Our range of services - how we operate
Category: This is how we approach the example of mast extension windsurfing
Product name: Power Extension, Company: Duotone
Who is your end customer? What does the end customer want? What does the competition do?
At the beginning of a project it is very important for us to analyse the environment of your industry in detail in order to find a suitable innovation. The better we know the end customer and the competition, the more accurate the innovation will be. A close cooperation with our customers is essential.
Windsurfing - a fascinating sport, but one that has been experiencing declining sales figures for years. This although the leisure industry itself is booming. The reasons are manifold. On the one hand, the fun sport windsurfing has got a lot of competition like snowboarding, kite surfing, mountain biking, on the other hand windsurfing is still complicated and not userfriendly. Windsurf sails are a big weakness: they can only be built up by immense efforts, women or young people are usually simply overstrained and need help. But more than ever, end customers expect everything to be quick and easy.
The individual brands in the sector differ in their products mainly in terms of colour and design. There have not been any farreaching innovations that are comprehensible to the end customer for a long time. The market leader Duotone, which is copied by lowcost suppliers in many areas and for whom radical innovations would mean a clear competitive advantage, also has this problem.
►►► An innovation in windsurfing that is noticeable and affordable would be of high value for the customer Duotone as well as for the whole sport.
Our greatest strength, we find innovations, improvements for your product range
A brilliant idea can only partly be worked out according to a scheme, you need talent above all.
The goal Sport must become easier and more comfortable
The approach Innovation at the biggest weak point: the sail structure
A lot of experiments have already been carried out on the problem of the high effort required to build a sail, without any profound improvement.
UB Tech came up with the brilliant idea:
►►► To tension the sail, lever forces must be transferred to the tensioning rope. This idea was consistently pursued and all general conditions were taken into account. Weight, space requirement, technical effort, costs. The product management of Duotone named additional product requirements that were necessary to make the mast foot a successful product.
Does it work? Is it worth it?
A good idea is one thing, but does it work and is it affordable for the end customer? These questions must be clarified before the project is taken further. After a joint, thorough feasibility study, the risks and opportunities of the project can be easily identified. The decision about the continuation of the project to series production can now be made.
According to an initial estimate, the technical effort required to manufacture these systems will only be slightly higher than that of previous systems.
►►► The balance of advantages and disadvantages is clear. The advantages are enormous and will appeal to every surfer. The product has the possibility not only to reach a market penetration but also to displace the previous systems. The image gain of the market Duotone is also considerable due to this innovation.
Simple, lowcost functional prototype construction that demonstrates the most important technical functions.
In most cases, a simple prototype showing the most important functions is already built for the feasibility study. This additionally supports the decision about the continuation of the project to the production stage.
►►► The idea of rope tension was incorporated into a complete mast foot, so that the main functions could be tested.
In the case of the windsurf mast foot, the functional sport type test was successful.
Search of the technical field and innovation
For you as a customer it is extremely important that the new product is not immediately copied by competitors. Property rights in the form of a patent lead to a monopoly position and thus to a clear competitive advantage over the competition.
►►► The patent examination showed that the mast foot is a novelty and an invention within the meaning of patent law. An international patent application has been filed. The patent has been granted in the meantime.
CAD 2D / 3D
We work with the latest software in 2D and 3D. With a small, simple subprogram, which we make available to you free of charge, you can always follow the progress of the construction, and bring in your suggestions and wishes.
►►► The mast foot was first designed completely in 3D:
- The plastic parts for the easiest possible demoldable injection molds.
- The metal turned parts, as well as sheet metal parts were drawn in 2D or 3D, depending on the requirements of the producer.
Production of close-to-production, resilient prototypes
We work with the leading prototype manufacturers in Europe and can therefore build prototypes in metal and plastic that come very close to the later series product.
►►► The mast foot worked at first go and all functions could be tested. The customer was able to imagine the design much better than on drawings, so that only minor optical changes were made.
Theory and practice come together
The prototypes will be tested by us in detail, weak points and after any necessary modifications. We also let external users who are not involved in development try out the prototypes.
Extreme loads, possible operating errors and simple practical use are tested, and the knowledge gained from these tests is incorporated into the data set one last time.
►►► Unfortunately, the sintered mast foot could not be used in water because the sintered material is not suitable for this purpose (swelling material). The practical test on the water was carried out with a prototype made of milled POM. The application was absolutely successful. The new function of the simple construction and adjustment of the sail tension on the water turned out to be extremely practical and functional.
We are also involved here
We accompany you in all phases of series production, be it arrangements with the producers and toolmakers, a comprehensible instruction manual or the preparation of a first presentation.
We are only successful when your product is successful.
►►► We accompanied Duotone until the final assembly of the mast base, so that they always had a dedicated contact person for all questions. The mast foot was and is a great success for Duotone and for the whole sport.