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Personalization is not black or white; it’s a blurring of individual experiences and backgrounds that emerge when a space begins with a stunning foundation. This idea is the inspiration behind the eight new additions to the Wilsonart® Quartz Collection, previewed at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show earlier this year.

Wilsonart, a world leading provider of total engineered surfacing solutions, debuts these quartz additions in support of key design trends defining attainable luxury in the realms of color, material and scale. New offerings, such as a bookmatched design and sealed concrete, give spaces a personalized touch. As commercial and residential aesthetics continue to collide, the demand for highly flexible designs continues to increase. From bright white and understated grey to deep charcoal and bold black, this new collection supports and elevates the design intent in hotel lobbies and chic office spaces to bathroom vanities and kitchen countertops.

The new quartz designs take their cues from marble, concrete and reflective metals to build a base upon which to showcase luxury, redefined by the individual.

  • Empire State(Q1015) – Reminiscent of sealed concrete, Empire State is a fine-scale tone-on-tone grey quartz countertop with white and charcoal features throughout.
  • Manhattan(Q1016) – This design is light grey resembling a fine-scale concrete with white and charcoal features.
  • Vesuvius(Q1017) – Vesuvius is a solid black fine-scale pattern with the occasional white or glass speck throughout the slab.
  • Lazio(Q1018) – A solid bright white fine-scale quartz, Lazio features intermittent grey or colored particulates throughout the slab.
  • Versailles(Q2007) – Versailles is a medium-scale design in charcoal and grey with an added depth of metallic reflectivity.
  • Tellaro(Q4025) – Tellaro is a semi-translucent quartz with white and grey flowing together creating a beautiful design punctuated by taupe veining.
  • Marrara(Q4026) – Inspired by Carrara marble, this unique design features grey veining in a warm white, semi-translucent background.
  • Lucca(Q4027L) – This statuary-like marble design is set in a cool white background; the large grey veining is complex and highlighted by white and brown features. A special order bookmatched companion is available.

“The world isn’t black and white, and neither is this collection,” said Natalia Smith, Design Manager at Wilsonart. “Classic and timeless, these designs will shine on their own and provide the perfect opportunity to showcase an authentic, personalized design story.”

Wilsonart Quartz meets industry standards including UL GREENGUARD Gold for indoor air quality, NSF International and Kosher compliances for safe surfaces for food preparation. New Wilsonart Quartz arrivals will be available on the Wilsonart Visualizer.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 20:07

Commercial furniture manufacturers are continuing to see sales growth, but that expansion is slowing.

Michael A. Dunlap & Associates, LLC recently announced the results of its April 2017 Quarterly MADA / OFI Trends Survey, which measures the current business activity of the commercial furniture industry and its suppliers.

“The industry continues to grow but at a much slower pace. The Overall Index is strong and remains above the 54.79 Survey average. 2016 was the best year the industry has seen in well over a decade. We remain confident that 2017 will exceed 2016.” Mike Dunlap said.

This survey was completed during the month of April 2017 and marks the 50th Edition. The survey was started during the summer of 2004. The survey focuses on ten key business activities and respondents rate each area on a scale of 10 (the highest) to 1 (the lowest). These include gross shipments, order backlog / incoming orders, employment levels, manufacturing hours (overtime vs. reduced hours), capital investment, tooling expenditures, new product development activity, raw material costs, employee costs, and the respondents’ personal outlook on the industry.

The survey employs an Industry Index Number to quantify where the industry is currently performing.

The April Overall Survey Index is 55.41 compared to an almost identical January 2016 Overall Index of 57.25 and exceeding October 2015’s (56.05). The 50 survey average for the overall index is 54.89.

The April 2017 survey highlights are: gross shipments index is 50.13 after an all-time high of 64.85 in October 2014 and an all-time low of 41.40 in July 2009. The 50 survey average is 57.89. The order backlog index is 61.00. The 50 survey average is 57.89. The relatively low gross sales index is offset by the higher backlog index, s many projects during the 1st quarter have been pushed out into the 2nd or 3rd quarters.
The Employment Index is 53.04. The 50 survey average is 52.45.
The Capital Expenditures is 64.50. Tooling Expenditures is 66.00. These compare to the 50 survey averages of 55.89 and 55.21. Although somewhat higher than previous years, these Index values tend to be cyclical from 4th to 1st quarters due to new products being prepared for NeoCon.
New Product Development is 63.91. The 50 survey average is 63.45. After some weaker quarters, this has bounced back.
Raw Material Costs index is 43.48. The 50 survey average is 45.01. When economies grow and gain strength, raw materials prices go up. It is a simple economic reality.
Employee Costs is 43.33. The 50 survey average is 46.58. Much like material costs, as an economy approaches full employment, wages, benefits, and other costs increase.
The Personal Outlook Index is 63.91. The 50 survey average is 58.33. The Personal Outlook Index has remained above the average since January 2014. The Median Value is 61.06, which reinforces the strength of this indicator.

Dunlap stated, "Although some think this slowdown is an indicates a general decline in the industry performance, at MADA, we disagree. Where there are declines, they are offset by a companion index, I am still pleased to see the strength of the Personal Outlook Index. It’s a purely emotional question but we put a lot of value on this content.”

The most frequently cited perceived threats to the industry’s success are material costs, healthcare costs, and energy costs. Healthcare costs are the most commonly cited concern from respondents since this survey process was started in August 2004.”

via: Woodworking Network

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 19:52

by: Seth Novero

“We are LW” is more than just a saying we have, it’s a belief we practice. And this practice isn’t just seen in how we work together as a company when serving our customers. It’s also seen in how we serve together now as a company when giving back to our communities.

The new Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) was recently created to nurture this heart of service that we believe exists in all of our employees. The main purpose of the EVP is to tap into this desire and help our employees find joy and fulfillment through service while also serving our community and supporting each other as a company. Our projects are unique in that they are not created by Laminate Works for employees to sign up for. Rather, they are projects our employees are already serving in that Laminate Works as a company comes alongside of and supports.

As our company’s President, Bert Clothier, said, “This is their program, not Laminate Works.” And it’s through this program that Laminate Works supports those who are serving while also enlightening and encouraging those not serving by providing a variety of opportunities for them to participate in -- opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have known about or may never have considered participating in by themselves.

We’re simply creating an awareness that we can all use our everyday, ordinary lives to serve others. So technically, in terms of service, we at LW are not doing anything different. We’re just intentionally doing things together, because that’s who we are.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 17:40

Stiles Machinery, Inc. is pleased to announce that starting in May 2017, six world-renowned machinery brands will unite under the most respected name in woodworking machinery.

The technology you’ve come love under the BRANDTBUTFERING, FRIZ, HOLZMAHOMAG AUTOMATION, and WEEKE brands will come together under one name: HOMAG.

The trusted HOMAG name will now be proudly attached to the industry’s most innovative panel saws, a wider range of CNC machining centers, a complete line of edgebanders, high-performance profile wrappers, efficiency-increasing automation technology, and powerful wide belt sanders.

This new united strategy combines the development teams into one united unit, enabling HOMAG to bring new, innovating solutions to the market much faster. The synergy created will allow the world’s leading machinery manufacturer to push invention and improvements better than ever before.

Stiles Machineryis proud to support HOMAG in this new approach. As the trusted partner of thousands of manufacturers across North America,Stileswill continue to provide best-in-class equipment and software, consulting, education, service and support that will empower our customers to get the most value from their investments.

“The Stiles name and brand promise remain the same as we continue to provide total production solutions that help our customers succeed,” said Chris Dolbow, Director of Marketing for Stiles. “Backed by the global scale of HOMAG, our promise to customers is unchanged.”

Stiles customers can expect to see the new lines of HOMAG machinery starting at AWFS 2017, where Stiles will once again invite attendees to experience Stiles through hands-on demonstrations of leading technology and support services.

Tuesday, 04 April 2017 18:43

Partnering with the Forest Stewardship Council connects your brand to the highest standards of forest management for the benefit of today, tomorrow and forever.

These are seven benefits of FSC:

  • 1. Prohibits deforestation: FSC prohibits the conversion of natural forest to plantations or other non-forest uses such as real estate development or agriculture.
  • 2. Limits clearcut size to protect forest ecology: FSC certified forest owners follow nature’s lead in how they harvest to ensure forests remain healthy.
  • 3. Protects rare old-growth and other high conservation value forests: Rare old-growth forests are conserved, as are other forests of high conservation value.
  • 4. Protects indigenous peoples’ rights: FSC recognizes and upholds the legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples’ as well as protecting areas of cultural significance.
  • 5. Restricts the use of highly hazardous chemicals: FSC tightly restricts the use of highly hazardous pesticides, many of which are commonly used in the US and Canada.
  • 6. Protects rare, threatened and endangered species: This protection extends to species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered.
  • 7. Protects water quality: Forests naturally filter much of the world’s fresh water. FSC protects rivers, lakes and wetlands where laws or industry-based guidelines are often inadequate. 
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 18:32

Pittsburg State University hosted its annual Wood Tech Company Day at the end of February this year. Many wood technology companies from across the country visit Pittsburg, Kansas for exciting two-day event.

The event is filled with presentations and conversations to inform students about what is happening in the wood industry. Some use this as as opportunity to come to campus and learn more about the quality wood program. Meanwhile, others attend the event for the opportunity to network and explore future possibilities with industry leaders.

“This is a wonderful event that educates our students about the opportunities and career pathways that exist for them,” Doug Hague, assistant professor in PSU’s technology and workforce learning, said. “We have companies from across the country that come to Pittsburg State to recruit our students, and we think that speaks volumes about the quality of program we have here.”

More than 30 companies attended the event, Laminate Works being one of them. It provides employers with an excellent way to get conversations started for future recruitment and it provides students with potential employers all in one place. 

Monday, 03 April 2017 21:07

While delivering high quality laminated parts on time has always been important at Laminate Works, we have recently started to identify what we do as more than a slogan. At the beginning of this year, we began measuring our performance based on quality and on time deliveries and sharing the information within the company. The key to improving is being held accountable.

The QOT metric is two parts equally weighted – quality and on time. The two ratios are averaged to generate a daily QOT score which shows the whole LW team how we are living up to the promises we make our customers. Kansas City Operations Manager Jason Aldrich states, “We promise parts made to their specifications will be shipped on the day they are confirmed.”

But we are not just tracking our own QOT score. Since we are responsible for how we perform when materials arrive damaged, flawed, or late, we have also started measuring our vendors’ performance based on the same metrics. This allows us to watch for issues and find solutions that often still allow us to ship on time.

It has been exciting for the LW team to come through and deliver on our promises. The metric highlights what we do well while also showing us what we need to continue to improve on. In fact, customers have started to notice a difference. “Focus improves what customers see,” said Jason Richenberger National Sales Manager. The measurement has made a significant improvement on what they see and we are looking forward to continue to improve.

Friday, 03 March 2017 14:38

dECOLeather™ has many attributes that make it a great choice for leather surfacing. Take a look at these pros and cons and make an educated decision about this unique new product by Formica Corporation.

Trying to decide between new dECOLeather™ recycled leather veneer, faux leather, or 100% leather? Check out the facts below to guide your final choice.

1. Easier Fabrication

- dECOLeather™ recycled leather veneer is offered in a sheet size of 4 feet by 8 feet. It is all manufactured to the same thickness, making 32 square feet available for easy fabrication purposes. For planning purposes, this gives designers the upper hand in determining panel sizes and/or accent wall coverage.

There are many variables in determining square footage for 100% leather. Since it is an all-natural product, it mostly depends on the size of the animal.  An average cow hide renders approximately 26 square feet. Often, there is a lot of waste because of the odd shaped hides. 100% real leather stretches when applied to a panel, and if not applied correctly, it can puddle and stretch overtime. dECOLeather™ veneer will not stretch and can be cut and applied to fit exact panel sizes.

Faux leather can be ordered by the yard, so waste is not a big concern. Wrapping a panel surface, however, is still a challenge. Like 100% leather, faux leather is difficult to pull and stretch across a hard surface. Over the life of the installation, this can lead to sagging and pooling if done incorrectly.

2.  More durable and resilient

Multiple layers of water-based protective coating are applied to the dECOLeather™ surface. This makes it a highly cleanable surface while maintaining the look and feel of the real leather. This recycled leather veneer is designed for both light duty horizontal and many vertical applications. The durability comes from the density of the recycled sheet, resilience of the added latex rubber, and the multiple layers of protective coating combined.

- There are many variations and grades of 100% leather. Even the best 100% leather is often not water and stain resistant. Third party stain resistant finishes are offered but they can change the feel and the appearance of the leather. These finishes also usually need to be reapplied since they wear over time.

Like 100% leather, the grades and durability of faux leather vary greatly. The soft, pliable surface of faux leather cannot be well-protected in any high traffic area.

3. Suitable for light duty horizontal applications

The water-based protective coating makes dECOLeather™ ideal for light use horizontal surfaces. It keeps stains from penetrating the surface, and blemishes like water rings are no longer a concern.

Without extra coatings, 100% leather is not ideal for horizontal applications.  The soft surface is easy to mar with water. Other food and beverages can also easily tarnish the surface.

- Typically not recommended for horizontal surfaces, vinyl and polyurethanes can easily crack and split.

4. Sustainable, renewable materials

- dECOLeather™ recycled leather veneer is made from 70% pulverized leather fibers recycled from shoe and carseat manufacturers, and leather tanneries. The natural rubber is also rapidly renewable. Since dECOLeather™ recycled leather veneer is comprised of a large percentage of real leather, it inherits the same soothing leather aroma and enticing feel of leather.

100% leather, while renewable has a significant amount of waste per hide. This drives up the cost, and limits the usability.

Many faux leathers are made from vinyl and polyurethane.   While they closely imitate the look of real leather, the authentic smell and soft leather touch cannot be duplicated.

There are many differences between dECOLeather™ recycled leather veneer and 100% real leather and faux leather. The above factors, as well as price and availability will ultimately help guide every designer to the perfect solution.

Monday, 27 February 2017 20:43

AUSTIN - Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces will acquire Roseburg Forest Products' manufacturing plant in Oxford, Mississippi. The facility, which manufactures Thermally Fused Melamine (TFL) Panels, will become an integral part of Wilsonart’s Coordinated Surfaces program in North America.

"The Oxford facility is a logical extension of Wilsonart’s state-of-the-art manufacturing operations in North America, and will provide our customers greater access to the best-matched TFL Panels that are part of Wilsonart’s Coordinated Surfaces program,” said Ron Ubertini, Wilsonart vice president, product management. “Our customers expect a range of decorative surfaces that offer beautiful design and performance according to a project’s needs. Expanding our manufacturing footprint enables us to improve service and meet the growing demand for this product.”

In 2014, Wilsonart launched the Coordinated Surfaces program, a suite of best-matched surfacing options including high pressure laminate, TFL panels and edgebanding featuring Wilsonart designs and textured finishes. “Specifiers asked for a program that ensures their design vision will carry through the projects they are working on with flexibility to match performance and budget requirements,” says Ubertini. “That’s what Coordinated Surfaces is all about.”

The transaction closed in February 2017.

About Roseburg Forest Products

Established in 1936, Roseburg Forest Products is a closely held private company. With 630,000 acres of timberland in Oregon and California, they operate facilities in Oregon, California, Montana, Louisiana and Mississippi. Roseburg manufactures lumber, softwood and hardwood plywood, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, thermally-fused laminates, and engineered wood products. The company’s products are shipped throughout North America.

About Wilsonart

Wilsonart, a world leading engineered surfaces company, is driven by a mission to create surfaces people love, with service you can count on, delivered by people who care. The company manufactures and distributes High Pressure Laminate, Quartz, Solid Surface, Coordinated TFL Panels and Edgebanding and other engineered surface options for use in furniture, office and retail space, countertops, worktops and other applications. Operating under the Wilsonart®, Resopal®, Polyrey®, Arborite®, Lamin-Art®, Ralph Wilson®, Bushboard®, and Durcon® brands, the company continuously redefines decorative surfaces through improved performance and aesthetics.


Tuesday, 21 February 2017 14:22

Olivia Clothier

Automation is no longer an idea of the future. Manufacturing technologies have gone robotic with computers and automation coming together to control machinery with very little input from human operators. It is Industry 4.0, or the “smart factory”.

Nine different technologies converge to form Industry 4.0: advanced robotics, big data and analytics, cloud computing, the industrial internet, horizontal and vertical system integration, simulation, augmented reality, additive manufacturing, and cybersecurity. After the implementation happens, manufacturers supply chain production flow becomes integrated, automated, and optimized to further synthesize both internal and external communications.

To be considered as an Industry 4.0 factory or system, the following must be present:

- Interoperability: machines, devices, sensors and people that connect and communicate with one another.

- Information transparency: the systems create a virtual copy of the physical world through sensor data in order to contextualize information.

- Technical assistance: both the ability of the systems to support humans in making decisions and solving problems and the ability to assist humans with tasks that are too difficult or unsafe for humans.

- Decentralized decision-making: the ability of cyber-physical systems to make simple decisions on their own and become as autonomous as possible.

The effects of Industry 4.0 will change the make-up of the workforce. There is likely to be an increased demand for data managers and scientists, software developers, and analytics experts, rather than the skills from industrial workers in manufacturing today. Manufacturers will also need to keep up with the higher demand by creating new jobs.

Adopting Industry 4.0 will give manufacturers a competitive edge in bringing their products to market faster, reducing their cost bases, and building new revenue streams. The new technologies are revolutionizing manufacturing as more companies across the globe are embracing the full potential. 

Friday, 16 December 2016 19:16
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