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13. July 2022 | 5 minutes reading time

Lifting the Curtain on Research & Development
For decades, we’ve been expanding our knowledge and expertise with each of our projects and learning from the challenges we face. It takes several weeks or months to achieve the optimal design of a piece of furniture or the ideal structure of a surface. In 2021 we started to build up our internal Research & Development department (R&D), which now consists of three employees who advance our expertise with their experience and also deal with completely new business areas and opportunities. The department is supported by CAD engineering, specialising in 3D printing.

Interior+: interior and exterior spaces merge

A current trend that is evident in our projects is the merging of living environments: life is shifting from indoors to outdoors. For us, this means that any materials, surfaces, cladding or solutions that were previously used primarily indoors must now also meet outdoor requirements. This is the exact issue that Bernd is addressing, alongside ongoing projects. “We know what tough conditions our materials have to withstand – the salt water, the sunlight, we can’t use just any old paint there, for example. Also, substructures or hinges and other common auxiliary materials that we use indoors cannot be used 1:1 outdoors. That’s why we’re constantly on the lookout for the right materials for our requirements,” explains Bernd.

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When years become days

We use state-of-the-art testing methods so that we can guarantee quality for years to come. “New bondings, coatings or other constructions are tested for temperature and humidity changes in the alternating climate chamber and are then exposed to UV radiation in our sun tester. We can test how the materials we use will look after years at sea or how their composition will change in advance and directly in our production within just a few days,” reports Gilbert. This allows us at List GC to acquire the crucial expertise directly within our company and not be dependent on external partners and their supplier network.

From the first prototype to the final product

As our customers’ projects become more and more complex, solutions often have to be developed first so that the design specifications can be realised as desired. Can the heavy marble slab be securely fixed to the planned substructure? How does the locking mechanism have to be constructed to hold it securely? In most cases, standard parts can’t be used. Support is provided by our CAD engineering with 3D printed elements.

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Fabian explains, “The big advantage of 3D printing is that it no longer takes several days or weeks to create a prototype. Prototypes can be printed, tested and revised in just a few days before being requested and ordered from manufacturers, for example.”

Things that don’t exist yet can still become a reality

Another task of our R&D department is to open up new business areas. Christian says, “Just because we’ve been one of the leading yacht interior outfitters for over 20 years doesn’t mean we only want to stay in this field.” We come into contact with different groups of people through our work as interior designers, which means we’re always aware of new trends. This helps us to rethink our expertise and can lead to the development of new business areas. We’re currently working on a completely new project, which we’ll be able to present internally for the first time later this year.”
 

“With our R&D department, we’re creating an internal competence centre for new standards, and stabilising our production processes.”

Wolfgang Pusterhofer, Head of Manufacturing and Head of Sub-Department R&D