In Sight KTR – the video cast
Episode 21: 2021, the year of the new products – EVOLASTIC® and SINULASTIC®
Text of the current episode:
Julia Ures: Hello and welcome back to our Podcast “In Sight KTR”. 2021 has been a very special year for KTR, four new products have been launched in the past months and it was a really exciting time.
Today, in our new episode of “In Sight KTR” we will talk about two of the four new products, namely the EVOLASIC and the SINULASTIC and I am of course not alone here in our studio. I’ve invited two guests for this topic.
The first one is Marie-Christin Maier, Key-Account Manager and Product Manager for the EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC. Great to have you here, thank you for being here in the studio today.
Marie-Christin Maier: Yes. Thanks, Julia. Thanks for having us!
Julia Ures: And my second guest is Joachim Hofstede, he is Sales Manager, responsible for Central East Europe Asia & Pacific and thank you for joining us as well!
Joachim Hofstede: Yeah, it’s nice to see you again!
Julia Ures: Marie, you have been with KTR for seven years now, one year of that time as a Product Manager for the EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC. How did you feel during the last year? I think maybe it was a very exciting year for you, wasn’t it?
Marie-Christin Maier: Yes, definitely! It was of course an exciting time, but to be honest it was also a bit like a stressy time, but yeah let’s say, not stressing, but a bit more like challenging. So, especially in the beginning of the year, when we were like in the middle of the market lounge. There was like a lot of things to do. So, when you just like crossed out one thing on your To-Do List six new points just appeared. But to be honest it was really exciting, also for me personally, to, let’s say, grow as a Product Manager, but also with these two products and launch them in the market. And it was like also interesting topics, because we just made a stock program, we strengthened quality standards, we trained also our Sales colleagues outside, especially also in our subsidiaries abroad. So, yeah, really exciting time but of course I’m sitting here as a Product Manager and I’m saying, okay, exciting times, but this would have not been possible without the team behind it. So, of course exciting times, but also for the teams that we needed to strengthen also for two new products in the time and, yeah, we know KTR also can master challenges. We had a lot of challenges in the last year. So yeah, we know we can do that and I think this is not like normal to do that in such a times, also to launch four new products in such a year so, yeah.
Julia Ures: Challenges for KTR and for you personally.
Marie-Christin Maier: Yes, of course.
Julia Ures: Joachim, you receive feedback from all over the world, because your focus lies on the international clients. What would you say, how did the international market react to the new products? Was it well received?
Joachim Hofstede: Yes, very much so. We have been really overwhelmed with the feedback, that we have received from the market, definitely was very interesting. We have to, perhaps, split these two product lines the EVOLASTIC, SINULASTIC, that we want to speak about today, we have to separate these two issues. When we speak about the EVOLASTIC couplings, we have been able to get these couplings already specified in several customer places. We have some feedback, for example in constructor equipment industry. We have been able to supply some couplings to major international players already. We have some feedback from the rail market, which is a completely different kind of industry, also over there we had some very good feedback. We had also some general industry, like for example, not so common, the marine industry, where these couplings have been used. And that is such a broad in a range of industries, that we have been able to cover with this coupling, thanks to the fact that this is a very forgiving coupling. This is a coupling that can compensate a lot of misalignments and is very elastic and thanks to the excellent work, that Marie and the team have done. We have been able to place a lot of couplings in the field for testing, that is EVOLASTIC.
Now the second part is SINULASTIC, this is a bit more complicated. These couplings go into applications, where the specification and the spec work is done at a very early stage, once the machines are in prototype-stages. And that is where we have been able also to get some very positive and very interesting applications for example at genset market, Generator Sets in the market of construction equipment, agricultural equipment again for splitter box applications, where you have done an excellent job over there and with these splitter boxes again. These are some special features of the couplings that were extremely successful and that is mainly the point that we have this plug-in feature of this coupling, which is unique in the market. Some people may say this is something we have seen before. Well, we have added some very interesting unique points, that make this coupling outstanding. So, all in all, cut a long story short, very, very successful launch of the product now, that we are more or less nine months in the year.
Julia Ures: As you know, our viewers and our listeners, we try to answer as many questions as possible in up to 20 minutes and I would like to thank you for all your exciting questions, that you have sent us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please continue to do so and follow us on Facebook on Instagram or on LinkedIn, so you don’t miss out on the news on our podcast.
And the next question we received from our viewers and listeners, maybe a bit provocative, but let’s just dive right into it.
Marie, the question is: Mrs. Maier, KTR already has a wide portfolio of products and there are already similar couplings on the market. Why did KTR actually come up with the EVOLASTIC and the SINULASTIC, when a similar solution, as Joachim told us, or it seems similar, is already available?
Marie-Christin Maier: Yes so, I think that’s like a really great question, because maybe let’s have a look in another market and other technologies. So, I think if we for example, let’s take an example: cell phones. So, if there is a company that’s already producing cell phones like company A is producing product A and it’s totally normal that another company is also producing such, let’s say, a similar product, but it’s not technical identical and they are always optimizing the product. So, the principal as cell phone or mobile phone is existing and it’s like the same for couplings. So KTR is also known as KTR Systems now and there is like a history behind it, because we are like a system supplier. So, when KTR is inventing or developing a coupling and there is always our, let’s say…. Yeah, we would like to improve the product and we are a system supplier and we would have like to have the customer telling us, okay, we’re just inventing a coupling when you need it and when our existing portfolio is not enough. So therefore, we also invent these couplings, analyse them and then improve them. So, if we, for example, take a look back in history for our EVOLASTIC for example. The EVOLASTIC is based on the coupling principle of a typical Giubo coupling, that was invented in the 1960s and it was improved by many, many coupling manufacturers in the market over the years. But for example, systems like FEM-analysis were not available in history. So therefore, this is especially what we are doing. We are putting the coupling, with all this historical background and also our coupling manufacturer Know-How, into a system, such as FEM and we are especially analysing all these load points and our Know-How from the applications that we know and improving the product. And this is especially and exactly how the EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC geometry was improved. Therefore, of course, the coupling principle is known in the market, maybe. But it’s not the same product, it’s an improved and new developed coupling for KTR, of course. And we made it better, it’s not like the same product already existing.
Julia Ures: Joachim, let’s talk about the development. The process behind launching a new product is often much longer than the people out there would expect. How long did it actually take for these two couplings to be ready for the market and who is involved in a process like this?
Joachim Hofstede: These two product lines, SINULASTIC and EVOLASTIC, have been developed with our Thinktank Team. Thinktank is an engineering office, that is located outside KTR, near Dusseldorf, in the heart of Europe. And in this office, we have a very experienced team of engineers, that has been developing these products. Marie has been a part of this engineering team in the development stage. So, she was kind of building a bridge between the existing office, that we have over here, the headquarter and the Thinktank Team, which is, as I said, a team of very experienced engineers that have several decades of experience in the elastic coupling market and this has been put together. I think the total development time was somewhat, a bit over a year and the key was to find an idea or to identify the idea, that improves the coupling. That was taken then to a bigger picture, has been developed as Marie has said with Finite-Element-Stress-Analysis, so FEA stress calculations, developed into some models, that were tested here in our testing facilities, which then verifies and improves the theoretical calculation models, that we have been using in the development stage. So, all in all around about a good year, that is the development time, that we needed for both of these products, which is from my point of view really an excellent achievement.
Julia Ures: It’s fast and it’s a great teamwork.
Joachim Hofstede: Definitely, definitely yes.
Julia Ures: Marie, I would like to talk about the two couplings a bit more. Could you please explain the main differences between the EVOLASTIC and the SINULASTIC and their main advantages in your opinion?
Marie-Christin Maier: So yeah, EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC, let’s say the main difference is not only the torque range. So, the EVOLASTIC starts at nearly 100Nm and goes up to 5 600Nm and the SINULASTIC is more a coupling for a bigger torque range. So, we are starting at um 1750Nm and going up to 25 000Nm, but although the stiffness of the coupling. So, when we are just putting this into a context of KTR world, we’re seeing our ROTEX coupling behind us here. So, starting with a typical elastic coupling, then we’re coming to the EVOLASTIC as a medium elastic coupling and then the SINULASTIC, which is a very soft coupling, which is a highly elastic coupling. And this is always important and depending on the application, that we have, that we need to select the right torsional stiffness to the application. And this is like the typical main, let’s say, difference be between both couplings, because we could use both couplings for example at the application with a diesel engine for example, but of course there are a lot of differences.
Julia Ures: So, when I, as a customer, would like to have such a coupling, can I just look in in the catalogue or how can I order it? What is the process behind it?
Marie-Christin Maier: Yeah, I think we also need to divide between EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC. So as Joachim already said, the EVOLASTIC is a very robust coupling. So, if we’re having a look on the drivetrain, what is driven and what is driving the coupling. Of course, if we have a diesel engine, we always conduct a TVA due to the excitations, that we have in the drivetrain. But if we have, for example, an electric motor driving a pump or something like that, so we can just have a look at the catalogue, of course work with a safety factor. So, ask KTR, when the customers does not know, what to choose there and then we can just select a coupling from the catalogue. But when we have a look on the SINULASTIC, this is a bit more difficult, because we always need to conduct a TVA, because as we know SINULASTIC is the typical product for a diesel engine and we have the excitations. So therefore, we need to have a look, where is the natural frequency of the system. So therefore, the first step is always having a look at all the information from the drive side and driven side, as well as mass moment of inertias, from the engine, from the flywheel. We need to have a look on the installation space. So, then we’re just conducting a TVA for the customer and say okay, this is the correct coupling size, this is the shore hardness that you need and this is also the operating range. So, we had the genset for example, as an example genset is typically known for a fixed speed range 1500 or 1800 rpm, but if we have like a variable speed range, we definitely need to have a look okay, where do we have a problem with the coupling, what shore hardness do we need to have, where is the resonance point? So it’s a very critical process in the beginning, but then it’s, let’s say, very easy, because we just then have a look on the installation situation. We’re making a drawing, make an offer for the customer and if he’s ordering, then we’re just producing the parts and he can install it in his application.
Julia Ures: Joachim, what are typical questions from international customers about the two couplings?
Joachim Hofstede: Well, first of all these couplings, the SINULASTIC couplings, for example, that Marie explained, with these torsional vibration analyses. Usually, the customers are very experienced also with this kind of selection process, because they most likely have been using couplings of similar types in the past. So, this selection process is something, that is, let’s say, a discussion process between engineering departments from customer and supplier side. And typically, then there is a lot of information exchanged, because, as Marie explained, this calculation process, the selection process, takes a little while and needs a lot of detailed facts from the drivetrain. Different story with the EVOLASTIC coupling, as Marie also explained, there this selection process is a bit less critical, a bit less complicated. So, the questions from our customers, that are typically asked for these couplings, is, what are the torque ranges, because these are sometimes with nominal torque, maximum toque, alternating torque. These questions usually apply. What are the loads, that the couplings can withstand, the temperature, the misalignments of these couplings? These are typically the questions that our customers are asking during the selection process.
Julia Ures: And it is already time for our last question for today. Marie, I would like to start with you. I would like to answer this question both of you. Where would you like to see these couplings at work? What would be an interesting project you would like to work on with these products in the future?
Marie-Christin Maier: Okay that’s a good question. I would say, oh yeah, for example a chocolate factory, because I really love chocolate. So, if there is somehow a project for a chocolate factory, where they need a coupling with very high misalignment and damping factors, so, yeah, just give me a hint. I would come and install it, so. Yeah, that would be great.
Julia Ures: What is it for you, Joachim?
Joachim Hofstede: A very good idea. No, I would be a little more, let’s say, let’s be a little more realistic. From my personal point of view both couplings are very often used with combustion engine drives. There are definitely some very interesting markets, that I’m particularly looking after and of course I would love to see some of both EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC couplings, both of them somewhere in construction and agricultural equipment. That is exactly the market, where it suits the best and this is definitely, where we are aiming at. So, we have whatever, the combustion engine can be located in any kind of equipment, but as long as there is a combustion engine involved, I’m very happy.
Julia Ures: Complete different answer. Do you like chocolate?
Joachim Hofstede: Unfortunately, yes!
Julia Ures: So, another episode of “In Sight KTR” is already over. I would like to thank you for your interest and of course you, Joachim and Marie, for joining me here in the studio and talking about the EVOLASTIC and SINULASTIC. I wish you guys all the best and ongoing success with the products and of course many thanks to you out there for watching or listening today to of “In Sight KTR”. Hope to see or to hear you again next time. All the best. Take care and bye!