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Stanley Black & Decker enters drone security market

BY Andy Carlo

Stanley Black & Decker, the world’s largest tool manufacturer, has formed a strategic partnership with Sunflower Labs, a San Francisco-based startup focused on home security products. The move provides Stanley Black & Decker an entry into the surveillance drone market.

Under terms of the partnership, Stanley Black & Decker and Sunflower Labs will work together on new and innovative security solutions, the companies said in a press release.

Sunflower Labs manufactures home security drone camera systems — including the Sunflower Home Awareness System, which combines outdoor sensors with an aerial camera for a full view of what's going on around homes.

"Security is more than locks and alarms, it's about understanding what's happening on your property at all times," said Alex Pachikov, Sunflower Labs CEO. "We're thrilled to have a partner in Stanley Black & Decker, the world's second largest commercial electronic security provider, who shares that belief."

Stanley Black & Decker is also the second-largest commercial electronic security company in the world. About 18% of Stanley Black & Decker’s total revenue in 2016 was derived from security products including cameras, sensors and locks.

"Sunflower Labs is pairing the state of the art in sensor and quadcopter technology to bring insightful security to property owners, giving them better context into activity on their grounds and providing real time verification of events," said Larry Harper, VP of Stanley Ventures. "We look forward to working with them to bring this innovation to market and to broadening the application of their technologies into the commercial security market."

Sunflower Labs’ “Smart Lights” system includes sensors that learn the pattern of normal activity. When unusual activity is detected, the Sunflower Flying Camera is deployed, sending an alert and streaming video to the Sunflower app on the owner's smartphone to provide a holistic picture of the situation, the company said.

To date, Sunflower Labs has raised $6 million in funding for product development.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Oct. 6, 2017.

Western: regional species perimeter foundation
Southern: regional species slab construction

Crow's Market Recap: A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow's Weekly Market Report.

Lumber

Price trends in SPF lumber continued. Producers sold limited offerings at persistently higher price levels, keeping order files extended, sometimes as far out as early November. Buyers held out when possible, preferring to digest prior purchases and wait out mill order files.      

  • Most #2 Southern Pine prices continued to gain, but more modest sales activity placed less upward pressure on prices than in prior weeks. Yards continued to report good sales but approached the market more cautiously.
  • Coastal species lumber prices continued down the same path, as largely flat green Doug Fir prices lagged the gains taking place in dry. Customers continued to replenish with conservative volumes that could ship relatively quickly.
  • Although some Inland producers reported decent sales some commented that their sales volume was a little lighter this week. In no case, however, were any signs of weakness noted.
  • Price volatility in studs was minimal. Some prices edged moderately higher while a few producers showed a willingness to discount. In general, 2×4 availability was more plentiful than 2×6. Supplies of 2×6 9’ remained relatively tight.
  • Whether it is Radiata Pine or Ponderosa, the supply side seems to be in reasonably good shape. Radiata Pine from New Zealand continues to flow into the US in heavier volumes than for some time.
  • Ponderosa Pine 4/4 boards are “moving steadily,” according to the producer consensus. Among the Common grades, only 1×6 #3 was noted for weakness. In Ponderosa #2 Common, the only change was in 1×12.
  • Western Red Cedar producers reported steady sales activity as the fourth quarter commenced. Buyers continued to purchase near-term needs in volumes they could sell before the conclusion of their building season. Others purchased to cover fourth quarter needs. More buyers are now looking further ahead, forecasting requirements for the first quarter.

Panels

OSB markets presented a scattered picture with regard to prices. Most regions maintain active retail business, as builders try and make the best of the waning season. Buying continues hand-to-mouth, and no one wants a long position. The repeating theme perpetuates price strength.    

  • Sales activity in the Southern Pine plywood market remained steady, leading to higher prices. Producers reported order files into the week of Oct. 23, with one producer garnering orders as far out as Nov. 20. Buyers often purchased truckload volumes to cover near-term needs in light of high prices.
  • Sales activity in the Western Fir plywood market was often described as “slower” or “steady.” Mills, however, did bump quotes a few dollars and sell at moderately higher levels. Buyers purchased panels that will ship the weeks of Oct. 23 to 30. Buyers chased orders, needing deliveries.
  • The Canadian plywood market tried unsuccessfully to find a solid trading level. Pricing continued its downhill glissade from record highs, while mills reached out and listened for offers.
  • Particleboard sales volumes were little changed from the prior week, leaving producers’ order files stable or slightly eroded.
  • MDF sales were often considered a notch better in both the West and East than particleboard, despite ample MDF imports available. Thermally fuse laminate sales were steady.

For more on RISI, click here.

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In Stores Now: Halloween at Lowe’s

BY HBSDEALER Staff

At a New Jersey Lowe’s, customers are greeted with an elaborate display of pumpkins – part of an even more elaborate Halloween decoration display.

Halloween, coming Tuesday, Oct. 31, is a growing business. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 179 million Americans plan to partake in Halloween festivities. Home improvement stores intend to take a slice of the spending. According to the NRF, consumers are expected to spend $9.1 billion this year, up from $8.4 billion in 2016.

How is your store decked out for Halloween? Let us know at [email protected].

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