Manufacturer: Elber Ferragens
Design: Megabox Design
Product: Elber Premium Hardware Line
Year manufactured: 2011
Project participants: At Megabox: Vinícius Alberto Iubel, Aguilar Selhorst Junior, Guilherme de Moura, Maycon Mello de Passos and Daniel Genaro – Elber team: Rita de Cássia Estavão, Silvia Fernanda, Marcelo Nunes and William Kumizaki.
Awards: iF Product Design Award 2012
Description: The Premium hardware line for ELBER tempered glass includes pieces for glass assembly, such as hinges, latches, locks, brackets and accessories. Injected with aluminum, their unique design includes opposing reflection planes that create light, shadow and brightness effects. With a focus on use and ergonomics, the ELBER Premium Line is a design solution for a market that lacks esthetic and functional values. One example is the Click Solution lock, which has an intuitive and simple system that makes it natural and easy to use. It is a novelty among its competitors.
Basic dimensions: Varied
Predominant material: Aluminum
Manufacturing process: Aluminum injection
Elber Hardware is a small company that makes accessories for tempered glass. It has almost 70 employees, and is among the oldest in Brazil, one of the leaders in this market.
The company has two product lines for tempered glass, one of which is less sophisticated and more common, with lower prices that make it stand out in the market. The second product line, the Premium Line, is made up of higher quality products with exceptional esthetic and functional attributes.
The brand has its own factory in Curitiba and does its own distribution, in addition to working with independent distributors all over Brazil and using e-commerce.
The company was the result of a collaboration between two industry specialists in the 1980s, and was christened with an abbreviation of their wives’ names. In the 2000s it was acquired by Grupo Intrebox, who complemented their work with tempered glass production and accessories.
The Elber Premium hardware line for tempered glass includes pieces such as hinges, latches, locks, brackets and other uniquely designed accessories injected with aluminum, which have opposing reflection planes that create light, shadow and brightness effects. The aluminum injection allows for an extraordinary design that differs from the traditionally simple casting process. It also has a high quality finish and superior resistance, with a higher rate of reusability in recycling.
Design is the key tool in the hardware line’s innovation process, along with introducing a new productive process that allows for the expansion of the pieces’ design and an enhanced study on mechanical engineering in product lines. The pieces stand out in the glass accessories market because of the design incorporated into them.
The Elber Premium line arose from a search for distinction in the market place and an avant-garde positioning strategy used due to a tough market with generally equal competition. The growing demand in the construction industry was identified as an opportunity for investing in a unique line with products commonly found in the market. The small company seized this chance and created the Premium line.
The project was conceived and developed in six months. The hardware production for the first batch took place in the following six months. The main references and elements used for inspiration were linked to the reflections, lights and shadows that are typical in metallic pieces.
Despite the initial impact caused by the investment, the results were positive in terms of reducing production costs per piece and eliminating waste due to product defects.
The perceived value of the Elber brand was elevated in the market after winning the iF Product Design Award and introducing the Premium line. The successful investment in the new line enabled the company to consider investments in new sectors that are already being worked on by the company and Grupo Intrebox.