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European Inventor Award

Industry: Claus Hämmerle and Klaus Brüstle

Claus Hämmerle and Klaus Brüstle

Winners of the European Inventor Award 2013 in the category Industry 

Slow-close hinge puts an end to noisy kitchen cabinets

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Inventors

Claus Hämmerle and Klaus Brüstle

Invention

Blumotion, a damper system that facilitates the smooth closing of furniture doors, drawers and wall cabinets.

Patent number

Country

Austria

Company

Julius Blum GmbH

Sector

Furniture

The invention in a nutshell

Slow-close hinge puts an end to noisy kitchen cabinets This damper system for cabinet hinges is completely silent and virtually invisible but has achieved resounding economic success nonetheless.

Manufactured by Austrian kitchen hardware manufacturer Blum, Blumotion works a little like a car's suspension system: It is outfitted with a piston moving inside a pressure tube filled with a hydraulic liquid in order to allow doors, lift systems or drawer runners to be shut gently. Blumotion has conquered international markets and is helping home owners around the world to put an end to the loud slamming of cabinet doors.

Societal benefit

Today's kitchens are sleek, stylish and minimalist. The Blumotion damper system embodies these traits with the added bonus of being almost completely silent. Its acceptance by consumers reflects an evolving interior design market, one that is more focused on simplicity and comfort without sacrificing function. Today, Blumotion can be incorporated into virtually any kind of furniture imaginable.

Economic benefit

Since Blumotion's release, Blum's earnings skyrocketed to about €1.3 billion per year, providing job security for some 5,500 employees - 4,000 of them in Vorarlberg, Austria, where the company is the region's largest employer. Blum is also a driver of innovation, reinvesting 4% of its profits into research and development. What's more, it is one of the most active patent filers in Austria, with 1,000 patents in its portfolio, 10 of which concern Blumotion. Blum exports to more than 100 countries worldwide.