Klober have given a scientific insight into the processes that go into their product development, with Dirk Willen, a member of the company’s German Product Development team, providing more detail.
Being in the role for over 20 years, Dirk has a wealth of knowledge and here, he talks of the innovation, precision, testing and development behind all of the roofing solutions specialist’s products.
In terms of product development, he says that the advancements in accuracy and efficiency from when he first started to now are incredible, with the drawing board and extremely simplistic digital facilities all those years ago meaning projects often took time to come together. In the current day, CAD and 3D printing allow for quicker prototyping much faster, vastly reducing the length of development cycle.
Tests are key to development, with ones for durability and accelerated weathering taking place to ensure products will cope with the harshest of conditions.
Being one of the few European manufacturers to have their own wind tunnel, Klober can subject its products to extensive testing, with all the latest legislation very much in mind.
Talking more about the testing process, Dirk says: “We then examine whether we have existing tools available for production or will need to manufacture new ones.
“Of course, products such as vents and dry fixing accessories are a very visible part of any building means so we also need to take appearance as well as performance into account.
“A contractor wants to use products that are easy to use and offer the best long-term performance, but these days a tile or slate vent must be unobtrusive too.
“This makes colour as important as the vent profile so we ensure that pigments used offer the greatest durability. A colour will often look quite different once installed and also depends on the material used to manufacture it.
“Colour matching is a real challenge as the shade will vary between grooves, recesses and raised areas – it’s all very subjective.”
Klober can achieve the best consistency by using a light chamber with precisely defined wavelengths before cross-referencing against the human eye.
Further tests take place to guarantee compliance with international and local standards, as well as with Klober’s own, demanding specification.
Each individual test programme is based on a ‘failure mode’ analysis and only until all the processes are complete is the product considered fit for launch. At this stage, the deep expertise of contractors is drawn on prior to the commitment to full production.
Dirk commented: “We regard our customers as partners and it is up to us to ensure we make their lives as easy as possible. We very much depend on interaction with them to further our deep well of knowledge and expertise in roofing built up over more than 50 years.”
Klober is renown for how the performance of existing products are considered crucial to its research. This ensures established product ranges continue to be fully supported, kept modern and benefit from improvements ahead of the market.
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