Probst apprentices develop their own product

"Finally, our pounder is available!" says Jens, third-year apprentice, with satisfaction. The POUNDER PX Soil compactor developed by the Probst trainees is in the warehouse, ready for sale in one thousand units. The quantity is no optimistic pipe dream - it is the result of a market analysis and fine-tuning between the trainees and the sales department.

The new compactor is ideal for quickly compacting small surfaces. This Probst product is indispensable in gardening and landscaping where a vibratory plate cannot be used.

But let's start from the beginning:

The "Pounder PX" project started in January 2023. The aim of Probst GmbH was to put an internal start-up project in the hands of young people.
Every year, the Probst trainees manage their own project, which includes sustainability topics and a complex company presentation. This year, a new product was developed, turning the trainees into real "intrapreneurs“.

The mentor and product development coach is Dr Richard Gärtner, Head of Development at the Probst Group, who made sure that this project was handled holistically according to the PROBST process model. His aim was to offer the young people the greatest possible transfer of practical knowledge. Several training sessions and meetings were held with the trainees in the Probst showroom. The young employees were allowed to be creative in the place where customers normally find out the latest news about innovative Probst products. In addition to internal team meetings, there was a project round with the management, which was independently led by the trainees. They also created all the project documents required by the process model using the corresponding forms. "Specifications, schedule, checklist for series release and argumentation aids for sales," says Lili, third-year apprentice. "It was a lot, but it doesn't work without communication within the team and between the departments."

The necessary prototypes were also produced by the trainees themselves in the test workshop based on their own drawings. One highlight during product development was the use of high-tech: Professor Sträter's team from the University of Kassel carried out tests on the Probst laying machine in Erdmannhausen in March. The trainees were able to convince Professor Sträter to use his sensor suit and cameras to carry out surveys on the ideal grip height of the soil compactor for an average user. The result was that the grip height was optimised at 86 centimetres. Probst's own "making hard work easier" approach is also applied to the POUNDER PX tamper in terms of ergonomics.


How do you start marketing a new Probst product?
"With the concrete tamper, which is already available on the market in a similar form, we initially thought that a product announcement wouldn't make sense," says Blerina, second-year apprentice. "But we thought about it and we immediately thought of our rust-resistant galvanisation and our PROBST handle, which is ergonomic thanks to its surface. We then carried out a spontaneous brainstorming session." Four further advantages were also identified: Ergonomic height, stability, good price-performance ratio, low dead weight. And the most important benefit for the trainees at the end: for every POUNDER PX sold, one euro goes into the trainees' coffers.

Compliments to the project team, the product met the specified budget and, in principle, the schedule - except for the delays in procurement. The Probst customers were informed about the young colleagues' social media activities and followed the trainee project with interest. Blerina is convinced of the result of many hours of work: "We are sure that the customers will be enthusiastic about our POUNDER PX Soil compactor!"

More information on the POUNDER PX soil compactor:

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making hard work easier

Whether in structural or civil engineering, whether in the garden or on the street: We are at home on all construction sites. Our machines and tools make life easier for everyone who works with paving stones, pipes and other concrete products. Because we put efficiency and ergonomics first, we have become the world market leader in the field of gripping and laying technology through numerous innovations.

Your expectations as a customer are clear: to simplify work, to make it more efficient - and of course the machines should do their job reliably. For these daily challenges, we offer customized and sustainable solutions, be it construction site equipment for all applications, for example paving stone laying machines, or machines for storage and material handling in building material plants. Our truck crane attachments facilitate transport and loading in the warehouse and on the construction site, while our professional hand tools for all purposes help with laying and inserting.

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For more than 60 years we have been growing continuously and are reliably available for you worldwide with more than 1.700 sales partners. We have our own subsidiaries in Great Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Korea, Australia, Canada and the USA; worldwide, more than 190 Probst employees work daily to make your hard work easier.