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Five years ago, a heavy wicker beach chair and the path of the sun in the sky gave Peter Paulick an idea. The metalworker did not want to move the heavy wicker beach chair all the time when he was sunbathing and the sun kept on moving across the sky. A sunbed that would turn; that would do the trick! This idea of creating a functional, comfortable and fancy urban piece of furniture got stuck in the mind of the trained agricultural engineer. Very soon he transferred his initial ideas onto paper. “I was convinced that there would be a demand for such pieces of furniture, provided the price and quality would be just right,” said Paulick. Finally, when he got his master craftsman’s diploma and founded his very own metalworking company Spreewaldwerk in 2015, he was able to get to business, and the “Meridiana” was created – the first sunbed that can rotate full 360°.
It looks like a rotating couch. “There was an enormous demand for the first sunbeds,” pointed out Paulick. They immediately became popular with vacationers at the pier in Ostseebad Göhren on the island of Rügen. The master craftsman received more and more orders for these pieces of universal urban furniture. But the growing demand proved to be problematic for Paulick, because the production of the pieces of furniture in a blacksmith was extremely cumbersome and allowed for only a limited number of units to be produced. Furthermore, the enormous workload caused the pieces of furniture to be very expensive. In order to solve this problem, the metalworker Paulick sought out help. The consulting services provided by the Chamber of Craft Trades Cottbus directed Paulick to Brandenburg Invest. Brandenburg Invest helped the metal engineering company to receive the Small Brandenburg Innovation Voucher of €3,000 that made cooperation between the company and the Academic Chair for Metal Engineering of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg possible.
For three months a small team surrounding Prof. Thomas Meißner analysed and optimised the production processes of the company Spreewaldwerk. The students and research associates of the department “Design Theory” at the University’s location in Senftenberg also took a close look at the material that was used.
“It wasn’t an easy task, even though it might have looked like one at first glance,” remembered Thomas Meißner. “A lot of fiddling was necessary.” All the more was everyone thrilled with the achieved result. Today, the sunbed “Meridiana” is being produced from one construction kit. The material import was reduced, the quality was increased and the production time was shortened.
Simultaneously the sunbed’s weight was reduced by 61 kg and its price dropped by 23%. Additionally, the cooperation within a large network consisting of suppliers and partners enabled the company Spreewaldwerk to now produce the “Meridiana” in large series starting at 100 pieces.
Even though the innovation project finished in autumn of 2016, Peter Paulick still gushes over the cooperation. The technology transfer from the university has really helped his company to make an important step forward. Currently the master craftsman holds talks with Brandenburg Invest and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg once again. He wants to use the Grand Brandenburg Innovation Voucher to redesign other pieces of urban furniture that are being produced in his workshop. €15,000, of which Paulick was to bear a share of 50%, will be at his disposal.