With the customer in mind
Small details make the difference: it used to be the handkerchief in the suit pocket or initials on the shirt collar that could give the outfit and the wearer of the suit that "certain something" and allow him to stand out in the crowd with such individual touches.
Today, an ever increasing number of products can be individualised, and this without the costs being passed on to the buyer. Furniture, bicycles, sport shoes – with the increasing networking of production processes, it is possible for personalised products to come out at the end of the value creation chain. Online configurators have revolutionised the market and made "something special" especially accessible to anyone.
This trend has also arrived in the property area. The hard-fought market for hotels and serviced apartments is booming, and there is no end in sight. In order to still attract attention among the wealth of offerings, providers are increasingly orienting themselves to current living and design trends.
The focus is on the customer with his personal requirements when deigning hotel rooms and apartments. Surface specialists from Continental have recognised this development and developed a configurator with the name "Skai Design Lab" for digital printing on Skai artificial leather.
"We have been looking at digital printing on artificial leather for nearly four years now", explains Elmar Zschau, Head of Architect Relations and Surface Solutions at Continental. "Both discussions with architects, interior designers and processors, as well as the increasing trend toward individualisation demonstrate the need for such a solution. The demand for individual design is growing continually, not only in the interiors segment."
Web-based solution for individual design
Simply register, wait for a password and get started. Several thousand designs are available online with the "Skai Design Lab" and can be adjusted according to one's own or customers' wishes. If one can't find anything in the extensive database, own designs can also be uploaded and processed.
The individual patterns are assigned keywords, meaning one can also search with keywords like "stripes", "flowers" or "diamonds" and immediately be provided with a selection. This can be called up with one click and the colour, size and the pattern repeat adjusted. However, that's not all: with the "Skai Design Lab" it's also all about absolute colour fidelity.
Because there is hardly a computer that is cleanly calibrated, there are 720 colours in the LAB format available as colour fans for shipping. Once the design has been configured, the selected patterns can be printed on two different material qualities, each with three different embossing variants.
"Skai Design Lab" especially offers architects, interior designers, planners and designers real added value. The technical innovation makes it easier to design one's own ideas more quickly and efficiently.
Several patterns for the designing of rooms can be shown to the customer more simply and affordably, and the designs they have created themselves, as well as the desired colour concept can be adjusted on the PC directly following the meeting when changes are wished. The effort and expenses can thus be very easily kept within limits – thanks to flexible digitalisation and automation.
interzum, the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design, already showed what the future might look like with the Edutainment area on the topic of digital printing. However, that's only the beginning: "Uur American partner required approximately two years for the development of the tool, and our realisation leading to the current solution around one more year.
In future, we also want to use the tool for other materials like films. It can also be the preliminary stage for on-demand production", Zschau continues.