Page 6 - HW November 2019
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                          NZ Hardware Journal is published 11 times per year (monthly except for January)
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2456 • 30/9/2018
  Heading towards 2020....
   IT’S A BIT early to be thinking about the New Year – and there’s still the December magazine to come! – but it’s already
three and a bit weeks since the Hardware Awards (see page 18) and we’re starting to look ahead towards the 2020 program.
One of the tweaks that we’re considering for next year includes adding a category that addresses digital innovation.
This category may run across online, apps, devices, systems, in fact anything that enhances a retail or trade facing business, or indeed the work of a tradie.
So, whether you’re a supplier, a retailer or merchant, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this so do get in touch and/ or stay tuned for more on this and other “tweaks” for the coming year!
Even taking the Hardware Awards out of the equation, October was a busy month.
One of my key highlights was attending the launch of Clever Core, Fletcher Building’s new factory dedicated to prefabrication – aka offsite manufacturing – along with some interesting potential customers of scale.
The Wiri plant with its massive floor area (see page 6) is devoted to making
weather-sealed (but not clad) and populated wall panels on an impressive assembly line style set-up.
That’s one third of the building, another third being currently devoted to the currently lower tech, manual assembly of roof cassettes from kits of parts (sourced from a presumably PlaceMakers frame & truss plant) and wired and plumbed floor cassettes manufactured in-house.
The level of investment in equipment and automation was impressive – still
a big punt but softened no doubt by guaranteed volume demand from Fletcher Living in its first year – and would be the envy of many a frame & truss plant.
Could offsite manufacturing “take
over” from frame & truss? They’re two quite different things, but, with at least one major frame & truss player targeting automation as the next big area for investment, perhaps frame & truss could move towards a more manufacturing style of operation?
Just a thought.
I was also impressed with Milwaukee’s new consumer- and trade-facing Experience Centre which opened last month and really does raise the bar when it comes to level of finish and sophistication for the power tools sector (see page 9).
Equally impressive was seeing what the team at Mitre 10 MEGA Te Rapa have achieved with their new store layout and all without intruding into the working day (see page 7).
See you next time!
Steve Bohling, editor
   4 NZHJ | NOVEMBER 2019

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