Arburg Design Talk: the triple Wow effect

1 June 2017

The “Design Talk” of Ammerbuch-based design office Design Tech was held at Arburg. The event revolved around the question of how much design is required for the making of high-quality capital goods. In front of an audience of high-level representatives from the Baden-Württemberg business community, Juliane Hehl, Managing Director of Arburg, and Heinz Gaub, Arburg Managing Director Technology, talked to Jürgen R. Schmid, Managing Director of Design Tech about the designer’s concept of a triple wow effect.

The “Design Talk” was held in the exclusive ambiance of the Customer Centre Lounge and was moderated by the popular TV host Markus Brock. The audience gained indepth insight into the significance of machine design and the decision and development phase of the new Arburg injection moulding machine.

With visible pride, Jürgen R. Schmid declared: “Our goal was to achieve a triple wow effect: The design of the Allrounder 1120 H already draws attention from a distance of 20 meters. Close up, it reinforces the impression of high quality. The third wow comes when the injection moulding machine is used, and users experience its outstanding, innovative technology and ergonomics.

At Arburg, machine design has been a priority for decades

Juliane Hehl, the managing partner in charge of marketing, pointed out the high priority that design has been accorded at Arburg for decades: “Under our motto ‘ugly doesn’t sell’, even Arburg’s first standard machine in the 1950s was continuously improved using a wooden model until the engineers had a design that adequately matched the high-level technology.” Another milestone was the colour change of the machines from Reseda green to the mint green and canary yellow combination, which she initiated in 1995 and which Arburg is known for all over the world today. “After another 20 years, the next decisive step was to involve external design experts in the development of the new Allrounder 1120 H from the start, in addition to our inhouse technology experts”, Juliane Hehl explains. “As the shareholders, we knew from the beginning that our new flagship product also required a visionary design.”

Arburg stands out for its boldness in design

Jürgen R. Schmid had a clear answer to Markus Brock’s question about the role of product design in mechanical engineering: “Among 100 companies, only ten engage with this topic, and only one at Arburg’s level.” In this context, he highlighted that while machine production is engineering-driven by its nature, it is still necessary to use the full range of options and differentiation factors, including design – just like Arburg did in its cooperation with him. “Over many discussions, we compiled numerous pieces of information in order to understand not only the technology, but also Arburg as the brand that communicates the design. A great challenge was to include the ergonomics and functionality of this high-end machine in our considerations. We approached the matter carefully and really pushed the envelope at Arburg”, the designer said. “I think it’s sensational that Arburg settled for our most daring and visionary proposal.” This is even more relevant when one considers that the new design isn’t just intended for these large machines but will be successively implemented across the entire portfolio.

Great challenge for engineers and designers

CTO Heinz Gaub continued in the same vein: “During development, we always needed to keep an eye on the machine’s performance and feasibility of production. This was a great challenge, which we successfully mastered and that we and our engineers are very proud of.” With a smile, Gaub added that engineers also appreciate good, functional design, an impression that Juliane Hehl was able to confirm by the reactions from the developer teams at the machine’s presentation at the K 2016, the world’s leading exhibition for the plastics industry.

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