From Metal Factory to Architectural Innovator
Focusing on R&D
In its early years, Zahner's research and development was driven by the demands of its commissioned jobs. Now, employees work on whatever interests them. Direct R&D comes to about four percent of volume, but, "indirectly, we're constantly coming up with new things," Zahner said. Among the current pet projects: improving a patented process that superimposes photographs or other images onto metal. The process was used on the de Young Museum, in San Francisco, where a photo of trees near the museum covered the building's copper walls.