Manufacturing Upholstered Furniture with Plywood, OSB, and SCL
Engineered wood products have transformed the manufacture of upholstered furniture, much to the benefit of manufacturers and consumers. These furniture-grade wood products allow manufacturers to attain higher material yields, reduce assembly costs, and deliver quality furniture that will stand up to the demands of a lifetime warranty.
Engineered wood products like OSB, plywood, and structural composite lumber (SCL) are becoming increasingly popular with upholstered furniture manufacturers for a variety of reasons. Wood products’ structural benefits and manufacturing flexibility result in quality products at a lower cost, while increased yields are a boon to the environment and to profit margins alike.
Furniture-grade plywood and OSB panels are readily available and cost-competitive when compared with traditional hardwood lumber. This allows the manufacturer to better control the costs of its finished product, and in turn, pass those savings onto the consumer. The large panel sizes allow wide components to be made in one piece, which results in significant labor savings and better quality frames. Due to the high yield of plywood and OSB, there is very little waste from a panel. This cuts down on cost, as the majority of the panel can be utilized.
The high yields from OSB and plywood are not only an advantage for cost effectiveness—this also means a benefit to the environment, as there is less wood being wasted than with hardwood lumber. Plywood offers twice the yield of hardwood lumber. Some manufacturers even report yield improvements from 30 percent with hardwood frame-grade lumber to 90 percent with plywood.
Formaldehyde concentration is a serious concern in imported composite wood. APA Rated plywood and OSB panels use only moisture-resistant adhesives, and therefore are exempt from U.S. EPA and California formaldehyde regulations due to their very low emission rates. To learn more, visit our formaldehyde page.
Furniture-grade panel properties, such as strength, fastener-holding capacity, consistent yield, stability, and workability, lend themselves well to the structural demands of quality furniture manufacture. Due to their durability and strength, panels improve the overall quality of furniture and improve manufacturing efficiencies by eliminating the need to replace split or warped lumber components. Panel uniformity is ideal for notched joints, commonly used in furniture manufacturing. The increased panel size improves manufacturing efficiencies and allows state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, such as Computer Numeric Control (CNC) panel saws and routers, to be used.
Furniture-grade panels are engineered for their intended end use, allowing the manufacturer to take advantage of the strength and fastener holding capabilities. Panels are dimensionally stable, which makes them less likely to warp or twist. Reliability of wood structural panel components helps reduce service calls and therefore increases customer satisfaction.