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Finishing matters

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11/27/12 11:40 AM

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

Introducing TM

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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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the materialicious house

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Have you ever wondered why so many newly constructed homes seem to employ materials and techniques from days gone by? Are American production builders unaware of the advances in materials and technologies, or are they simply looking for the least expensive solution? When was the last time you saw a new home interior that truly amazed you? We are all part of an exciting industry. The secondary panel processing industry has pace, style and a distinctly international flavor. Furniture, kitchen cabinet, closet and storage manufacturers in conjunction with the producers of decorative surfaces, panel products, value-added components and décor design represent a group uniquely qualified to move the needle in residential interior design. Collectively, we may be years ahead of the average home builder. So let’s put it to the test. We’re going to build “the materialicious house,” named affectionately after our website The “m” house will be built on behalf of sponsors and will contain products provided by those sponsors. The land has been purchased and the selection of the architect and interior designer will begin shortly. The design team will be provided with a growing list of materials and finished products to be integrated into the home. The entire project will be documented in still images, video and in feature editorial. The content will be pushed aggressively through Surface & Panel magazine with its unique audience of fabricators, architects and interior designers,,

“The “m” house will showcase the best our industry has to offer, employing the latest in design and product trends. It’s a bold endeavor, but I am confident the end result will be spectacular.” and other media. Habitat for Humanity is also excited about this project. The organization will be the recipient of a generous donation presented on behalf of the sponsors when the completed home is sold. Don’t be surprised if a nationally recognized celebrity does the final walk through (on camera, of course) revealing the amazing materials, technology and finished products from an industry firmly positioned at the heart of all residential interiors. Statistics show that today’s home buyer wants a more environmentally conscious, yet smaller structure than in years past. Most importantly, they want high quality amenities and will sacrifice some square footage to get them. The “m” house will showcase the best our industry has to offer, employing the latest in design and product trends. It’s a bold endeavor, but I am confident the end result will be spectacular. And it’s a win-win for everyone; each sponsor will receive significant publicity and a very worthy cause will benefit as well. If you are interested in the sponsorship details for the materialicious house, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time at 920-206-1766 or Wishing you the very best in the year ahead. Happy Holidays,

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

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advertiser index


from the editor








Crystal bridges Museum store Ceiling soars The Crystal Bridges Museum store is as stunning as it is unique, and a tribute to quality materials, superb workmanship and outstanding team effort.


surface design guide 2012 Sleek designs continue to trend looking into 2013 as high gloss surfaces mix seamlessly with soft, authentic woodgrains. New technology offers designers a new take on textures, and sustainability remains an industry-wide focus.


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

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

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

north american lightweight panel production Fueled by demands for new design aesthetics and greener materials, and bolstered by strategic partnerships and deliberate positioning, Panolite opened for business in 2008.


the future of decor design Digitally printed laminate concepts are changing designers’ perceptions.


one Journey | two fairs Every odd-numbered year industry professionals from around the world come to Germany to attend two of the most important trade fairs for machinery and furniture: LIGNA in Hannover and interzum in Cologne.

on the Cover:

46 52


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

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

Post Office Box 747, Station B Ottawa, Ontario CANADA K1P 5P8 Ph: 613-232-6782 fax: 703-724-1588 international testing and CertifiCation Center

73 Lawson Road, Leesburg, VA 20175 Ph: 703-724-1128 fax: 703-724-1588

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The architectural millwork in the Crystal Bridges Museum Store is a testament to high-quality materials and precision processes.

industry shifts An industry based on technology and resources is dynamic by nature and will consistently undergo transition. This brief overview highlights some recent shifts.

54 large scale | fine texture From a surface design standpoint, texture and color go hand in hand. Whether the finish is smooth or textured, a haptic layer of experience is a necessity.

graphiC design

Composite panel assoCiation Main offiCe






building an environment for healing The LEED Gold certified Mission Trail Baptist Hospital incorporates decorative surfaces for evidence based health care.


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



from the publisher



finishing Matters A special section highlighting the finishing industry. 58 flexible from design to finish 62 automating for efficiency and environment 66 powder Coated Wood in healthcare


inkjet printing for polymer organic light emitting diode A basic overview of P-OLED technology, including a look at why ink jet printing is emerging as the manufacturing method of choice.


succeed together: innovation through Materials and logistics Roland Boulanger & Co. Ltd. is pioneering the widespread use of Premeer enhanced oriented polypropylene (OPP), an innovative decorative surfacing material recently introduced into the North America market by Interprint USA.

Artopex's Essential wood collection is finished using high tech automation and environmentally friendly materials.

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

11/26/12 11:41 AM

Surface &


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1/23/2012 11:16:10 AM 11/26/12 8:44 AM

Feat Fe atur at ured ur ed dessig i n: Mys ysttiic Ge Gems m to ms t ne #18 1830 30K-35 30 30KK-35 K-

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BELIEVE IT. The first thing people notice is the stunningly realistic beauty. Next you remind them it’s more durable, resists scratches, and repels stains that discolor most granite tops. All at a fraction of the cost of real stone. Then it hits you. You had them at stunningly realistic beauty.

L A M I N AT E S • E D G E S • S I N K S Wilsonar

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Building an Environment for

Photo By Michael Peck

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t is somewhat tongue in cheek when Landon Lawson, Project Director for Vanguard Health Systems quips that “Vanguard is the Vanguard of outcome-based quality healthcare,” but the company is certainly part of what is driving the big philosophical changes in healthcare design. “Our sole focus is healthcare,” says Lawson, “and it is really evolving from sick care to caring for health. We implement evidence based practices to move from a fee for service model, to a fee for value model.” With 28 facilities in five distinct markets (Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan and Texas) Vanguard cultivates locally branded health systems that meet the needs of the people in each region. The Mission Trail Baptist Hospital is a 214,000- square-foot, 110-bed replacement facility that was recently completed in San Antonio, TX as a part of the Baptist Health System. Architects and designers from Earl Swensson Associates, Inc. (ESa) collaborated with the project owner and the care providers to develop a patientcentered, family friendly hospital. In addition to applying best practices for evidence-based healthcare, there were three design criteria that informed the specification of materials throughout the project: LEED Gold certification, regional harmony and creating a facility that is both light and quiet.


P h o t o B y k e i t h ta l l e y

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P h o t o s B y K e i t h ta l l e y Photo By Michael PecK

“WE ArE Good StEWArdS of our rESourcES”

Part of MTBH’s vision is to be “good stewards of our resources.” “For us it was important to incorporate LEED principles into the hospital by focusing on the things that really made sense, versus just how we can get points for x,y and z.” says Lawson. This included features that were innovative for the general public, such as electric car charging stations, a smart phone app called SnapWalk that allows visitors to scan a QR code and get directions within the facility, and lighting strategies that give functional options to bright overhead fixtures. It also guided the specification of interior finishes. “We selected several designs of Wilsonart HPL for different applications in the project,” says Angela Rinehart, interior designer for ESa. “Overall we try to be very aware of the origin of the products that we use. Not only is Wilsonart HPL made in America, it is sourced within 500 miles of San Antonio. Plus it has recycled content, so it qualifies for LEED credits.” surface&panel

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Q4 2012


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LEED Spec Eric Sheffer | LEED AP BD+C Manager, Sustainability Consulting SSRCx


his is the first acute-care hospital in the state of Texas to achieve LEED Gold and the first hospital in San Antonio to achieve LEED certification.

Some of the sustainable features include: • Building materials harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the build site, with 34 percent of the materials local to San Antonio • 21 percent of the materials have high recycled content. • An irrigation system that utilizes graywater and highefficiency indoor plumbing. • A 10 kw solar array installed on the project reduces the electrical demand on the power grid, saves electrical costs and promotes renewable energy. • Provisions for alternative transportation, community connectivity and storm water design.

PhoTo by Michael Peck

The facility has the potential to save up to $150,000 in energy costs and 1.1 million gallons of potable water per year.

Mike Jones is a Project Manager for SWA Millwork, the fabricator that built many of the fixtures for the MTBH project. “We mainly produce nurse stations and reception desks,” says Jones. “And we receive a lot of specifications for HPL because it offers so many different colors and designs. Woodgrain is usually the choice in a hospital setting because it feels homey, but if you were to use real wood or veneer plywood it just would not last as long.” The HPL was specified with a class A fire-rated particleboard substrate. And because the doors and drawers get a lot of use, the casework was built with concealed hinges from Blum. The public area doors in the hospital are done in Zanzibar HPL, a comforting design reminiscent of anigre with dark, gold and reddish hues. The design is carried over into Marlite panel systems along the walls, casework and accents within the patient rooms and nursing stations. HPL in a warm, straight-grained Amber Cherry is used to soften the stark, white functionality of the back of the house doors, desks and casework. And a lighter Asian Sand design accents the nurse work alcoves, and nursing stations. It moves out into the corridor to the coffee shop and servery providing a very cohesive look. Special care was taken to protect the edges of the HPL fixtures because of the heavy traffic in the hospital environment. The cabinets and doors were all finished with an impact resistant PVC edgebanding. 10

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11/26/12 8:52 AM

The ABET Wood collection of high pressure laminates combines the look and feel of wood veneer with technically enhanced durability. Real richness, real texture, real veneer…

But a different approach was taken for the nurse stations. “The owners were very concerned with the corners at the nurse stations getting dented,” says Rinehart, “so rather than cutting radiuses or adding corner protectors, we decided to extend the solid surface that was used for the desk tops down the sides, making it a functional design feature. Then we set the laminate surface back into it, so there were no exposed HPL corners at the nurse station. The intention was to keep it simple and easy to clean.”

P h o t o s b y K e i t h Ta l l e y

Low VOC emissions: LEED contributing product

800-228-2238 •

ABET Wood Ad 1/2 Page 4x10 Surface & Panel.indd 1 SandP_Q4-2012.indd 11


Q4 2012


10/12/12 2:29 PM 11/26/12 8:53 AM

Photo by Michael Peck

“We Maintain a Healing Environment”

Another aspect of the MTBH’s vision is to maintain a healing environment. A growing body of research in evidence-based healthcare design supports the idea that the physical environment can relieve patient pain and stress, affect well being, promote healing, and reduce medical errors, infections and falls. An important component of this is designing healthcare spaces that feel less institutional and more familiar. “A big focus for us with the MTBH project was to be as hyperlocal as possible with the south Texas culture,” says Lawson. “So that plays a big role in the design elements that went into the facility.” A physician-led art committee sought out photographs, paintings and quilts done by local artists. “Angela Rinehart sat on the art committee as well,” says Lawson, “so the selections of the finishes worked in concert with the artwork to achieve the general theme we were going for.” The warm wood tones of the HPL, and the strong neutral foundation of the Corian solid surface set the tonal palette. “We used some interesting materials as accents to bring out the local flavor,” says Rinehart. “Along the stairwell is a wall that looks like a rock façade, but it is actually porcelain tile in a pattern called “horn.” We also used HanStone Quartz and some Texas limestone, both honed and sandblasted, to tie into the geology of the area.” Mission Trail Baptist Hospital takes its name from the unique history of the area. “We had a local artist do a mosaic tile outlay of the San Antonio River in the meditation garden that sits between the medical office building and the hospital,” says Lawson. “It depicts each of the missions along the way and shows where MTBH now sits along that trail.” Weaving these earthy elements throughout the interior of the facility and the grounds gives patients a sense of place, rather than a feeling of being removed from society because they are sick. 12

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“We Are Family Friendly”

P h o t o b y K e i t h Ta l l e y

MTBH considers a patient’s family to be partners in the care of the patient. To this end, spaces are designed to be simultaneously open and private. Several devices are used to achieve this seemingly contradictory objective. The first is natural light, which streams into the public spaces in the facility through abundant windows and vaulted ceilings. Translucent materials were used to create areas of separation without blocking the light. “We ordered 4x8 sheets of 3Form in the Bear Grass pattern, basically tall grass with different variations of length and height, and cut them to size at our shop,” says Jones. The design was also added to some of the nurse stations to counteract the institutional feel of the back of the house environment. “The 3Form is aesthetically gorgeous,” says Rinehart, “but it really serves a function to help keep the spaces more intimate for patients and family. As hospitals become more like hospitality spaces, the look of organic materials like woodgrain, stone and grass really helps to counteract the institutional feel, and that is one of our goals.” Due to the fact that light is such a central feature in the design, decorative glass, called Vivid Glass from Forms + Surfaces, is also used throughout the facility. “Basically it is two pieces of glass with film encapsulated in the middle and it has a graded appearance, so at the top it is clear but it becomes opaque on the way down,” says Rinehart. “We used that in the waiting areas and lobby to give a little privacy while the families are sitting, but then they could stand up and see into the larger spaces.” Another design objective was the designation of a “quiet hospital,” a relatively new concept that emphasizes noise control. “From a healing perspective, if it is loud and clangy and noisy, it is a pretty difficult place to get healthy,” says Lawson. “We used a lot of sound attenuating surfaces. And for sound dampening we put panels on the walls in areas that had an echo-y feel.” All these details add up to serve the first tenet of the MTBH vision statement: “The patient is at the heart and center of MTBH. We exist to serve patients. Each one of us at MTBH is a caregiver and plays a role in our healing mission.” That philosophy carries through to the facility itself, and the team that carefully developed the healing environment. s&p

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7 LEED CREDITS can contribute towards 7 LEED credits


certified pre-consumer industrial waste



independently tested at 0.00ppm

Plu mmer For m 208- 777- 2202

11/26/12 9:04 AM

Esthetics and purpose in beautiful harmony. Available in a variety of finishes, these drawer systems can also be customized by using a design element as the drawer side. This piece can be glass, wood, stone, leather, or any of thousands of architectural panels. |


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Form Drawers and cabinets should not only be pleasing to the eye, they should also relate to a personal style. In addition, the design shoud take into consideration individual desires and current trends. Drawer systems from Blum play a hidden role; our products work within the cabinet interior to ensure your design ideas become a reality.

Whether in the kitchen, living room, bathroom or office, drawers using Blum systems are a great way to provide an optimal over view and easy access to stored items. The Orga-Line dividing system allows superb organization.

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ORGA-LINE plateholders

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Function Drawers should also be functional. The overall design needs to take into consideration ergonomic work flows and ease of access while providing proper storage space to accommodate the users’ needs.

Blum systems support numerous practical storage solutions for the kitchen and the rest of the home. Full extension drawers provide a complete view and unhindered access even into the back of the drawer. Good running action and high carrying capacity is critical for drawers in all living areas.

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11/26/12 9:30 AM


Crystal Bridges Museum Store

Ceiling SoarS b y

l e a h

w h e e l e r

The opportunity to participate in the building of a unique, high-profile, world-class art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas was thrilling – but presented enormous challenges. The Crystal Bridges Museum store is as stunning as it is unique, and a tribute to quality materials, superb workmanship and outstanding team effort.

The finished design of The museum sTore has been likened To The ribbed underside of a mushroom known as a lamella, wiTh The ribs CreaTing visual movemenT along The surfaCe.



rystal Bridges Museum is a world-class art museum nestled in the heart of the Arkansas Ozarks. The museum houses a priceless collection of American masterworks spanning five centuries from the Colonial era to the present day. Established by Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, the museum’s permanent collection is augmented by ongoing temporary exhibitions all displayed in a series of buildings designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie. In addition to galleries, the Museum complex includes a library, an art studio, a glass-enclosed lecture hall, a restaurant, areas for outdoor concerts and public events, and 120 acres honeycombed with walking and biking trails. The museum store offers mementoes inspired by the permanent collection, prints of many of its most popular works, and original works by some of the finest artists and artisans in the region.

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Photogr aphy by Timothy Hur sley

Blackwell sought to integrate the surrounding Ozark habitat as well as local cultural conventions, material logic and craft traditions into the store’s design.

The interior of the museum store, designed by local Arkansas architect Marlon Blackwell, retains and extends the museum experience with a stunning ceiling profile made up of 225 parallel segments, each of a different length, sweeping around a circular radius. This series of parallel cherry plywood ribs organizes the store and forms the ceiling and millwork on the rear wall. The surface undulates to create an elegant sectional profile extending across the ceiling and down the back wall, ending in a series of curved drawers that follow the curved walls. The finished design of the museum store has been likened to the ribbed underside of a mushroom known as a lamella, with the ribs creating visual movement along the surface. Blackwell was candid about the origin of the unusual design concept: “The first thing was to resolve the issues of a white box area, a west-facing store front and a vast curved interior space,” he said. He opted to resolve the dilemma by working with the curve. Blackwell also sought to integrate the surrounding Ozark habitat as well as local cultural conventions, material logic and craft traditions into the store’s design. In particular, he was inspired by the work of Leon Niehaus, a Huntsville, Arkansas-based basket-maker and one of the featured artists in the museum. Emulating a motif Niehaus uses in some of his baskets, Blackwell developed a profile made of plywood ribs extending the entire length of the store’s space, and then extruded the ribcage along the curve. The effect resembles the underside of a mushroom but instead of

lines radiating out from a center point as in a natural mushroom, the lines are straight. The lamella goes across the ceiling and down the back wall giving way to a series of 26 curved drawers that follow the curved walls. The drawers are parallel with the lamella so essentially each drawer is a parallelogram with a curved front. “This treatment resolved the issues with the curved space and fit like a glove,” according to Blackwell. The design is very practical, filtering out about 40% of the light, providing uniform shade from the western sun, and creating a smooth, seamless envelope. The ribs also screen the mechanical systems behind them, including the electrical, sprinklers and lighting systems, and complement the merchandise in the museum store. It was Adam Weaver of UDI, Inc., an architectural millwork company in Rogers, Arkansas, who brought Blackwell’s vision to life. “He [Blackwell] approached us to see if the concept of a curved room modeled after the underside of a mushroom was possible,” said Weaver. “It’s a tricky design because the contour sweeps around a radium and the panels are all parallel so no two panels are the same. It had never been done before, but we knew it was feasible.” Blackwell selected native woods for the execution of his vision: cherry plywood for the canopy, back wall and floor; walnut for the cash wrap, freestanding gondolas and other fixtures within the envelope.

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Photogr aphy by Timothy Hur sley

Weaver determined that each of the 225 ceiling segments would be made with eight-foot-long pieces of plywood connected together to span up to 40 feet in length. He chose cherry plywood with j-core to minimize voids. Since the plywood would be seen on both sides, he specified AA grade – virtually flawless on both sides. Because of the highly machined construction process, the inner plies of the panels also had to be 100% solid, with no nicks, knots or imperfections whatsoever. In addition, the materials were specified to be environmentally friendly, SFI-sourced and with no-added urea formaldehyde plywood. With the Museum’s opening gala just seven weeks away, it was up to the architectural and construction teams and the suppliers to bring this exceedingly complex, high-profile job in on time. Fortunately BlueLinx was able to fulfill the material requisition and provide 480 4' x 8' sheets of Timber Products’ GreenT Hardwood Plywood within four weeks.


“The job called for a very high standard,” said Roger Rutan, vice president of marketing for Timber Products. “Both sides of the panels had to be perfect. We used a rigorous QC process so that absolutely no shop panels were sent.” Next came the tremendous challenge of constructing the ceiling ribs and other fixtures within the store envelope. UDI, Inc. put the custom plywood sheets through the CNC routing process, manufactured the joints for the wood and joined the pieces. The ribs were fabricated from four pieces of wood, but each segment has the appearance of one solid piece so the wood grains had to be carefully aligned. Every rib is unique and had to be individually customized due to the curvature of the space. Lights and storage compartments were also embedded within the ribs. The joints were critical, both in terms of appearance and strength, and the team weighed various options for connecting the pieces. After considering tongue and groove, blind joint and half lap joints, Weaver and his team chose half laps as the strongest joint. Since some of the joints were fixed in the ceiling while others needed to be removable to allow access to the mechanical systems above, blind fasteners were put through the half laps in the removable joints. The architect was adamant that all joints line up in every other section so the joints were strategically placed to be subtle and to follow the curve of the room.

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11/26/12 9:33 AM

Success doesn’t come by chance Color Competence Do not feel left out. The bestselling designs are developed by experienced color specialists, utilizing outstanding resources, and working hard together with partner customers to come up with something unique.

We make decors successful.

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Photogr aPhy by timothy hur sley

The programming was done using an AlphaCAM CAD/CAM program. “This was the most challenging and time consuming part of the job,” Weaver remarked. “Once we received the drawings of each section from the architectural team, we had to determine where every joint should be and align the grains. Each rib is different, varying by anywhere from .04" to 1.5" depending upon its placement in the curved room. We learned to program quickly and efficiently, and coordinated the process extremely carefully so we didn’t miss any pieces.” Then came the routing process. “Due to the tight deadline dictated by the scheduled opening of the museum, we used two routers, an Onsrud CNC router and a Northwood CNC router,” said Weaver. “We were able to cut with great precision thanks to the consistency of the plywood from Timber Products.” Each piece was numbered and checked as it came off the router, and then checked again at the time of delivery to be sure no pieces were missing. The lamella design in the curved envelope called for very intricate machining; yet the team had only two mis-cuts and out of 1,200 joints, just one was incorrect. Here are some of the stats: • 480 custom plywood panels • Approximately 1400 cut pieces • 225 parallel segments • 1200 assembled joints • Two mis-cuts and one rejected plywood panel. “This was truly a testament to the quality of the panels and also the quality of the team,” noted Weaver. “The team was fantastic,” he said. “The owner was very supportive and excited about the project. And the suppliers and architectural and construction teams were open to feedback and willing to listen to input. Everyone knew we were on a very tight deadline, and so good communication was really important. As it is, we completed the job on time and on budget.” 22

“For our part, we’re proud of the fact that our customers help us get better,” said Timber Products’ Rutan. “We have an experienced manufacturing team that knows what they are doing, and also a culture that continually seeks to improve. We understand that there is always a tweak – an improvement in documentation, manufacturing, communication – some small refinement we can make to get better.” “These days quality is a given,” he adds. “If you’re not making a quality product, you’re not in the game. You’ve got to be better than that and better than your competitors. And you’ve got to have a manufacturing culture that underpins that.” Blackwell also credits the technology that allowed the architectural concept to evolve from a hand crafted origin to a digitally crafted fabrication. “Digital fabrication enabled us to work with a complex curve form in a cost effective way and further extended our work at the intersection of nature-made and man-made,” he said. The Crystal Bridges Museum store has an intensely architectural interior. “We worked with the space architecturally; it is not interior design in the traditional sense. In many ways it defies traditional assumptions about the use of interior design and interior space,” Blackwell says. He adds that the museum store proves that good design means good business. “This store paid for itself in four months. It cost $200 per square foot to build; the total cost was $600,000. And it looks like a million,” he says. s&p

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Technology Integration l creative business strategies


Kingswood Interiors Streamlines Manufacturing for Exponential Growth Humble beginnings Starting out as a small custom cabinet shop in 2005, husband and wife team, Kevin Tan and Sarah Chen had to be creative every day to come up with beautiful solutions to meet their client’s unique woodworking needs. Today, their company, Kingswood Interiors, Ltd. resides in a 16,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility with 60 employees and annual revenues topping ten million. Growing their business in the face of a steady economic downturn required them to be extremely adaptable, resourceful and strategic in their choices for manufacturing growth and the technology partner who would support it. “In the beginning, we had smaller machinery that was just suitable for custom cabinetry. We were using a design software to show the customer the designs, and were figuring everything manually,” says co-owner Sarah Chen. “We used Excel for our pricing and nothing was automated. We wanted to move into cabinet production and streamline everything, so we added a Flexicam CNC router to start, and the manufacturer suggested we try KCD Software. KCD Software allowed us to automate everything from design and pricing, right through production.” Technology and efficiency “Before we had KCD Software, we were manually calculating the door sizes, box sizes, cut lists and other pieces. This is very time consuming and very easy to get wrong. After we implemented KCD in our process, we found that waste costs dramatically dropped due to the automatic calculations of the materials. The nesting function also minimized the usage of the board we use for our cabinets.” By the time the economy began its landslide, Kingswood already had a reputation for manufacturing quality products. They were able to secure two exclusive contracts (comprising about 90% of their revenue) with local building companies doing cabinet production for all

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Interior cabinetry and woodwork by Kingswood Interiors, Ltd. utilizing KCD Software’s CNC Commander for design, pricing, cut listing and manufacturing: comprehensive production integration.

of their residential work. The new software integration had streamlined their production and they began to offer a more diversified product line. “Besides standard cabinets, we began manufacturing other cabinetry such as closets, built-in entertainment centers and custom furniture,” says Chen. “The results were great. We could draw out exactly what we would build for the customer [using KCD]. Customers are very happy to see visualized pictures of their new kitchen. And on the production side, KCD produced door lists, cut lists and more. These reports are very convenient for our production and the software is very compatible with all the machines.” Strategic technology partnership During those crucial months in 2008 when production had to be fulfilled, KCD’s Rapid Response Team supported the successful software integration, minimizing downtime and eliminating extra consulting fees.

are very knowledgeable. They helped us customize the cut list according to our own building process so everything is very efficient. When we have questions or need some additional customization, they will usually have a solution for us within 24 hours. The service is great and quick.”

In 2009, Kingswood Interiors, Ltd. expanded their product base using KCD Software’s MDF Doors; providing hundreds of pre-made parametric door styles, valances, panels and wine racks ready for CNC manufacture. KCD Software’s Intelligent Nesting for One-Button Machining, shown above.

In business for 30 years, KCD Software has an excellent industry reputation and powerful technologies for integrated design and production that support the cabinet manufacturing, door manufacturing and closet manufacturing industries. Kingswood Interiors, Ltd. 403.208. 8808 KCD Software 508.760.1140

“I really appreciate the free technical support that KCD provides. The people working there

11/26/12 9:48 AM

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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Surface DeSign guiDe


high-gloss finish by riken

Sleek designs continue to trend looking into 2013 as high gloss surfaces mix seamlessly with soft, authentic woodgrains. New technology offers designers a new take on textures, and sustainability remains an industry-wide focus.


"Desira thermo ash" from impress 26

Structure, color and surface are important characteristics for all woods — visual attraction should be mirrored by tactile sensations. The color, structure and layout of the Desira thermo ash lives up to these expectation of authenticity. The unique play of colors and the vibrant shapes of the wood give an attractive natural and rustic feel without emphasizing defects or knots in the wood. n

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

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w w .s w yn er gy th of oi ls .c om



Each intricately designed pattern in Abet Laminati’s Drops collective of high pressure laminates looks like it’s hammered into the surface to create texture, however, the surface is flat — you have to touch it to believe it’s not textured. The secret is a reverse printing technique used during the manufacturing process. The Drops Collection’s flat surface can be used on several applications where real texture cannot. The unique patterns range from a floral wallpaper look to circular dots and swirls to contemporary hammered designs. n



Abet LAminAti's "Drops" CoLLeCtive

Arborite Canadian manufacturer Arborite offers up a collection of more than 200 colors and patterns of its high-pressure decorative laminates. Inspiration for the on-trend Crossfire Pear Series is derived from older, more mature trees with the ray intersecting the vertical grain for an understated elegant effect. n

Crossfire peAr by Arborite tAfisA's "ALto"

 TAfIsA CANAdA INC. The fashion-forward ALTO delivers a new texture and a stunningly tactile surface for decorative panels available in 10 fresh colors. Tafisa’s wood-fiber panels are manufactured using 100 percent recycled and recovered wood materials, saving more than 2 million trees every year. n

2012 Surface DeSign guiDe surface&panel

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Q4 2012


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the "volcano" series from ssi north america

2012 s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e

ssi north america SSI North America’s newest Volcano Series Pentadecor® 3D Laminate films are comprised of a bold banana wood grained printed in three earth-toned colors and embossed with a deep structured texture which creates a 3D Laminate that is perfect for fixture and display, cabinetry and healthcare. Produced by Klöckner Pentaplast, Merapi, Stromboli and Pacaya, the Volcano Series, features the latest in design color and texture. Perfectly matched TFL from Flakeboard allows for an exact design match. n

 Kustom material laminators

renewed materials, llc

"magellan" from kml's edgewood collection



Edgewood by KML The textured surface of Edgewood adds rich depth and texture to contemporary designs to offer the look and feel of real wood with the durability, flexibility and reliability of a Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL). Available in over 20 stock designs and 800 custom colors. n

Following the perennially popular green trend, award winning ALKEMIpolyester is a SCS certified, LEED compliant, recycled surface material composed of post-industrial scrap waste (34 percent by weight as certified or 60 percent by volume). Made from fine flake aluminum milling scrap, which commonly burns up as a heavy smoke pollutant when exposed to conventional aluminum recycling, ALKEMI-polyester leaves no hazardous footprint. Available in a variety of designer colors and surface aesthetics, ALKEMI-polyester may be fabricated and installed using standard solid surface fabrication methods. 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 28

"alkemi" from renewed materials

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2012 Surface DeSign guiDe

Arclin’s new wood grain collection captures the latest trend in wood colors — soft grey and brown earth tones with warm red and yellow undertones. The Swiss Alps collection includes chocolate brown, warm greys and creamy hues that come to life in a variety of décors. Contemporary, traditional or transitional, the designs are versatile enough to move from office to home kitchen, closet or bedroom, from healthcare to hospitality environments. This “Plateau” design evokes the richness and warmth of Switzerland’s Rhone Valley. n

"plateau" from arclin'S SwiSS alpS collection

Senoplast’s newest film performs as beautifully as it looks. The senosan AM1800TopX, high gloss Acrylic with a hard-coated surface is based on a Styrene-Copolymer film boasting a scratch-resistant surface. High gloss projects retain their impact over time thanks to the durability of this product. n



Unveiling Fall 2012

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. These updates will help you make correct and informed decisions about using our wood products.

TF 800-245-1115

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

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Q4 2012


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2012 s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e


Funder AmericA's "sAbAtini" collection

funder america, inc.

Lamitech's 2012 coLLection

Urban and natural landscapes are sources of inspiration for Lamitech’s 2012 collection of high pressure decorative laminates ranging from neutral solid colors, sophisticated marbles and quartz designs, 3D woodgrains and trendy coniferous cypress — a cutting edge wood featured at the Milan and Cologne Interior Design shows this year. n

h&r Wood speciaLties, inc.

On the eve of the celebration of its 40th year providing decorative panels and components to the North American market, Funder America, Inc. has unveiled its Sabatini Collection. This new collection of lineal woodgrains comes in these in-demand solid colors, and meets TFL, HPL and edge banding requirements. n

3DLs have come a long way over the past 20 years as the go-to choice for products requiring seamless detailing, durability and extreme versatility in design configurations. In recent years demand for thickeredged components has pushed our industry to the limits of both material and process. The result? The industry flexed its innovative muscles and met those growing challenges with 3DL technology able to produce seamless edge thicknesses in excess of 5 inches. Through innovative process and advancements of 3DLs, extreme forming can now be achieved, successfully creating products meeting today’s demands of design and performance. n


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OlOn industries inc.


s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e

Olon Industries Inc., a manufacturer of five-piece cabinet door and drawer components, has recently introduced LINK25 formable laminate to match TFL and HPL applications. Available in continuous rolls or 4-by-8-foot sheets, NEXGEN™ LINK25 is recommended for vertical or light-duty horizontal surfaces. Postformable for edges, tops or corners, LINK25 is very malleable and works well with adhesives. LINK25 is available in several finishes including Belluno, a perfect match to recently released TFL finishes, making it ideal for both new installations and refacing projects. n

"BioPrism" from inPro corPoration

inPrO cOrPOratiOn

While street artists may disagree, architects, designers and facility managers will tell you that graffiti is never in style. Marks are easily buffed out of IPC’s BioPrism™ solid surface sheet material, an environmentally sound, non-PVC option for wall protection. The sheets contain rapidly renewable bio-content, and as a non-porous material, it will never promote bacteria or mildew growth. With high IZOD impact test scores, the product protects walls from the endless cycle of damage and repair. n

nexgen "Link25" from oLon

Thinking Forward

recon rosewood veneer

silt supermatte 3dl thermofoil

purple high gloss 3dl thermofoil

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

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

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2012 s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e

Uniboard Uniboard’s High Gloss melamine finish is unique to North America and offers design options in line with global furniture trends. High Gloss finish adds a high-end European style to all vertical applications, and its mirror-like surface adds sheen and depth to any solid accent color, wood grain or patterned décor. Uniboard’s unique RIO™ finish, a modern brushed surface texture, is also sure to set the trends. When paired with solid colors, linear abstracts, straight grain or reconstituted woods, it sets the standard in design. n

Uniboard’s "rio" finish

dvuv UVMax® UV-cured powder coating from DVUV, LLC melds design freedom, durability and speed together in an eco-friendly finish. UVMax® uses 100 percent recycled content, SFI-certified (Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified) MDF and complies with CARB’s formaldehyde emissions regulations. Environmentally safe powder coatings use absolutely no solvents, emit zero VOCs and eliminate the PVC issues associated with vinyl coatings. The fast UV-cured finishing process requires just 20 minutes from raw MDF to ready-to-ship parts, delivering 40 to 60 percent energy savings compared with other finishing processes. n

avonite Leading off this year’s new product launch is Super White, a new designer white for those extra bright applications. 2012 new colors also include 13 new recycled content products. Coastline, a creamy neutral tumbles in with the Foundations 16% content group. Next is an entirely new group of textured solids with 13.5% recycled content. This exciting palette of 7 colors has the simple appeal of a pure solid color but up close reveals and sandy texture undertone. Moon Crystal is one of three new quartz-like products with large clear chips at 6% recycled content. Two new welcome additions to the Studio Collection recycled group offering a minimum of 40% content are Back Roads and Brown Sugar. With the 2012 additions to the color pallet, Avonite now has 21 recycled colors. n


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"stockton" from suddekor


Suddekor's "St. Cecilia"

Suddekor brings an engaging authenticity to interiors with its latest collection, from sunbleached coastal cottages to weathered Vermont barns, this year’s rustics more realistically reflect their original incarnations, thanks to new technologies and print fidelity. While on the other end of the spectrum, Suddekor’s dark exotics mirror more subtle nuances for richer, sophisticated tones. Overall authentic complexity evokes a closer than ever tie to real-life inspirations for a diverse collection brought more alive with finite details. n "Dolce Vita" with bullnose edge from Formica

FORMICA Formica Corporation has reinvigorated laminate as a sought-after, value option. Its 180fx® Collection has successfully answered the trend for bold, exotic looks with its ability to capture largescale patterns in five-foot designs. With the most expansive range of laminates in the world, Formica® Brand Laminate offers a surface to meet every design challenge and budget. IdealEdge™ represents another quality of Formica® Brand Laminate’s unmatched realism. These decorative laminate edges – available in Bullnose and Ogee profiles – are suitable for curved, clipped or 90-degree corner installations and have the ability to encase all sides of a surface, eliminating flat edges and brown seams. Available in hundreds of Formica® Brand Laminate colors and patterns, IdealEdge™ profiles are produced in 12-foot lengths and are customizable to design specifications. n

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2012 s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e

 Wilsonart

"loft" from SChattdeCor

Winter Carnival and Summer Carnival – the newest additions to the Wilsonart HD Laminate Collection are inspired by the luxurious, exotic, natural granite out of Brazil that includes "Summer Carnival" from WilSonart large-scale elements, exquisite veining and striking colorations. Winter Carnival’s color palette is dominated by a rich red-brown, with accents in cool grey. Its counterpart, Summer Carnival has golden tones and features large-scale areas of movement in golden ambers and browns with accents in greys. Whether selected separately or as a "Winter Carnival" from WilSonart perfectly paired combination, these new Wilsonart HD designs turn any functional space into a picturesque platform to meet the demands of the modern family home. But these designs are more than just a pretty face. Wilsonart HD with exclusive AEON™ Enhanced Performance Technology ensures that its surfaces are three times more wear-resistant than the industry benchmark (NEMA LD 3-2005) and five times more scuffand scratch-resistant than standard laminate countertops. n

schattdecor During IWF 2012, Schattdecor Designer Mark Smith introduced his latest collection of trending woodgrain colors – the Global Spice Collection. He put together a woodgrain palette of colors that is based on both typical and atypical spices one finds in the global market. These new colors relate to a culinary experience of color, taste, and texture. Trendy colors that have been drawing the most attention at Schattdecor are inspired by spices like Poppy Seed, Cinnamon, White Pepper, and Cardamom. At Sicam 2012, Schattdecor showed its new palette of 18 solid colors, the unique Colours by Schattdecor collection. Alongside were several complementary new woodgrain and stone decors. The decor Tokaj features a very fine and very modern, contemporary look. Its structure is made up of small flowers, partial cathedrals, and has quite a bit of color play. Another outstandingly received décor was the new development Loft, a detailed interpretation of the modern concrete look. n

"tokaj" from SChattdeCor

See & Feel the Beauty The EDGEWOOD™ collection from KML KML’s newest TextureLam™ finish catapults the world of Textured surfaces to a new realm. • Hospitality • Healthcare • Education

• Retail • Commercial • Residential

Complimentary Samples are available. 1-888-358-5075


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s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e


OMnOVa  

JB cutting

InterprInt's "hearth Oak"

InterprInt Interprint continues its deep dive into trend development, careful material selection and exploration of finishes and texture. The culmination of these ideas is a selection of designs that is as interesting and diverse as the North American market they are designed for. Lucas Cherry is a rustic cherry that retains the mineral deposits, pin knots and color play of the original air-dried material. Hearth Oak is a sophisticated presentation of a thermo treated oak in a cut cathedral layout. Domestic red oak, selected for it’s tight centered cathedral, was carefully flamed, brushed, sanded and finished to bring out the color contrast and burnished pours for a new take on an old standard. n

InterprInt's "lucas cherry"

JB Cutting's 3DL (three dimensional laminate) is ideal for usage in healthcare projects. 3DL's seamless edges eliminate the possibility of contaminates gathering in seams. In addition, 3DL is easily cleaned and very durable. The material is a great specification for over bed tables, cart tops, chart boxes; the possibilities are endless! n

New "Season Series" to Match Popular TFM Designs! OMNOVA Solutions is expanding it's 3D Laminates Stock portfolio to include four new woodgrain designs inspired by the four seasons: Spring Blossom, Summer Cherry, Autumn Leaves and Winter Cherry (all pictured above). These designs were developed to match popular Thermally Fused Melamine (TFM) products created by Tafisa and will feature OMNOVA's brand new Woodline emboss. Featuring a textural grain, this new emboss was designed to complement the emerging trend of highly tactile surfaces. n

Textured Beauty

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

“The Volcano Series”

Pacaya HO/2704

Stromboli HO/2705

Merapi HO/2706

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

973.598.0152 surface&panel

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2012 s u r fac e d e s i g n g u i d e

 northern countours

Btd Wood PoWder coating, inc.


North America has embraced European design and put a unique spin on it combining textured, high gloss and low sheen materials in aesthetically pleasing color palettes. By combining contrasting materials, designers can soften high gloss projects with Northern Countours’ SuperMatte 3D Laminates or energize a neutral layout with strong linear patterns from the Impressions Series of textured melamine components. n

t.fusion™ powder coated MDF components are ideal for door and drawer fronts, desk tops, shelving and many other applications, offering the ultimate in designability and durability. Custom formulated powders combine color, gloss and texture options with durability considerations such as scratch, abrasion, impact, moisture, chemical and stain resistance. t.fusion™ is seamless, avoiding the delamination and chipping drawbacks associated with edgebanded or heat-formed alternatives. n

Synergy Thermal FoilS, inc. Synergy Thermal Foils comprehensive program of matching TFL, HPL, LBW paper laminates and foils is adding another textures to its match line. STF’s new aggressive and deep emboss matches textures from KML Edgewood, Funder Sabatini, Flakeboard Medina, Tafisa Alto and Uniboard Rio product lines. Seven new texture designs all match with TFL and HPL. s&p

Riken USA Corporation produces foils for 3D laminate for seamless cabinet doors, office furniture and store fixtures using Japanese printing technology. Vacuum and membrane press the most complex dimensional profiles on routed substrates in solid colors, patterns and wood grains with satin, matte, desktop and contemporary high-gloss finishes. New items Ð Almic High Gloss 1D & 2D

Almic Amber

Almic Blue

Almic Red

Almic Silver

1702 Beverly Road | Burlington, NJ 08016 | p: 609.387.2011 |


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Real strength. True beauty.

From residential cabinetry to retail fixtures and contract furniture, OMNOVA Solutions has a decorative laminate to fit your need and budget. Look to OMNOVA Laminates for on-trend design and leading edge performance. With a full range of constructions from value-engineered Paper Laminates to high-performing surf(x)® 3D Laminates, OMNOVA has you—and your surfaces—covered!

We’re on it.


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866.332.5226 SURF(X) is a registered trademark of OMNOVA Solutions Inc. © OMNOVA Solutions Inc. 2012

11/26/12 10:11 AM

North AmericAN

Lightweight ProductioN PaneL


b y

s u z a n n e

V a n

G i l d e r

hen the time has come for a good idea, little can stop it. Four years ago, in the depths of the economic downturn, a small company in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec started an endeavor to bring lightweight panels into the North American market. Fueled by demands for new design aesthetics and greener materials, and bolstered by strategic partnerships and deliberate positioning, Panolite opened for business in 2008. “‘After 17 years as a partner and CEO of a major hardwood plywood manufacturing company, I was looking for a new business venture to start,” says Gilles Pansera, President of Panolite. “I have always been interested in innovative products, and the absence of lightweight honeycomb panels on the North American market, despite its widespread use elsewhere in the world, always puzzled me. The advantages compared to solid panels were so obvious to me – lightness, strength, contemporary design applications, ecoresponsible nature – that I decided to start a new venture and bring this technologically advanced composite panel to the market.”


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Light on Weight, heavy on innovation

A lightweight panel is basically a honeycomb paper core sandwiched between two surfaces, typically thin particleboard, MDF or HDF. A PUR hotmelt adhesive is applied to the surface layers with a specialized roll coater, and then the entire assembly is pressed. “PUR is a little more expensive, but it is very strong and hard-bonding,” says Antoine Pansera, Production Manager for Panolite. “The only contact between the honeycomb paper and the surfaces is the glue, so it has to be very high quality. PUR completely cures with the moisture in the air. It makes the end panel more moisture resistant, and it is a more environmentally friendly choice.” Finished Panolite panels can resist up to 38 PSI in compression and are available in thicknesses up to three inches with a broad range of finishes, including TFL, HPL and veneer.

In recent history the big challenges facing the acceptance of lightweight panels into mainstream usage in North America (aside from availability) have been related to processing, specifically the application of edgebanding and fittings. Panolite has addressed these issues by engineering their panels with a variety of characteristics to meet the processing capabilities of the individual users. “We can do frameless panels called Panolite, and framed components, which we call Panolite Element,” explains Pansera. “The main differences are that the frameless panels can be cut to size like regular panels, but the user has to be equipped to apply a thicker 2mm edgebanding. For hardware we can specify Tafisa’s 3/8" particleboard for the surface panel and then standard hardware can be used, or the customer can use special-

ized fittings.” Framed Panolite Element comcom ponents are cut to size before delivery to the customer and made with custom-set frames that accommodate standard edgebanding and hardware. Partners for Better PaneLs

Industry alliances and a strategic location contribute to Panolite's viability as a supplier of lightweight panels in North America. “We put together an experienced team of financial and industry partners,” says Pansera describing the process of developing Panolite. “The team traveled the world, and we equipped the plant from scratch with the best technology available. Four years later, after a tremendous amount of research, innovation, trials and a steep learning curve, we have a consistently high quality product going to market through a variety of channels.” surface&panel

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Ever Greener



hese days it is mandatory for a product to have a green story. It might not impact buying decisions, but it is expected. In its best iterations, sustainability goes beyond “green-washing” and is a reflection of good business practices and the wise use of materials. A Panolite lightweight panel, by virtue of the environmental (and practical) aspects of its component parts, offers a legitimately green panel option for manufacturers, like Artopex, that operate with sustainability as a guiding principle. The surfaces of a Panolite panel are made from wood-based composite panels. In the case of Panolite, a standard specification is thin particleboard from Tafisa Canada, a board manufacturer that recently completed the installation of an 8-story urban waste recycling system. “We don’t cut any trees,” says Lise LeBreton, Marketing Director for Tafisa. “Our products are made from recycled or recuperated materials. There is nothing harmful in them. At the end of their life cycle our products can be sent to recycling centers or used in bio-thermal systems.” Tafisa contracts with recycling centers to have wood waste delivered to the plant. At the facility, the urban waste material undergoes a process to remove all contaminants, resulting in wood fiber that is used to make new particleboard. And while this is a compelling green story, it also makes good business sense. “We have a large plant,” says Louis Brassard, President and CEO of Tafisa Canada. “We consume 800 trucks per week of raw material. Historically our supply was coming from sawmills. In 2003 we started thinking we might be too dependent on a single fiber source. So we invested in urban wood waste in order to make sure that we had a sustainable wood supply to the plant, ensuring that we can provide our customers with product.” This practice also provides Tafisa with FSC credits, allowing the company to supply the market with plenty of FSC certified board. Between the composite panel surfaces of Panolite is a honeycomb paper core that is also made from recycled materials. While this is a good stand-alone green story, there is again another layer of practical benefit within the design. “The break point for price comparison to solid particleboard is right around 1-inch,” says Petr Smetanka, Business Development Advisor for Panolite. “Because of the work involved with the lightweight panel, once you get to 1.5-inches or more we are just adding air and a little paper in between, so it doesn’t get more expensive than the 1-inch product. Going thicker with a solid board adds significant cost, as well as weight.” Panolite lightweight panels offer designers the opportunity to push the boundaries of building with panel products, but they also deliver to the market a product that meets consumer demands for recycled and wisely-used materials. n


Panolite’s location in Lac-Mégantic places the company in close proximity to Cascades, its supplier of honeycomb paper, and Tafisa Canada, which not only supplies board for the surface layers of Panolite, but is also instrumental in bringing the product to market. “It was just natural for us to make Panolite a comple complementary product that we offer because it meets the needs of new markets, as well as markets that we currently sell into that may want more innovation or may need thicker panels for different applications,” says Lise LeBreton, Marketing Director for Tafisa. “For instance a big trend now is to have super minimalist environments, so thick tops with just legs instead of a big cabinet structure in offices. Or floating shelves instead of whole casing in store fixtures. Panolite offers these environments that possibility. And we are able to offer our designs to customers in a thicker panel.” A good working relationship with neighboring RTA furniture producer Bestar allows Panolite to provide customers a variety of value-added services that it does not do in its 15,000 square foot production facility, including custom drilling and edgebanding. Panolite works directly with businesses for large and custom orders, but also has established partnerships with distributors, such as Richelieu, to efficiently service smaller orders. Currently Panolite products are available throughout Canada and the United States.

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Sometimes, you just don’t feel like carrying 200 laminate samples around.

Download our app from the Apple App Store today.

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Designs Beyond the Door

Honeycomb cores have been in use in North America for decades in the context of lowprice point hollow doors, but its potential for furniture, store fixtures and architectural millwork applications is just beginning to be realized. “It is not hard to convince people in design departments,” says Pansera. “They think it is great to work with panels that can be three inches thick and they get very excited. What is harder is convincing people who have been processing solid panels for 30 years that even though this panel is essentially empty inside, it has very good strength.” Rather than retro-fitting solid panel designs with thicker Panolite, many users develop new concepts with the material in mind. A great example of this is Air Line, a sleek, contemporary product line designed by the cutting edge Canadian office furniture manufacturer Artopex. “We always look for innovation in terms of materials,

that is one of our trademarks,” says Jean Barbeau, Product Development/Products and Sustainability for Artopex. “Since Daniel Pelletier founded the company in 1980 our designs have always been informed by the capabilities of technology, manufacturing, machines and materials. We like to be ahead, so that is how Panolite came into consideration.” Introduced in spring of 2010, the Air Line collection was designed to create a sense of open space. The primary criteria for the collection was to bring light into the work environment by using components that would float in space. “One of the reasons why we went with Panolite is that it offers great rigidity even if it is not supported on a long span,” says Barbeau. “This was a key material to achieve the airy look of the product. We went for a very sleek and open design, so that the space can breathe.” Artopex discovered additional two mar-

“I am always amazed by the variety of uses our customers find for our product – way beyond what we imagined in the beginning.” Andre Paradis, Vice President of sales for Panolite

keting advantages for Air Line, beyond the look of the product, that are unique to the Panolite material. The first is that the twoinch surface makes it possible for interior designers to differentiate within a project while maintaining a cohesive look. “We like to offer options within a product line so that it can be dressed up. In this line designers can specify one-inch particleboard with an HPL surface for clerical and mid-management, and the two-inch Panolite to enhance the look for senior executives.” The other advantage of Panolite is that it offers consumers a fresh environmental story. “We came out with a plan for sustainability in 2009,” says Barbeau, “and part of that is the ‘design for environment’ process that guides our design department and purchasing agents. Panolite is really in line with this. We have a two-inch work surface that uses only ¾ inch particleboard, so it is 25 percent less material than a one-inch work surface. Beyond the usage of wood, Panolite also contains recycled paper, and uses a PUR adhesive that is formaldehyde free. These are all environmental features that we like about the product.” It is always interesting to observe early adoption of new materials. The availability of lightweight panels in North America, along with practical solutions to the classic challenges of using the material, is sure to inspire designers across market segments. As Andre Paradis, Vice President of sales for Panolite says, “I am always amazed by the variety of uses our customers find for our product – way beyond what we imagined in the beginning. It is a great satisfaction for me to be bringing this fantastic product to the market. It is a great pride for me to see this business grow.” s&p







C 42

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Artopex tech:

Processing Lightweight Panel

right: RegulaR haRdwaRe and fittings can be used foR Panolite Panels sPecified with thRee-eighths of an inch PaRticleboaRd. below: fRameless Panels can be edged like solid Panels if 2mm edgeband is used. seveRal comPanies aRe now extRuding wideR bands to meet the needs of thickeR Panels.



rtopex is a privately held, family owned business headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Despite being a relatively small manufacturer in the world of office furniture Artopex, led by President Daniel Pelletier, operates at the cutting edge of equipment technology and material innovation. The company is focused on stream-lined, contemporary, vibrant office furniture design delivered in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors with short lead times. One of the company’s most recent product lines, Air Line, takes modularity to a whole new level with floating, curvilinear lightweight panels. There are many different ways that Panolite lightweight panels can be specified, machined and fitted with hardware depending on a company’s inhouse capabilities and the intended use of the end product. This is the approach taken by Artopex. For panel processing Artopex is well equipped with Homag machinery including a Bargstedt retrieval system, panel saws, drill and dowel inserters and Genius BAZ machines that allow them to machine and edgeband those intriguing contoured shapes. Jean Barbeau works in Products and Sustainability for Artopex. He explains, “We receive the Panolite panels and season them in the same room with the HPL for 72 hours before lamination. That brings the materials to the same level of humidity level and prevents contraction or expansion that can lead to big reveals. Then we laminate, cut and edge.” Patrick Messier is in charge of maintaining the machinery at Artopex, including making sure that the equipment can handle new materials. “All of our machines are fairly standard,“ says Messier,” though we did open them up a bit to accommodate the thicker boards. Panolite also worked with us to fit our requirements and made the panels specifically for us. We have a good partnership with them.” Rather than commissioning specialty inserts to accommodate hardware, Artopex decided to use panels with three-eighths of an inch particleboard surfaces, allowing them to affix fittings directly into the board. “The Air Line concept is to have the surfaces that seemingly float, ”says Barbeau. “Surfaces are not pre-drilled which gives the interior designers have more flexibility when configuring the components. It is more practical than trying to anticipate where internal framing would be needed.” n

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The Future oF

Decor Design Digitally Printed Laminate Concepts are Changing Designers’ Perceptions B y

K e n n

B u s c h

O Kenn Busch Photogr aPhy 46

ne of the least understood things about decorative laminates is that the visuals you see – whether they’re abstracts, woodgrains, stones, or fantasy designs – are created on specially engineered decor papers. These papers are then treated with performance resin systems specifically designed for the intended application, whether it’s HPL, thermally fused melamine, or lightweight foil applications. The top global companies that create these designs survey all the major international design exhibitions (not just furniture!), and closely track trends in the markets they serve throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. Throughout the history of decorative laminates, decor papers have been printed on rotogravure presses using several stages of specially engraved cylinders, each carrying part of the design structure and color. This is the same technology used for fine-art prints and photography, known for its very high quality. Rotogravure presses run at high production speeds, tended by skilled artisans who make sure each print stage is perfectly in register, and every roll of printed paper matches exactly the color and balance of the original design approved by the customer.

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Some of these decors have been the same for literally decades. Others use the same pattern or structure, but the colors are customized for different customers and markets. Production rotogravure presses are the size of four train cars and cost several million dollars. Because production cylinders are very expensive to buy and engrave, new decor concepts have traditionally been developed on “lab” or “baby” presses, which are scaled-down machines that use the same inks and paper. If necessary, test prints can then be pressed into a facsimile of the intended carrier material. Several years ago, decor printers began experimenting with digital printing as a way to shorten the design development process, but differences in paper and ink limited color accuracy and the ability to create pressed samples.

Kenn Busch Photogr aphy


Most major laminate suppliers have always offered custom printed laminates. Logos, graphics, even murals were created by screenprinting the decor papers before they were treated and pressed into laminates. This process is, of course, labor-intensive and slow, and photo-quality images were not possible. As digital printing for decor paper proofs was coming online, suppliers began to explore using that technology to create full-size custom laminates. Among the many challenges: Printing speeds are very slow; most printers are nowhere near the width of a laminate sheet; inkjet heads were not compatible with the water-based, organic inks used by the top decor printers; and, inkjet printing on decor papers yielded inferior quality. After years of idle talk in the industry, Schattdecor AG became the first to explore digital printing for world laminate markets. Headquartered in Thansau, Germany, Schattdecor is the largest decor printer in the world, with facilities in North and South America, China, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Italy and Switzerland. Last year the company launched its Digital Visions effort, a collection of crisp, vibrant digital prints that range from photorealistic cupcakes to splattered paint to river rocks. Developed by expert teams of designers and technologists on the company’s sprawling Thansau campus in the German Alps, Digital Visions is the decor paper industry’s first commercial foray into digital printing, targeting custom prints and designs that either can’t be printed on rotogravure, or designs that would never achieve the volume required for the scale of production required by those presses. “We started looking at the technical requirements for digitally printing decor papers about four years ago,” says Michael Then, head of foil and digital printing. “Even for what is, by our standards, very small-scale production the biggest challenge is finding printers that can achieve acceptable speeds and print quality.” “Image quality is of course our highest concern,” says Klaus Breuer, head of digital systems for Schattdecor. “We must be able to achieve very high resolution prints, and cannot accept any of the ‘banding’ effects you see when an inkjet nozzle fails or clogs. In printers of the size we require, it has proven very difficult to have this quality as well as high output.”

Digital Visions allows designers to choose from a collection of digital images, or to have custom images created, for laminate applications. The concept was formally introduced to the design community at Euroshop 2011.


Schattdecor’s current inkjet printer uses modified versions of the company’s own organic, water-based ink formulations. The proprietary inks have been engineered to be compatible with decor paper structures, as well as with the resin saturating that will be done by the company’s direct customers – the creators of laminates. They are also color-fast and stable over time – which, because of the durability of laminates, might mean decades. “The paper is also a challenge, because its structure has to be open enough to be impregnated with the resin systems,” says Then. “On the other hand, a more closed structure is best for print quality. These two properties can sometimes work against each other. Papers that are easier to impregnate are harder to print on.” And with water-based inks, the paper tends to expand, which adds another layer of complication to the process. Then and Breuer are working with machinery suppliers to explore heating of the papers, and other remedies to minimize paper expansion.

right: The Digital Visions collection on display at last year’s Interzum exhibition.

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A Designer’s


“When we launched Digital Visions at Europshop last year, people were telling us that we don’t need a collection of designs, that architects will want to develop their own designs. But since then, 95 percent of what we’ve sold had come from our collection.” Marco Verhasselt, sales manager for Schattdecor AG, works closely with design manager Claudia Küchen in bringing the company’s digital printing collection and service to design specifiers. “We’re selling it mostly to our direct customers, mostly HPL producers, who have very flexible production,” says Verhasselt. “The sales strategy was to go to our customers and show them the high quality of our printing; they already know about our service. It’s very successful at the moment.” “With our Euroshop exhibit, we introduced Schattdecor deSign Digital Visions, and Schattdecor, to commercial manager claudia designers, architects, and of course, shop designKüchen. ers,” says Küchen. “Traditionally, these contacts and presentations are made by our customers, the laminate producers, but we needed to know first-hand how would they react. “We’ve been hearing that there are niches of designers looking for custom designs, but our industry had little to offer. Our direct customers were starting to pay attention to digital printing for this reason, so we decided to develop and refine this technology for them. “Architects and designers at Euroshop were really excited about this,” says Küchen, “because in the past when they saw brilliant designs like our cupcakes, they were only available on printed foils, or PVC, which isn’t very ecological, or durable, or consistent. So they were really excited to have it in a laminate, which is more water and scratch resistant and doesn’t smell like PVC foil. And when they found out they could get them from their current suppliers, reaction was 100% positive.” Küchen says she spoke to architects responsible for hotels, shops, senior homes, schools, exhibitions, and hospitals, all of whom need special graphics. “When you enter a hotel, you want to see something special in the lobby. Some hotels want every room to have its own design theme. For seniors, it’s sometimes hard for them to remember where to go, or which floor they’re on, so you can give them unique design elements with pictures, which are easier for them to remember than numbers.” Because architecturally specified projects evolve more slowly than furniture introductions, few Digital Visions projects are installed as of yet. But the program has won recognition in both of its first two years; the Top Design award at the 2011 Arena Design event (juried and awarded by Karim Rashid), and the 2012 Acanthus Aureus award from the Furnica exhibition, both in Poznań, Poland. “What we’ve found has validated our expectations,” says Verhasselt. “There is indeed a market for digital prints that offer high-quality execution, high-definition graphics, on high-quality materials.” n


“We use only water-based inks, nothing else,” says Breuer. “Schattdecor decided from its very beginnings in 1985 never to use any solvent or UV inks. That’s very important for us, because these inks may leave unwanted, potentially toxic substances in the paper.” The major hurdle in achieving higher printing speeds is that all the printers larger enough for laminate designs – 1.32 meters wide – are multipass inkjet systems, where one print head travels back and forth across the paper. “A single-pass system, with fixed heads across the width of the paper, could be 100 times faster, maybe even 1,000 times faster,” says Then. “I believe there will be such machines in the years to come, but for right now we are focused on achieving the quality our customers expect.” The market is beginning to notice, and Schattdecor is filling orders for special projects, like custom table tops. “This is where we predicted Digital Visions decors would initially be utilised,” says Breuer. “Once we have optimized the image files for digital printing, we can start production. This isn’t possible with rotogravure printing because each stage of rotogravure printing requires specifically mixed ink colors. With inkjet, we’re using the same four base colors; the mixing is done by the computer right on the paper.” s&p

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One JOurney

two fairs


very odd-numbered year industry professionals from around the world come to Germany to attend two of the most important trade fairs for machinery and furniture: LIGNA in Hannover and interzum in Cologne. The two events are scheduled close together to make it easy for international visitors to attend both with a single trip. Each show is a premiere event in its respective section, with LIGNA emphasizing machinery and woodworking, and interzum focusing on furniture and design. Together the shows cover a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from wood as a renewable material to woodworking and processing technology, and components for the furniture and interior finishing sectors. In 2013 the order of events is the opposite of previous years, meaning that interzum will follow LIGNA rather than precede it, as is normally the case. This is due to the fact that LIGNA is always tied to the public holiday Ascension Day in order to make attendance easier for skilled trades people. In 2013 Ascension Day falls so early in May that it would coincide with interzum. Many visitors attend both shows, so the order has simply been switched to accommodate tradition. Regardless of order, LIGNA and interzum 2013 are sure to offer the same quality exhibitions of materials, design solutions and equipment innovations that have earned them the reputations as “must attend” trade shows in the industry. Updated formats, events and exhibition spaces are sure to enhance the visitor experience.


f i r s t

s t o p : L i G N A

LiGNA at the Deutsche Messe in Hannover runs from May 6-10, 2013. The tagline for this show is “Making more out of wood: Innovations, Solutions, Efficiency.” LIGNA is a showcase of the next generation of highly flexible, multi-functional wood processing machines. Whether a company’s emphasis is optimizing process flows in a large-scale serial production environment, or finding integrated solutions that can perform work processes of multiple machines for small to mid-range enterprise, LIGNA spotlights the latest generation of solutions. The show is separated into three display categories. An area devoted to industry and skilled trades presents production machinery, software solutions, and cutting edge processes for the industrial and skilled trade sectors. The forest industry and forest technology area is focused on the first link in the value-added chain for all industries that make things out of wood. And the displays in the area designated for bioenergy from wood cover not only technical solutions for extracting heat from woods, but also aspects of planting, harvesting, storage and logistics. LIGNA is more than just tradeshow exhibits. It is an important networking hub structured to highlight career and educational opportunities. New in 2013 is, a job and career display featuring companies seeking to hire or build their network of HR contacts. Included in this area are forums

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with expert presentations on recruitment, professional training, development and business start-ups. LIGNA also hosts two special display areas. The first is the, a multi-disciplinary cluster dedicated to solutions for lightweight panel production. The Think Light conference, an international conference on lightweight panels, will be held on-site in conjunction with this display on May 7, 2013. The second is the “Teaching and Research” display that provides universities, institutes of technology, polytechnics, trade schools and vocational schools with a platform for profiling their study and training offerings. Following LIGNA is a weekend break, during which participants can enjoy side trips through the German countryside at the height of spargle season. n

s e c o n d

s t o p : i n t e r z u m

interzum at the Koelnmesse in Cologne runs May 13-16, 2013. This international trade fair for the furniture and interior construction industries offers a comprehensive overview of the latest technologies, materials and designs. The upcoming interzum is organized with a new, simplified categorization to make it easier for exhibitors and visitors alike to navigate. Instead of being divided into seven segments as in the past, the trade fair will concentrate on just three areas, making it easier for companies that previously might have fit in more than one category. Materials & Nature clusters together all companies with a focus on wood, veneers, parquet, interior finishing, decorative finishes, decor papers, laminates, wood-based materials, solid surface materials, edgings, finishes, adhesives, embossing cylinders

and press plates. Function & Components is aimed at manufacturers of semi-finished products for tables, chairs, cabinet and office furniture, lighting and lighting systems, fittings, locks and built-in components. The Textile & Machinery segment is intended for companies that produce upholstery materials, manufacture machinery for upholstery and mattress production or are active in the field of upholstery supplies, covering fabrics and leather. In addition to traditional exhibit space, interzum will host a variety of specialized areas and events including competitions, awards, workshops and networking opportunities. A new “Smart Materials” area will showcase the latest functional materials made possible through advances in nanotechnology and research in bionics. A complete listing is available online. Pre-Planning

Companies considering exhibiting at either fair still have time to plan. Both LIGNA and interzum have comprehensive websites with resources to address any questions about planning and logistics. Although both fairs are reporting more exhibitors than 2011, they are still taking reservations. All levels of exhibit planning, logistics and support are available. s&p Individuals planning on attending the fairs can find all the necessary information regarding travel, transportation between shows, accommodations, show schedules, registration and local activities online at either website: •

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an industry based on technology and resources is dynamic by nature and will consistently undergo transition. Here is a brief overview of some recent shifts.

arclin acquires the north american operations of Coveright Surfaces Arclin, a leading provider of innovative bonding and surfacing solutions for the building industry, has acquired the North American Operations of Coveright Surfaces, including manufacturing facilities in Cobourg, Ontario and Blythewood, South Carolina. With this acquisition, Arclin increases its capabilities to supply decorative surface overlays, including decorative melamine, laminate flooring films and phenolic films, used largely in the manufacture of furniture, cabinetry, fixtures and flooring. The combined company will offer an extensive portfolio of overlay products manufactured at five facilities, one located in Canada and four in the United States. n

araUCo and Flakeboard Company Limited Finalize Share Purchase of Flakeboard ARAUCO, headquartered in Santiago, Chile and Flakeboard Company Limited announce that they have finalized the sale agreement for all outstanding Flakeboard shares to ARAUCO. Following this purchase ARAUCO will combine its Particleboard and MDF plant in Moncure, North Carolina with Flakeboard’s seven North American operating facilities, making ARAUCO the largest producer of MDF, Particleboard, Hardboard, and thermallyfused Melamine panels in the Americas, as well as the third largest composite panel producer in the world. The eight North American assets will operate under the Flakeboard name and its existing Senior Management. Kelly Shotbolt will be retained as head of Flakeboard North America. n


ongoing restructuring of Pfleiderer ag impacts north american operations Pfleiderer Canada Inc., the parent company of Uniboard Canada Inc., a North American leader in engineered wood products, has entered into an agreement to sell its Particleboard, MDF, Thermally Fused Melamine and Laminate Flooring facilities to a subsidiary of Kaycan Ltd., a North American leader in vinyl, aluminum and engineered wood siding, trim and aluminum building products for over 38 years, in an all cash deal. The Uniboard facilities sold to Kaycan include three particleboard lines, one MDF line, five thermally fused melamine lines and two laminate flooring lines servicing primarily the Canadian, US Northeast and Mid-West US markets. Kaycan is a private Canadian corporation focused on the North American building industry.


Pergo Pfleiderer AG has entered into an agreement to sell Pergo to Mohawk Industries, Inc., a leading supplier of flooring applications in the US. Pergo is a leading manufacturer of premium laminate flooring in both Europe and the United States. The transaction is expected to close no later than first quarter of 2013 and is subject to customary governmental approvals and closing conditions. n

Taghleef industries acquires applied extrusion Technologies Taghleef Industries (Ti), a leading global biaxially oriented polypropylene film (BOPP) producer, announced that it has closed the transaction to acquire Applied Extrusion Technologies (AET Films), one of the principal manufacturers of specialized BOPP films in the Americas. Headquartered in Dubai, Ti is currently one of the leading BOPP producers with operations in U.A.E., Oman, Egypt, Australia, Italy and Hungary and distribution centers in US, China and Germany.

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Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc., headquartered in Wilmington, DE, purchased the BOPP films division of Hercules Inc. in 1994. As a major supplier of specialized BOPP films in the Americas, AET Films offers a wide range of highly sophisticated flexible packaging films for labeling, food and non-food applications. The company has two production facilities located in Varennes, Canada and Terre Haute, IN, USA, as well as a state of the art research and development facility in Newark, DE, and an R&D pilot line in Covington, VA. n

ITW’s Decorative Surfaces Business is Now a New, Independent Enterprise

Toppan Acquires Chiyoda America Toppan Cosmo, Inc. (TCI) and Chiyoda Gravure Corp. (CGC), both headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, announced that the two companies have signed an agreement on the sale and purchase of the business of Chiyoda America Inc. (CAI), CGC’s affiliated company in Morgantown, PA. Pursuant to this agreement, Toppan Interamerica Inc. (TIA), a subsidiary of TCI in McDonough, GA, will take over the business and production facilities of CAI. The two companies are targeting a closing date during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2012. TIA will continue to optimize and coordinate the manufacturing capability of both facilities to enhance the local supply of decorative surfacing materials. n

ITW’s Decorative Surfaces business has become a new, independent company operating as Wilsonart International Holdings LLC (“Wilsonart”) and jointly owned by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) and ITW. Wilsonart’s business units manufacture and distribute high pressure laminates and other fine surfacing materials and components used in furniture, office and retail space, countertops, worktops and other applications. Wilsonart Americas, Resopal, Polyrey and Arborite will continue to operate under their current brand names. Backed by CD&R, a highly respected investment firm recognized for its business building skills and deep bench of seasoned operating leaders, the new company is in a strong position to leverage its market leadership to pursue growth opportunities through increased focus and additional resources. s&p

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Large Scale

Fine Te x Ture


rom a surface design standpoint, texture and color go hand in hand. Whether the finish is smooth or textured, a haptic layer of experience is a necessity. Consumer market research shows that while end users expect texture, in most cases they are not so discerning as to differentiate between registered embossed and overall excellent texture. Manufacturers who want to experiment with many different textures may rely on release papers. Others who have well-established textures may invest in press plates. For large volume runs and continuous press laminates, endless press belts are an efficient means for imparting texture. Belt technology is more widely in use in Europe, where limited forest resources contribute to the wide spread use of composite panel and decorative surfacing materials. However, considering the importance of overall texture, and the prevalence of low basis weight papers and foils in furniture manufacturing, the technology is gaining in importance for the North American market. Mr. Sascha Porst, Global Product Manager for Sandvik Surface Solutions, explains some of the innovations happening in belt technology. While the belts from Sandvik Process Systems in Sweden are used to produce the raw boards – like particle board or MDF/HDF – the subdivision Surface Solutions, located in Ennepetal, Germany, makes the press


plates and endless press belts that are used to create the texture or finish that is applied to the boards either by direct lamination or as a separate laminate to be applied later. This is a highly specialized process, involving close cooperation with décor paper producers to ensure natural, realistic looking surfaces. “As a global leader in textured endless press belts, we have been exposed to many new challenges” says Porst. “Over the last 10 years we have developed several groundbreaking innovations including the first high gloss endless press belt for lamination worldwide back in 2003, the first and only textured belt with a texture depth of 150 microns – proven in a continuous process with a running speed of 45 m/min – and, most recently, the widest-ever smooth and textured endless press belts for furniture board lamination… more than 8ft. wide!” “As a result of continuous research and development, the production technologies used in manufacturing textured endlesspress belts are already extremely advanced but we’re confident that our on-going research development will surely deliver further improvements. The actual working lifetime of belts has more than doubled

in the last few years. One of the reasons for this huge advancement is a continuous improvement of raw material quality. Major improvements in metallurgical and mechanical treatment of the weld seam were highly appreciated by our customers.” With respect to future outlook, Mr. Porst says: “We have just started to work on two major investment projects for our belt production area, both providing a clear indication of our company’s commitment to future growth. The first relates to complete new equipment for printing and etching textures into endless press belts, designed for belt widths of up to 2,750 mm. This will equip the company with the most advanced control and regulating technology for high-precision steel belt etching. The new technology will handle all present-day and imaginable surface textures. This investment will open the door to greater optimization of texture developments. The second project involves the addition of a full third production line for refurbishment of endless press belts and similar repair jobs. The belt market is very strong and the demands have increased significantly in recent years. It was always a good business but the volume has increased a lot in recent years and we now need to invest in additional capacity. We expect to see a wider variety in terms of the textures and surfaces used on endless press belts over the coming years as manufacturers look to add value through higher quality ratings and much higher value impressions. This pushes us to even more complex production steps and higher challenges within the endless-press belt production – let it come, we are ready!” s&p


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Flexible from Design to Finish A

lthough Contemporary Cabinetry East is not the biggest manufacturer, the company utilizes the latest technology to fabricate a broad range of products. “We do custom architectural millwork to design specs, all for the commercial environment, “ says Andy Biggs, Vice President of Contemporary Cabinetry East. “Everything we do is fairly different and unique. Different materials and different markets served. We do restaurants, retail, medical offices, hospitals, office buildings, airports you name it.” CCE opened for business in 1984, and since then has consistently invested in equipment technology and the software necessary to optimize it. This enables the company to offer increasingly sophisticated custom solutions. “We are truly a job shop. Every project is set up a little differently, different colors, different edges,


different hardware,” says Biggs. “We have to be able to produce whatever the spec is for the job.” To meet customer demands, CCE works with a wide variety of materials including TFL, HPL, plastics, solid surface, exotic wood and veneer. Processing, assembly and 100 percent of the company’s finishing are done at CCE’s 35,000 square foot facility in Cincinnati, OH. Contemporary Cabinetry East experienced significant growth in volume and revenue in the past year, in large part due to the agility of the operation. In order to continue that trend, CCE uses technology to work smarter. “Ten years ago we had two engineers and 30 guys in the shop,” says Biggs. “Now we have five engineers and 30 guys in the shop doing double the volume.” CCE also applies lean manufacturing principles

and practices JIT production to avoid materials surplus. “Better optimization of materials is important as material costs continue to climb and more expensive material selections become more common, “says Biggs. “Our approach increases the engineering and machinery overhead, but not the manpower requirements resulting in significant labor savings. We have continually added higher paying technical jobs and less labor intensive positions” At the most recent IWF, CCE added a new drill and dowel machine, new stretch wrap equipment and a new through-feed case clamp to its already comprehensive workshop. “We are going to a flexible assembly line method for most of our casework versus the cell base configuration, where there is a person with machined parts assembling cabinets one at a time,” says Biggs. “It is similar to the approach that the larger companies use.” But CCE knows it is not enough to just have equipment. The company also utilizes the latest design and production software.

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

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Finishing For Flexible ManuFacTuring

contemporary cabinetry east has 25 years of working partnership with scM, which has helped the company outfit its workshop for flexible JiT production. equipment includes:

• Gabbiani Galaxy 125 panel saw • Morbidelli Universal 3616 pod and rail machining center

• Morbidelli 3615 Universal flatbed router • two SCM Olimpic S2000 edgebanders • Omal HBD 1300 drill and dowel inserter • CPC Action FL case clamp • Robopac 507 by Aetnagroup stretch wrap machine

• Doucet return conveyor at edgebander • two Tawi vacuum panel lifts for material handling at saw and nested router

• two Striebig Optisaw 2 vertical panel saws • SCM Sandya 3 single-head sander • SCM Olimpic M80 Contour edgebander • two Uhling HP3000 case clamps


Technology Driven ProDucTion

Currently, CCE runs a state of the art operation where all equipment is interconnected through a local network and individually controlled via their onboard PC and PLC. All parts are labeled at the saw with bar codes for downstream operations. Engineering is done through different interface programs, depending on the specific job. “Commercial casework is what we do best,” says Biggs. “We primarily use Planit software for most things that go to the shop. For cabinet-oriented projects we design with Cabinet Vision Solid Ultimate. We use Alphacam for nesting and AutoCAD to draw more complicated pieces, like reception desks and architectural millwork. AutoCAD is not directly a Planit product, but we can use it in our system.” CCE recently implemented Planit’s Screento-Machine ™, a technology that generates machine ready code for a number of different software programs. “At this point every single part that goes through here is going Screen-to-Machine for our basic casework,” says Biggs. “We are starting to send out shape routing and field joint machining for countertops to the nested machine using the Screen-to Machine as well.” If a design is done in AutoCAD, Screen-to-Machine extracts the outputted layered DXF files and creates the G-code to run the equipment. The software becomes increasingly efficient as the manufacturer establishes User Created Standards, or UCS. These standards essentially teach the program the shop’s equipment parameters and preferred construction methods. All of this saves machine-programming time and prevents costly mistakes from ever making it to production. It also allows for parts to be consistently reproduced.

Contemporary Cabinetry East expanded its operations in 2008, including the establishment of a dedicated finishing area that can accommodate 100 percent of the company’s finishing needs. “Our work is very diverse, so we try to keep a lot of flexibility in that department,” says Biggs. “We may be prepping, staining and spraying large veneer wall panels for a lobby one day, then two days later do all the slab doors for the same project, and then the following day start running 5000 feet of moldings for the baseboards, casing and jams. They are all very different operations from a finishing standpoint, so it does not make sense for us to have just one automated line that we run everything through.” Instead CCE created an optimal finishing environment featuring a Global Finishing open booth with an air makeup system. A two-person team sprays HAPs- free, low VOC M.L. Campbell solvent-based products through HPLV system pumps for parts that require special attention. CCE also has an AES line finisher that is set up for linear parts that are finished more efficiently with an automated system. Though CCE is satisfied with the precatalyzed products it is currently using, the nature of its business means that it frequently receives specifications for LEED compliant products, which entails switch over throughout the system. “I’m in the information gathering stage to make the change to two-part post-catalyzed products,” says Biggs. Post-cat products are more durable and have much lower emissions than their off-the shelf counterparts, but they also have a very short shelf life after mixing. “We’re a job shop, so we switch materials frequently. One drawback of post-cat is the potential for material waste,” says Biggs. “But what I think is a bigger drawback to it is that catalyzation is super critical. Too little catalyst and it doesn’t cure properly, too much and the product will actually sour.” To address these concerns, Biggs is looking into plural systems that digitally mix the finish with the catalyst, like the electronic ones made by Kremlin, for CCE’s next technology investment. “It is always my goal to make our processes better for the employee, the end user and the environment, but we also want to produce that better product more efficiently at the same time. Having something that is always LEED compliant is another move in that direction.” s&p

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

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automating for

EfficiEncy and EnvironmEnt


rtopex’s “everything under one roof” vision of delivering a complete and diverse range of high-quality office furniture throughout North America is executed through four production facilities that employ around 400 people. The company headquarters is located in Granby, Quebec, which is also home to the facility that processes TFL, HPL and related panel products, including Panolite lightweight panels (see story on page ##). Another plant in Granby manufactures wood furniture, both veneer plywood and solid components, as well as panel systems and clusters. A third Artopex facility in Laval, Quebec manufactures metal products, such as filing cabinets, tubing and sheet metal, and supplies the metal components for the other plants. This facility recently installed the latest technology in powder coating for metal.. And Artopex’s fourth facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec produces all the company’s seating products. Artopex President and CEO Daniel Pelletier started manufacturing office furniture in 1980, and


b y

s u z a n n e

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since the beginning has actively pursued the latest technologies and materials. In 2009 Artopex came out with a plan for sustainability that established guiding principles for the company’s design development, purchasing and manufacturing processes. At the same time Artopex was re-vamping the Granby finishing operation for wood

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furniture, which had previously involved the application of solvent-based finishes to assembled pieces. “Sustainable processes are a concern at Artopex, sowhen we design a new product line, this is front and center,” says Suzanne Léger, Design Manager for Artopex. Léger and the rest of the design department work closely with Pelletier to develop both products and processes that make use of the most innovative equipment and materials available. The new finishing process includes two Barberan rotary automatic spraying machines, one for stain and one for selfseal water-borne UV lacquer. “We chose water-based because solvent-free finishes provide a better quality work environment for the plant employees as the process is odorless and harmless,” says Léger. “It also provides better air quality for the end user of the furniture.” “Due to the many years of experience behind solvent based stain and lacquer technology, the products work really well and are easy to set up,” says Patrick Messier, Artopex’s engineer who maintains equipment and oversees the installation of machinery. “But these days there is so much regulation, especially in this area, that

the finishing experience


• • • • •

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when we installed a new system, we decided to go water-based.” Changing from solvent to water-borne finishes is not as simple as just switching product. In order to consistently achieve the high-quality finish that is the company standard, Artopex relied on technicians from both Barberan and Valspar to calibrate the material and the machinery. “Valspar people came to work on formulations, and spent about a year making sure we had the right products and that we were using them properly,” says Messier. “Throughout the process they even made new products and upgraded their materials.” The Barberan automatic spraying machines are equipped with eight adjustable spray guns attached to a rotary carousel.


The panel enters the machine on a conveyor belt and the rotary carousel turns. A sensor tells each gun to discharges the lacquer or stain when the piece is within range. This method delivers the finish to all corners of the pieces. Artopex is known for the innovative shapes of its designs so it was imperative for the system to reliably provide complete coverage with no dead zones. The wood furniture lines include maple, oak, cherry, walnut and reconstituted veneers

with solid profiled edges that can be up to 2 inches thick. The upgrade to automated finishing technology streamlined the workflow in the wood products facility. It also changed the assembly method so that products are now assembled after they are finished. But there are other practical benefits that came with the switch to new equipment with water borne stains and UV lacquers. The Barberan B8 machines are equipped with a cleaning system that efficiently recovers 98 percent of the product that ends up on the belt. This decreases the time spent cleaning and maintaining the machine. Additionally, Canada has strict regulations aimed at the reduction of emissions of volatile organic compounds as part of Environment Canada’s agenda to reduce and prevent air pollution. These regulations affect architectural and industrial maintenance coatings, including stains and lacquers. “We have far fewer concerns with our waste regarding the environment and the atmosphere with the new finishing system, “says Messier. “We have laws here that strictly regulate what is released into the atmosphere. With the water-based products there is almost nothing to account for. It is a really good way to go.” Investments in technology have proven to have a positive effect on the overall environmental impact of the company, which achieved ISO 14001 certification for both the Granby plants in 2004. And they allow Artopex to continually develop edgy designs that incorporate new materials. s&p

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Powder Coated Wood

in HealtHcare


n recent years, major advancements in techniques, powder, and substrates have resulted in powder coated wood finishes that can be found in an ever-increasing number of markets. One such market is healthcare, and there are numerous market-specific needs that make powder coated wood attractive for healthcare applications. Of course, this market has its own challenges—both the benefits and challenges will be discussed through the course of this article. The informative piece from the June (Q2) edition of Finishing Matters, entitled “Powder Coating for Wood Products,” provided excellent detail into the process of powder coating wood. To recap briefly, wood powder coating is a method of wood finishing that uses electrostatic energy to create adhesion between a special powder and a medium density fiberboard (MDF) substrate. Although there are a variety of approaches to powder coating MDF, the end result is a crosslinked finish that is attractive, durable, and that seamlessly encapsulates the part. Design anD Durability

top: coverbed tables and matcHing side table tops witH eased edges provide a patient-friendly and cleanable surface. some providers cHoose neutral, sootHing colors for cabinetry. tHe cabinets in tHis veterinary office are durable and easy to wipe down.


Integrated pulls are a design that continues to increase in popularity. “Many of our hospital and nursing home customers love being able to design integrated pulls into their door and drawer fronts,” said Heidi Hansen of BTD Wood Powder Coating. “First of all, integrated pulls are safer for patients, as they are one less obstacle to bump into in an exam room or bedroom. Secondly, there is less risk of damage to the door or equipment when moving equipment or cleaning the room. Finally, integrated pulls remove the risk of wires or cables snagging on a protruding handle.” Integrated pulls are made possible by powder coated MDF because the powder fully covers the part, regardless of machining or part details. The powder can adhere in tighter spots and intricate shapes where laminates simply will not work.

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One requirement in healthcare that is constant with almost any customer is the need for durability. Powder coated wood fits the bill nicely, as it is durable across a variety of dimensions. First of all, the part is coated in 5-7 mils of fully bonded coverage. Although liquid paint is compatible with the aforementioned edge profiles and integrated pulls, it is prone to chipping and cannot match the abrasion resistance of powder coating. Additionally, powder coated parts have no edge banding to peel and cannot delaminate, a common problem with laminate components. Of course, durability has different meanings to different customers, and it is important to clarify the application prior to producing a part or product. For example, many buyers of powder coated wood for healthcare have specific demands for resistance to cleaning agents, such as a 10% bleach mixture. According to Craig Fast, VP of Operations for BTD Wood Powder Coating, “We conduct standard stain and chemical resistance testing as part of routine production. However, we often receive specific requests that are outside of the norm; we are happy to test ourselves and always recommend that our customers also test samples we provide. Because powder formulations are customizable, it is often possible to create a formulation that is especially stain resistant, for instance.” “Many of our customers have rigorous performance standards. Fortunately, we have been able to meet these requirements through research and development,” said Heidi Hansen. “Impact and abrasion resistance are frequent requests, and our powder coated wood is up to the challenge.”

CARB Compliant


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Page 1

SFI Certified MDF

Efficient Manufacturing LEED Credits

100% Recycled Content MDF

UV-Cured Powder Coating Fast, Clean & Green


Custom, Seamless, Cleanable Surfaces

A standard goal for healthcare providers is keeping patients safe and healthy while in the facility. Custom edge profiles are a frequent request in the interest of safety, much like integrated door pulls. Powder coated wood offers the ability to incorporate virtually any custom edge profile; customers have seized the opportunity to create soft, rounded corners on occasional tables, and gently radiused edges on millwork or countertops. Alternately, many healthcare designs are incorporating knife edges into the edge profiles of horizontal surfaces. These knife edges provide a softer approach to the surface and are gentler on elbows. Regardless of the edge profile, powder coated wood is perfectly suited because there is no need for edge banding or seams on any side. Furthermore, ease of cleaning is a necessity in healthcare applications. This is one of several reasons why the seamless nature of powder coated wood parts is very popular; when wiping down a powder coated wood overbed tray or cabinet door, there is no seam for germs or dirt to accumulate. An added benefit is that the level of smoothness attainable by some wood powder coaters makes products even easier to clean. Antimicrobial surfaces are becoming commonplace in many parts of the healthcare environment. From soap dispensers to toilet flush handles, antimicrobial construction is the norm. This expectation is flowing over to furniture and casework, as antimicrobial furnishings represent another way to keep patients healthy. Powder coated wood finishes are available with an antimicrobial treatment in virtually any custom color or style, and can be applied to any design.

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Solvent Free


How Green Are Your Materials? Let us help you GREEN up your products with our UV-cured powder coating for wood. Store Fixtures, POP Displays, Healthcare, Education & Office Furniture You’ll love the results. Contact us today & learn more or request a sample! Watch our YouTube video!

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Finally, powder coated wood is popular in healthcare because customers want custom colors for their interiors. Many treatment centers look for neutral, soothing colors for a calming effect; children’s hospitals, on the other hand, often look for bright colors to stimulate the senses or engage visitors. Still other facilities want specific colors to match corporate branding. Regardless of the need, powder coated MDF can be formulated to match any color, whether smooth or textured. This match can be done using a swatch, RAL or Pantone number and is still cost effective in smaller quantities. Healthcare and Powder Coated Wood: A Perfect Match

Flexible designs incorporating integrated pulls or soft edges, seamless finishes, and custom colors all make for a product that is highly sought after in healthcare applications. Furthermore, powder coated wood is very durable and can meet a wide variety of demanding needs. From door fronts and wall panels to overbed and occasional tables, powder coated MDF is certainly worth serious consideration for healthcare finishes. s&p

by funder america, inc

Sabatini Collection

The flat front cabinets in this dental office look great and have no protruding handles to snag wires. Note the edge profile detail on the cabinet top as well.


About the Author – Clint Ellenberg

Clint Ellenberg works in Business Development at BTD Wood Powder Coating. His background is in healthcare consulting, where he focused on project management and process improvement in hospital facilities. He received his MBA from the University of Texas and his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

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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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_Q4-2012.indd 69

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& High Gloss Surfaces


he innovative finishing system, KLEIBERIT HotCoating® has made a breakthrough in the market with machines commissioned worldwide, including several in North America. The process was demonstrated live with great interest at KLEIBERIT’s booth during IWF 2012 in Atlanta, GA and a HotCoating® Symposium on September 25-27, 2012 in High Point, NC was also well received and offered interested parties another opportunity to have their materials coated on-site. KLEIBERIT HotCoating® technology is a finishing system which can be used for both rolled and flat material. The innovative coating is based on a reactive, PUR hotmelt system. It is solid at room temperature and is melted with a pre-melter before being applied to the substrate – coat weight is adjustable depending on customer requirements. The chemical cross linking with humidity of the PUR material results in a very resistant surface which is extremely shock and wear resistant (up to AC3). An additional very thin layer (inline) application of KLEIBERIT’s UV curing TopCoat allows for precise variations in gloss level and coloring. In addition, it allows the PUR to cure over a longer period without damage because the UV TopCoat gives immediate scratch resistance. Not only does KLEIBERIT HotCoating® offer many advantages in comparison to traditional lacquering technology, customizing features such as staining or printing (digital or direct) can also be easily integrated into

the KLEIBERIT HotCoating® inline process. This means that wrapping materials such as veneer and decorative paper can be individually designed and finished in a single piece flow according to customer requirements. High Gloss Surfaces

The worldwide trend toward high gloss surfaces in interiors, furniture and flooring places new requirements on processes and products. KLEIBERIT has developed diverse innovations specifically for high gloss which are tailored to the corresponding requirements. Laminating high gloss foils onto wood based panels with PUR hotmelt adhesive

The status quo in the furniture industry is laminating wood based panels (MDF, FPY) with high gloss foil. These foils are available in different thickness and quality, as panel or rolled material. The foils are often a combination of decorative layers (e.g. ABS) and a transparent and high gloss cover layer (e.g. PMMA). KLEIBERIT offers PUR hotmelt adhesives which are perfectly formulated for high gloss bonding applications. The company also helped develop various processing technologies (e.g. the roller bar slot nozzle technology).

material requires absolutely high quality and clear adhesives. Lightfast and transparency are required, as well as constancy of the chemical and physical parameters. Several KLEIBERIT PUR hotmelt adhesives were specifically developed for the requirements of bonding transparent materials and are well established in the market. KLEIBERIT HotCoating High Gloss

With the KLEIBERIT HotCoating® technology, even standard melamine faced panels can get a high quality high gloss surface with an easy processing technology. The key is the very good adhesion of HotCoating to melamine surfaces and smoothing the surface with the KLEIBERIT HotCoating® processing technology. In the KLEIBERIT Technical Center in Weingarten Germany, processing technologies for a variety of applications are available in production scale. Product developments and customer demonstrations can be conducted in full scale there.

Bonding Transparent Materials with KLEIBERIT PUR Hotmelt Adhesives

By bonding transparent materials on decorative surfaces, a depth effect and high gloss can be achieved. For example, it is possible to bond glass or PMMA onto a decorative surface so that it is high gloss. The transparency of the materials to be bonded places even higher requirements on cleanliness and quality of the bonding process. Users profit from KLEIBERIT’s many years experience in surface technology. Bonding transparent 70

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i m a G e s c o u r t e s y o f c a m b r i d G e d i s p l ay t e c h n o l o G y

Inkjet PrIntIng for

Polymer Organic Light Emitting Diode b y

s u z a n n e


V a n

G i l d e r

ome experts predict that once the full potential of inkjet printing for polymer organic light emitting diodes, or P-OLEDs is realized, it could be a “disruptive innovation;” one that displaces earlier technologies and existing markets. Traditional markets for printed electronics (PE) include: displays for devices and televisions, OLED lighting, thin films, printed radio frequency identification (RFID), and photovoltaics (PV); but as the technology becomes more refined, design engineers are investigating its potential for everything from industrial coatings and smart surfaces to medical devices, membrane switches, automotive applications, textiles and more. This piece will provide a very basic overview of P-OLED technology and some of the manufacturing methods in use. It will also explore reasons why ink jet printing is emerging as the method of choice for this technology. This is a general overview intended to be informative and thoughtprovoking, and is in no way comprehensive or indicative of the nuance involved in the related technologies of device architecture, substrates, materials, equipment and conductive inks.

Basics of P-oLED

According to Cambridge Display Technology, an innovator of P-OLED technology, the story started in 1989 when researches at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University discovered that organic LEDs could be made using conjugated polymers. In 1992 CDT was founded by Cambridge University and seed venture capital, and the innovation has continued ever since. A P-OLED display consists of polymer material manufactured on a substrate of glass or plastic (including flexible materials such as polyethylene). The device 72

d does not require additional elements such as backlights of filters. These P-OLED materials can be processed in solution, allowing manufacturing techniques, such as ink jet printing, to be used. CDT describes the structure of a basic P-OLED display device as a simple sandwich of materials. A transparent conducting anode (commonly indium tin oxide, or ITO) is coated onto a substrate. This is followed by a conducting polymer layer, which transports and injects holes into the active layer (hole injection layer). One of CDT’s innovations is the addition of a thin organic interlayer material called a “hole transport layer” at this position in the sandwich. The hole transport layer improves the efficiency and lifetime of the device by transporting holes into the emitting layer. This is followed by a thin (less than 100nm thick) light emitting polymer layer (emissive layer). Next is a metal cathode with a low work function, such as a barium/aluminum bi-layer, and finally another substrate layer. The total thickness of all

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layers in a P-OLED display device can be less than 500nm, so that in effect, the thickness of a display is determined mainly by the thickness of the substrate. The P-OLED devices function like standard LED devices. When voltage is applied across the P-OLED electrical current (flow of electrons) flows from the cathode to the anode through the organic layers. The cathode gives electrons to the emissive polymer layer. The anode removes electrons from the conducting polymer layer (gives holes). At the junction between the emissive and conductive layers, electrons fill the holes by falling into the energy level of the atom that is missing the electron. When this happens the electron gives up energy in the form of a photon of light. The P-OLED device emits different colors of light depending on the type of molecules used in the emissive layer. The intensity of the light is a function of the amount of electrical current applied. When OLEDs work in reverse they generate electrical power by the action of light on specially designed photovoltaic cells.


“Some experts predict that once the full potential of inkjet printing for polymer organic light emitting diodes, or P-OLEDs is realized, it could be a “disruptive innovation...”


NEXGEN™ laminates offer the appearance of real wood.

NEXGEN™ laminates are thermally-fused CPL with built-in antimicrobial protection.

FSC products available on request.

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i m a g e s c o u r t e s y o f c a m b r i d g e d i s p l ay t e c h n o l o g y

Manufacturing P-OLEDs

Manufacturing OLED is essentially a process of applying layers to the substrate. Here are a few of the available methods: There are two vapor deposition methods that are suitable for small molecule OLED, but not P-OLED. Patterning can only be done with the use of expensive fine metal masks. • Vacuum deposition: In a vacuum chamber, the organic molecules are gently heated (evaporated), then allowed to condense as thin films onto cooled substrates. • organic Vapor phase deposition: A carrier gas transports evaporated organic molecules onto cooled substrates in a low-pressure, hot walled reactor chamber. The vapor condenses into thin films. • spin coating: This fabrication technique is used for polymer thin films. A solution of polymer is placed on the previous layer of the device, which is then rotated by a spinner. Centripetal force draws the solution across the surface, creating a thin film. One of the disadvantages of spin-coating is the inability to create patterning because this method creates a large plane of one emitting polymer. The following methods of manufacturing are patternable:

Of these methods the ink jet printing process, which is similar to commercial ink on paper methods, shows a lot of potential to become the method of choice for manufacturing P-OLED devices. Inkjet printing is a digitally directed additive process, allowing for pre-production modeling and the precise placement of droplets. The process is also non-contact which protects fragile substrates, and does not require added heat, which can destroy the conductive inks. Additionally, inkjet printing allows material deposition in x, y and x axes, so different layers of materials can be built up to optimize RGB while keeping the ITP thickness the same. All of this adds up to decreased material costs, increased production speed, flexibility, precision and the ability to cover large areas. However there are still challenges

when it comes to printing P-OLED devices. Possible pitfalls, such as contamination and parasitic current paths, are being addressed through ongoing research in the architecture of P-OLED devices. P-OLED devices are very susceptible to moisture damage, leading to robust development in post-processing technologies. Suppliers are constantly working to create better print head and conductive ink technologies. Many companies are working to make inkjet printing of OLED and P-OLED devices a commercially viable endeavor, and design engineers are just as eager to apply the technology to a wide variety of applications across market segments. As the technology becomes more widely available and refined, it will be interesting to observe its impact on industrial coatings, smart surfaces and lighting. s&p

• screen printing • graVure printing • inkjet printing


P-OLED Displays: RGB T95 Lifetime Performance of Ink Jet Printed 2nd OrderCavity OLED Devices Daniel Forsythe, Ilaria Grizzi, Adam Strevens, Graham Anderson, Jonathon Isaacs, Jeremy Burroughes Cambridge Display Technology Limited, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England Freudenrich, Ph.D., Craig. "How OLEDs Work" 24 March 2005. <> 04 November 2012.

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8 New Colors in Artika & Rain Textures! Update your furniture with the latest in design trends! Artika


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

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

Drift Loud G92

Carmelo Mist G91

Dark Noce G90

Cokalada Crosscut G89

Natural Rustik G88

Cannella Rustik G87

Grigio Notte G86

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White Zebrine G85

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

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Succeed Together: Innovation Through Materials and Logistics


t is fitting that Roland Boulanger & Co. Ltd., a well-established manufacturer of moldings, components, and related items, is pioneering the widespread use of Premeer enhanced oriented polypropylene (OPP), an innovative decorative surfacing material recently introduced into the North America market by Interprint USA. Established in 1942 as a regional window and door manufacturer, the Warwick, Quebec-based company has undergone constant evolution in its product offerings, materials selection and distribution system. Boulanger is family-owned, privately held and vertically integrated, with seven production facilities and 350 employees. Internally Boulanger has a motto, “Succeed together.” It relates to a company culture of teamwork, pride in work well done and strict standards that ensure consistent quality. “We are resolutely focused on innovation,” says Alexis Boulanger, President and CEO of Boulanger. “ Our mission is to constantly seek out new ways to better meet the needs of the commercial and industrial markets, while fully complying with global quality standards for our field.” The early adoption of Premeer, a very versatile, durable OPP overlay is a reflection of that mission. Premeer can be flat laminated as well as profile-wrapped, and it is available in a variety of base weights, making it a suitable surfacing material across many product lines, which in turn makes it possible for Boulanger to offer customers a wide variety perfectly matched solutions.


Core CoMpeTenCIeS and reLaTed produCTS

“We are first of all a producer and manufacturer of decorative moldings,” says Judith Boulanger, Marketing Director for the company. “We have eight molders, two profilers, and many options for materials and finish, depending on what the customer specifies.” Moldings are typically offered in unfinished eastern white pine, which Boulanger processes through its lumber mill, or specially formulated MDF from Uniboard or Flakeboard that can be finished via profile wrapping or coating. Molded polyurethane is also an option for heavy patterns.

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From left : Alexis Boulanger, President and CEO; Luce Boulanger, Purchasing Manager; Judith Boulanger, Marketing Manager; Guy Boulanger, President of the Board.

Boulanger leverages its in-house molding and wrapping capabilities to produce several related product lines. “Our paper wrapping plant is dedicated first toward the RTA furniture industry, and then to kitchen cabinets,” says A. Boulanger. “We also do wrapped moldings for our retail market.” Additionally, the company manufactures exterior door jams with PVC films from Renolit. More recently Boulanger launched a line of flat-laminated ceiling panels called Embassy, and started producing composite five-piece doors as an OEM. “We converted all our standard paper-wrapped products from pre-impregnated papers to the Premeer OPP,” says A. Boulanger. “We’re very pleased with the technical quality of the Premeer product as far as finish and durability. We can use it for all our related products and have perfect matches throughout.” Boulanger’s geographic location, customer bases and core capabilities have shaped the way the company goes to market. While the

majority of Boulanger’s market share is in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes, its distribution is well established throughout Canada and into the United States. “We have two kinds of customers,” explains J. Boulanger. “We sell to building materials retailers, like the box stores. This is more of the national distribution. And we also sell to the industrial side, providing our products to other companies to sell under their private label, which brings us more into the United States.”

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“Our molding products come in 7, 8, 14 and 16-foot lengths, so they are somewhat awkward to transport,” says A. Boulanger. “So that is why molding manufacturers are often also distributors. And because our customers are retailers across the country that get weekly orders from us, there is added value for them if we also deliver complementary products.” Some of these diversified products, such as siding and flooring, are made by other companies; but Boulanger also develops products in house that bolster the company’s portfolio. The latest of these innovations, Embassy suspended panel ceiling systems, has proven to be extremely popular in the short time it has been on the market.

New Product, New Material

Introduced in 2010, Embassy is a suspended ceiling concept that gives consumers an alternative to standard drop ceilings. One advantage that Embassy offers is ease of installation. The unique system utilizes plastic railings and anchors that may be installed with as little as 1.75 inches of clearance between the joists and the ceiling. Compared to the 6-8 inches a typical drop ceiling requires, Embassy ceilings add a great aesthetic to a room and makes it feel more spacious at the same time. The panels are wrapped in Premeer and available in standard white, maple or coffee. “The vast majority are white,” says A. Boulanger,” The shaker style is very popular. But surprisingly there is quite a bit of coffee sold too. It is often used for home theatre applications.” Luce Boulanger, Purchasing Manager for Boulanger, started investigating enhanced OPP material several years ago. “We had been using pre-impregnated paper laminates for all of our paper wrapping, “ says L. Boulanger. “But we had been testing OPP for the Embassy product because people often put the ceilings in basements, and in this part of the world there is a lot of humidity in that environment. OPP has very good moisture resistance. We were about to make the switch for 2012 when the original supplier closed. Embassy is popular, so we had to find a new supplier of OPP very quickly.” Based on an industry reference, L. Boulanger connected with Interprint, a Pittsfield, MA décor paper printer. At the time Interprint was actively developing the value-added processes necessary to bring the OPP-based product Premeer to the decorative surfacing market. For those familiar with the use of OPP in food packaging, it is important to clarify that Premeer is made from an enhanced version of oriented polypropylene. The substrate is a specialized OPP film supplied by Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc., (AET) called SynDECOR®, 78

which includes a functional layer developed to chemically bond with the glues that are commonly used to adhere decorative surfaces to board. This means that Premeer is compatible with all common waterbased laminating or hot-melt systems. The enhanced substrate is also UV-stabilized to ensure a long lifecycle of the material. The easy value-added for Interprint was the application of its in-house capability for photo-realistic rotogravure décor printing. SynDECOR® is smooth and non-porous, so when ink is applied via laser-engraved cylinders it sits on the material without spreading out, resulting in high-definition design clarity. But it is not enough to look pretty. Prospective customers, like Boulanger, require a decorative overlay that can provide superior moisture resistance. To that end Interprint worked with MinusNine Technologies to develop a protective coating that is cured via an electron beam system. The industry standard NEMA Water Hold-Out test confirms that even after 72-hours, Premeer protects particleboard, MDF and HDF from moisture damage. “We started using Premeer in the spring of this year, and in fact it is a product that we love working with now,” says L. Boulanger. In addition to using OPP for Embassy ceiling panels and wrapped moldings, Boulanger offers the product as a material option for its 5-piece door customers. “The printing is one of the reasons why we changed to Premeer,” says L. Boulanger. “Interprint can match anything, and the quality of the printing is better than what we had in the past.” L. Boulanger reports a growing interest in composite 5-piece doors in the Canadian markets, and thinks there is a lot of opportunity for the future. “It is a beautiful product. It can be made more inexpensively than the wood counterparts and is more durable.” Over the past 70 years the Boulanger family has fortified its core business as a manufacturer of decorative moldings by delivering a broad portfolio of related products throughout North America. Driven by the mission to consistently meet the evolving needs of its commercial and industrial customers, the company is also bringing innovative new materials and concepts to the marketplace. s&p

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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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Abet Laminati 800.228.2238


Northern Contours 866.344.8132


Arborite 800.361.8712


Olon Industries, Inc. 905.877.7300


Arclin 877.689.9145


Omnova Solutions 866.332.5226


Blum, Inc. 704.827.1345

84 (BC)

Panolam 203.925.1556


Boise Cascade 888.264.7372


Plummer Forest Products 208.777.2202


Cefla 704.598.0020


Riken USA Corporation 609.387.2011


Chemcraft, a brand of AkzoNobel 336.841.5111


Roseburg 800.245.1115



Clarion Boards 1.800.373.4383

Salice 800.222.9652



Composite Panel Association 866.4Composites

Schattdecor 314.400.6100



DVUV 216.741.5511

Stevens Industries 217.540.3100



Funder America, Inc. 336.751.3501

Stiles Machinery, Inc. 616.698.7500



HR Wood Specialties 269.628.2181

Surface Source International 973.598.0152


Syndecor/AET Films, Inc. 800.688.2044


Synergy Thermofoils 561.506.9951


Tafisa Canada 888.882.3472


Kings Mountain 704.739.4227

Thermwood 800.533.6901


Kleiberit 704.843.3339

Uniboard 800.263.5240


KML-Kustom Material Laminates 888.358.5075

Valspar 612.851.7000


West Fraser Sales Ltd. 780.413.8900


Wilsonart HD 800-433-3222

Perfecting motion

2 (IFC)









Interprint, Inc. 413.443.4733 JB Cutting Inc 586.468.4765 KCD Software 508.760.1140

Laminati 877.863.7908

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f r o m

t h e

e d i t o r

“When we lose touch with the bigger universe we run the risk of developing an artificial sense of our own importance.”

Dark and Light Each issue of Surface & Panel has a prescribed editorial focus (kitchen and bath, healthcare, commercial etc.), but each issue also tends to develop its own organic underlying theme. This time of year North America steadily tilts away from the sun into increasing darkness; a seasonal phenomenon that grants a view of the heavens, and encourages humankind to look inside with the intention of improvement. And it is typically celebrated with light. So it stands to reason that the idea of light, in different interpretations, shows up repeatedly in this issue. Lightness in terms of reduced mass is of increasing importance to manufacturers. There are benefits all along the value chain, from decreased shipping costs (which are increasingly in demand by large retailers) to a broader spectrum of design possibilities, and ease of use for end customers. When I met Petr Smetanka of Panolite at IWF and learned about the availability of lightweight panels in North America, I knew there was a story there (page 38). The panels, with recycled particleboard surface layers, also provide a new platform to tell the story of the inherent environmental aspects of wood-based composite panels. Treading lightly in terms of reduced environmental impact also underlies many of the pieces in this issue. The concept takes several forms, from the materials themselves (see Boulanger page 76) to the increasingly precise production methods that eliminate waste (see Crystal Bridges page 18) and allow for agile JIT production. The philosophical idea of enlightening, of gaining greater knowledge and understanding, runs throughout this issue. There are examples of suppliers developing new methods and materials to meet the needs of A&D, and of fabricators of all size investing in technology in efforts of constant improvement. And there is a call to action for two of the world’s leading trade shows that are dedicated to shedding light on the latest in design and production (@ the show page 50). And of course, there is light in the most basic form of electromagnetic radiation. Light that plays to décor design and texture. Light that not only shines on surfaces, but potentially comes from surfaces. Surface & Light (page 72) looks at the latest advances in inkjet printing of polymer organic light emitting diodes; a process well suited for plastic films. This emerging technology is developing in the world of printed electronics and suggests huge possibilities across many markets, including decorative surfaces. To entertain that thought a little further, I recently saw the documentary The City Dark* at a film festival. The movie looks at the impact of too much light. Over 50 percent of traditional lighting goes out into the universe, blocking out the stars. There are many potential impacts of excess light, from decreased melatonin production to disrupted migration patterns. One of the proposed solutions is more precise directional lighting. And integrated surface lighting could be a great device to achieve that. One of the quotes from the film that stuck with me was something along the lines of, “When we lose touch with the bigger universe we run the risk of developing an artificial sense of our own importance.” Beyond all the twinkly lights and celebration, I hope this winter affords you some true darkness; and with it a deep feeling of connection that inspires the best kind of innovation. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and for supporting Surface & Panel. Happy Holidays!

Suzanne VanGilder | Editorial Director | * 82

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Surface and Panel Winter 2012  

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

Surface and Panel Winter 2012  

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