On the use of modern technologies in the production process and on sources of inspiration for creating new projects – an interview with Dariusz Złocki, Director of the Design Studio at WIŚNIOWSKI.
The design studio for such a large and rapidly developing company, introducing to the market a wide range of new products, fulfills an important and responsible role. What inspires you to create new designs which meet the needs of customers from home and abroad?
The years of development behind WIŚNIOWSKI involved mostly hard work in developing new products, such as our sectional doors collection – both for garage and industrial purposes. The emphasis put on untypical solutions allowed us to develop a large number of specific, individual projects which are now offered by the company as standard solutions. This fact is especially important in the selection of industrial sectional doors and fencing systems, which often need to be adapted to particular development conditions. There is a multitude sources of inspiration for creating and implementing new solutions. Among the most essential are:
- trends and requirements of new markets, which we are opening up to and want to sweep,
- own ideas, innovativeness,
- developed and effectively improved know-how of WIŚNIOWSKI,
- observing current advancements in technology across the world,
- observing construction and architectural trends, including displays at fairs,
- adhering to three basic technical requirements, which are to be met in order for the product to be recognized as good in terms of technical properties: form, functionality and construction,
- ideas of employees and customers,
- various original implementations,
- changes in the provisions of the law, introducing new requirements,
- new technological possibilities.
The future challenges for the Design Studio include constant, sustainable development of the products, creating new solutions, expanding the product range and especially setting trends in the market and implementing innovative solutions. New provisions of EU law for the subsequent years provide us with the draft requirements for energy-efficient construction, known as passive housing. These regulations impose a need to develop new construction solutions that meet high standards.
Do you base the development of new products only on your own ideas and solutions?
The market needs and the dynamics of growth means that we need to put emphasis on improving our products and utilising new technologies. Our company employs qualified engineering staff equipped with modern CAD tools. Our engineers are also additionally supported by our IT systems. Currently, the Technical Department is divided into three areas. The first one is the Design Studio, handling modifications, development and research into products (the research is conducted in our prototype room equipped with state-of-the-art devices; this is also the place where products are developed). The second, separate area is the Technical Support Department, implementing tasks related to current project works connected with customers’ requirements and original technical solutions. The third area is the Technological Department, which is to implement new technologies and is responsible for their supervision and response to current production needs.
The base of our design work involves mainly our own construction solutions. We sometimes consult specialist companies from here in Poland and elsewhere concerning some details, and we may also use scientific and research centres. Moreover, we use modern solutions that are introduced by the suppliers of some components.
We especially take advantage of the experience of designers from abroad in the area of technological machines or modern solutions concerning production lines. In our work it is also essential to follow the competition and respond to novel product which appear in the market.
WIŚNIOWSKI presents its products at the biggest trade fairs in Poland and Europe. Fairs are real repositories of innovative ideas and solutions, as well as platforms to exchange experiences and occasions to meet customers. If and to what extent does the knowledge gained during fairs translate into projects developed by you?
Fairs are an occasion for numerous meetings, discussions and exchange of experience both with end users and with our business partners. Thanks to such meetings and talks we collect experiences and we get to know the expectations and requirements of our customers, as well as market trends. Fairs are also an opportunity to review what of other companies from a given sector are offering; they also provide a source of information on current trends and specific market requirements. They allow us to familiarize ourselves with various niche solutions which can inspire us. Observations and consultations during fairs are meticulously recorded in the form of what we call entry data for designing. Then a selection is made and we choose only those solutions we wish to implement.
The basis of our design work is made up mainly of our own construction solutions. We sometimes consult specialist companies from here in Poland and elsewhere concerning some details, and we may also use scientific and research centres.
The production process at WIŚNIOWSKI takes place on the basis of fully automated, modern production lines. Innovative technologies guarantee that the produced goods meet the highest standards and in many aspects are considered to be at the world-class level. Do you agree with the thesis that even the most state-of-the-art technologies are not able to fully replace a man who supervises the entire production process?
Simultaneously with research and development works on products as well as modification of existing ones, our company works on the dynamic development of technology related to manufacturing and machinery. We have at our disposal numerically controlled power tooling, 2D and 3D lasers, as well as production lines for components and parts, which directly translate into production growth. For instance, setting up own production line to manufacture sectional door panels resulted in a rapid increase in the number of doors produced.
Widening our business offer, and therefore increasing the in the range of goods and the scope of executed tasks, resulted in the necessity to introduce new IT tools connected with technical and business processing of both standard and production orders. To streamline the work and make what we offer even more attractive, AW PRODUKCJA and AW EXPERT systems were developed.
New technologies are mostly understood by us as modern machineries and tools, as well as the proper organization of production. This fact requires constant development of machine programming and ensuring permanent access to the data which results from production plans. The team working within the Technological Department is responsible for their proper preparation. Under the development works the following were implemented: production gates to allow constant monitoring the status of processed items, display necessary information to workstations and provide data for machines at the right time and in the proper configuration.
Which products/projects are you most satisfied with and which are the most popular among your customers?
We have a wide variety of products, and each group includes at least several examples of distinguished projects. The latest solutions, which are definitely worth a closer look, include:
- PRIME sectional garage doors, designed in accordance with the latest trends, with the use of cutting-edge technologies, based of the vast experience of WIŚNIOWSKI; PRIME sets new standards in garage doors in terms of functionality, innovation and design;
- CREO doors, combining good style and excellent technical parameters; their great advantage are their remarkable thermal insulation properties;
- the latest collection of MODERN fences, attracting attention with their uncomplicated, simple forms, and enchanting with discreet elegance.
These elements give the customer the possibility of creating a coherent Home Inclusive collection encompassing external doors, garage doors and a fence.
Another product worth mentioning is the UniTherm door, designed for superior thermal insulation performance, making it an essential element of energy-sufficient housing. The latest solution in industrial fencing systems is the V-KING gate, a good example of modern construction for particularly demanding work conditions. An interesting solution in automatic up and over doors is the Connect series of doors, designed for an opening without side spaces or door head. There are also rapidly developing systems of aluminium and steel joinery adapting the latest solutions available in the market.
Of course, I’ve only listed a few items, WIŚNIOWSKI flagship products that are appreciated by our customers. The range of products is wide enough so that every customer can find something meeting their requirements.
An important element of corporate social responsibility at WIŚNIOWSKI is the care for the environment. This is visible, for example, in the production processes: the galvanizing plant of the company is based upon a waste-neutral system. Whether and to what extent does the care for the environment influence the operation of the Design Studio of WIŚNIOWSKI?
The environmental policy of our company is the result of taking full responsibility for the natural environment. Our main principles and goals include limiting the negative influence of our actions on the natural environment and preventing pollution. Care for the environment is also visible in the operation of our company in the production departments as well as in the offices; in fact, we are trying to use new generation energy-efficient equipment everywhere. Our actions are aimed at limiting air emissions and water pollution from the production processing by applying modern filtration systems and performing regular pollution tests.
We also conduct responsible waste management. After segregation, waste is transferred to waste utilisation and recycling companies. It’s worth emphasizing that the ecological awareness of our employees is constantly increased during our annual OSHE trainings.
Actions at WIŚNIOWSKI aimed at environment protection are implemented as early as during the project stage at the Design Studio. Their main goals include a decrease in energy use due to optimisation of processes and investments, optimisation of resource use, preventing production losses, as well as using eco-friendly products and materials.
Due to the fact that the entire production process in our company, from the project stage right through to manufacturing the final product, is implemented on the basis of environmental protection and with the use of modern technologies – our customers can be sure that they receive a high-quality and eco-friendly product.
Interviewer: Radosław Urban