Product development at WMF is a process where there is always questions at the start: Where is our company going? How do we live in the present and in the future, in everyday life and leisure? How do we want to enjoy what things? In internal and external teams, we observe people and markets, explore trends and technologies and listen to what dealers and customers tell us.
We look for solutions and concepts with plenty of room for emotion, intuition, spontaneous ideas and new paths. Concepts, colours and materials are brought together on so-called "mood boards" into worlds of impressions in order to make the atmosphere of a possible product and its environment intuitively perceptible.
Designers give the conceptual ideas their first shape with sketches and plastic models made from plaster or rigid foam. Now materials, shapes and colours are experimented with. Realisation and market opportunities are discussed and pre-designs are created first. The designs selected for further development are eventually transformed on the CAD computer into defined, dimensionally-accurate templates for prototype construction.
Using CAD data, the latest rapid prototyping machines form working models and prototypes that correspond exactly to the later product in shape, colour, material and weight. This step is essential for evaluating the properties of the later serial product and is the prerequisite for the last and most important section in the product development process.
The management board, sales, marketing and product development decide whether a prototype should continue to be developed or a product is released for market introduction. Factors such as attractiveness, perceived quality, durability in shape and materials are the hurdles here that every new WMF product must jump in order to survive on the market.