In February 2020, GF Piping Systems started an outstanding project with mechanical engineering students from the ZHAW School of Engineering in Winterthur (Switzerland) – the concept development for a new peeling tool. The pipe peeler is used to remove the top layer of a pipe. This ensures a reliable and high quality connection of two pipes using the electrofusion technology.
More than 120 students worked on this project for 15 weeks and developed 25 different solutions. GF Piping Systems employees from different departments such as research and development, product management, design thinking and patent & trademark supported and supervised the students – due to the Coronavirus pandemic mainly online.
At the end of May 2020, the students presented their final CAD models and documentation during an online presentation. The jury, consisting of experts from GF Piping Systems and lecturers from the ZHAW, selected the five best innovation ideas. Each development team received CHF 1'500 monetary prize, an invitation for a guided tour at the GF Iron Library at Klostergut Paradies (Switzerland) and a joint dinner in Schaffhausen.
From the five best solutions, prototypes have been created. The prototypes are now being used as the basis for further development in cooperation with the ZHAW. Two additional ZHAW students were given the opportunity to further optimize the functionality, design and efficiency of the prototypes through their thesis in cooperation with GF Piping Systems.
"Developing a pipe peeling device for GF Piping Systems while taking customer requirements into account was a great challenge for us students. We had to specifically apply the skills we had learned in the first year of studies and implement them into the project. It was a very interesting and also educational time. The experience we gain from this cooperation will certainly be very helpful to us during our studies and in our future professional life."
"GF Piping Systems gave us the chance to work on real problems and develop a product that is not only an idea but also a concrete solution."
"The cooperation with GF Piping Systems gave me hands-on experience in product development, which I can draw on in the future."
"The cooperation between GF Piping Systems and the students of the ZHAW was extremely beneficial for both sides. The high motivation and commitment of the project teams led to many different and innovative solutions in a short time. In return, the future engineers benefited from a wealth of experience and know-how from the industry due to the relevant and practical assignment."