There are major changes in Sunfab's development department. The group has been expanded both in their number and in competence. The idea is now to further develop the way in which we work to get even better on product development and meet our customer’s needs.
– This is a venture to get more momentum in development. We will be better at getting new products faster and responding to our other department's requirements as well as creating products based on Sunfab's own ideas, says Sigvard Weisbjerg, Product Development Manager at Sunfab, and also the one who drives the change.
Previously, Sunfab had a classical design department where you entered a little later in the product development cycle and the focus was on implementing an idea. Now the department is widening as it takes a bigger grip on both the idea and implementation. The goal is to make both things even better and more efficient than the competitors.
– This requires us to change the way we work. We already have strength in our lab and tests, but with more advanced computer simulation programs, there are opportunities to find potential problems earlier in a construction, says Sigvard.
Now Sunfab has changed the department somewhat and has, among other things, employed an industrial designer and a calculation engineer. This has created the conditions for a more leading role in product development work.
– Now we can add more importance to the calculations, we can simulate flow and do strength calculation. We can go in and see if the product will last or work as it was intended without having to deal with iron and steel and use machine time in the workshop. It saves a lot of time and resources, says Sigvard.
The fact that the department has its own industrial design also makes it possible to visualize the product.
– We can sketch, draw and make models so that you can see and touch the product before it's finished. It's great fun, because it gives us a much bigger and clearer idea on what to do and what our expectations are.
Another interesting piece of news is how Sunfab has gone into recruitment to the department. It has not only been about skills this time, personality has had an equally significant impact.
– Designers are generally meticulous people who like to work with detail. In order to complement each other, we have therefore looked for people who are communicative, creative and more generalists, says Sigvard.
The next step is make the whole department aware of the individual personalities and what type of work they actually enjoy and then distribute the tasks on the basis of competence and personal suitability.
– There is no point in sending a staff with an interest in details on a general customer visit, for example. It is possible but it will not be effective. Then to put the generalist to review a technical drawing, yes it is the same thing there.
Sigvard's own challenge now is to get all the different personalities to move in the same direction.
– It is I who came up with it all. "Now I better make it fly". But I am convinced that it will do because we do it together. And when we succeed it will go very fast and it will happen many very great things where the department really leads the company forward in the development of new products, concludes Sigvard.