Trade kitchen supplier Howdens has become the only kitchen manufacturer to be awarded Lab Approved Status by Fira International.
Fira International testing and technical manager Howard James commented: “Being the only kitchen manufacturer to be awarded Fira International Lab Approved status shows Howdens’s dedication to ensuring its customers have access to only the highest quality products. Their testing programme is of a gold standard. Fira International will continue to audit their process to ensure that competency remains high.”
The Furniture Industry Research Association is part of the Element Group and specialises in providing a comprehensive range of independent testing, inspection, certification, technical and training services to the furniture industry. Its aim is to help its customers to make certain that the materials, products, systems and operations are safe, quality, compliant and fit for purpose.
Howdens head of technical quality Steve McClean said: “Being Fira International Lab Approved is a huge milestone in the history of Howdens as it recognises our extensive testing process, not only across our kitchens but also our joinery, ironmongery, worktops and cabinets categories”.
“Our standard practice exceeds British and European standards through our back-to-back testing of comparative products, as well as the Howdens Trade Tests. This includes finish performance and structural testing, which covers door slam tests, cabinetry strength tests and stain tests on worktops and frontals, affording our customers peace of mind.”
Howdens says tradespeople will benefit greatly from this new testing process as it brings a 50% reduction in testing time during new product development, making the company “more agile when it comes to the latest market trends and customer requirements”.
Howdens’s own testing lab (pictured) covers four key areas, said the company, including structural, colour, environmental and finish.
Founded in 1995 with just 14 depots, Howdens now has more than 750 nationwide.