To best serve our customers, Timber Products Company is always looking to connect with distributors and end-users of our wood products, to explore their questions and gather insight on the trends of the day—and this year’s AWFS Fair presented an excellent opportunity to collect just this information. The biennial trade fair recently took place July 19-22 in Las Vegas and gave Timber Products a glimpse into the near future for wood products.
From where Matt Smith, our Director of Business Development, was working, that future features melamine.
“We’re seeing more and more interesting surfaces,” said Smith. “We’re continuously noticing trends in non-real wood surfaces, as companies are continuing to evolve the manufacturing technology.”
Timber Products was in on the trend, with our Designer Series textured melamine highlighted in the booth. Our melamine can be made to mimic a wide range of woodgrains, solid colors or decorative patterns. We can thermally fuse our melamine to most any high-quality substrate to provide both good looks and great performance.
Customers also were intrigued by this year's Apex composite panels, particularly the specialty lines within the Apex family. These strong, smooth composite panels feature a homogeneous core for easy machinability and are replacing MDF in certain applications ranging from cabinetry to shelving to furniture.
“There is a moisture resistant Apex panel—MR50—that received plenty of interest at the event, but more intriguing yet was the FR line,” Smith said. The fire-rated panel has been used in areas like airport jetways, where a fire rating no longer means a dull aesthetic. “Those specialty type products garnered a lot of interest,” he added.
Showgoers to this year's fair showed an increased interest in the equipment on display, as large kitchen cabinet manufacturers, furniture manufacturers and others prepared to make investments to support their business growth. In fact, the 2017 AWFS Fair saw the highest level of attendance since before the Great Recession. This year, the trade show floor held nearly 18,500 participants from 67 countries.
That high level of interest made the show an all-around win. For us here at Timber Products, the high attendance numbers meant a strong opportunity to meet with our nationwide network of distributors. “The major distributors all had booths showcasing their products—including ours,” Smith said. “It was a really good opportunity to network and have meetings face-to-face with our main distribution network.”
Next year, AWFS swaps spots with the International Woodworking Fair, Aug. 22-25, 2018, in Atlanta. Interested in connecting with us at a conference or event? See where we're headed and how to connect on the Timber Products Events page.