How did you become the product manager for ICS? Alexander Scharinger:
To be precise, I was actually always the ICS Product Manager (laughs). I was there when ICS was launched onto the market. I came to EVVA in 2007 when I was 19. After graduating from technical college, I applied to various different companies for various different positions. And by chance, through my mother and an ad in the newspaper, one of those positions was Product Manager at EVVA. I hit the bull's eye on my first go. I don't want to be anywhere else because, for me, product management is the most exciting part of a manufacturing company.
Where did it all begin?
At the time the demand for a reversible key system was predominantly driven by Switzerland. The other systems, such as MCS, were not reversible key systems and 3KS, unfortunately, did not catch on in Switzerland. That's good, because today ICS is the number one EVVA system on the Swiss market as it meets several demands. The reversible key is solid and compact. EVVA was able to make the cylinder short in length. All of that made it highly competitive.
ICS is celebrating 10 years! Some improvements were made. What were they?
Back then ICS was a very new system and was designed to be an affordable reversible key system. 3KS plus was indeed a very high-quality reversible key system, but DUAL unfortunately missed the mark a bit, and the decision was made to take this system off the market. It was replaced by ICS. In collaboration with our partners, we cautiously started developing it in 2005. After 10 years on the market, a few small but effective improvements were necessary. We noticed that there were signs of wear after a certain period of time. To help prevent this, we gave the key simple parts and contours, and we also adapted the geometric patterns at the tip of key for better anti-friction properties and to reduce wear and the contact area that can be bent. We observed the problem areas, and what was causing them. Then we tried to solve them. We made a range of improvement, starting with re-centering the key in the cylinder plug to allow the key to be inserted even more easily. Finally, we optimised the tip of the key to reduce wear and resistance when inserting the key, but also just in its day-to-day use if it is not used properly. After all, a key is a functional object that is used every day, and therefore it is rarely handled with care.
What fascinates you about ICS?
I am fascinated by how ICS brings many worlds together. It combines many locking technologies. On the key itself many characteristics are queried, but in the cylinder different methods are used. ICS combines traditional pin technology, such as pin tumblers on the bottom, but there are also new pins in the cylinder plug, which only query tracks and not the cuts. The tracks are internal so they cannot be read from the outside. Then there are the external contours of special pins, which are queried, similar to 3KS plus. It is this melting pot of technology in the EVVA world that fascinates me.