Interzum, the hardware, lumber, panel and furniture production show, ended its 2013 run yesterday in Cologne with 53,000 visitors - up slightly from 2011, and with 1,512 exhibitors, an increase of 100 over last time.
Seventy percent of visitors were from outside Germany, according to Interzum show management, with a significant rise in visitors from Asia, North America and Eastern Europe in particular. In those areas wood products manufacturing is growing in marked contrasts to Western Europe, which is tumbling deeper into recession.
"With the current growth in exhibitors, and especially in international visitors, Interzum gives the market, and thus the sector's business, its impetus," said Katharina C. Hamma, Managing Director of Koelnmesse.
Key technology and product trends included an explosion in hardware for sliding doors, panels and countertops; servo-motor assists to raise and lower cabinet doors, work surfaces, even entire kitchen islands. Frequently seen were countertops that slide closed to hide flat-surfaces cooktops.
LED lighting was even more plentiful that the last Interzum in 2011.
Panel, laminates and veneer moved to more textured surfaces, with the haptic effect embossed to complement high definition wood grain reproductions, or to amplify the natural patterns of real wood veneer.
The next Interzum will take place May 5-8, 2015 in Cologne, Germany.
The interest of trade visitors in technical and design innovations was particularly great. Against the backdrop of a global increase in demand, the trend in all areas was a reduced use of materials with consistent quality and a growing use of sustainable manufacturing components. This approach is observed in all segments: in cutting leather, when manufacturing upholstery and mattresses and in the wood materials area. When it comes to design, this goes hand in hand with a clear trend for reduced aesthetics. Superfluous additions are being dropped, reducing the product to its essential function.
Colors continue to arrive on the scene in the supplier products of the international furniture and furnishings industry. Decorations are offered in color or with a graphic print - whether it's for furniture, walls or floors. The demand side demands customized options. Just as colorful are the offers from fittings manufacturers when it comes to the inner life of kitchen, bathroom and living room furniture: colorful inserts, drawer structures and hinges point to a growing love of detail. The classic natural material of wood also fits the sustainability trend.