|Developing Process of the PowerControl 7: Interview with Peter Rosenland|
Peter, you are the developer of the new SRM PowerControl 7, which is on the market since last week. Can you tell us something about the process of development - from planning to first prototypes and to the production of the first series for the market?
Cycling enthusiasts, especially triathletes, have often asked for a PowerControl which would fit between the aerobars. This was the motivation for developing the PC7, because the PCVI - like the PCV - being 80 mm wide, is too wide to fit.
When the housing and electronics were passed the basic process of development, we produced our first prototypes. These prototypes were handed out to specific teams and athletes for testing to identify the first teething problems before planning the serial production.
The last step was to give the final production parameters to our suppliers, who assembled the circuit boards and produced the cavitiy moulds for the housing. This was also the time when Stefan van Kempen, our purchasing manager, took care that we had enough batteries, screws, etc for the serial production.
Professional cyclists like the riders of Team HTC Columbia got the prototypes of the PC7 very early. How does this help in developing?
Professional athletes and coaches have the highest demands for the reliability of the product and the data.
We have tried to keep the good characteristics of the PCVI, like the easy to read display and the simple menu navigation with just three buttons but added some innovations. We integrated a motion sensor, to automatically start the PC7. The 4pin plug is changed to a standard mini-USB plug. Now you can download and charge the PC7 with standard cables. The new lithium polymer battery is the latest technology with less weight and good capacity. With about the same energy consumption of the PC7 to the PCVI the battery lasts about 4 times longer now - that's 120 hours of riding.
We have not integrated GPS, because the energy consumption of the GPS chipsets on the market is still high. It was more important for us to enlarge the runtime of the battery. The same problem would be for example a backlight of the display.
The whole process from the scratch to the final PowerControl takes about two years. So there might be a new version in the next three years.