|Wolfgang Düren was up to speed and the devices were selling like hot cakes worldwide. At the same time PPG Distribution (see Part 4)) had taken over exclusive rights to distribute Simmons Drums (with enormous hype at the time). PPG was now producing in the region of 50 Waves per month, plus Waveterms and PRK Processor Keyboards.
I had purchased a soldering machine to rationalise production, but now the old place was too small. Back in ‘81 we had already additionally rented an old factory but now even that was no longer sufficient.
After final testing all devices were “burnt in” or soak tested for 48 hours which was only possible in the older place if they were lined up edge on vertically! My old colleague Jürgen Radowsky worked plenty of overtime testing devices to ensure that they were ready for shipment on time.
Somehow we managed to produce the 500th Wave, which was naturally an occasion to celebrate. As a novelty and surprise for the coworkers, we ordered a special golden case from the supplier.I assembled it secretly one evening and it was unveiled at the celebration. The atmosphere was great and everyone was happy.
Because of the shortage of space, we planned to rent the whole floor in a huge building, which used to serve as a storage area for C & A (the closing retailer). It had a floor area of 1000 sq. m and had to be radically refurbished to suit our needs. We had to fit in walls and doors to allow us to practically continue with production and development, (the development section at PPG was at least as large as production!)
So we began to prepare the new premises while production continued in the old place. At the same time Wolfgang Düren travelled around continuously either to do the next “NAMM Show” or to
find new distributors, if the existing ones couldn’t handle the service, or didn’t sell enough units.As before dealers in the U.S. – but especially in Germany preferred to sell a Prophet5 rather than a PPG. This was due to the fact that the PPGs were quite complicated but also because of the failure rate.
The big problem with the service was that the boards in the Wave were difficult to repair! You could only replace them and return defective parts to PPG. The reason was that we used many integrated digital components, which could not be readily diagnosed using an Oscilloscope.
Even if you located a defective component, it was often difficult to exchange, as this was only possible using special tools. However, there were always plenty of replacement boards available which were sent around the globe to help customers quickly.
The situation, especially with the U.S. distributors, was that many units were ordered, and – once they experienced a problem – no payments were made to us for the last delivery. Nevertheless our deliveries continued because we did not want to lose the orders.
This could not continue on a permanent basis and tension increased between Waldorf (distribution) and Hamburg (production).
see the video:
Ärger in Sicht
Wolfgang Düren kam nun richtig in Fahrt, die Geräte wurden ihm förmlich aus den Händen gerissen, und das weltweit. Gleichzeitig hatte der “PPG-Vertrieb” (siehe Part 4) auch die Exklusiv-Vertretung für Simmons Drums übernommen (der totale Hype zu der Zeit).
Irgendwann kam der 500. Wave 2.2 an die Reihe, und das war natürlich Anlass für eine PPG-interne Feier. Als Gag und Überraschung für die Mitarbeiter bestellten wir beim Gehäuselieferanten ein goldenes Exemplar. Das habe ich an einem Abend “heimlich” zusammengebaut und es wurde dann auf der Feier enthüllt. Die Stimmung war super und alle waren happy.
© 2008 W.Palm