LUMBERYARDS

Black + Decker rolls out Lithium Ion vacuums

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Black + Decker is updating its handheld vacuum repertoire with the addition of Lithium Ion technology.

The new range of cordless handheld vacuums includes the 20V MAX and the 16V MAX Lithium Flex Vacs with Floor Heads and the 20V MAX Lithium Pivot Vac.

"Lithium Ion battery technology has enhanced the performance of Black + Decker’s handheld vacuums," said Jeremy Lippenholz, product manager for Home Cleaning Products. "Other types of batteries fade and lose suction, making it difficult for homeowners to complete their cleaning task before running out of power. Instead, Lithium Ion batteries offer strong suction and fade-free power throughout their use, giving homeowners the confidence that they can complete tasks quickly and conveniently."

Depending on their needs, consumers can choose the Flex Vac with Floor Heads for portability and flexibility (including the option to clean any kind of floor surface), or the Pivot Vac, which is designed to clean hard to reach areas with a specially designed pivoting nose.

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Eco Building Products CEO points to momentum

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Anticipating big moves ahead for the company, Eco Building Products president and CEO Steve Conboy sent out a letter to the company’s shareholders Tuesday, providing a status update heading into the second half of the year and the mainstream national market as a whole.

"We now are gaining national attention with national supply chain via our primary client, a Major Big Box retailer," wrote Conboy.

Among recent developments, ECOB is operating under a lean, "supply-only" business model that’ll provide coating services and special order sales for Eco Red Shield protected lumber.

Eco is also bracing for increased demand in the second half of the year, which is prompting the company to expand its supply chain capacity.

"We have positioned the company to scale as product demand grows," added Conboy. "We represent a breakthrough opportunity in a $100B worldwide industry, which is central to infrastructure development, while providing an ecologically friendly solution to key unmet needs in the space."

Among its methods for scaling are direct to consumer sales via the aforementioned big box customer, pre-packaged home infrastructures, and a high-margin affiliate program in which Eco will supply coating equipment and application chemicals to lumber manufacturers.

The company is also moving ahead with its aim to become a cash-flow positive business by reclassifying certain liabilities and increasing its access to capital, and it’s gearing up for the big shift with a shift in branding as well.

"In our opinion, we feel that in order to be most effective in the manufacturing and distribution of a cost-effective, defensive lumber product, we change the perception that Eco Red Shield is a luxury commodity, and instead use targeted marketing and education to appropriately instruct the marketplace that Eco Red Shield is a critical component to large infrastructure planning going forward, and not using Eco Red Shield is exposing end users and insurance companies to significant additional safety risk and rehabilitation expense," added Conboy.

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GE expounds on its micro-kitchen concept

BY HBSDEALER Staff

GE is releasing more details regarding one of its newest and most exciting projects, part of a new partnership with MakerBot and TechShop that will serve as an incubator of sorts for innovations in the appliance space.

“As we watch what’s happening in the U.S., there’s a clear trend toward smaller, more efficient living spaces,” said Lou Lenzi, director of industrial design for GE Appliances. “There will always be a need for larger appliances for existing homes; however, we can’t ignore the growing need in urban environments. GE Appliances is excited to tackle the design challenge of creating micro-kitchen concepts that help people maintain or enhance their lifestyle in substantially less square footage.”

Among the concepts is the monoblock, which seamlessly integrates cooking, cleaning and refrigeration into the cabinetry. A second design uses a drawer-based system to stow — and make available — various appliances as needed, including a microwave oven, conventional oven, convertible refrigerator and freezer, and dishwasher. It will also include an induction or radiant glass cooktop, downdraft ventilation system and kitchen sink with disposal.

According to the company, GE is the first manufacurer to have its own micro-factory production facility, which is called FirstBuild and is located in Louisville, Kentucky. There, GE will prototype, manufacture and sell small batches of the micro kitchens later this year.

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