The fiddly ritual of assembling IKEA furniture is set to become a thing of the past as the furniture giant introduces products that snap together “like a jigsaw puzzle”.
The brand has developed a new type of joint, called a wedge dowel, that makes it much quicker and simpler to assemble wooden products. This does away with the need for screws, bolts, screwdrivers and allen keys. The small, ribbed protrusion comes ready installed in flat-packed furniture panels and slots into pre-drilled holes in neighbouring panels.
The innovation has partly been driven by consumer resistance to the often slow and frustrating experience of putting together IKEA products, and partly as a way of saving resources, since it does away with the need for dozens of metal fittings.
“IKEA furniture typically contains quite a lot of fittings, We see some challenges in the time and interest in doing that, so we thought, what happens if we try to take them out totally? We are now into the implementation phase of making it possible for you to click your furniture together….I actually put together a table which used to take me 24 minutes to assemble but took me three minutes to click together.”
-IKEA CEO Jesper Brodin
The wedge dowel requires no glue, yet can be taken apart and reassembled many times without loss of structural integrity. This means the products will last longer and are better suited to modern lifestyles. IKEA intends to roll out the system across its entire furniture range, starting with the wooden Lisabo table, which went on sale earlier this year.