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LMA publishes statistical report on overlays.

The Laminating Materials Assn. recently published a statistical report on the decorative overlays industry. The report looks at such items as: vinyl films, thermoformed overlays, low basis weight papers, decorative foils, saturated papers, continuous laminates nd heat transfer foils.

The Laminating Materials Assn. Inc. (LMA) recently published its seventh Annual Statistical Report covering all decorative overlays except high-pressure laminates. Total U.S. supply of decorative overlays based on shipment figures indicated total consumption dropped by less than 1 percent in 1991

As is the custom of the LMA, three years of history are provided that allow the reader to spot any trends in the market. This is the fifth year that data has been collected from Canadian companies, thus a more complete understanding of the decorative overlay market in North America is to be found within the pages of the Annual Statistical Report.

The overlays tracked by the LMA include vinyl films, thermoformed overlays, low basis weight papers, decorative foils, saturated papers, continuous laminates, and heat transfer foils. These materials are laminated to wood substrates such as particleboard, medium density fiberboard, hardboard, etc. which are then converted into kitchen cabinets, furniture, displays, wall paneling and other products.

The LMA was tormed in November of 1985. in that year, the total U.S. supply of decorative overlays amounted to 4.60 billion square feet (bsf). In 1989 the total supply had grown to 6.43 bsf, an increase of 40 percent. However, 1990 saw a decline in overlay usage of 8.7 percent. Much of this loss can be attributed to a decline of nearly 23 percent in the consumption of decorative overlays used for wall paneling production. The decline continued in 1991, although it had moderated greatly (-O.3 percent).

More dramatic changes are evident in overlays used for wall paneling apart from all other uses. In the seven-year period that the LMA has officially been keeping records, the use of overlays for wall paneling has declined 41.2 percent. This represents a loss of more than 950 million square feet (mmsf). On the other hand, the use of decorative overlays for the production of furniture, kitchen cabinets, etc. has risen 103.1 percent, an increase of 2.367 bsf.

The use of vinyl overlays for wall paneling and industrial uses (all uses except for paneling) fell off in 1991. Wall paneling usage fell 14.7 percent and industrial uses were down 11.9 percent. Overall, vinyl films use dropped by 250 mmsf, which is roughly a 13 percent loss.

As a category, low basis weight papers, sometimes called rice or micro papers, fell 2.3 percent between 1990 and 1991. Wall paneling, however, was up 10.9 percent, with an increase of more than 500 mmsf. The loss in the industrial category was 5.7 percent, but due to the greater volume of material in this category, overall usage was down for low basis weight papers.

The decorative foils category was the only shining star in 1991, rising by 63.4 percent. This growth was double-checked with every reporting company and verified as accurate. Usage for wall paneling applications grew 37.2 percent, while industrial uses posted a 82.7 percent increase.

Saturated papers for thermoset panels turned in a mixed performance in 1991. The entire category fell slightly (-1.6 percent), losing about 15 mmsf. Polyester saturated papers continued a decline begun in 1990, falling an additional 28 percent in 1991. Melamine papers, which have been gaining market share since the LMA first began tracking saturated papers, fell in 1991 by 0.03 percent. It is expected that this product will move forward in the years to come.

The reported use of decorative overlays in Canada indicates that their usage has been rather cyclical for the past few years. in 1990, total Canadian supply had fallen 24 percent, and every product category was effected. In 1991, however, total shipments of decorative overlays into Canada grew by over 20 percent. This growth was led by the decorative foils category, which grew 65.2 percent between 1990 and 1991.

Extensive detail is available in the Annual Statistical Report published by the Association, which includes text, graphics and data tables. The full report is available only to dues paying members of the LMA. Dues for the 1991 fiscal year are $400.

Other work by the LMA includes a "Source of Supply Directory" covering decorative overlays, edgebanding materials, substrates, adhesives, laminated products and many other materials. A "Glossary of Terms" for the laminating industry has been published by the Association, with the hope of improving communication through standardization of industry vocabulary. A new section detailing laminating equipment was recently completed. Both the Directory and Glossary are available free to anyone upon request.

The Association is also engaged in the preparation of voluntary product standards for all the overlays it represents. These will be available either singly or in a bound volume sometime during the summer. Any individual wishing to contribute to the development of these standards should contact Association headquarters.

The LMA will exhibit at booth 3E 11 at the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair (IWF), Aug. 21-24.

Information about the LMA can be obtained by contacting: George M. Carter, president, Laminating Materials Assn., 767 Park Avenue, Oradell, NJ 07649; phone (201) 265-7766 or (FAX) (201) 262-7303.
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Title Annotation:Laminating Materials Association
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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