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3-D printing takes the stage in Cologne

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cologne, Germany — In what is certainly not the last presentation on three-dimensional printing technology and its uncertain role in the future of commerce, a German technologist explained why we will someday be producing goods in the living room.

The revolution in 3-D printing — the process of making a three-dimensional solid object out of digital information — is likely to develop slowly, he said, as efficiencies in design compound over time, making 3-D-printing machines easier to own and operate.

The topic was addressed at the Internationale Eisenwarenmesse (International Hardware Fair) here in Cologne, Germany, as part of a series of "Eisenforum" presentations, ranging from marketing to management. 

Currently in the realm of professional (and expensive) programmers, the revolution in 3-D printing has a long way to go before it becomes common, according to Michael Schubert of Munich-based 3-D-printing pioneer Produktredaktion. 

Still, Schubert offered his thoughts on what the end game might look like. A homeowner would probably not design a product from scratch, nor enter it into mass production. Rather, he or she might be able to improve upon an existing product by adding pieces or personalizing their products. He showed slides of examples, including a bird feeder and a customized power drill.

Schubert also suggested that 3-D printing might have a home in retail stores as a "shop within a shop" where consumers can benefit from the technology in a retail setting. 

As Apple invented a new culture for users with its iPhone and iPad, so too, one would expect a culture to develop around the possibilities of 3-D printing, he said.

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Electrolux promotes marketing chief

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Charlotte, N.C.-based Electrolux promoted John Weinstock to senior VP North American marketing. 

Weinstock, who joined the company in 2011 as VP North American marketing, oversees brand management, consumer insight-led innovation, and integrated trade and consumer marketing campaigns.

Weinstock has spent more than 20 years in the consumer durables and packaged goods industries, most recently as VP marketing, home appliances and home entertainment for LG Electronics. Prior to joining LG Electronics, Weinstock developed and implemented marketing strategies for Johnson & Johnson where he managed brands such as Johnson’s Baby and Band-Aid. He also served internationally for the company. In 2008, Brandweek named Weinstock a “Marketer of the Year.” 

Weinstock serves as the vice chairman of the Ada Jenkins Center’s board of directors in Davidson, N.C., and on the advisory committee of the University of Wisconsin Center for Brand Management. 

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For the lawn, OASE acquires GeoGlobal Partners

BY HBSDEALER Staff

West Palm Beach, Fla.-based GeoGlobal Partners, a leading North American provider of innovative water gardening brands, has been acquired by The OASE Group headquartered in Hörstel, Germany.

The transaction has been closed with immediate effect and the terms were not disclosed.

GeoGlobal brands include Gardenique, pond boss, smartpond and TotalPond.

The merger brings together two leading water gardening companies to create what the companies are calling the “most innovative and comprehensive water gardening business in North America.”

Combined, the companies are poised to further strengthen Oase presence in North America while creating a global market leader in water gardening.

Said Douglas Ward, president of GeoGlobal Partners: “From the beginner to the experienced landscaper, the OASE Group’s products will transform and inspire the North American water gardening industry.”

GeoGlobal Partners markets primarily in the beginner-to-intermediate water gardening segments in various distribution channels in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“The combined group can now provide the full range of product diversity in North America as they have in their home market in Europe,” according to the company. 

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