Threespine™ is a tool-and-hardware-free click technology used in furniture assembly, taking away the need for nails, dowels and glue to assemble the panels. Instead, it uses a tongue-and-groove principle with a flexible glass-fibre re-enforced plastic insert as the key feature that locks the panels together.
Adapted from the floor locking technology developed by Välinge Innovation, Threespine™ combines Välinge’s R&D experience in wooden flooring and furniture with HOMAG’s expertise in industrial furniture manufacturing. Jonas Banestig, senior key account manager of furniture technology, Asia, Välinge Innovation Sweden, explained to Wood in Architecture how it works: “Each profiled joint contains some of the plastic inserts along its length. When a furniture panel is positioned and pushed down, the insert retracts into a groove, and as the panel reaches its final position, the insert snaps out into a wedge groove with a ‘click’ — that is the sound which signals that the panels are locked.”
Without nails or dowels, the concern of stability naturally rises. But Banestig assured that the strength of the panel comes from the profile using “the entire depth of the product” instead of conventional fittings with point-wise connection: “In combination with a back panel that can be clicked instead of nailed, this therefore creates a stable furniture even during assembly.”
Välinge offers a range of profiles that complements different kinds of panel joints, with corner and mitre joints being the most commonly used in every furniture — whether it is basic kitchen cabinets or high-end design furniture. They also complement panels of various thicknesses, from “more than 22mm down to 6mm mitre joints”, depending on the material.
These mean that Threespine™ can be profiled into various kinds of furniture, such as cabinets, drawers, tables and bookcases. Manufacturers can also be creative in their design with the various board thicknesses and panel joints, choosing profiles best suited for the product and optimised for the production setup with machinery by HOMAG.
When manufacturing furniture with Threespine™, manufacturers can use the same production line for both factory assembly and ready-to-assemble. This allows them to offer a future-proofed omnichannel approach, suited to the changing retail landscape and increase in online sales.
Furthermore, with the plastic insert slotted into the furniture panel in the production line, the panels will be ready for assembly as soon as they roll off. This saves time and effort that would otherwise be spent fiddling with small fittings and components, thus streamlining production. This also ensures that the quality of the finished furniture product is determined during production, and not by the end consumer. As such, end consumers will only need to click the panels together, thus resulting in “fewer claims and returns”.
This article first appeared on Wood in Architecture, Issue 1, 2022. To read on, click here.