Artone Manufacturing LLC wanted to get ahead of business travel trends. Small hotels, Airbnbs, and other similar options have been springing up everywhere, and they need filled with furniture that’s sturdy and memorable.
At the same time, the Jamestown, N.Y.-based casegoods manufacturer was preparing for the BDNY (Boutique Design New York) trade show in 2018. A veteran of the BDNY scene, Artone had an idea for something different this time around — a vertical Murphy bed with a desk that folds out of the headboard.
Naturally, these components would need motion control solutions that would be safe and intuitive for the user.
But for Artone to add this unique product to its lineup of hospitality casegoods, it would take a collaborative effort with a counterbalance and hinge manufacturer.
Why Add a Vertical Murphy Bed With a Desk to Your Hospitality Design?
With so many businesspeople and other travelers using laptops and other mobile devices in hotels these days, Artone wisely saw an opportunity.
Its team developed a concept for a pull-down bed with a desk. A user would be able to sit in bed and use adjustable back-support mechanisms on either side of the headboard . These panels would move in and out.
In addition, Artone drew up a middle console piece that would fold down and become a desk. Customers would be able to sit in bed and use the desk for their:
- Laptop or tablet
Users could get comfortable without having to prop up pillows behind them while trying to balance their laptop on yet another pillow on their lap. They could have an actual work surface in front of them, right in their hotel room. Of course, this all had to happen in a way that wouldn’t result in the desk crashing on users’ laps (or heads)
Enter Weber Knapp.
Artone had success leaning on Weber Knapp for a previous motion control solution and valued the company’s 100+ years of experience. Weber Knapp not only brought the concept to life, it also provided valuable advice for optimizing Artone’s design.
“We basically told them we wanted to do this (project),” says Michael Calimeri, president of Artone. “We didn’t know how it was going to be done. We can simply give them, ‘Here’s what we’d like to see,’ and they go back and design that how they see fit.”
Artone’s strength is headboard, footboard, and other hospitality casegood design. But it doesn’t specialize in metal components. The company instead placed trust in Weber Knapp to provide the spring assist and assembly for the side panels that would be mounted.
For the articulating forward back stop, Weber Knapp was required to give it a motion range of 0° to 10°. From there, the mechanism would lock in place. Done correctly, the user would be able to lift the back rest, put it in a comfortable position, then lock it.
The Results so Far
With a complete prototype in hand, Artone was able to get customer feedback at BDNY and gauge the interest level of hotel chains and developers. And the team was able to do so with long-term viability in mind for both Artone and its buyers.
“One of the really cool things about (Weber Knapp) is their mechanical mobility type of mechanism vs. an electronic mobility system, which leads to less expensive and fewer breaking parts,” Calimeri said.
Most importantly, Artone got everything it asked for functionality-wise.
“The product looks great; it performed great at the show, with plenty of positive feedback from booth visitors,” says Sebastian Calimeri, Artone’s executive vice president.
Now Artone is introducing the concept to customers whenever it sees an opportunity.
“We’ve got quite a bit of interest in the product,” Sebastian says. “It’s got quite a bit of ‘wow’ factor.”
One interested party is a global company from the Netherlands set to expand in the United States. That company’s officials were so excited about the product that they flew to the U.S. to see the product in motion, in person.
Moving Forward With Motion Control
Artone’s ambitious design would not have been possible without Weber Knapp’s motion control hinge design.
“Their engineering department is awesome,” Sebastian says. “They’d look at details, analyze their products, their systems, their designs to a point where we know that it’s not going to be any problem”
As Artone looks to continue to innovate, it expects its close relationship with Weber Knapp to continue
“They have great testing equipment,” Mike says. “They can work with all the materials.
“Their engineering staff has depth, and they’re nice guys. They’re easy to get along with, easy to communicate with.”