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The world furniture industry under the COVID-19 epidemic

  • 2021-09-09

       On the day of Teacher’s Day on September 28, 2020, the number of deaths due to the COVID-19 epidemic in the world exceeded one million. Affected by this epidemic, people’s lifestyles may be changed, including daily social interaction, work, shopping, communication and entertainment, etc., but also derived New demand business opportunities (Stephen Su et al., 2020). For example, the number of shoppers in stores in various countries has dropped sharply, from -32% in China to -80% in Mexico, physical stores have been hit, and the online shopping market has been greatly affected during the epidemic. Expansion (Laura Jones et al., 2020). In the six months since the outbreak of the epidemic, the global border blockade and crowd control have affected the furniture industry. For example, the well-known international furniture sofa NATUZZI was affected by COVID-19. The overall sales in September 2020 were 33.1% less than the same period in 2019 (Slaughter , 2020), Bassett furniture sales in the third quarter also fell by 16.3% (Russell, 2020). Therefore, this article does a little discussion on the world's furniture production and consumption in order to understand the current situation.            In the past 10 years, the international furniture trade has grown significantly. According to Centro Studi Industrial Leggera, (CSIL), the world furniture industry production value reached US$490 billion in 2019, and the world furniture consumption value reached US$ US$477 billion is shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 (Finance, 2020), which contributes about 1% to the overall manufacturing industry’s international trade each year.        In the era of globalization, several countries have kept a pace of progress and have maintained global furniture production bases for many years. Figure 3 shows the proportion of furniture production in each region.        At present, China is still the largest furniture producer, accounting for 39%. The other major producers are the United States, Germany, Italy, India, Poland, Japan, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and Canada in order. However, Vietnam has gradually become the world's manufacturing factory. Especially in 2018, due to Trump's trade policy, a large number of China furniture factories migrated to Vietnam for production. Vietnam has become the world's seventh largest wooden furniture production base (CSIL, 2019). Sustained demand increases and plays an important role in the world's furniture production.         In the past 10 years, China has witnessed an unprecedented growth period in global furniture production. China has become a world leader in furniture production. This substantial growth has been accompanied by export-driven, industrial production, foreign investment, and abundant human capital and low-cost production have made China highly competitive in the international market. This competitiveness is due to the large-scale migration of Taiwanese furniture factories to Vietnam in 2000, and the large-scale migration of mainland-funded furniture factories to Vietnam in 2018. China’s competitiveness is decreasing year by year.           In the past 10 years, the United States has been the engine for the growth of furniture on the international stage. However, its growth depends on low labor cost suppliers such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. This has led to the closure of many furniture factories in the United States and the gradual weakening of the American furniture industry. Interestingly, high-quality furniture made of precious wood and carved is imported from China from neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia (Csanady, 2019).         Based on the above, according to the "2019 Global Furniture Development and Outlook" research report released by the International Industrial Research Center (CSIL, 2020), in 2019, the United States will still be the world's largest furniture importer, followed by Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Canada. Europe and the United States are the world's major furniture consumers, and the top 10 sources of imported furniture from the United States are China and Vietnam, as shown in Figure 4 (Statista, 2020a) and Figure 5 (Statista, 2020b).        During the period of the epidemic, changes in living or working patterns may affect the design or functional requirements of furniture, and even the transformation of furniture patterns. Here are two cases. One is "Work-from-home". The lockdown of the epidemic has caused a rapid increase in work-from-home. It seeks to connect with colleagues, friends, school or family, and begins to think about what crisis to face. The UniFor company of the Molteni group of companies in Italy stated that after the epidemic, about 33% of the company's employees went to work and about 45% of the remaining home workers (Guzzine, 2020). This type of home work has created a market demand for home office furniture (Home-office-furniture). According to the CSIL (2020) survey of the European home office furniture market, this demand comes from people who often or occasionally work at home. It is estimated The potential number of people working at home in Europe is 830 million, of which Germany, the United Kingdom, and France rank among the top 3 (Figure 6). As the European market traditionally uses Ready-to-assemble-furniture and low-budget furniture, this wave of epidemic is bound to have a significant impact.        The second is furniture hygiene become more important in the post-epidemic era. In large open spaces such as community centers, shopping malls, universities, stations, airports, and hospitals, the public furniture must be cleaned, disinfected and maintained properly and regularly. To meet the above requirements, attention should be paid to furniture installation or design and manufacturing: 1. Material selection: leather and cloth lining furniture tend to accumulate bacteria in cracks and wrinkles, while wood is used   This problem can be avoided, and the wood has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and the surface of the material dries quickly   Speed, unfavorable to the growth of bacteria. 2. Modular design: easy to clean the corners and gaps of furniture, providing a high degree of hygiene, safety and reliability environment. Modular design can also be flexible and free to design new shapes according to space or environmental to match the needs. Figure 7 shows a case of modularization of the Skane University Hospital in Sweden, and its public space. The chair brings the beauty of natural materials, and the product is easy to disinfect and maintain. This seat system can be Individually plan and improve the working environment (Kamel, 2020)        In short, the COVID-19 epidemic has not yet eased, material supply and furniture demand are uncertain. The main production bases of Taiwanese furniture such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc., are also affected by the epidemic, and production capacity is full of variables. Faced with the coming of the post-epidemic era , The furniture industry may need to rethink the expansion of digital processing applications, the use of low-environmental impact creative materials, and the health of employees more important than the company’s production capacity to meet the development of the new world furniture industry after the epidemic.   about the auther : Professor,  Wen-Ching  Su Furniture  Engineering  &  CNC  Technology     Dept.  of  Wood  Based  Materials  and  Design National  Chiayi  University   Reference 1. Finance (2020) global furniture industry market status and development trend analysis.Website:。ClickClick on Aug 20th 2020 2. (Lora Jones, David Brown & Daniele Palumbo)(2020)The new crown epidemic hits the world economy, nine pictures at a glance 。BBC NEWS Chinese Version。Website:。Clikc on Aug 29th 2020。 3. (Stephen Su et al., 2020)Key report on the impact of the global pneumonia epidemic (COVID-19) on Taiwan's industries。IEK Industry Information Network.Website:。 Click on Sep 20th 2020。 4. Csanady, E., Z. Kovacs, E. Magoss, J. Ratnasingam (2019) Furniture   Production Processes :Theory to Practice. Optimum Design and   Manufacture of Wood Products. Springer Nature Swizerland. 5. CSIL(2020)World Furniture Outlook 2020/2021. Website:{bd684700-7279-4bb9-bea2-99fd6f50c493}. Click on Aug 20th 2020. 6. CSIL(2020)Home office furniture market in Europe. Website: Click on Sep 26th 2020. 7. Guzzini, G. (2020) COVID-19 will change forever the industry of furniture, according to entrepreneurs. Website: Click on Sep 30th 2020. 8. kamel, A. (2020) Furniture hygiene in a post COVID-19 era. Website: Click on Sep 16th 2020. 9. Russell, T.(2020) Bassett Furniture reports 16.3% drop in Q3 sales. FurnitureToday. Website: Click on Oct 1st 2020. 10. Slaughter, P. (2020) Natuzzi Q2 sales off by a third. Furniture Today. Website: Click on Sep 29th 2020. 11.Statista (2020a) Leading 10 source countries of household furniture imports in the U.S. 2019.  Website: Click on Sep 16th 2020. 12.Statista (2020b) Leading importers of furniture worldwide 2018.  Website: Click on Oct 1st 2020.  

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  • 2021-07-24

Starting from the 3rd of July of this year, the European Directive “SUP” (Single Use Plastic) has come into force in all member states. A directive that does not apply in any way to furnishing products – a sector in which Catas, the most important European laboratory in the sector, has been involved for more than fifty years – but which can lead to some careful thoughts on the theme of plastics. The “banning” of some disposable items responsible for a large part of the pollution of our planet – including plates, cutlery, straws, etc. – is undoubtedly a strong signal of the explicit desire to tackle the issue of materials which are considered “not sustainable ".   A directive that can and must therefore be interpreted as a first signal towards the limitation of the production and use of plastics in more general terms, considering the continuous and growing global alarms. Among these, one of the most dramatic concerns the accumulation of plastics and microplastics in the oceans which, continuing at current rates, will contain more plastic than fish already by 2050. Therefore the final goal could even bring to more drastic measures, as a recent article suggests. The prestigious journal “Science”, published an appeal signed by 14 scientits of various countries for an international agreement which goal would be the prohibition of the production of new virgin plastic already starting from 2040. From that date, therefore, only recycled plastic could be used.   This situation and its probable, although not desirable, dramatic evolution therefore requires a careful consideration. Possible strategies should aim at the future concerning, in addition to ethical and environmental aspects, also the marketing strategies of the furniture sector or of the individual companies belonging to it. We must necessarily pay attention to the evolution of this general picture, starting also to consider the possible alternatives, bioplastics, their compostability, rather than coming back, where possible, to wood.   Catas is particularly active on environmental issues and, precisely to meet the changing needs of an increasingly “green” market, it recently has developed a new service for the study of the life cycle assessment (LCA) of any raw material or finished product in the wood-furniture sector. We remind you that the Life Cycle Assessment provides a sort of environmental “identity card” based on international shared rules and unified principles. The LCA study is therefore the objective basis on which to work towards improvements, awards and certifications. Source:CATAS

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NCHU Department of Business Association donated 80 blood oxygen machines and 5 boxes of rice porridge to Fengyuan Hospital

  • 2021-07-22

       NCHU(National Chung Hsing University) alumni unite and support medical care! The Department of Business Management of Chung Hsing University went to the Fengyuan Hospital of the Ministry of Health and Welfare on July 22 to donate 80 blood oxygen machines and 5 boxes of rice porridge. Endy Wang, chairman of the Department of Business Management of NCHU, was the founder of Come Ture Coffee and the former WowPrime. The vice chairman of the board of directors has devoted himself to social welfare for a long time and spared no effort. In July, he called on his friends to recruit blood oxygen machines, hoping to reduce the burden on medical staff.        In July, Tsai Chi-Chang, chairman of the NCHU Alumni Association, initiated the "Support Medical Care and Defend Taiwan" activity. With the enthusiastic response of the Alumni Association, the Department of Business Management, the EMBA Alumni Association and alumni from all walks of life, a total of 2 million dollars was raised. , Donated to 10 dedicated hospitals of Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, a total of 11,000 N95 masks, 2,000 protective clothing, 300 blood oxygen machines, 30 boxes of rice porridge and 36 boxes of daily drinking supplies. Source: NCHU

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VietnamWood Hybrid will return in 2022

  • 2021-08-27

Due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounded by Covid-19, we regret to announce that the postponement of the VietnamWood show will be move to further year. We understand your inconvenience, however, such difficult decision was not taken without serious concern. The event will be taking place in the coming year on 18 - 21 October 2022 at Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC). The decision is made in view of the new COVID-19 clusters in Vietnam and with the deep concern for the health of the exhibitors and stakeholders. According to the latest statistics (August 2021), local vaccination in Vietnam has yet to reach 10 % of the total population. Key points which led to the decision: The current state of mass gatherings is still on banned with no indication of it nor when this restriction will be lifted. The current level of restrictions and quarantining for individual visiting Vietnam would severely affect international exhibitors. Concerns raised by exhibitors about attending and whether it would be viable for them to do so with possible enforced restrictions on attendance affecting visitor numbers. Visitors expressing concern that the event would not be as good as usual with fewer exhibitors and features. VietnamWood is the leading regional trade show in Woodworking industry, leading up to the new show date, a series of pre-show digital event are on their way as an important element for staying in touch with customers and bridging the gap until VietnamWood 2022. Source : VietnamWood

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  • 2021-05-26

         A new, big exhibition concept dedicated to manufacturing technology will be launched at FieraMilano-Rho from 12 to 15 October 2022, resulting from a partnership between BI-MU and Xylexpo, respectively organized by Ucimu-Sistemi per produrre - the association of Italian manufacturers of machine tools, robots and automation - and Acimall, the association of Italian woodworking machinery manufacturers.        In times of unprecedented challenges, also for exhibitions, the two events will offer a new scenario where operators will have the opportunity to find expertise, solutions and ideas for a common goal: producing with more and more sustainable and efficient methods, according to Industry 4.0 principles.           As reference events in their respective industries, 33.BI-MU (biennial exhibition of machine tools, robotics and automation, additive manufacturing, digital and auxiliary technologies) and Xylexpo (biennial exhibition of woodworking technology and furniture industry components) will be presented as distinct but complementary events, highlighting their respective peculiarities while leveraging every possible synergy.        This decision will expand the audience of potential visitors for exhibitors on one side (unified access to the fairgrounds will allow to visit both exhibitions), and on the other it will help the visitors from the sectors of furniture, design, industrial plants, machinery for aluminum, composites and next-generation materials, interested in both events, to make the most of their trip to Milan.        Besides a wider technology lineup, visitors will have access to a rich agenda of additional events, in-depth debates on technical, technological and economic topics relevant for both sectors, through presentations, seminars and conferences. Special attention will be dedicated to the big topics of digital and sustainability, two key concepts for the future development of the industry and the global economy. In this scenario, the two worlds that will meet in Milan in October 2022 have been experiencing a momentous evolution that will be visible during the joint event.        “This project – said Barbara Colombo, president of Ucimu-Sistemi per produrre – is much more than the sum of two historical and popular exhibitions. We believe that the merger of BI-MU and Xylexpo will help the industry represented in both exhibitions to show the best of its contents and potential. Under these premises, we believe that the event will be a point of attraction for the global manufacturing industry, with strong visibility in Italy and abroad, to the benefit of all the companies that will choose to participate”.        According to Luigi De Vito, president of Acimall, “…a more and more crowded exhibition calendar, now complicated by the rescheduling of many events due to the pandemic, the new technologies and the stronger and stronger international competition require a deep and accurate revision of the exhibition concept, which cannot be "only" a place where demand and supply meet. The collaboration between Xylexpo and BI-MU will develop into an innovative platform that will be focused on "high-end technology" and the many, profitable interactions that such technology can generate, offering an involving and successful experiential event to operators, exhibitors, institutions and all stakeholders”.        Luca Palermo, managing director of Fiera Milano, commented the concept of the new event: “We are proud that BI-MU and Xylexpo – both reference events in Italy and all over the world in their respective industries – have been featured in our calendar for over fifty years, as evidence of the appreciation of our premises and the services offered by Fiera Milano. I believe that the decision to put together these events will bring further benefits to the organizers and exhibitors of both exhibitions; on our part, we are ready to check all the details of the new project together”. ACIMALL – the association of Italian manufacturers of woodworking machine tools, with over 150 member companies – represents an industry that generates 2.5 billion euro revenues, with a 75 percent export share.  UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, the association of Italian manufacturers of machine tools, robots and automation, represents over 70 percent of the industry's made-in-Italy production, accounting for approximately 9 billion euro revenues. The export share is 56 percent of production. Source: XYLEXPO      

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Stellar results of CIFM / interzum guangzhou 2021 bolstered by strong economic

  • 2021-05-24

       Asia’s largest and most comprehensive woodworking machinery, furniture production and interiors trade fair drew to a successful close on Mar 31 in Guangzhou, China.        With the partnership of two major exhibition forces – Koelnmesse and the China Foreign Trade Centre (Group) – CIFM / interzum guangzhou 2021 boasted a scale of 340,000 square meters with 2,100 exhibiting companies covering six key product categories.        Internationally renowned brands at the event included: HOMAG, Biesse, Cefla, IMA, SCM, WEINIG, Heveaboard, Impress, Kronospan, Lamigraf, PFLEIDERER, REHAU, Schattdecor, LG, Hyundai, LINAK, LIMOSS, OKIN, Henkel, SABA, Arpico, Italiana Ferramenata, King Slide, Repon and Sugatsune.        Nearly 200,000 visitors were drawn to the southern Chinese city to participate in the event – an increase of over 20 percent compared with the last edition.        “Visiting interzum guangzhou 2021 was to me an eye-opener towards how closely our economies are intertwined – not just in the field of automotive or high-tech: China is a major market for German hardwoods, which have been grown in ecologically sustainable forestry, and of indispensable components such as glues, coatings and hinges which are indispensable for producing furniture in the legendary German quality, highly appreciated by Chinese customers,” complimented the German Consul General in Guangzhou, Mr. Martin Fleischer, who was invited to visit the show.        Mr. Matthias Haasler, CEO of Rehau in Greater China and North East Asia said: “This is a good place to show new developments and really to go into good discussions with the customers here.        The industry has also seen and experienced interzum guangzhou over the past years. It is a very important place to meet and to see new products coming up. Being here is important – to simply show your strengths and to show the power.”        Ms. Vika Pesenti from Italiana Ferramenta was equally pleased: “I think it was very great to see so many people this year, so for us it was a very big advantage. We got a lot of visitors coming, and especially the first day we have registered about one thousand people coming to our stand. It was a great success!”        CIFM / interzum guangzhou is not only an important platform for visitors to discover and understand new products, but also allow exhibitors to gain insight into new market needs and lead the development of the industry.        Mr. Liu Chenglong, Project Manager of woodworking machinery manufacturer SCM, said: "We’ve made good gains at the exhibition. Visitor flow is relatively heavy. We’ve also met a number of new customers and got to know some new needs."        As the industry's flagship exhibition, CIFM / interzum guangzhou has always been a stage for the furniture industry to showcase new technologies, new products and new trends, and create business opportunities.        The 20 PLUS 20 Annual List for outstanding furniture accessories is a tribute to enterprises that are actively exploring creative solutions and keen to innovate. The 2019-2020 awards ceremony was held on the first day of the exhibition with 15 exhibitors receiving the accolade.        A dedicated showcase featuring 2018-2020 awarded products were also on display, allowing show participants to review the innovative development of the industry in recent years. In addition, nominations for the 2021-2022 list is also officially open for exhibitors in 2022.        With the debut of the Business Package Plus (BPP) to assist affected overseas brands maintain their presence at the show, buyers were still able to continue to source innovative products and solutions from all over the world.        Also held at the BPP zone by the Agricultural Trade Office of the US Consulate General in Guangzhou, a seminar themed "Back to Nature - Modern Wood Structure" was streamed live on the online conference platform and received encouraging response.        Over at the PIAZZA lounge, a series of forums surrounding topics such as smart home systems, home lighting, furniture lifting technology, and new materials and technologies saw experts of the respective industry verticals sharing application cases and imparting valuable knowledge to attendees to quickly understand the high-quality products and innovative technologies of the industry, and promote the development of smart furniture.        A total of 124 online and offline business matching meetings were successfully conducted over the four-day period.        Impressed by the results, Mr. Li Lin, Strategic Purchasing Manager of Oppein – Asia’s leading cabinetry manufacturer based in China - said: "The business matching event is able to efficiently match our needs to the right suppliers. We have met some excellent companies, and will continue to follow up with these new contacts. The event format is brilliant."        "interzum guangzhou is one of the most important exhibitions of the year for us. It is a platform to find new suppliers and interact with the industry. We participate in the business matching activities every year, and this year is no exception. Everything took place very smoothly, from the pre-show selection of suppliers to the on-site coordination arrangements, greatly improving communication efficiency. We’ve also received some good results. Thanks to the organizers for their professionalism and meticulous efforts," commented Mr. Li Peng, R&D Director of well-known custom furniture maker Vifa.        After enjoying similar good outcome, Mr. Engarafat Alharahsheh, General Manager of SAS-TECH INDUSTRIAL GROUP LTD was quite satisfied: “The event was good and well organized with professional service. For sure I will join next year.”        Affected by the pandemic, Mr. Nilesh Kumar, owner of Mayur from India, was unable to visit the exhibition in person. Making use of the online business matching for the first time, he expressed his delight at the unexpected results:        "Before trying this out, I was unsure if I could seriously meet any of the manufacturers...(but) I really enjoyed the session and have gotten new manufacturers and suppliers who could help me out. Thanks to the team for their awesome work, and I would recommend for others to try this out."        The next edition of CIFM / interzum guangzhou slated to take place from March 28 – 31, 2022. Learn more about interzum guangzhou 2022 at Source:CIFM / interzum guangzhou 2021   

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WOOD TAIWAN Digital Days

  • 2021-04-15

WOOD TAIWAN Digital Days, from April 22nd to 25th, 2021, will keep you updated on the latest development about Taiwan woodworking machinery. With major economies implementing loose monetary policies and the support of their housing market boom, demand for this industry still exists, and purchase orders from the ASEAN market have also surged. Tailored to customer’s needs, Taiwan’s machines enjoy a good reputation of high quality, reliability, and quick response to users’ business demands after their sales. Taiwan is your best partner for woodworking manufacture.

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NEWSWIN Publications

Cabinet & Hardware magazine NO.2

The first magazine focus on Cabinet & Hardware industry with deeply report in Taiwan. Cabinet & Hardware magazine is published by Newswin Media Co., Ltd. Cabinet & Hardware provide the latest news about Cabinet or Hardware industry, and material or products which become the very important buyers guide for the designers and architects.

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