Commerce and Consumer Goods

More fun and safety in the snow

a snowboarder
  • A new robust airbag system for avalanche backpacks is to be developed  
  • Zühlke accompanied the project from the idea to the series 
  • With sound know-how and fresh ideas Zühlke optimises the inflation unit, the trigger mechanism and usability 

From 0 to 150 liters in 3 seconds: In an emergency, avalanche airbags have to inflate at lightning speed. At the same time, they need to be lightweight, reliable and safe. With Zühlke's support, Mammut’s latest avalanche airbags are setting new standards.

Innovations are a must

Founded in 1862, the Mammut Sports Group AG has evolved over the years from a rope manufacturer to a leading supplier of mountaineering equipment and outdoor clothing with the motto "Absolute Alpine". Mammut has played a pioneering role in the area of avalanche safety and is now the undisputed market leader. 

In order to further extend their top position in this highly competitive market, innovative products geared for extreme conditions are an absolute must. A new robust airbag system for avalanche backpacks was to be developed. Zühlke accompanied the project from the initial idea through to series production. 

Optimization all down the line

An avalanche airbag increases the chances of staying on the surface in an avalanche. After being activated, it inflates with gas and air within seconds, thus giving its wearer the necessary buoyancy. Mammut wanted to improve their existing avalanche airbag making it really user-friendly, light, safe and more cost-effective in production. 

Zühlke's proven experience and expertise in the industrialisation of products made them the ideal partner for the project. With their established know-how and fresh ideas, Zühlke optimised the inflation unit, the trigger mechanism, and the product's usability. 

Rolf Schmid Mammut
' Thanks to Zühlke's clever ideas, our avalanche backpack perfectly meets the needs of our customers. '
Rolf Schmid
former CEO

Light and easy to use

The project began with a feasibility study of all the eligible inflation technologies, and detailed analyses of the current airbag. In the early phases of the project already, Zühlke conducted efficient function tests with the first prototypes and developed a new inflation mechanism. During production planning, the emphasis was on low manufacturing costs. Through value engineering, a new system architecture with targeted functional integration was designed. Zühlke considered a variety of manufacturing processes and proceeded according to the design-to-cost method. This made it possible to fulfil the pre-defined cost limits. 

Together with Mammut, Zühlke established a new supplier chain. The project was concluded with the series launch at the new system supplier's. 

The new inflation system is reliable and maintenance free. In addition, it can be easily removed and inserted into other Mammut models without tools. It is smaller and takes up less space in the backpack than the previous system. An adjustable activation handle ensures that all users, regardless of their height, can easily trigger the air bag.