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Posts Tagged ‘Furniture Manufacturing

Century Furniture acquires former Drexel Heritage plant

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Century Furniture LLC, a Hickory, North Carolina-based, privately owned, high-end residential furniture manufacturer, has acquired the former Drexel Heritage plant near the Hickory Airport, Hickory Record reports.

Kevin Boyle, vice president of manufacturing at Century Furniture, said the acquisition of the new plant offers new possibilities for the company.

“We are excited to be expanding our footprint in Long View,” Boyle said. “This additional capacity is critical, allowing us to grow and support incoming business.”

Boyle also added that beyond the potential gains for the company, the acquisition shows the company’s commitment to continuing to expand their business for the benefit of the Hickory area.

“Century has owned and operated manufacturing plants in Long View since the 1940s,” Boyle said. “This purchase represents Century’s commitment to job creation for the town and community.”


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October 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Ethan Allen expands in North America

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Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. has announced an expansion of its upholstery manufacturing operations by building a new 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Guanajuato, Mexico adjacent to its current 260,000 sq. ft. facility. The company expects to break ground on the new $15 million 300,000 sq. ft. facility within the next 45 days and begin production in the new facility in the next 18 to 24 months.

Farooq Kathwari, chairman and CEO stated, “We are pleased to continue to develop a strong manufacturing capacity to grow and service our business.  Our goal is to maintain strong upholstery manufacturing in North America, which we believe is a long-term competitive advantage that will allow us to advance our objectives of maintaining short order times and improving capacity to ship custom items more quickly.   We are pleased to continue to strengthen our vertically integrated structure from concept of idea, to engineering, to manufacturing, to retail and logistics.

“We have continued to invest in our two Maiden, NC upholstery facilities now totaling 600,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space,” continued Kathwari. “In the past two years we have invested $5 million in adding technology and other improvements to these facilities.”

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October 9, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Automated furniture assembly nearly possible

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Robots are poor at many activities that humans find simple. Now roboticists are making progress on a task that exemplifies them all: the automated assembly of an Ikea chair.

Humans have long feared that robots are taking over the world. The truth, however, is more prosaic. It’s certainly the case that robots have revolutionized certain tasks such as car manufacturing, for example.

But in many real world tasks, robots come a poor second to humans. They find it impossible to work in the messy, cluttered environment that humans cope with easily. They have difficulty locating and picking up small objects and they lack the fine control to assemble components.

All these problems are exemplified in a single task—the assembly of an Ikea chair. This is an activity that many humans will have performed with varying degrees of success but one that robots simply cannot complete. At least not yet.

Now Francisco Suarez-Ruiz and Quang-Cuong Pham at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, have set themselves the goal of assembling an Ikea chair using a robot. And today, they reveal the progress they have made. Their robot isn’t quite capable of completing the entire task but it has taken significant steps in that direction.

The robot in question consists of two arms capable of six-axis motion, each equipped with parallel grippers to pick up objects. These grippers cannot manipulate objects “in-hand” once they are picked up. However, they are common in industry so any lessons that Suarez-Ruiz and Pham learn will be widely applicable.

The grippers also have force sensors to determine how strongly they are gripping and how powerfully they push objects into contact with each other. The robot also has a vision system consisting of six cameras that can track up to five objects with a positional accuracy of around three millimeters.

That’s an impressive piece of kit but it comes up against a formidable adversary in the form of an Ikea chair.

Suarez-Ruiz and Pham have broken down the job of assembly into various sub tasks. One of these is the insertion of a small wooden cylinder, a dowel, into a hole in another stick of wood.

This activity itself is made up of three tasks. First, one arm has to locate and pick up the dowel. Second, the other arm has to locate and pick up the wooden stick. Finally, the robot has to locate the hole and insert the dowel into it.

See the full MIT Technology Review story here:

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October 9, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Startup offers easy-to-assemble furniture via FedEx and UPS

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Campaign, a startup from San Francisco, has invented easy-to-assemble furniture that can be shipped FedEx and UPS.

Brad Sewell—formerly a design and manufacturing engineer at Apple—thinks we’re buying furniture all wrong. The problems, as Sewell told progressive media outlet Co.Design, lie in high shipping costs, lengthy shipping time, and crappy materials that won’t hold up over the years. His company Campaign, which launched this week, seeks to upend the way we think about our furniture.

The company’s name derives from a style of furniture from the 1800s that could break down and assemble quickly. Today, that just makes sense considering how often everyone moves. No one wants to be saddled with a sofa or armchair that can’t negotiate a tight stairwell. Campaign’s arm chair is made up of about a dozen components that are assemble in less than two minutes with no tools—not even a screwdriver. The powder-coated, laser-cut steel frame slides together and screwing in the wood legs joins the arms, back, and frame. Pop the webbing tray in, place the cushions on top, and you’ve got yourself a place to sit. Here’s a time lapse showing it in action.

Sewell demoed the arm chair at Fast Company’s offices and I can personally attest that it does assemble quickly and is comfortable. The seat cushion is made from foam for support and the back pillow is stuffed with down for comfort. The arms are finished with a technique inspired by the automotive industry; just like the ceiling of a car interior is rigid, but has a little give thanks to a thin foam layer between the frame and upholstery, so do the arms. Plus, the slipcovers are changeable. The piece is manufactured in Campaign’s Emeryville, California, factory.

While flat-pack furniture certainly isn’t new, Campaign has an edge since all of the boxes can be shipped standard FedEx or UPS and fit into a typical car trunk. Imagine moving without a U-Haul or pricey professionals. The armchair is $495, the loveseat is $745, and three-seat sofa is $995—just over Ikea’s rates and just under CB2 and West Elm. Shipping is included in Campaign’s sticker price, whereas that’s usually at least $100 more for other brands.

Previously, Hooker Furniture has offered both RTA chairs and sofas on their Homeware website ( Art Raymond was a member of the team that developed this product line. He spoke about the Hooker chair and the use of 3D printing in developing the RTA fasteners that are used for quick assembly at the Executive Briefing Conference in 2014. Go to, click on Chairs, scroll down to the Rizzo Chair page, and click on the two video icons to view the assembly/disassembly.

See the full Campaign story here:

Written by cabinettrends

September 10, 2015 at 7:00 am

H.M. Richards to expand furniture plant, hire 500

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H.M. Richards has announced an expansion of its Guntown, Mississippi upholstered furniture plant, investing $8 million and adding 500 jobs, WRALTV reports.

The company currently has 977 employees in a 900,000 square-foot plant in Guntown. H.M. Richards is set to buy land next door and add a 280,000 square-foot building for the expansion at the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex.

State and local authorities are giving cash and tax breaks projected to be worth more than $5.4 million. The Mississippi Development Authority is providing $2.95 million in state aid, including $2.45 million for site preparation, infrastructure, electrical, and parking lot improvements. The company will also receive $500,000 for worker training.

The new jobs created would pay $32,700 a year, on average.

Giachelli said the race was “tuck-and-go” between Mississippi and North Carolina, but said Mississippi offered a number of advantages, including an experienced upholstery workforce and supplier base. He also noted that the H.M. Richards management team is local.

See the full story here:

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June 19, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Emerald Home Furnishings plans first U.S. manufacturing plant

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Stationary furniture manufacturer Emerald Home Furnishings will invest more than $2 million to locate a production facility in New Albany, Mississippi. The company will locate in the facility formerly occupied by Hickory Springs, with plans to create 150 jobs.

“We were delighted with the combined efforts of The Mississippi Development Authority, along with Three Rivers Planning and Development District, the city of New Albany, Union County, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. All of these entities teamed together to create a vision of the opportunity of manufacturing in Mississippi,” said David Beckmann, CEO of Emerald Home Furnishings.

“We are a Seattle-based company and have been importing for decades, but this is our first effort in manufacturing upholstery in the U.S. The commitment to business in North Mississippi and the outstanding quality of the workforce here made our decision very easy,” he added.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for building renovations.

“The decision by the Emerald Home Furnishings team to locate these operations in New Albany is great news for north Mississippi, and it will further bolster the region’s growing presence in the furniture industry,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “Economic development is a competitive field, and I thank the company for recognizing the many advantages of a Mississippi location and for creating so many new jobs in Union County. I wish the company many years of success in New Albany.”

See the full Area Development story here:

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June 17, 2015 at 7:00 am

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Kellex bringing 75 jobs to Mississippi

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Ohio-based Kellex Seating, manufacturer of commercial upholstered seating, has announced the company is expanding into Mississippi by locating operations in the former Tupelo manufacturing facility in Tupelo. The project represents a $600,000 corporate investment and will create 75 jobs.

“I appreciate the Kellex team for selecting Tupelo as their location to pursue new growth and investment opportunities,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi’s furniture manufacturing sector has been extremely prosperous in recent years, and I know Kellex will find the competitive advantages needed for success in today’s demanding economy in north Mississippi.”

“We chose Tupelo as the site of our newest manufacturing facility because we know that the local workforce is strong and experienced,” said Kellex COO Doug Fawcett. “We want to give furniture artisans in this area the opportunity to be part of a thriving organization where their efforts are appreciated by colleagues and customers alike. We also want to contribute to the area’s economy by creating jobs and supporting local business partners.”


“The past several months have seen unprecedented growth in demand for furnishings, particularly in the hotel and timeshare segments,” said Kellex President Chris Rice. “Our new Tupelo facility ensures that we will be able to meet all of our existing and future commitments on time. Our planned expansions will enable us completely satisfy our present customers, and enable further expansion in the future. Our goals of improving lead times and increasing capacity have driven our decision to expand, once again.”

Fawcett also said Tupelo also offers logistical advantages, such as facilitating access to West Coast markets.

“The combination of our North Carolina and Mississippi plants is ideal from the customer’s perspective,” he said. “We will have the capabilities and resources to broaden our product offering and to fulfill orders from across the nation with outstanding efficiency.”

Written by cabinettrends

April 30, 2015 at 7:00 am

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