SOLAR ENERGY POWERS FURNITURE ASSEMBLY PLANT
Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. has installed 28,776 solar panels on the roof of its assembly plant in Leesport, PA. The panels will produce more than 9,630,600 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. That is equivalent to the amount of power consumed by 786 average American households in a year, and it’s enough to supply 90 percent of the plant’s annual electricity demand.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the project is the largest such system in Pennsylvania and ranks amongst the largest rooftop installations in the nation.
“The project is noteworthy for its scale,” says Tim Paap, director of project execution for SunPeak, which designed and built the system. “It takes up 580,000 square feet, or over 10 football fields, and produces as much power as two locomotives.”
STARTUP PRINTS FURNITURE ON DEMAND USING SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
A new company called Model No. is using 3D printers to create customizable furniture on-demand from eco-friendly materials.
Based in Oakland, CA, the company offers coffee and side tables, along with a chaise, planter, vase and bin. It plans to add dining chairs, stools, benches and outdoor patio furniture. Each piece begins with forms inspired by nature. Customers can manipulate the designs online to adjust the size. shape, contours, color and hardwood surfaces. The lead time for most products is two to three weeks. Every item is made to order and hand finished.
Each item is 3D printed from plant-based resins sourced from the remains of food crops. Tabletops are made from domestic oak, walnut and spruce that are sustainably harvested. Metal hardware is made from recycled steel and aluminum.
FURNITURE ASSEMBLY PLANT BRINGS JOBS TO MISSISSIPPI
Fusion Furniture Inc. is opening a new, larger assembly plant in New Albany, MS, to manufacture sofas, love seats, sleepers and accent chairs. With some 200,000 square feet, the factory is five times the size of the company’s original facility in Ecru, MS. The factory expected to employ 150 to 180 people.
ROBOT TURNS OCEAN WASTE INTO FURNITURE
Based in Varberg, Sweden, furniture maker Sculptur is turning discarded fishing nets and plastic waste from the ocean into furniture using a specially adapted robot from ABB.
Functioning as an advanced 3D printer, the robot can apply thin layers of molten plastic from any angle. The robot is more flexible than conventional 3D printers, and it saves some 50 percent of the base materials. RobotStudio, ABB’s simulation and offline programming software, enables the printing robot to be programed in just a few minutes. A complete designer piece can be manufactured in less than two hours.
The North American market for outdoor furniture could top $8.7 billion in 2027, according to market research firm Report Linker. Sales of chairs, tables, loungers, hammocks and other outdoor furniture are expected to grow at a cumulative annual rate of 4.6 percent over the next nine years.