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MICA (P) No: 138/05/2017 • ISSN: 0219-5704 • KDN: PPS 1453/11/2012(022879) • www.panelsfurnitureasia.

com • MARCH/APRIL 2018


VISIT US AT
CONTENTS

44
18 36

4 EDITOR’S NOTE: The way we live now MATERIALS


44 Red oak: Still America’s
PANEL MANUFACTURING best-kept secret
18 25 years in the business 48 Hardwood Market Report
22 Russia’s OSB production to triple to 50 timura: Thermally modified and
3.9 million cbm by 2020 pressed wood

FURNITURE MANUFACTURING STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS


30 Downsizing: Space-saving furniture for 52 American white oak glulam for Lord’s Cricket Ground
modern living
56 SHOW PREVIEWS
34 Star chaser: A designer chases dreams in SEA
62 SHOW REVIEWS
IN PERSON
36 Let wood be wood COLUMNISTS
64 Wood Clinic
MARKET REPORT
40 The unexpected surge 66 The Malaysian MDF Manufacturers Association Newsletter
42 American hardwood lumber exports to Asia
surge 17% in 2017 70 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
72 ADVERTISERS INDEX

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


4

Singapore MICA (P) No. 138/05/2017

panelsfurnitureasia.com
Editor | Lee Zhuomin
zhuominlee@pabloasia.com

Assistant Editor | Pang Yanrong


yanrong@pabloasia.com

Assistant Editor | Sarah Si


sarahsi@pabloasia.com

Contributing Editor (Surface & Design)


Lee Zhuomin | Editor Kenn Busch | kenn@kennbusch.com

Deputy Executive Editor


(Chinese Edition) | Wendy Wei
ONCE upon a time, people made—and bought—

THE
pabloshanghai@163.net
furniture purely for practical reasons. A desk to work Graphic Designer | Edwin De Souza
at, a bed for rest. Fast forward to 2018 today, it is edwin@pabloasia.com
clear we have now moved on to buying things that

WAY satisfy some area of psychological or emotional need. Admin & Circulation Manager | Shu Ai Ling
If you live in Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo, you circulation@pabloasia.com
would know how expensive it is to afford a shoebox
General Manager,
in the sky. Most apartments are tiny! Still, being
Pablo Beijing & Shanghai | Ellen Gao

WE proud home owners, we want to furnish it with nice


things because it is uplifting, inspiring and makes us
feel, well, at home. Some companies, like Ewins, are
offering multi-purpose, space-saving furniture to help
pablobeijing@163.com

Associate Publisher | Pamela Buckley


pamela@pabloasia.com

LIVE home owners cope with the urban squeeze (p. 30).
In the past, furniture was mostly the work of a
wood craftsman. In fact, almost everything—from
chicken coops to cabinets—was made of wood,
Publisher | William Pang
williampang@pabloasia.com

NOW Malaysian architect Azman Md Nor recalls. He grew


up in a traditional Malay kampong, which informed
and inspired many projects in the later part of his
career (p. 36).
Panels & Furniture Asia is a member of

It may also surprise you that a well-known figure in the panels industry spent a good
amount of time in Southeast Asia when he was a boy. Henning Gloede, Managing Director
of Siempelkamp Singapore, grew up in Jakarta. By the time he went back to Europe for
further studies, his Bahasa was perfect. On p. 18, he shares his life’s work and wisdom on
the current and future state of Southeast Asia’s wood-based panel industry.
Trading and manufacturing activity in Southeast Asia continues to climb. Just when you 3 Ang Mo Kio | Street 62 | #01-23 | Link@AMK
thought Vietnam’s potential had peaked, the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association Singapore 569139
of HCMC announced that the country’s wood products export turnover is expected to
Tel: (65) 6266 5512
jump 13 per cent to US$9 billion by the end of this year (p. 56).
E-mail: info@pabloasia.com
Vietnam’s demand for American hardwoods rose 18 per cent to 444,862m3 in 2017, Company Registration No: 200001473N
according to the American Hardwood Export Council (p. 42). It is now the second largest All rights reserved. Views of writers do not necessarily reflect the views of
market after China and the top market in Southeast Asia. Overall, 2017 business was good the Publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form
or by any means, without prior permission in writing from the Publisher
for the American hardwood industry. and copyright owner. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of
the information in this publication, the Publisher accepts no liability for
2018 has just begun, but with these expectations, it looks like it could be another damages caused by misinterpretation of information, expressed or implied,
within the pages of the magazine. All advertisements are accepted on the
good year. understanding that the Advertiser is authorised to publish the contents of
the advertisements, and in this respect, the Advertiser shall indemnify the
Publisher against all claims or suits for libel, violation of right of privacy and
copyright infringements. Panels & Furniture Asia is a controlled-circulation
bi-monthly magazine. It is mailed free-of-charge to readers who meet a set of
criteria. Paid subscription is available to those who do not fit our terms of control.
Please refer to subscription form provided in the publication for more details.
Printed by Times Printers

LET'S CONNECT!

@panelsfurnitureasia
Panels & Furniture Asia
is the official publication of
Malaysian MDF Manufacturers Association

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


6 NEWS

D Y N A M I C C H A N G E S I N A U S T R A L I A’ S P B
SECTOR—IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA?
By Mihai Daian, Margules Groome

AUSTRALIA’S wood-based panel sector Other major announcements some plants will alter the Australian PB
has continued on its dynamic changes in 2017 include Thai manufacturer sector structure and market dynamics.
that began in 2016. First, Borg Panels MetroPly’s acquisition of Alphine MDF With an average demand growth
announced its intention to invest in from Sumitomo Corporation, as well as of 1.9 per cent for the next 2 – 3 years,
new particleboard (PB) capacity in Borg Panels’ intention to acquire CHH’s incremental production capacity planned
Oberon, New South Wales; OneFortyOne PB plants in Mt. Gambier and Oberon. to come online in 2018 – 2019, assuming
Plantations unveiled plans to establish The PB market outlook remains both investments proceed, will create a
new PB capacity in the Green Triangle positive. However, the newly-planned 20 – 30 per cent production surplus (see
region. capacities and change in ownership for Fig. 1). Consequently, local producers will
have to find new export markets. This
will achieve the right balance between
product specifications versus production
cost in order to be regionally competitive.
The above scenario does not take
potential capacity consolidation or
rationalisation into account. The latter
may occur if Borg Panels’ proposed
acquisition of CHH’s Mt. Gambier and
Oberon facilities materialises.
How the current players will
respond to change, and how new
market entrants will compete against
its more established regional counterparts
remains to be seen. We may see a
“survival-of-the-fittest” situation or
perhaps a continuation of the status
quo. ℗
Fig. 1: Australian domestic PB market dynamics

Product
Highlight ELECTRONIC WOOD SYSTEMS ROLLS OUT NEW
INTEGRATED X-RAY SYSTEMS FOR PANEL PRODUCTION
ELECTRONIC WOOD SYSTEMS EWS systems are a key factor for Industry 4.0 speed flying measuring heads and
from Germany offers a complete range in panel production. - Intelligent foreign body detection
of quality inspection systems featuring Process control devices must take across the board by self-learning
high precision, system integration and into account environmental, material and algorithm.
low maintenance. process conditions. The plant of the future will be fully-
The measuring tasks in panel EWS has developed individual X-ray automated, with minimal operator
production are versatile and challenging, scanners suited to particular tasks in panel interaction.
and reliable inline measuring and control production. MultiEnergy Technology – a Hence EWS’ X-ray measuring systems
core feature of the latest EWS X-ray are self-adjusting, based on recipe
devices – enables variable measuring information, to provide consistently
parameters. high measuring precision over a wide
Electronic Wood Systems’ new production range.
EcoScan NEO for mat inspection in The new systems have been proven
the forming line was developed in already. They have been installed in OSB
cooperation with Siempelkamp and and particleboard lines in Germany and
offers one system with independent X-ray the USA. Because the new system attracts
devices for individual tasks. attention in the market, Siempelkamp
These comprise: recently ordered additional systems for
- High-precision area weight integration into their new production
measurement by self-adjusting high- lines to keep them up-to-date. ℗
Mass measurement and
foreign body detection
located after forming and
March
before the /hot
April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA
press.
NEWS 7

RUSHIL DECOR ORDERS COMPLETE MDF


PLANT FROM SIEMPELKAMP
I N D I A N wo o d - b a s e d m ate r i a l s of up to 20 per cent.
manufacturer Rushil Décor has The new plant will expand Rushil
commissioned Siempelkamp to build Décor’s production capacities beyond
an MDF plant in Atchutapuram, Andhra its current 3.5 million cbm. It will
Pradesh province, India. produce MDF from eucalyptus grown
The order includes the wood and in plantations and from over mature
fibre preparation system, the resin mango trees.
blending and application system, the Rushil Decor Limited, founded in
fibre dryer and sifter, the forming line, an Gujarat in 1993, is one of the largest
8ft x 28.8m ContiRoll press, the cooling Indian manufacturers of wood-based
and stacking line, the intermediate panels. Under the brand names
storage, the sanding line, and the cut-to- VIR Laminates, VIR MDF and Signor
size line. The equipment will be partially Decorative Laminates, Rushil Décor
supplied by Siempelkamp’s production offers high quality products primarily
locations in Qingdao and Wuxi. to the Indian market. It also exports to
The press line will be equipped with 36 countries.
the mat preheater ContiBooster. By Delivery is scheduled for the last
preheating the mat before it enters the quarter of 2018 and start-up, in the Representatives from Siempelkamp and Rushil Décor
press it can be heated quicker inside the fourth quarter of 2019. ℗
ContiRoll press resulting in productivity

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


8 NEWS

'2018 WILL BE ONE OF THE BUSIEST’: DIEFFENBACHER


ONLY a few months into the year, continuous press in Asia. The 56-metre-
Dieffenbacher says it anticipates 2018 to long CPS is designed to produce 1,400m³
be one of its busiest and most significant of high-quality MDF per day.
years, based on the completion of a few This year also marks the first
major projects. continuous press supplied to North
In Grayling, Michigan, USA, Arauco Africa. Dieffenbacher’s CPS+ will be part
will start production on the largest of a complete MDF plant ordered by
particleboard press in North America, BIGSTAR subsidiary Panneaux d‘Algérie
and one of the largest in the world. At for its site in El Tarf, Algeria.
10 feet wide and 52.5 metres long, the Italian wood-based panel producer
CPS+ continuous press will be at the Fantoni would also have concluded a
centre of the plant. full year of operations on its 65-metre-
Roseburg will also begin assembling long CPS—the longest continuous press
its new LVL plant in Chester, South Dieffenbacher has ever built. Fantoni
Carolina, USA. With a daily output of commissioned its new MDF plant in
800m³, the CPS will be the world's Osoppo in May 2017.
largest continuous LVL press in terms of Dieffenbacher has also seen success
production capacity, while the upstream in the form of 14 new orders for wood-
600 kW Dieffenbacher Microwave will based panel plants and numerous
be one of the most powerful preheating modernisation projects in the past year.
systems of its type in LVL production. Adding to this, five plants with the CPS+
Greenply’s 56-metre-long CPS is currently the longest continuous
press in Asia
In Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India, are already operating in three shifts. ℗
Greenply will commission the longest

ROBUST SALES IN 4Q/2017 WILL LEAD TO


PROMISING 2018: ACIMALL
PRELIMINARY figures from Acimall, 4Q/2017 RESULTS In the past few years, Italy’s wood
the association which represents Italy’s The industry closed 4Q/2017 with a and furniture industry experienced
woodworking machinery manufacturers, 36.8 per cent order increase a tough season, which saw cuts in
suggest that 2017 was a good year for compared to the same quarter in 2016. investments.
the industry. (Growth rate during the July-August Corbetta added that upgrading
Production value reached EUR2.29 term was 42.9 per cent higher compared machinery will enable factories to
billion, up 11.6 per cent on the previous to the same period of the previous leverage on technology and enterprise
year while exports topped EUR1.6 year.) management systems to regain their
billion, a 7.1 per cent increase compared Robust sales were mostly driven competitive advantage.
to 2016. by increased orders from abroad. Acimall members’ order books have
The top 10 export markets include The figures were up by 35.2 per cent mostly been filled up to 3.6 months
the United States at number one, which (51.5 per cent in Q3/2017). Demand (versus 3.4 in the previous quarter),
accounted for EUR165.5 million of total from the Italian market achieved the association noted—an indication of
sales. Germany, Poland and France 49.5 per cent growth over the how 2018 will begin following a positive
follow. October-December 2016 period. Q4/2017.
Imports also rose 10 per cent (It was just 19.7 per cent in the second Prices as of January 1 show
year-on-year to EUR199 million while quarter.) substantial stability, with a 1.1 per cent
domestic market growth continued “Italian users are clearly going increase, the same trend recorded
on the back of government initiatives, through a period of greater confidence during the July-September period.
which drove investment up in the recent which, combined with state incentives, Most association members surveyed
years. is generating strong demand, exceeding said employment will remain more or
Domestic buyers spent a total of even the most optimistic expectations,” less the same. ℗
EUR894 million in 2017 compared said Dario Corbetta, Acimall director.
to EUR743 million in 2016. This year, “Such results are not just satisfactory
domestic sales could cross the EUR1 for technology vendors, they also
billion mark, a new record since 2001’s anticipate increasing competition within
EUR900 million. the system.”

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


10 NEWS

VIETNAM’S FORESTRY PRODUCTS TRADE


CONTINUE ON GROWTH TRAJECTORY,
TO REACH US$9 BN IN 2018
VIETNAM’S wood and wood products The country is the fifth largest Minister of Agriculture and Rural
industry will remain strong this year with furniture exporter in the world, claiming Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong also
export turnover expected to hit US$9 a global market share of six per cent. It hailed the sector’s achievements at an
billion, a 13 per cent increase, according is the largest exporter in Southeast Asia event honouring export firms for their
to the Handicraft and Wood Industry and ranks second in Asia, behind China. business achievements. Wood and
Association of HCMC (HAWA). Much of this furniture goes to the wood-based products rank sixth in the
The industry has been on a growth U.S., which accounted for 39 per cent of list of the country’s largest export items.
trajectory in recent years, achieving an Vietnam’s total export volume in 2017. However, to achieve the export
annual average growth rate of 12.9 per Other major importing countries are target this year, firms must invest
cent in the last seven years. It is forecast Japan, the EU, China and South Korea. more in technology and business
to accelerate in the next three years, said “[The U.S.] will continue to be the management to raise productivity and
HAWA Chairman Nguyen Quoc Khanh. most promising market this year thanks meet consumers’ demand for quality
Last year, the industry posted to its GDP growth,” Huynh Van Hanh, and design. They should also source
export earnings of US$8 billion, up from standing deputy chairman of HAWA, said. timber from a variety of suppliers to
US$7.3 billion in 2016 and exceeding Furthermore, with a population mitigate the risk of high prices and avoid
the US$7.5 billion target set by the of over 90 million and a booming real buying from dubious sources.
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural estate sector, the domestic market For instance, companies can consider
Development. The unprecedented target will also demand furniture, offering enterprise resource planning (ERP)
was expected to be met only in 2020, further opportunities for growth, Hanh solutions to optimise their resources and
Khanh added. added. improve their efficiency, Phi Anh Tuan,
deputy chairman of the HCMC Computer
Association and CEO of PAT Consulting,
said at a Business Automation seminar
organised by HAWA.
ERP allows managers to access data
at their fingertips, expediting planning,
productivity and production, and
ultimately, competitiveness.
If they streamline their management,
Vietnamese businesses can save up
to 76 per cent of administrative costs,
according to Tuan.
“The market is good but competition
is fierce. Enterprises have to invest
in management systems and specific
machinery to manage orders,” Nguyen
Chanh Phuong, director of Danh Moc
Co Ltd, said.
With global demand for furniture
rising on the back of a recovering
economy, there is plenty of room for
Vietnamese firms to increase their
market share.
Phuong added, “To capture this
potential, Vietnamese manufacturers
must also seek new markets and exploit
opportunities in niche products.” ℗

Source: Edited from VN News

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


NEWS 11

PINE – THE MATERIAL OF


THE FUTURE?
PINE appears to be the material of the is also an inspiring wood species to use
future. when creating modern environments,
It is a species that can be expressed plus it ages beautifully,” Christian
in many ways thanks to modern surface Halleröd said.
treatments and new technology. Pine is versatile and has a surface
To demonstrate the possibilities, easy to treat. It can be sanded and
Swedish Wood partnered with Swedish brushed to create different textures,
design studio Halleroed for a showcase stained or painted. They can lend a warm
at the Trend Exhibition at the Stockholm and modern feel to interiors. The latest
Furniture & Light Fair from February technology and new surface treatments
6 – 10. make Swedish pine paneling ideal for
The Exhibition explores the themes creating interiors with a wide array of Swedish pine can be treated in different ways, as demonstrated at
of real, fake and craftsmanship. Pine logs looks and styles. the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair in February.
were used to represent real materials, “The fact that Christian Halleröd’s
but they also symbolised the process of design team chose pine in the Trend
producing future materials for interior Exhibition proves what a solid place interior design,” commented Charlotte
design. this material has, not just in furniture Dedye Apelgren, director of Interior and
“It seemed obvious for us to have production but more widely, in modern Design at Swedish Wood.
pine in the Trend Exhibition. Wood is interiors. The wooden wall panels that Swedish pine comes from the well-
a material we always like to use when Materialbiblioteket has put on display managed forests of Sweden, where more
creating our furniture and interiors. Pine are also fascinating products for future trees are grown than harvested. ℗

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


12 NEWS

U.S. SOUTHERN PINE LUMBER EXPORTS


REACH RECORD US$312 MN IN 2017
EXPORTS of Southern pine lumber Exports have jumped sharply
reached a record US$312 million in 2017. in regions targeted by the SPC ’s
Of this volume, exports of pressure- international market development
treated lumber also hit an all-time high efforts.
of US$175 million, a 28 per cent increase Record sales were achieved in China
from the previous year, according to the and emerging markets in Southeast Asia,
Southern Forest Products Association. Central America and South America. ℗
“Rising demand for Southern pine
lumber is undeniably linked to the
industry’s efforts to introduce this
species to buyers worldwide,” said
Jerry Hingle, Southern Pine Council’s
international consultant.

HEAVY INDUSTRIES TO PAY FOR WASTE


DISCHARGE UNDER CHINA’S NEW
ENVIRONMENT LAW
By Lydia Chen, Canada Wood

CHINA’S first environment protection China has imposed a “pollutant


Stock image by tax law kicked in on January 1 this year, discharge fee” since 1979. However,
veeterzy on Unsplash replacing a pollutant discharge fee loopholes in the system have seen
system which, for decades, had been in companies evading taxes, especially
place but lacked teeth. the bigger ones that contribute to the
Under the new law, companies will local economy. Now any tax reduction
have to pay levies for waste discharged or exemption request must undergo
into the environment—such as sulphur strict approval procedures and be
dioxide and sewage. They will also be documented.
taxed for noise pollution. Tackling pollution was listed as one
The tax rates range from 1.2 – 12 of “three tough battles” China aims to
yuan per unit of atmospheric pollution; win in the next three years, according to
1.4 – 14 yuan per unit of water pollution; the Central Economic Work Conference
five yuan per tonne of coal waste; and that concluded in December.
1,000 yuan per tonne of hazardous “The launch of the environmental
waste. They are determined based on tax is more serious than the pollutant
each company’s operations. For example, discharge fee system and marks
a furniture manufacturer that earns China’s first real effort to use financial
50 million yuan per year may report mechanisms to curb pollution,” Liang
an overall tax rate of 300,000 – Yinlei, a partner at Ernst & Young
700,000 yuan, or up to a two per Greater China, said in an interview with
cent increase on the factory price of Jiefang Daily. “Some manufacturers
its products, according to industry may buy more environmentally-friendly
analysts. equipment to reduce its sewage waste
The new law is intended to discourage in order to pay less tax.”
heavy-polluting industries, many of Between January and November
which have flocked to the country last year, China investigated over 35,600
to take advantage of low operating cases of environmental violation, a 102
c o s t s a n d w e a k e nv i ro n m e n t a l per cent year-on-year increase from
regulations. 2016. ℗

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


14 NEWS

SOUTH KOREA RAISES GDP FORECAST TO


3%, BUT WOOD DEMAND TO REMAIN LOW AS
FEWER HOUSING STARTS EXPECTED
By Tai Jeong, Canada Wood Korea

- Domestic consumption forecast to rise 0.1 percentage point


- Fewer housing starts and building permits issued in first 11 months of 2017
- Lower lumber demand expected as cooling measures on housing market to
continue into 2018

THE Bank of Korea has raised South Consumer prices grew 1.9 per cent The total floor area of wood building
Korea’s GDP growth forecast for 2018 to in 2017 from a year earlier, marking the permits for the same period in 2017
three per cent on the back of domestic steepest gain in five years since 2012, on increased 5.8 per cent to 1,451,320m2
consumption recovery and robust the back of a strong industrial goods and but that of wood building starts slightly
export growth. financial services sector. decreased 3.8 per cent to 1,198,515m2
With minimum wages raised by 16 Unemployment stood at 3.3 per cent from a year earlier.
per cent to 7,530 Won (US$6.60)—the in December, up 0.1 percentage point from
biggest jump in about two decades— a year earlier. Lumber Shipments
starting this year, consumer prices are B.C. softwood lumber exports to South
expected to rise by 1.7 per cent. Housing Construc on Korea for the first 11 months of 2017
February’s Winter Olympics will Cooling measures on South Korea’s fell 5.7 per cent to 238,184m3 compared
also boost private consumption by 0.1 housing market have seen fewer to 252,651m3 during the same period in
percentage point in the first quarter of starts and building permits, especially in 2016.
this year. the new apartment market in Seoul. This is mainly due to the government’s
The Korean Won fell to a three- Housing starts fell 14.6 per cent efforts in limiting the supply of new homes
year low of 1,061.2 Won against the to 90,497 while the number of units (from August 2016), especially apartments
U.S. Dollar on January 2. Analysts say significantly decreased 23.2 per cent to in Seoul to keep household debt and rising
this will further fall below 1,000 Won 440,382 units in Nov last year. home prices in check.
if the geopolitical risk on the Korean Housing permits during this period However, the export value for the
Peninsula eases. also dropped 10.2 per cent and 13.2 per same period rose a slight 2.8 per cent to
cent respectively to 107,308 and 552,558 US$54.6 million (CAD$68.678 Mn) for the
2017 trade from a year earlier. same period in 2016.
Exports soared to an all-time high of While the overall residential Lumber prices in Canada have trended
US$573.9 billion in 2017, a 16 per cent construction sector is struggling, the upward for almost two years and reached
increase thanks to recovery in the global number of wood building permits issued 13-year highs in July, 2016. On the other
economy. in the 11 months of 2017 increased 1.7 per hand, Nordic lumber prices have been
Trade volume exceeded US$1 cent to 15,841 buildings from a year earlier. depressed in U.S. Dollar terms, resulting
trillion, as imports expanded 17.7 per Wood building starts, however, fell 6.5 per their current price levels to be the lowest
cent to US$478.1 billion. cent to 12,954 buildings during this period. they have been in eight years. ℗

INDONESIA TARGETS FURNITURE EXPORT


REVENUES OF US$3 BILLION FOR 2018
INDONESIA’S furniture and handicraft However, export revenues this year With the help of the government,
exports in 2018 could top US$3 billion, up are unlikely to achieve 2016’s figures companies in the association plan
over 15 per cent on 2017, said Secretary due to problems with productivity and to participate in furniture and craft
General of the Indonesian Furniture and competition from low cost manufacturers exhibitions in Germany, U.S. and China.
Handicraft Association (HIMKI), Abdul in the region. Some foreign companies Still, Sobur is confident that by 2019
Sobur. have also relocated from Java to Vietnam. export earnings will reach US$5 billion. ℗
Bank loans to furniture The industry will need to address
manufacturers reached Rp860 billion raw material supply issues, improve Source: ITTO
(US$63 million) in 2017, up almost productivity and designs in order to
15 per cent, according to Bank Indonesia. achieve sector targets, Sobur said.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


16 NEWS

STEINERT ANNOUNCES SECOND


TECHNOLOGY DAY IN BANGKOK
The second Technology Day on May 17 will focus on surface technology.

THE Steinert PUR line STM-FL 1300 will be on display to


demonstrate the advantages and flexibility of flat lamination
in combination with Steinert’s ADINO® PUR hotmelt adhesive.
It is not only furniture panels that can be laminated with
acrylic sheets and foils. With the right press options, doors and
honeycomb panels can be produced in through-feed with the
water and heat-resistant PUR adhesive.
Besides the lamination line, a Venjakob spray machine will
be on display, as well as various AES CNC machines and the
Houfek sander Buldog B 7 for solid wood and veneer sanding.
There will also be demonstrations of the ADINO® hotmelt range
on various Turanlar edgebanding machines.
Experts from Europe will be around to answer questions
during one-on-one sessions, sharing their knowledge of
the best machines and consumable selections. Expect too,
specialists in the field of laminates, adhesives, edgebanding
material, tools and paint. The Steinert Technical Sales Team
from all of its Southeast Asian offices will also be around to
serve their customers.
The event will close with a social gathering over a
The first Steinert Technology Day on April 28, 2017 traditional Beer-and-BBQ dinner under the stars. ℗

FIREPROOF WOODEN PILLAR COULD


DRIVE THE ADVENT OF MORE WOODEN
HIGH-RISES IN FUTURE
A Japanese construction company are wrapped with yet another layer
has developed a wooden pillar of wood.
capable of withstanding fire for When tested in a furnace, the
three hours without burning down. wooden cover as well as wet plaster
Shelter Co.’s invention will allow kept the interior rectangular pillar
future wooden buildings to be safe. There were no burn marks
larger-scaled, scoring one for high- on it even after being exposed to
rise wood construction. temperatures up to 1,000 degrees
“Japan has a tradition of Celsius for 12 hours.
wooden buildings, such as Shinto Shelter originally patented
shrines and Buddhist temples, their invention in 2009, and
that are unparalleled in the world,” produced wooden products that
Shelter President Kazuyoshi Kimura could be used as pillars, walls or
said in an interview with the Asahi other building components capable
Shimbun. “We would also be able of resisting fire for an hour in 2013,
to pursue urban planning with followed by more products that
wooden buildings even when it could withstand flames for two
comes to modern architecture, hours in 2015.
A rendering of the pillar, where a rectangular
where fire resistance and safety wooden pillar is covered with plasterboards, The company has attained
are required.” which are, in turn, wrapped in yet approval from the Ministry of
The pillar is a three-ply another layer of wood. Land, Infrastructure, Transport and
structure made of plasterboards Image credit: Shelter Co. Tourism to apply the technology
covered with a rectangular wooden in structures reaching over 15
pillar. The plasterboards, in turn, storeys. ℗

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


NEWS 17

WOOD, THE HIGH-


PERFORMANCE
MATERIAL, JUST
LEVELED UP – IT IS
NOW BULLET-PROOF
THE rise of wood’s renown in bridges and buildings is proof of its
strength and durability.
Now, a simple, affordable treatment can convert the humble
lumber into a material stronger than steel, and even some high-
tech titanium alloys, a new research reveals.
Besides scoring one for construction, the improved material
can also be used in bullet-proof armour.
The study, published in the February 7 issue of Nature, reports
the simple two-step process: Wood is first boiled in a solution of
sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3), a chemical
treatment similar to making wood pulp for paper. This partially
removes lignin and hemicellulose (natural polymers that stiffen a
plant’s cell walls)—but it largely leaves the wood’s cellulose intact.
The wood is compressed until its cell walls collapse, then
maintaining that compression as it is gently heated. The pressure
and heat encourage the formation of chemical bonds between
large numbers of hydrogen atoms and neighbouring atoms
in adjacent nanofibres of cellulose, greatly strengthening the
material.
The results show that the wood is three times as dense as the
untreated substance, over 10 times more resistant to being ripped
apart, 50 times more resistant to compression and almost 20 times
as stiff. It is also harder, more scratch-, impact- and moisture-
resistant, yet can still be easily moulded into almost any shape.
Researchers have long tried to enhance wood’s strength,
especially by compressing and “densifying” it but densified wood
tends to weaken and spring back toward its original size and shape,
especially in humidity, says Liangbing Hu, from the University of
Maryland, one of the study’s researchers.
In one experiment, five layers of treated wood stopped
simulated bullets fired into the material, a result which could lead
to low-cost armour.
The new material could also open the door to a new class of
lightweight materials, with the possibility of applying it in vehicle
manufacturing, says Ping Liu, a materials chemist at the University
of California, San Diego, unaffiliated with the Nature study.
Densified wood also does not require expensive adhesives
compared to carbon-fibre composites. It can also be easily
recycled.
However the research team noted that the widespread use
of densified wood will depend on engineers’ ability to scale up
and accelerate the process. (Hu and his team spent several hours
making each slab of densified wood used for testing.)
Still, there is potential for the process to be sped up or used
to make larger components, Hu contends. ℗

Source: Scientific American, Nature

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


18 PANEL MANUFACTURING

Henning Gloede traces his story in the history of Siempelkamp

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


PANEL MANUFACTURING 19

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


20 PANEL MANUFACTURING

" It may surprise you


but enquiries for new
lines are still coming
in today, especially for
par cleboard.

"

Henning Gloede,
Managing Director,
Siempelkamp
Singapore.
PANEL MANUFACTURING 21

A ll things considered, Henning Gloede had a very exciting


life. He is German by birth, but only spent eight of his
53 years in Germany. He grew up in Jakarta in the 1960s
when his family moved there for his father’s job. By the time he
returned to Europe for further studies, his Bahasa was perfect.
“I have great memories of the region, its cultures and
people,” Mr Gloede reflects. “I appreciate that there is always
a way around things. Here, people have positive attitudes, the
glass is always half full.”
He manages 29 staff in both offices and likes them to be
When school was over, the next phase of his life—31 years open and honest with him about problems: “Address it together,
and counting—went to Siempelkamp. He wanted to do a good so we can do something about it, learn and become better!”
apprenticeship with a global company in the hopes that one The business has also evolved to include servicing plants. It
day he could return to Southeast Asia. was one of the reasons the KL office was opened in 2007—to
“I just… like it,” Mr Gloede says of his childhood home. have staff dedicated to spare parts supply and after sales service
“I feel at home here and people are really friendly.” in addition to installation supervision. It is supported by the
At a time when national borders were less porous, global spare parts and logistics centre, which is close to Frankfurt
Siempelkamp already had sales representatives and offices in airport, meaning parts can be delivered in 24 hours.
the U.S., Italy, France, Spain and China. The company was then “Malaysia is a good place for this office because it is
positioning itself as the market leader for wood-based panel strategically located. It has a good pool of skilled engineers that
machinery in Southeast Asia. speak so many different languages. Since the installed base
Mr Gloede eventually got his wish in 1992, moving from the has grown, maintenance needs have also increased… so have
Krefeld headquarters to Singapore to support sales operations. expectations!”
By the time he arrived in September that year, Siempelkamp Siempelkamp also improves existing lines by solving
had delivered its first continuous press to Southeast Asia, to a bottlenecks in production. Some machinery are upgraded with
company called Rimba Particle in Semarang, Indonesia. the latest technology launched at LIGNA 2017, such as the new
The rest, as they say, is history. Mr Gloede would later be EcoDrive system and improved EcoFormer.
integral to Siempelkamp’s growth in the region and be part of
the evolution of the wood-based panel board industry. In April TOMORROW
2001, he was made managing director, a title he holds till today. So what is the plan for tomorrow? “Sell a lot of lines!” Mr Gloede
laughs. “It may surprise you but the number of enquiries for new
YESTERDAY lines is still coming in today, especially for particleboard. A lot of
In the late 1970s when Siempelkamp successfully concluded the finished product goes to China, which lack wood material
the first order to the Philippines and Thailand, it was clear that ever since forest harvesting was severely reduced.”
the market would grow in the next few decades. In April 1979, Some new projects currently underway are FSC Vietnam, a
a Singapore company was incorporated under Germapore brand new MDF and particleboard line for Vanachai, and Green
Machine Manufacturer Private Limited. Siempelkamp held a River, which will feature a 50.4m ContiRoll Generation 9 and
50 per cent stake in this company. With the economic boom hold the record for SEA’s longest continuous press.
of the 1980s, the demand for board products accelerated, A few countries in Southeast Asia have not a single line, yet
leading to the conclusion of four more contracts in the five have ample raw materials to sustain one or two. Mr Gloede
years that followed. expects the first line to pop up in one of these places, especially
By then it was clear that the projected market outlook was as the furniture market shifts from predominantly solid wood
coming to pass. Siempelkamp acquired Germapore in 1982 to wood-based products.
and subsequently incorporated the company as Siempelkamp Over the years, factories have grown larger and more
Singapore in February 1989. sophisticated; presses are longer and capacity, bigger. The big
Southeast Asia had real appeal because of its vast natural manufacturers, he says, will get bigger by acquiring smaller lines.
forests and hevea brasiliensis (or rubberwood) plantations. To maintain their market position, the actual people
Combined, it was home to one of the world’s largest tropical managing these lines must be more skilled. They not only need
timber resources. Utilising rubberwood back then was almost advanced engineering degrees, they also need more training on
unheard of, but Siempelkamp broke through in its pioneering the specifics of the machines.
work on MDF, setting new standards in the industry. As a result, the demands on Siempelkamp as a complete
“The intense R&D work and experience we gained from plant supplier have also increased. “It is a very competitive
the first lines with this raw material secured our front row landscape and survival is dependent on innovation. This market
seat in the board industry here. We have since sold more than force drives us to develop efficient and sophisticated production
45 lines to-date,” Mr Gloede shares. lines in the panel industry.”
Soon, the Siempelkamp ContiRoll came along, setting
another gold standard for continuous board production. EPILOGUE
To-date, 33 ContiRoll presses have been sold in the region. With Southeast Asia set to grow exponentially in the long run,
(This excludes the Kuesters presses Siempelkamp took over work is getting busier. Mr Gloede still spends most of the year—
in 2007.) up to 180 days—on the road visiting clients. The nomadic lifestyle
makes finding the right work-life balance very challenging.
TODAY Yet he credits the ability to manage this well to a very
Today, Mr Gloede continues to head the Singapore and Kuala understanding wife who looks after the family: “[She] has been
Lumpur offices, which mainly oversee sales, acquisitions, a very important part of my professional life over the past
spare parts and service support for Siempelkamp, Metso and 25 years here in Asia.”
Kuesters press lines in ASEAN. It also manages installation 31 years and counting still, Mr Gloede is not done with his
supervision services for all new Siempelkamp lines. story. He has more to write about the future. ℗

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


22 PANEL MANUFACTURING

By Marina Khaibulina and Philip Chebyshev, Lesnaya Industriya Journal

- Oversupply “unlikely”

R ussia will likely see six new of Bashkortostan, Ugra-Plit is still


Oriented Strand Board (OSB) lines as robust housing looking for investors and other means
operating by 2020 which, at their of financing.
full capacity, will triple total output from market and exports will Valery Puchkov, CEO of DOK Kalevala,
1.34 million cbm at present to 3.935 absorb most boards says oversupply is unlikely as not all
million cbm. These six lines are currently - Increased production announced projects will be implemented
in various stages of construction: until 2020. He also has confidence in
One of them is DOK Kalevala’s will reduce dependence the market’s growth as Russia’s wooden
second line, a planned investment on imports house construction and the packaging
worth 3.2 billion rubles. At full capacity sector develop—two main consumers
of 300,000cbm annually, the new line of OSB.
will double the company’s production “The Ministry of Industry and Trade
capacity to 600,000cbm. It will be Kronoshpan Bashkortostan (part of has proposed that 30 per cent of all
delivered by Siempelkamp and scheduled Kronospan) bought over a line from Oris, houses in Russia should be made of
to begin operations at the end of 2018. which previously planned to build an wood. This will help the development
Turkish company Kastamonu OSB and large-format plywood plant in of the market. In addition, exports will
initially planned to commission its the Perm region. Now, Kronoshpan will also continue to grow, balancing out
OSB plant—with an annual capacity of launch this new OSB line in Ufa this year, domestic demand,” he said.
575,000cbm—in 2007 but postponed with an annual capacity of 500, 000cbm.
it to 2018-2019. Ali Kılıç, CEO of the Two other companies that plan LEADING EXPORTERS AND
plant in Russia, is observing the market to start production before 2020 are BUYERS
closely. He plans to relaunch the project SibayPlitProm and Ugra-Plit with In fact, there appears to be a shortage of
in 2018. He said, “This is a strategically annual capacities of 570,000cbm domestic OSB. In 2016, OSB production
important project for us. We will focus and 250,000cbm respectively. While was estimated at 730, 000cbm. Only
on the Russian market but also plan to SibayPlitProm has already finished the large manufacturers could increase
market OSB in other countries too." plant’s design phase in the Republic production then, compared to 2015.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


PANEL MANUFACTURING 23

Company Year estb. Planned investment value Annual capacity Some planned projects were suspended
(in RUB) (in ‘000 cbm) due to the difficult economy while others
Real-Invest Company - 12 Bn 400 stopped production all together.
That year, OSB imports rose 34.6
DOK Kalevala End 2018 3.2 Bn 300 per cent to 595,500cbm. Products
Kastamonu 2018 – 2019 - 575 were mainly from Belarus, which made
up 75.4 per cent of total shipments.
Kronoshpan 2018 - 500
Bashkortostan
China's share climbed from 12 to
(part of Kronospan) 13 per cent to 79,100cbm; German
imports were up five to seven per cent,
SibayPlitProm 2017 - 570 reaching 39,900cbm. On the other hand,
Ugra-Plit - - 250 Romania reduced exports to Russia by
58.5 per cent to 8,100cbm.
Fig. 1: Six new OBS lines and their planned investment value and annual capacity Also, in 2016, Kronospan, through
supplies from the Belarusian plant,
increased OSB sales to Russia by 4.66
per cent to 460,610cbm. Chinese
Company Year estb. Annual capacity (in ‘000 cbm)
company Linyi Consmos increased
Hillman 2012 30 exports to Russia by almost 29.5 times
Novovyatsky Lyzhny Kombinat 2012 100
to 70,800cbm. Glunz AG from Germany
(Novovyatsky Ski Factory) also returned to the Russian market,
selling a total of 36,700cbm
DOK Kalevala 2013 300
In 2016, Moscow region was the
Kronoshpan Yegoryevsk 2014 350 top importer in Russia, with total OSB
(part of Kronospan) sales rising 30.5 per cent to 109,200cbm
in volume terms. The region's share of
OSB Kurgan (SP Nevzorov) 2015 60
total OSB imports increased by four
Taleon Arbor 2017 500 percentage points to 22 per cent. The
(owned by Vnesheconombank)
greatest increase was observed in the
Republic of Crimea: almost 20.5 times, to
Fig. 2: Six main producers of OSB in Russia
75,800cbm; the region's share also grew
by 15 percentage points to 16 per cent.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


24 PANEL MANUFACTURING

May and August. The highest average


price per cubic metre was recorded in
October at $227, mainly due to the end
of the construction season in the Central
Federal District during the period. The
lowest average price was $84 per cubic
metre, in May, due to the May holidays,
affecting sales.
The highest average price recorded
was for Linyi Consmos' OSB at $517 per
cubic metre; Glunz sold boards for $315
per cubic metre; Egger, $213; the Krono
Group, $190; Kronospan, $181. The
lowest import price was on Belarusian
boards at $154 per cubic metre. ℗
Fig. 3: Russian imports of OSB (in ‘000 cbm) Year

PRICES
Average OSB board prices increased
by 5.7 per cent, to 13,365 rubles per
cubic metre in 2016. Throughout the
year, prices climbed gradually until
the end of the third quarter, and then
rapidly declined with a smooth rebound
towards the end of December. Prices
peaked in September 2016—17,905
rubles per cubic metre—due to a highly
active construction market before the
end of the season.
In 2016, the average price for
imported OSB increased by 15.1 per
cent to $179 per cubic metre (2015:
$155). Throughout the year, the price Fig. 4: Main exporters
for imported OSB was growing, although of OSB in 2016
there were sharp price declines in

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


26 PANEL MANUFACTURING
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

Products preferred
all over the world
carry the signature of
Kastamonu Entegre
K astamonu Entegre, a Turkish panel
producer, today, has become
a major manufacturer with 18
production facilities in the country and
abroad since its first particleboard plant in
DOORPAN: OPENING
KASTAMONU ENTEGRE TO
THE WORLD
Doorpan door panels provide a modern
restaurants, cafeteria tables and counters.
They are humidity-proof thanks to a top
protective layer on the surface’s decorative
laminate, and special paper on the bottom
surface. It is also water resistant and can
and elegant look to your living space
1971. It manufactures raw and melamine- while its quality means it can be used for withstand vapours, heat, stains, scratches
coated MDF and particleboard (which many years. The Doorlam range, which and impact. Since it is also easy to clean,
are also fire- and moisture-resistant), are MDF panels coated with decorative it is also the top choice in areas where
laminate flooring, painted panels, honey- paper, come in five different colours. They hygiene plays an important role.
comb decorative panels, glossy panels, as are immediately usable after pressing.
well as worktop and door panels. They Doorlam door panels do not require any STEPPING INTO THE DIGITAL
are exported to the furniture, decoration additional treatment such as polishing or WORLD
and construction sectors in almost 100 painting, saving cost and time. Kastamonu Entegre is also one of the first
different countries. in the world to digitalise all its products.
REFLECTION: BRINGING The “IDS 3D (Interior Design Studio
FLOORPAN: INDISPENSABLE NATURE INTO THE HOME 3D)” mobile application makes choosing
IN CLASSIC AND MODERN The Reflection series was developed flooring, countertop, board and door
INTERIORS for melamine-coated products. It has surfaces convenient anytime, anywhere.
The Floorpan brand laminate flooring five different surface textures (stone, Users can select from numerous
carries wood’s natural texture and beauty geometric, golf, paint and veneer), colours and textures in the 3D chart
to the work and living space. It has an catering to those who want the positive section. The products can be projected on
easy locking system, is silent, static energy and endless patterns of nature in the screen in the desired dimensions. They
electric-proof, easy-to-clean, stain-proof, their living spaces. can be rotated 360 degrees and viewed
scratch-proof, and has heat retention and from multiple angles.
anti-bacterial properties. It also comes PRODUCTS THAT SET THE The mobile app also acts as a virtual
in a wide range of patterns and surface STANDARD showroom where different furniture,
alternatives for different tastes—Stone, The Technotop and Neotop brands surfaces and floors can be explored in
Deluxe, Elit, Natural, Register, Boutique, are used in kitchen and bathroom different combinations, allowing users to
Urban, Classic, Sun and Nova. countertops, as well as offices, envision their dream home. ℗

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


28 PANEL MANUFACTURING

Flash tube dryer

D ieffenbacher’s drum and flash tube dryers are recognised for their efficiency, FLASH TUBE DRYERS
reliability and ability to meet high safety standards. In total, Dieffenbacher Flash tube dryers from Dieffenbacher
(together with former Metso/Sunds and Schenkmann Piel Engineering) has should be the first choice for efficiently
sold 85 drum dryers and 196 flash tube dryers over the last 40 years. drying wood fibres for the production
Energy systems from Dieffenbacher with capacities of up to 120 MW thermal of MDF, HDF and THDF. Dryers with
capacity can use a wide range of biomass fuels to generate hot gas for the dryer, or a dry fibre throughput of more than
produce steam or hot thermal oil for various heat consumers. Together with former 60 t/h have been operating for many
Teaford, Dieffenbacher has sold 36 energy systems around the world. years. In addition to single-stage dryers,
Dieffenbacher also offers two-stage
dryers and single-stage dryers with
air recycling system, offering energy
cost savings of up to 15 per cent and
a significant reduction in the exhaust
gas flow. Additional benefits can be
achieved by adding the EVOjet M and
SGF or Z-sifter to the dryer and energy
system package.

ENERGY SYSTEMS
With their robust design and
low maintenance requirements,
Dieffenbacher energy systems allow
long operation periods without forced
shutdown. This provides high availability
and reliable operation.
The firing system consists of an
air-cooled reciprocating grate using the
coarse biomass fractions of the wood
panel production process (eg: bark,
wood chips, coarse trimmings) as fuel.
The system can be equipped with various
Drum dryer injection nozzles for the combustion
of dust and granulate fractions from
DRUM DRYERS screening, sawing and sanding as well
Dieffenbacher recently sold two drum dryers with 100 t/h mechanical throughput as additional gas burners. Generating
on a dry basis. These drum dryers are the ideal solution for drying wood fibre for hot thermal oil and providing hot gas
particleboard, strands for OSB production, disintegrated seasonal annual crops to the dryer system can be controlled
and other biomass. The dryer internals are designed according to the material’s independently of each other in order
characteristics for high thermal efficiency, low moisture fluctuation and low to meet individual peak load demands.
emissions. Recirculating hot gas from downstream

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


PANEL MANUFACTURING 29

minimises ash carry-over, thus reducing wear of the


dryer cyclones and RTO ceramics.
Integrated into the panel line control infrastructure,
fully automated operation controls minimise the
number of operators, further reducing operating
costs. The interconnected mechanical and process
design reduces interfaces, and the system’s fast and
effective adaptation to changing loads supports plant
efficiency. ℗

Energy system

of the thermal oil heater optimises the


combustion process and operational
flexibility of the energy system.

INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS
The perfect integration and compact
design of the energy system and dryer
help to reduce operating costs and
create additional value for customers—
from the planning phase through the
complete lifecycle. The hot gas cyclone Integrated solutions
connecting the energy system and dryer

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


30 FURNITURE MANUFACTURING

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


FURNITURE MANUFACTURING 31

Cities may be expanding but our living spaces are now a fraction of
what they used to be. Ewins is going big on this trend by going small.

I t is hard to say how the world will look like in 2030. Going by Apparently we can, says Mark Yong, marketing director
current indicators, cities will burgeon alongside the middle of Ewins. “Singapore is used to being small and compact. But
class demographic. Consumption will increase, as will waste what makes us different here is that we are house proud, we
and global temperatures. still want comfort and we like to invite friends over to show
Oxford Economics predicts that 750 cities around the world off,” he says.
will receive an influx of 410 million more people, exerting Ewins offers multi-functional furniture ranging from
further pressure on the urban space crunch. By 2030, an extendable tables to beds that double up as study desks. These
additional 150 million will join the ranks of above 65s with new products, marketed under the Roomier brand, exploit the
demands on dignified living (or dying) and healthcare facilities. tiniest corner and basically free up more areas for lounging.
Governments in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo have They can be designed, customised and installed at one go.
been dealing with these issues for decades, and will need to Arguably, space-saving furniture are not new. Some
address them now, soon. years back, Swedish furniture giant Ikea launched a 100m2
These days, we live fast, but don’t die young. Our ‘apartment home’ at both showrooms in Singapore. Other
apartments are higher, but they don’t accommodate enough. players such as Spaceman, Space-Saving Furniture Systems
Our parents want to enjoy life with their grandchildren but we and HWB also provide similar furniture for increasingly dense
want privacy. How can we have it all? and impermanent living quarters.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


FURNITURE MANUFACTURING 33

Addressing market competition, Mark range of materials such as anti-bacterial, “Basically, small tweaks can solve big
says, “We offer a competitive price range, low formaldehyde panel tops. Where problems in our daily lives,” Mark says.
we can build furniture to fit any room and it used to participate in trade shows, “Overall, you help patients get better, and
we can do it fast. Our components last too. Ewins has now moved into a new era caregivers are less miserable.”
“Being agile is important. I believe this of branding, preferring to target global Mark, who is also the president of the
is something the major retailers can’t do.” design showcases where collaborations Singapore Furniture Industries Council
with trend gurus can take them to new (SFIC), says his company's strategies
GOING BIG, GOING SMALL markets. are just some ways the local furniture
Ewins is 51 years old this year. It is as The team later identified three industry can adopt to remain relevant
old as Singapore and like its home city, mega trends that could also take their in today’s ephemeral tech-inspired
has been reinventing itself to keep up business forward—small apartments, globalised environment.
with modern times. The first generation dignified ageing and smart homes. The “You won’t last very long if you just
owners were mainly distributors of Roomier range was a product of this depend purely on manufacturing as a
hardware—taps, handles, fittings, slides research, targeting shoebox apartment business because the region will always
and so on. Subsequently, the company owners. be cheaper,” he says.
moved on to big-ticket items such as Having received positive reception Collaboration is key, he adds.
furniture because “we are likely to lose from the market, Ewins is now exploring "Working with the right partner can help
our competitive edge if we just stick to solutions for the elderly to live better. you communicate your niche to the right
the distribution business,” Mark says. In fact, the materials developed for audience.” He also advocates travel and
In 2011 Ewins opened a new Roomier can also be applied to hospital learning from others.
showroom in Sin Ming Lane, inviting furnishing. For instance, hypoallergenic, By seeing what is out there, what is
home owners to explore its range of breathable foam pads for bedding and clear too, is that a bed is not just for rest,
custom furniture solutions. Architects seating can help reduce the risk of but a piece of furniture reminiscent of the
and designers are also often invited for infection. They are also lighter, making times we live in now. ℗
product launches and talks. Ewins also it easier for caregivers to change the
worked with designers to develop its own sheets.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


34 FURNITURE MANUFACTURING

E xactly five years ago, Nguyen Hoa


decided he wanted to design furniture
for a living. Today, this goal is realised with him
finding his place at Kim Do Company, a Vietnamese furniture
manufacturer in Ho Chi Minh City.
“When I was a student, I dreamed of going professional with
all the sketches I made on paper,” the 26-year-old recalled. “I loved
wood, materials, colours and chairs so I started teaching myself how
to combine these elements together to make furniture.”
Vietnamese designer Growing up, Nguyen read widely on design history, on how the
Nguyen Hoa realised his minds behind the masterpieces thought and how the hands that made
teenage dream of seeing them worked.
his sketches come to He later went on to study industrial design at Ton Duc Thang
University and dabbled with various styles before settling for three
life but that, he says,
practical characteristics that would inform each piece of art today:
is not enough for him. minimalism, function and commercial viability.
He said, “Designing furniture is considered a new
profession in Vietnam but I believe it will develop rapidly in the
next five years.”
One of his most frustrating projects was building the
Marita rocking chair, a product that took countless
hours of study and conceptualisation. Simple
and functional, the most distinctive feature
of the chair is its intersection of lines,
inspired by Man’s connection with
one another in society. It is
made of wood, a basic
material found in all
his designs.

The Marita rocking


chair is inspired by
Man’s connection with
one another in society.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS
Nguyen also often uses metal, rattan and fabric, as
well as unique materials and contemporary colours
“people
There are many young
like me with the
such as solid surfaces and rusty metal. His boldness
and inspiration stem from the desire to establish a same desire. I hope there
reputation in Vietnam’s budding furniture design
scene.
“As a young designer, I have so much to learn.
So I always set a target for myself and try to improve
will be more support for us. ”
continuously, confront challenges and look for new Furthermore, the modern-day consumer is
ideas,” he reflected. fickle. And they want everything: personalised,
Keeping an open mind and learning new things, trendy, smart home furnishing. Nguyen’s style on
he added, opens up a lot more new opportunities the other hand, is still very much centred on the
for him as well. simplicity and beauty in traditional furniture. He
Yet his biggest challenge is not so much ‘feeling admits that in future he will incorporate technology
small’ or competing with his more established in the final product and handle difficult designs.
peers. Instead, it is figuring out how to connect Nguyen may have just achieved far more
designs with manufacturers, the market and how than he imagined: He was one of the designers
to make customers accept his work. selected for the Design Stars showcase at this year’s
“Designer furniture is not necessarily expensive. International Furniture Fair Singapore.
The value of a product is based on many factors. It “There are many young people like me with
is not just about creativity but also skill and quality. the same desire. I hope there will be more support
Product lines designed for mass manufacturing may for us,” he said.
be new here in Vietnam but it is very affordable,” Having reached the foothills of success, he will
Nguyen said. continue to study, sketch and chase the dream. ℗

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


36 IN PERSON

Malaysian architect Azman Md Nor is a huge fan of wood. He is


quietly championing this material in his country, but the lack of
skilled craftsmen and quality timber, he says, is hindering progress.

The curved wall structure is “one of the most


interesting design elements of the house,
providing structural stability that speaks volumes
of what could be done with timber,” according to
the jury of the Malaysian Wood Awards.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


IN PERSON 37

Azman Md Nor
designs with wood and has his
own practice, Arkitek Azman Zainal.

Wood for window frames


and grilles are common in
tropical homes

T imber is experiencing a renaissance


in Southeast Asia as local architects
return to their roots, drawing
inspiration from the traditional kampong
houses of their youth. Or at least, this is
what Azman Md Nor feels is driving the
timber revolution in the region.
The 55-year-old architect and
part-time lecturer grew up in such an
environment—a kampong (or village
in Malay) in Port Dickson where most
household items such as toys and
furniture were made of wood.
“We used wood to make whatever
we needed, even the chicken coop. It’s
convenient and easy to work with,” Azman’s style can be described as
Azman says. At Deakin University where avant-garde, bold and unique, a “like it
he read architecture, he was inspired or hate it” kind of vibe. He personally
by the late Professor Kevin Borland feels it is humanistic, raw and natural,
who took the class to visit the timber drawing richly from local culture.
houses he designed, further fanning the “Using wood for the interior is like
flames for wood appreciation. However, bringing in all the attributes of the forest
it was only in 2006 that the father of into the hearth. Wood has many health
four began actively pursuing projects benefits,” he says, confirming several
in timber at his own practice, Arkitek studies that a wood-clad interior calms
Azman Zainal. the nerves and reduces stress levels.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


38 IN PERSON

This philosophy is evident in Anjung


Kelana, the home and office he built
for himself. The building brings out
the honesty and raw beauty of timber,
and for that, bagged second prize at
the inaugural Malaysian Wood Awards
last year. According to the jury, the
curved wall structure is “one of the
most interesting design elements of the
house, providing structural stability that
speaks volumes of what could be done
with timber.”
“Let wood be wood,” he says.
Like many of his peers, Azman agrees
that wood is easy to work with: It can be
carved or crafted using light handheld
tools; it generates minimal waste as the
off-cuts, wood chips and sawdust can be
fashioned into other products; damage
can be easily repaired; old timber works
can be reclaimed and recycled for other
purposes.
However, external applications of
wood pose a great challenge in Asia’s
tropical climate. The material must battle
oxidation due to prolonged exposure to
the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In a couple of
years, it will weather into a silvery grey
colour which is not a structural problem
but can be an aesthetic concern for some.
The wooden building in the tropics
must be well-ventilated to preserve the
timber. “Those who appreciate timber
and want to use it are mainly worried
about decay, termites, affordability and
maintenance. But these can be easily
addressed. For example, decay occurs
because of dampness which can be due
to poor detailing, poor ventilation and
maintenance,” Azman advises.
Having a well-lit and airy indoor space
also improves occupants’ well-being,
he adds.

OBSTACLES IN THE WAY


However, there is still a long way to go
before wood becomes a choice material
in design and architecture.
In Malaysia the industry struggles
with labour shortage. Dependence on a
transient population of foreign workers
means few can be trained or retained as
skilled craftsmen. It is also increasingly
Anjung Kelana by Mr Azman. The project bagged second prize at the inaugural Malaysian Wood Awards in 2017.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


IN PERSON 39

difficult to have designs built well due to the lack of


quality timber supply—one of the biggest barriers to
building a timber construction culture.
Azman stresses that timber delivered to the
construction site should be ready, meaning that it
should not be deformed, green or juvenile. Yet over the
years, people have lost confidence in timber because
“we don’t know what kind of quality we are getting
at the construction site. Subjecting it to testing at the
last minute is disruptive to the construction schedule.”
Other obstacles include low awareness and poor
perception of timber’s structural strength—a myth
perpetuated by poor timber quality at the work site.

Most architects want to see their designs come to


fruition but in reality, Azman remarks, this is often
hindered by changes and volatile temperaments
“pulling you in all sorts of directions."
He says, "You have approvals that come in so late
that by then, the project has lost its feasibility.
“Then you also have impatient clients who want
to get the design to the ground even though it is
incomplete. This puts a lot of pressure on us.”
In the past 20 years, government authorities
have also been fond of the design-and-build
approach, estranging the architect and his design
team away from the end user, Azman adds. Clients
sometimes employ project managers, adding an
unnecessary layer to the building procurement
system which makes it increasingly challenging
for the architect to communicate values that the end-
user actually wants or needs.
But at the root of the practice, architecture is
about creative problem solving, Azman says. “We can
organise ourselves so that we have more control of our
intellectual property. I am now looking at a designer- Over time, wood will weather into a silvery grey, which
can be an aesthetic concern for some.
maker approach and seeing where this path leads to.”
Also, if the timber supply chain can provide
quality timber and be backed up by a systematic
delivery system, the design and building sector can be
more confident in coming up with bold, quality and
innovative designs.
Finally, the industry must stop perceiving timber
as a commodity: Drop the consumerist behaviour, stop
and enjoy the material, and experience the design.
This will perhaps give Malaysian timber research
and design its long overdue recognition in the
international arena of wood architecture. ℗

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


40 MARKET REPORT

By Roberta Mutti and Franz Rivoira, ICON - Italian Consulting Pte Ltd

The furniture market is picking up as the world


economy shows signs of recovery.

B y the end of 2017, global GDP


reached 3.5 per cent, with both
developed and developing
economies showing positive signs of
growth. Among the BRIC countries, Brazil
Country
China
United States
India
Market share (%)
29
20
5
China is still the largest furniture
exporter, accounting for 35 per cent of
the global total. Its market share is still
increasing. This is followed by Germany,
Italy, Poland and Vietnam. Together, these
and Russia are emerging from recession; Japan 3 top five exporting countries account
China has had a higher-than-expected UK 3 for 63 per cent of the world's furniture
growth in 2017; India is expected to France 3 exports.
expand over seven per cent until 2020. Canada 2
The outlook is positive for the next APAC AND THE FURNITURE
three years, with emerging countries Italy 2 INDUSTRY
growing at a rate of more than four per These countries account for 75 per cent of the Considering that over half of the world’s
cent. Developed countries however, world’s total furniture consumption. furniture is produced in Asia Pacific, and
will inch up just under two per cent that about 40 per cent of trade takes
on average. Among the high-income place here, the market is of great interest
economies, the U.S. will continue on its THE WORLD’S FURNITURE to major players.
growth trajectory while Europe is likely to MARKET Malaysia and Vietnam are among the
slow down to an average of 2.2 per cent. The global furniture market, valued at world’s top 10 exporters, taking 8th and
Thanks to this positive rebound, US$425 billion in 2017, is expected to 5th place respectively. Both producing
world trade in manufactured goods also jump by 3.5 per cent in 2018. The global countries dominate the low-end and
rose by 4.9 per cent. In 2018 growth is furniture trade in 2017 also increased by wood furniture segment. Vietnam’s leap
expected to remain above four per cent. three per cent compared to 2016. forward is mainly due to lower labour
This year, the international furniture cost compared to neighbouring countries.
trade is expected to rise by about four per Between 2004 and 2010, the number
Country Market share (%) cent, with the main bulk of this growth of furniture manufacturers in China
China 35 concentrated mainly in Asia Pacific. doubled. There are currently about 5,500
Germany 8
Italy 7
Poland 7
Vietnam 6
The top five furniture exporters account for 63
per cent of the world's furniture exports.

Country Market share (%)


United States 28
Germany 10
United Kingdom 6
France 5
Canada 4
The top five furniture importers account for 53
per cent of the world's furniture imports.
Growth forecast for the furniture market in 2018 – 2019. Source: CSIIL.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


MARKET REPORT 41

furniture manufacturers improved consumer


in China, employing about lifestyles and GDP growth
1.2 million people. will support market
In 2016, the growth in the Asia Pacific
production value of region. The furniture
China’s furniture industry market will also depend
was over RMB855 billion on how well the real
(US$124 billion). China estate sector develops.
continues to invest in The expansion of the
this sector. In 2016, an luxury furniture segment
estimated RMB306 billion will also lead to more
(US$48.7 billion) was variety of materials used
The main players in the world furniture market account for
poured into technology 75 per cent of global consumption. Source: CSIIL.
in manufacturing. Wood
to boost output. From currently accounts for
2 0 1 3 , t h e d o m e st i c 24 per cent of total
market began to grow and today, this to 2015, reaching US$53 billion in 2015. production, followed by metal, leather,
market absorbs a huge proportion of locally- (However it later fell to about US$50 plastic and glass.
produced goods. billion in 2016 and 2017.) Asian furniture industries must make an
Wood furniture accounts for 64 per cent effort to develop better quality products,
of total furniture production, followed by THE FUTURE invest in product design, and marketing
metal (19%), bamboo, rattan and plastic. The demand for designer and luxury and communication strategies to serve the
In the past five years, rattan and bamboo products will increase. The luxury consumers of the future. ℗
furnishings have seen an increase of 43 per furniture market will reach US$5.4 billion
cent; wood gained 20 per cent; plastic, 11 by 2020 according to a recent report by This article was first published
per cent; and metal, nine per cent. Overall, ApacMarket.com. on FurnitureAndFurnishing.com.
Chinese exports grew steadily from 2004 Increased disposable income, Reprinted with permission.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


42 MARKET REPORT

Source: American Hardwood Export Council - SEA & Greater China

T he full year of 2017 saw the


largest exports ever on record
for American hardwoods, with
an increase of 17 per cent by value for
lumber over 2016, according to new
20 per cent by volume, bringing China’s
total import to over US$1.5 billion last
year. That means 57 per cent of all
lumber shipped by value was headed
to China.
lumber outside North America, has
continued on its growth trajectory.
Lumber exports were up 22 per cent
by value and 18 per cent by volume in
2017. Shipments of lumber amounted
data from the American Hardwood Worldwide log exports are up three to 444,862m3 with tulipwood (yellow
Export Council (AHEC). That gives the per cent by volume and 18 per cent poplar) registering 27 per cent gain in
American hardwood sawmilling industry by value on the year, but a shift in volume accounting for 258,586m3 or 58
a grand total of US$2.64 billion of lumber consumption has led China to purchase per cent of Vietnam’s import of American
shipments sent all over the world in a larger share of this figure than in hardwood lumber. White oak was the
2017. previous years. Red oak log exports to second species followed by red oak
China’s appetite for American China effectively doubled from 2016 showing its best performance yet – up
hardwoods continues to grow. U.S. to 2017. 22 per cent albeit from a small base.
producers saw a massive 26 per cent Vietnam, now the second largest Both cherry and maple lumber recovered
increase in lumber exports by value and export market for American hardwood some of their previous import levels.

A breakdown of American hardwood species shipped to Southeast Asia in 2017

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


MARKET REPORT 43

SEA Countries Top 3 Lumber Species Import volumes by Malaysia


US$ in million (YoY% change) recovered by 11 per cent with white oak,
walnut and tulipwood most popular.
Yellow Poplar ($81.6 million, 26%); Thailand maintained its consumption
White Oak ($46.1 million, 12%); with white oak and tulipwood also
Vietnam Red Oak ($16.8 million, 35%) leading. Indonesia eased slightly by three
per cent in volume and the Philippines
White Oak ($10.8 million, 28%); grew by 62 per cent but remains a very
Walnut ($4.1 million, 37%); small importer of American hardwood
Malaysia Yellow Poplar ($3.2 million, 31%) lumber. Overall Southeast Asia imported
over US$0.26 billion in value – largely
White Oak ($12.9 million, 14%); attributed to Vietnam. Log exports to
Walnut ($4.2 million, 43%); the region accounted for US$49 million,
Indonesia Red Oak ($1.5 million, 2%) up six per cent.
White Oak ($7.9 million, 14%); John Chan, AHEC’s regional director,
said, “This is a most satisfactory result and
Yellow Poplar ($4.1 million, 4%);
underpins our determination to support
Thailand Ash ($2.8 million, -16%) the markets in China and Southeast Asia
Yellow Poplar ($0.36 million, 252%); with continued promotion. In the case
White Oak ($0.28 million, 35%) of the latter we would like to see an
Philippines Walnut ($0.13 million, -51%) increase in consumption of red oak as
one of the most available hardwoods in
White Oak ($0.18 million, 1%) the USA and highly suitable species for
Red Oak ($0.067 million, -14%); furniture.” ℗
Singapore Ash ($0.051 million, -16%)

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


44 MATERIALS

About 40 per cent


of the U.S. national
hardwood resource
is oak, of which
red oak accounts
for about three
quarters, but it is still
under-utilised.

By Michael Buckley,
Red oak machines
to high precision for World Hardwoods,
furniture Singapore

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


MATERIALS 45

There is much discussion as to why red


oak is named as it is. Some say because
the leaves turn red in the fall, rather
than brown as in white oak. Others
suggest that the wood has a reddish
tinge, although that is often not the
case. Lincoln* describes red oak as
ranging from biscuit coloured to pink.
What is absolutely sure is that its name
has nothing to do with red wine - for
only white oak is suitable for barrel-
making! But American red oak is highly
suitable for a whole range of other
applications, particularly furniture,
cabinets and every type of joinery from
doors to decorative panels. But many
of today’s furniture makers and interior
joinery manufacturers, especially in Asia,
remain unfamiliar with this oak, one of
the most sustainable and available of all
temperate hardwoods.
American red oak is a true Quercus,
mainly Quercus rubra Northern red oak
and Quercus falcata Southern red oak,
but there are many other sub species of
red oak in North America such as Spanish
oak, cherrybark oak and shummard oak.
They all exhibit much the same technical
and working properties but, as with
most U.S. hardwoods, they can vary in
colour and grain from region to region.
The percentage of heartwood in
red oak is relatively large particularly
in northern grown material. Northern
and southern is not differentiated
by merchants. So as usual when
specifying American hardwoods it is
best to research your source, if physical
properties are more important than
Red oak works well for cabinets
visual aesthetics. Most hardwood
importers and distributors are well
versed in their different characteristics.

Red oak represents about 30 per cent of


the total American hardwood standing
timber although the sawn lumber Red oak makes excellent lumber The seed of the American red oak is
imported into Southeast Asia does not but is also particularly easy to slice and resistant to fire and is a pioneer species
reflect this, and hence the new promotion peel for veneer and plywood and is very after others have been destroyed by
of red oak by the American Hardwood readily available from U.S. exporters. fires, often started by lightning. In
Export Council (AHEC). Currently in all The trees grow large and tall giving Pennsylvania, after devastating natural
Southeast Asian countries the import of much better specifications of lengths fires in the early 1900s, it was red oak
red oak falls well below the volumes of than most other types of oak. As a that came back to regenerate the forest
other American species. Nevertheless result it is widely used for doors and naturally. It has been cut continuously
the USA exports around one million cubic panelling where its individual character for widespread use since the European
metres of red oak annually because it is offers decorative options for interiors settlers first arrived 400 years ago and
so suitable for interior uses. designers. yet it increases its growing volume by

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


46 MATERIALS

AMERICAN RED OAK IN A NUTSHELL


Durability
Rated slightly non-resistant to heartwood decay, Physical and mechanical properties
moderately easy to treat with preservatives.
Quercus rubra Quercus falcata
(Northern) (Southern)
Working Properties
Red oak machines well; nailing and screwing is good Specific gravity
although pre-boring is recommended, and it can be (12% MC) 0.63 0.68
stained and polished to a very good finish. It performs
best when dried slowly, reducing the opportunity for Average weight
degrade such as splits and warp. It has a high shrinkage (12% MC) 705 Kg/m3 753 Kg/m3
and can be susceptible to movement in performance Average volumetric
under variable moisture conditions. shrinkage
(Green to 6% MC) 6.6% NA
Main Uses
Construction, furniture, flooring, architectural interiors, Modulus of Rupture 98.599 MPa 75.156 MPa
internal joinery, stairs and mouldings, doors, kitchen Modulus of Elasticity 12,549 MPa 10,274 MPa
cabinets, panelling and coffins. Not suitable for tight
cooperage. Red oak can vary in colour, texture, Compressive
characteristics and properties according to the growing strength
region. It is therefore recommended that users and (parallel to grain) 46.610 MPa 41.991 MPa
specifiers work closely with their suppliers to make sure
Hardness 5738 N 4715 N
the wood they order is suited to their specific needs.

Red oak table


by Matteo Thun
showing characteristic grain

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


MATERIALS 47

sound management and natural regeneration – always a true measure of


sustainability. Interactive maps of all American commercial hardwoods
newly launched show that annual growth exceeds annual harvest and
mortality.
Lincoln* describes American red oak as “weighing around 770 kg/m3
with medium bending properties and very good bending with steam.”
It has “high crushing strength” and is mostly straight grained.
American red oak is classified as non-durable although the
sapwood is permeable and easily treated with preservative, whereas
the heartwood is moderately easy to treat. More recently test projects
have revealed red oak as most suitable for thermal modification – so
TMT red oak is now available for applications such as exterior furniture.
Other properties lead to the harder wood needing pre-boring for nails,
but it machines well and also glues and stains well to a fine finish.
The decorative properties of red oak are derived from its strong grain
patterns and generally warm colour.
Given the sustainability of red oak, specifiers can rest assured that
its use threatens no forests but provides a material with characteristics
that can spell both ‘contemporary’ and ‘heritage’. ℗

Footnotes:
* “World woods in colour” William A. Lincoln ISBN 0 85442 028 2
Michael Buckley at World Hardwoods holds an MPhil for hardwood
research and is a fellow of the Institute of Wood Science in the UK. He
writes widely on hardwood subjects.
Red oak flooring showing typical grain and colour

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


48 MATERIALS
HARDWOOD MARKET REPORT

By Judd Johnson, Hardwood Market Report

D emand for U.S. hardwood grade


lumber increased last year. Much
of the growth was anticipated
based on positive performance by key
indicators leading up to the start of 2017.
The economy, residential construction,
manufacturing sentiment, and consumer
spending are among the measures
commonly used to assess business
direction. Evaluated data include the U.S.,
China, and other international markets
that have influence on U.S. hardwood
demand. U.S. consumption of grade
hardwood lumber increased four per cent
in 2017. U.S. exports of grade hardwood
lumber increased 13 per cent to 4.5 million
M3. China and Vietnam accounted for more
than 2.4 million M3 (54%) and 448,000 M3
(10%) of US exports, respectively.
Consumption of U.S. industrial
hardwood products decreased in 2017
Figure 1: Consumption of U.S. hardwood lumber by major market groups
from 2016, though by Q3, demand had
begun to rebound. Compared to the HMR
Executive® mid-year market analysis (July
2017), U.S. consumption of industrial
hardwood lumber ended last year 295,000
M3 higher than was projected by January
to June data. The timing of the upturn
in demand for industrial products was
not anticipated. The short-term impact
contributed to supply strains. However,
the longer-term effect from improved
industrial markets can help strengthen U.S.
hardwood supplies (see Fig. 1).
The same key performance indicators
used to project 2017 results were still
trending upward at the start of 2018.
When considering this information along
with current market trends, it is reasonable
to expect demand for U.S. hardwood
lumber to increase over last year. That
is the mindset of U.S. hardwood lumber
producers. As such, it is reasonable to
Figure 2: U.S. exports of hardwood logs (in cubic metres) expect U.S. hardwood lumber production
to increase.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


MATERIALS 49
HARDWOOD MARKET REPORT

Notably, U.S. hardwood lumber


suppliers have had the desire to increase
production in each of the previous two years.
However, unforeseen events prohibited
sawmills from following through with their
goals. Inadequate markets for byproducts
were a limiting factor, especially in 2016.
Additionally, weather patterns in both
2016 and 2017 were abnormally wet and
restricted timber harvesting at critical times.
Compounding the problems from poor
logging conditions are increased exports
of hardwood logs (see Fig. 2). As a result,
Eastern U.S. hardwood sawmills were
unable to build log inventories enough to
sustain higher production. In fact, Eastern
U.S. hardwood lumber production has not
fundamentally changed since 2014 (see
Fig. 3). Usually, the opportunity for timber
harvesting to increase in most hardwood
producing areas of the U.S. doesn’t begin
until about the middle of the year. In the Figure 3: Eastern U.S. hardwood sawmill production
meantime, growing demand could strain
U.S. hardwood lumber and log supplies all
the more. ℗

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


50 MATERIALS

Thermally
modified and
pressed, timura’s
products are
more than just
practical
By thermally processing and pressing ecologically
grown native wood, timura Holzmanufaktur offers
wood in the same durability class as tropical wood.

timura’s thermo
R enowned for their philosophy in design and
innovation as much as their commitment to
preserving the world’s tropical forests, timura
Holzmanufaktur GmbH, a wood manufacturer based in
Südharz, Germany, is dedicated to improving the lives of
wood technology
those around them in an ecologically sound way.
Certified by both the Forest Stewardship Council
(FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest
Certification (PEFC) Schemes, one of timura’s most unique
aspects is that they offer modified wood that is as durable
as the endangered and coveted tropical wood – but made
of sustainably sourced German wood.
“The initial idea was to save the tropical rainforests
here in Southeast Asia, which we can do as we have
enough resources in Europe, and especially Germany
where our forests have been sustainable for 300 years and
still growing,” Christian Pongratz, senior sales manager of
timura, explained. “We use ash, spruce, pine and beech
for our products, and do not add chemicals to improve
The wood before being heated, their lifespan.”
compressed and modified
THERMAL TECHNOLOGY
timura uses the vacuum press drying procedure to
press the wood flooring with a force of over 70 tonnes,
improving the heat transfer in the chamber and slightly

"
compressing the wood. Moreover, the vacuum encourages
mura’s modified wood is as the expulsion of volatile accessories while also keeping the
process gentle and precisely controlled.
durable as the endangered and Additionally, the thermal modification ensures that
on top of eliminating internal cracks, thus enhancing its
coveted tropical wood.

"
dimensional stability, timura’s products are homogenous
and each batch can be exactly replicated in terms of their
dryness and quality.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


MATERIALS 51

RESTRICTIONS
As the wood has been heated, compressed and modified, its water content brought down,
and rate of water absorption reduced, it comes with limitations for load-bearing, something
timura has overcome with the use of SenoFix.
“We don’t use screws on our wood, so we use the SenoFix especially in flooring where
there is high traffic,” Pongratz expounded. “SenoFix was specially developed for our thermos
wood.”
However, another disadvantage is that the wood does not come with light-fastness,
with constant exposure to sunlight leading to a greying effect, which can be combated with
maintenance or by applying a protective coating.
“Although the wood does not need to be oiled to extend its lifetime, if it is not maintained,
the wood will just turn slightly grey – much like teak,” Pongratz elaborated. “In essence, it
will take on the appearance of aged wood after about six months, giving it character.” ℗

All images are credited to


timura Holzmanufaktur

“When the wood is pressed and


thermally modified, its expansion and
contraction is also greatly reduced,
and one benefit is that it will not bend
or warp on you,” Pongratz added. “So
there is no need to iron out the wood
every few years.”

BENEFITS
Because the wood has been
compressed, the weight and density
of the wood is not only reduced,
but crack formation tendencies are
lowered as well. The lower density,
in turn, leads to a decreased thermal
conductivity, resulting in improved
insulation as well.
Its water absorption and water-
binding properties also mean that the
durability and lifespan of the wood
flooring is enhanced, thus making it
suitable for all weathers as well as
interior and exterior decking.
“Mould normally grows on the
wood if the moisture is over 20
per cent, but we thermally modify
the wood and bring the moisture
down to around eight to nine per
cent,” Pongratz said. “Because the
moisture is halved in comparison to
'normal' wood, mould cannot grow on
the wood, its durability is also
enhanced.”

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


52 STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS 53

“This large-scale commercial application of white oak glulam


should really open architects’ eyes to this alternative option
for their structural materials portfolio…”

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


54 STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS

A n engineering marvel made of American white oak features


in the redevelopment of the Warner Stand at Lord’s Cricket
Ground in London. The primary structure of the roof is
formed from 11 cantilever glue-laminated (glulam) beams, up to
23 metres long, the first time the species has been employed in
this format on this scale.
Architects Populous wanted to create a building that had the
impression of lightness—hence the canopy comprising fabric
rather than glass, and the 13-metre cantilevered section that
makes it seem to float over the crowd.
“We wanted to capture cricket’s summer character and the
ambience of a local club marquee,” said Philip Johnson, senior
principal and project lead at Populous.
The new four-storey stand has 2,656 seats with improved
sightlines, a new match control suite and better facilities.
Sustainability is also at the forefront of the design thinking, with
solar thermal and photovoltaic roof panels to generate power. It
replaces a 1950s structure and is part of an ongoing masterplan to
improve visitor experience and boost the international reputation
of Lord’s.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS 55

The American white oak beams were


manufactured by German timber specialist
Hess Timber. Each beam measures 900mm x
350mm at the deepest point. The longest
glulam beam weighs approximately four tonnes and
measures 23.4 metres in length. The AHEC Grown
in Seconds sustainability calculator showed that the
100m3 of American white oak lumber used to fabricate
the beams would take only 160 seconds to be replaced
in the American forest.
“An advantage of American white oak’s stiffness
and uniformity was that we could predict deflection
levels and camber very precisely,” said Markus Golinski,
head of Sales, Hess Timber.
The beams also extend back using the same roof
fabric, but double-skinned with a mid-layer of Aerogel
insulation. “So we have the same translucency, but,
combined with double glazing and renewables,
including ground source heating, it enables the building
to be used for hospitality all year round. Then on
summer match days the wide windows can be thrown
open, creating one space that engages spectators with
the game,” said Johnson.
Lord’s new stand marks another milestone in
Part of the brief was also to have its own visual identity, American hardwoods’ difficult journey to get to this point
while sitting sympathetically alongside Lord’s other buildings. in structural uses, but this project, Venables said, “should
“Lord’s comprises individual stand styles rather than one really open architects’ eyes to this alternative option for their
stadium design; it’s an architectural campus, described as structural materials portfolio at a time when they’re looking
‘pavilions around a village green’, so we made design nods to to build more with wood worldwide.” ℗
the other stands, notably the tent-like fabric roof of the Mound
Stand,” Johnson added.
Project Details
Client : Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
American white oak came on the scene through discussions Location : London, United Kingdom
between Arup and the American Hardwood Export Council,
which also provided technical advice and helped source the Completion : June 2017
timber. Architects : Populous
“The imagination of the architects, the inspiration of the
Engineers : Arup
engineers and the skill and tenacity of the fabricators have
produced a landmark structure, which is a pivotal moment in Engineered wood manufacturer : Hess Timber
the evolution of timber construction. This is also an exciting White oak supplier : Robinson Lumber
moment for us (AHEC), turning our vision of what might be
possible structurally with our hardwoods, into a reality,” said Photography : Jon Cardwell
David Venables, AHEC European Director.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


56 SHOW PREVIEW

- Export turnover to reach US$9Bn


in 2018
- Vietnam’s growth trajectory to

J ust when you thought Vietnam’s impressive export turnover could


rise no further, it is once again set to climb, reaching a whopping
US$9 billion in 2018. Wood and wood-based products will account for
US$8.5-8.7 billion of this figure, according to the Handicraft and Wood Industry
Association of HCMC (HAWA).
continue for the next three years

The country’s claim to fame as the world’s next production powerhouse


has been unprecedented, yet for the past seven years, revenues have been
rising 12.3 per cent annually. In 2017, wood-based products exports jumped
10.2 per cent to US$8 billion, a goal expected only in 2020. The industry is
forecast to continue on this growth trajectory for the next three years, said
HAWA Chairman Nguyen Quoc Khanh.
Today, Vietnam is the fifth largest furniture exporter in the world, claiming
a global market share of six per cent. It ranks second in Asia, behind China, and
is the largest exporter in Southeast Asia.
Its appeal as a manufacturing base lies in lower labour costs compared to
neighbouring countries.
Much of this furniture goes to the U.S., Japan, EU, China and South Korea.
With housing starts on an upward trend on the back of a recovering global
economy, we can expect furniture demand to climb further.
In the first 11 months of 2017, Vietnam was also the second largest importer
of American hardwood logs, lumber and veneer after China, according to the
American Hardwood Export Council.
Given the high growth potential of this market, VIFA Woodmac will provide
you access to more than 1,500 exporting companies in need of new technology
to expand capacity. The show is located in Binh Duong province, Vietnam’s
furniture and wood processing hub. It is near the provinces of Long An and
Dong Nai, and Ho Chi Minh City where 60 per cent of the country’s factories
are located.
You can also expect to reach a majority of Vietnam’s 4,000 over wood
processing and furniture companies at two pre-event technical seminar series
in May and July. Many of these visitors will need new machinery, software and
materials to boost output.
Join us on a journey to explore new business opportunities in the production
powerhouse of the future!

Date: Oct 24 – 27, 2018


Venue: Expo Binh Duong, Binh Duong Province, Vietnam

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


58 SHOW PREVIEW

2018

As one the most interesting events in the international wood


market, Sylva Wood is returning for its fourth edition to
become the one-stop destination for bringing furniture and
flooring manufacturers, as well as traders and importers
together to strategise, and exchange ideas and insights.

T he countdown is on for the annual Sylva Wood. Now in its fourth year, the only specialised wood materials show in Asia,
with no machinery or finished products, has built a solid reputation in the region and set to be even greater.
Once again taking place in June, Sylva Wood remains the ideal place for industry players to meet while leveraging on the
opportunity to tap into the Chinese market.
“We are overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response. Sylva Wood has expanded its footprint over the years, and in this fourth
edition, we are looking at the interplay of big and small companies to bring the best in the industry to visitors,” said William
Pang, director of Shanghai Pablo Exhibition.
The show continues to be endorsed by the American Hardwood Export Council, American Softwoods, Canada
Wood, French Timber and Softwood Export Council. This year, it has also received the support from the Thai
Timber Association, Malaysian Timber Council and National Hardwood Lumber Association.
Visitors can also look out for the Russian Pavilion as it returns again for the second time along
with the Dongguan Veneer Alliance.

Sylva Wood 2018 will take


place in Shanghai from
June 25 to 27

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


SHOW PREVIEW 59

The Russian Pavilion will return again for the second time along with the Dongguan Veneer Alliance

“The show has been improving. It focuses on wood The country’s timber and forest products imports are expected
materials and is very useful for our members. We’ve got to increase by 60 million cubic metres by 2025, and will eventually
a pretty good number of visitors visiting and they are account for 12 to 13 per cent of global timber harvest.
professional timber trade people. The members are very As the only premier platform for the wood materials sector,
happy so I believe this is a quality show that is valuable for visitors and exhibitors can expect opportunities to explore and
us,” said John Chan, AHEC’s regional director. enhance productivity and competitiveness at this dedicated
business-to-business event.
EXPLORING CHINA’S POTENTIAL The world-class show will take place in Shanghai from June
According to RISI, a company specialising in providing 25 to 27 and a full programme of workshops and seminars will
information and data for the global forest products be held over the three days – with more details to be provided in
industry, China’s imports of softwood and hardwood logs the following months.
have jumped by 42 per cent in the last five years, while
imports of lumber soared by 81 per cent.
The country is the world’s largest importer of wood
fibre, and largest exporter of plywood, flooring, wooden
furniture and other related products. While rising labour
costs and other factors have been potential drags on
growth, 2017 still saw record-high imports of logs and
lumber.
In addition, despite the central government’s move
to aggressively reduce financial risk and pollution in the
country, the wood content of China’s primary forest
products imports will increase from an estimated 194
million cubic metres in 2015 to 254 million cubic metres
by 2025, reported RISI.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


60 SHOW PREVIEW

“ We had a very successful time at the show this year.


So many professional visitors came along to find out
more about veneer. We had time to explain some of
its applications and manufacture, which is one of
the better points of this show: since most of them
are industry people, it doesn’t take a lot for them to
understand the product. This show is great for those
who need to shop for a variety of wood products. ”
Guo Yongbing,
General Manager,
Dongguan City International Wood

“ We visit Sylva Wood every year but this is the first


time we have a booth here. The show has grown a lot
since the first edition. Visitor numbers have also gone
up. More importantly, visitors are always professional.
We had a fruitful time meeting old and new customers.
Sylva Wood is already well-established; I think it
is good to continue keeping it cosy and focused. ”
Guo Xianfeng,
Chief Representative in China,
Bingaman Lumber

“ I first joined Sylva Wood in


2016. When I was here last year,
I did not have much expectations.
But after attending the fair in
these two years, my perception
has completely changed. The
show is very specialised and is
professionally done. Every visitor
here is a potential buyer and
is the right target audience for
our company. It also looks like
there are more exhibitors this
year – from Malaysia, France and
Sylva Wood 2018 Russia. With more exhibitors, it
will attract more visitors and
Dates : June 25 - 27
keep them coming back, which
Venue : 99 Xing Yi Road will benefit our company. Sylva
Shanghai 200336 Wood has definitely exceeded
my expectations and I’m really
For more
pleased with the results. I believe
details : www.sylvawoodexpo.com
I will be back again next year. ”
Noah Li,
Director,
Quebec Wood Export Bureau

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


2018 25 – 27 June 2018
4th Edition

by Panels & Furniture Group Shanghai, China


ASIA’S SPECIALISED WOOD MATERIALS
WOOD PRODUCTS TRADE SHOW

ORGANISER CO-ORGANISER ENDORSED BY

Shanghai American Malaysian National


French Hardwood Hardwood
Shanghai Pablo Timber Trade American Softwood Thai Timber Timber Lumber
Exhibition Co., Ltd. Association Timber Export Council Softwoods Export Council Canada Wood Association Council Association

www.sylvawoodexpo.com
62 SHOW REVIEW

A magnificent building material like


timber should not be reduced
to secondary functions and
Malaysian architects as well as structural
engineers need to relook the use of
The Malaysian Timber
Council’s International
or manufactured off-site to improve
productivity and reduce on-site
construction waste. The use of IBS
components with a minimum score of
70 per cent in government projects will
timber in architecture. As the world
moves towards changing building code
Conference on Wood be made mandatory. IBS is also expected
to improve productivity by 2.5 times,”
regulations to accommodate timber Architecture highlights he added.
high-rises, Malaysia should consider In the recent Budget 2018, Malaysia’s
revisiting its building tradition with this why timber is the star prime minister announced various
material. initiatives to strengthen small-and-
This was the message conveyed by
building material of the medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as
the distinguished panel of speakers at 21st century. enhance automation and Bumiputera
the Malaysian Timber Council’s (MTC) entrepreneurship.
International Conference on Wood “Sensational timber structures have
Architecture held Nov 9 in Kuala Lumpur. been developed primarily in European
The panel included world-renowned countries and this is something which

Conference participants (from left): Kevin Hill, PAM President Ezumi Harzani, Norihide Imagawa, Almaz Salma Abdul Rahim, MTC Deputy CEO Richard Yu,
JKR Civil and Structural Engineering Branch Director Ir Muhammad Azman Jamrus, Azman Md Nor, Boris Iskra and Andrew Waugh.

architects and engineers Andrew Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur officiated the we can emulate. Building regulations
Waugh, Norihide Imagawa, Kevin Hill and opening ceremony on behalf of Minister are also being revised, reflecting the
Boris Iskra. Malaysian architects YB Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong. Also successes accomplished in countries
Almaz Salma Abdul Rahim and present was MTC Chief Executive Officer which have constructed tall timber
Azman Md Nor, first and second prize Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Nik. structures. Malaysia should embrace the
winners, respectively, of MTC’s inaugural Players in the construction industry advancements that timber architecture
Malaysian Wood Awards 2017, spoke on will find themselves in a transition period is offering,” Abdul Rahim said.
their winning designs as well as on their and will have to employ a different A mini exhibition was also held
other wood-based structures. attitude which would be a more nurturing in conjunction with the conference
The conference promotes the use one when they build with timber as the to showcase products such as doors,
of timber and highlights the need government institutes various initiatives flooring, decking, panel products,
to change the mindsets of those in such as the Industrialised Building mouldings and glulam. These enabled
the construction industry. About 300 System or IBS, said Nasrun, delivering a specifiers and users to know what is
delegates attended. speech on behalf of Minister Mah. available in the market. ℗
Deputy Minister of the Plantation “Under the IBS, components such
Industries and Commodities YB Datuk as timber frames will be prefabricated

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


24-27 October 2018
2nd Edition
THE WOODWORKING
SHOW IN THE HEART
OF VIETNAM'S
FURNITURE CLUSTER
BINH DUONG

ON
TI
CA

Jointly organised by
LO

HAWA CORPORATION
T
GH

PANELS & FURNITURE Group


RI
E
TH

Enquiries For International Exhibitors


Pablo Publishing Pte Ltd


G
ON

3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62 #01-23 Link@AMK


DU

Singapore 569139
NH

Tel: (65) 6266 5512


BI

Email: williampang@pabloasia.com

Venue: Expo Binh Duong


Binh Duong Province, Vietnam.

www.vifawoodmacvietnam.com
64 WOOD CLINIC

Mr Shim (Shen Yuxin)

Dear Mr Shim,
We are trying to make interior fit-outs, mostly furniture and
cabinets. They are usually pre-fabricated in the factory
according to the customised designs. However, we always
encounter problems; we can’t seem to communicate the
drawings with the craftsmen. There are also complaints that
the thin basswood veneer doesn’t stick well on the MDF. Can
you advise on the above?

Yours sincerely,
Mr Wu

COMMUNICATE BETTER based on the size of the interior area 2. D r a w i n g s s h o u l d b e m a d e


WITH THE CRAFTSMEN and furniture. For larger sized according to the principle of
There are many reasons for furniture such as cabinets or projection, mainly: plans, front
communication failure between the ceilings, the imperial scale of 1/8 "= views, profiles, cutaway views,
craftsmen and designer. In general, 1 ' 0", 1/4 "= 1"-0 "or 3/8" = 1 "-0" detailed sketches. When necessary,
the design blueprint shows how the and the metric scale of 1:100, 1:60, they should also contain local
completed interior space looks like— 1:50 are often applied. For smaller isometric drawings.
replete with decorations and furnishings, furniture such as dressers, tables - Plan: This is the overview of the
the way you would see it as if looking and chairs, larger imperial scales, for furniture, drawn according to the
through the pinhole of a camera. example 1 "= 1 ' 0", 1.5 "= 1"-0 ", 3" principle of horizontal orthographic
If you only communicate this = 1 '-0 ", and the metric scale of projection. For example, Fig. I
perspective with the factory craftsmen, 1:10, 1:4 are applied. With the use indicates the length and width of a
there will be difficulties with material of 1:1 or 1:2, detailed sketches can television cabinet.
prep, furniture specifications, structure be understood more clearly, - Front view: This is drawn according
and cost calculation. Talk to the chief enabling workers to cut materials to the length of the television
interior designer or the person who directly to the scale of 1:1. cabinet with its height and legs
came up with the blueprint. From there,
draft out detailed construction drawings Fig. I: Diagram of the television cabinet plan indicating length and width.
and use professional jargon to be more
Length
specific. This enables the craftsmen to
carry out the work plan accordingly, thus
meeting the designer’s requirements
and completing the project on time.
Some suggestions for specifying
construction drawings: Heigth

(I) Making construc on drawings


1. Construction drawings should be
drawn to scale. The scale is generally

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


WOOD CLINIC 65

indicated (see Fig. II). - Detailed sketch: Furniture can on materials and structure. This is
- Profile: The profile is drawn be complex and some have special sometimes indicated in the margin of
according to the orthographic requirements for their structure. In t h e d raw i n g to co nf i r m t h e
projection of the television cabinet general the structure can be construction is correct.
side. The width (depth) of the magnified to scale with the size of
cabinet profile can be determined the important parts indicated so that 4. Size indication: Although the
according to the width of the plan, the craftsmen can see clearly and drawing is drawn to scale, for the
as shown in Fig. III. ensure construction is accurate. For convenience of the craftsmen, the
- Cutaway view: Cut across a line in example, Fig. V shows a detailed actual size also needs to be indicated
any direction of the front view and sketch of the TV cabinet requiring for accuracy.
draw a cutaway view according to installation of slide rails.
the position of the cutting line. This (II) Staff training: Since workers’
will enable the craftsmen to see the 3. Other notes: The language and carpentry knowledge and skills
internal structure clearly, as shown graphics of the drawing provide all vary, intensive training courses
in Fig. IV. the necessary information should be provided on a regular
basis. This will enable them to
understand construction drawings,
improve carpentry knowledge,
operate machines and know-how to
exercise quality control.
Communicating in a common
language will also ensure that the
work is carried out smoothly and of
Heigth satisfactory quality.

(III) Why thin basswood veneer doesn’t


s ck well on MDF
Heigth - The MDF is unstable: Poor MDF
quality may lead to uneven pressure
due to the too large thickness
Fig. II: Front view of the television cabinet drawn according to the length of the plan with the tolerance, thus affecting the
cabinet’s height and legs indicated. adhesive strength of the basswood
veneer. The surface may also contain
wax, which can cause the adhesive
strength of the basswood veneer to
fail. Use a wide belt sanding machine
for equal thickness interference with
a 100-abrasive belt before joining
the MDF and basswood veneer. It is
best to remove the wax on the
board’s surface to be coated with
glue with a 150-180 abrasive belt to
improve the adhesive strength.
- Treatment of the basswood veneer:
As basswood has larger pores and
its cell wall is thinner, water-based
Fig. III: The television cabinet profile drawn Fig. IV: Draw a cutting line in any direction adhesive membrane absorbs more,
of the front view and draw a cutaway view
according to the orthographic projection of the
according to the position of the cutting line.
leading to poor adhesive strength.
cabinet’s side.
Use the wide belt sanding machine
to sand the surface of the basswood
veneer to be coated with glue, to
destroy the inner wall of the cell
and strengthen the contact between
the cell wall and the adhesive
through the sanding principle. This
will increase the bonding surface and
improve adhesion.

I hope the above analysis helps.

Fig. V: A detailed sketch of the television cabinet shows slide rail installation.

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 2 • March / April 2018


THE MALAYSIAN MDF MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION ( MMMA )
NEWSLETTER the next three years. The new lines
‘promoted’ by the big European
MARCH/APRIL 2018 machine manufacturers are far larger
than previous models, with installed
capacities of up to 2,000m 3 per
day. Capacity increases are ‘step’
increases and not linear, so when a

BUZZ
new line enters the market it has a
THE
disproportionate impact on supply.
2. Demand projections are based
on robust global growth and strong
demand from both traditional and
emerging markets. Key demand
drivers will be the U.S., China and
India, any setbacks in these markets
will adversely affect demand. Some
MDF manufacturers are overly
dependent on risky Middle Eastern

T
markets; if these markets are
he New Year 2018 and the been made in Thailand, Vietnam disrupted, there will be a very large
Lunar Calendar Year of the and Indonesia. The main drivers for surplus supply volume potentially
Dog were heralded with great this growth have been the demand entering other markets.
fanfare and proclamations of for wood panel products required 3. Cost is relentlessly moving up
the virtues of the wood and for the automated mass production as other raw materials (especially
timber industry with headlines of furniture. The other important related to oil) and labour is gradually
such as: Timber Exports Continue factor is the availability of a relatively moving into an inflationary phase
Uptrend, Furniture Market Poised cheap, sustainable raw material from a previous deflationary scenario.
for Growth, Plywood Prices Sky – Rubberwood. These two factors The U.S. Dollar has, by and large
Rocketing, U.S. Lumber Outlook joined together have made South East depreciated against major Asian
Very Positive, Further Increase In Asia the most competitive producing currencies which has negatively
Timber Prices, GST Bears Fruit in region for MDF and particleboard in affected business particularly in
Indian Growth for Timber Products, the world today. Malaysia.
Second Largest Post-war Economic 4. The final critical factor is the
Expansion in Japan, The Dragon What lies ahead? availability of a sustainable and
Soars – Chinese Furniture Market, So what does all this mean for the relatively cheap wood-based raw
Bright Prospects for Wood Products MDF and particleboard market in material. In Malaysia we realised
Export, The World Prefers Wood Asia for 2018? Unfortunately it is not many years ago that the ‘Rubberwood
Products… I could go on but I think looking very good at all. As supply Era’ was fast coming to an end
you get the picture. raced ahead of demand, we saw a and this could be seen by the
These headlines are genuine dramatic softening of particleboard relatively small investments made
and by and large backed up by prices at the end of 2017 and a similar in Malaysia over the past few years.
statistics and data. For the timber oversupply situation developing for Malaysian Rubberwood is now the
industry as a whole, this has been MDF at the beginning of 2018. This most expensive in SE Asia and is
very welcome news. However if we does not bode well for the industry also in critical decline with regards
look more closely, in particular, to the and could result in dire consequences to availability. Thailand on the other
particleboard and Medium Density unless manufacturers act responsibly hand has, by far the largest planted
Fibreboard businesses in South East and with maturity. The situation is areas of Rubberwood in SE Asia,
Asia, the news is not as positive. Basic even more critical for Malaysian which has resulted in huge ongoing
economics comes into play and the manufacturers as costs increase due investments and a phenomenal
industry finds itself once again with a to a strengthening currency and higher increase in installed capacity. Thai
huge imbalance between supply and labour cost. MDF and particleboard is probably
demand. Assuming that the global economy the most competitive in the world
Over the past five years and for continues to grow robustly and the today. Investments in Vietnam have
the next three years, an average demand for furniture and panel been large and successful but they
of four new particleboard and MDF products remains strong the industry will quickly reach a situation where
lines have either started or will start will still face risks and challenges: Rubberwood will be in short supply
annually within South East Asia. 1. Investments in new plant and and prices will increase. Indonesia
The majority of this investment has capacity remains in place for at least has the second largest availability of

66
THE MALAYSIAN MDF MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION ( MMMA )
Rubberwood but investment has been across industries.
NEWSLETTER
slower due to other problems such as In summary, Thailand has
infrastructure and logistics. become, and will remain the most
competitive producer of MDF and
MARCH/APRIL 2018
A silver lining? particleboard within South East Asia.
The positives are that due to the This will continue for the foreseeable
imbalance of supply and demand future as it takes advantage of its
prices remain extremely competitive. available Rubberwood resources. It
This continues to be good news will be interesting to see if furniture
for furniture manufacturers as their production in Thailand increases as a About the Author
increasing costs are by and large result because currently the industry Peter Fitch is the founder of
being absorbed by the lower prices of is relatively small compared to its Segamat Panel Boards (Malaysia)
particleboard and MDF. This will act as neighbours. Thai manufacturers are and is currently the Chairman of
the Malaysian MDF Manufacturers
a catalyst to further stimulate demand. mostly big corporations that are able Association (MMMA) and Executive
We will see that more and more to utilise the latest technology and Committee Member of the Malaysian
producers of MDF and particleboard can afford substantial investments. Panel Manufacturers Association
(MPMA). Prior to working in Malaysia
will move ‘down-stream’ and start to To this end, manufacturers in he worked for Plantation Timber
add value by producing semi-finished Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam will Products (China) and Takeuchi MDF
materials or even venturing into struggle to compete. The Thai panel (Malaysia). Peter has been based in
manufacturers will drive the market Asia for more than 25 years and has
furniture production. Vietnam has the been in the wood panel business for
largest furniture industry followed by whilst the rest of us will only be able more than 20 years.
Malaysia in SE Asia, and one can to follow, if we can keep up!
foresee mergers and acquisitions
70 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2018
MARCH
7 – 10
| Vietnam Int’l Furniture &
Home Accessories Fair | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | www.vifafair.com
8 – 11 | Malaysian Int’l Furniture Fair | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | www.2018.miff.com.my
8 – 11 | IFFS | Singapore | www.iffs.com.sg
8 – 12 | India Wood | Bangalore, India | www.indiawood.com
9 – 12 | Export Furniture Exhibition | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | www.efe.my
11 – 14 | Indonesia Int’l Furniture Expo | Jakarta, Indonesia | www.ifexindonesia.com
12 – 14 | Dubai Woodshow | Dubai, UAE | www.dubaiwoodshow.com
18 – 21 | CIFF | Guangzhou, China | www.ciff-gz.com
20 – 23 | Domotex Asia/ China Floor | Shanghai, China | www.domotexasiachinafloor.com
28 – 31 | CIFM/ interzum guangzhou | Guangzhou, China | www.interzum-guangzhou.com

APRIL
2–5 | Wood Taiwan | Taipei, Taiwan | www.woodtaiwan.com
17 – 22 | Salone de Mobile Milano | Milan, Italy | www.salonemilano.it

MAY
25 – 28 | Qingdao Int’l Furniture Fair | Qingdao, China | www.qiff.net
30 – 1 Jun | Carrefour Int’l du bois | Nantes, France | www.timbershow.com

JUNE
20 – 22 | AHEC Annual Convention | Xi'An, China | www.americanhardwood.org
20 – 22 | Gabon Woodshow | Libreville, Gabon | www.gabonwoodshow.com
25 – 27 | Sylva Wood 2018 | Shanghai, China | www.sylvawoodexpo.com

SEPTEMBER
11 – 14 | China International Furniture Fair | Shanghai, China | www.ciff-sh.com
11 – 14 | FMC 2018 | Shanghai, China | www.fmcchina.com.cn
26 – 29 | IFMAC & WOODMAC 2018 | Jakarta, Indonesia | www.ifmac.net

OCTOBER
2–4 | NHLA Convention | Toronto, Canada | www.nhla.com
11 – 13 | Manufacturing World Technology | Manila, The Philippines | www.globallinkmp.com/mtw
25 – 27 | VIFA Woodmac Vietnam 2018 | Binh Duong, Vietnam | www.vifawoodmacvietnam.com

NOVEMBER
1–4 | MyanmarWood 2018 | Yangon, Myanmar | www.myanmar-expo.com/MyanmarWood
Calendar is accurate at time of print. Subject to change.

March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA


ADVERTISERS’
INDEX
March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA

COMPANY PAGE

AHEC IBC
Anderson-Tully 43
Argos Solutions 49
Baillie Lumber Co 7
Dieffenbacher GmbH 9
Extend Light Machinery Co Ltd 35
Hardwood Market Report 67
Hoon Hsiang Ind Co Ltd 33
IMAL SRL FC, IFC
IMEAS spa 11
Jiangsu Baolong Electromechanical Mfg Co Ltd 57
Jowat 47
Kastamonu 27
Kuang Yung Machinery Co Ltd 51
Lesnaya Industriya Journal 69
Malaysian Timber Council 5
MyanmarWood 2018 68
Northwest Hardwoods 15
Plytec Oy 41
Sandvik S E A Pte Ltd 1
Scheuch GmbH OBC
Shanghai Woodbased Panel Machinery Co Ltd 25
Siempelkamp Maschinen-und Anlagenbau GmbH 3
Softwood Export Council 13
Steinert Co Ltd 17
Sylva Wood 2018 61
Technik Associates, Inc 71
Tong Fong Cutters Co Ltd 72
VIFA WOODMAC Vietnam 2018 63
Wilhelm Altendorf GmbH & Co KG 29

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