Posts Tagged ‘home remodeling’

U.S. program could drive up board prices

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

 Aim is to divert wood fiber to uses like bio-fuels
Heath Combs — Furniture Today

WASHINGTON — A program that offers to subsidize wood fiber for renewable bio-fuels or other products could divert the U.S. fiber supply from composite wood products, according to Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assn.

For domestic furniture manufacturers, the result could be dramatic price increases to board which would not affect imported board prices.

The provision, called the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, provides financial assistance to suppliers of biomass material to conversion facilities for use in producing heat, power, bio-based products or bio-fuels, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site.

BIFMA is asking its members to request that Congress suspend the subsidies and amend the list of materials eligible for the subsidy.

The organization is arguing that the use of wood fiber products is contrary to the subsidy program’s intent — to divert materials for renewable biomass that aren’t otherwise used for higher-value products.

The subsidy program has about $514 million in funds to distribute.

More on upholstery and price points

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

After the appearance of the Upholstery Fabric & Style Survey in the October 5 issue, Furniture/Today’s research team fielded a call from a supplier who wanted to know the overall breakdown of upholstery unit market share by price point. Since we had not previously calculated those statistics, we quickly derived them and sent them along to the supplier as requested. In all fairness we thought you might like to know those statistics, too.

Upholstery and price points
Market share based on UNITS, 2008

Stationary sofas
Low                 $799 and below        34%
Medium          $800 to $1,499          29%
High                $1,500 and above     37%

Reclining chairs
Low                 $799 and below        39%
Medium          $800 to $1,499          36%
High                $1,500 and above     25%

Motion sofas
Low                 $899 and below        38%
Medium          $900 to $1,599          49%
High                $1,600 and above     13%

The Upholstery Fabric & Style Survey of retailers continues a series of style surveys, currently alternating with a case goods style survey conducted in 2008 (and one planned for 2010) and the previous upholstery style survey published in 2006. Data was collected from March through May and represents more than 400 storefronts, primarily full-line furniture stores.


3D Visualization Technology Helps Diverse Range of Businesses Innovate

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

New subsidiary of Artist Rendering, Inc. puts 3D technology to pioneering use for broad spectrum of industries, not just for engineers and architects anymore

Since 2002, Artist Rendering, Inc. has worked with real-estate developers and architects in visualizing their future projects through high-impact 3D renderings and animations. In the course of his work there, founder and President Alex Tiller discovered that there was a need for his company’s services across a broader spectrum. “Professionals from all sorts of industries kept coming to us and saying, ‘We like what you’re doing; can you apply it to our industry?’,” says Tiller.

Tiller rose to the challenge by creating IDEAVIZ as a subsidiary of Artist Rendering, Inc-expanding the market for his company’s technologies. A remarkable variety of local and national companies have taken advantage of the firm’s creative services-including furniture manufactures, pet-product designers, and event producers. The common thread across all these industries is their need to quickly and inexpensively explore and test new concepts, innovations and business solutions. IDEAVIZ uses virtual reality to do just that.

Using 3D visualization technology, says Tiller, “is powerful because we’re not limited by the bounds of physics. By building an object in virtual space, we can see how it will work inside and out before it’s produced in the real world.” This allows IDEAVIZ to “experiment with any idea without the expense and time required by actually building it.” This experimentation gives businesses the flexibility to make changes and explore multiple possibilities for any product concept or business process prior to implementation.

IDEAVIZ uses 3D technology to help companies look at their businesses in a new way. When creating a new product or concept, businesses face the challenge of getting their idea across to clients quickly and clearly. “It’s hard to tell what something’s really going to look like and how it will work just by looking at technical drawings,” says Tiller. “We can create a photo-real 3D visualization that lets people actually see their ideas brought to life before they even exist in the physical world.” This not only removes doubt for investors, but also allows companies to mitigate the risk of innovation by testing ideas in focus groups before investing.

IDEAVIZ plans to continue finding new applications for the powerful technology and stellar creative talent it houses. The way Tiller sees it, “the capabilities of our blend of creative, technological and managerial talent could assist in a huge array of markets. We want to keep finding new ways to help businesses innovate through visualization.”