Pioneers in dust extraction
Mr Attinger, in the 1960s you yourself experienced and drove the introduction of dust extraction. How did that happen?
So you looked at dust extraction.
Mr Buck, these are development times that you, as a product manager, can only dream of today, aren’t they?
However, that does not detract from the development achievements of back then.
A B: No, not at all. On the contrary. The introduction of the orbital sander with dust extraction was a milestone, and not only in terms of the product, but the system philosophy played a crucial role for the first time. After all, it was about pairing an absolutely successful power tool with another device – and in such a way that it now functions optimally as a system for the customer.
K A : That is a very important point. The sanding performance of the orbital sander should in no way be impaired by dust extraction. At first, putting holes in the abrasive paper was incomprehensible to my colleagues. However, we have demonstrated that we are capable of creating an optimal overall system consisting of competing properties. And this approach has led to continuous development in subsequent years. Incidentally, from the day the RTT-S was introduced on the market, Festool has not developed and manufactured any new handheld machine without a dust extraction device.
„The combination of mobile dust extractor and machine needs to remain versatile, to allow efficient dust-free work.“
Karl Attinger - former Festool employee
Today, the properties and functions that an extraction system needs to fulfil are much more complex, aren’t they?
We now have a variety of different dust classes and numerous statutory health and safety constraints. Was that a relevant topic in the 1960s?
K A: We already had maximum allowable concentrations (MAC), which had to be adhered to. Since then, awareness of health in the workplace has increased enormously. And not only because of statutory ordinances and guidelines. In my early days, the accident prevention and insurance associations were very active here. The central association directly involved us, specifically because we had developed pioneering solutions for dust-free work.
A B: The extraction system has three fundamental effects: it ensures clean work and protects both the machines and the health of the workers. Only recently, a survey by a market research institute determined that, of these three effects, health protection is a major priority for the skilled trades and their employees. Dust-free work is no longer a luxury, but a matter of course.