Sunday, January 17, 2010

Update: What's Happening at Domotex Today

Jim Gould



After a year in the doldrums, the global floor covering industry is finally getting together at the largest international floor covering exhibition at Domotex in Hannover, Germany. The show brings a vast and mixed offering of products, information and experiences that have been developed during the last year. Many manufacturers target Domotex as their global launching platform for new introductions and innovations. Here are some quick notes and thoughts from the first day of the show. The picture below shows laminate flooring on display.
Laminate Display at Domotex 2010
  • Powder” or "Paper Free" technology for laminate flooring has improved dramatically. The innovation is being led by Valinge and Kronotex. This technology eliminates the need for d├ęcor paper and, therefore, balance backing paper, and carries an ecological story since it uses recycled HDF to create the wood fiber. It also increases wear and impact resistance. You can read Valinge's press release at this link. The driving goal of lower production cost doesn't seem to have been achieved yet and design and color flexibility appears rather limited. Still, I applaud Valinge for their continued efforts to perfect this technology since it could become the production method of the future if improvement continues.
A large North American contingency is attending this year’s show as exhibitors, shoppers and buyers. Monday and Tuesday this group will be able to tour German retail DIY "Big Box" stores for the first time. Germany has over 4,000 DIY outlets and this channel plays a large role in the overall distribution of flooring, especially ceramic, in Germany.

No chance to shop for innovative products - yet - but I’ll quickly report anything that is exciting in my next blog post. Wish you were here, but if you aren’t I’ll just have to drink your allotment of German beer!

Jim

2 comments:

  1. Jim,
    I was able to see the Krono high gloss paperless products and it was amazing how clear the print is. You are correct the pricing is not inline with today's market but one has to believe this will change in the future. The members loved it.

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  2. Ran out of time before I made it to Kronotex. Only saw powder products at Valinge. I'll have to catch Krono in Las Vegas. Thanks for the heads up.

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