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

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Use your QR Code reader to learn more about PremeerTM in Interprint’s magazine, The Leader

Introducing TM

Superior Protection for your Board

and your Bottom Line.

Introducing PremeerTM, a smart decorative overlay that combines unsurpassed protection against moisture and wear with all the versatility, printability and sustainability a market could ever want. Interprint’s ability to print stunning multicolor designs on SynDECOR® and apply a protective coating inline speeds delivery times and maximizes value. Premeer outperforms other adhesive-based overlays at every turn: Premeer protects better, it folds better, it prints better and it’s better for the environment. Premeer works with all common water-based laminating or PUR hot-melt systems. To learn more about Premeer, visit or call Interprint, Inc. at 413-443-4733.

Premeer is designed and manufactured by Interprint Interprint, Inc. 101 Central Berkshire Blvd., Pittsfield, MA 01201 413.443.4733 SynDECOR® is a registered trademark of Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc.

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Surfaces Sell

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You never know what retail consumers are thinking. Fickle might be an understatement. You never know when or where they will show up or if they will buy. Retail giants spend millions trying to figure them out, get their attention and get them through the doors. The Point of Purchase Advertising Institute (POPAI) research has shown that over 70 percent of purchase decisions are made at the point of purchase for nearly all consumer transactions. Knowing that the majority of brand decisions are made in-store is very powerful knowledge for POP producers, but it can be useful for furniture and cabinet producers as well. In a furniture or cabinet showroom, the point of purchase is the product. Style, design and silhouette play an important role, but the surface material is the tie-breaker between a winner and a loser. What you see is what you get. It can be a fine line between a product that sells and one that collects dust on the showroom floor…destined for a discount. Surface materials play a critical role, probably more so than our industry recognizes. As an upholstered furniture manufacturers’ rep years ago, I got in the habit of insisting that floor samples were only the most statistically saleable products. There was always one frame style paired with one fabric (and specific color way) that sold in truckload quantities. If the retailer selected the same silhouette, but changed the fabric it would typically become a loser. It was as clear to me then as it is today that surfaces, and all that surfaces represent including color, texture and design, evoke an emotional response from the prospective buyer. Some please the senses. Others do not. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fabric or laminate. Surfaces sell. Steve Jobs was a fanatic about product design, even the color and texture of computer cases. He is famous for refusing to do market research and stated, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Similarly, furniture and cabinet buyers don’t know what they want until they see it. And it’s the surface they see first. Decorative surfaces are the most outwardly identifiable quality of a winning product. Producers, users and specifiers of surface materials will gather this October in Orlando for the Decorative Surfaces Conference. Anyone interested in the latest advances in surface materials, global trends in style and design and revolutionary new surfaces to be found on tomorrow’s furniture and cabinets is welcome to attend. We would love to see you there. Please don’t hesitate to call me for more information. Or you can go to the conference website Register today. And bring your family for an enjoyable break at Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, for the 2012 DSC. All the best,

“Furniture and cabinet buyers don’t know what they want until they see it. Decorative surfaces are the most outwardly identifiable quality of a winning product.”

John Aufderhaar, Publisher | Surface & Panel | | 920-206-1766

hnologies, Inc.

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3 from the Publisher




Building for the Building Industry Burke Gibson LLC utilizes in-house designers and craftsman, as well as hightech equipment to build custom pieces that are often put into high production.

Ryan Wagner, National Accounts Manager Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 ph: 920-262-2080 fax: 920-206-1767


Education: The future of Manufacturing Education is an area where professionals can definitively, and positively, affect the future of domestic manufacturing.


groovy new solutions Wind Mill Slatwall Products Inc. has been improving slatwall through material and process innovations that have elevated it from a commodity retail product to something far more, well, groovy.


sophisticated solutions for Modern Environments OFS furniture is designed for modern businesses that aspire to create a culture of success and innovation with product offerings that are developed to meet the needs of a wide range of clientele.




Zeitgeist and Modern furniture design Part art museum, part modern retail store, this temporary location in SoHo in Lower Manhattan officially marked the first public display of the renewed Herman Miller Collection.


finishing Matters A special section highlighting the finishing industry.

gRaPHIC dEsIgn

46 finishing Expertise 48 demystifying decorative foil finishes 52 finishing with Craftsmanship and Technology 56

olEd: Raising lighting to a new level When designers and scientists start talking about organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), their imaginations know no bounds.


Best of neocon 2012 It is difficult to walk around an expansive show like NeoCon and pick favorites. In this case S&P has selected interesting applications that use engineered materials and lighting technology in ways that move with the trends of flexible furniture and mobile technology.

MaIn 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

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on THE CovER

Project by II BY IV Design/Photography by David Whittaker


CanadIan offICE


Autostrada delivers exactly what it promises: a journey that is loaded with impressive and deliciously unique stops along the way.


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




Composite panel assoCiation


Executive Perspective Ron Wanek, Chairman of the Board for Ashley Furniture Industries, INC. outlines the company’s history, provides insights into the current state of the furniture industry and looks at where things are headed in the future.

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

Karen Leno - KML Design, Inc. 923 Forest Edge Circle, Coralville, IA 52241 ph: 319-430-5108




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


Hard Rock Hotel Paradise Tower Hits the Jackpot The guest rooms of the Hard Rock Hotel’s Paradise Tower create an environment that exudes the brand’s sexiness and edginess while incorporating genuine quality.

74 from the Editor

Jennifer Schroedl/Surface & Panel Magazine 1617 Country Club Lane, Watertown, WI 53098 fax: 920 206-1767



[ d e p a r t m e n t s ]

72 advertiser Index


Burke Gibson's unique finishing operation utilizes automated and hand finishing methods for high quality results.

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

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Achieve your clients’ dreams without sacrificing functionality and style. Salice has renovated the silent industry with our newly-designed Futura drawer slide. Thoughtful design allows seamless installation, with the smooth close you’ve come to expect from us. Finally, it all comes together.


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Surface and Panel Mag. apread ad “W

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Hard rock Hotel Paradise tower

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a premier destination entertainment resort in Las Vegas that features the 11-story Hard Rock Hotel tower with 640 guest rooms; the 17-story Paradise Tower with 490 rooms and suites; and the all-suite HRH Tower with 359 suites, eight spa villas and seven penthouse suites. The property also boasts a large casino space; flexible meeting and convention areas; 4.8 acres of tropical pool paradise; a concert venue, nightclubs, restaurants, lounges, retail stores and a fitness center. 8

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s t o r y

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© m a r K Z e F F

hen asked to design the guest rooms of the Hard Rock Hotel’s Paradise Tower, Mark Zeff, founder and owner of MARKZEFF Design, embraced the challenge of creating an environment that exuded the brand’s sexiness and edginess while incorporating genuine quality. “At the time, the other first-class hotels in the Vegas market place were vying to out-glitz and outglamour each other, but they were not achieving authentic quality,” Zeff said. “I wanted to break that paradigm and deliver something totally unexpected. I wanted to deliver a $250/night room that looks amazing and feels spectacular,” he said. Zeff is known for making bold, audacious brand statements with his design work. His natural fusion design philosophy is all about using artistry, technology and innovation to communicate brand. The Zeff team set about conceptualizing ways to convey the Hard Rock brand in a way that was elegant, functional and entertaining – with a huge wow factor. The Hard Rock was the first boutique branded hotel in Las Vegas. Given that it is a rebellious brand that caters to 20-somethings, Zeff’s team sought to produce a look and feel that was hot, sensual and somewhat Bohemian. “We wanted to incorporate the Hard Rock’s rampant craziness but not make it a raunchy party place,” Zeff said. “Our goal was to create rooms that are chic, luxurious and stylish with a real sense of playfulness and excitement.” It was also extremely important that everything in the rooms be durable and tough enough to withstand heavy-duty wear and tear. The Hard Rock caters to a pretty abusive demographic. It is not unknown for a HazMat team to be called to the premises on a summer afternoon following Rehab, the Hard Rock’s notorious Sunday afternoon pool party event, according to Zeff. The rooms’ design theme evolved by way of a conceptual process that identified four iconic female archetypes: Biker Girl, Party Girl, Glamour Girl and Dom (Dominatrix) Girl. The design development team fashioned an environment geared to the lifestyle of each of the archetypes using texture, color, furniture, fixtures, lighting and spatial arrangements. Employing this female iconography, the design team communicated their vision to the hotel’s stakeholders, including the owners, operators, funders, component manufacturers and others. In the end, the Biker Girl thematic – with some elements of Dom Girl woven in – prevailed. And what emerged was a concept that blends comfort, luxury and funkiness, and that incorporates textures, colors, shapes, lighting, componentry and furnishings into the vibe. “People could envision the look and feel of a room that Biker Girl would inhabit, and so it was easy for everyone to understand the vision and support the concept,” Zeff said. surface&panel

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Photogr aPhy by Eric L aignEL

In Biker Girl’s living space different materials combine in unusual ways to give the rooms a totally eclectic look. The carpeting, for example, is plush, but a bit twisted with a woven tattoo-like motif. The silver-studded velvet drapes, antique mirrors, rivet-riddled leather frames, and even the custom wallpaper created by Carla Weisberg – all are distinctive and evocative of Biker Girl’s habitat. The lighting, fixtures, furniture – everything is functional and versatile, yet a bit quirky in keeping with the Hard Rock’s unconventional brand. The goal for the furniture was to appear to be an arrangement of individual pieces from different places as opposed to the typical modular built-in system that is found in most hotels. Although everything was carefully selected and placed, the rooms have a random, unfettered look and feel. The furniture itself is comprised of components that were made off-site and put together in a tightly orchestrated on-site assembly process. Among the four companies that provided components, Timber Products’ Spectrum Division supplied nearly 17,000 cut-to-size pieces of B1 white maple MDF. The pieces were fully CNC machined, edgebanded and drilled with holes for shelves and dowel assembly. “Once we were given the specifications by Forest Plywood Sales, our distributor in La Mirada CA, we then utilized our components machines to manufacture exactly what the fabricator needed and shipped the components from our facility ready to be assembled and installed,” said Lori Burke, Timber Products’ Spectrum Division manager. “MDF was ideal for the job,” she noted. “MDF is smooth, durable, sturdy and great to work with. The European hinges that were specified required that a round divot be routed into the panels. MDF is good for machining, yet dense enough to hold screws well.” MDF is also great for laminating since the surface is extremely smooth. This was important because the job called for a deep ebony 10

“MDF was ideal for the job. It is is smooth, durable, sturdy and great to work with. The European hinges that were specified required that a round divot be routed into the panels. MDF is good for machining, yet dense enough to hold screws well.” Lori Burke, TimBer ProducTs’ sPecTrum division manager

finish on the veneer and even the slightest defect would be magnified by the dark stain. “Any bumps, ripples or flaws would jump right out in this type of finish, so the panels had to be done right from the beginning,” stated Roger Rutan, Timber Products’ VP of Marketing. Because MDF is made with 100% recycled post-industrial wood waste, the manufactur-

ing process was economically and environmentally efficient. Furthermore, since Timber Products is a vertically integrated company, it sources veneer and fiber from its own SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative) certified forest lands and owns its own hardwood plywood mills, particle board manufacturing plants and lamination facilities located in proximity to each other. “We have a full cycle operation

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Earns praise from architects, cabinetmakers and environmentalists alike.



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feature FSC® and SFI® labeling, and are available with No Added Formaldehyde © 2012 Timber Products Company. All rights reserved.

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Photogr aPhy by Eric L aignEL


edge design with an eye for eleganCe and style

MARKZEFF is a multi-disciplinary design consulting firm that combines interior and environmental design with brand development to create experiences that are vividly visual as well as richly sensory and emotive. Mark Zeff, founder and president of the firm, approaches projects – from luxury yachts to world-class hospitality venues – holistically based on principles of natural fusion, which combines style, technology and innovation. The natural fusion design philosophy melds architectural design, interior artistry and brand communication, fusing function with aesthetic appeal and infusing energy into both corporate and personal projects. Based in New York City, Mark Zeff began his career in the United States working with private clients, including celebrities such as Hilary Swank and Gabriel Bryne. Over the past 25 years, MARKZEFF has evolved from a residential design firm into one of the nation’s leading multi-disciplinary boutique design agencies specializing in commercial design and branding. MARKZEFF has set the standard for luxury spas by designing the concepts and interiors of the Cornelia Spa on Fifth Avenue, and Sense, the Rosewood Spa at the Carlyle Hotel, both located in New York City. Zeff’s most recently completed commercial projects are Mercato di Vetro restaurant and Greystone Manor supper club. Both are located in LA and both are under the hospitality umbrella of SBE, founded by Sam Nazarian. On the East coast, MARKZEFF most recently completed the Vault at Pfaff’s. The firm has also designed high profile projects in Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, California, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Philadelphia, and many other locations. n Mark Zeff is not licensed in Nevada and this work was completed under the responsible control of the Architect of Record, Klai Juba Architects.


from forest to end product,” said Rutan “This ensures that we maintain consistency throughout the entire process, from the lumber source throughout all cutting, edgeboarding, drilling, and machining.” It also means that there is virtually no residual wood waste generated from the manufacturing process. “Nothing goes to a landfill. If any components do not meet standard, they are recycled back into the manufacturing process,” according to Rutan. Within six weeks of order placement, the Timber Products custom components were sent to Las Vegas to be assembled into entertainment centers, nightstands, dressers, cabinets, headboards and closets, using a preassembly methodology that was specified by the project’s operations manager. Some of the pieces were quite intricate. For example, an innovative wall-mounted panel system incorporates three panels that comprise a headboard, a sconce lighting system and side tables together with all associated wire management. The headboard is mimicked on the opposite wall by a credenza, and, taken together, these components create the feel of a four-poster bed. “Out of 17,000 parts supplied by Timber Products not a single one was rejected by the client based on defects or sizing,” Burke said. “This was a real testament to both our manufacturing capabilities and our quality control procedures. The entire process was extremely efficient and showcased Timber Products’ capabilities with components.”

Once the products were onsite, the assembly and installation procedure was meticulously orchestrated and coordinated. Zeff specified that this process should be “idiot-proof.” The assembly process included the carpeting, wall systems, furniture, fixtures and artwork. Everything was precisely planned, well designed and accurately manufactured. “It required tremendous attention to every detail,” Zeff said. “We had to squeeze an elephant into a paper bag in terms of the timing, cost and coordination. Fortunately we were working with a group of people who were willing to collaborate and everything went together like a clock. As a result, we were able to keep costs down and even complete the project early.” “This high-profile project is a great example of what cut-to-size can do for companies that are looking to save time, money and streamline a job,” said Timber Products’ Rutan. “The Hard Rock was the first job of this magnitude that we did. It opened the door to other large jobs for clients such as the U.S. government, the U.S. military, and other customers in the hospitality industry. The finished rooms in the Hard Rock Hotel Paradise Tower are chic, sophisticated, contemporary and yet wanton. They provide optimal comfort and function by day and then come alive for pleasure and excitement at night. As Mark Zeff put it: “This is a place for people who appreciate 600-thread count bed sheets but are, at heart, wild and crazy.” s&p

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Highest quality HDF and MDF made in an unmatched facility located in the heart of Pennsylvania. Contact Clarion Industries today at 1-800-373-4383 M12CLA-39/S+P Print Ad.indd 1 SandP_Q3-2012.indd 13

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Executive Perspective:

Ron Wanek, Chairman of the Board for Ashley Furniture Industries INC.


t the spring CPA meeting Ron Wanek, Chairman of the Board for Ashley Furniture Industries, INC. gave a presentation that outlined the company’s history, provided insights into the current state of the furniture industry and looked at where things are headed in the future. In 1970, Mr. Wanek and a group of investors set out to make a difference in the furniture industry. That effort, fueled by passion, determination and expertise would eventually result in the development of the number one selling furniture store brand in the world. Since then, Ashley Furniture Industries, INC. has continually reinvested in its business, as well as in the communities where its operations are located.

One of the main points Mr. Wanek delivered was how important manufacturing is for a healthy economy, stating that one manufacturing job creates more than 2.5 addition jobs, and tens of thousands of dollars in economic activity. To put that in terms of Ashley’s operations, the company contributes approximately $1.5 billion annually to the United States economy in the form of employee payroll and benefits, purchases and capital investments, taxes and utility expenses. If these dollars turn over seven times as they circulate within the country (as noted by economic analysts), this equates to $10.5 billion in annual economic activity. After the presentation, Surface & Panel had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Wanek. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation.

S&P: Did you look around at the retail structure in America and say,

“This isn’t working. We can do it better.” R.W.: In the beginning, our product lines consisted of occasional tables and wall systems. We targeted smaller independent dealers, many of which were located in the western states and Canada. They had a hard time getting product delivered, so we developed a more responsive distribution system that allowed them to order smaller quantities so they could turn their inventories. We continually looked for ways to build our business by providing better values to our customers through improvements to existing product lines and services. We also kept a close eye on market opportunities in other product categories. It was always, “if we only had this or that we would do more business.” If we only had bedrooms… so we did bedrooms. If we had upholstery we would do more business… so then we went into upholstery. Today we do everything in the home, including mattresses. Yet one of the major strengths of our business continues to be our inventory management and distribution system. Our retailers can choose from one of the largest product assortments in the industry, order what they need and get their goods delivered within seven to ten days. So it was a distribution play more than anything. S&P: How do you maintain a balance between Ashley HomeStores and

independent retailers today? R.W. Independent furniture retailers continue to make up the majority of our business. Over the years many of our independent retailers have decided to leverage the single source model of Ashley Furniture HomeStore, but we have never attempted to force their hand. We provide exclusive products for both while providing the industry-leading technology and advertising services they’ve come to expect.

11 Major Rebirths • • • • • • • • • • • 14

Occasional tables 1970 Wall Systems 1972 Bedrooms 1983 Importing to strengthen product lineup 1984 Dining room 1985 Millennium Line 1986 Upholstery 1994 Leather upholstery 1996 Recliners 1997 Motion 1998 Mattresses 2009

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Manufacturing and Distribution Centers

United States

Arcadia, WI | Est. 1970

Ecru, MS | Est. 1994

Redlands, CA | Est. 2006

52 acres under roof on a 175 acre site. 2,200,000 sq. ft. Largest casegoods facility in the U.S.

World’s largest upholstery producing plant, nearly 2,000,000 sq.ft, 46 acres under roof on 100 acre site

684,000 sq.ft. 16 acres under roof on a 35 acre site

Colton, CA | Est. 2001

Ripley, MS | Est 1999

Leesport, PA | Est. 2004

1,296,000 sq.ft. 30 acres under roof on 85 acre site

615,000 sq. ft. 14 acres under roof on 35 acre site

1,248,000 sq. ft. 29 acres under roof on 172 acre site

Whitehall, WI | Est. 1987

Brandon, FL | Est 2004

Advance, NC | Est. 2012

160,000 sq. ft. 4 acres under roof on a 35 acre site

120,000 sq. ft. 3 acres under roof on a 40 acre site (corporate offices and distribution center)

1.7 million sq. ft with an additional 600,000 sq. ft. under construction


Binh Duong City, Vietnam

Tan Uyen District, Vietnam

Kunshan, China

348,000 sq. ft. 8 acres under roof on an 18 acre site

239,000 sq. ft. 6 acres under roof on a 12 acre site

1,548,000 nearly 2,000,000 sq. ft., 4 7 acres under roof on an 85 acre site surface&panel

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7 LEED CREDITS can contribute towards 7 LEED credits


certified pre-consumer industrial waste



independently tested at 0.00ppm

S&P: In your presentation you talked about the importance of

promoting manufacturing. What are some of the challenges facing manufacturing in the United States? R.W.: We do not graduate many scientists and engineers in this country compared to China and India. Basically if people do not want to be “makers”, the future is bleak. There have to be a lot of changes on regulation and attitude. People need to be educated on the full economic impact of manufacturing, including the ripple effect. One manufacturing job creates more than 2.5 additional jobs and tens of thousands of dollars in economic activity. Most governments in other countries try to provide their companies with tax incentives to encourage domestic and international growth. They do not worry about taxing the 5 percent pre-tax profit that a company earns. They really want the 95 percent of revenues that go into procuring services, supplies and providing jobs. They understand that the ripple effect from these investments is what will grow their economy. In other words, they do not begrudge someone for making a small profit, they encourage them to invest and grow. The United States has been slow to change its corporate tax structure and this has put them at a competitive disadvantage. S&P: Ashley’s Arcadia, WI plant is the largest casegoods manufac-

turer in North America, with 52 acres under roof on a 175 acre site. So let’s take panel processing technology as an example. It is possible to build a plant with automated transfers and very little labor. Yet particleboard and MDF are heavy materials. Is it better to process on-shore than to ship?

Pl u m me r Fo r m Fr e e . c o m 208- 7 7 7 -2 2 0 2

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R.W.: I don’t know. We’re studying that. Can it be competitive here? I hope so. But you know it isn’t only the price of direct labor, it is all of the indirect costs that are in the United States. Think about injection molding. Very little labor but it is still a lot cheaper to buy the products from overseas than the United States because the whole infrastructure costs are less, all the burden costs are less. The more rules and regulations that are put upon manufacturing in whatever area, the more it creates a torque effect. You get all the legal that goes with it to defend disputes, and court costs are very expensive in the United States. That gets embedded into everything that is manufactured here, and the consumer does not want to pay for it in goods. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, regulations cost $10,000 per employee in the U.S.

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S&P: How has Ashley remained relevant manufacturing in the United

States? R.W.: We continually reinvest. S&P: How important is technology? R.W.: We feel it is important to embrace technology if it means that we can ultimately provide our customers with better products and services. In our IT department, we invested $30 million last year. In a typical year we will invest $25 million. This is not for the faint hearted. It is all about turning inventories and throughput. What goes through our warehouses is unbelievable. Originally we had a small building and not much money. We had to manage throughput and spin inventory. That became the culture right from the beginning and we maintain that to this day. We are much bigger now. It can’t just be done on a legal pad anymore. It requires a very sophisticated system. S&P: What role do engineered materials play in product development? R.W.: That is our core business, our basic product. We pay a lot of atten-

tion to this area. We use it in our casegoods and upholstery products. We are always looking for the new magic on decorative products. I think we are the leader in furniture using foils, which in the U.S. people call paper laminates. The Europeans have always used foils in their terminology, but I don’t know how the customer perceives the use of foils versus laminates. S&P: How does Ashley handle logistics? R.W.: We have our own fleet of about 800 tractor units. Ashley is a competitive company in a competitive world. Being from Wisconsin we have had to work very hard at getting our products to market and making sure they are in demand. We are very strong in logistics not because we wanted to be in the logistics business, but we needed to be in order to survive. We have our own intermodal yards (one of eight privately owned in the United States). Annually Ashley handles over 70,000 containers shipped worldwide. A big key to success is effectively managing the flow of inventory and throughput. That lets retailers increase their profits substantially without increasing prices to consumers. s&p

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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 panel products 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 – Panels perform as a carbon sink resulting in overall net carbon storage. • 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% wood fiber furnish is converted to panels or re-utilized as a valued product. • Wood Sourcing – Conformity with FSC Controlled Wood Standard (2008), FSC Chain of Custody Standard (2008), or SFI Fiber Sourcing Requirements (2011).

Who can be ECC certified? Audited certification is available to composite panel manufacturing facilities, decorative surfacing facilities, and fabricators in North America. Certification is granted on a facility-by-facility basis.

What about LEED? ECC certified products may help 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 value added products 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 unique Carbon Calculator. CPA will administer the ECC Certification Program as a third party certification agency accredited to ISO/IEC Guide 65 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 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.

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for the Building industry


ngineering a standard product line for mass production is an impressive feat of market research and design. Likewise, building custom pieces is an admirable expression of versatility and craftsmanship. Burke Gibson LLC, a privately owned display manufacturer headquartered in Auburn, WA utilizes in-house designers and craftsman, as well as high-tech equipment to build custom pieces that are often put into high production. The company started operations in 1959 making paint/stain samples and fan decks for the building materials industry. Over time Burke Gibson has grown to offer point-of-purchase (POP) displays, retail fixtures and high-end cabinetry. In addition, the company has over 50 years of experience mastering the paint and stain techniques that represent nearly every coatings company in the industry. “We have to be able to move and change really quickly,” says Scott Gibson, President of Burke Gibson and the son of the original Burke Gibson, CEO and founder of the company. “It is not like we are just building a commodity product, each job is going to be a different job. We have to design it, engineer it, tool up for it, and then manufacture it. We do a lot of custom work.” Burke Gibson is a relatively small company with 50 employees, and Gibson credits its success to a combination of experience, agility and the ability to provide customers with a convenient one-stop-shop experience.



“We’ve worked with every product out there, and we have to be an expert in them all,” says Kenny David. David is the National Sales Representative for Burke Gibson, but with over 20 years experience in the company, he is heavily involved with all aspects of the operations, his specialties being equipment, finishing and production. “As the company grows we continually attend trade shows to stay up to date on all the technology. We constantly research equipment and materials.” High-traffic retail environments demand materials that can take a little abuse without showing wear and tear, particularly when the POP displays and fixtures are used to showcase other building materials. “We use a lot of laminates,” says Gibson. “HPL or TFM work really well for most of the surface areas. They look great and are durable. And we’ve learned to be careful about the edges, sometimes using a thicker 3mm edgebanding. A little trick we have done on some veneer cabinet faces for high-end cabinet doors, is to glue on solid wood edge and stain it. Those doors get opened and slammed many times a day. That way we don’t have any problems with the edge coming off and the cabinet door last longer.”

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Profile-wrapped rigid thermofoils also have a place when it comes to high-performance display components. “Sometimes people miss the point,” says David. “They want things to be cheap so they use the wrong material for the job. Laminate materials can all look alike, but they perform differently.” Experience has taught the designers at Burke Gibson that the bases of POP displays and fixtures are particu-

larly vulnerable to damage. “I like to use an RTF base because it can withstand the environment. It will always look better over time,” says David. Though Burke Gibson does most of their processing in house, including panelprocessing, finishing (read more about finishing on page 46), water-jet cutting for metal, silk screening and printing, they do bring in their RTF parts from JB Cutting and Bierson.

Another way that Burke Gibson delivers value to its customers is speed to market. “You can buy things in China, and it might be cheaper, “says Gibson, “but by the time you wait for China you miss a lot of market time.” One aspect of this has to do with sourcing materials from domestic, and even local suppliers whenever possible. “We use a lot of suppliers to meet the specific needs of our customers,”


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“Sometimes people miss the point. They want things to be cheap so they use the wrong material for the job. Laminate materials can all look alike, but they perform differently.” Kenny David, National Sales Representative for Burke Gibson

into modular displays. Integrated fulfillment systems allow for online ordering that automatically generates production directives. Then from manufacturing, finished products are shipped directly to location, whether the order is for a single piece, multiple pieces of the same display, or similar displays with regional differences. One Stop Shop

says David, “but personally I like things that are made in the USA. I like made in Washington even better. So we use a lot of Roseburg particleboard, MDF and TFM. I like to support the people in the region.” In addition to very flexible production facilities (read more on page 24) Burke Gibson offers customers (companies like Benjamin Moore paints, Merillat Cabinets and Kohler kitchen fixtures) programs that incorporate the design and materials used in POP projects

“Our niche is to be a one stop shop,” says Gibson. “We do most of the work in house because we feel we can control it better. We can push the product through faster. And we also have in-house project managers so our clients are not dealing with sales people who are on the road all the time. We design, engineer, prototype and manufacture products.” Many of Burke Gibson’s clients rely on the company to not only make the displays, but also to keep them full. To that end Burke Gibson has developed a fulfillment and inventory system that allows customers to order samples as needed.

Burke Gibson’s project management staff is also required to be experienced and agile. Team members like Greg Dilone, the account representative for the Midwest territory function more as consultants than sales people. “I do all the design and engineering with customers,” says Dilone. “I started building cabinets 10 years ago, and from there I learned about engineering, CAD drawings, CNC operation, programming in different platforms. About five years ago I got into estimating, and that is really where my passion has grown.” Dilone’s background knowledge enables him to work with a client without over-promising or designing beyond the capabilities of the equipment. Read more about fostering education and credentialing within the industry on page 26. Burke Gibson’s experience and agility create a very stream-lined product development, manufacturing and fulfillment process, which ultimately improves quality and customer satisfaction. s&p

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o provide the one-stop-shop experience that its customers have come to expect Burke Gibson maintains a seven-acre campus of five buildings with just over 105,000 square feet of production space. “We do most of our manufacturing in house,” says Scott Gibson, President of Burke Gibson. In addition to the typical woodworking and panel processing equipment, the company also does metal work, pad printing for samples, hot stamping and silk screening. Designs are initially drawn up in Cabinet Vision. Burke Gibson brings in TFM panels, but also has a radio-frequency press used to lay up HPL panels or to build up thick wood


panels for applications, such as crown pieces, that require tall 12" or 16" wooden boards. The company has a Vacu Press vacuum table used for laying up veneers. Once the panels are ready for processing they go to the saw department, which includes saws set at 45 degrees for miter cutting, and a Striebig vertical panel saw. The facility also includes a Shoda Maxxim twin table router. “It has two vertical heads and one horizontal head,” says Gibson. “Each vertical head has an automatic eight-tool changer. A lot of people don’t use the router much. We used to have one just for displays. Then we got into more cabinets and started using the Shoda router more for cutting curves and angles. But it can be really useful even for straight lines because you can drill and cut at the same time with no errors. It all fits together perfectly.” Edgebanding is done on either a Brandt straight line edgebander, or a contour edgebander depending on the application. Burke Gibson’s specialized assembly area includes a Ganno Mat horizontal boring and

wood dowel insert machine, as well as a Ganno Mat case clamp. “We do a lot of that construction for our displays, and the dowel inserter saves a lot of time,” says Gibson. Though wood composites and decorative surfacing materials play an important role in Burke Gibson’s operations, the company also works in other materials including solid surface, metal, plastic and glass. A much-used piece of equipment is the Hurco VM 20 milling center. The company also has a Flow Water jet machine that can be used to cut through steel or plastic. “It shoots a stream of water through as it cuts. You can even add an abrasive material into the stream,” says Gibson. “It is great for prototyping and small runs because we can cut anything out of metal on it, which is primarily what we use it for.” “The more services we can provide in house,” says Gibson, “the easier it is for our clients, and the more control we have over the quality of the end product. s&p

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The challenges you face every day to meet your customers’ needs can be complicated. At IWF 2012, Stiles will showcase strategies, products and services that can simplify your production process, your business, and your future. Our industry experts will be available to discuss and demonstrate class-leading equipment and software, educational programs, parts and service capabilities. Also learn about our enhancement technologies to rebuild and upgrade your existing technology, as well as our leasing options to simplify your purchase. So take a simple first step. Visit Stiles Machinery at IWF, booth #7935, Hall B. For more information, contact Stephan Waltman at 616.698.7500 or Or visit

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thE FuturE oF ManuFacturing


here is a lot of talk about the future of manufacturing in North America, and it is possible to make a compelling argument about the prognosis on either side. However, underlying the success of any operation, even the most automated, are skilled people. Ron Wanek, Chairman of The Ashley Companies (see page 14), recently remarked that one of the challenges facing North American manufacturing is the shortage of people with credentials in math or engineering entering the workforce. While there are a multitude of factors that impact the success of domestic manufacturing in a global economy, Wanek makes a very good point. Manufacturing increasingly relies on the type of technological know-how that does not come with a BA. Manufacturers today are called upon to understand and work within complex parameters of regulation, finance and market preference where they have little, if any, influence. However, there is one area where professionals can definitively, and positively, affect the future of domestic manufacturing. Education. The future of manufacturing in the most general sense is going to rely on trained managers and industry leaders. People who understand the technology are as vital as those who navigate the business end of manufacturing (regu-


lations, financials, logistics and market). Often, such as with Burke Gibson (see page 20), the most successful project managers understand both sides of the operation. As is the case with any value-added product, those human resources can either be cultivated domestically or acquired off-shore. While international partnerships can be very beneficial, it is crucial to domestic manufacturing that both people and production resources also have a physical presence in North America. Without that presence, manufacturers become middlemen. PartnErshiPs

Within the woodworking and panel-processing industry WoodLINKS® USA, a not- for-profit organization supported through voluntary donations from business and other organizations within the wood working industry*, is working to develop industry and education partnerships. The theory behind WoodLINKS® USA is that the wood industry and a public education system – a high school or a technical school – work together to deliver a wood manufacturing education program that meets the direct-entry skilled worker needs of a local wood industry profile. This way, supporting companies can assist in the development of the local program and can recruit the skilled workers they need to become more competitive. Many of the students that participate in

the program go on to related course work at the college or university level. WoodLINKS® USA encourages a cooperative big-brother approach between the industry and the education system. Individual companies support the local program by providing advice, encouragement, materials and opening doors to make students and teachers aware of the technologies and processes being used today. crEdEntials

Many of the most brilliant minds in the industry left academia after high school. Their expertise comes from accrued experience, not credit hours. In fact, it is not uncommon for individuals with a strong natural tendency towards mechanics and technology to struggle in a conventional classroom setting. The challenge then is how to communicate skills so that experienced woodworkers and manufacturers can connect. To address this WoodLINKS USA® is partnering with the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America and Skills USA. The WCA’s major undertaking is the development and publication of industryapproved Standards of Tool Skills and Evaluations to serve as a comprehensive, industry-accepted compilation of operational procedures to measure performance and results produced by woodworking pro-

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Be sure to visit WoodlInKS® USA at IWF 2012, where the IWF Board of directors has generously furnished floor space to host WoodlInKS® student RtA contest. fessionals. It includes a voluntary assessment program that allows woodworkers to demonstrate their competency in in-plant woodworking skills. WCA’s national Passport and Credentialing Program provides a portable credential for individuals in the woodwork industry to quantify and qualify their ability to operate woodwork tools properly and safely to create high quality wood products. Woodworkers’ skills are assessed by a WCA Skill Evaluator who observes the candidate as he/she uses a tool and then inspect the final product, ensuring that the woodworker’s technique and product

complies with WCA standards. Skill Evaluators record and submit their evaluations to WCA electronically and issue the appropriate stamp in the Woodwork Passport. The Program is being rolled out in many states and provinces, and will be fully operational in 2013. Get Involved

There is no quick, easy way to strengthen manufacturing domestically, but a solid educational foundation in industry is certainly a step in the right direction. Both WoodLINKS® USA and the WCA rely on industry participation and support. For more information on the programs, go to the websites below. And be sure

to visit WoodLINKS® USA at IWF 2012, where the IWF Board of Directors has generously furnished floor space to host WoodLINKS® student RTA contest. s&p • WoodLINKS Supporters about-us/supporters/ • •


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GroovyNew Solutions


latwall is a mainstay for retail displays because of the versatility it gives designers in presenting product. Since 1980 Wind Mill Slatwall Products Inc., located in Sheboygan Falls, WI has been improving slatwall through material and process innovations that have elevated it from a commodity retail product to something far more, well, groovy. “Our whole approach is just to be measurably better in every way possible,” says Mark Hunt, who is in charge of marketing MaterialS for Wind Mill. “We spend a lot of time on cus- “Anchor™ Core is the biggest breakthrough in tomer service, getting to know our customers the history of slatwall,” says Hunt, referring to and what their needs are. That helps us to con- a new substrate material developed by Boise tinually improve our products.” Cascade. “The people at Boise figured out that Retailers still rely on slatwall as a stan- we are one of the few panel manufacturers who dard functional component, but the big news have a need for more internal bond strength in slatwall is all about materials that enhance than typical MDF or HDF. The cabinet manufacperformance and design. Not only is the new turers use the surface of the board, but we hog generation of slatwall increasingly being speci- out the center of the panel and then affix all fied in higher profile and higher performance nature of accessories into that. And then people fixtures, it is being used to add organization hang everything and anything from the finished into hospitality, healthcare, commercial and product.” Boise Cascade recognized that engiresidential installations. neered wood panels have been produced with


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the primary focus on the surface smoothness and hardness, leaving the center core more or less out of the equation. But slatwall requires both a hard surface and a stronger core. “The people at Boise spent quite a bit of time and research in the lab to determine the fiber size, resin formula and press times to manufacture this substrate specifically for slatwall. We have exclusivity on this product. It was a huge breakthrough for our company and our customers,” says Hunt. Testing done with an electronic load cell testing device shows Anchor™ Core to be 50 percent stronger than standard MDF. While Wind Mill offers a variety of substrate materials, including MDF that can be specified NAUF or flame retardant, over the last two years ¾ of their customer base has converted to the new product. “The price is the same as MDF and the product has outstanding performance,” says Hunt. “It is a great story and a great relationship. We feel very fortunate.” Wind Mill’s customer-centric philosophy also translates to a wide array of available surface materials. “We do what our customers tell us to do,” says Hunt. To this end Wind Mill offers several lines of slatwall. Stock slatwall comes in 4' by 8' sheets with grooves 3" on center and is available quickly through distribution. The most common overlay in the line is laminate foil. “Foils have a really lush surface finish,” says Hunt, “and the material also machines very well.” Commodity HPL is available in the stock line, as are common wood veneers and ready-to-finish surfaces. Custom slatwall panels are also available within a number of specialty series, including Dashwall, Brickwall, Construction and Designer Series. Grooves may also be custom cut into virtually any shape. Custom slatwall offers additional surface finishes including TFM, screen-printing, and designer HPL from Wilsonart, Formica, Nevamar and Pionite. Metal inserts are often added to reinforce the grooves.

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Surface &

Please visit us at IWF Booth #2010


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edgebanding, finishing and prototyping capabilities at its 65,000 square foot facility. Applications


When the concept of slatwall first came about in the mid-1960’s, the process of making it was very arduous and time consuming. It required table saws and jigs for gluing, and each “slat” had to be stapled onto a sheet of ¼" plywood. Jay Hogfeldt, President and CEO of Wind Mill purchased the company in 1981. “In 1982 it took one person one hour to make a 4' by 8' slatwall panel using hand routers,” explains Hogfeldt. The company soon purchased a Tyler 2400 panel router that reduced the processing time to 2½ minutes per panel. “Today a standard slatwall panel can be machined in 32 seconds,” says Hogfeldt. “The demand for the product spurred

The enhanced performance and aesthetics of slatwall have opened up a world of possibilities. In the traditional retail segment panels made from Anchor™ Core are now being used to display heavy items, things like tires and car batteries. Panels with custom finishes are specified into commercial and hospitality settings for convenient, attractive organization. Beyond traditional panels, slatwall is used to create RTA retail fixtures. It is even finding its way into the home. In fact, Wind Mill recently launched a line of consumer products called the development of high-speed production Garage Escapes that is available through machines that utilize specialty tooling.” Menards, Do It Best, and Uline chains. “It Wind Mill has a comprehensive line up of CNC machinery to handle a variety of materi- turned out that we were all bringing product home and putting it into our garages, so we als of varying thicknesses. Equipment used for hogging out panels includes CNC routers, decided to start marketing it that way,” says Hunt. “And it is working out pretty well.” a CMS Giotto CNC machining center is used Wind Mill’s mission is to be the “meafor component work, and the company also surably better” slatwall product supplier in has a custom-built slatwall machine that can cut up to 17 grooves in a single pass. “We pro- terms of both quality and customer service. duce a truckload of sawdust a day,” says Hunt. “We’ve been at this for a long time,” says Hunt. “Advances like Anchor™ Core help us “We start with a 100 pound board and when to remain competitive, but what we are really we’re done with it 30 seconds later it is only looking for is the long-term relationship with 80 pounds.” our customers. That is what keeps us moving In addition to routing, Wind Mill also does forward.” s&p in-house laminating for foils and HPL, and has

Mark Radtke , Executive Vice President Wind Mill Slatwall Products


A ne

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SophiSticated SolutionS

For Modern environMents


or over 75 years OFS Brands, the largest independently owned manufacturer of wood-based commercial office furniture in the United States, has crafted fine furniture. Steeped in the rich furniture making tradition and strong German heritage of southern Indiana, OFS Brands has mastered the art of old-world craftsmanship. But don’t be fooled by the legacy, OFS furniture is designed for modern businesses that aspire to create a culture of success and innovation. The product offerings are developed to meet the needs of a wide range of clientele, both in terms of design excellence and functionality. “We must exceed customer expectations through superior quality,” says Hank Menke, President and CEO of OFS and the third generation to lead the company. “What you make people feel is as important as what you make.” One of the cornerstones of OFS Brands’ operating philosophy is to create innovative, flexible, customized solutions. “What we do in product development is listen to the needs of our customers,” says Phil Mehringer, Executive Director of Marketing for OFS Brands. “And we listen to the needs of the marketplace. We look at the way the work environment is changing. That is really what innovation is all about.” This may sound like a straightforward task, but considering that the OFS Brands family encompasses four separate brands it is a practice of manufacturing agility. OFS and First Office serve contract, corporate office and education. Carolina serves healthcare and Loewenstein is the hospitality brand. Headquartered in Huntingburg, IN OFS Brands’ operations include seven manufacturing facilities and four support plants, totaling more than 11 million sq. ft. The company employs approximately 1700 people in Indiana, North Carolina and Kentucky.


Developing proDucts for a fast Moving WorlD

Across the markets that OFS Brands serves, technology is changing the way people work. “That is fundamentally what you deal with when you are a furniture manufacturer,” says Mehringer. “Your furniture has to evolve into the needs of the customer. And in today’s world that is all

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about mobility and collaboration. The technology offered with tablets and smartphones is changing the way people work.” This means people do not have to be chained to a static position, workers can interact more freely without abandoning their equipment or compromising their availability. “Different studies show that important decisions are made in collaborative environments more so than by individuals with their heads down,” says Mehringer. A blog from February 1, 2012 in the Harvard Business Review by Bob Frisch, an author and managing partner of the Strategic Offsites Group references one such study. As a result of an on-going debate with the dean at Harvard Medical School, Zak Kohane took time from his work in computational genomics to study the correlation between distance and the effectiveness of team collaboration. The resulting paper* showed quantitative support for the claim that proximity significantly effects the quality of collaboration. “What that means for us is that we have to offer and develop products that fulfill the needs of easy collaboration,” says Mehringer. In addition to traditional casegoods, seating, tables and reception, OFS Brands offers customizable products that support the work style of the modern mobile techie. Within the First Office brand the STAKS line offers crossover casegoods that can be configured for both open and private office applications. “Flexibility that is built into the design is becoming more and more an important part of furniture, “says Mehringer. Another example of this is OFS’s Trace conference table that offers easy USB or 110V power access for every seat at the table while eliminating clutter from the surface. This innovation recently earned the company the Best of NeoCon Gold award in Workplace Technologies. Building Quality SolutionS

To achieve such flexibility OFS Brands uses materials that are durable and beautiful. “In many cases thinner is a better design solution,” says Mehringer. “Thin is easier to configure and the pieces use less material, which is good environmentally and typically results in less cost. And it is a better design aesthetic. We use a lot of particleboard and MDF for

substrate material because furniture is structural, it is something that people either sit on or put something on. It has to meet or exceed industry standards.” OFS Brands offers many surfacing options for their casegoods and tables, including hardwood pieces and real wood veneers. Experienced craftspeople lay up veneer panels, which are pressed in house. Products are assembled and then finished at one of OFS Brands’ finishing plants, where they receive a specialty “Euroluxe” finish. “We found that developing a finish with anti-microbial properties is critically important since we sell in all the vertical markets including healthcare, corporate, education and hospitality,” says Mehringer. Read more about OFS Brands’ finishing operation in Finishing Matters (page 52). *


B r a n d S

T i m e l i n e

1937: Basketball Scoreboards and Venetian Blinds 1938: Residential Furniture 1987: Contract Office Furniture – OFS 1990: Styline Transportation Founded 1999: Styline purchases Executive Furniture 2000: Contract Office Furniture - First Office 2007: OFS Brands acquires Carolina Business Furniture 2008: OFS Brands acquires Loewenstein


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“Your furniture has to evolve into the needs of the customer. And in today’s world that is all about mobility and collaboration. the technology offered with tablets and smartphones is changing the way people work.” Phil Mehringer, executive Director of Marketing for ofS BranDS

Additionally OFS Brands offers a wide range of laminated goods. “Veneered surfaces are very popular,” says Mehringer, ”but customers also request HPL for the horizontal surfaces.” The company has complete laminate lines that are produced from HPL and TFM in a separate plant dedicated to panel processing. “When selecting the surface designs we offer, we consider things such as color trends in other areas of the world. We also listen to direct marketplace feedback from architects and designers.” Other specialty materials are used to meet the needs of the specific vertical markets served. Real veneer is cut into fine strips, molded and pressed into shape to create contoured seating solutions for the hospitality brand Loewenstein. And RTF components are used widely in the Carolina healthcare brand. “Spills within a hospital setting are dangerous, they can cause slipping and create an environment that breeds infection,” says Mehringer “So we offer surfaces with spill grooves for bedside cabinetry and surfaces. In those cases we use a thermofoil part. The different product lines within OFS Brands also make use of a wide variety of accent materials, including aluminum, translucent resin panels, Corian, granite, glass and upholstery. “All of these different materials have unique textures, aesthetics and design properties. It gives us a lot of flexibility even within our standard offering, and allows us create really customized solutions for our customers.” OFS Brands serves specific vertical markets, but all of the brands can serve the needs of a specific project. “One of the trends, for example, is to include café areas into corporate areas,” says Mehringer. “And we have products that can fulfill the needs of those facilities.”


A Commitment to Deliver

With so many options, choosing the right furniture solution could seem daunting. But OFS Brands has systems in place to make the process of specification easier for the customer. Additionally the company has another division, Styline Logistics, that is OFS’s sole carrier for furniture and ensures that delivery and installation of product is worry-free. OFS has a comprehensive approach to environmental responsibility. And while this is important to nearly every market, it can be difficult to navigate, particularly for special projects. To help simplify the process OFS Brands uses the ecoScorecard platform to help customers evaluate the environmental attributes of the company’s products against all major third-party rating systems. “We realize that LEED documentation can be a time consuming process,” says Mike Wagner, senior vice president of sales and marketing for OFS Brands. “Now our customers can access ecoScorecard directly from our websites and research our green product offerings, perform calculations and produce LEED documentation in a matter of minutes.” Once orders are placed customers can relax knowing that the products will be delivered on time and in tact by the company’s dedicated transportation fleet. “When you turn your furniture over to a freighter the chance of freight damage averages 10-12 percent,” says Mehringer. “The freight damage to product handled by our company on our trucks is less than one tenth of one percent. Our intention is to deliver the best product possible to our customers damage free.” OFS Brands’ operating philosophy is that the customer is their business. To that end the company strives to develop products that not only meet, but exceed customer expectations for quality and value. “Our goal is to serve all the vertical markets by providing quality products with scalable price points and appealing designs,” says Mehringer. “We deliver on short lead times with our own transportation system to make sure that our customers get the solutions they need when they need them.” s&p

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arly in 2010, Vaughan, Ontario became host to an impeccable and fuel-injected dining scene. Autostrada (Italian for “highway”), at 3255 Rutherford Road in Vaughan, has quickly become a substantial success, boasting a journey into the world of Italian cuisine, from Milan to Naples, to the Tuscan region and the spicy flavors of Sicilian fare. Few restaurants enjoy the almost instant glory Autostrada enjoys. One might say that the community was unabashedly hungry for a high quality, largerthan-life experience at a reasonable price point. Autostrada delivers exactly what it promises: a journey that is loaded with impressive and deliciously unique stops along the way. The venue offers a total size of 6,300 sq ft, seats approximately 270 patrons, and is split into several signature zones. At the time II BY IV Design Associates was secured to design and build the venue, the space presented many unique challenges that required careful planning to resolve. “It is a very large space with 22 ft ceilings,” says Dan Menchions, a Partner at II BY IV Design Associates Inc. “We had to work with existing, structural columns, a sunken area, an atypical floor plan, and impressive windows with an unimpressive parking lot view. Basically, we gutted the entire space and started from scratch.” The team set to work to make features of oddities, capture and create the intimacy of Italy, provide a veritable feast for the eyes, and brand the restaurant unlike any other. “The exterior does not match the interior at all,” says Menchions. “You open the doors and, wow! It is quite a beautiful change.” At the entrance, one gets the first glimpse of original Autostrada color and texture. The hostess greets guests from behind a leather-finished statuario marble desk that thrusts in contrast toward guests from a


gleaming, high-luminosity beveled glass wall panel. 3M films applied to the glass provide the rich ripe tomato, or racing, red hue. Here, the team also took the opportunity to add a revenue stream to the client’s business by featuring a merchandising area for specialty, Italian olive oils available for purchase. From the entrance vestibule, the restaurant fans to the left, right and back with distinct zones. To the left, banquette seating in the Main Dining Room features a number of design elements that signal a very fast ride into keen visual interest and excitement. The feature wall measures a massive 20' wide by 14' tall, looming skyward from seated patrons, It is affixed with an intricate and oversized, customcrafted, three-dimensional lacquered installation of a Pirelli tire tread. Routed MDF panels give the wall its compelling three-dimensional shape. Lit from the top and bottom, the Tread Wall is luminescent, bold and graphic, and is a significant contributing element to the branding of Autostrada. “The Tread Wall is great texturally, it gets a lot of response from people,” says Menchions. Balancing the highway theme to other elements in the room was finely tuned work. Menchions and the design team warmed the space by incorporating home kitchen aspects of white oak butcher-block tables and contoured Eames chairs with dowel wood bases. Adding another layer of classic Italy, the space is anchored by white speckled Terrazzo floor tiling. Beyond the borders of the Main Dining Room sit the Pizza Bar and Private Dining Room. The Pizza Bar is alive with a plethora of design elements including a market-style charcuterie, where pancetta, hams and other finely cured deli meats hang on full display next to a ceiling height woodpile that fuels the pizza oven on the right side of the bar. Behind


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Setting the standard

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Moving into the center of restaurant, the Sunken Dining Area is encircled by a specialty laser-cut, custom lacquered MDF screen of inverted trapezoids, which are the symbol for highway on Italian road signs. “The MDF is fantastic for this installation as well,” says Menchions. “You get those nice, smooth clean lines. And it was easy for the installers to install and finish. Like one big jigsaw puzzle.” Again, this zone has countless design features layered with precision to achieve the many goals the brand hits. In the centre of the room, a single six-seater table is enwrapped by a mesh fabric “scrim” that is printed with a nostalgic Italian scene of people in culture. This scrim is retractable and also provides a natural stage for another placement of the dropped baton that further illuminates the sheen of the scrim. The unique, scrim centerpiece is surrounded by a three-quarter moon of butcher-block tables, parson chairs and settees emblazoned with strikingly graphic and racing green and blue fabrics. Finishing the moon shape of the room, the feature wall showcases an internally-lit, columnar display of the restaurant’s finer wines. Here, the floor treatment departs from Terrazzo tiling to white oak. The last stop on the route is the Main Bar. Here, all of the familiar design themes come together, alongside other innovative elements. The quality wine cellar is elevated to be in full view with a backlit chrome and white oak encasement, spanning across two walls. Beneath this is another textured, leather-finished, marble statuario bar top, punctuated by a row of tubular, mesh chrome lighting pendants, and supported by a brilliant orange-red beveled glass base that comprises the color of the room. The Main Bar offers everything from espresso to champagne in a highly stylized, modern European setting. An urban oasis in suburban Vaughan. Autostrada does fulfill its promise to patrons. While being a visual journey of itself, its food offering has received ratings of “Outstanding” from customers and reviewers alike. s&p the statuario marble work area where pizza chefs compose myriad creations, the pizza oven is clad warmly from ceiling to floor with a blaze of mini-mosaic style tiling in brilliant red-orange that gives the impression the entire wall is of fire. The Pizza Bar has quickly become a favorite feature of Autostrada, where people congregate for aperitifs to standing room only capacity. The private dining room is something of a design feat. Seating approximately 35 people, the square footage of the room is modest, however the ceiling towered well above proportion. To achieve balance and intimacy, we dropped the ceiling, incorporated a dropped installation of baton lighting that is matchstick-strewn baton lighting fixtures, and introduced strategically placed, massive downward-facing, rear-view mirrors, as it were, to reflect and ground one’s gaze back down into the room. The walls are clad with undulating white oak paneling that also feature mirrored, internally-lit, open-fronted boxes that again showcase the fine wines available at Autostrada. Exiting the room, one passes through impressive, 11' sliding, sublimated glass, pocket doors that are custom fused-fused in red with the Pirelli tire tread once again.

above: lit from the top and bottom, the 20 x 40' "Tread wall" is custom

crafted from MDF panels to create a three-dimensional lacquered installation representing a pirelli tire tread. right: a leather-finished statuario marble desk contrasts against a gleaming, high-luminosity beveled glass wall panel. 3M films applied to the glass provide the rich ripe tomato, or racing, red hue.


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modern Furniture




n the most general sense of the term, “Modernism” refers to the cultural tendencies and movements that develop in modern industrial societies. It is possible to look at modernism through the lens of an historian, marking discreet cultural differences as they change through time. It is also possible to look at modernism through the lens of a designer, one who believes that humans have the power to implement technology, scientific knowledge and experimentation to create, re-fashion and improve the environment. And sometimes it is possible to look through both lenses at once, an intersection of binocular vision that provides a moment of precise depth perception and clarity. The world of modern furniture design recently had one of those moments when the iconic and innovative furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, combined forces with designers BassamFellows, design curator Lorry Dudley, and a team of internal talent to create the Herman Miller Pop-Up Shop. Part art museum, part modern retail store, the temporary location in SoHo in Lower Manhattan officially marked the first public display of the renewed Herman Miller Collection. The comprehensive portfolio of products takes its cue directly from the 1952 writings of George Nelson, Herman Miller’s then director of design (and a veritable oracle) who believed in “the continuing creation of a permanent collection designed to meet fully the requirements for modern living.”

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technologies emerged. It appears that his intention was not to blatantly go against tradition, but rather to capture the zeitgeist of the emerging industrialized world. In Herman Miller’s “blueprint for modern living” published in 1948 Nelson explains, “Modern taste is created, in other words, in two ways- by the demands of an increasingly complicated life, which create a need for a simplified machinery for living, and by the impact of forms which are undeniably modern and beautiful.” In 1955 Herman Miller published “ABC of modern furniture* (see page 42),” to introduce the concept to the consumer. Even this early iteration of modern design philosophy remains essentially relevant by today’s standards. The exception being that the circumstance of formality was culturally different in 1955. In fact, Nelson references the shift away from servants and toward more self-sufficient households as being a reason why lifestyles were trending toward informal. This is worth mentioning because today’s modern design can be stylistically very elegant and formal. It is also interesting to note that contemporary furniture design, which makes use of the latest in materials and manufacturing technology, has expanded the parameters of where modern furniture is used. Many pieces within the carefully curated portfolio showcased at the SoHo space are appropriate for both residential and commercial applications, providing solutions for casual office environments, executive offices, meeting rooms, dining rooms, living rooms and even outdoor spaces. Unique Points in History

To curate is to preserve heritage. The Herman Miller Pop-Up Shop utilized richly detailed lifestyle vignettes, and complementary design-related programming, to tell design stories past and present. Ben Watson, Herman Miller’s Executive Creative Director, noted, “We see the Collection as both our legacy and our responsibility, a labor of love and a statement of our commitment to design leadership for the next century.” After eight thought-provoking weeks of exhibiting the updated Herman Miller Collection the storefront melted back into the ether, but not before serving its intended purpose. “A great work communicates,” says Dudley. “The story brings about the emotional response. It is the context and the content of the design that people connect with.” Classic modernism encourages self-awareness and re-examination of every aspect of living. The individual exhibits within the Herman Miller Pop-Up Shop illustrated how different designers through time interpreted their places in history. In 1948 Nelson began describing the process of the modern designer to a market that still had strong ties to traditional pieces, which were by modernist standards unnecessarily ornate, functionally obsolete and cumbersome. In response to the suspicion that modernism was simply the rejection of tradition in favor of stark utility Nelson said, “If your modern designer, however, were concerned with functional requirements alone he would be little more than an organizer of space and a statistician preoccupied with the number of shirts, slips and silver spoons owned by the average family. Actually his work begins after the functional requirements have been cared for, for his real problem is to turn out pieces that satisfy his sense of what is appropriate and beautiful.” Interestingly, the most controversial characteristic of the modern movement, the rejection of tradition, became a tradition of its own as consumer and modernist cultures merged. What is a Modern Collection?

When George Nelson first imagined a Herman Miller Collection for modern living in 1948, he understood that the Collection would evolve as human behavior changed and new materials and manufacturing

The Continual Renewal of Modern

The contemporary Herman Miller Collection featured in the Pop-Up Shop included familiar and well-loved pieces from the company’s early collaborations with the giants of 20th century design, many reintroduced after decades or freshly interpreted with new materials and manufacturing technologies. Names like Eames, Nelson, Noguchi, Girard, Bennett, and Burdick were foundational for the program.

opposite page: Top: A conversation space, equally appropriate for residential or commercial environments, features iconic designs from Nelson, Eames, Bennet and Noguchi. Bottom: Nelson Pedestal tables and stools. This page: Top: Modern materials and finishes take the Herman Miller Collection into outdoor spaces. Bottom: Nelson's Thin Edge group finished in sustainably harvested Santos Palisander veneer.

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*HigHligHts from the

“ABC of modern furniture” A.

What is it?

Modern furniture is an effort to bring superior performance into another area… The effort includes the use of more up-to-date manufacturing methods, the introduction of better materials and the development of shapes which will be more at home in the contemporary landscape.


What are its characteristics?

It uses many materials – old and new It is compact (because people are living in smaller houses) It is flexible It is informal: Suggests simpler meals, more flexible hours, casual hospitality. It definitely includes the idea of less time for housework but also a high standard of housekeeping. In this picture modern furniture plays a most important part, for with a minimum of attention it retains its smart, simple appearance, provides in the most direct possible way for all household requirements.


But the company is quick to note that the collection is not simply an exercise in nostalgia. Recent award-winning contemporary designs from some of today’s best known practitioners include chairs, sofas, stools and tables, for indoor and out, from Italian alliance partners Magis and Mattiazzi. These highly respected design houses represent the work of Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison, the brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Steffano Giovannoni, Nitzan Cohen, Naoto Fukasawa, Marcel Wanders, Sam Hecht and Kim Collin. The Collection’s final, vital elements were wholly new commissions introduced in Spring 2012. Included were designs by Ayse Birsel and Bibi Seck, Leon Ransmeier, Hecht and Collin, Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows that complement and extend the Collection’s reach and service to virtually every space in modern life. True to Nelson’s original vision, Herman Miller will continue to grow and evolve the Collection to meet new and emerging needs into the future. Watson concluded, “The most enduring designs from our past struck a balance between seemingly contradictory ideas; the combination of craft and industrial processes, aspirational and accessible, sculpture and engineering, elegant yet casual, beauty and comfort. Our goods must work hard to provide a solution, but they must have a true spirit. Those principals still guide us today. Our job is to understand the larger balance, while continuing to push forward and provide furniture that meets the requirements for life today.” s&p

Where is it used?

In houses In offices

Above: The ChArles And rAy eAmes exhibiT spACe. lefT: mATTiAzzi she sAid TAble And ChAirs And eAmes desk And sTorAge uniT, one of The firsT offerings in modulAr furniTure. righT: ClAssiC eAmes lounge ChAir And oTTomAn re-imAgined wiTh new finishes. 42

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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™ For more information on SynDECOR, call 1.800.688.2044.

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

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Finishing expertise DeMystiFying Decorative Foil Finishes Finishing with craFtsManship anD technology surface&panel

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Expertise T b y

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he scope of Burke Gibson’s business, which includes manufacturing POP displays, fixtures, cabinetry and paint/stain decks, requires finishing agility. The company must be able to produce high-end custom finishes as well as reproduce specific finishes that represent clients’ finishing materials. “Our work is custom, and we do a lot of wood,” says Kenny David, National Sales Manager for Burke Gibson. David has been with the company for 20 years and specializes in equipment, finishing and operations. “We finish our wood pieces, but we also have to deal with everyone’s finishing techniques because all the companies we do business with use different materials,” says David. “So we have had to become their experts in producing polish decks and cabinet samples. That includes consumer and technical finishes that go into retail and distributor show rooms.” To meet this wide variety of finishing needs Burke Gibson’s 18,000 square foot finishing department includes an automotive spray booth as well as a Makor in-line spray machine with automatic feeder and stacker. Burke Gibson primarily uses the Makor for producing customers’ paint and stain decks. “The machine has three heads so we can draw three different types of material,” says David. “The spray heads activate automatically when the piece enters the machine, and they disengage automatically so there is minimal waste. We can also manually set the heads at angles to cover molded pieces, and activate the spray heads


individually.” The company works closely with the materials suppliers to figure out the parameters that yield the desired result. “For the decks we have also automated some of the features that would normally be done by hand, so the samples are consistent,” says David. Burke Gibson uses a stamping machine with a custom built jig that carries features such as worm-holing, and rasping. Higher-end fixtures and displays are typically hand-sprayed and finished glazes are done by hand in an automotive spray booth that creates a constant ambient environment. The constant airflow keeps VOCs to a minimum. Through the years the finishing department has experimented with many types of spray guns. “I have found Kremlin to be the best, so we have been shooting with Kremlin for a log time,” says David. “Just the technology within the gun, the ease of it, the way it handles. It is very lightweight and creates a constant fan. There are a lot of good suppliers, but I found this one seems to be the best.” To meet the needs of its various customers the finishing department is equipped with a large array of guns and cups for easy clean up and easy change out. Quality control is done within a light booth to ensure the fidelity of the finish. Gloss is measured with a BYK laboratory gloss meter, and an X-Rite SP64 spectrophotometer ensures color precision. The care Burke Gibson puts into its finishing processes is evident in the final product, which is almost always a good thing in the eyes of the customer. “A while back a customer told us that our samples were so good he was having a hard time duplicating them,” says David. “Our job is to stay in touch with the materials and technology so that we continue to grow our experience and put out the best quality product.” s&p

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the finishing experience


• • • • •

Cefla Finishing has been in the US and Canada for over 25 years. Our new Charlotte, NC facility houses sales, after-sales support, administration and manufacturing. The state-of-the-art testing laboratory welcomes customers, fluid management and coating companies. Extensive spare parts inventory ready for prompt shipment. Factory trained technical engineers available to assist via phone or onsite support.

Cefla Finishing Group. The preeminent source for surface treatment systems and solutions.

Cefla North America 6125 Harris Technology Blvd. - Charlotte, NC 28269 - USA Tel. +1 704 598 0020 - Fax: +1 704 598 3950 E-mail:

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Come visit Cefla Finishing Come see us at at AWFS 2011 - Booth 8729 IWF 2012 – Booth 7121 8/17/12 2:56 PM

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The term is foil.

It is made out of a specific paper, not metal leaf, not thin plastic. And though it is often called by many different names/general descriptors (laminate, paper laminate, laminated paper, paper surface) the correct terminology is foil. Now that the nomenclature is clear, what exactly are foils? Obviously they are a widely used decorative surface in furniture and fixtures (See Ashley page 14 and Wind Mill page 28), but what makes a foil a foil? Surface & Panel spoke with Mike Phillips, CEO and President of BauschLinnemann North America to help define this often specified, but frequently misidentified surface finish. One thing that defines a foil is the specific paper used in making the product. That paper undergoes a resin impregnation process that makes it a very good surface for machining. Foils typically receive a topcoat that can enhance durability and in some cases modify the color of the foil. And the material may be specified with or without pre-applied hot-melt adhesive, depending on the needs and capabilities of the user. In an effort to clearly define what a foil is this piece will provide a brief history of the material, then look at the paper technology, impregnation options, top-coating and adhesive possibilities. And hopefully by the end, foils will gain some of the name recognition in the North American market that they have established in Europe.


A BrieF HisTory oF Foils

Foils came about in Germany after WWII and at that point they were typically referred to as “priming foils.” Following the war there was a shortage of natural resources, and an early (and not too refined) version of particleboard was the most accessible substrate. This board had large chunks of wood and a very rough surface. Enter priming foils. These paper surface layers were heavy and thick, about three times the thickness of what is classified as a foil today (more about paper weight below). Priming foils were impregnated with resin to make them more rigid, then laminated to particleboard to provide a smooth surface for painting. Once an early foil was painted or lacquered it was called a “finished foil,” This descriptor is related to modern foils only in the most rudimentary way and has fallen out of use since it fails to accurately describe the top-coating potential of a foil. Priming foils are still available and in use, but make up a minority of overall decorative foil applications.

photos courtesy of bausch decor bauschlinnemann

Demystifying Decorative Foil Finishes

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CARB Compliant

The Paper Makes the Foil

Most people who read this piece already know that there is more astounding technology and nuance behind paper making than the average layperson would ever guess. But just in case, here are some differentials about paperweight, binders and resin impregnation. In general terms, paper-based decorative surfaces can differentiated by basis weight (weight before any resins are added), resin treatment, coating, and methods for adhering the decorative surface to the substrates. The product made from paper that is 30 gram or less is called “low-basis weight paper.” These low basis weight papers are not impregnated with resin beyond the binder used in the paper making process and the cellulose itself. There are also 45 gram papers that typically carry a small amount of resin. The term “foil” appears for products made with basis papers in the 60 gram range. Foils can be un-impregnated, but the base paper is always made with a blend of acrylic and melamine resin. “Preimpregnated,” foil refers to a product that has resin added during the papermaking process, generally anywhere from 8-15 percent of the base paper weight. Foils can also be “post-impregnated,” a process that adds about 30 percent resin to the paper after the paper is cured. When resin is added into the paper it fills the voids and encapsulated the paper fibers. This makes the product less permeable, provides a good substrate for lacquer top coating, and most importantly increases the internal bond strength. The result is that after the foil is laminated onto a panel it can be machined and the edges will cut cleanly.


11:43 AM

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Top-Coating Foils

Foils can be printed and normally receive a lacquer topcoat that can be formulated for specific characteristics, such as increased durability, scratch resistance, hardness, flexibility and so forth. The type of lacquer that is used, and the method of curing depend on the type of foil that is being top-coated and the manufacturing method. In Europe there are operations that do combinations of printing, impregnating and top-coating, but in North America those functions are done at separate facilities. Pre-impregnated papers go from European paper makers (according to Mr. Phillips there are no manufacturers of pre-impregnated papers in North America), to the printer, and then to the foil manufacturer. These foils normally receive electron beam (EB)cured lacquer top-coating that is an 100 percent-solid mix of monomers, ligamers, resins

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based lacquers are still used for top-coating, but they are becoming less common because the solvent by-product must be disposed of and it is increasingly difficult to get licensing for the process. Laminating Foils to Substrates

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Sabatini Collection

and chemicals. Companies typically have proprietary lacquer formulas for specific characteristics. There are several advantages to EB-cured lacquers in terms of manufacturing. For one, the lacquers can be tinted, which allows for short runs of solid colors. Because the lacquer is 100 percent solid it cures immediately when exposed to the EB radiation without any off-gassing. This adds to the “green” factor, but more importantly allows the product to be run at high-speed on short lines. From the paper-maker, post-impregnated papers go to printing (if printed), resin- impregnation and then top-coating. Impregnation and top-coating are generally done in tandem. Post-impregnated papers are top-coated with either a water-based or solvent-based acid catalyzed (heat-cured) melamine lacquer. During the curing process the foils go through ovens that flash off the carrier, which does place limitations on line speed. According to Mr. Phillips the use of water-based lacquers is on the rise because the process exhausts steam. Solvent-


Decorative foils are affixed to the substrate with an adhesive, and there are two basic systems depending on the capabilities of the user. For the first method a water-based PVA adhesive is roll-coated onto the substrate, the foil, or both prior to laying out the material. Foils may also be specified with a preapplied EVA hotmelt that reactivates when pressed under heat and pressure. Advantages of hotmelt include controlled cost, no waste or clean up, and increased water resistance because the hotmelt effectively puts a thermoplastic layer between the foil and the substrate. Also, since hotmelt is 100 percent solid, not water based, there is no grain rise in the substrate resulting in a smoother laminated panel. In some applications foils may be profile wrapped, such as moldings and transition strips. If the product is going to be subjected to moisture or elevated temperatures PUR hotmelt can be used. Though a technical finish, decorative foils are easy to use and easy to specify. And after the 63 mentions above, hopefully when they are referenced it will be with the correct terminology. s&p

NEW SOLUTIONS TO MEET YOUR DEMANDS Funder America (FAI) is proud to have nearly 40 years experience providing for North America’s decorative surface needs. In 1973 Funder’s Mocksville, NC facility began service as a single regional source of TFM panels. Since then, we have added two more TFM production facilities in the key locations of Hope, Arkansas and Sebring, FL. All three of Funder’s TFM panel facilities are FSC Certified. At Funder we continuously strive to provide the market with a full range of high performance, fully integrated technologies and products. Funder’s exclusive in-house saturation provides flexibility as well as diversity for large panel and custom component capabilities. Our state-of-the-art powder coating facility in Mocksville provides cost-efficient, environmentally friendly solutions that offer design flexibility for seamless components in an unlimited range of shapes. Funder America has been providing the market with one of the industry’s most diverse one-stop-shopping programs for nearly 10 years with Surface Synergy. In August 2012 at IWF Atlanta – Funder will launch our most comprehensive and customer friendly program to date.

SABATINI COLLECTION This exciting new program is a complete collection of new finish technology and offerings that truly covers all your surface needs. In addition to our world class TFM, Funder has worked with key supply sources to expand our Surface Synergy program. Funder is ready to ship matching HPL and edgebanding along with your panels and components. Matching Rigid Thermal Foils for your 3-dimensional needs are available in single or multiple roll quantities. 842 Naples

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We’ve got you covered Finishing solutions for wood, composites, plastic and metal Finish quality can dramatically impact the appearance and performance of your products. That’s why Stiles Finishing Technologies offers best-in-class equipment brands – each committed to delivering efficient, economical and ‘green’ technology solutions. Our team of experts understands the importance of quality finishing and can help assess the best solutions for your industry and applications – including roll coat, vacuum coat, spray applications, curing, and digital printing. For more information, contact Stephan Waltman at 616.698.7500 or Or visit

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with Craftsmanship and Technology b y

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ith more than 75-years of experience manufacturing furniture, OFS Brands combines its rich history in craftsmanship with modern materials and manufacturing techniques. The company’s finishing process reflects these sensibilities. “We automate our finish process as much as we can,” said Jeff Eckert, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for OFS Brands, “but we place a value on the hand finishing, the craftsmanship and the detail that is required to finish wood furniture.” Since its inception in 1937 the company has developed into the largest independently owned manufacturer of wood-based office furniture in the United States today, while providing four distinct furniture brands delivered into verti-


cal markets. Within the OFS Brands family, OFS and First Office serve the office and commercial contract markets. The Loewenstein brand serves hospitality and Carolina serves healthcare. Each brand includes hardwood and/or veneer product lines. Considering the varying demands of these public environments, OFS Brands offers a unique finish that utilizes the anti-microbial properties of silver ions. This adds to the durability to the surface while enhancing the beauty of the natural materials. CraFTsmanship

“We want to make sure the real wood material gets the special attention it deserves,” said Eckert. “Therefore, we assemble in the

whitewood and then finish the piece. The first step is the application of NGR stains, which are applied by hand.” Considering that OFS Brands’ capabilities include the skilled matching and splicing of flitches as they lay up veneer panels in house, it stands to reason that the company is equally careful about finishing hardwoods and veneers. “A certain part of a veneer may be a lighter or a darker color. That’s why our shading process, which gives a panel a balanced look, is really a form of artwork.” OFS Brands offers two standard finishes, matte and hand-rubbed. Each utilizes the company’s proprietary topcoat technology called Euroluxe™, a mutli-step process that enhances the aesthetic of the natural wood surface.

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Euroluxe is a chemically re-engineered acrylic topcoat that preserves the beautiful depth and clarity of OFS Brands’ finishes and allows for greater performance with chemical, heat and scratch resistance. The topcoat also achieves indoor air quality standards set by LEED and BIFMA furniture emissions standards. All matte work surfaces feature smooth-to-thetouch, slightly visible open grain that allows the natural grain variations to be felt through the final finish. The hand-rubbed work surfaces are triple filled and utilize a high- end automotive polishing process. This process creates a work surface that maintains the wear layer with great clarity, durability and a rich lustrous finish.

OFS Brands and the company’s finish partners have collaborated to develop an antimicrobial wood finish. The silver ions infused into the Silverban™ finish work continuously by disrupting key cell functions that prevent microbes from growing or reproducing. This is significant considering that laboratory tests show that bacteria can double within 20 minutes on unprotected surfaces, and that most germs are only visible to the human eye once they have multiplied to hundreds of thousands. According to OFS Brands, Silverban™ inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria on wood surfaces, as well as odors caused by bacterial growth, by 99.99 percent.

At the end of the finishing process products are oven-cured before being packaged and sent through OFS Brands’ distribution center where they are staged for delivery to the customer. All products are delivered, and can be installed, by Styline Logistics, a transportation company owned by OFS Brands. The integrated logistics from customer service through production to delivery provides customers with a seamless experience, and help to ensure that product arrives on time and in tact. OFS Brands’ commitment to traditional craftsmanship, innovative technology and environmental stewardship is evident in their wood finishing, as well as their other products. All OFS products within wood veneer, casegoods, laminate casegoods, conference and seating have achieved GREENGUARD Certification by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), an industry renowned expert in the areas of indoor air quality, public and environmental health, building design and construction. “To serve the marketplace we have to be fast moving,” said Eckert. “We put a lot of effort in developing innovations in design, materials and technology, but we value our heritage in quality craftsmanship as well. This combination has created a culture that brings the best products to our customers.” s&p


“When setting up a finishing process you have to consider how you want your end product to look,” said Eckert. “Then there is a lot to think about. It is not as easy as just spraying a piece of wood. There are different atmospheric conditions, line lengths of manufacturing and environmental considerations, all of which affects the finished product.” OFS Brands does utilize automation to the degree that it meets the company’s finishing standards. The Euroluxe ™ topcoat is applied with a premium, patented, hand-spray process that is computer regulated to precisely control the timing and mixture of the sensitive materials. The unique chemical structure of the Euroluxe finish also allows for easy field repairs. “Years ago we invested in down drafts booths that prevent dust or dirt from getting onto the work surfaces. Also, the down draft booths create a safer working environment,” said Eckert. Technology is also at work in OFS Brands’ specialty finish Euroluxe™ with Silverban™. Due to the fact that many products are specified into public spaces and healthcare environments, engineers and chemists from both 54

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lighting to a

new level


uminescent carpets and ceilings. Windows that provide bright daylight even when it’s dark outside. Glimmering luminescent clothes. When designers and scientists start talking about organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), their imaginations know no bounds. Indeed, the future holds in store infinite ways of using OLEDs. But even today, these ultra-flat light sources have already managed to raise light to a brand new level. So how are they different from existing light sources? OLEDs are surface light sources, rather than spotlights. Just a mere 1.8 millimetres thick, OLEDs diffuse a warm, pleasant and homogeneous light over the entire surface. More precisely, OLEDs are composed of paper-thin layers of organic semiconductors and color molecules, which are embedded between two layers of glass. When a voltage is applied, the organic layers begin to light up. Manufacturing OLEDs involves one of the most high-tech processes around and can be compared with the manufacture of PC chips. It begins with an extremely thin, transparent and electroconductive oxide layer composed of indium tin oxide (ITO) being applied to a glass slide. This layer forms the anode. The subsequent stages of the process involve the application of the organic layers. Contrary to LEDs, OLEDs are manufactured using chemically organic material – in other words, carbonatebased components. The final stage incorporates an aluminium cathode, whose prime function is ensuring that the OLED works like a mirror when it is turned off. When voltage is applied to the OLED, electricity flows from the anode to the cathode and makes the layers in the middle light up. The color that we see depends on the voltage, as well as – more importantly – the material that has been embedded in the organic layers.


images courtesy of LumibL ade PhiLiPs

OLED : raising

Editor’s notE: In an effort to provide the most up-to date information about the latest in surface and lighting technology Surface & Panel is reaching out to the companies at the leading edge of development. The following piece was provided by Phillips, and is meant to serve as an introduction to OLED technology. In the future Surface & Panel hopes to provide basic information on the development of polymer organic light emitting diodes (P-OLED), which take the form of an amorphous film, and printed electronics. Surface light SourceS verSuS SpotlightS

The main difference between LEDs and OLEDs is that OLEDs, contrary to LEDs and other common light sources, diffuse their light from the source right across the entire surface, hence the term ‘surface light sources’. Light from OLEDs is characterized by a natural, diffused softness. Due to their extreme flatness, OLEDs can be integrated in many different surfaces and products and allow light sources to be designed in a wide range of shapes and sizes. OLEDs can be fully dimmed right across the spectrum – less electricity means less light, more electricity makes it brighter. No sophisticated electronics are required – standard potentiometers are all that they need. OLEDs are available in virtually all colors, not to mention in the sphere of high quality white light. Alongside standard shapes, companies such as Philips also provide sophisticated shapes as well as structural OLEDs. As a result, dreams of technical light designs can be realized very easily. In terms of size, OLEDs have also been gaining ground in recent years, with dimensions exceeding 140 m2 becoming increasingly common. However, for many consumers, the homogeneity of the light is more important than size.

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Express yourself! BOOTH #2854


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The LivingShapes interactive wall, By means of a hidden sensor, more than 1000 OLEDs react to what is happening in front of the wall and translate this into luminous OLED spots.

With big OLEDs, the “halo” effect (the OLED’s darker center and lighter edge) is the restricting factor. This effect occurs because the electricity is always fed in at the edge, with the resistance in the OLED causing the power of the light to weaken as it reaches the center. Unbeatable energy efficiency

Today, the majority of energy produced is used for lighting buildings. This amount is greatly reduced when energy-saving lighting is used, such as OLEDs. In terms of energy efficiency, organic light diodes are far more advanced than the usual lighting systems. Not only because manufacturing organic components requires less energy than for nonorganic components, but also because OLEDs are cold light sources and require less electricity due to their special technology. OLEDs are quick and efficient at converting electrical energy into light, without becoming warm themselves. In fact, they do not get any warmer than 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). As a result, they can be integrated into materials that never used to be associated with light sources, such as straw or paper, for example. The voltage carries no risk either – none of the Philips OLEDs require any more than 14 volts, with a maximum current of 500 mA.


Mass-market OLED manufacturing

At the moment, although manufacturing and purchasing OLEDs is more expensive than with usual light sources, technology is continually moving forwards with increasing speed. When organic light diodes can be mass-produced – in the not too distant future – the consumer will be able to benefit from the lower prices resulting from increased production. Philips, for example, is already boasting an efficiency and lifespan of up to 45 lumen per watt and 15,000 hours respectively for their Lumiblade brand of OLEDs. A quick comparison: a usual bulb only achieves a lifespan of 1500 hours. And that’s nothing compared to their efficiency. The halo is also continually improving as a result of advances in technology and has already reached 4000 candela per square metre. Experts predict that indicators will improve two-fold every twelve months. The light of the future, today

The international trend towards sustainability is having an enormous impact on the development of energy-saving light sources. This means that energy-saving lamps and halogen spotlights will gradually disappear from the market. Experts, architects and designers are looking to OLEDs as the next big thing in the lighting industry over the next few years. The first products are already on the market. Phillips’ OLEDs can be found in lamp collections such as the “O’Leaf” lighting range by Modular Lighting Instruments or the desk lamp, “Edge”, by Establishde&Sons. Admittedly, these are designer lighting collections targeted at the high-end of the market, but they are not completely unaffordable. These products are leading the way for future developments within this market. Alongside the traditional uses of standard lighting, OLEDs provide new ways in which structural lighting and special lighting can be used. OLED technology is set to completely transform the way in which light is perceived, allowing for new and exciting applications. And this is just the beginning. s&p

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Dieffenbacher Colorizer Product Video on

Printing the Future Direct Digital Printing on Panels – Large Formats up to 82.5 in x 142 in – World Class Quality Resolution 600 x 600 dpi – High Capacity max. 19,375 sq.ft. / h

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Best of Neocon 2012

It is difficult to walk around an expansive show like NeoCon and pick favorites. In this case Surface & Panel magazine has selected interesting applications that use engineered materials and lighting technology in ways that move with the trends of flexible furniture and mobile technology. There were also many intriguing material innovations and new designs introduced at the show. Look for a more comprehensive exploration of materials in the Q4 edition’s annual Surface Design Guide.

Teknion Previews SidewiseTM Compact Collaborative Casegoods at Neocon 2012 Teknion Corporation announced Sidewise – a new style of compact, collaborative casegoods workstation – one of several new innovative workplace products on display during NeoCon.

LOFTwall – Dividers for Living and Working LOFTwall is rewriting the rules on how living & working spaces are divided. The company is committed to creating innovative & straight forward solutions for environments where people live, cultivate & play. Wherever there is space LOFTwall is willing to divide it with attitude. The Wave, a free-standing element of motion was introduced at NeoCon. The unique and visually stimulating design adds aesthetic and function to any space. Undulating surfaces create a visual barrier while allowing air, light & sound to propagate through the space.

Sidewise integrates new technologies. It was designed specifically to meet the needs of modern technology in the workplace. The integrated technology bridge links the storage to the worksurface while functioning as the discreet power/data interface. Sidewise accommodates monitor mounting for today’s needs for individually focused and shared information. The innovative Lounge Recliner caters to users who seek a space to think, read or recharge. Sidewise was also designed to optimize space. The monolithic vertical storage component structurally supports the workstation while minimizing the footprint. The component was created exclusively to meet the lower-density public and personal storage needs of those groups using enclaves and other smaller workspaces. Further space optimization is offered with the unique sliding, side-access storage options such as the Multi-Drawer, which make it easy to access items from a seated position, without having to back up. n

LOFTwall offers the Desk Divider, a modular tabletop privacy screen with optional modesty panel below the desk, GLIDE hanging over-mounted panels, and SKY overhead pieces. The systems are available in LOFTwall’s full range of panel finishes, including veneers, laminates, polycarbonate, resin panels and more. n 60

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NeocoN 2012

Nucraft's emme makes a Statement Emme makes a statement – whatever one suits you. Tables, cushioned benches, and consoles share simple lines and architectural forms, while the palette celebrates material, color, and detail. Restrained or dynamic in expression, Emme stays balanced, in sync. Emme achieves a balance between mass and thick-and-thin lines for a dynamic aesthetic – one that changes depending on the viewing angle. At the same time, the elements integrate with each other and with architectural elements for a cohesive look.

Unveiling at IWF-Atlanta

Developed with a specific focus on materials and finishes, Emme’s extensive palette of materials and colors allows a range of expression, while numerous table sizes address various functional and space requirements. Glass or stone tops can be added to any component. n

The New 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, that we feel will help you make the correct, informed decisions about using our wood products.

Paces by Versteel BeSt of NeocoN SilVer award wiNNer

The newest table series from Versteel was inspired by the human form. When legs are positioned in a walking motion there’s a better distribution of weight and balance, making for greater strength and stability. Hence, Paces’ side by side welded legs. The iconic vertical indentation formed into the steel not only reflects light, it provides a discreet space for wire management. Specify powder coat or chrome bases for superior wear and add tilt-tops and mobility for easy access to floors. Quanta chairs with matching finishes compliment Paces and they become the focal point of any room. n

Roseburg continues to develop new products like RigidFrame industrial plywood for the upholstered furniture industry as well as innovative and more efficient ways to bring products to market like our highly popular Duramine (ESP) Enhanced Service Program. We encourage you to visit our booth #3023 at IWF 2012 to see the NEW and all the ways Roseburg is “Making Wood Better”. For more information, go to

TF 800-245-1115

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

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NeocoN 2012

3M Architectural’s Dramatic Neocon Display Retail designer James Mansour’s exhibit was of an impressive architectural scale – offering a 360° tactile experience with three striking versions of the new light fixture AIR by 3M acting as the centerpiece. The hoop-shaped lights create a wide band of exceptionally even light. AIR lightweight fixtures can be dramatically angled and suspended in inspiring ways. The lamp uses energy-efficient, replaceable LED sources and will be available in white or can be customized with the full spectrum of RGB colors and sized to fit any project. Also debuting in the stand this year was FLEX by 3M, a customizable light fixture that can be suspended and curved to follow architectural lines and create unique, beautifully luminous installations along walls, ceilings or both. Eleven slender, lightweight connectable components using energy efficient LED sources can be mixed and matched for endless flexibility, and are available in standard or custom finishes. n

HPFI® Introduces expandable conference Tables HPFI® (High Point Furniture Industries) introduced the latest addition to its collection of meeting and conference furniture, Expandable Conference Tables, available in two styles with infinite possibilities. Start with a twopiece table, 8' in length. Then add as many 4' extensions to achieve the desired size. Choose from two styles to fit the décor. Bedford Series style with a 1-3/16" thick, high-gloss, high pressure, rectangular shape laminate top in Mahogany or Windsor Cherry. Traditional, solid hardwood edge profile tops, plinth base molding on straight slab legs.


Hyperwork Series style with 1-1/8" thick thermally fused laminate tops, balanced panel construction with a fully laminated backer sheet. A durable 3mm AdvantEdge PVC edge banding ensures long life. Boat shaped top with straight slab legs in a variety of finishes to match or coordinate with almost any décor. n



Linear texture. Organic feel. Modern appeal. Itʼs our new line of textured melamine and thermofoil components in 5 pleasing colors. Quality products. Affordable pricing. Responsive service. Itʼs what Northern Contours can do for you.

Contact us today. 866-344-8132 |


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Lamitech Laminate Refs.: Cypress Camel 1489 - Taupe 2165

Our high pressure decorative laminates are your source of inspiration. Our commitment to service, quality and innovation, guarantee your satisfaction. That´s ill minate, that´s Lamitech.

NEW 2012 COLLECTION Inspired by the city and natural landscapes: a range of neutral solid colors, combined with sophisticated marbles and stones, 3D woodgrains and trendy pinaceae designs.

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NeocoN 2012

Rich Brilliant Willing exhibits Lighting and Furniture Solutions Rich Brilliant Willing is one America’s premier contemporary lighting and furniture design manufacturer. At NeoCon one striking furniture piece on display was the Russian Doll Table. The tables are comprised of asymmetrical shaped aluminum panels, leather gaskets and a tempered glass top. Every second panel juncture touches the floor, creating an alternating graphic rhythm and a stable platform. The leather strips act as a soft buffer between the floor, metal panels and the glass. Anodizing provides a vibrant finish with a wide array of color options. In lighting Trig, and adjustable-height LED floor lamp of anodized aluminum pares down the classic tripod lamp. Trig looks great in living rooms and guest rooms as well as lobbies and common areas. n



KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS OF USING 3-D LAMINATED COMPONENTS: Safe, patient-friendly design; better looking projects; economical; durable; easy to clean; happier clients; higher margins. • 586.468.4765 64

SeeyondTM Architectural Solutions Seeyond™ Architectural Solutions offers a new way to create differentiated space using architectural specialty features in three easy steps: design, manufacturing and installation. Seeyond uses parametric technology to help architects and interior designers create complex forms for walls, facings, columns, enclosures and clouds. Designs are created with the Tess™ Specification Tool. Tess provides feedback on material, hardware and manufacturing requirements. Seeyond then uses the precise design created in Tess to drive the manufacturing process. The process utilizes flat-sheet materials that are precisely cut by a robot, and then folded in origami-like fashion to create individual modules that combine to fulfill the user’s unique vision. The modules interconnect with no visible hardware to create a completely self-structuring system. A variety of options for custom color, lensing patterns, printed graphics, material appliqué and internal lighting allows for even greater design freedom. n

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Success is no accident. Results take work.

Passion is researching what is next in the marketplace. It is investing in the development of something specific for that market. It means communication and coordination with marketing partners. It is not just printing decors but producing best sellers.

We make decors succesful. SandP_Q3-2012.indd 65

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NeocoN 2012

Zii/DriveTM The Zii™ chair and Drive™ table by SurfaceWorks® combine style and practicality in exquisitely designed folding chairs that attach to state-of-the-art flip-top tables. With a flair for the dramatic – once the chairs are attached, the whole set, table and chairs nest together for remarkable space savings. The cool high quality casters allow for the mobility of the whole set, chairs and tables together. Zii™ chairs are available with polypropylene seats and backs or in an upholstered version. The flowing grace of the chrome legs set the new standard for folding chair design. Limitless options are included with the Drive™ table from urethane to bamboo edges with any laminate imaginable. n

DRAWER COMPONENTS Blank, miter-fold and knockdown (KD) drawer systems assemble in seconds to significantly reduce labor costs. • Wide range of sizes, styles and colors • Matching drawer bottoms • Vinyl and polypropylene wrap FSC products available on request

Visit us at IWF Atlanta August 22nd-25th Booth #1847

• Birch plywood drawer systems • Custom drilling, grooves and thicknesses SandP_Q3-2012.indd 66

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NeocoN 2012

Gunlocke's SILeA™ open office Brings Private office Inspiration to collaborative Spaces Conceived and scaled for open plan environments, Gunlocke’s newest collection of wood casegoods – Silea™ Open Office – delivers more of a private office experience, while offering a level of sophistication unlike anything else in the category. Appropriate for higher-end spaces, Silea Open Office allows the aesthetic range of Gunlocke’s forward-thinking Silea Private Office wood casegoods to extend throughout the entire office, including reception and open plan stations, delivering a new perspective on casegoods for the open office environment. Available in a wide range of materials and configurations, Silea Open Office’s sleek, modern design strips away visual complexities, providing a simple, minimal aesthetic that’s light in scale and hosts numerous visual layers of varying heights within the workspace. Its clean lines are emphasized by horizontal veneer, laminate patterns, painted surfaces and other mixed materials, including glass and metal. n

Visit us @ IWF Booth # 1615

2D acrylic laminate With a perfect high gloss mirror finish Stocked in 9 colors with no minimum order Matching / complimentary high gloss edge banding readily available Start offering perfect high gloss cabinetry & furniture components today!

973.598.0152 68

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NeocoN 2012

Wilsonart’s Student competition explores A classic Design challenge: The chair

Kaii tu poSeS With hiS aWardWinning "torrey Chair."

Each year Wilsonart sponsors the “Wilsonart Challenges”… student design scholarship program to foster the careers of emerging furniture designers in North America. This competition challenges students at a designated design school to create a unique chair that uses Wilsonart Laminate to answer a specific design challenge. Last winter Wilsonart selected the Furniture Design Department at The California College of The Arts to host the 8th Challenge. The competition unfolds as a semester-long course, this year taught by Professor Russell Baldon and Grace Jeffers, design historian and materials specialist. The winner of the 2012 “Wilsonart Challenges...” student design competition is Kaii Tu. Tu’s “Torrey Chair" features a fragmented geometry, rendered from multiple perspective points. Seemingly random angles of different colors of woodgrain laminate are used to simultaneously sculpt and paint the form. High Pressure Decorative Laminate, the material required to create the chair, cannot be formed into a compound shape: while it is flexible, it can bend in only one direction, not into curvaceous forms. Kaii Tu applied innovative engineering skill to the design to defy this rule and artfully demonstrate that an undulating, threedimensional form can be achieved in laminate. Tu used a total of eight wood tones and 40 separate hand-cut pieces of Wilsonart® Laminate to create the chair. s&p

Riken USA Corporation

"Linea" by Jeni tu

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

"Laminate Chair" by Steve SanChez


See you at the IWF Show in Atlanta, GA on 8/22-25. Riken USA Booth #1946.


New items – Gray High Gloss



a Graphit HG

Achat Grau HG

Terra Grau HG

"the Wave Chair" by noah hiLL

1702 Beverley Road | Burlington NJ 08016 | P : 609.387.2011 Katsu Mizushima | | 70



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tafisa LEED

up to 6 credits

Designated ULEF *

Green to the core

* Ultra Low Emitting Formaldehyde, as low as 0.01 ppm

Touching off world-class trends, Tafisa® Canada leads the way in fashion-forward interiors and environmental leadership, continually raising industry standards. Tafisa’s TAFIPAN-ECO® panels are manufactured using 100% recycled and recovered wood materials, saving millions of trees every year. TAFIPAN-ECO® panels conform with the most stringent third-party certifications and are recognized as maintaining good indoor air quality to protect human health.

Find out about Tafisa’s green mission at Customer Service: 1 888 882-3472

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Arborite 800.361.8712


Northern Contours 866.344.8132


Arclin 877.689.9145


Olon Industries, Inc. 905.877.7300


Blum, Inc. 704.827.1345


Omnova Solutions 866.332.5226


Boise Cascade 888.264.7372

76 (BC)

Panolam 203.925.1556


Cefla 704.598.0020



Clarion Boards 1.800.373.4383

Plummer Forest Products 208.777.2202


Riken USA Corporation 609.387.2011


Roseburg 800.245.1115


decorative surface conference 920.206.1766

Salice 800.222.9652


Schattdecor 314.400.6100


DVUV 216.741.5511


Stevens Industries 217.540.3100


Funder America, Inc. 336.751.3501



HR Wood Specialties 269.628.2181

Stiles Machinery, Inc. 616.698.7500


Surface Source International 973.598.0152

2 (IFC)

Interprint, Inc. 413.443.4733


Syndecor/AET Films, Inc. 800.688.2044


JB Cutting Inc 586.468.4765


Tafisa Canada 888.882.3472


KCD Software 508.760.1140


Thermwood 800.533.6901


Kings Mountain 704.739.4227


Timber Products 800-547-9520


Kleiberit 704.843.3339



KML-Kustom Material Laminates 888.358.5075

Uniboard 800.263.5240



Lamitech S.A. 571.644.9898

Valspar 612.851.7000


West Fraser Sales Ltd. 780.413.8900

Munksjo 987-342-1080


Wilsonart HD 800-433-3222

Perfecting motion




Composite Panel Association 866.4Composites Dieffenbacher 770-226-6394

The Hidden Advantage ™



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“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Steve Jobs

Furniture, cabinet and fixture buyers don’t know what they want until they see it. Surface design is the most outwardly identifiable quality of a winning product.

To experience the latest advances in a wide range of surface materials, register for the Decorative Surfaces Conference today.

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f r o m

t h e

e d i t o r

“... some economists are predicting that North America could be on the verge of another Golden Age of manufacturing, with deciding factors being logistics/ distribution and an increasingly well-developed international market place...”

Making for a Better Future I follow several manufacturing newsletters and end up reading every story that reports on industrial production, factory output and economic growth. And if there is some contextual comparison to what is happening historically or worldwide, I read that too. I always read anything related to our industry, but I love to peek into what is happening in the worlds of IT, electronics, automotives and agriculture also. In a way it is sort of like reality TV, which ironically I have no stomach for. There are all sorts of scandals, alliances and rumors, and no shortage of supposition. I do steer clear of heavily politicized reporting, but it is fun to speculate and then see how things unfold. I am particularly keen on the cautiously optimistic pieces. Several that have caught my attention recently attempt to draw parallels between today’s post-recession situation and the factors that ultimately turned the economy around after the Great Depression. One thing citied as a historic turning point in this country’s economic recovery is increased manufacturing. Of course in the late 1930s and early 1940s part of that was in preparation for war. While war can certainly boost an economy, it is not an ideal plan for long-term economic health. What World War II provided in terms of economic growth was increased demand for industrial goods such as weapons and transportation. However this came part and parcel with reduced consumer buying power and limits on distribution during the war. Then the unprecedented consumerism in the following years set into action a model where quantity of production was more important than quality of goods. Fast forward nearly 70 years and some economists are predicting that North America could be on the verge of another Golden Age of manufacturing, with deciding factors being logistics/distribution and an increasingly well-developed international market place, including unprecedented growth of a global middle class. I always look for the relationships between the macro and micro, and I think there are some indicators that could support this theory, provided that modalities adjust appropriately. If you read this entire issue cover to cover, which I’m sure you already have, you’ll notice a couple of recurring themes that appear naturally as characteristics of successful manufacturers. One is the dedication to logistics and the understanding that innovation and quality control in distribution is a game changer. Another is continual re-investment in equipment, materials and technology with an intention that is less about increasing quantity (there are many overseas manufacturers producing lots of product) and more about increasing quality. And perhaps the most important theme behind all this, which sits quietly in some features and is the obvious subject of others, is the importance of cultivating a technically educated, engaged work force. So is North America on the edge of a Golden Age of manufacturing? My Magic 8 Ball says “It is too soon to say,” but I will say that the companies that are succeeding in the contemporary marketplace have strong logistics (whether that is local or global distribution), appropriate levels of investment in equipment, and people who are skilled in craft and technology. Produce and Prosper,

Suzanne VanGilder | Editorial Director | 74

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Surface and Panel Fall 2012  
Surface and Panel Fall 2012  

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