A passion towards a rubber that has never existed before
Tenergy is the rubber that changed table tennis into a sport with more spin and speed. The Research and Development team of Butterfly had already started the development of the next rubber before Tenergy received the accolade of becoming a best-seller. It was motivated by the pure thirst of creating “something that has never existed”, being “the pioneer of the sport” and finding “the high-performance rubber to lead players to victory”.
The research proceeded based on plenty of know-how accumulated during the development of Tenergy. Five years were needed to reach the targeted performance and four years more to produce a stable quality. As is often the case, performance and quality stand on opposite sides. Performance may decrease if only quality is pursued even though the original targets related to performance are realized. Development must start from scratch if the composition of materials and the production condition are changed. The work was patiently repeated to move closer to the required performance keeping high quality.
The manufactured sample combinations of the top sheet and the sponge exceeded 500 in total. Not to mention the Butterfly Research and Development staff, Zhang Jike, Jun Mizutani, Timo Boll and Chuang Chih-Yuan conducted trials; several hundred hours were spent for trials. Many samples were shelved because they could not pass the quality criteria even if they had shown good values in mechanical tests and received good comments from players. Besides, the methods for evaluation and measurement of R&D became more delicate and accurate for nine years. Dignics now to be released is the rubber that has passed all the checkpoints and is finally complete.
The Research and Development team is composed of knowledgeable staff who love table tennis. Even staff members not mainly responsible for its development, all were confident about the progress of Dignics. The responsible person overcame various difficulties by obtaining new viewpoints thanks to the opinions and feedback from other staff members whenever a problem was encountered. There is no doubt the organizational power and passion of the R&D staff had steered the research and development towards success for as long as nine years.
The launching of Dignics represents the finish line of the journey to produce a rubber which has never previously existed. The R&D team, however, are not satisfied with previous success, but are already embarking on a new journey. It also will be a challenging, long-term and taxing journey to produce a new rubber which has never previously existed. They will keep working towards bringing surprise and delight to all table tennis fans.