Development of a new connection technology for large kitchens furniture
Fraunhofer Italia developed a research project, in collaboration the well-known Südtirol manufacturer of large kitchens furniture, for the creation of a new connection process for lightweight panels in large kitchens.
The project was funded by the L14 programme. A combined connection procedure of fixing and welding of lightweight materials was developed in collaboration with the customer enterprise, taking into account specific features of a large kitchen such as warming effects, mechanical efforts, liquid supply and hygiene standards. The result of this project is an innovative technique based on a combined process of fixing and welding. At the beginning, a feasibility study about different materials for reinforcement of large kitchens was made. After that, some tests and validation procedure were made. This technique offers both advantages regarding the material and the potential for large scale production of large kitchens furniture. A similar approach is used in the automotive field where a large number of pieces is efficiently produced, by assuring at the same time a high diversification of products. As a follow-up project, Fraunhofer Italia developed a prototype which allows a weight reduction of 35% for large kitchen furniture compared with the normal one.