Zoeftig: inFINITY and beyond

Fast facts

  • Company: Zoeftig & Co Ltd
  • Location: Bude, Cornwall
  • Industry/sector: Manufacturing and product design
  • Size: SME (22 employees)

Background

Zoeftig has been a market-leading international supplier of a range of robust and durable furniture products for the contract market for over 40 years, with its products sold on all continents.Their product range includes seating for airports, rail and bus terminals, and leisure industry furniture for bar, restaurant and cafe interiors.

Although Zoeftig’s product range for the airport sector was enjoying successful sales, the company recognised that whilst the design was well established it was no longer cutting edge. To address this issue, Zoeftig turned to Plymouth University’s academic experts for new expertise in advanced materials and manufacturing techniques and to help determine ideas for a new product in an evolving market. An innovative modular seating product was created allowing greater flexibility for passenger terminal seating arrangements, ensuring a platform for business growth and increasing competitiveness over rival bidders, particularly from countries such as China.

The techniques used in designing the new modular seating product have been embraced at the company and are informing future developments.

Benefits

  • Development of a new product ‘inFINITE’, resulting in an increase in annual sales turnover of £1 million and enhancing Zoeftig’s reputation
  • Five new staff recruited as a result of the KTP
  • Won the Best South West Regional Partnership at the national 2010 KTP Awards
  • Enabled the University to use its sophisticated CAE equipment to solve a real world problem in an industrial environment, informing teaching
  • Associate accepted permanent employment with the company and supervised the second KTP Associate
  • Ongoing relationship between the two organisations with the undertaking of a second KTP project.

Ian Coates, Design & Engineering Director, Zoeftig

It is my view that the KTP we embarked on with Charlie and Plymouth University has been highly effective. We have not only got an innovative market leading product, but also a very detailed overall understanding of the market leading product.

Charlie Fowler, Design and Product Manager, Zoeftig

I believe that without the overall support of the KTP system and structure I would have required a number of additional years working in industry before I could successfully complete, to the level that I have, such a detailed and demanding project