1998: The quest for innovation

Company Milestones

The company philosophy of the founder of the company, Jost Bernhardt, was to never be satisfied with what one had already attained, but rather always to be on the look-out for better solutions to a problem. This attitude gave rise to a whole range of developments which allowed SECUMAR to become the technological leader in the field of lifejacket manufacture.

Duo-Protect-System - a buoyancy chamber with sandwich structure, multi-layered.

Duo-Protect-System – a buoyancy chamber with sandwich structure, multi-layered.

Among other things, the SECU 17 is one of these developments. It is a classic among lifejackets which is still in use today. Furthermore, the development of the first automatic inflation device and the “invisible lifejacket” with patented folding method, the harness on lifejackets, lifejacket lights – and also a special system for extreme situations number among these achievements.

A few examples:

The Duo Protect System

Duo Protect – this concept conceals a buoyancy chamber with a dual-layered structure similar to that of a sandwich. It was developed in cooperation with the German Sea Rescue Services (DGzRS). The principle is as follows: within the buoyancy chamber there is a second skin in the form of a tear resistant film. This film stops the lifejacket rubbing right through, and it is highly resistant to puncture damage. The material it is made of has different stretch properties to that of the outer skin of the buoyancy chamber. Should the integrity of the outer skin be compromised, then the inner film presses right up again the outer layer and hence closes the leak again.

SECUMATIC 4001S

SECUMATIC 4001S

The automatic inflator mechanism 4001 S

The SECUMATIC 4001 S belongs to a completely new generation of automatic inflation devices. Operating errors have become impossible. Only a single red/green indicator is necessary to provide you with all the information needed on the status of the inflator mechanism. Four prerequisites are checked by it:

  • An actuating pill has been inserted in the device
  • A CO2 cartridge is correctly seated
  • The CO2 cartridge is full
  • The manual trigger is fully functional.

It is not possible to incorrectly insert the CO2 cartridge. The bayonet fixture on the principle of the “key dock system” simply does not permit you to insert the cartridge at an angle or crossthread it. If all prerequisites are met, a single indicator shows that the inflator mechanism is fully functional. With this patented indicator technology SECUMAR has set standards worldwide and, has, for example, become number 1 in the United States.

The “intelligent” over pressure valve

The SECUMAR over pressure valve

The SECUMAR over pressure valve

The amount of gas in the carbon dioxide cartridges depends on the volume of the buoyancy chamber in the lifejacket. However, sometimes there are moments when overpressure could build up in the buoyancy chamber. For one thing, the effects of climate play a part. Gas develops a greater volume in heat than in the cold. Moreover, twin chambered buoyancy chambers sometimes need to release gas. If the second chamber is inflated in addition to the already fully inflated first chamber this could mean that the closely aligned chambers become damaged. The problem becomes even greater, the
greater the volume of the double-chambered buoyancy chamber. For this reason, overpressure valves are used. Conventional valves can only be relatively roughly adjusted due to their mechanics and their large opening. The “intelligent” overpressure valve by SECUMAR has more to offer because it can be more finely adjusted. The secret of this success is that the new valve actually is two valves. In the first phase, a valve with a large opening facilitates fast release of the excess pressure, whilst a second valve with a smaller opening allows fine adjustment of the release pressure.

The click buckle

The SECUMAR click buckle

The SECUMAR click buckle

SECUMAR technical experts first succeeded in developing a belt closure which functions on the same principle as a car seat-belt. This is advantageous for first-time users of lifejackets who would otherwise maybe have to familiarize themselves with systems they did not know. They ought to be already familar with this particular principle of belting up.

Click buckle – what sounds so banal was no easy task. On life-saving equipment, the standard of reliability of the systems is extremely high. After comprehensive and time-consuming tests SECUMAR was able to deliver proof that the new system was safe so that it could be approved.

Even if the exemplary components and systems listed here now represent state-of-the art technological achievements today, tomorrow they could even be further developed. This is what SECUMAR is striving for.

The Viewing Window

Viewing window

Viewing window

The idea is simple yet effective: A transparent window is sewn into the protective cover of the lifejacket. The inflation device is thus freely visible. This means you can keep the status of the inflator mechanism continually in check – an invention which gives water sports enthusiasts a secure feeling.