Interzum 2011: Wood show skirts volcano threat
 Crowds grew thick filling aisles and booths soon after Interzum 2011 opened in Cologne, Germany today.


- Interzum 2011, the wood products trade show, got off to a good start, with event managers buoyed by strong pre-registration and a healthy showing of exhibitors. Barring increased activity at  a finicky volcano in Iceland stirring up more smoke and dust, attendance is projectedto be strong.

Booths and aisles were thick with traffic within an hour of the show opening. Gerald Bose, CEO of Kolnmesse, which runs the biennial Interzum, said 70 percent of exhibitors are from outside Germany, giving Interzum an international flavor.

"Unless the volcano will stop them from coming, we are expecting 50,000," he said during opening remarks. (Several German airports were closed down, including Hamburg and Berlin, and were 300 flights cancelled until winds shifted, reducing the volcano's threat.)

Interzum is very much a show about functional hardware, panels, lumber, veneers and edgebanding.

 Interzum 2011: Wood show skirts volcano threat
 Tech demos: Rehau PowerEdge technology demo (top) and Blum servo-driven shelves video.

And there was an amazing amount of innovation, some of it not yet ready for market, but presented here as technology demonstrations to gauge reaction.

Among some key presentations so far:

*As open plan living areas gain ground, kitchen, recreation, dining and living space must share quarters. So doors and shelving must quickly conceal, or reveal, the part of the living space in use.

*Lighted residential furniture, with LEDs embedded in grooves in the wood and switches integrated to slides.

*3D room design and visualization programs, some scanning existing rooms to create a template for redesign, and one striking system from Schattdecor with life-size 3D presentations of its solid panel laminates on floors and cabinetry. (Schattdecor showed more developments in its digitally printed short-run panel surfaces offering.)

*Another appearance of snap-together wood products that need no metal parts or glue to hold together certain joints, with the technology from Uniclic of Belgium winning an Interzum Best of the Best award.

* Furniture and cabinets decorated or embedded with LEDs, with power conveyed through functional hardware. Rehau showed prototype PowerEdge embedded electrical connectors. These power up LEDs in drawer fronts when the drawer is closed and the slide makes contact with the PowerEdge receptor. Interzum 2011: Wood show skirts volcano threatHafele took wired wood to the extreme with a Jame Bond-themed "Octopussy Lounge" featuring servo motors driving retracting Elevator glassware cabinet (at right, technologies include ixconnect, Lift+Turn, Moovit, Slido) and storage, Loox LED-lit cabinetry and a powered command center for Bond. James Bond.

Interzum 2011: Wood show skirts volcano threat*European styling and design movements that continue, with mixed appeal for the U.S. market, include cabinet drawers with tempered glass sides; lightweight wood panel construction (see a video); and high gloss door fronts in bright colors, as well as black, white and gray.

*Laser edgebanding is seeing continued development here at Interzum, for example at Rehau and Doellken-Woodtape, anticipating continued developments of that technology which produces seamless panel edges using pre-coated edgebanding activated and by powerful lasers inside edgebanding machines - and eliminating glue pots. Doellken-Woodtape says it will show its FusionEdge laser edgebanding at AWFS in Las Vegas July 20-23.

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