GREENSBORO, N.C. - Impacts of EPA's formaldehyde rules on cabinet manufacturing, LEAN production, and delivering new styles of cabinetry such as narrower stile-and-rail doors were among key concerns as some 250 cabinetry managers and their suppliers gathered at the 2016 Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) fall conference in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The conference, which ran October 8-11 at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel, was followed by two days of manufacturing plant tours, including a visit to Corsi Group's brand new frameless cabinetry plant, Siteline; wood components firm, Southern Finishing; and Marsh Furniture, a 100-year-old cabinetry firm that has reinvented its manufacturing process to batch-one production.

These tours, which also included visits to nearby hardware manufacturers Hafele, Grass, and Blum, provide exclusive access to the production operations of these KCMA members plants, access available in no other way.  

The KCMA also unveiled updated branding and a new web design and strategy, projects spearheaded by Betsy Natz, KCMA CEO. Natz officially took over as CEO on June 1 of this year, to succeed long-time association EVP Dick Titus, who retired last year. Natz was CEO of the Institute of Clean Air Companies before coming to KCMA. Her background also includes leading other trade associations, a congressional staff member and other Federal agency experience.

At KCMA a  panel reviewed EPA Formaldehyde rules, expected to published in the Federal Register in late October.

During a day full of conference sessions, attendees heard a panel of designers detail trending preferences for contemporary kitchens, which include a mix of simplified, post-modern design, contrasting light and dark cabinetry, and improved cabinet and drawer organization, often incorporating principles of "Universal Design" - the approach that accommodates accessibility and utility for multiple generations sharing a single living space.

A panel previewed the forthcoming EPA rules on formaldehyde in engineered panel used in cabinets. Rules covered hardwood plywood and particleboard, released earlier this year, are expected to be formally published in the Federal Register in late October. Wood products companies and fabricators will have 60 days to begin compliance steps required by the rules, which are modeled on CARB, the California Air Resource Board regulations. 

Natz also previewed for attendees the revised KCMA website, expected to go live in November 2016. The responsive design format, built byGroup, takes a refreshed approach to the site engagement for KCMA members, cabinet buyers, and for the general consumer audience. Along with standards such as the ESP environmental standards and the KCMA quality standards (ANSI/KCMA), the site would also present the database of KCMA cabinetry manufacturers in a more intuitive and searchable format. 

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