Published on : Monday, September 9, 2019
Why is the ZOW supplier event in Bad Salzuflen, in the heart of one of the world’s leading furniture-manufacturing clusters, so popular with visitors? One advantage is its regional positioning, another is the date, which is highly convenient for many furniture manufacturers, namely in early spring, or on February 4 to 6 next year. Other important factors include its workshop character, which allows plenty of time and space to intensively inspect innovations and discuss projects, and the presentation of “ready to market” products. And also of particular interest are the focus topics at the business event that will be shaping the furniture industry and trade in the near or distant future. Lightweight construction is one such hot topic, and it is therefore coming under the spotlight in 2020 with a significant presence.
ZOW has been a fixed date in the order cycles and thereby also in the diaries of furniture industry players since 1995. In recent years the innovative supplier industry event also always attracted visitors from interior construction, the cabinetmaking and carpentry trades, the car manufacturing and ship building industries, as well as architects and designers. Koelnmesse, the organiser, is expanding ZOW further with lots of “great ideas in a compact setting” in the Bad Salzuflen Exhibition Centre.
Ever since the early years, ZOW has been an opportunity to touch, to try out, to discuss, to communicate and to negotiate. One of the confirmed reservations for the coming event is the open-plan, generously proportioned pavilion of the Interessensgemeinschaft Leichtbau e.V. (“igeL”: Interest Group for Lightweight Engineering), at which the focus is firmly on the topic that gives the group its name.
The stand concept first presented at ZOW 2018 – with around 20 member stands and around 30 workbenches with demonstrations on handling and processing lightweight materials – is retained. Facing the corridor area, special exhibits such as furniture, furnishing prototypes and components from the field of lightweight construction will be presented. A demonstration focus on the topic of manufacturing lightweight panels is also being planned.
The special area offers visitors the chance to learn about very different lightweight materials, about the most appropriate connection solutions and about corresponding tools and applications, and potentially to go on to establish business connections. “Within the context of the debate about a climate-neutral future, lightweight construction offers an ideal opportunity to develop solutions that are just as good if not better, using significantly less raw materials. And the great thing is, lightweight construction opens up brand new design possibilities such as function integration,” explains Peter Kettler, Managing Director of igeL e.V. Along with other “igeL” members, the companies Axxor, Henkel, Lightweight Solutions, Leitz, Leuco and Jowat have already confirmed that they will be taking part in the special area.
The presence of the topic “smart, lightweight design and construction” at ZOW is linked on the one hand to the rapid development progress of this still relatively new technology for the furniture/interior construction industry and the resulting strong interest from visitors, and on the other hand with the completely new constructional options that arise as a result. Modern lightweight materials not only make it possible to achieve a significant reduction in weight and resource consumption, they also open up clever, innovative possibilities such as the integration of functions or new design options with the same or even higher strengths.
Products employing this manufacturing technology boast unique advantages, in particular with regard to the aspects of mobility, portability and lifting in which weight is a key issue, as well as for applications in the automotive sector. Another, hitherto barely-tapped field is the development of intelligent, partially hidden applications or features in and for furniture, which are only possible with lightweight construction elements.
In contrast, lightweight solutions have already been the standard in many other industries – such as car, aircraft and ship building, the construction sector, and machine and tool building – for many years. Insofar, it is thought that there is significant potential in the furniture industry, which will help to secure the sector’s future sustainability over the long term. Of course, questions always arise regarding costs and standards. However, ZOW – which sees itself as a platform upon which new value-added partnerships and business segments are tapped – is where attendees come across the most important technological innovations first.
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 idd Shanghai, interzum bogotá in Bogotá, interzum guangzhou in Guangzhou and Pueri Expo in Sao Paulo. With ambista, the online portal for the interiors business, Koelnmesse offers direct access to products, contacts, expertise and events relevant to the industry all year round.