KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
17th February 2012


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Enterprises must boost innovation as global competition becomes stronger

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Almost all EU Member States have improved their innovation performance according to the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2011 released on Tuesday by the European Commission in Brussels. However, innovation performance growth is slowing down and the EU is not closing the persistent gap with global innovation leaders US, Japan and South Korea. The largest gap for the EU27 remains in terms of private sector innovation.

NKBA report shows high optimism for start of 2012

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has released the Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the fourth quarter. Although results convey a slight drop-off from third quarter in number of remodels and budgets, showroom visits held steady from a year ago and with marked increases from 2009 and 2010, optimism for the first quarter of 2012 remains high.

Karonia to showcase extended Mistral range

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KBB 2012: Hall 20, Stand F110

Karonia, the provider of Mistral genuine 25mm solid surface worktops, will be unveiling its significantly extended range. On display will be a number of exciting new colourways for the versatile enhanced acrylic worksurface.

Sustainable products and installation materials can earn 'green' NSF International certification

NSF International, an independent global organisation that writes public health standards and certifies products for food, water and consumer goods, now offers Green Squared Certification for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles and installation materials.

Welcome to the

As someone who strongly believes that everyone should be trained to do their job - not only so they can do it efficiently, professionally and to the required standards, but also to give those tasked with simpler work the recognition they deserve and a pride in what they do - I was surprised to learn this week that there isn't a formal qualification in the domestic refrigeration market!

Surely a nationally recognised qualification route for this group of engineers is vital from both a commercial perspective and from one of safety and environment.  Manufacturers will end up with better qualified engineers servicing and maintaining their equipment, which will result in fewer returns, fewer spares being used and equipment having a better chance of being repaired rather than scrapped. Good for the planet then too!

Well done then to Amica, Liebherr and the Whitegoods Trade Association for doing what was needed to support the creation of a new City & Guilds qualification, which is being launched at a conference in the Midlands on Wednesday.

You can read about it below and if you'd like to attend the conference, the contact details are included.

If you feel that there's another area that desperately requires a City & Guilds or other qualification, I'd love to have your thoughts on it...



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

New qualification created for domestic refrigeration engineers

Amica, Liebherr and the Whitegoods Trade Association are lending support and financial sponsorship to the process of creating A Qualification Route for Domestic Refrigeration Service Engineers.

Since its inception, the Whitegoods Trade Association has been concerned by the lack of formal qualification in the domestic refrigeration market.  With this in mind the WTA approached  Lynton Perry, a City & Guilds assessor, with a view to making a nationally recognized qualification available to those working within this industry.  With the support of both Amica & Liebherr, the idea has now become reality.

NKBA reveals top kitchen & bath trends for 2012

More than 350 National Kitchen & Bath Association member designers took part in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey in the US to cite the materials, product types and styles that they've incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011. While broad trends won't be evident in every local market, the following are 10 overall trends for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada.

KBB Birmingham conference update:

Drawers, doors and lifting systems - a study into the real usage of kitchens

FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, will be presenting the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at 11.00 on 5th March at kbb 2012, at Birmingham's NEC.

The FIRA funded study for Blum has looked into how real-life kitchens are used and the impact this has on the design, manufacture and installation of furniture fittings.

Astro launches new designs

* Astro-Arezzo.jpgKBB Birmingham 2012: Hall 20, Stand F104

UK lighting manufacturer, Astro, will present a selection of its latest designs at KBB Birmingham. Astro tells us it offers the largest range of IP44 rated products anywhere in the world, together with a wide choice of contemporary wall lights, pendants and down lights, with an extensive use of LED designs throughout the ranges - so a visit to this stand is a must for anyone wishing to stay up-to-date with what's available when it comes to lighting solutions.

Laufen extends its success with new products

* Living_Square.jpgKBB 2012: Stand E70, Hall 20

Laufen's stand will be packed to the brim with new products and extensions to some of its most popular existing lines. Just one of the new products on show at the NEC will be several new offerings to the Swiss manufacturer's Laufen pro collection, being introduced to reflect the very latest trends in contemporary bathroom design. New round washbasins and smoothly contoured WCs will be on show, reflecting the trend for shapes and curves that create the feeling of luxury in the bathroom.

Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton joins Caple at Show

* chef.jpgKBB Birmingham 2012: Hall K94, stand K100

Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton is delighted to be joining appliance and kitchen supplier Caple at this year's show. Josh, who runs The Pony & Trap country restaurant in Chew Magna, near Bristol where Caple is based, will demonstrate his outstanding ability to produce simple, yet superb, food, with the help of a number of high-quality cooking appliances supplied by Caple at this year's show.

You cannot fail to miss Josh on Caple's stand this year as Caple is occupying two stands, which take up an impressive 200sq m. This space will include a high-quality kitchen display where Josh will be demonstrating his culinary expertise, designated meeting areas and a dedicated Caple library containing a selection of informative product brochures. That's not all as Caple is also showcasing more than 130 new products, which provide a fantastic cross-section of Caple's extensive portfolio. These include a whole host of intelligent appliances, such as a multifunctional oven, free-standing, large capacity refrigeration, built-in wine cabinets, stylish sinks, such as glass and steel versions, plus ultra-chic black and steel taps.

Get a hold of this...

* handlebrochure.jpgHafele has released a new Decorative Handles catalogue, introducing five exciting new ranges. 

Over 400 new handles have been carefully selected to enhance and complement all types of furniture to ensure there is a solution to suit all design styles.  From modern chic to timeless classics, each has been individually chosen ensuring the needs and wants of customers have been met, categorising them into five groups:

New courses cover kitchen & bathroom design principles and project management

The NTG has announced two new design courses for 2012. They will be delivered in a collaboration between EQ Software, the NTG (National Training Group) and the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's Bathroom Academy. These two day courses are aimed at professional kitchen or bathroom designers as well as new entrants into the kbb market.

Prolong the taste using the latest Brita technology with Francis Pegler

* Ceto_BRITA_Set.jpgThe hugely popular Brita filter tap range from Francis Pegler now benefits from enhanced performance that adapts to differing water qualities.

Brita research has found that 53% of the UK population have expressed some disatisfaction with their tap water. With water qualities throughout the UK differing from region to region, a tap that combines the easy accessibility of drinkable water with a taste many consumers have come to love, plus a choice to now prolong the life of the filter, can only provide greater options for consumers in their kitchen tap requirements.

Anthony Nolan named Belling's centenary year charity

British kitchen manufacturer Belling is hoping to raise at least £10,000 for pioneering stem cell charity, Anthony Nolan, after naming it Charity of the Year as part of its centenary celebrations.

Anthony Nolan was unveiled as Belling's Charity of the Year after winning a staff and public vote against five other national charities. The charity beat off competition from Barnardo's, Shelter, Help for Heroes, Marie Cure Cancer Care and Trussell Trust Foodbanks, receiving almost 3,000 votes from the public and Belling staff in the three-week long poll.

The KBzine Archive Search

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Lakes Bathrooms moves to new premises

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Continued growth for shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has seen the company relocate to new, significantly larger premises. The move doubles the space to a total 60,000 square feet and consolidates its four existing Gloucestershire sites into one much larger head quarters.

Government urged to boost credibility of apprenticeship schemes

The Forum of Private Business has urged the Government to simplify the entire apprenticeship system to make it more business-friendly and appealing to industry leaders.

Pseudomonas - we need more facts

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By Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association

The tragic baby deaths in Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital have shocked us all and investigations into how and where this killer bug, pseudomonas, thrived, need to be carried out quickly and accurately.

SBID offers honorary membership to kbbreview award finalists

The Society of British Interior Designers is offering the finalists in the design categories of the kbbreview Awards the opportunity to become an honorary member for a year, usually worth more than £300.

World record-breaking paralympic athlete champions independent living opportunity

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If anyone is an inspirational role model for illustrating the rewards in overcoming a disability, it's Jon-Allan Butterworth. The 25-year-old is considered one of the country's brightest hopefuls for the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the cycling category, having already broken numerous British and world records. The athlete has teamed up with independent living solutions provider AKW to demonstrate that having a disability does not mean you cannot be self-sufficient in the home.

160-year old kitchenwares firm goes for high-tech inventory management tool

A multi award-winning kitchen, dining and housewares supplier with a 160-year history has opted for a high-tech solution to boost already impressive availability targets.

KBSA announces new corporate member

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has just announced a new Corporate Member, Keller Kitchens.

FIRA dramatically reduces its carbon footprint by working with Recycling Furniture

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Through the help of Recycling Furniture, The Furniture Industry Research Association is now able to recycle a large proportion of the furniture it tests, rather than sending it to landfill.

Ultima Furniture Systems takes over Matchmaker Kitchens

Longstanding cabinet manufacturer Ultima Furniture Systems has today announced that it is taking over the Matchmaker Kitchen brand.

Retrofit 2012 conference finds that policymakers have yet to engage with human behaviour

The University of Salford Retrofit 2012 conference concluded yesterday with a detailed focus on the challenges of the large-scale behaviour change needed in the UK if the Government is to achieve its carbon reduction targets.

Belling announces centenary plans for 2012

Popular cooking appliance brand Belling, has announced a 12 month programme of activity to take place throughout 2012 to celebrate its centenary year.

Anna Ryder Richardson and Gerd Bulthaup to speak at kbb Birmingham

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The seminar programme for kbb Birmingham 2012 has been announced and it promises to equip visitors with the inspiration and knowledge for the year ahead, discussing the key issues facing the sector.


New Abode for talented young technical designer

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Talented 25 year old Mark Staweczny recently joined the award winning design team of Abode, the manufacturer of highly creative kitchen sinks and taps and bathroom brassware.

Franke appoints Annie for first class aftersales service

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Kitchen system, sink and tap specialist, Franke, has appointed Annie Dwan to work in Customer Services.


Vado announces 2012 catalogue collection

In preparation for what is set to be another busy year for brassware manufacturer Vado, the company has produced a range of 2012 catalogues tailored to the specific requirements of its customers, namely:

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