Faster, Smarter, Easier: Busy show features tools and components for streamlining and simplifying mattress production
BY BETH ENGLISH AND BARBARA T. NELLES
The biennial trade fair Interzum Cologne May 16-19 in Cologne, Germany, was the largest ever with a 15% increase in exhibition space and 19% more visitors than the 2015 show, said organizer Koelnmesse GmbH.
In total, 69,000 visitors arrived from 152 countries to check out products from more than 1,700 exhibitors. Seventy-four percent of visitors were from outside Germany with the number from Western Europe, the Middle East and North America increasing by 20% to 26% compared with Interzum 2015. Visitors from Asia, Eastern Europe and India soared—their numbers grew by 41% to 53%.
By the afternoon of opening day, showrooms were humming and traffic appeared to hold steady throughout the show. Overall, new and previous exhibitors with whom the editors of BedTimes spoke expressed satisfaction with the traffic flow, as well as the number of sales and leads the show generated.
When it came to product trends, BedTimes spotted plenty of foams, especially memory foams, that are cooler, better ventilated and faster recovering. But, there also were new foams with special ingredients that are said to provide an enhanced sleep surface. (We’ll examine these more closely in the October issue when BedTimes provides a complete update on all types of polyurethane foam.)
Speaking of foam, feedstock supplier Covestro Deutschland AG, part of the Bayer Group, with world headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, won an Interzum award for a more sustainable polyol that replaces a portion of petroleum-based raw materials with carbon dioxide, an industrial waste gas. (Scroll down for more information.)
One hundred percent natural latex also was plentiful at this fair, with more vendors than ever touting increased production capacity, new certifications, new product lines and improved quality. (BedTimes will bring you a complete update on latex trends in its November issue.) When it came to latex, Radium Foam’s Vita Talalay showroom was a noteworthy destination. The Maastricht, Netherlands-based company pulled out all the stops with its “Vita Talalay Inside” exhibit, which included every imaginable point-of-sale tool and an entire bedroom designed with latex-filled furnishings—from area rugs to window coverings.
In innerspring news, suppliers retooled their wrapped coil offerings. There were units with increased coil counts and new configurations, such as dual coil layers or high and low springs paired in a single unit. Herrljunga, Sweden-based Starsprings unveiled an unusual pocket spring unit in which each coil is individually topped with a pad of latex. The concept further reduces motion transfer, said Tobais Lundberg, sales and marketing manager. (Look for a full update on the latest news in innersprings in September BedTimes.)
Unusual finishes were “a thing” at textile showrooms, and specialty chemical supplier Devan, with world headquarters in Ronse, Belgium, took credit for some of these new fabric “toppings.” Among Devan’s many offerings is Bi-ome, a new treatment for mattress fabrics that fights odor and “guarantees optimal freshness and hygiene.”
Here are other trends that BedTimes editors spotted at this show:
- Machine learning: Equipment for mattress manufacturing works faster—and smarter—than ever, thanks to advances in product engineering and new digital tools. Today’s “deskilled” machines can perform complex operations with the touch of a button. Due to remote monitoring tools, when equipment needs maintenance, it will let you know—no matter where you are. And that’s just the start.
- Functional fabrics: Ticking suppliers showcased yarns and finishes that are said to offer myriad benefits to help improve sleep. New damask collections were presented as a refreshing change from “plain, old” knits, especially for high-end bedding. But knits offered plenty of punch with more stretch, beautiful motifs and splashes of vivid accent colors in hot pink, orange and lime green.
- More news on the border: Textiles for bed borders—and the machinery used to sew them—got special attention. Milan-based Stellini Textile Group/CT Nassau refined its unique woven borders that have the look of cut-and-sewn knits, while Pratrivero, based in Pratrivero, Italy, offered high-style nonwovens specifically for bases and borders. Equipment makers got in on the action with border-sewing updates that make fancy looks easy. For example, Atlanta Attachment Co., headquartered in Lawrenceville, Georgia, updated its border-sewing equipment with a module for decorative cording.
- Advances in quilting: Knit-friendly quilters that are easy to operate, easier to maintain—and fun to watch in action—were a show-stealer. The newest models from the major makers are faster and boast greater flexibility when it comes to quilt design. For example, Carthage, Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc.’s Global Systems Group introduced the Gribetz Spectrum quilter. It has 15 sewing heads that are controlled individually for sewing unique-looking panels.
- High-tech slat systems: Two vendors won Interzum awards for their offerings, including one system that slips inside the mattress.
- Wrinkle-proof: Bed components that do well in tight conditions—i.e., they bounce back without kinks, wrinkles or damage after being compressed, rolled, folded and boxed—were easy to find.
Covestro’s Cardyon helps foamers reduce reliance on fossil fuels
Covestro Deutschland AG, part of the Bayer Group, with world headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, won the Interzum award for High Product Quality for Cardyon. It’s a raw material used to produce flexible polyurethane foams for upholstered furniture and bedding, with a sustainability story. Currently available only in Europe, Cardyon is manufactured at a facility that incorporates industrial waste gas—carbon dioxide—to “synthesize polymers” and thereby replace up to 20% of the foam feedstock’s petrochemical content. The plant opened in 2016 and has the capacity to produce 5,000 tons of Cardyon per year.
According to the company, Cardyon allows Covestro to broaden “its raw material base beyond fossil hydrocarbons and bio-based raw materials by bringing CO2 back into the value chain and helping to close the carbon loop.”
Kayfoam boxed bed filled with features
Kayfoam, a foam components and finished products supplier based in Dublin, displayed a nifty, boxed-bed program designed for retailers looking for an edge over the one-size-fits-all online brands. The two-part Joya bed can be branded to suit and is sold in three comfort choices—soft, medium or firm—thanks to a separate topper that compresses and folds neatly into its own color-coded box, peeking through a peephole in the compact shipping package.
The foam topper has a cooling story thanks to phase-change material and a zip-off washable cover. The bed core contains 1,000 wrapped coils in queen size.
KEEP READING OUR INTERZUM 2017 COVERAGE:
Interzum Cologne 2017 Overview (You are here)
Stay tuned—this report is just the beginning of BedTimes’ ongoing Interzum Cologne coverage. Throughout the fall, from September to November, expect in-depth reporting on springs, polyurethane foam and latex components.
ISPA brings sleep products exhibitors together in Cologne—and in 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina
At Interzum Cologne in Cologne, Germany, the International Sleep Products Association creates a “show within a show” at its ISPA Bedding Centre. At this year’s event, May 16-19, there were plenty of exhibitors offering equipment, components, supplies and services to bedding manufacturers. Many visitors find the intimacy of the space and diversity of its offerings an excellent starting point for walking this massive furniture-components trade fair.
Next year, ISPA will bring you the largest, most comprehensive exhibition in the mattress industry—ISPA EXPO. Mark your calendars and plan on attending ISPA EXPO March 14-16, 2018, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. More than a sleep products trade fair, ISPA EXPO offers a comprehensive lineup of educational, social and networking opportunities for members of the bedding industry.