Alexander Haertl and Tobias Hecht, both passionate speed skaters, winners of multiple medals and titles cooporated with the MANAO GmbH, a founding venture of the technical university Nuremberg. Together with ebalta and Cast-Solut GmbH, the expert in rapid production, they developed a new and improved version of speed skating wheels.
For approximately the last decade, Inline- and Speedskating wheels have not been further developed. Especially the structure and function did not change. The startup MANAO GmbH wanted to develop something new through, driven by experience and innovative ideas.
The improvements did not only show change in performance, security for the skaters was improved as well. Beforehand the development, the team analyzed the movements of professionals in order to draw conclusions considering the requirements a high speed wheel has to meet. Especially parameters like elasticity, operating characteristics, ground contact and wear are important for the security of the skaters. Besides the geometry, the used material is significant and the choice of material was based on observation, testing, experience and comparisons.
The European Social Fund promoted the project and has the objective to support professional and semi-professional athletes. Through the improvements the wheels became easier to handle, more secure in driving performance and faster than the competition.
ebalta took on the development foci of the project and recommended materials, products and techniques for the production of prototypes, as well as follow-up processes and materials for a potential serial production.
In cooperation the technical characteristics of established wheels were compared to the developed product and finally the decision for a version with an adequate proportion of fiberglass was made.
For the next milestone the goal was to find an optimal producer for MANAO´s wheel rims, which are also called cores.
The company Cast-Solut GmbH is mainly focused on manufacturing machines and special systems, tailored to individual requirements for efficient rapid prototyping and rapid production, as well as additive production. The team transferred the CAD data and constructed a master model, which was used to create a silicone negative mold to use for vacuum casting later in the process. Approximately 50 prototypes using 5 different concepts were manufactured with this technique.
Finally, MANAO was able to make a big step towards serial production in a short amount of time using their network. The end result is now used for further capability tests and developments.
Short ways and engaged partners – a guaranteed recipe for success.