From the idea to standard product
Schmersal’s range covers about 18,000 different products - this number alone already suggests that creative engineers must be active in design and development. In addition, however, the necessary organisational structures have been put into position not only to encourage innovation but also to make it ready for the market quickly - so that Schmersal's customers can profit from new ideas as early as possible.
An open mind for good ideas
An efficient development of concepts during the design process always leads to innovations and new patentable ideas. These ideas are converted into new marketable product lines by the collaborators of the development department. This is how for instance the USP system – a non-contact positioning system for the elevator technology based upon the principle of sound run-time measurement – and the CSS technology – an innovative operating principle for the safety-related communication between sensor and actuator – saw the light of day.
Innovation management: The development process
Various departments are involved in the development process: marketing and sales formulate the wishes of the market. Product management issues a development order and produces a specification of the requirements together with the design department. Production and planning departments plan the manufacturing equipment needed, parallel to the product development. Quality management produces the quality requirements specific to the particular product.
New development: With speed and security to the finished product
At Schmersal, these sequences are organised on the principle of process orientation. This means that all duties in connection with product development - regardless of which department is responsible - have a structured flow in accordance with the principles of project management. This reduces the factor “time to market” and in addition provides security for the complete development process.
Design using modern tools
Stress test in the accredited test lab
It is evident that all new developments are subject to comprehensive type tests and existing products to requalification in a well-equipped test lab. These tests include EMC, environmental and electrical checks. For the certification of new products according to the harmonized standards and guidelines, Schmersal collaborates with the competent committees and certification bodies. After a thorough and detailed assessment procedure, the German accreditation authority DAkkS has acknowledged and accredited the lab of K.A. Schmersal GmbH & Co. KG as competent test lab.
Ready-made: exactly matching the customer’s specifications
In order to enable the development engineers to fully concentrate onto new product lines, the (numerous) customer-specific adaptations and enhancements of existing product families was entrusted to a new department, the ready-made production. This is where the product undergoes all individual constructive adaptations (e.g. specific cable lengths, new contact variants, etc.) in order to match the customer’s specifications. The product managers and development engineers of this department closely collaborate with their colleagues from the quality assurance, work preparation and production departments.