interzum Function & Components segment: trends for 2013
Even more comfortable, even more individual: the end consumer benefits from new developments in fittings
LED becoming the general standard
From the feasibility study to the market-ready product - interzum offers the entire spectrum
The damping or electrification of drawers, pull-outs and flaps, plus innovative solutions for medicine cabinets and corner cupboards - many innovations that definitively influence the furniture industry are showcased in public for the first time at the interzum international trade fair. For it is only in Cologne that the 1,500 or so exhibitors can reach so many decision-makers from the German and global furniture industry, along with planners, designers, architects and interior designers. From 13-16 May 2013 these companies will again have the chance to provide new pioneering impetus for the industry.
As regards the leading trends in the Function & Components area, exhibitors that have already revealed some of their innovations beforehand rank comfort and individualisation right at the top. The standard to watch for the furniture of tomorrow continues to be perfect damping and electrification of all pull-outs, according to many exhibitors. In addition, more and more resource-conserving LED lamps will ensure good lighting in kitchens and furniture interiors.
This year too, the specialist in moulded plywood, Becker Brakel, will again present many exciting designs at its 5th international design forum at interzum. Some 20 percent of the entries submitted by design professionals this year involve the new material "BECKER form fleece". This is a polyester fibre fleece material, known from the automobile industry, which is used in the manufacture of seats, roof linings, and glove boxes. This material is very good for moulding, sturdy, durable, warm, feels pleasant to the touch, and is a good sound absorber. It is perfectly suited, therefore, to seating furniture that is used in large spaces. However, it can also be used in all other areas in which acoustics are important - in acoustics engineering or interior design, for example.
Hubert Schwarz, Managing Director of Blum Germany, does not yet want to give away too many details in advance. He says, "Blum will also be presenting some innovations this year in the areas of hinges, flap systems and pull-out systems, among them some additions to programmes - but also new products in the form of concept studies." Blum basically follows two trends - endeavouring to make working in the kitchen more comfortable and practical with functional and ergonomic solutions for fittings, and creating opportunities to differentiate products with regard to function and design, in order to offer Blum customers unique selling propositions - within their own programmes and against their competitors.
As far as the area of lighting is concerned, Hening Pölitz, Managing Director of Gera Leuchten, sees the strongest trend in making furniture interiors more individual and cosy, alongside the use of new technologies such as the LED. "The increasing fusion of kitchen and living space layouts results in new business areas for supplier companies, as the trendsetting products from the kitchen industry are ever more in demand in the area of household furniture." Gera is exhibiting these sorts of aspects of the cosy presentation of furniture and interior spaces based on the Gera lighting system philosophy.
"An important focus of our presence at the trade fair will be our new drawer system 'Vionaro', based on the 'Dynapro' under-floor guides", says Ronald Weber, Chairman of the Executive Board at Grass, describing the highlight of this year's appearance at interzum. "Incorporated into a completely new concept for the stands, visitors are expecting an emotional product presentation of a special kind - and that applies both to 'Vionaro' and to many other modifications and optimisations in various product areas."
Häfele will make a superlative appearance at the trade fair. More than 40 products in total will be presented for the first time to an expert audience, and the emphasis will be on the new "Free" family of hingeless flap fittings. One of the highlights will be the chance to see a prototype of the "Free flap" with lighting. This innovative flap fitting combines two trends - convenient flaps, and lighting in furniture. The holistic and resource-conserving thinking at Häfele also shows in the presentation of an ecological cover cap for this family of fittings, which is biodegradable with no residue. On the theme of light in furniture, the second generation of the "Loox" family will be introduced at the fair. The Häfele range includes new LED lamps, new power supplies, and a wide range of accessories. There are also new products for Häfele's "Slido" sliding door fittings, for example, a damping system for three sliding doors, the double-leaf version of the "Finetta Spinfront" rotary sliding door fitting, and a new overhead frontal fitting with "synchro" function and an electronically assisted "E drive".
"We think that comfort for the end user, also linked with individuality, continues to play a central role", says Martin Mies, Divisional Director at Hailo Einbautechnik. "Consumers want kitchens with the furnishings that are important for them and that they like. The suppliers must play their part with their products." Hailo provides for this requirement with design-oriented products, for example, and also sees in electrically-assisted opening systems the potential for standard kitchen furnishings, aligning its product range accordingly.
Italian company Servetto has also taken up electrification for increased ease of use. The electric "Servetto Serie 3" clothes lift should set the tone, along with a new opening/closing system for kitchen cupboards, the "Plus" shoe rack with trays, and the "Jolly" universal box for cupboards and walls. At interzum, this southern European company from Bovisio Masciago in Italy will also exhibit "Automation Motion-V", an electric drive for opening and closing the "Motion-V" cupboards. Servetto works on the premise of optimising the interior space of the cupboard with functional, flexible and technologically advanced accessories.
Vauth-Sagel will be at interzum 2013 presenting new storage space solutions with pull-outs for high cupboards, base cabinets, and corner cabinets, which can be individually designed and offer maximum convenience to the subsequent user. According to Managing Director Claus Sagel, the best prerequisites for becoming the standard in the furniture of tomorrow entail guide systems with damping, automatic pull-out and retraction, secure roller guides, and simpler assembly and disassembly. "But this is not really anything new - we also use interzum to repeatedly present and communicate the products mentioned and the added value they offer. It is a long way to the end customer" - words that Claus Sagel, presumably along with many fittings manufacturers, speaks from the heart.