Mats Sixtensson is an applied engineer working at Sapa. Mats works with furniture “but if we’re talking about profile solutions and platforms, we can use similar functions as in the automotive and marine industries,” he says.
Mats and his colleague Henrik Stark, the IKEA account manager at Sapa, they like the DELAKTIG project. “We like aluminium, and there is lots of aluminium in the DELAKTIG frames,” says Henrik. DELAKTIG shows what you can really achieve using aluminium profiles and platform thinking, Henrik continues, “no one has used this kind of scale in the furniture business, IKEA has really moved forward with this.”
Tom Dixon, who is working in collaboration with IKEA to develop DELAKTIG, has visited Sapa in Vetlanda, Sweden. “He was very curious about the profile and the possibilities and the whole process around this,” says Mats. Tom was ambitious with the project, together with Sapa and IKEA they have come up with ideas to solve issues and meet customer demands. Along the way, all partners have had to compromise. Right now, the DELAKTIG platform is entering the industrialisation phase, going from product development to manufacturing.
On the drawing board, it was decided that the DELAKTIG profile would have two grooves on the underside of the sofa where you can attach a lamp or open up to other solutions that can be designed further down the line. These features are built into the extrusion in order to reduce weight, simplify assembly, add functionality and minimise finishing costs. It is taking advantage of a unique benefit of aluminium and its manufacturing process.
The DELAKTIG frame is only aluminium, there is no plastic or any other material that is sometimes added to reduce costs. All the parts are easy to separate from each other. There is no additive welding, the different parts are screwed together. The frame is designed from the beginning to be disassembled and recycled when it’s life is over. The DELAKTIG profile will be made from 50% re-melted scrap aluminium.The scrap is remelted at Sapa’s plant in Vetlanda.
IKEA and Sapa have a lot in common. They are both global companies based in Småland, Sweden for a start but they are also companies driven by an environmental agenda. “IKEA has a high focus on the environment and sustainability and they are communicating it quite well to their partners, they are very sharp,” says Henrik “You cannot misunderstand. They know what want in a good way.”