Lebenshilfe and HOFA
“Made in Brusl” beats competition
Acoustics specialist HOFA and Lebenshilfe export acoustic modules to China on a large scale
The last time the Lebenshilfe Bruchsal, a workshop for people with disabilities, packed a container for China, the ship was subsequently stuck in a traffic jam off the Suez Canal. Hopefully this time it will be quicker, hopes the team of the Karlsdorf-based company HOFA-Akustik and their Chinese trade partner.
While cheap goods from China flood the world market, HOFA and Lebenshilfe are taking it the other way round and supply handmade acoustic modules
to the Far East. The modules effectively reduce the reverberation time and optimize room reflections in hi-fi rooms, concert halls, home cinemas, music schools, broadcast studios, offices and workshops. “For some years now, we have maintained a very good business relationship with a reseller of our acoustic modules in China”, says Jan Bönisch, managing director at HOFA. The partner equips luxurious Chinese living rooms and hi-fi rooms – not only with the acoustic modules developed in Karlsdorf and built in Bruchsal, but also with loudspeakers handmade in Berlin, whose prices are in the range of a luxury car.
HOFA has been working together with the Lebenshilfe for over 15 years now. What started as a recording studio in Karlsdorf, today takes care of the “good sound” on all levels – with audio engineering online courses, audio plug-ins for sound engineers, record productions and the acoustic modules. For instance, there are diffusors that look like display cases, but disperse the sound, while absorbers reduce reverberation or bass traps that absorb low frequencies.
It was clear to HOFA founder Jochen Sachse from the early beginning that the modules have to be built in the workshops for people with disabilities of the Lebenshilfe, especially as he got to know the facility during his time of alternative service: “Even during the development phase, I made sure that the modules would be easy to handle.”
It took about two months of work for the Lebenshilfe to fill the current freight container with 1,000 modules. “That’s also were the team leaders lend a hand,” says Fred Einsele, product coordinator at the Lebenshilfe. Around 25 people were involved, from the carpentry to the textile department to packaging, storage and shipping.
In addition to roller grates for beds, gift boxes for wine merchants or nesting boxes for the Nature Protection, the acoustic modules have the largest order volume. “It is important that a product always has the same processes and can be produced for a long time, so you don’t need to always learn all over again,” says Einsele.
With the success story and the worldwide recognition, “made in Brusl” will probably be around for a long time.