Manufacturing Modern Site Furnishings
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Manufacturing Modern Site Furnishings

Aug 21, 2020
Video Length:  1:13:08
Presented By:  David Traphagen of Anova
Manufacturer Video Type:  site
Manufacturer Video Company:  Anova

When specifying furnishings and amenities for your designs, you naturally want to select products that will best fit your project sites. David Traphagen of Anova Site Furnishings will provide insight into the industrial design processes carried out by site furnishings manufacturers. You’ll learn about different design philosophies, manufacturing methods, and technologies used along the way. David will also discuss how manufacturers can promote sustainable manufacturing processes and apply innovative techniques in creating the perfect functional objects for your sites and the clients who use them.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Manufacturing Processes
    • Additive vs. Subtractive vs. Transformative
    • Transformative Manufacturing
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • How are Site Furnishings "Actually" Made?
    • How Do We Turn This (Raw Materials) into This (Finished Product)?
    • Coating and Preparation
    • Quality Control, Assembly, and Shipping

0:00 – 5:16: Intro/TOC

Anova Furnishings overview and history (2:50)

5:17 – 35:44: Manufacturing Processes

Additive vs. Subtractive vs. Transformative (5:26)

Additive: Often referred to by its far more sensational-sounding description of 3D printing, additive manufacturing is in fact a technology that has been around for at least three decades.


Subtractive: Subtractive manufacturing is a process by which 3D objects are constructed by successfully cutting material away from a solid block of material.


Additive vs. Subtractive manufacturing: slide (6:58)


Power bed fusion (7:58)

  • Direct metal sintering (DMLS)
  • Selective laser sintering (SLS)
  • Selective heat sintering (SHS)
  • Electron beam melting (EBM)
  • Direct metal laser melting (DMLM)


These systems use lasers, electron beams, or thermal print heads to melt or partially melt ultra-fine layers of material in a three-dimensional space. As the process concludes, excess powder is blasted away from the object.


Additive manufacturing video example (3D metal printer (9:22)


Directed energy deposition (10:31)

  • Can be used with a variety of materials, including polymers, ceramics, and metals.
  • An electron beam gun or laser mounted on a four- or five-axis arm melts either wire or filament feedstock or powder.


Subtractive manufacturing (11:33)

CNC machine: Using multiple tools, cuts around a solid piece of material on 2 or 3 axes.


Laser cutting (12:58)

  • Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, most commonly through optics.
  • The focused laser beam is directed at the material, which then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish.




Transformative Manufacturing (14:30)

Casting (14:56)

Metal casting is the process of pouring molten metal into a shaped space so it will cool and harden in that form.


Metal casting terms (15:50)

  • Mold: A cavity in a material that receives liquid metal and produces a cooled object in the shape of that cavity.
  • Dimensional tolerance: The variation acceptable in the size of the final product.
  • Near net casting: The product is very close to the right size when it is shaken out of the mold.
  • Surface finishing: How granular, bumpy, or rough is the surface of the casting?


Process of casting (18:03)

  • Packing a molding material (traditionally a mixture of sand and clay) around a pattern of the casting.
  • The pattern is removed.
  • Liquid metal poured into the mold.



Sand casting (suitable for steel or aluminum) (18:03)


Video example of sand casting (20:00)


Forming (aka metalworking) (21:55)

Metalworking is the process of fashioning metal parts and objects through mechanical deformation.

  • Mass remains unchanged.
  • The physical shape is permanently changed.



Question: Are forming and forging the same thing? (23:22)

Answer: No. Forging is permanently attachment of two like pieces into one. It differs from welding in that welding introduces a different material to form the bond.


Forming terms (24:45)

  • Rolling: Where the material is passed through a pair of rollers
  • Extrusion: Where the material is pushed through an orifice
  • Die forming: Where the material is stamped by a press around or onto a die
  • Forging: Where the material is shaped by localized compressive forces
  • Indenting: Where a tool is pushed into the workpiece


Joining (26:37)

Welding: fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing fusion

  • Melts the base metal
  • Filler material added (weld pool) and can be stronger than base or parent metal


Welding: slide example (27:37)


Joining methods (28:48):

  • Gas metal arc welding (GMAW): Commonly termed MIG (metal, inert gas), uses a wire feeding gun that feeds wire at an adjustable speed and flows an argon-based shielding gas or a mix of argon or carbon dioxide (CO2) over the weld puddle to protect it from atmospheric contamination. MAD welding (metal, active gas) is similar but uses an active gas such as 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide, which reacts with the molten weld puddle while also shielding it.


  • Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW): Also known as TIG (tungsten, inert gas) uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas such as argon or helium.



Question: How do you find that these different manufacturing methods impact the rate at which manufacturers can produce a unit? Is there a big difference? (31:20)

Answer: Yes, they do differ. For example, 3D printing is relatively slow and expensive.


Question: Do you have an example of a product type in the site furnishings realm that would benefit more from any of these methods above the others? Or it is more applicable to components? (33:14)

Answer: Casting is generally an easier (but more expensive in terms of both labor and materials) method than the others, and it allows for the creation of a wider variety of unique shapes.

35:45. – 45:20: Lean Manufacturing

What is lean manufacturing, and how does it promote sustainability?


Lean manufacturing defined (36:15)

Lean manufacturing is a systematic method for waste minimization ("Muda") within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity. Lean also considers waste created through overburden ("Muri") and waste created through unevenness in workloads ("Mura").


"Lean manufacturing is not a collection of best practices from which manufacturers can pick and choose. It is a production philosophy, a way of conceptualizing the manufacturing process from raw material to finished goods and from design concept to customer satisfaction. Lean is truly a different way of thinking about manufacturing."

Running Today's Factory: A Proven Strategy for Lean Manufacturing by Charles Standard


Lean principles (38:37)

  • Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product family.
  • Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
  • Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  • As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
  • As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again, and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.


Wastes in manufacturing (DOWNTIME) (42:02):

  • Defects
  • Overproduction
  • Non-utilized talents
  • Waiting
  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Extra processing


Lean tools and supporting strategies (43:34)

5 Ss (Sort, Stabilize, Shine, Standardize, Sustain)

  • Visual control
  • Team building
  • Problem solving
  • Standardized processes
  • Value stream mapping

45:21 – end: How are Site Furnishings "Actually" Made?

Video example of a metal shop (45:50)




How Do We Turn This (Raw Materials) into This (Finished Product)? (46:35)

  • Aluminum
    • Cast aluminum bench ends
  • Steel
    • Laser-cut steel panels
    • Formed steel seat pan
    • Welded steel
    • Machined stainless-steel hardware
  • Protective coating
    • Cleaning process
    • Primer applied
    • Powder coating all metal components
  • Finished bench


Casting process (47:13)

  • Sand contained in frames or mold boxes known as flasks.
  • Mold cavities created by compacting sand around models.
  • Molten aluminum poured in and allowed to harden.
  • Sand is then broken away, revealing the casting.
  • Casting must be refined to final form.


Laser-cut steel (subtractive manufacturing) (49:05)

  • Steel, aluminum, brass, and copper
  • Steel thickness: .75"
  • Automatic CNC control


Question: How complex can laser cutting be? (50:16)

Answer: The only limitation is ensuring that the cut item has structural integrity and is interconnected (e.g., it can't include a floating circle within a hole).


Question: Is there a threshold for ensuring that the cut items maintain their structural integrity and don't become misshapen? (51:30)

Answer: Several variables are in play, including:

  • The complexity of the pattern (i.e., the percentage cut away from the base piece) which determines the structural elements.
  • Based on the amount of material to be removed, what is the gauge of metal that will be used?
  • Can structural elements be added back in and possibly hidden within the pattern?
  • Guidelines and standards for the type of equipment being produced.


Sanding: video example (54:55)


Forming process (55:20)

Cut panels must be formed into the final shape: A machine called a brake press can be used to bend steel at various angles.


Brake press: video examples (56:28)


Welding process (57:30)

Forming site furnishings: pieces made in metal form need to be joined.


Welding or mechanical joining:

  • Welding: Metal is fused together.
  • Mechanical: Parts are assembled using bolts and nuts to secure them.


Disadvantages of welding (57:56)


Welding: video example (59:42)



Coating and Preparation (1:00:00)



Surface finishing + cleaning process (1:00:00)

  • Once fabrication is complete, the piece is carefully reviewed and deburred to neaten and smooth any rough edges or ridges prior to cleaning.
  • Alkaline rinse and wash is used to ensure proper adhesion of the primer and finish material.


Coating + priming process (1:00:58)

After the initial cleaning, the material is lightly sandblasted to provide a coarse, textured finish for improved adhesion of the primer coating.


An epoxy primer is then sprayed onto the piece to improve the finish coat's bond to the metal substrate.

  • Fusion Advantage: liquid primer
  • Powder coat: dry primer


Powder coating process (1:01:54)

  • Powder coating is an electrostatically applied coating in the form of free-flowing dry powder.
  • High-voltage electrodes in the powder-coating gun charge the powder particles, which bind to the grounded object.
  • Heat cures the powder particles into a contiguous protective film.
  • Film thickness: 6–10 mils. (.0006").
  • Bake temperature: +/- 350 degrees Fahrenheit for final cure.


Powder coating: video example (1:03:40)


Fusion advantage process (1:03:59)

  • Fusion Advantage is a patented coating system that combines the durability and protection of plastisol with the finish quality and UV protection of powder coating.
  • Thickness: approximately .25".
  • Bake temperature: +/- 350 degrees Fahrenheit for final cure.


Question: What sort of powder coating is used in high-end furniture? (1:05:38)

Answer: High-grade polyester powder. But most site furnishings companies are buying from the same handful of providers. The exact powder used will generally depend on the material being coated.


Quality Control, Assembly, and Shipping (1:06:53)

Quality control process (1:06:53)

Members on the line carrying out the manufacturing process are responsible for quality inspection.


Each stage of the fabrication process requires a thorough review of the received material to ensure ideal condition prior to the next portion of work.


Assembly + shipping process (1:08:07)

  • The level pf pre-assembly varies by product.
  • Site furnishings that require more complex assembly are delivered fully assembled.
  • Specialized packaging equipment and machinery are used to engineer custom packing products specific to each product.


QR code for the CEU quiz (1:12:00)

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