are interested in becoming a DSC sponsor, please call Ryan Wagner at 920-262-2080 or John Aufderhaar at 920-206-1766. 8

Make the decision now to attend the DSC in New Orleans. Go to www.surfaces-conference.com to register for the conference and to secure your hotel reservation at the Loews New Orleans Hotel.

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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optimizing For thE Future b y

s u z a n n E

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ditorial staff from Surface & Panel magazine recently attended the 11th annual Executive Briefing Conference hosted by Stiles Machinery. The EBC is not a sales event, but rather a strategic and practical forum that addresses manufacturing challenges and opportunities. By looking at what is now, what is new and what is next, the event provides context that is valuable across the industry. Consider that the roughly 150 attendees (most of whom were executives or educators) represented 18 different market segments. Needless to say, the networking at this event is superb. Economic ForEcast

Everybody wants a crystal ball. The closing keynote presentation “From Doldrums to Opportunities,” delivered by renowned economist Alan Beaulieu, President of ITR Economics, gave a glimpse into the economic future of the United States. Historically ITR’s forecasting has an accuracy rating of 96 percent, so his predications for the next seven or so years provide good context for examining upcoming challenges and opportunities for manufacturing.

AlAn BeAulieu, President of itr economics, gAve A glimPse into the economic future of the united stAtes At the 11th AnnuAl executive Briefing conference hosted By stiles mAchinery.

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To begin with, the US economy is in growth. Not recovery, growth. Yet 40 percent of people in the US think it is still in recession (in large part due to political talking heads and the media). ITR predicts steady growth from now through 2018 with the exception of a mild, consumer-led recession in the late part of 2014. Beaulieu emphasizes that the slight trough in 2014 is not consequential. In his words, “Do not entertain the thought that it is anything like what happened in 2008-2009, even though the media will jump all over it.” The next big problem in the economy is not expected until 2019. With this in mind, ITR predicts that the most significant challenge facing manufacturing in the next five years will be capacity. Considering that many companies made cutbacks in the past five years, 2014 is prime time to reinvest in technology, processes and people so that everything is in place by 2015. To this end, Beaulieu recommends borrowing and spending money now. In his words, “until you can’t sleep at night kind of money,” in order to be ready for big increases in volume. There will also be opportunity to acquire the business and assets of competitors who are ill prepared. WhErE DoEs VolumE comE From?

The recovery period of the past three years was fueled not by mass production, but by fashion and design. In combination with the recent trend of re-shoring, fashion and design not only create products that are desirable enough to export, but also drive advances in technology. Looking forward to the upcoming years of growth, it will be the companies that are flexible enough to produce design-driven products that will succeed. A perfect example of what not to do is the classic face-framed kitchen cabinet. For starters, frames are expensive to produce and unnecessary. But perhaps more importantly, you won’t find face-frame cabinets at any of the foreign design shows because nobody else in the world buys framed cabinetry. The Asian and European markets are very brand conscious. They buy for design. They also favor fancy hardware and gadgetry that is impractical with framed cabinets. Further, styling of the classic American face-framed kitchen cabinet has not changed in decades, so not only is the export potential non-existent, but the product is predictable enough to be mass produced off shore. This speaks to the importance of understanding what is happening outside of North America. The automotive industry is undergoing a similar renaissance of design.

F p

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Technology, Processes and PeoPle

Even in North America it is becoming increasingly important to match product design to individual customer demand, even more so than to demographic. And that is likely to increase with new generations that are accustomed to using technology to participate in the design process. The future could be batch size one for small and large operations alike. Looking ahead, efficiently competing based on design means finding new ways to make new products. In terms of equipment, during a press conference Stiles shared that in their business the Weeke BHX 055 vertical drilling and boring machine is universally in demand for both big and small companies. The Vantech CNC router series, designed for nested-based machining and made in Grand Rapids, MI, is also very popular. In line with that, CNC skills are by far the most requested when it comes to training and speaking engagements. Companies are also looking to cell solutions to increase flexibility and productivity, and material handling systems as a means of effectively managing inventory and controlling material costs. But machinery alone cannot innovate for the future. Competitiveness comes from controlling cost efficiency over all, and it is predicted that with the upcoming demands to produce for agility and design, that work in this area will be the holy grail of profitability. To this end, training and retaining quality talent is crucial. Skilled employees that understand MRP, as well as the associated software, equipment, processes and accounting will be highly sought after; as will people with effective marketing and sales skills. Educational programs, both re-training and for young people entering the industry, are paramount to creating the

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Gary Wernlund of StileS Machinery inc. preSentinG "collaboration yieldS innovation."

type of skilled labor force necessary to optimize future opportunities. The above highlights are just a few of the takeaways from the EBC. There is simply not enough space to fully unpack all the information in one article. Undoubtedly future editorial will take a more in-depth look at the topics presented, from re-shoring to myriad cost-saving technologies. And that is the true hallmark of an educational experience, not that it dictates thought, but rather provides information and context that enhance the process of thought. s&p

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Visionary Production D

b y

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eveloping strategy by looking backwards is like planning to be obsolete. Just because a product or process was successful in the past is no guarantee that it will be in the future. Even the quasi-forward thinking concept of ROI is not to be implicitly trusted, since it is technically a lagging indicator. Companies that are truly forward thinking have a firm grasp of the current marketplace and an aggressive willingness to not just meet the future, but to shape it. Fabritec is one of those forward thinking companies. The name may be unfamiliar, but anyone who has spent time in the industry will recognize the laundry list of companies acquired by Fabritec. “Our mission is to be the leader in the manufacturing of kitchen cabinets. We produce everything from A-Z of what we sell. Our own wood doors, thermoplastic doors and TFL doors,” says Jonathan Bourgeois, vice president of Fabritec. The company’s size and capabilities are impressive, and so is Fabritec’s application of market intelligence. The Bromont, Quebecbased manufacturer dominates the retail RTA cabinet market across Canada. It also sells through builders and has program for customized products that go to market via a dealer network. At least part of that dominance stems from the fact that Fabritec solely produces Eurostyle frameless cabinetry. This fashion-forward approach is easing entry into the United States, and the globally in-demand product puts Fabritec in position for further reaching export as well. “We concentrate on frameless because we believe in the frameless cabinet,” says Bourgeois. But it

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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is not enough to simply be able to churn out desirable product, real fineness comes from knowing what to make when. And it is the people of Fabritec that connect the company’s capabilities with the customer demand in a way that is cost efficient enough to be globally competitive. “The reason why we are so successful right now is because of our operations team,” says Bourgeois. “They like being challenged. We will do anything for our clients. And when we come to the operations team with ideas that customers ask for, they figure out how to do them. They never say it can’t be done. There is never a bear too big.”

A

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1994 acquired a 35,000 square foot distribution center. 1997 acquired the Canboard plant, a manufacturer of TFL components in Mont-Joli. 2002 acquired Nova Thermo-Fusion in Longueil to fill the need for assembled cabinets. 2006 acquired Cuisine Expert-Maax in Laval and the Eastern Townships’ Boiseries

Impériales in Cookshire.

2011

acquired 3B Inc. in Danville, KY and moved the equipment assets, including membrane pressing capabilities to Bromont.

Now The family business is one of the largest players in the kitchen-cabinet market in North America.

Fabritec operates on the principle that acquiring new assembly and manufacturing technology ensures that the company will be able to follow trends and produce kitchen cabinets that are in demand. The belief that expansion is the best means of selling to a larger market is evident in the company’s history. In 1984, Clovis Bourgeois, Jonathan Bourgeois’ father, founded Fabritec as a small kitchen door, window and cabinet company in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. When the recession of the 1980s drove two of his suppliers out of business C. Bourgeois decided that it was time for the craftsman to become a manufacturer, and so the acquisitions began. While all of Fabritec’s gains have contributed to the company’s stronghold, the most recent positions the company to boldly move into the future. “It has been an amazing six years. The bad economy in North America has just been great for us in all the opportunity it gave to us, both in new customers and great deals on machinery,“ says Bourgeois. “We bought last year a factory in Danville, KY called 3B that used to do high-gloss acrylic and membrane pressing. It took 155 semi-truckloads to move it from there to here. Now it is running full speed and we are very happy with that acquisition.” In total, Fabritec operates in roughly 1.2 million square feet of space. In addition to offices and warehouses there are three production facilities, all located in Quebec. The Mont-Joli plant is about 70,000 square feet and employs 75 people. Its core business is panel processing for RTA cabinet kits, so it also has processes for flat-packing. The SaintJean-sur-Richelieu facility is right around 120,000 square feet. It employs 50 people surface&panel

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and handles Fabritec’s higher-end personalized kitchen and custom work. The Bromont facility is a repurposed Hyundai factory with close to 600,000 square feet of production space and nearly 400 employees. This is where the 3B equipment, including a sophisticated material handling system, is installed. In Bromont Fabritec does comprehensive panel processing for TFL products, as well as manufacturing and painting wood doors. RTA cabinets from Mont-Joli come into Bromont, which serves as the main hub, to be packaged, warehoused picked and shipped. “Bromont is one of the most automated factories in North America right now,” says Bourgeois. “A very pretty factory.” Regardless of whether an order is for a single custom kitchen or multiple pieces to stock a store, everything is produced just in time and leaves the facility assembled to the degree that it reaches the consumer. All in all Fabritec produces about 5000 cabinets a day. Market Intelligence + Design = International Contender

Economists and market analysts predict a significant shift toward “re-shoring” as manufacturing in North America becomes increasingly cost competitive. In this regard Fabritec is way ahead of the competition. “By being in the market and looking at the great deals available the past several years, our team has made it so that it is more cost effi16

cient to make our wood, TFL and thermofoil doors here than to buy them from overseas. We are a fully integrated company. The cool thing is that 10 years ago people were asking me why we produced in North America and not China. People thought we were dumb,” says Bourgeois. “We always fought against it and we are very happy today that we can fight head to head with China, and not just on quality, we can fight them on pricing too. So that is a huge achievement in North America.” Chinese producers are not the only competition Fabritec has set its sites on. Wielding short three-week lead times, Eurostyle frameless construction and comparatively low prices, Fabritec also boldly takes on rival European brand-name cabinet manufacturers. Fabritec’s technology makes it an extremely quick and agile manufacturer. Offering a vast array of design and material options helps to distinguish the company from its competition, particularly the traditional cabinetmaker. “What makes Fabritec different is that we have products that are way out ahead of what other vendors have,” says Richard Gingras, designer/ research and development director for Fabritec. “Our facility can create new product very fast, and our operations team has an open mind about finding the best way to build those products.” Drawing from a palette of TFL designs from Uniboard Canada, Tafisa and Flakeboard,

Gingras is currently designing cabinetry that looks more like furniture to meet the trend of open living spaces. Gingras is also gently steering finishes away from the old school oak and cherry. “We’re upgrading our color trends to bring in some gray and dark colors. People are stuck in brown because in the past they have seen brown everywhere, so it is what they bought,“ says Gingras. ”I try to put myself in the consumers’ position, to see what they see in magazines and on TV shows, and then bring new ideas into that mindset.” Last year Fabritec upped its style IQ with the introduction of a new textured TFL program. And with the new equipment from 3B installed and running full-time two shifts, Fabritec is offering RTF designs from Riken, Renolit, LG and Omnova. “This year we’ll offer high gloss as a new product for retail. In general it is a good seller,” says Gingras. “I am looking to get some new effect of wood, and it makes a nice addition to our line.” This year marks Fabritec’s 30th year in business, but rather than looking to the past with self-congratulation the company is looking forward. “We stay ahead of the curve so that we can adapt to changes in the market and predict trends in home design,” says Bourgeois. “We understand how to offer new concepts to our clientele because understanding their needs means ensuring a prosperous future for our company.” s&p

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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I didn’t know... Stiles offers a full range of dust control solutions. Stop blowing dust around. Protect the premium quality of your work from dust by equipping your shop with a dust control or cleaning system. Your dust collection system plays a vital role in protecting the quality of your finished product and the efficiency of your machine’s operation. Stiles offers economical solutions for any sized shop, from stand-alone units to centralized dust management systems. Let our experts help you choose the best solution for your business. For more information, contact Stephan Waltman at 616.698.7500 or swaltman@stilesmachinery.com. Or visit us at www.stilesmachinery.com.

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Fabritec Technology

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ccording to Josee Frechette, plant manager for Fabritec’s three production facilities, the company’s comprehensive product line includes close to 10,000 different SKUs. Operating at a rate of around 3000 parts per shift, Fabritec’s technology is both quick and flexible. Proprietary software developed in house runs the operation and integrates into a production ERP system. Here are a few technical highlights.

•At the heart of the 600,000 square foot Bromont facility is a Bargstedt

Type R-TLF automated material storage and retrieval system designed for bundled flat panel wood material up to 5'x 12'. This technology reduces material costs by managing inventory of raw materials. The system knows what is in stock and where it is stored, so there is no duplicate ordering. Another advantage is simplified space on the shop floor. The automated retrieval is assisted by a laser scanning/ reading system to ensure the correct material is brought up. The system also eliminates the need for forklifts, as well as forklift-related material damage. Conveyor systems and transfer tables are used throughout the facility to reduce labor and damage.

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• The Bargstedt feeds six Homag ProfiLine BOF 511

CNC gantry type routers via an automated panel conveyor system. The BOF is a 5-axis machine equipped with two tables, one for machining and the other for loading/unloading material. Fabritec uses printed barcodes to track processes for each part that is produced.

• Fabritec produces profiled parts with a thermofoil

pressing and trimming line built around a Wemhoner Variopress hydraulic laminating press. The company also has various means for sizing, routing and edgebanding components, including: a Homag heavy duty CNC combination sizing and edgebanding machine, a Homag Optimat CNC router and a Weeke Optimat CNC router, a Holz-her sliding saw, a Northtech double end miter saw and a Homag Optimat CNC edgebander.

• On the wood door side all the assembly is done

manually, except for finishing which is done with an automated system. The in-line process is comprised of three machines. The first two machines are Cattinair RotoClean carousel spraying systems, one designated for tint, and one for sealer. A Cefla flatline finishing machine applies lacquer. s&p

surface&panel

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Q3 2013

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Future-Driven OperatiOns b y

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he interesting thing about ClosetMaid is not that the company invented wire shelving in 1965. Or that it still manufactures that product line at the Ocala, Florida headquarters. ClosetMaid offers a broad range of wood- based composite panel home organization products too, but even that fact in and of itself isn’t especially unique. What is really intriguing is that the company, which is a division of Emerson Electric, remains relevant after more than 45 years of operations. This is no accident. By design ClosetMaid continually expands and refines its operational model. It is not an effort to sustain current business, but rather to meet the needs of future demand. “We spend a great deal of time, and money, researching consumers and their unmet needs in their homes,” says Lisa Engel, vice president, product development and marketing for ClosetMaid. “And from this research is borne innovative solutions for every room in the home.” Of course ClosetMaid won’t divulge all of its strategies, but even the information that they readily share is indicative of a company focused on future growth rather than current maintenance. Glimpses of this ethos are apparent in ClosetMaid’s precise use of modern materials, investment in technology and customer-specific design. “Our knowledge of new home construction is the solid foundation upon which we develop systems for both Do-It-Yourselfers and those who need help starting and completing their projects,” says Engel. To serve the full range of residential consumers, ClosetMaid established

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a dealer network that serves both the new home construction and remodeling markets with the higher-end MasterSuite®, MultiSuite®, and ExecutiveSuite® lines. For those ready to tackle a project themselves, there is the easier to install adjustable ShelfTrack® line, as well as several iterations of modular storage systems that are available via large home retail stores. In addition to producing ClosetMaid wire shelving at the state-of-the-art facility in Ocala, FL, the company manufactures wood-based panel products in Grantsville, MD, Reynosa Mexico and Chino, CA. They also maintain tight controls over a broad network of domestic and worldwide suppliers. ClosetMaid is a big name that holds a significant share of the market. A look at the company’s recent business trends, as well as where it is investing future efforts, can provide insights to the industry as a whole. According to Scott Davis, director of product management and design engineering for ClosetMaid, the company’s opening-point general living products did really well coming out of the 2008-2009 recession. As the economy shifted into recovery, and then growth, more design-driven products gained. “We are starting to see a big uptick in the wood products side of the business,” says Davis. “There was pent up demand for remodeling and refreshing the homes, and we definitely saw that. Especially with HGTV and the DIY network, storage and organization is pretty trendy, and we think we are in a great position where we stand with our dealers and retail channel partners to capitalize on that.” Designing for the Future with Materials and Technology

ClosetMaid ships millions of linear feet of product per year, but staying relevant across price points is more than economy of scale. Design also plays a crucial role. “We use materials that drive more value for the consumer, and design products that look more like furniture. Our trend is to go a little more upscale with some of the finishes we are using,“ says Davis. Very precise material specification is the key to delivering big volume of quality product without compromising the high value proposition that the ClosetMaid brand is known for. An example of this is the DIY retail lines, which according to Davis are the bread and butter of the wood products category. Design-wise, added molding and trim give the product more of a custom built-in look. To achieve this ClosetMaid manufactures the panel products utilizing low-basis weigh papers. “It is a great product, and really from our perspective, that is where there has been a lot of innovation,” says Davis. “We are getting into embossed papers where you can actually feel the woodgrain texture. These papers have great scratch resistance, great durability and are visually spectacular.” ClosetMaid sources the molding components from outside suppliers and specifies the same paper in a different gram weight, so everything matches perfectly. As the product lines tier up, thicker foils or specialty finishes that enhance wear and chemical resistance are specified. “That is really where a lot of interesting changes are happening in the paper side of the business,” says Davis. “We are really excited about where that market is going because it can definitely provide a much higher quality of product still at a pretty affordable price point for the consumer.” The highend dealer lines also use TFL panels that are sourced from suppliers and processed in house. And Davis says the company is beginning to use some 3DL for MasterSuite components, though the material has not yet made it into the mainstream lines.

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In 2005 Emerson strategically acquired a company called DoAble Products, which became ClosetMaid’s Chino, CA facility. With this acquisition came the relatively unique capability of powder coating for MDF. This enabled ClosetMaid to develop a line of products that targets the underserved garage segment. “Research shows that the garage is still the most organized room of the home,” says Engel. “And consumers seek heavy-duty shelving that they know they can trust.” Powder coating is more expensive than laminating, but the finish is extremely durable and moisture resistant. While it is over-engineered for the typical RTA home storage product, powder coating is perfect for utility applications.“The materials we use are driven by our end users,” says Engel. We are committed to quality and continuous improvement and our B2B partners appreciate this dedication.”

Vice President of Operations

Ken Graper Explains ClosetMaid’s Powder Coating Process In the new powder coated wood process, the wood substrate is heated by radiation. Electromagnetic energy that is transmitted by the catalytic heaters is absorbed by the surface of the board. This energy in the form of long wave length IR excites the wood / glue molecules and causes them to heat up. A simple analogy would be to place a piece of substrate to look directly at the sun. The sun’s rays happen to be long wave IR – similar to that of catalytic heaters (but without the UV rays).  The main advantage of catalytic IR is that it heats only the surface and edges of the board, without heating the core. The process is faster and keeps the moisture content within the board during the process. This creates more conductivity and control for the powder application for overall appearance of the finish. IR also enables better control of the coating cure process, particularly for specialty products. This technology opens many opportunities for wood powder coating to become the premier wood finish for design, durability and environment. For more on Powder coating see page 44. n

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Customer Specific Products

Material and technology mean nothing if the product doesn’t sell. To this end ClosetMaid is developing some very intriguing methods to assist retail channel partners and dealers in reaching the end user. At first blush this may seem like simple merchandizing, but it is not. It is actually a sophisticated approach that gives consumers the opportunity to have a very customized buying experience using components that are produced in volume. ClosetMaid essentially has two avenues to market, dealer and retail. Customization for the dealer network is a pretty standard model. An authorized ClosetMaid installer provides a full-service experience, going into a client’s home to analyze need, design the solution and install the custom organization system. ClosetMaid produces all the components and delivers them to dealers via the same fleet that makes deliveries to retail channel partners. To get a sense of scale, consider that ClosetMaid makes weekly deliveries to every Home Depot store in the United States, and that the company also has programs with Target. The custom angle on the retail end provides customers with webbased design tools. “This is really about making the design process as easy as possible. There are so many components to a closet. This gives end-users a clear understanding of what is in a closet, what it is going to cost and ultimately if they want to pick it up at the store or have it delivered to the home,” says Davis. “It makes a sometimes complicated process very easy.” In essence ClosetMaid makes their products more customer-specific by customizing the actual design tools. In addition to engaging a professional full service designer, today’s HGTV-watching Internet-savvy DIY-ers can access design tools online, or submit information digitally to a team of designers who will provide two custom designs for a small fee. “We’ve learned that the hardest part is just getting started,” says Engel. “And ClosetMaid is there to help.” After 45 years of operations ClosetMaid is still well positioned in the industry because it is always looking ahead. Not only does the company offer the latest finishes and consumer driven-designs, it meets customers where they make buying decisions. s&p

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Rolling in Style b y

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Schattdecor’S dietmar höglmeier, SaleS manager for motorhomeS, bringS expertiSe to the american rV market by introducing 3d Surface effect poStfoilS.

ome of the finest interiors aren’t fixed in space. According to research conducted in 2011 by Dr. Richard Curtin, recreational vehicle industry analyst and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, 8.9 million households in the United States own recreational vehicles. That is a whopping 8.5 percent of the population. It is a lifestyle that is gaining in romance. Some road warriors see RV-ing as a means to have regular, cost-effective getaways. Others take to the road full time, investing in luxury models and the freedom and status of permanent vacation.

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Recreational vehicles come in many shapes and sizes, from relatively modest pop-ups starting around the $5000 mark to luxury motorhomes that can retail for $1 million or more ($2 million including the Ferrari and trailer that fits the undercarriage). According to Joseph B. White, a Senior Editor in the Wall Street Journal’s Washington, D.C. bureau, the RV world experienced a similar pattern to many industries: after being hammered during the recession it was the luxury end of the market that fueled its recovery through to the current state of economic growth. White made the following observation in his Feb. 23, 2013 Market Watch article entitled “The Tow-Along Trailer Goes Posh” But beyond the rarefied realm of six-and seven-figure bus-like motor coaches, the high-design strategy has also begun to infiltrate the market for more moderately priced tow-along trailers. (Internationally renowned designer of multimillion-dollar superyachts Mauro) Micheli’s design for the posh, 28-foot “Land Yacht” trailer, unveiled at the end of 2012, was commissioned by Airstream, one of the oldest names in the RV business, which is aggressively repositioning its line of signature aluminum trailers to appeal to affluent, style-conscious adventurers.

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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2013 OMN


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RIKEN USA CORPORATION

For savvy manufacturers of decorative surfacing materials and functional hardware, the uptick in America’s love affair with the open road means opportunity. Moving into 2013 RV manufacturers and their industry associations endeavor to keep the momentum of intriguing design rolling, so to speak. And it appears to be working. Architectural Digest is getting some extra mileage by re-running an article featuring Matthew McConaughey’s retooled Airstream trailer, while the popular social design sites Pinterest and Houzz are full of posts celebrating RV interior design. For savvy manufacturers of decorative surfacing materials and functional hardware, the uptick in America’s love affair with the open road means opportunity. In the European market, Schattdecor’s Dietmar Höglmeier, sales manager for motorhomes, has been advising leading

Riken USA Corporation produces foils for 3D laminate for seamless cabinet doors, office furniture and store fixtures using Japanese printing technology. Vacuum and membrane press the most complex dimensional profiles on routed substrates in solid colors, patterns and wood grains with satin, matte, desktop and contemporary high-gloss finishes.

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European manufacturers and industry suppliers on the design of recreational vehicles for a number of years. Now the company is looking to bring that expertise to the American RV market by introducing 3D surface effect Postfoils. Though the material is available in over a thousand designs that can be flat laminated or wrapped around curves, Höglmeier believes that it offers practical advantages to RV component manufacturers beyond aesthetics. From a construction standpoint, Postfoil weighs a lot less than wood veneer or other surface products, which plays into the vehicular design objective to keep things light. For consumers this translates to increased fuel efficiency. On the flip side, durability is also important. Not only is the cabinetry in RV’s put to use regularly, the interior environment is subjected to more temperature fluctuations than a stationary interior. It is also enclosed which means added humidity that can make low quality materials delaminate. “We use lacquer of a very high standard to ensure that our foil is resistant to moisture stemming from condensation and perspiration,” says Höglmeier. “Not only that, but our water-based lacquers do not contain solvents. So they have better color stability than the solvent-based foils and will not fade over the years.” According to Bill Schmittgens, national sales manager for Schattdecor’s St. Louis operation, the Postfoils are 115 gram foils, as opposed to the typical 30 gram weight foils. “That difference means we can put heavier textures on the foils, and also increases the fidelity of the print. We believe that when a consumer is spending a significant amount for an RV, then the interior should last long and look great. Our foils do a great job in that regard.” With RVs of all shapes and sizes being renovated and tricked out for the design value (one RV-er describes his ride as “an ultra funky piece of art I could live in,”) a new market is emerging for materials that are in it for the long haul. s&p

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TFLTV

STar oF reaLiTy

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The darling of cabinetmakers, TFL, recently made its television debut on the A&E network’s popular reality show “Sell this House Extreme.” Despite being introduced to hundreds of thousands of viewers and undoubtedly expanding its fan-base, stardom has not changed TFL; just the public’s perception of the material. Unlike some people who get a taste of fame, TFL is still reliable and available. Whether beautifully printed and textured for a lead, or dressed down for a supporting role, TFL always delivers a consistently excellent performance. TFL could not be reached for comment, but some of its handlers were more than happy to give the exclusive on how easy and satisfying it is to work with. DiscovereD

“It is a crazy story,” says Tami Michaels, the #1 lifestyle and home improvement TV/radio personality in the Pacific Northwest. Michaels hosts a weekly radio program, is a bi-weekly home and lifestyle contributor for local TV news and is a guest kitchen designer for A&E’s remodeling program “Sell This House Extreme.” Additionally, Michaels owns Sound Kitchen and Bath, a large dealership that, until recently, sold primarily solid and wood veneer products. “I made a comment in 30

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one of our radio ads, and I made other comments on my radio show, about cheap Chinese melamine,” says Michaels. “And I received a very thoughtful, and heartfelt, and kind email from Gary McGillivray at KML indicating that when I make a generalized statement like that, it also infers that all melamine is cheap and inferior quality. He also pointed out that there are many differentiating factors when it comes to thermally fused laminate, or TFL.” The message went on to tactfully point out that KML is not just a domestic company, but also a local company that creates local jobs. “I invited Tami to come visit KML and be enlightened to the durability and solid performance of TFL, along with the vast varieties of designs and textures now available to the industry,” says McGillivray. “I really thought the message would not make it past her assistant. But to my surprise she called 10 minutes later. Tami wanted to get the correct information because she has a responsibility to her audience to get the facts straight.” Like many people who have not received an education about decorative surface, Michaels did not understand that there is an entire spectrum of materials available, from the least expensive superficial laminates to gorgeous, high-performance, luxury surfaces. “I went to KML and I was incredibly impressed. I’ll be the first to admit that I stand corrected,” says Michaels. “I immediately removed the ad from the radio because it was not a good representation of all the products available. And as a designer and a broadcaster I have an obligation to provide accurate information.”

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“...our veteran cabinet builder and installer Dean Jackson started the installation. I stepped out of the frame and the cameras went to him as he marveled over the feel of the product. He liked the way the screws went in, and the stability and consistency of the product when it went on the wall. He was just like, ‘I love this stuff.” It made better TV than I could have.” Tami Michaels, A&E's "Sell this house extreme"

Leading Role

materials that are generally availInspired by her introduction to able to the average American TFL, Michaels pitched it to the homeowner. “The objective of company that produces “Sell This House Extreme.” “They ‘Sell This House Extreme’ is to had asked me to do another figure out cost-effective ways to kitchen, and I thought it would update the home so that the audibe great to use TFL in an upcom- ence can relate,” says Michaels. ing episode. They said, ‘What is “Our challenge is to find those TFL?’ So I explained the differ- solutions. For me, the task is to ence between the general term find hip, cool, realistic ways to “melamine” and TFL. That TFL update the kitchen so that when belongs in high-end residential people walk in, they want to live applications as well as everyday in that home.” kitchens,” says Michaels. “I told Kitchens are typically the area them that I think there are a lot of the house where consumers of folks out there that are look- get the most bang for their renoing for this, a newer material with vation buck, and that holds true evolving design. That when peo- for “Sell This House Extreme.” “If ple look at this product a decade the camera is going to be pointed from now they are going to see it at me and I am responsible for the as even with finished wood sur- biggest wow factor in the house, faces, and one of the reasons that can’t be mediocre,” says is because we have all become Michaels. “And on this project we environmentally conscious and over-delivered. That kitchen will open to using materials in new literally sell the house.” ways. This is a product that is A Star is Born emerging as a real player in the Each home that is chosen for design industry, therefore I think “Sell This House Extreme” has it will make a good story. That some sort of design obstacle that was my pitch, and A&E liked it.” prevents it from being marketThe show’s Executive Producer and Designer also toured KML. able. The Des Moines, WA home that received the TFL kitchen “They loved the idea because it makeover was purchased in is a local, domestic story,” says 2011, but built in 1963. Although Michaels. “Consumers like to feel good about themselves. the current owners had big plans And showing them an innova- to renovate and bring back the original late mid-century modern tive, sustainable solution that charm, their careers dictated supports American jobs makes relocation before they could people feel good.” proceed. “The ‘thing’ about this The premise for “Sell This house wasn’t its vintage, we House Extreme” is that a team of designers helps a homeowner were going to make that work in update a home’s interior to make its favor. The ‘thing’ was that it it more marketable. While the had horrid, almost orange, holresults can be quite dramatic, low core doors and cheap millthe process is focused on using work throughout,” says Michaels. 32

While working on the project the designers came up with the palatable term “cinnamon” to refer to the color, because “oompa loompa orange” was difficult to get excited about. “We embraced the cinnamon because it was also carried over into the wood floor in the living room, so we worked with it. The kitchen got new floor tile and countertops, but what really popped was this cabinetry,” says Michaels. KML, seeing the benefit to TFL and the industry as a whole, engaged Andrew’s Fixtures Co. out of Tacoma, WA to build the cabinets. The designers specified a design called “Carmello” that features a contemporary striation with KML’s Edgewood texture to add richness, depth and durability to the surface. “To integrate the cabinetry into the existing style and genre of the house we ran the grain vertically, since horizontal grain is a more modern style,” says Michaels. Although Michaels has become something of a TFL evangelist, in fact she is launching a new line of products for Sound

Kitchen and Bath that utilizes the material, there is a point where TFL steals the show. “I really thought we had the technical side of the story covered,” says Michaels, “Then our veteran cabinet builder and installer Dean Jackson started the installation. I stepped out of the frame and the cameras went to him as he marveled over the feel of the product. He liked the way the screws went in, and the stability and consistency of the product when it went on the wall. He was just like, ‘I love this stuff.” It made better TV than I could have.” The end product of “Sell This House Extreme” is always a vast improvement, but it is never a complete overhaul driven by a single professional designer. “We collaborate with a lot of different people in a lot of different ways to make a story that the average person can relate to,” says Michaels. “And at the end of this project I felt really proud. We not only shed light on a product that people didn’t understand, but we used it to turn a kitchen in need of help into a desirable space. And I think we pulled it off.” s&p

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Tami Michaels on TFL

O

ne of the perennial questions of the industry is: How do we educate architects, designers, specifiers and consumers so that they understand and use our products?

Surface & Panel magazine had the opportunity to ask a designer, who also happens to be a recent convert, that question. Tami Michaels went from (very) publicly insulting laminates in general, to (very) publicly singing the praises of TFL after learning more about the material. See TFL: Star of Reality TV page 30 for that story. Michaels is the host of “Tami Michaels Inside Out”, the highest rated Home & Lifestyle radio show in the Pacific Northwest. She is also featured as a recurring contributor on KOMO 4 TV and komonews.com. With nearly 20 years of experience, Michaels is regularly asked to be the guest kitchen designer for the A&E network’s popular reality television show, “Sell This House Extreme.” Outside of broadcasting, she is the proprietor of Sound Kitchen and Bath, a large dealership that historically specialized primarily in solid and wood veneer products. Michaels recently learned the true value of TFL decorative panels, a revolution that changed her messaging about the material and inspired her to educate her audience. S&P:

What changed the way you view TFL?

I didn’t know there was a difference between what I called, “cheap Chinese melamine” and TFL decorative panels. I thought of everything as one product. After touring KML I understood that there is a clear distinction.

T.M.

S&P: When you toured KML and learned about TFL decorative panels, what was it that caught your attention?

First and foremost is the durability. If I am going to sell somebody a product, I need to know it is not going to fall apart. TFL is substantial; it is not like the cheap imported melamine that competes on price, which is important. The only way that I am going to take on a new material is based on quality, because if I am competing on price there is only one direction that conversation can go, and that is down. The second astonishing thing to me coming from a design perspective was the versatility. My imagination immediately started going, “what could I do with this?” The material is gorgeous. And texture plays a big role in that. I have to give a lot of T.M.:

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credit to KML because the first thing they did after my disparaging remarks about melamine aired was send me an absolute trunk load of samples. My personal assistant and I sat on the floor going through them saying things like, ‘’Well that is really cool! Who knew?” It was part and parcel because of the texture and that is something KML should be really proud of. And then finally it is the consistency of the product. With wood consistency can be a problem. I can select a grade of something in a veneer but it has gotten extremely cost prohibitive and there is no guarantee that I will receive the product I expected. S&P: Has this new information about TFL changed your K&B business?

a

Dramatically. In 2013, if we can find the right partners, TFL could be 40 percent of what we do. We do a lot of multi-family, and builders are really receptive to the material. We’ll also offer it to consumers, and the fact that it has European appeal could really work.

T.M.

In

c

fo

T

2

F

What does it take to change consumers’ perceptions of TFL? S&P:

C

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“We have to stand in front of the consumer as designers and say that we like it from a place of legitimately understanding the product.”

We have to stand in front of the consumer as designers and say that we like it from a place of legitimately understanding the product. It takes the design community to not just buy off on it because designers think they can sell it. I don’t think you can sell anybody anything. The consumer is far more savvy than ever because of Houzz and Pinterest and HGTV and A&E. I feel that I have a responsibility to learn about new materials because I have the opportunity to expand how the public views a product. I take what I put in front of the consumer very seriously because if I sell a

T.M.:

product and it falls apart I lose credibility in a very public way. If I am going to use a product and put my name on the project, my audience knows I believe in it. You made a big effort to learn about TFL. What is the best way to get the message to designers and consumers in normal circumstances? S&P:

The fact of the matter is for your industry, the biggest challenge you have is that you are only going to get in front of people for a brief amount of time. I bring it back to car safety. You have to explain to people in seconds why one vehicle is going

T.M.:

to protect their children. It is not a tech sheet, it is visuals of airbags deploying and crash test dummies. You have to narrow your message and take advantage of those elevator moments because we live in a sound byte world. You have to be able to quickly explain to people that TFL is not cheap Chinese melamine. That is why I wanted to feature TFL on “Sell This House Extreme.” If you want to be a mover and shaker in design you have to be willing to shake up the way people view a product. That is our obligation in the media, and challenges me to try new things. s&p

tafisa

trendsetting texture

alto by tafisa

Introducing ALTO, a brand new texture and stunningly tactile surface for decorative panels. Available in 10 new

colors, the Alto texture is yet another exciting innovation from Tafisa—the company who leads the way in fashionforward interiors, touching off world-class trends right here in North America. And raising industry standards too. Tafisa’s wood-fiber panels are manufactured using 100% recycled and recovered wood materials, saving over 2 million trees every year. Now that’s making a statement. Find out about Tafisa’s green mission and see the new Alto colors at tafisa.ca Customer Service: 1-888-882-3472

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Q2 2013

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innovation and ideas

eveRYWHeRe YoU LooK. With an expanded trade show floor, more new exhibitors, lively show features and 50-plus educational seminars, this year’s AWFS®Fair will offer greater opportunities to hone your skills and improve the way you do business. This year you’ll find more new products, equipment and information than ever before—making this show a must attend event—full of real possibilities to help you compete more effectively and grow your business.

REGISTER NOW: www.awfsfair.org | 877.303.0711 Find us:

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Finishing Big b y

W

s u z a n n e

ith products going into every segment and price point, MasterBrand Cabinets Inc. is the largest cabinet manufacturer in North America. In 2012 the Jasper, IN based company hit $1.3 billion in sales, and, MasterBrand is gearing up for continued success. “We are feeling some effects of the market recovery,” says Jason Carter, senior director of finish improvement for MasterBrand. “Part of my group’s responsibility is to stay out on the forefront of finishing technology because we have a great reputation in the market” To date MasterBrand finishes product for 10 different product lines, from entry level stock to full custom, in nine facilities throughout North America. It is a comprehensive finishing operation that encompasses pretty much all the materials and technologies used in the field today.

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“We also see the customer becoming much more informed about their options. Their expectations are getting greater in terms of quality, and they are challenging us to provide more options and more complex finishes at lower and lower price points,” says Carter. “So the challenge for us has been to provide more flexibility and complexity for that market without significantly changing the cost structure.” To meet consumer quality expectations Carter and his team take a 3-legged stool approach to finishing: the right materials, the right equipment and the right processes. All three have to work in conjunction with each other to be successful. And of course, skilled labor is a must. “For so long finishing has been treated as an art rather than a science in manufacturing. It has been shrouded by mystery.” says Carter, a chemical engineer by training. “The variables have often gotten the best of the process, rather than the manufacturing process ruling the variables. There is a science to process consistency, and that is what we are all about when it comes to selecting the systems that are necessary to meet MasterBrand’s four basic principles: Deliver on time. Deliver complete. Ensure our quality meets or exceeds customers’ quality expectations. And provide fashionable kitchen and bath products at competitive prices.”

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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g

The RighT MaTeRials

In order to continually improve on quality without significantly increasing costs, MasterBrand constantly looks for ways to improve material usage efficiencies for the coatings they use. “We’ve invested heavily in plural component mixing systems, so we are reducing the paint waste that comes from materials going past their pot life,” says Carter. MasterBrand uses post-catalyzed finishes because of the material’s performance in terms of durability and appearance. “JIT mixing is a recent technology we’ve employed,” says Carter. “We use systems from Exel/Kremlin and Graco. On the materials side we use major suppliers, such as AkzoNobel, Valspar, Sherwin Williams, and PPG depending on the specific need for our products.” Carter’s group develops new finishes in conjunction with MasterBrand’s product development and color specialists. Recent trends have been moving down the gloss scale, with mattes and satins gaining in popularity. MasterBrand uses both water-based and solvent- based products depending on what is required of the finish and how it is processed.“The solvent-based stains generally give a better appearance on the wood, which is what consumers want. So that is more typical of our higher-end finishes,” says Carter. “We also use water-based products along with UV cured finishes. Water-based stains work better with UV-cured products, but we use UV-cured products with some solvent stains too. Catalyzed varnishes tend to give a better overall appearance than the UV clearcoat finishes with more clarity and less texture.” After developing the material finishes with their material suppliers, Carter’s team translates them into the appropriate operational systems.

“For so long finishing has been treated as an art rather than a science in manufacturing. it has been shrouded by mystery. The variables have often gotten the best of the process, rather than the manufacturing process ruling the variables.” JASON CARTER, SENIOR dIRECTOR Of fINISh IMPROVEMENT fOR MASTERBRANd

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The Right Equipment and Processes

In addition to material cost efficiency, MasterBrand applies LEAN fundamentals and Six Sigma tools to reduce downtime and create process stability. “We obsessively control the variables around finishing so that we understand exactly how the process works. Maintaining that control is how we get consistent color and clearcoat quality throughout,” says Carter. Looking across all of MasterBrand’s facilities and product lines, the company employs many finishing technologies, from hand spraying and artisan detailing, to high-volume automated roll-coating, horizontal spray lines and reciprocating flat line finishing systems. Regardless of what the finish is and how it is applied, consistency is of absolute importance to MasterBrand’s finishing operation. “Getting it right the first time, and everytime, is huge,” says Carter. “It is an easy thing to say, but in reality execution is a whole other animal. It comes back to understanding the variables you need to control in the process that, when followed, will consistently give the expected result.” Across all the operations that Carter and his team support, from preparing the substrate, to applying finish to curing, each process is broken down to discrete, controllable variables. At last count there were about 160 of these variables. “Generally, it comes down to controlling your material flow. Things like fluid pressures, atomization air pressures and speeds of application all play roles in that.” says Carter. For both manual and automated equipment, most major brands are represented somewhere in MasterBrand’s operations. The sheer size of MasterBrand, and the company’s ability to internally perfect finishing formulations and processes, means they often get to test the latest technologies that come to the market. While Carter has his favorites depending on the process, the most important equipment characteristics are simplicity and track record. “The best systems are the ones that we set up and they just run. It’s also important they are easy to service,” says Carter. For high-pressure spraying, MasterBrand often employs Exel, Binks, and Graco equipment because the brands offer efficiency and good quality spray patterns. DeVilbiss and Graco equipment is used frequently for low pressure spraying. On the automated side, Cefla, Superfici and Dubois equipment are used. 40

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MLC4053


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Our breakthrough solvent borne Clean Cure™ technology platform provides acid cure formaldehyde-free amino-alkyd post-catalyzed and pre-catalyzed finishing systems that are both low odor and HAPs free, helping to create a safer work environment. Our solvent borne, formaldehyde-free products include:

ENVIROVAR™ CONVERSION VARNISH ENVIROMAX™ PRE-CAT See your nearest M.L. Campbell distributor for recommendations on which Clean Cure™ Technology products best suit your shop’s needs.

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* M.L. Campbell EnviroVar™ conversion varnish earned a Sequoia New Product Award for Green/Environmental Leadership in Wood Coatings at the AWFS® Fair 2011.

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Talent

“I have a great team that works with me. And we have worked on making finishing technology a core competency of MasterBrand for going on eight years now,” says Carter. “We have a lot of very experienced individuals, anywhere from 20 to 35-year veterans supporting the finishing operations. There are some new hires too. All are very strong technically. They do a great job.” But like all technical operations, particularly those aggressively implementing new technology, MasterBrand is constantly looking for new ways to cultivate a future skilled labor force. “It hits you on a couple of fronts,” says Carter. “One is the raw manufacturing that we do in our industry. Attracting good people is a challenge. We want workers that are engaged in the whole process, not just there to get a paycheck. We look for people who want to grow and learn and be a part of something special in the culture.” To this end MasterBrand recently started a program, which Carter helped drive that offers college graduates with selected degrees and opportunity to have a rotational training experience. This approach provides exposure to many facets of manufacturing and the overall business. The goal is to develop talent relatively quickly, sort of a fast track to leadership. It is a promising program that has also provided some interesting insights. “To identify candidates we conduct on-campus interviews, and the ones that rose to the surface actually had some amount of work experience. They either worked after high school, or left college for a period of time before returning with a strong sense of purpose,” says Carter. “In my personal opinion skilled labor is becoming very hard to come by. I want to know where my next generation of finish technical specialists is going to come from. We decided we are going to grow our own.” Having the materials, processes and talent for success are just some of the ways MasterBrand is looking to the future. “With the overall team of people, and what we can provide designers and customers in terms of products, service, delivery and quality, we believe we are the best.” s&p 42

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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I didn’t know... Stiles offers a comprehensive range of finishing equipment. Whether you make kitchen cabinets or architectural millwork, Stiles can help you improve your quality and efficiency. We offer a broad selection of premium, cost-effective finishing solutions for roll coat, vacuum coat, spray applications, curing, digital printing and more. Let us put our expertise to work for you. For more information, contact Stephan Waltman at 616.698.7500 or swaltman@stilesmachinery.com. Or visit us at www.stilesmachinery.com.

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At Home with Powder Coating: KitCHen, BAtH, StorAge ComPonentS

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www.Agristrand.com 44

P

owder coating technology has been used as a metal finish for decades. The process’ efficiency and the durability of the end product have driven innovators in industrial finishing to develop means for applying the same technology to wood components. Powder coating offers many benefits. It is a completely green finish that is free of VOCs, PVC, HAPs, solvents and heavy metals. The finish is seamless on all faces, edges and contours of a piece; and it allows for designs with integrated lips and finger pulls. Because of this, powder-coated furniture and components fit well into contemporary designs. Consider the possibility of door and drawer fronts that can be functional without added hardware. In recent years powder coated MDF components, which resemble a painted finish but are generally more durable and cost competitive, were commonly associated with commercial applications, such as healthcare, hospitality and store fixtures. However, as the process becomes more refined it is being put to use in a wide range of residential applications, such as cabinetry, furniture and home storage. According to Mike Welch, General Manager for the Achieva Division of Funder America the finish is gaining in popularity. This is particularly true in garage storage solutions, which have transcended the basic format of hooks on walls. As the garage organization market continues to grow, powder coated MDF door and drawer fronts are also trending forward. “Today homeowners are creating the ultimate “Man Caves” where friends and families gather to watch the game, relax or tinker with their favorite hobby,” says Welch. “This new functional area of living space requires a rugged and more durable material to withstand the rigors of actual garage use, while still creating a stylish and appealing interior. This is where powder coated MDF components can play a major role.” Powder finish is available

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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in an almost limitless range of solid colors, so it can be specified to match favorite sports teams or to coordinate with motor-driven man-toys. “The seamless finish also lends itself well to environments where moisture and humidity can cause other decorative finishes to delaminate or swell up. So it is a good choice in garages, bathrooms and kitchens,� says Welch.

For designers, powder coating offers benefits for production also. “Our firm decided to use a powder coating finishing process because it allowed us to digitally produce a complex system that could be flat packed and shipped,� says Hart Marlow, senior designer for Su11 Architecture + Design, a firm that recently used BTD’s powder coating technology on an intriguing bar design. “The furniture design had to be finished with a durable, uniform and easily assembled  quality product that could take the constant wear and tear of daily use. Powder coating allowed for a high quality shop finish which would usually be hard to manage for consistency and at a competitive price.� Adapting powder coating technology from metal to wood products was not straightforward. Nearly every step of the process had to be adjusted before it was perfected, and there was a lot of trial and error. Applying powder coating is an electrostatic process, and wood is a notoriously effective natural insulator. So one of the initial challenges in powder coating wood products was finding a substrate. The board had to have specific moisture content so that the surface would become conductive when heated. In this regard, MDF proved to be a workable material. It is not only homogenous with low porosity, but the internal bond strength of the MDF makes it capable of withstanding the heating and cooling processes of powder coating. Of course, MDF is also a material that is well suited to routing, and the consistent finishing of profiles, contours and edges is one of the hallmark benefits of powder coating.

It’s Time to Shine!

S u 11 A rc h itec tu r e + D e s i g n , w w w. s u 11 .co m

  

        

   Solvent and VOC free, UV-cured powder coating is Fast, Clean & Green!™

Request a sample at www.dvuv.com/samples   

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After pre-heating, powder is applied to the surface of the board via configurable spray guns that add an electrostatic charge to the powder coating material. “During the spray process up to 98 percent of overspray can be reclaimed and reused,” says Heidi Hansen, who works in business development for BTD Powder Coating. “That is part of what makes the process so efficient and environmentally friendly.”

There are some variations in method, but typically powder coating MDF follows a general process. The board is cut, machined and profiled. The part is then sanded and cleaned, either with compressed air or via a pass through a gas flame to singe off dust. A spray solution may be applied to increase the conductivity of the surface and enhance the electrostatic attraction. The part is hung on a specialized moving conveyor that grounds it, increasing the attraction for electrically charged particles. The part is then preheated to temperature dictated by the coating. Uniform temperature on the surface of the board increases transfer efficiency by bringing moisture to the surface and increasing “impact fusion,” where the particle actually melts a bit on impact. Pre-heating also allows the board to outgas prior to coating application, which is important because trapped gasses in the board can cause surface defects during curing.

Forrest sets the standard for excellence with these new top-quality blades: • Woodworker II 48-Tooth Blade for general-purpose applications. Features a 20º face hook, a 25º bevel, and sharp points for clean cross-grain slicing and quiet, smooth cutting. • PVW Blade for rip and cross cutting plywood and plywood veneers without splintering, fuzz or chipouts. Commercialquality, 10º hook, 70 teeth, and high alternate top bevel grind. • 2-Piece & 4-Piece Finger Joint Sets with reversible, interlocking 8” blades. Ideal for rabbets and grooves. Blades have 24 teeth and standard 5/8” bore. Reversible for 3/16” and 5/16” cuts or 1/4” and 3/8” cuts. • Thin Kerf Dados for clean cutting of 3/16” to 1/4” grooves in thin plywood and man-made materials. Available in two-piece and three-piece sets for table or radial arm saws.

Our blades are U.S.A-manufactured and have a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Custom sizes available. Order from Forrest dealers or retailers, by going online, or by calling us directly.

www.ForrestBlades.com 1-800-733-7111 (In NJ, call 973-473-5236) © 2013 Forrest Manufacturing

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Code SP

Powder materials for MDF are generally either thermal-cured products or UV-cured products. Thermally cured powders rely on infrared ovens, convection ovens or hybrid ovens that combine the two technologies. BTD uses a thermal system that cures the powder through exposure to temperatures exceeding 200 degrees Fahrenheit. These high temperatures cause the powder to melt, flow and cross link with the substrate. The part must then go through a cooling process. The resulting film coating is seamless and durable. With specially formulated UV-curable powders minimal heat is required to cure the coating. “The core of the board is degraded with excessive heat, “ says Mike Knoblauch, president of DVUV. “Keeping the core temperatures down and controlling the temperature of the board is critical to the integrity of our product.” With UV-cured powders, the melt and flow process is separate from the curing process. Parts enter an infrared or convection oven just long enough to melt the powder. Then the board is exposed to UV-light, causing a photochemical reaction that instantaneously cures the coating. The result is an extremely durable finish that maintains its original color, gloss and texture, even after frequent traffic and cleanings. Powder coating allows designers to move away from standard shapes and flat profiles, leading the way for interesting surfaces, furniture, fixtures and door fronts. The seamlessness and durability of the finish make it a good specification for high-traffic residential spaces the really get “lived in.” s&p

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Spray Equipment

SElEction and SEt-up

b y

T

here are hundreds of spray gun options to choose from when evaluating new spray equipment. When asked what my favorite spray gun is, I answer that the best gun is the gun that is designed to perform the best with the coating I am spraying. The spray gun that performs the best in the application of the coating is the preferred spray gun for the product. With the vast array of options, purchasing the right spray gun and setting it up to optimum performance can be a daunting task. The choice of equipment should be broken down into two categories: equipment for hand spraying and equipment for automatic applications.

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Manual Spraying

There are two types of material categories used in most wood finishing shops. Spray to color stains, shaders, and toners; and heavier bodied materials such as sealers, primers, and top coats. Spray to color coatings are low in viscosity and require little atomization energy to effectively atomize the materials. Heavier materials require higher energy. HVLP (high volume low pressure) gun technology is normally recommended for the application of these types of materials that are spray to color only. HVLP gun technology uses a large volume of air at low pressure to atomize the coating material. The forward velocity of the stain particles traveling to the part is relatively slow compared to other higher-pressure atomization technologies. Therefore, HVLP technology applies the staining materials more effectively into corners and recesses, which will minimize areas where the stain is not completely covering the substrate. HVLP guns require a considerable volume of compressed air to operate properly. Always check with your equipment supplier to ensure the equipment is set up with adequate compressed air requirements. When the spray guns are starved for air, excessive air pressures will be required to sufficiently atomize the coatings. This will result in excessive overspray and uneven stain application. (See side bar on page 50 for HVLP set up recommendations.) For manual application of higher viscosity primers and topcoats, air assisted airless (AA) application technology should be considered. This preferred application technology uses hydraulic pressure at relatively low pressures of 400-900 hydraulic psi. A small amount of compressed air for final atomization is used to provide a very soft spray pattern. This technology provides exceptional atomization energy to break up higher solids/viscosity coatings. Good flow rates, minimal overspray, high finish quality, and excellent transfer efficiencies are the features of AA spray technologies. (See side bar on page 50 for set up of manual AA spray technologies.)

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Vlspar_Su


Do more than you ever dreamed possible with your woodworking jobs. Valspar offers innovative, easy-to-use and apply products and superior support that help bring your ideas to life. So dream it, create it, and enjoy the results. View how-to videos and find a local distributor at Valsparwood.com

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manual Spray gun Set-up HVLp set-up for spray to color stains, shaders and toners • Tip size 1.2 to 1.4 mm • Atomization air pressure: 15 – 22 psi • Typical flow rate range: 48 oz per minute • Average fan pattern width: 8 – 10 inches

AA set-up for sealers, primers, and top coats: • Tip size .013 for sealers for and clear coats (Kremlin 09.-) • Tip size .015 for primers and paints (Kremlin size: 12.-) • Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 400 – 600 psi • Atomization air: 12 – 20 psi • Average fan pattern width range: 8 – 10 inches • Typical gun to part distance: 7 – 8 inches Please note that all the above settings are general depending on part size and coatings sprayed.

AutomAted SprAying

Most automated spray finishing in wood is finished on a flat line reciprocating spray machine. Therefore, our discussion will be focused on automated flat line finishing. When choosing automated spray gun technology, the same guidelines are generally followed for selection of gun technologies as described for hand spraying. Air assisted airless for paints and clear coats and HVLP for spray to color materials. The first consideration when setting up automated spray guns is how fast the line speed will be operating. Slower line speeds equal higher finish quality, and higher line speeds equal lower finish quality. Typical flat line speeds range from 3-8 meters per minute. Paints and clear coats are most commonly run at 6 meters per minute. Stains are generally run at 3-4 meters per minute. Where premium finish quality is not a priority, line speeds may log in excess of 8 meters per minute. It is normally recommended to run at the slowest production speed possible that provides the desired production through-put and an acceptable finish quality. Line speeds dictate the number of spray guns required to apply the coating to the specified mil thickness. Industry guidelines specify one gun for every meter the line speed is running for high quality spray application results. Spray guns must be paired in sets of four guns. Therefore a four gun set up will be adequate at line speeds of up to 4 meters per minute. At over four meters per minute, an eight gun set up will provide the best application process. 50

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N


solvent borne stain intermix system

NEW PROMATCH INTERMIX SYSTEM & STOCK STAINS ®

The C-Mix Intermix system provides ease of workability, good clarity and grain definition. This wipe stain can be sprayed or wiped on. It uses a simple one-step clear base and fourteen mono colors, allowing the match of virtually any color. The C-Mix system now incorporates the use of pigments and dyes in a single container. The addition of mono colors made with dyes provides the opportunity to match brighter colors with more depth. The system has 15 stock stains, and features 300 formulas that are quickly and easily duplicated. Color chip box sets in both oak and maple, plus formula guides can be ordered with the intermix system.

Visit www.chemcraft.com to locate your nearest distributor.

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A Great Finish is Only the Beginning

© 2013 AkzoNobel

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Chemcraft® is a registered trademark of Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc.

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Automated Spray Gun Set Up Automated HVLP Set Up • Line speed: 4 – 6 meters per minute • Number of guns: eight • Tip Size: .6 – 1.0 mm • Flow Rates: Varies by stain type and determined by adjusting pressure settings to hit target color • Fluid Pressure and Pressure Regulator: 3 – 8 psi • Delivery pump pressure: 12 – 18 psi • Fan Pattern Width: Fully wide open • Atomization air: 15 – 22 psi • Gun Downwards Angle Setting: 60 degrees • Gun Tip to Belt Distance: 7 ½ inches • Gun Swivel Orientation: 45 degrees to belt feed direction

AA Spray Gun Set Up • Line speed: 6 meters per minute • Tip Size: .012 to .018 • Fan pattern Width: 12 – 14 inches * Gun Tip to Belt Distance: 6 – 6 ½ inches • Atomization Air: 15-20 psi • Pump Pressure: 450 – 800 psi • Gun Downward Angle: 55 degrees • Gun Swivel Orientation: 45 degrees to parallel with belt feed direction 52

The alternate set-up for very high-speed production may require the use of airless gun technology. Airless gun technology uses high fluid pressure only to atomize the coatings. Airless gun technologies may be considered a viable technology to use with line speeds greater than six meters per minute. A four gun airless set up can be considered to consistently apply many coatings using high line speeds. Not all coatings work well with airless – be sure to consult with your coatings supplier to verify airless application technology viability. Choosing Tip size: Using four guns versus eight guns will determine

the range of tip sizes that should be used. Typically, the four gun set up will require larger tip sizes than an eight gun set up if line speed and mil thickness requirements are equal. Also, faster line speeds require more material to be applied in a given time than slower speeds. Therefore, tip sizes should be selected according to coating characteristics, number of guns used, and the line speed to hit the targeted mil thickness. Fan paTTern: The width of the gun fan pattern should be selected as wide as possible for most automated spray applications. This is especially important when a four gun set up is used. Wide fan patterns will make it easier to achieve a consistent 50% overlap in the spray pattern to provide uniform film build. The reciprocating speed of the spray machine must be set at the precise number of cycles to provide a 50% overlap. The reciprocating speed should be set at lowest value while maintaining uniform coverage of the coatings. The faster the reciprocator runs, the more the amount of overspray increases, transfer efficiency is reduced, finish quality is lowered, and the cleanliness of the spray cabinet is affected. Therefore, the entire set up process should be maximized to eliminate these negative impacts on the application process.

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What’s in a name? A promise.

Spray Direction: Spraying in the pushing or pulling mode or in both

directions should be evaluated closely. With most automated spray applications, the proper set up of the equipment will provide the best results in the pulling mode. Spraying in the pushing mode can cause the fan pattern to exhibit excessive turbulence or a snow plowing effect that can cause the spray pattern to bounce up into the spray cabin rather than effectively coating the edges and profiles of the product. Loss of coating material and finish quality can be attributed to spraying in the pushing mode. Most application processes should be set up in the pulling mode only to provide the best finish quality and transfer efficiency. Maintaining good air flow in the spray cabin with a slightly negative air pressure will help the spray pattern in the pulling mode to wrap around the edges and profiles of the parts. Gun Tip to Belt Distance: When using air assisted airless guns, the gun tip to belt distance should be set at approximately six inches for parts up to one and half inches high. For thicker parts, the guns should be raised to six or seven inches in height from the tip of the gun to the surface of the belt. For spraying stains with HVLP guns, the height of the gun should be set at approximately seven and a half inches from the belt to the tip of the gun. Downward Angle: The downward angle of the gun for the air assisted airless guns should be set at approximately 50 to 55 degree angle. HVLP guns are normally set at around a 60 degree angle for most stain applications.

The swivel orientation of the gun in relation to the travel of the belt can be set in two different positions depending on coating material and product type being sprayed. The two options are at a 40 degree orientation to the direction that the belt travels or parallel to the direction that the belt travels. It is recommended that you try both settings to determine the best orientation to achieve the best coating uniformity and edge coverage.

SPECIFY “Sounds like a pitch, but it’s true. Collins Pine FreeForm ®

Swivel orientation:

The atomization air pressure for both HVLP and AA guns should be set at the lowest value to effectively break up the coating material into satisfactory particles sizes.

Air Pressure:

For both spray application technologies, the fluid pressure should be set at a value that delivers a flow rate to meet the requirements of the finish application process. Excessive high pump pressures with the AA guns may over-atomize the coating material. Changing to a large tip and lowering fluid pressure will be necessary. Too low a fluid pressure may cause particle size to be too large to provide adequate finish quality. Therefore, a smaller tip should be used and pump pressure will need to be increased. Fluid Pressure:

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Whether you are manually spraying or using automation, always remember that the best application process will result in a very calm spray pattern and minimal over spray. Using excessive atomization pressure, fluid pressure, or reciprocating speed is the enemy of fine finishing. There are no recommendations for setting your equipment that fit all application requirements. However, if best practice standards are followed, an outstanding finish quality and high efficiency can be achieved. s&p

what’s not to like?”

Phil Stevenson is the President and Lead Trainer of the American Wood Finishing Institute (AWFI), a for profit organization that provides educational training, consulting and process engineering for the industrial coatings application industry.

Chip Spellman, Owner, SpellmanHardwoods.com

Information and Sales:

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Mike Shuey 800.329.1219 x2222 mshuey@collinsco.com CollinsWood.com

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Speaking Socially B y

L

J a k e

eaving college can be nerve-racking. Many graduates aren’t sure which career paths their degrees will lead them down. I found myself wondering how my next life chapter would be written after graduating with a Journalism/Advertising degree (ironic, right?). My background in sales, hospitality and customer support had me continually asking myself, “How can I turn the combination of my work experience and education into a career?” The answer became social media. Like many recent PR, Marketing and Journalism grads, I started up with a company as a social media manager. It didn’t take long for me to realize that controlling social media essentially made me a brand manager.

Solid ColorS Make the SoCial CirCle ABET Laminati has added digital capabilities to the largest solid color collection of laminates in North America. Choose from over 300 solid colors or create your own digital design on your favorite hue. The possibilities are endless. GreenGuard CErTifiEd GrEENGuArd certified • low Voc emissions

G a w e l

SociaL conditioning and SaLeS

People in the 18-25 age demographic have been technologically conditioned to expect a social media presence from any company or brand they run across. This social presence becomes their primary form of interaction with that company. For example, if college sophomore, Todd, finds a company he really likes, he’ll look for a Facebook page or Twitter handle he can connect with. Todd may never check that website again, but will continue to see their brands messages hundreds of times on his social media feeds. In a flash, that brand’s social media manager became their brand manager to that person (and thousands more like him). In a SalesForce.com article entitled The Social Sales Revolution: 7 Steps to Get Ahead, more support is given to social conditioning. SalesForce found:  22% of the time spent on the Internet is on social media sites.  85% [of participants] think companies should interact on social media.  56% of people feel a stronger connection with companies who engage on social media. If their research is even a slight indication of the universal consumer thought process, it’s safe to say that creating a strong social brand now will positively impact sales going forward. The article goes on to explain how successful soft-selling on social media can triumph over traditional sales methods.

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 Focus on prospects who are ready to talk  Able to offer the right solution at the right time to the right people  Engage in relevant conversations, becoming a trusted expert www.abetlaminati.com • 800-228-2238

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 Lots of cold calling  Unaware of customers’ needs and purchase cycles  Left out of critical conversations about your product and market  Meet heavy sales resistance  Learn about opportunities too late

DIS

 Deepen relationships through better listening so customers come to you  Spot opportunities early

Munk

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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MAQ_FUT


A NEW TREND COLLECTION

DISCOVER OUR COLOR COLLECTION OF DECOR PAPERS AT INTERZUM 2013 - Hall 6 - Booth B20-C21 Munksjรถ Paper Inc., 100 Erdman Way, Suite S100, Leominster, MA 01453, Phone +1 (978) 342-1080, E-Mail: decorative.papers@munksjo.com, www.munksjo.com

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SynDeco

Social B2B

Social media is no longer just a cyber-hangout for unemployed youth. Socially savvy business professionals and marketers have taken up residence in the social realms and they aren’t going away any time soon. Today’s marketing professionals live on their phones and laptops. Those who have established, developed and maintained highly regarded social media channels are looking to connect with other brands that share similar social standing. In my brief time with materialicious.com (sister site of Surfaceand-Panel.com), it would be an understatement if I said only half of my positive connections with other

brands have been from social media. It’s been the fastest, easiest way for me to connect with influential people from other companies (whether the individual is the influential person, or simply knows who is!). The Time iS Now

If your company hasn’t taken the time to develop a strong social presence, keep in mind that although the train has left the station, it hasn’t pulled out of sight. Your business can still harness the power of social media to act as:  BroadcaST media: embedded YouTube videos and podcasts reduce the need for TV and radio advertising campaigns

coNNecT wiTh uS

Bedford Falls Communications (parent company of Surface & Panel magazine, SurfaceandPanel.com and materialicious.com) is on the forefront of the social media push for the composite wood panel and decorative surfaces industries. Please connect with us as we help move our industry forward! Surface & Panel | SurfaceandPanel.com • www.facebook.com/surfaceandpanel • www.twitter.com/surfacepanelmag materialicious.com • www.facebook.com/materialicious • www.twitter.com/materialicious • www.pinterest.com/materialicious more TipS aNd Social BraNdiNG SucceSS STorieS oN TheSe SiTeS:

• Get10000Fans.com • Econsultancy.com • SocialSprout.com

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 BillBoard: display your messages to thousands, changing the message as often as you like  direcT mail: send your messages directly to the best space in advertising: your customer’s cellphone screen  FocuS Group: gain instant insight to your consumer’s thought processes  cuSTomer Service deparTmeNT: attend to your consumers questions, no matter where they are located, and build trust through that engagement In business, nothing is sold without conversation. That’s precisely what social media is: a conversation. You give your audience what they want to hear, see and read about and they will reward your efforts with positive brand engagement and massive exposure (which in turn will lead to sales). In the last decade, social media has grown from a place where teenagers gossip about classmates into an empire where the White House announces presidential addresses. Social media has become an important part of global culture, making it paramount that your social media manager (think brand manager) and social strategy are primed for success. s&p

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CONGRATULATIONS TO INTERPRINT ON THEIR PREMEER™ INTRODUCTION

SynDECOR®-based overlays: The next great thing in decorative laminates! SynDECOR®, a biaxially-oriented polypropylene (OPP) based film, provides cabinet and RTA furniture producers an exciting, cost-effective alternative to today’s laminate substrates. This thin, strong barrier film is UV-stabilized and modified to chemically bond to glues for lamination. SynDECOR is surface printed and e-beam or UV-coated by AET Films converter customers.

No more water or moisture issues Because SynDECOR is an OPP-based film, it has all of the water resistance your applications will ever need. Meeting 24-hour test requirements is no issue, whether the laminates are based upon our 23, 32, 41 or 56 gsm products.

Its “Living Hinge” is ideal for miter-fold construction Unlike most materials, polypropylene actually strengthens when it is flexed. This inherent, high resistance to flexural fatigue, combined with SynDECOR’s high resistance to tear-initiation, allows and inspires product designs that include foldable backs, v-grooved cabinet carcasses, lightweight panels and shelving. Furniture and cabinet producers can now improve product design and appearance while reducing the overall costs.

IF water-resistance, living-hinge and versatility

are not enough to convince you, then also consider these additional SynDECOR benefits: • consistent chemical bonds with today’s commonly used glues • superior print fidelity • converter-applied coatings that deliver exceptional mar, scratch and abrasion resistance • formaldehyde and melamine-free • polyolefin-based construction, widely considered the most sustainable of all plastics

Wrapped profiles and five-piece doors MDF and SynDECOR-based overlays are made for one another. The thin, yet strong SynDECOR-based laminate will highlight the intricate detail of routed products. Five-piece doors can now be produced with one substrate and one print surface, delivering consistent design with improved durability. The functional surface of SynDECOR chemically bonds to the PUR or water-based glues.

The Hidden Advantage™

www.SynDECOR.com For more information on SynDECOR, call 1.800.688.2044.

As a proud member of the CPA we truly believe that SynDECOR - based laminates are an “Innovative Product for a Sustainable Future.”

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What is ECC? ECC stands for Eco-Certified CompositeTM, as defined in a ground-breaking new Sustainability Standard and Certification Program for composite panel products – specifically particleboard, MDF, hardboard and engineered wood siding and trim, and products made with them.

What makes a composite panel Eco-Certified? The requirements for ECC Certification are tough and specific, and require annual audits. Composite panels must first comply with the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde emissions regulation. In addition, the panel manufacturing facility must meet at least 3 of the following requirements: • Carbon Footprint – Demonstrate that the panel’s carbon store offsets its cradle-togate carbon footprint as determined in kg-CO2 equivalents of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. • Local and Renewable Resource – At least 85% of wood fiber sourced within 250 miles. • Recycled/Recovered – At least 75% recycled or recovered wood fiber; or at least 50% recycled/recovered wood fiber plus a minimum of 5% post-consumer fiber. • Sustainability – At least 97% of the wood fiber furnish used in the manufacturing process is either converted into panels or other non-waste products. • Wood Sourcing – Hold a valid assessment and certificate from a certifying agency recognized by CPA such as FSC or SFI.

The Composite Panel Association is committed to advancing and certifying the sustainability of industry products for residential, commercial and industrial uses.

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ECC Wood Products are among the greenest on earth. What products carry the ECC logo? Products carrying the ECC-certified logo include furniture, cabinets, closet systems, flooring, doors, mouldings and more.

Who can be ECC certified? ECC certification is available to composite panel plants and facilities that manufacture laminated panels, components and finished products. Certification provides independent third party verification and an audited chain of custody.

What about LEED? ECC certification may help products achieve LEED credit for Recycled Content MR Credit 4, Regional Materials MR Credit 5, Certified Wood MR Credit 7, and/or Low Emitting Material EQ Credit 4.4. ECC certification may also help earn credit for Low Emitting Materials EQ Credit 4.5 (LEED–CI) and others.

Who sponsors ECC? The Composite Panel Association (CPA) developed the ECC Standard, including its pioneering Carbon Calculator. CPA administers the ECC Certification Program as a third party certification agency accredited to ISO/IEC Guide 65by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

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These Materials

Are Tops

As a central feature in kitchen and bath design, the countertop has to look great and perform. Choosing the perfect material is a process that balances durability, ease of maintenance, target price point, environmental characteristics and personal preference. Many materials, both natural and engineered, make great countertops. The following is just a small sample of some of the exciting options available.

Silestone � Silestone, the world leader in quartz surfacing, introduces Suede, a striking new matte finish for Silestone natural surfaces. Suede offers an exceptional, velvety surface with a distinctive design aesthetic that sets it apart from the traditional high-gloss appearance of many natural stone surfaces. The elegant surface is smooth to the touch giving the surface a softer appearance with little reflection. The new Suede finish is ideal for countertops and backsplashes and is incredibly easy to maintain – requiring no wax or sealant to enhance its tone. Silestone is naturally non-porous and never needs to be sealed. It is easy to clean and has high scratch, stain, and heat resistance. Silestone also is proven to be a cleaner and safer countertop. It offers a unique combination of built-in antimicrobial protection that safely fights the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. n www.silestoneusa.com 60

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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� ThinkGlass The ThinkGlass story began in 1999 in an empty room under the leadership of two creative individuals who were passionate about beautiful glasswork. Today, the company is one of the most successful glass design and manufacturing studios in the world with a shop that encompasses more than 35,000 square feet, 25 employees and 21 state-of-the-art, custom made ovens. ThinkGlass is still headed by its two original founders – glass master Michel Mailhot who is the artistic soul of the company, and Bertrand Charest, a certified engineer and company president. Together with their talented team, they produce all manner of glass masterpieces, from residential kitchen to bathroom vanity countertops and backsplashes to fantastical sculptures, wall murals and floor tiles, and even large-scale commercial projects for restaurants, nightclubs and offices.

www.thinkglass.com

ThinkGlass quickly became a leader in the thermoforming industry by pioneering a versatile technique that allows the creation of new or repetitive textures. This process allows the creation of glass slabs without thickness constraints opening the door to all kinds of design possibilities. All ThinkGlass creations are made from 100% recyclable glass using sustainable practices and without the use of any adhesive or sealant potentially containing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). n

Recycled Glass

Vetrazzo® is a recycled glass surface comprised of 85% Recycled Glass and 15% modified Portland White Cement. When you buy Vetrazzo, you get an exquisite surface material—truly a work of art— that becomes the centerpiece for your home or project. What else makes it sparkle? A high glass content ( 85% by volume), expansive color palette, and story in every surface. From architectural to art glass, to beer bottles and jars, each mix is a signature blend of color and life that tells a story. n www.vetrazzo.com/eng

Textured Beauty

Pentadecor® 3D Laminate films Banana wood design with deep surface texture

“The Volcano Series”

Pacaya HO/2704

Cambria

Cambria is a stain resistant, nonporous, natural quartz surface that is harder, safer and easier to care for than other surfaces. Its nonabsorbent nature protects against more than just stains – it’s also extremely hygienic. Cambria’s industry-leading design palette of vibrant colors and striking movement has captured the attention of the industry and the imagination of the consumer. Cambria continues to push the envelope of innovation by developing additional designs to meet the demands of the most discerning consumers and designers. n www.cambriausa.com

Stromboli HO/2705

Merapi HO/2706

A new design with 3 “Hot” colorations now available from SSI North America Exact matching TFM in color and texture from Flakeboard Pacaya WF373 Stomboli WF372 Merapi WF371

973.598.0152 www.ssinorthamerica.com surface&panel

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w �

Mixed Media

Gem-Loc Premier Edge incorporates a Corian accent into a traditional laminate surface creating an exceptionally resilient edge and the higher-end look designers are seeking. Gem-Loc is available in any laminate with over 150 solid surface accents. With the seamless look of Gem-Loc, your customer’s project can finally obtain the appearance of stone, the consistency of quartz, at a price all can afford. n www.loticorp.com

Wood

Wood countertops, composed of 100 percent renewable resources, invite conversations and enrich culinary endeavors. Prep, mix, sip, and serve on a surface that is water- and splashproof, easy to clean and care for, and offered in an expansive array of varieties to suit any interior design motif. J. Aaron handcrafts custom countertops such as this one to suit its client’s preferences, offering a choice of three construction styles, 19 edge profiles, and 13 wood species. Additional options include the new weathered wood finish, authentic distressing, hand-hewn textures, convenient in-counter knife slots, and on-counter trivets. Protect wood’s natural and enduring beauty with an assortment of three premium sealers, one of which is ideally suited for each individual’s use and maintenance expectations. n www.jaaronwoodcountertops.com

Suberra Cork

In today’s open plan kitchen it seems silly not to include some surfaces that are still tough enough for the kitchen and food prep, but warm and soft enough for homework and hanging around.

Looking for the latest trends in Interior Design? Look no further Log in to www.laminatefinder.com for the latest in design and texture

Suberra is an ultra high density, anti-bacterial cork slab for counters. Standard sizes are 1.25" or 6.5" thick and 25" deep by 3, 6, 9 and 12' long. Seams are almost invisible and completed with widely available Polyurethane glue. It is used for custom stair treads and walls in addition to kitchen counters work surfaces and restaurant tables. There is no added urea formaldehyde and actually zero detectable petrochemicals when test for the USDA’s BioPreferred program. The suberin in the cork is activated by heat and pressure and is the real binding agent. It requires no finish, but most woodworking finishes will work on Suberra. n www.suberra.com

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wa r mth

a nd tec hnology

Salice introduces tItanIUm. hinges with a rich, warm finish. The new TITANIUM, with it’s warm finish, integrates perfectly with today’s cabinetry. It is the perfect combination of warmth and modern functionality. When compared with the traditional blue or nickel-plated finishes, this rich hue is less invasive and has a muted sheen. TITANIUM is the ideal hinge for today’s darker interiors, but is also suitable for the lightest interiors. Plus, the corrosion strength is considerably increased when compared to the nickel-plated finish. You can’t go wrong.

2123 Crown Centre Drive | Charlotte NC. 28227 | 800.222.9652 | 704.841.7810 www.saliceamerica.com | info.salice@saliceamerica.com

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www.Roseburg.com

image courtesy of Derosso/ treviso

Single Source Producer

soliD Color laminates WitH Digital Design by abet laminati

The New Roseburg.com

We are excited to introduce you to these new features: • Easier than ever to order samples and literature through the new Samples and Literature Library plus fast checkout • View detailed sample information and green specifications for each product in the Roseburg catalog • Download technical documents and product catalogs through the Library • Download software tools when you need them • Gain access to Roseburg featured CEUs and education videos

"enDless graytone" HPl by FormiCa

image courtesy of formica

Here at Roseburg, we are excited to unveil our new, redesigned, customer friendly website. The website is packed with information about our products and company. These updates will help you make correct and informed decisions about using our wood products.

High Pressure Laminate HPL is considered one of the most durable decorative surface materials. It is available in myriad styles, colors and designs with a variety of finish options ranging from matte to high-gloss and including specialty textures such as leather. Recent technology has led to the development of highdefinition laminates that replicate marble and granite designs with astounding fidelity. HPL is available with enhanced performance characteristics for chemical, fire and wear resistance, and countertops can be specified with upgraded edges including beveled, bull-nosed and a variety of post-formed edges. This durable and economical option is constructed from recycled materials. It can be specified as FSC-Mix Certified and may contribute to LEED credits. n

Wilsonart® HD® HPl in "Winter Carnival"

TF 800-245-1115 www.Roseburg.com

Decorative | Construction | Industrial W O O D P R O D U C T S

64

image courtesy of wilsonart

Take a quick tour of the new site through our 3-minute video at: www.roseburg.com/introduction-to-the-newroseburg-com

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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5/2/13 10:38 AM

5/28/13 10:41 AM


FEEL NATURAL, FEEL GRAND, FEEL ILLAMINATED.

2013

COLLECTION

Santo Cinza 3126

Go real. Go for our New BIG SCALE Granites, with no pattern repetition used on traditional laminates. Get real scale looks for unique and spectacular spaces.

NEW 2013 COLLECTION. We are inspired by natural creativity.

Phone: (57-1) 644 9898 Fax: (57-1) 644 9897

R

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� Concrete - From the Sidewalk to the kitChen Engineered-concrete is a new artistic medium for kitchen countertops. Many decades ago, somebody had the idea to take the look of a concrete sidewalk, and implement it for a countertop. While pouring concrete countertops on-site seemed to be easy enough, there was one problem – Sure enough, the concrete countertops acted much like sidewalks do. Chipping, cracking and staining were huge problems that came along with the desired aesthetics. Richard Brooks has been manufacturing custom countertops using alternative materials for over 30 years. He has seen the evolution of concrete first-hand. “We’ve come a long way with technology. Fiber-reinforced concrete changed the way concrete countertops are made, for the better,” Brooks commented. “With enough experimenting, our engineered-concrete is extremely durable, and the color and design possibilities are really amazing.” Brooks has perfected his proprietary formula for engineered-concrete and it is now one of the most desired materials he works with. n www.brookscustom.com

recycled Glass � Bio-Glass is made from 100 percent recycled glass from beer bottles, wine bottles, water bottles and stemware gathered from recycling centers. It is 100 percent recyclable and available in white, light green, dark green, blue and brown. All colors are true to their sources; no colorants or epoxies are added. The layers of compressed glass pieces create unique patterns through which light permeates, resulting in a solid surface that appears lit from within. Bio-Glass is Cradle to Cradle Silver certified and may contribute to LEED credits. n www.coveringsetc.com

Why Laminate with AACC Hot Melt Adhesive Coatings? You'll Save Money!

AWFS Booth #6218

With AACC hot melt adhesive coatings, your total lamination cost is lower than “wet glue” – or any other glue system.

Check out the AACC advantage: • • • • •

260 degree F Heat Resistance Moisture Resistant – Meets KCMA Standards Smooth Appearance (no orange peel look) Less Than 1% Waste Environmentally Safe

Plus: • • • •

Free online tracking of your inventory at our plant Free lab testing of laminations made with AACC Hot Melt Free laminator operator training Free quality control seminars in your plant

Send for our cost comparison of AACC hot melt vs “wet glue” for paper-to-board lamination.

our 26th yeAr! 66

12 Osgood St. | Lawrence, MA 01843 P : 978-688-7400 | F : 978-691-5015 AACC@Tiac.net | www.AACC-Hotmelts.com

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Introducing

Surfaces in Two Unique Textures! Update your furniture with the latest in design trends! Artika

Tapai Bamboo 672

Carmelo Mist G91

Dahat Teak W64

Dark Noce G90

Richmond Cherry W51

Cokalada Crosscut G89

Gregio Pine W29

Natural Rustik G88

Rio W27

Cannella Rustik G87

Arizona Cypress W53

Gregio Notte G86

Ebony 648

White Zebrine G85

Black 174

Takase Teak 529

Fashion Grey 151

Midnight Echo 533

Pearl White 043

Rain

Total Program of 20 Colors Includes: • • • • •

Drift Loud G92

Textured TFL Panels Textured High Pressure Laminate Matching PVC Edge Treatment Matching Decorative Mouldings Matching 5 Piece Doors

217.540.3100 Stevens Industries, Inc. 704 West Main, Teutopolis, IL 62467

Colors and textures shown in this ad are printed reproductions. Actual colors and textures may vary. Samples available upon request.

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� ECOTOP EcoTop promotes sustainability for air quality, water quality, and forest health. Being the first solid surface material to combine rapidly renewable bamboo and recycled demolition wood fiber, mixed with a clear water based resin system, EcoTop has enabled a great combination of durability and sustainability to include affordability. It has superior UV stability and consistency and is offered in 4 different colors ranging from Snow White to Jet Black, all of which cannot be permanently stained or ruined because of its repairable and renewable texture and color. EcoTop products can be cut, sanded, and finished like other wood and solid surface products and without the risk of breaking, cracking, chipping, or sacrificing its pigment or natural appearance. EcoTop is compatible with all household cleaning products like, is ideal for stain resistance and maintenance, and can take up to 370 degrees F. n www.kliptech.com

Backpainted Glass Countertops & Backsplashes � Element Designs’ new backpainted glass product is ideal for sleek countertops and backsplashes as found in Europe’s newest kitchen and bath designs. Backpainted glass has beautiful depth and brilliant color, yet is a durable, stain resistant and fully recyclable surface material option. The high quality, environmentally friendly, water based paint is available in 4 standard, 195 non-standard and custom colors on either low-iron clear or low-iron matte glass for supreme color clarity. The glass is available in thicknesses up to ½", can be fabricated with several different edgework options and is tempered for safety and durability. n www.element-designs.com

Take a closer Look... Great performance, lower cost!

Product Features: • Panel hang-strength better than conventional slatwall • CARB Exempt • FSC Certified material available • Made in the USA • 100% post-industrial recycled/recovered content • NAF-no added formaldehyde • Economically priced less than MDF slatwall • Incentives for high volume purchasing • Select from hundreds of LPM and HPL finishes • Custom grooving and inserts available ®

Providing quality products since 1932

Dover, Ohio • 800-377-1221 www.marlite.com • info@marlite.com

68

A

Stocked product: White LPM Maple LPM Paint-ready Panel size & Groove Configuration: 4’ x 8’ x 3/4”, 3” on-center

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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SurfandPa


If your custom cabinets are works of art...

...then let Cabinotch® be your canvas!

American Hardwoods • Formaldehyde Free • Saves Time • No Shop Waste • Customizable to 1/1000" • No Particleboard Revolutionize your business with Cabinotch!

SM

Gotham Font

Cabinotch® is an innovative system for making face-framed cabinetGreens 50C 100Y 10K 50C 100Y 30K boxes that helps cabinet shops reduce costs and improve productivity. Grays 15, 30K

SurfandPanel_Cabinotch Ad Jan.indd 1 SandP_Q2-2013.indd 69

Register for FREE online today! For more information: visit www.cabinotch.com call 877.413.4299 or email info@cabinotch.com

1/15/13 4:47 PM 5/17/13 10:41 AM


images courtesy of wilsonart

Solid Surface Solid surface countertops are made primarily from acrylic with a few additives or from an acrylic/polyester blend. Most solid surfaces are nonporous which is what makes the countertop resistant to bacteria, mold, and germs. The acrylic can come in essentially any color or pattern imaginable, including designs that mimic common materials such as wood and stone. The countertop is first molded and designed and then can be welded together to form the solid piece countertop. Solid surface is dent-resistant, stain-resistant and easily repaired, though it may be damaged by excessive heat. n

MirroFlex Structures

™

Lightweight thermoplastic panels that are suitable for walls, ceilings, backsplashes and many other Interior Design applications. Most finishes are now available in EccoFlex, a 40% pre-consumer recycled material. Alphabet Soup in Galvanized

Innovation in Decorative Laminates 800.849.1320 • www.advtechnology.com

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5/14/13 10:26 PMNorthern-Con 5/17/13 10:41 AM


Paperstone ďż˝ Italy, known for its famous fashion designers, is producing fashion kitchen and baths using PaperStone for surfaces, cabinets, and sinks. Aesthetically pleasing PaperStone is being used to display top shelf retail cosmetics worldwide. Some of the best know museums and attractions in the United States are installing PaperStone for displays and work surfaces. Often used for laboratory work tops, the material is extremely durable and practically impervious to water. Made in Washington State in numerous colors using 100% recycled paper, PaperStone is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council earning points in the nationally recognized LEED green building program. Most products are certified food safe for direct food contact by the National Sanitary Foundation. PaperStone is a beautiful, functional addition to any kitchen or bath and uses waste paper that would otherwise be landfilled. n www.paperstoneproducts.com

Countertops are expected to be durable, environmentally responsible and beautiful. It is a tall order, but both engineered and natural materials offer solutions that meet that criteria at price points to fit any project. For more inspiration, check out www.materialicious.com s&p

Thinking Forward

5101 Umber SuperMatte 3DL

20007 Grand Canyon Textured Melamine

exotic veneer | acrylic | textured melamine | transitional wood shakers | veneer surfaces | supermatte 3dl thermofoil

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Yo u r s o u r ce fo r ins p ir e d co mp on e n t s 866-344-8132 | www.northerncontours.com

5/3/2013 11:04:47 AM 5/17/13 10:42 AM


a d v e r t i s e r

i n d e x

PAgE

PAgE

54

Abet Laminati 800.228.2238 www.abetlaminati.com

41

M.L. Campbell 800.364.1359 www.mlcampbell.com

70

Advanced Technology Inc. 800.849.1320 www.advtechnology.com

55

Munksjo 978.342.1080 www.munksjo.com

44

Agristrand 888.250.5625 www.Agristrand.com

71

66

American Adhesives 978.688.7400 www.AACO-Hotmelts.com

Northern Contours 866.344.8132 www.northerncontours.com

25

Omnova Solutions 866.332.5226 www.omnova.com

13

Arclin 877.689.9145 www.arclin.com

76 (BC)

Panolam 203.925.1556 www.panolam.com

36

AWFS 877.303.0711 www.awfsfair.org

12

Premiere Eurocase 303.407.7214 www.premiereurocase.com

75

Blum, Inc. 704.827.1345 www.blum.com

62

Renolit 856-467-3800 www.renolit.com

11

Boise Cascade 888.264.7372 www.bc.com

26

Riken USA Corporation 609.387.2011 www.riken-usa.com

69

Cabinotch 877.413.4299 www.cabinotch.com

64

Roseburg 800.245.1115 www.Roseburg.com

51

Chemcraft, a brand of AkzoNobel 336.841.5111 www.chemcraft.com

19

Ro端cke 303.339.4120 www.roucke.com

9

Clarion Boards 800.373.4383 www.clarionindustries.com

63

Salice 800.222.9652 www.saliceamerica.com

53

Collins 800.329.1219 www.CollinsWood.com

23

Schattdecor 314.400.6100 www.schattdecor.com

58-59/73

Composite Panel Association 866.4Composites www.DecorativeSurfaces.org

27

SierraPine Composite Solutions 800.676.3339 www.sierrapine.com

5

Decotone 908.301.0600 www.decotonesurfaces.com

67

Stevens Industries 217.540.3100 www.stevensmelamine.com

45

DVUV 216.741.5511 www.dvuv.com

17/43

Stiles Machinery, Inc. 616.698.7500 www.stilesmachinery.com

46

Forrest 800.733.7111 www.ForrestBlades.com

61

Surface Source International 973.598.0152 www.ssinorthamerica.com

2 (IFC)

Interprint, Inc. 413.443.4733 www.interprint.us

57

Syndecor/Taghleef Industries 800.688.2044 www.syndecor.com

33

Kings Mountain International 704.739.4227 www.kmiinc.net

28

Synergy Thermofoils 954.420.9553 www.SynergyThermofoils.com

47

Kleiberit 704.843.3339 www.kleiberit.com

35

Tafisa Canada 888.882.3472 www.tafisa.ca

31

KML-Kustom Material Laminates 888.358.5075 www.KMLcorp.com

18

Thermwood 800.533.6901 www.thermwood.com

29

56

Laminati 877.863.7908 www.laminati-usa.com

Uniboard 800.263.5240 www.uniboard.com

49

Valspar 612.851.7000 www.valsparglobal.com

42

West Fraser Sales Ltd. 780.413.8900 www.westfraser.com

7

Wilsonart International 800.433.3222 www.wilsonarthd.com

Perfecting motion

Lamitech S.A. 571.644.9898 www.lamitech.com.co

65

68 速

72

www.surfaceandpanel.com

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Marlite 800.377.1221 www.marlite.com

5/28/13 10:54 AM


Architects & Designers...

Build Your Knowledge with tools anD materials from the composite panel association

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tfl makes environmentally friendly Decorative panels affordable, attractive and easy the science of sustainability: how composite wood panels measure up

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G row i n G . . .

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Decorative foils Give weight to cost-effective surface Design the evolution of sustainable, cost-effective Decorative surface materials

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5/17/13 10:43 AM


f r o m

t h e

e d i t o r

“A compelling image, the kind that draws in the best and the brightest people who are capable of moving the industry forward, begins with a corporate culture that is built on market intelligence and innovation, rather than static adherence to tradition.”

Fast Forward My work requires me to research and interview. I learn about all sorts of fascinating things, from specific technologies and processes, to general economic trends to design. And as a result, I can easily converse with just about anyone. This is a good thing as I recently relocated and have been meeting a lot of new people. After talking about production or fashion or materials or global economies or reshoring or any of the number of intriguing aspects of our industry that touch the lives of others, I am inevitably asked what I do. I reply that I write about materials, technology and design, and that typically launches more discussion. People get excited. They have ideas about what that means, and with few exceptions, people of all ages and experiences want to exchange thoughts about one or more of those areas. Yet the most brilliant industry professionals I talk with report difficulties attracting talent. More than anything, this shortage is likely to be a limiting factor in production over the next 5-7 years (see EBC page 10 for economic forecast). Now imagine if instead of materials, technology and design, I told people that I write about woodworking. Rather than sparking exciting dialogue, I would likely be passed off to uncle Stan who builds birdhouses in the garage. In many cases the perception of the woodworking industry is out of sync with the reality; but there is always a reason why generalizations exist. If producers rely primarily on processes and products that have been historically successful, then they cannot be surprised when their image is outdated. In North America we are particularly susceptible to this because of our insular geography. A compelling image, the kind that draws in the best and the brightest people who are capable of moving the industry forward, begins with a corporate culture that is built on market intelligence and innovation, rather than static adherence to tradition. You have to walk the talk. I feel fortunate that this issue features some of the industry’s movers and shakers. People who are looking ahead and shaping the future, rather than looking to the side to make sure they are staying abreast of their competition… or even worse, looking back. Now more than ever education on all levels is paramount to optimizing the opportunities that lay ahead. In the grand scheme, there are some exciting programs starting to hit their stride in high schools and colleges (more on this in the future). Also many exemplary operations are developing programs to “grow their own” talent through re-training and internship programs. Professional technical training is even becoming a market in its own right. But simply attending industry events and technical conferences is a great way to get new ideas and fresh perspective. How important is it? Well, this year my schedule includes the EBC (technology), ICFF and NeoCon (design) and the Decorative Surfaces Conference (materials, technology and design page 8), plus whatever one or two day events I can attend; and I have a 2013 model infant at home. But if you want to know, you have to go. At Surface & Panel we understand that we have a responsibility to push the leading edge of our industry. And the only things I make are stories. I hope to see you in New Orleans in November, and to write about your wildly successful innovations in the years to come. As always, huge gratitude to everyone who helped create this issue.

Suzanne VanGilder | Editorial Director | svangilder@surfaceandpanel.com

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Experts at making motion effortless.

Child’s play. That’s how easy it is to choose, install and adjust Blum hardware. And how easy it will make using your cabinets and drawers every day. Visit us at booth 2534 at KBIS in New Orleans Perfecting motion to see how easy we can make your life. / blum.com

Perfecting motion

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1/29/13 4:33 PM


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Surface and Panel Q2 Digital Edition  

Surface and Panel Q2 Digital Edition

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