Mr Ensink, even if it might sound rather absurd: Welcome to your new section!
Thank you! I am pleased to report here on the past, at the same time as reporting on the latest developments and trends in our industry.
We are talking here today for various reasons: You know Kampmann as well as really anyone apart from Heinrich Kampmann. You understand the air conditioning industry like practically no other. And above all – everyone knows you, or at least they do in the building services industry. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Oh, well ... I suppose it’s true: you get to know many people over the years. In my association work, I meet new trends from the market, particularly with regard to legislative stipulations. In my work on the Standards Committees I have met colleagues from the worlds of science and research as well as our market competitors. However, despite all the modern trends in communication, it is ultimately still personal contact that matters.
You have now been with Kampmann for over 37 years – I take my hat off to you Mr Ensink! Is there a particular era that you look back on particularly - whether for good or bad reasons?
I look back with satisfaction at many of our successful ideas and developments. Of course, there were also failures or days on which you went to work in the morning with a bad feeling in your stomach. But the good memories very clearly outweigh the bad ones.
You once had a really good idea involving a beer mat ...
That was at the ISH in 1993 one evening over a beer in the hotel. We were talking about the very functional industrial shape of our unit heaters. Heinrich Kampmann suggested designing them in the shape of an egg to fit them as a visual feature in high-end spaces. I couldn’t think of anything else as a mere engineer. I imagined an egg hanging from the ceiling in a showroom – that was so big that you might bump your head on it. And then I suddenly had an idea: I took a beer mat and outlined a hexagonal unit with a very low clearance from the ceiling, with air intake from above and air discharge at an angle into the room. Heinrich Kampmann thought it was a great idea and immediately commissioned the Design Manager to built a unit like that in six weeks. And so the Ultra was born and showcased at a trade fair that very same year. Sadly I don’t have that beer mat any longer ...
The idea of the hexagonal unit heater was taken on by the competition. Does that bother you?
Confucius once said: "Anyone who copies great masters bestows honour on them.” Naturally we would have preferred to have foregone this honour. Two market competitors reproduced the Ultra 1:1 some 10 years later and advertised that their creative engineers had developed a completely new unit. Unfortunately we never received the reward. However, our effective consolation was that, at that time, we were once again a major step ahead of the competition with a technically and visually improved Ultra design.