In the last year, PSB GmbH and SMB Schnekenburger GmbH have demonstrated what successful collaboration in product design can look like during a pandemic. In a only a few weeks, they managed to develop an inherently sustainable product: The DAT 1000 digital signage totem with integrated disinfectant dispenser.
April 2020 - A nation under lockdown. Or not. Some companies are still running and producing. In production, especially, it’s hardly possible to work from home. As it is the case for PSB Engineering, a subsidiary of Bechtle AG, and for SMB Schnekenburger GmbH.
The long-time partners have been hit by a decline in customer orders due to COVID and forced to temporarily throttle down production. PSB and SMBs’ CEOs Nico Schuster and Thomas Schnekenburger put their heads together. They used their increased capacity to try out something new: remote product development.
Born was the idea of developing a product that can be used even long after the pandemic is over. The aim was not only to bring a unique product on to the market, but to make it trendy and sustainable in the process. Whether we’re currently in a pandemic or not, there’s enough electronic waste as there is.
After four months, two prototypes and several Teams meetings and telephone calls, a basic model for a multifunctional digital signage system with integrated disinfectant dispenser was conceived and presented successfully to a laboratory for testing, which it passed on the first try. The information totem has a timeless design with a 21.5" touch screen, an industrial mainboard with a Celeron or Core i7 CPU and a contactless, modular disinfection module built in and has been named the DAT 1000—the DAT stands for “Digital Allround Terminal”. The system is perfectly suited for use in hotels and restaurants, retail, hospitals and doctors’ practices, but also receptions and meeting rooms—and it’s now available in the Bechtle Shop.
After its successful launch on the market, developers are now working on making the DAT 1000 even smarter. Updates include:
One of the highlights? The PSB’s front panel can be adjusted. With the right panelling, the totem can be modified to suit the interior it’s in.
Besides putting a lot of thought into the product, the makers proved product development in SMEs is possible across a distance and even more. Tools such as Microsoft Teams and data storage on Microsoft SharePoint that link up with digital development and visualisation systems such as SolidWorks, and are all provided by the Bechtle Group, allow everyday manufacturers to collaborate with each other digitally.
The combination of working on-premise and from at home worked brilliantly in this case and has been a very positive learning experience that will help us to come out of this pandemic even stronger.