Surface & Panel Q4 2017 - Page 34

� CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32 new designs and textures, including a double-sided synchronized TFL, along with textures that aren’t currently available in North America. The U.S. TFL market remains behind those in Europe, Canada and South America, where TFL has been the material of choice for kitchen cabinets, furniture and fixtures for years, Shotbolt noted. “The U.S. has a real opportunity to grow the TFL business,” he said. “I feel that with the new innovations that are now available in TFL with deep embossing and real wood designs, the trend will continue to be accepted here in North America. “I would be quite surprised if TFL does not become the standard decorative surface in the U.S. It’s a completely different product than what was available a decade ago.” Through all of the changes that will come with Grayling, one thing Shotbolt doesn’t expect to change is ARAUCO’s distribution model. The company sells directly to its biggest customers—“large OEMs that have the size and requirements”—but it has always relied on dis- tributors to reach the broader market. “Our business was founded on distribution, so we’re big distributor fans,” Shotbolt said. “We have a significant product offering, and we need lots of distribution support. It’s a nice balance.” As for the possibility of vertical integration, such as cutting to size, edgebanding and additional processing, Shotbolt said ARAUCO won’t dismiss any opportunity, but it will proceed cautiously to ensure it doesn’t disrupt customers or step on toes. “We would likely prefer to align with a customer and investigate a co-location strategy, rather than compete with them. That would be a preferable model for us,” he said. No matter how you cut it, however, Grayling is a major investment in composite panel production by one of the industry’s leaders, and that’s good news on many fronts. “The situation in Grayling is the ultimate commitment to an indus- try—putting in one of the largest facilities in the world and spending upwards of $400 million,” Shotbolt said. “It’s a major commitment, not only to the industry at large but to our customer base and their growth opportunities.” s & p THE POLYMER SHEET SHEET THAT THAT WORKS WORKS LIKE LIKE WOOD WOOD THE POLYMER The Polymer Building Sheet Lasts a Lifetime The Polymer Building Sheet That That Lasts a Lifetime ® StarBoard ST the is the smart choice furniture, cabinets, lockers, outdoor kitchens, retail displays, ® King King StarBoard ST is smart choice for for furniture, cabinets, lockers, outdoor kitchens, retail displays, and decorative panels. sheets never warp, delaminate. painting refinishing required. and decorative panels. The The sheets will will never warp, rot rot or or delaminate. No No painting or or refinishing required. Custom sheet sizes, gauges, colors available. Contact find your nearest distributor distributor today. today. Custom sheet sizes, gauges, and and colors available. Contact us us to to find your nearest | Made U.S.A. | Made in in U.S.A.