mobile spaces mean new requirements for materials

mobile spaces mean new requirements for materials

The furniture world will look to Cologne with a sense of anticipation in mid-May: interzum is without doubt the highlight this year for specialists in production. The leading international trade fair is the source of inspiration for the furniture and interior construction industries' supplying sections and sets the trends for the design of tomorrow's living spaces. From 16 to 19 May 2017, trade fair visitors in Cologne will be able to see what will soon take shape as furniture. Conserving resources, sustainability, automation, digitalisation and, above all, mobile living spaces are set to be the major themes, and they are also the key players in the Textile & Machinery segment.

Textile & Machinery is one of the three segments at the leading international trade fair interzum, alongside Function & Components and Materials & Nature. The three focused exhibition areas are designed to offer trade visitors a new perspective on their daily business. "The main players in the Textile & Machinery segment are upholstery materials, fabrics and leather as well as the associated processing machinery," says Arne Petersen, Vice President Trade Fair Management at Koelnmesse. "What's more, the Piazza in the centre of Hall 10.1 promises to be another visitor magnet because its slogan for this year is 'Mobile Spaces'."

This is the place to experience trends in what might seem a rather technical segment. These include high-performance textiles, such as climate-regulating cover fabrics and weatherproof outdoor fabrics, which are waterproof, antibacterial, UV-resistant or resistant to cracking at cold temperatures. "Materiality is vitally important to architects. You hardly know where to look during the trade fair because there's simply so much to discover. That's why I find what the manufacturers have to offer so impressive," explains architect Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven.

Mobility is a crucial aspect
But added to all this is an entirely new theme that has never appeared at interzum before: Mobile Spaces, a special dedicated area in Hall 10.1. With this new area, interzum is further increasing its relevance to designers, architects, planners and outfitters specialising in mobile interior spaces, such as cars or caravans. This year, renowned automotive suppliers will also be appearing in the special event area. They represent a completely new group of exhibitors for the leading international trade fair. But the dedicated event area also covers mobile spaces such as houseboats and public transport. "The new special event areas and other exhibition formats explore groundbreaking approaches to design and production," says Matthias Pollmann, interzum Project Manager.

Electric cars, digital networking and self-driving cars are developments that are currently exerting an enormous influence on mobility. As a result, the requirements for materials and surfaces for furnishing cars, motorhomes, trains and planes are changing. This issue is particularly relevant to suppliers to the furniture industry especially as many exhibitors are active in both home decor and vehicle interiors and furnishings. Innovations in the classic furniture segment such as surfaces, textiles and fittings can also be applied in mobile spaces.

Lightweight design is immensely important
However, the requirements in mobile spaces are generally considerably more rigorous than in the home sector. The low-weight requirements in particular result in innovative solutions. Lightweight design plays a crucial role in rolling, floating and flying spaces - and it is simultaneously synonymous with sustainability, one of the major trends at interzum.

Morelo is presenting its Empire Liner at the special Mobile Spaces event area. The luxury motorhome can accommodate maximum payloads of six tonnes, meaning it can carry more than other motorhomes weigh in total. It boasts premium details such as multilayered furniture fronts and solid surface material. These features have not been available in this sector and to this standard before. "From the elegant real-glass rain shower to the exclusive natural stone decor in the bathroom, we came up with many highlights to create an atmosphere of well-being. Added to which are the Graphic Lights with their intricately integrated light conductors," explains Morelo.

The certain something
Surfaces specialist Hornschuch is also demonstrating how a new understanding of mobility and interiors can evolve with its concept vehicle, The Pioneer. "E-mobility, digital networking and self-driving cars are the mega trends in the automotive industry. This is changing the importance of surfaces for drivers and passengers in terms of their design and function. They must meet the highest standards and have little in common with conventional surfaces," says Hornschuch, summing up the requirements for future mobile spaces. The company's designers and developers have employed an integrated material and design concept to bring to life its vision of the urban zeitgeist and contemporary business style in the concept car right down to the smallest details.

Schorn & Groh from Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, will be at the fair to demonstrate how veneer can be used to give striking accents. Limousines and other means of luxury transport are excellent examples of the impressive visual appeal of veneer surfaces. Thanks to its fine woodgrain, genuine veneer has that certain something that distinguishes bespoke design from the ordinary. "This absolutely guarantees that the car, boat, motorhome, jetliner or even the personal plane will have a special look and be entirely unique," says Ursula Geismann. The spokeswoman for the veneer association Initiative Furnier + Natur goes on to underscore the importance of the surface material for the mobility sector: "Veneers can be compared to the chrome trim on a beautiful old car," she explains. Every real-wood veneer is a unique piece representing premium quality.

Conserving resources in the production of high-quality materials
J.H. Ziegler is exhibiting in Hall 10.1. The company from Achern-Oberachern, Baden-Württemberg, has developed a high-tech product from nonwovens over recent decades and is an expert in needle-punched nonwovens, nonwoven-foam composites, laminated materials and natural-fibre nonwovens. During interzum, Ziegler will demonstrate how its HACOflex material is bonded to leather on its laminating line. The material is a highly efficient acoustic absorber in automotive applications or can be used as a laminating material for leather lamination and as an understitching material for car and aeroplane seats, seating furniture and office chairs. It improves seating comfort and prevents creasing with reliable and lasting results. "We work with efficient, environmentally friendly production processes to produce unique combinations of materials," says J.H. Ziegler. Where high-quality materials with complex production processes are concerned, the general rule is that conserving resources in production is particularly crucial.

The importance of automation continues to increase
Another major theme at interzum is automation. Its importance has increased considerably for many mattress manufacturers. "In the high-tech market of countries with high labour costs, there is a growing trend for higher output through increased process optimisation. Not only have the demands risen in terms of precision combined simultaneously with short lead times, but higher levels of flexibility are now required," says Jan Leisse, Managing Director of Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co. KG. Based in Freudenberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, the company specialises in foam cutters and foam-processing machinery. Bäumer is convinced that there are growing numbers of mixed-production facilities where both sprung mattresses and foam-filled mattresses are manufactured. This poses new challenges for handling and adhesive application technology, which has prompted the company to present an innovative handling system at interzum. The OFS-Twincut horizontal contour cutting machine will be on display in combination with the Lamit HM adhesive application unit.

A window onto the future
Quarrata Forniture is celebrating its 20th anniversary at interzum 2017. The Italian company is presenting a world first - RollJet, a glue machine for mattress production. Its unique feature is that it operates on a similar concept to a printer and combines several applications in a single machine. "It is a real revolution in mattress technology," explains Quarrata's representative.

Koelnmesse - Global competence in furniture, interiors and design:
Koelnmesse is the world's top trade fair organiser for the areas of furnishing, living and lifestyle. At the trade fair hub of Cologne, the leading international fair imm cologne as well as the trade fair formats of LivingKitchen, ORGATEC, spoga+gafa, interzum and Kind + Jugend rank among the internationally renowned and established industry meeting places. These fairs comprehensively represent the upholstered and case furniture segment, the kitchen industry, the office furniture sector and outdoor living as well as the innovations of the furniture supply industry. Over the last few years, Koelnmesse has specifically added international fairs in the most important fast-expanding markets to its portfolio. These include the LivingKitchen China/CIKB in Shanghai, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the network of the interior decorating industry, Koelnmesse offers direct access to relevant products, contacts, competence and events.

Further information is available at: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/
Further information about ambista: http://ww.ambista.com/

The next events:
Pueri Expo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 26.-29.05.2017
spoga+gafa, Cologne, Germany, 03.-05.09.2017
China Kids Expo, Shanghai, China, 18.-20.10.2017

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