Industry gives a view on first ever Furniture Component Expo

Businesses across the furniture industry have voiced their thoughts on the first ever Furniture Component Expo, as part of a British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) podcast.

The latest Industry Matters episode follows BFM’s Marketing and Comms Manager Jo Audley-Charles as she explored the expo, which took place at Telford International Centre over two days in April.

The event was opened by Mark Eastwood MP, Conservative MP for Dewsbury and current Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG).

Interviewed on the podcast, he said: “My background was in furniture before I became an MP, so I understand the industry. It’s a real honour to be cutting the ribbon on behalf of BFM for the Furniture Component Expo.

“What we want to do is get businesses in the UK more successful, growing and working with other UK businesses. We want to export high quality furniture – you buy British you buy the best when it comes to furniture.”

Also talking at the event on Industry Matters, BFM MD, Phil Spademan said: “The feedback we had was that it was a very professional event. It’s something that was in the pipeline for many years and took a full year of planning.

“We’re delighted that so many people came along – we’ve got big suppliers, small suppliers, people with big machinery – there’s a real mix. I think the seminar theatre is also a key attraction of the show, giving people an opportunity to learn and discuss the issues of the day such as automation, fire regulations and the workforce of tomorrow.”

Assyst Bullmer were among the exhibitors, with a 1.5 tonne single-ply digital cutting machine demonstrating how it can cut a pattern from the roll at a rate of 120m per minute with minimal wastage.

Sam Kent, Account Manager at Assyst Bullmer, said: “It’s good to be here. It’s always good to catch up with existing customers and this event has been good for that.

“What we’re looking at is a system set up to cut plain fabrics, but we also have systems that can be set up to pattern match. There’s a certain skillset in pattern-matching, which unfortunately we’re losing.

“The scanning system, along with the CAD, means you can effectively pattern match which is a big time-saver and waste-saver for companies.”

BFM Partner, Planet Mark, also feature in the podcast after hosting a workshop at FCE2024 about carbon footprint and the drive towards Net Zero.

Triumph Needles were also exhibiting at the event. James Neale said: “We’ve seen competitors, friends and existing customers, but we’ve seen so many new people – it’s been brilliant and has opened a few doors already.

“We’ve got customers out there that are making big efforts in training people. They are given a machine to train on and it moves with them into the factory. We’re known for making stuff in this country and it’s important to invest.”

FCE will return on 19 and 20 March 2025 at Telford International Centre. To listen to the podcast, click here.

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