Planika, an internationally recognized manufacturer of automatic fireplaces, was awarded the prestigious Vesta Award during the major fairs in the United States. For the first time, the company presented the new collection of gas fireplaces dedicated for the American market. Planika DV 36’’, one of the debuting products, became an indisputable star of the event.
HPBExpo is the biggest event in the industry that has been attracting the most notable players on the market for 40 years. The exhibition attracts serious interest, since every third US house has now a decorative gas fireplace. For many years the biggest European companies have been trying to convince Americans to their products. Unsuccessfully. The norms for fireplaces are not only extremely restrictive, but they also significantly differ from those on other continents. Often it is the understanding of the market that determines which brand will gain trust of the customers.
The participation in the fair alone proved that Planika met the strict conditions and successfully went through the complex certification process. As a result, the debuting Planika Direct Vent gas fireplace received the prestigious Vest Award. The American jury appreciated the used technological solutions and the outstanding look of the flame. In the opinion of the guests who visited Planika’s stand, no other product provided such a natural fire, just like in a traditional wood-burning fireplace.
Planika DV owes its uniqueness to the innovative burner design and ceramic logs arranged in a campfire-like shape. To emphasize the flames, the burner is open from three sides. Also, the air distribution technology allows to heat the entire building and to make a housing with any materials, including the non-combustible ones.
Planika is a modern company that is developing in a spirit of a teal organization. This means there is no hierarchy, no supervisors and no strict division of occupied positions. In practice, every employee can engage in tasks that he or she finds interesting and can have a real contribution in the creation of new products.
The Board planned to display only bioethanol fireplaces which gained the company the leading position on the market. Despite that, the engineers from the Research and Development Department enjoyed the rights of the teal organization and made an independent decision to exhibit also gas fireplaces they constructed exclusively for the American market. ‘The design process was heated. It cost us a lot of effort and many sleepless nights. We couldn’t lose the chance to show the world the results of our team’s work. We couldn’t let the Board stop us,’ comments Darek Krywalski, the project leader.
On its path to success the company came across various difficulties. Despite the efforts to obtain state funds for the development of technology, the application was rejected twice. For Planika it meant a significant financial effort, since the participation in the fair cost the company over $100 000. This does not include costs relating to improving the technological solutions, product testing, prototyping, certification or promotion.
The fact that Planika would take part in the fair was uncertain to the very last moment. The long-lasting ocean storm and strike of workers in the American logistic company resulted in enormous delays in transportation. The other exhibitors, long prepared to the event, watched with disbelief as Planika team members carried elements of the stand construction. But finally, with great determination and hard work, the team managed to build the stand just within a single day, even though initially they planned to devote 4 days to end the task.
It was hard to believe that the same people, three days later, standing in front of camera flashes, would receive an award for the most innovative fireplace presented on the fair. ‘It was a very touching moment for all of us. Despite the tiredness, we felt a new energy and motivation for further work,’ explains Edyta Nowak. ‘The year 2019 proved to be ground-breaking and the success we achieved during this event opened new possibilities for us. Within only few days over 50 companies expressed their will to cooperate with us. We are ready for new challenges,’ adds Nowak.
At the same time, Planika gas fireplaces gained the same appreciation during the biggest European fairs ISH in Frankfurt. Due to the recent success Planika is expanding fast. The company purchased bigger land, where it will build the new production plant. The investment is scheduled to be completed in 2020. ‘We will employ one hundred more people. Our company is growing fast. And we are ready for it,’ concludes Patrycja Gierak, vice-president for Development.