Case story

Innovation and functionality in height adjustable dining tables

A height adjustable dining table using actuators and a battery solution from LINAK represents a new product by Danish company Skovby Møbelfabrik.

Since its foundation in 1933, Skovby Møbelfabrik (furniture factory) has evolved from being a small cabinetmaker’s shop that made furniture and equipment to order into a global brand in dining room furniture.

Innovation, functionality and use of new technology are important factors for a company which enjoys being at the cutting edge of consumers’ needs. One recent addition is a height adjustable dining table containing actuators and a battery solution from LINAK.

When Thorvald Rasmussen founded his cabinetmaker’s business back in 1933, the starting point was production to order and delivery of equipment. The enquiries began to grow and in the 1950s, they started serial production of furniture that would later focus exclusively on dining room furniture.

The international interest in Danish design and the booming US economy in the 1960s formed the foundation of what has today become a global business for Preben and Jørgen Rasmussen. As the third generation, the brothers still run the family-owned company from the headquarters in Skovby, Denmark.

The creative and aesthetic line of Skovby products is managed by architect Per Hånsbæk, who has worked with the company for more than 25 years.

Innovation and functionality in height adjustable dining tables - Preben and Jørgen

Brothers Preben Rasmussen and Jørgen Rasmussen are the third generation of owners and they still run the family-owned business from the headquarters in Skovby.

From dining room to kitchen-dining area
The dining room was Skovby's main focus area. Since the 1950s, this has evolved into the kitchen-dining area, which has become not only an eating area, but also a living and working area for the whole family.

Skovby strives to follow this development, as Preben Rasmussen explains:
Consumers' needs change, and we need to be the ones at the cutting edge, developing tables with features that meet these needs. We are not frightened of technology, and we are very focused on how we can meet consumers’ needs with new technology”.

Skovby’s focus on this development led to several patented expansion solutions for dining tables and multifunctional furniture for the home.


Integration of new technology
With the height adjustable dining table, the Skovby SM30, the company has taken another step towards the lead. The table is designed with an actuator and battery solution from LINAK, which allow you to adjust the table up and down. The switch on the table is also programmable and enables you to store favorite settings.

As for the integration of LINAK technology in the design, Jørgen Rasmussen explains:
Height adjustability and ergonomics are already evident in the workplace, and more ergonomics in the home is the next step. People have shown great interest in the table when we have presented it at exhibitions, so we know that the potential is there. Of course, new technology also means a price leap. Right now, the product can be described as high-end, but as consumption patterns change, consumers also gradually become more open to new technology, so we think that the market will become more open to such solutions."

A dining table that combines aesthetics and functionality
The kitchen-dining area has been given a central role in the home as a place to live and to spend time together. This allows you to add new features to the dining table, and this is the challenge Skovby wanted to take up.

The result is the Skovby SM30 dining table. Per Hånsbæk says the following about the table:
We work with the concept of multi-purpose furniture. We thought about which features the ultimate kitchen-dining table should be able to offer, because the kitchen-dining area plays an increasingly central role in the home. It has become the family dining area, the adults' working area and the children’s play area, and with the built-in height adjustability and expandability, the table can be used for a variety of purposes."

The table had to live up to Skovby’s standards of functionality, aesthetics and design. Per Hånsbæk elaborates:
The design had to be internationally oriented and had to live up to our standards. Integrating technology into the design poses new challenges. Skovby is, for instance, synonymous with extensions, so this feature should also be incorporated in the design. Combined with the actuators and the battery, this posed some challenges in terms of stability, which was solved by developing a table with a base, a known and popular feature in many countries”.

An ambitious collaboration on innovation
Skovby strongly believes in using technology, which meant the company found common ground with LINAK, the latter wanting to be an active partner in developing new innovative furniture solutions for the home. In fact, the story of LINAK and Skovby dates back to the early 1990s, when the two companies jointly developed a fully automated table with actuators for use at exhibitions. In 2011, the cooperation was resumed and together they developed the SM236 coffee table with a height adjustable solution, which means that the table doubles as a small dining table in apartments where space is limited. With the Skovby SM30 dining table as the latest addition, LINAK actuator solutions have now really made their way to the core of Skovby’s business.

On the background to the partnership, Preben Rasmussen says:
It's important to us to use components developed and produced in Denmark as this is a quality mark in our book. That's why, as a well-established Danish company, LINAK is an ideal partner for us. It is also our experience that the products are durable, which helps us keep the costs of after-sales services down across the world”.

On working with LINAK, Per Hånsbæk adds:
LINAK has involved itself fully in the project and has been an active partner. This created a good dialogue where all questions were answered and followed up throughout the process.”

The shape of the Skovby SM30 dining table shows how the cooperation between Skovby and LINAK can work and how actuator technology and design can come together to expand the use of the dining table and make it fit in with the kitchen/dining area’s function as a meeting point in the home. With the dining table, Skovby and LINAK have introduced height adjustability and combined ergonomics and comfort to the kitchen-dining area in Denmark and globally.

Interested in working with LINAK on design projects? Please contact us.

You can also see other design collaborations at www.design-meets-movement.com.

Innovation and functionality in height adjustable dining tables Per Hånsbæk

Per Hånsbæk, Architect

Innovation and functionality in height adjustable dining tables control

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