For some, it was a huge surprise and the first opportunity to see the newest product development with their own eyes. For others, it was the – quite emotional – culmination of years of development work. The Retter Messe 2016 was the perfect stage for the world premier of the 4th generation of the internationally successful FOX portable pump.
The story begins in 2011. True to the motto “After Interschutz is before Interschutz,” the groundwork for the development activities for the 2015 trade fair essentially started just after the 2010 trade fair. Since the FOX III was presented in 2005 and information from BMW indicated that a new generation of engines was under development, I was charged with kicking off the preliminary project for the next generation of portable pumps.
The specifications were closely based on the successful FOX product family. After all, statistics like 18,000 pumps in 90 countries speak volumes. Thus, it was clear that all of these technical specifications needed to be met or exceeded.
Over the course of the project, however, it became quite evident that the requirements for a portable pump engine and those for a motorcycle engine have grown very far apart over the last 25 years. Therefore, a fundamental decision was made that a different engine will need to serve as the heart of the portable pump in the future. As a result, the project objective was redefined and a completely new design around the new engine was eyed. Every aspect was to be questioned and the entire operational procedure and all modern operational scenarios were to be deliberated. Ideas came from all directions. Innovation workshop open to all Rosenbauer employees were convened and all ideas – even the most unusual – were subjected to neutral evaluation. This is how, for example, the quite legitimate question came about: “Why doesn’t the portable pump have a spherical shape so it can be “rolled” to the operation site?”
And the search for a new engine ultimately turned a known Rosenbauer partner into our favorite. The company BRP-Rotax from Gunskirchen, Austria, supplied Rosenbauer with 2-stroke engines for nearly 60 years until production ultimately dried up in the mid 90s. But the BRP-Rotax product portfolio now has the perfect engine for portable pumps. A 3-cylinder series engine: as small and lightweight as it is powerful. Ideal for implementing our new ideas. The best news: this engine has a little brother. Namely, a 2-cylinder series motor that would perfectly cover the demands of a true PFPN 10-1000. Plus, we were able to achieve perfect synergies due to the similarities between the engines. The sum of these advantages was enough to convince us that BRP-Rotax was the right partner to help us bring this pioneering concept to fruition.
But this was just the beginning of our work. The core team grew and the project plan was outlined in preparation for a presentation at Interschutz 2015. Due to the new technical basis, this objective was quite ambitious, but we know that growth comes from being challenged. 🙂
Read about the path to Interschutz 2015 in part 2 of this blog!