Garrafas CoMet

© Amtrol-Alfa

Os objectos encontrados nesta página ganharam prémios de design, são um exemplo de inovação nacional e de parcerias de sucesso entre universidades e empresas. Mas não existem.

Tratam-se de garrafas portáteis de GPL (gás de petróleo liquefeito), também conhecidas como botijas de gás butano. Compostas por um cilindro de aço revestido a Twintex® (material feito de fibras de vidro e polipropileno) e inserido num invólucro de polietileno ou polipropileno de alta densidade, pertencem a uma família de garrafas de tecnologia compósita que a empresa de Guimarães Amtrol-Alfa tem vindo a desenvolver desde 2003, em parceria com o Instituto de Engenharia Mecânica e Gestão Industrial da Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP) e o Pólo de Inovação em Engenharia de Polímeros da Universidade do Minho.

Quando foi lançada em 2005, a primeira das garrafas desta família era mais leve, segura, económica, fácil de transportar e apelativa que as botijas tradicionais. Chamava-se Pluma. Foi projectada pela Brandia, que não fez só a garrafa (desenvolvida no departamento de design de produto da agência, então liderado pelo designer Rui Sampaio de Faria): fez o produto Pluma. Deu-lhe um nome, um logótipo, uma razão de ser, uma história. Contada numa campanha de lançamento que associava características intrínsecas da garrafa – leveza, formas curvilíneas, cor quente – a uma certa ideia de sex-appeal: a Galp, a partir daí chamada Galp Energia, passou a ter duas novas embaixadoras: a Pluma e a “menina do gás”.

Por razões de logística e mercado, a Galp não substituiu todas as suas garrafas por Plumas: elas coexistem hoje com as velhas botijas de aço e as garrafas da concorrência. Mas a Amtrol-Alfa quis dar continuidade à pesquisa então começada. É então que Carlos Aguiar, professor convidado da FEUP e o mais premiado designer industrial português, passa a liderar a equipa que projectou as garrafas aqui representadas.

Tendo características técnicas semelhantes às da Pluma, elas têm ainda “uma maior flexibilidade de aplicação de válvulas diferentes e uma ergonomia das asas ligeiramente melhorada”. As suas linhas dinâmicas também sugerem serem mais leves do que são – um elemento de design tão intangível quanto fundamental.

A sua fácil adaptação a sistemas de gás engarrafado que não o português levaram-nas a outros países e mercados. Desde à Austrália, onde a empresa Elgas as vende como garrafas verdes e pretas “Snap and Go”, à Venezuela, cuja companhia estatal PDVSA Gas Comunal as coloriu com as cores e estrelas da bandeira nacional. Nas ilhas Canárias, a Disa deu à sua nova bombona o nome “nu-b” e a cor branca, integrando-as semanticamente no universo da cozinha; no resto de Espanha e, também, em Portugal, as K6 e K11 são distribuídas nas cores da Repsol: azul, laranja e branco.

Como se vêm aqui, estas garrafas não existem: são os clientes da Amtrol-Alfa que as tornam em produtos, as “fazem existir” para além da fotografia e segundo as suas necessidades. Para Aguiar, “a CoMet é um produto “aberto” da Amtrol-Alfa que permite aos seus clientes construírem sobre ela “produtos” com “imagens” e “marcas” próprias.” São portanto “um produto com a imagem “em aberto””, além de serem “umwork in progress que tem contaminado outros segmentos e mercados” como o náutico, os gases refrigerantes ou mesmo os grelhadores de exterior (como os criados pela empresa portuguesa Silampos, especificamente para estas garrafas).

Estas garrafas de gás são um exemplo de como o trabalho de um designer industrial, apenas um elo de uma extensa cadeia de decisões, condicionantes, mercados e pessoas, é crucial para o sucesso de qualquer produto. Mas que não existe no vazio. Como diz Aguiar, “o nível de desempenho de um colectivo é ditado pelo elo mais fraco da cadeia (como na alta fidelidade), pelo que bom design numa equipa fraca não faz milagres, nem o contrário”.

BI
Garrafas de gás CoMet

Design
Carlos Aguiar

Cliente
Amtrol-Alfa

Datas
2003 (início do projecto)
2005 (lançamento primeira garrafa CoMet Pluma)
2006 (primeira nova CoMet no mercado — 24L, Bulgária)
2007- 2009 CoMet chegam às Canárias, Austrália, EUA, Venezuela e Cabo Verde)

+ info: www.amtrol-alfa.com

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