Laboratory furniture designers are routinely perplexed by the ramifications of using traditional laboratory furniture that utilizes 5 times more energy and becomes an impediment to their bottom line. Alternatively, lab furniture manufactures could ponder on the multitude of options that are available to create efficient and functional labs using laboratory furniture that is more sustainable, thus becoming a refinement and harbinger for a safer and more cost-effective strategy. Examples of such labs are flexible laboratories with features such as movable cupboards, or sustainable laboratories with features such as fume hoods to reduce exhaust rates.
Laboratory furniture designers are adopting a new approach to design a crafty lab using furniture that is modular and can assist in future-proofing an existing design. Modular furniture such as storage units, cabinets, and shelves can be re-constructed using simple tools. Eco-friendly design elements can be added without going through a tedious, disruptive, and costly innovation. As moving to a brand new facility is not only costly but also not feasible, juxtaposing existing laboratory furniture with utilities that are more economical, space efficient, and functional is emerging as a key driving factor boosting the growth of the laboratory furniture market.
Innovations in modular lab furniture are becoming very popular, especially for disaster mitigation, in the laboratory furniture market, which recorded sales of ~3.1 billion units in 2018, reaching a valuation of ~US$ 838 million. In the coming years, due to increasing awareness about the environmental impact of manufacturing activities and the need for their reducing carbon footprint, stakeholders in the laboratory furniture market are likely to focus on adopting sustainable raw materials while catering to the rise in the demand for modular laboratory furniture.
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Hot Trends in Laboratory Furniture Designs
Growing environmental awareness has bolstered the adoption of eco-friendly materials among laboratory furniture manufacturers. The increasing use of sustainable materials such as stainless steel, which does not only increase the life of the furniture but also makes recycling possible, is an important and continuous trend that will continue to influence the growth of the laboratory furniture market. Additionally, solvent-free powder coatings, which are less volatile, and cost-effective, are gaining high demand in the laboratory furniture market.
Furthermore, manufacturers are introducing 3D visualization services for their clients to prevent furniture design and layout errors, ultimately to plummet manufacturing costs and production times. Traditional designing involves costly and time-consuming revisions. Laboratory furniture manufacturers are now providing online tools that allow their clients to design their labs and ultimately customize their laboratory furniture according to their needs. There are a plethora of material choices and design layouts that can be viewed from a 3D angle almost instantaneously. This trend can significantly impact the bottom line of key market players and reduce the cost of overheads incurred in tedious design procedures.
Adjustable workbenches, tables, and desks that are more ergonomic and prevent neck and back ache are likely to remain high in demand, and this will influence market players’ business strategies in the coming years. Thereby, the rise in the demand for ergonomic furniture is also a key trend positively impacting the laboratory furniture market.
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What is Impeding the Growth of the Laboratory Furniture Market?
Technology is proliferating at a rapid rate. With scientific evolution, more and more markets are utilizing talent, and this is leading to the creation of science parks and hubs. The downside to this is the escalating real estate costs that could restrain or impede the laboratory furniture market, as more and more workers are being forced to work in smaller spaces.
Another threat that is impacting the growth of the laboratory furniture market is the threat of tariffs on trade. Many furniture companies, especially in North America, import raw material and furniture goods from China. Recently, North America recorded a surplus of goods imported from China vis-à-vis goods exported, which recorded an acute deficit. This did not bode well for the North American economy, as it increased the rate of Section 301 Tariff from 10% to 25% on goods coming in from China. While companies that manufacture their laboratory furniture from raw materials that are sourced locally are not directly affected, it does not bode well for other market players in the laboratory furniture market. Furniture manufacturers who source their material from abroad will be adversely impacted due to the tariffs, and this will impede the growth of the laboratory furniture market. The indirect effects of tariffs can also be seen on local players who have to deal with the escalated prices of domestic stainless steel.
Harsh tariffs will also have a negative impact on Chinese material suppliers. Bombarded with escalating tariffs, Chinese exporters will have to shut down or look at other alternatives. With China being one of the largest exporters of laboratory furniture material, worldwide, this is bound to adversely affect the global laboratory furniture market and restrict its growth.
Insights into the Competitive Landscape
Headquartered in North Carolina, United States, Kewaunee Scientific Corporation is designing futuristic laboratory furniture that resonates with style, aesthetics, functionality, and comfort. Its design and sales teams are working closely together to provide its clients with a 3D overview of a fully-functional laboratory, from planning to design and construction.
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