Manufacturing homes in the future likely to be robot and CNC-friendly affair
June 6, 2017 | 1:57 am CDT

FutureHAUS, Virginia Tech's home interiors manufacturing and design project, has discovered a profound shift in what consumers want in their homes. Largely, they seek adaptable and convertible spaces that are fully wired and plumbed - but everything neatly hidden behind the scenes for, for that clean, simple look favored by Millennials.

Virginia Tech Center for Design Research spent four years on the FutureHAUS project, exploring integration of technology with architecture, and its prospect for industrialized home production.

Hear Joe Wheeler July 18

Lead researcher Joseph Wheeler, professor of architecture and co-director of the Center for Design Researchworked with an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from industrial design, architecture, interior design, visual communication design, and computer science departments to envisage the house of the future, unveiling it room by room at KBIS, the annual Kitchen & Bath Indsutry Show.

Wheeler will bring findings from four years working on the project to the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, July 18 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the la Vegas Convention Center. 

Wood Skyscrapers: CLT &  High-rise Buildings

DR Johnson Lumber CEO Valerie Johnson and Oregon State and University of Oregon's TallWood Design Institute new manager Iain MacDonald detail the exciting developments in wood materials supporting a supply chain for timber towers. Eighteen-story buildings and massive condos, hotels, and schools have already been built in North America, including a 50,000 square foot warehouse nearing completion. 

Growth and insight from Manufacturing Data 

Initiatives to mine manufacturing data are providing insight into production issues, far more analytically than casual observation. This data, increasingly gleaned from the Industrial Internet of Things, provides a basis for business strategy and sales growth, and supports initiatives such as Industry 4.0. Wood industry data expert Mick Peters and author of Love Thy Data presents an overview.  

Joint Technology Development In Action

Going beta with suppliers, these wood managufacturing managers will relate first-hand the development of new technology for their operations.
• Decore-ative Specialties VP Todd Shapiro and Bacci America’s Joe Barry recount the two-year joint development of a custom CNC cabinet door sanding system, versions of which are now on the market. 
• Timberline Cabinetry & Millwork’s Kent Swinson and software expert Roger Shaw recount tailoring Production Coach enterprise software following a plant audit. 
• North American Plywood GM Donald Kuser details joint-development with Fuji on its Inca Onset high-speed digital staining, that turns 5x10’ plywood sheets to a high-def oak veneer look in 90 seconds.
• RCS Millwork’s Dan Keller and millwork firm Wilkie Sanderson president Marc Sanderson, will talk about the development of a plant-wide management system with Innergy to integrate machinery and processes. 

Trending Materials

Among the most popular subjects at Woodworking Network are new developments in materials. In addition to digital staining and cross laminated timber and panel, hear about: 

 One-off Digitally Printed Laminates - Stephanie Richardson, Design Manager, Schattdecor, will explain the technology and applications behind global decorative surfaces leader Schattdecor's move into its emerging digitally printed surfaces. Schattdecor operates its major U.S. production facility near St. Louis.

• Flame Finished Wood – Andy Hehl, head of Kebony USA and Delta Millworks have developed a new line of stylish wood that is finished using the trending Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique.

Changing Workforce: 40 Under 40s Take Charge 

Sponsor 40 Under 40
Class of 2017
This prequel to the evening Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards program (sponsored this year by Stiles) will poll some of the industry’s best and brightest rising talent. You'll learn how differently they think, and pain points they encounter as they try to change their organizations, and their industry.   
Register and save at the Early Bird rate of $299 until June 30 ($350 after) at>> 


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.