Modernistic design and contemporary living standards are a match for each other and this is never truer than in today’s changing consumer generation. Especially noticeable is the change in furniture design and the modern materials that make stylistic design and construction changes possible and practical. Although traditional wood based materials remain as a core product, the use of modern composite materials has advanced significantly. This is especially true of the variations and modern equivalents of conventional fibre based panel materials, which will be discussed during in the AWA International Fiber/Wood-Based Panels Conference 2015, in Chicago in November.
All industry products and their manufacture and conversion, pass through periods of change during the traditional Life-Cycle Curve. Controlling factors embrace: Raw materials availability, (supply & demand), Cost-effective manufacture, Business sustainability and Product development/innovation. Such changes are also driving a growing need for ‘hands-on’ skills, which is now being addressed in a major way in the mature economy countries.
Interestingly, current moves to improve conventional and hybrid fiber panel materials, include what at first sight appear to be strange and devious routes. Examples include the use of potatoes & mushrooms to enhance fibre adhesion and assist in fibre distribution and post forming. There is also a commercial development to produce ultra-light-weight panel materials for use in cars as an alternative to metal. This is also true of commercial materials development for use by the furniture industry. Speakers at the conference include Chris Watt, Global Wood Purchasing, Ashley Furniture Industries, the biggest company in its field in the USA; along with Alicia Crawford, Materials Chemistry Specialist, at the highly innovative Steelcase Group. Delegates in all sections of the panels industry, will be appraised of consumers changing likes and dislikes regarding furniture, which is the largest single end-user segment of MDF/PB.
Product development on its own however is not sufficient and the need for greater management awareness of what is taking place, where and why? Is crucial for tomorrow’s business success in a fast changing world. To meet such awareness, the AWA ‘International Fiber/wood-Based Panels Conference 2015’ (November 11-12, 2015 - Chicago, IL, USA) has been specifically structured to compare ‘like with unlike’ in tomorrow’s panel-industry commercial world.
Speakers will span the divide between the ‘primary and secondary customer base’ to the final end-user/distributor. Ashley Furniture, and Steelcase Group presenters will provide a perspective on why management needs to look further along the product/market life cycle to gain extra insight on how to protect today’s products from tomorrow’s obsolescence.
Doyen speakers have been invited from peer group companies operating in the world of: Finance, Consultancy, Manufacturing, Conversion, Product Development, Business and Trade. They will rank the essential means of recognizing, analyzing and accommodating leverage exercised by ‘cause and effect’ on sustainable business, imposed by upstream and downstream movement driven by a host of commercial, environmental, government controls and consumer desires that apply throughout the wide-spread global regions.
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