ORTLIEB Sportartikel GmbH is known for waterproof quality and guarantees an up to 100,000 mm water column rating for its products, including bike bags, backpacks and travel bags. To ensure sustainability of their high product and quality standards for use in rugged outdoor conditions, the company tests every material immediately after receipt of goods using a ZwickRoell testing machine. The machine is used for tensile and tear tests and helps determine whether the materials truly meet their high requirements.
“Trust is good, control is better. This may sound cliché, but is definitely applicable when it comes to quality assurance,” explains Michael Freudenberg, responsible for materials testing at ORTLIEB. A material may sometimes be visually flawless, important however is that it actually meets our high quality standards. Should this not be the case, we discuss any issues with our long-standing partners, because when it comes to quality we will not compromise” says Falko Schott, Head of Product Management at ORTLIEB Sportartikel GmbH.
Outdoor enthusiasts, cyclists, and especially passionate bike travelers associate ORTLIEB—founded in 1982—with “waterproof”. The reason: ORTLIEB guarantees a waterproofness or water column rating of up to 100,000 mm. This rating is in part achieved with the patented high-frequency welding technology method introduced by ORTLIEB in 1984. Since 1982, the company located in the Franconian town of Heilsbronn and employing a workforce of 300 people, has been focusing on the production of bike bags, backpacks, travel bags and outdoor equipment for activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking and traveling.
To test the quality of the respective materials—such as polyester, nylon and Cordura fabric, which are coated on one or both sides—ORTLIEB relies on quality testing from ZwickRoell. “We are always faced with the challenge of providing the highest level of quality and robust products, for which we only use high quality materials. We know that our customers value that their belongings are truly protected and that our products serve as long-lasting companions,” says Schott. It is therefore important that all materials that arrive from our suppliers are tested immediately after receipt and to compare whether the quality characteristics truly correspond to the specifications and requirements set by ORTLIEB for their suppliers in the textile sector.
One decisive factor in acquiring a materials testing machine from ZwickRoell was the high level of quality of these machines, which are supplied from Ulm-Einsingen, Germany. Furthermore, the company focuses on the testing accuracy and test result reliability for their quality control processes. ZwickRoell machines are known for simple operation and flexible adaptation to different types of tests. Freudenberg: “Made in Germany” is our brand promise for high quality and in this context it was important for us that, in addition to the high-quality machines, ZwickRoell is also a company that stands for quality “Made in Germany”. We also place great value on sustainability, which includes short distances, for example, when procuring materials testing machines. From this perspective, a regional company like ZwickRoell supports us in our strategy to reduce our CO2 footprint.
With a 20 kN testing machine that has been in operation for many years, ORTLIEB performs tensile and tear test on fabrics. “As the globally leading brand of waterproof premium equipment for outdoor activities—and especially for biking enthusiasts who rely on our products—it is important to ensure the highest level of quality in both the material and workmanship,” states Freudenberg. “With ZwickRoell, we are in a position to make reliable statements about material properties and to optimally match manufacturers’ specifications with ours, allowing us to set consistent high quality standards.”
Copyright image: Volker Haug, ORTLIEB