Impulses for the new and further development of our products reach us in various ways, but nobody can avoid the technology department. This is where individual customer enquiries, feedback from practice, from the sales and production teams, and new standards and regulations flow together with our demands for quality, energy efficiency and innovative strength. Here we design, test, measure, evaluate and optimise until an innovative idea turns into a product ready for production.
In the 12-person team led by Sebastian Watolla, each colleague has found his speciality. During most projects they work in teams, which are always reassembled according to the individual task. External competences are also involved in some new developments, such as the minimisation of the sound pressure level of the BADU Delta Eco VS in cooperation with the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Sebastian Watolla describes his team as a “healthy mixture of young and experienced”. Some colleagues, like himself, have been with SPECK Pumpen for almost 20 years and longer. Above all, they stand for the experience that they share with their younger colleagues on a daily basis. These, in turn, bring new technical know-how from schools and universities to the development department. The long-standing colleagues are Jörg Dornbusch, who has specialised in electronics and control systems; Thomas Kraus, who in addition to CAD design is also responsible for transferring data to the SPECK SELECT pump selection programme; and Norbert Ziegler, who has developed many pump types and counter swim units, such as the latest BADUJET Turbo Pro. Norbert will retire in spring 2020. To ensure a smooth transition Thomas Moosburger has already been taken on as his successor. Both are currently sampling and testing the BADUJET Turbo Pro hand in hand.
At the beginning of every development project, the target has to be defined. This is the basis for the entire procedure. If the product adaption concerns, for example, a special pumped medium, a modular system can be used for all components that come into contact with the medium. Of course, experience with a wide variety of materials is also required.
For the new and further development of pumps, the hydraulic design by means of flow simulation is the focus. The flow qualities defined in the target is theoretically played through in a wide variety of constellations. This results in characteristic curves and values for efficiency and energy consumption, which are then evaluated and compared with each other. On this basis, the optimal technical solution can be found with regard to many different criteria.
The new construction of the components, as well as the adaptation of already existing ones, is carried out by means of a CAD program. The parts are then printed using a 3D printer. The motor is either selected from the range or newly developed in cooperation with a motor manufacturer. The resulting prototype of a new pump now has to undergo numerous tests in the test laboratory: Pressure tests, cycle tests, mould tests, electrical voltage tests and noise measurements.
From the determined values, conclusions can be drawn for the fine adjustment of the components until the results agree with those theoretically defined.
Once the prototype has successfully passed the test phase, the injection moulds for new components are ordered. This is followed by the sampling phase, in which the first sample parts are measured to the specified tolerances and subjected to a functional check. Only then is the approval for series production granted by the technology department.
However, a project is then not yet complete. Jörg Dornbusch coordinates and accompanies all necessary tests, e.g. for the GS sign. At the same time, the technical input for operating manuals and parts lists has to be prepared and entered into the merchandise management system. 2D drawings and characteristics are issued for catalogues and brochures and the data for all pump types within a series are entered into the SPECK SELECT pump selection programme. Meanwhile, the main designer accompanies the initial phase of production intensively.
The Technical Manager Sebastian Watolla is then able to present the new product to sales teams and representatives at home and abroad and to present it at trade fairs. In his role he also acts as an interface to communicate the innovations from the technology department to the outside world and to provide new input. As a member of the DIN committee, he most recently helped develop the standards for private swimming pool technology and is now concerned with the impact of private swimming pool technology on the environment. This means that neither he nor his team will run out of ideas for further new and further developments of SPECK pumps in the foreseeable future …