From the idea to the finished product: needs analysis, portfolio vision & portfolio strategy
We are collaborating with the König + Neurath customers and dealers to work out what is required of our product portfolio in terms of current market and user criteria. We take every detail into consideration for this. A clear portfolio vision helps König + Neurath to think ahead and formulate a long-term plan for all development projects. We will then put it into action, supported by our clearly defined portfolio strategy and on the basis of economic and sustainable criteria.
A single-source company
Thanks to a strong vertical integration strategy, König + Neurath keeps all key processes needed to manufacture a product under one roof:
product design, product concept, product construction, series production and quality control – everything happens at the production facility in Karben.
Our product design is key for a circular economy. It is essential for products to be designed and constructed using a cradle-to-cradle approach if a circular economy is to be achieved for materials. “Cradle to Cradle” means that the materials used to manufacture a product circulate around closed material cycles. A product that is no longer needed is no longer disposed of as waste, instead it serves as the source of materials from which to make new products.
In order to integrate this fundamental idea into product development, König + Neurath has defined a clear specification under the heading “Design for Environment”.
OUR SPECIFICATIONS FOR “DESIGN FOR ENVIRONMENT”
The following criteria are taken into consideration in the development and construction of König + Neurath products:
in our product design
- we consistently use a modular approach (kit principle). All products have to be upgradable, convertible and retrofittable during their life cycle.
- minimal materials must be used and resource consumption must be reduced to a minimum.
- the product design must be timeless and not follow short-term trends. The design ensures a long aesthetic lifespan, which extends the products’ lifecycle.
Our material selection takes into account
- the use of renewable resources.
- the use of recyclable and/or biodegradable raw materials.
- always using recyclates for non-visible plastic parts. With visible plastic parts the use of recyclates should be reviewed.
- use of recyclable materials is preferred.
- use of widely-used, common plastics that do not have a negative impact on health.
- use of long-lasting materials (durability).
- only environmentally friendly materials without negative impact on health should be used.
- minimisation of product emissions (pollutants, VOCs etc.).
- avoidance of materials that are not suitable for recycling.
- minimisation of material diversity.
Components are to be arranged in such a way that
- they can be assembled or reconfigured using standard tools including on site within a reasonable time (repair-friendly).
- the highest possible percentage of components manufactured in-house can be achieved. This increases transport and packaging efficiency. Eco-efficiency (economic viability of the process in relation to the impact on the environment) should always be considered.
- non-soluble adhesives should be avoided if possible.
- energy, water and operating materials should be used sparingly.
- waste that cannot be recycled should be avoided 100%.
- it should be possible to recover or recycle all waste.
In terms of delivery and maintenance, particular care should be taken that the products
- use as little packaging material as possible; reusable packaging is preferred (furniture covers).
- can be maintained and repaired by own service engineers, but also by other specialists. To ensure this, assembly and dismantling instructions are put together, and in-house training are provided on this subject.
To ensure that reuse and future use of the furniture is possible, the following conditions must be met
- it must be possible to dismantle all components using standard tools within a reasonable time and
- all plastic parts weighing more than 20 grams must be labelled (in accordance with DIN EN ISO 11469).
At the end of the product lifecycle, when only the recycling phase remains,
- we can recycle our furniture by material type, separating into steel, aluminium, plastics, wood composites, recoverable electronics and other materials.
- we help customers extend the use of their products by offering a take-back concept, offering support with repairs, and feeding materials back into the circular economy.
- non-recyclable waste is 100% avoided
We are constantly reviewing economic viability, market availability, and technical/static suitability using all of the above points. In individual situations it can prove practical to deviate from the Design for Environment focuses.