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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2010, 13:43 
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(All characters, companies mentioned in this conspiracy theory are real. Any resemblance with actual brand names are completely intentional. The theory however is my personal imaginative explanation of joining the dots, and correlating the data points, in a vague attempt to construct a logical model to my observations.)

I can't think of equipment manufacturers beyond real world business. And ESN Elastomers Gmbh, the german rubber company that makes all tensor and tensor Bios rubbers sold by Andro, Tibhar, Xiom, Donic (without tensor logo), Joola, Gewo, Palio etc.; are no different than profit motivated, shareholder-focussed, board-managed, B-School Mgmt run, corporate entity.

We know there had been generations of tensors staring from earlier generations of 729 Highpoint, desto etc to today's roxons, Xplode, Nimbus, Vega, Hexer, Macro and whatever.

I am increasingly feeling that in a bid to marketing success ESN compromised good products with "mee-too" products, looking at customer psyche.

ESN products are a decent technology by themselves, and up to roxon/xpress/zeta/macro era/big slam we had seen constant improvement in topsheet quality, playability, durability and speed glue effect.

They never really cared much to create very grippy/tacky rubber, which could be because:

1. Lack of large market: Asian markets which support bulk of tacky products would not afford ESN products with european manufacturing cost.
2. Technology: Time and again it seems the topsheet is more important in Tensor technology, which restricts too much variation of topsheet composition, but adding different sponge hardness and changing pip structures for a little assortment.

And then, in came Tenergy from butterfly, with so called spring sponge (with billions of nano springs implanted as some gullible users were made to believe ;) ha ha), on a completely contrasting, but quite effective, technology than ESN. This is more like sponge-focused technology, so while they could change the topsheet pip structure for variations, they pretty much stuck to the same sponge for first 3 products. (now after about 1.5 years are about come up with a harder (spinart) and softer (tenergy fx) sponge versions.

Tenergy swept the market like Yasaka Mark V did 30 years back; and definitely created new benchmark for Spin and Durability of Glue Effect; which none of ESN rubbers could match. Added to that, butterfly’s marketing and sponsorship engine resulted in pro’s adoption of tenergy, followed by club players.

Tenergy wave seriously threatened ESN’s market share, and the market share of all other companies selling ESN rubbers under their own brand names. Let me add a bit of corporate fantasy here.

ESN’s marketing presentations are flooded with nose-diving sales charts. ESN’s lab is flooded with samples of Tenergy sent by Andro Donic Tibhar, xiom… and desperately asking to come up with something in this line.

But unlike blades, rubbers cannot be reverse-engineered as quickly. So it would probably take significant time and research to come up with competitive technology.

What’s to be noted here is, before the tenergy wave, ESN was kinda leading glue effect rubber manufacturer, and had fairly good products like Roxon, palio macro era in its kitty already.

But market pressure made ESN deviate from the 'product improvement' route to, ….. guess what… 'product mimicry' route.

"IF YOU CAN’T MAKE TENERGY, MAKE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE TENERGY"… said ESN chief.....!!

[The conspiracy theory will continue after a break. To see what ended up screwing years of research, and compromising quality of product in a bid to product positioning and gaining market share …stick on to this channel]....
[after the break]

Okay I took a while to get back after the commercial break. And also enjoyed your opinions on first part. But this is just tip of the iceberg. The story begins here.

"IF YOU CAN’T MAKE TENERGY, MAKE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE TENERGY"… said ESN chief.....!!

ESN engineers followed the directive from ESN chief, and dedicated their efforts in making something that mimics tenergy, and makes consumers believe that the Tenergy code is broken.

Now even though I have a little background of material science, these technologies are so much in cutting edge of innovation, no material science engineer can predict for sure except for the guys in ESN lab. But even then, using some very crude overall idea (and some guesstimates) I can try to construct a vague model to explain my observations. The truth may be far from this, or may not be.

A ‘sponge’ is a substrate that solidified with interconnected capillaries and pores with entrapped air. It’s not exactly like your car tire, that doesn’t lose the air under pressure, but deforms to accommodate the stress. In case of sponge the air is purged out under pressure and sucked in again as the material recoils to original shape … in this case elastomers; which are known for their ability of taking high amount of elastic deformation (‘elastic’ deformation is a deformation which retracts to original shape when the stress is relieved, contrary to ‘plastic’ deformation).

So sponge is more like an air-elastomer composite.

Now, how fast this material snaps back to original shape, from deformed state, and hence provides resultant thrust on the ball; depends on 2 factors:
1. the material stiffness (loosely used… not stiffness in technical term)
2. the dense-ness (loosely ‘body’) of the material (I didn’t use the word density to differentiate from weight or mas per unit volume)

While having more volume of air in the sponge would allow for higher amount of deformation, allowing more dwell of the ball, it will also produce less thrust on recoil due to factor 2. So the best option would be if Factor 1 is very high, i.e. get elastomers that are stiff enough that even with lower denseness, they can snap back faster with more resultant pressure. I guess Tenergy sponge material does that very well. The walls of these capillaries has such higher stiffness that even with lot of larger pores, they recoil fairly well.

[Someone may wonder why is then Tenergy heavier? The intrinsic weight of the elastomer used in tenergy is higher, even though they occupy less volume with more pores.]


The ESN sponges were not fit for that. The material being less stiff, they have finer dispersion of pores and capillaries. Changing that distribution and pushing bigger visible pores, means slacker response of the sponge.

Let’s leave it there and look at certain observations:
- I have found, and checked with many others, that the speed of newer ESN rubbers is lower on average for similar hardness ESN sponges used in Roxon generation.
- I have also found and validated from some, that the newer ESN sponges lose their speed response noticeably after 1-3 weeks. There will of course be some difference in opinion, because of individuals and other factors. Older ESN sponges did suffer from surface deterioration lowering spin, but speed deterioration was not so prompt.
- Did you notice the Hexer+ sponge? They have made it with smaller pores than Hexer.


Now lets guess what happened?

Dr. Ulbrecht Schmidt, (say ..ESN rubber scientist ;) comes to ESN chief presents him the new Tenergy textured sponge. And ESN chief is overjoyed.

“Wow!! This is what we want… look, its even wobbly to hold …just like that Jap whazzizname!” (He prefers not to mention Tenergy even if he remembers the name.) “How does it play?”

After next 20 minutes of constant looping and changing paddle, their tester decides to retire. “I don't get paid for as much." He said "Its too much effort, too slow for speed-glue ban era. Not gonna work, chief. And i am gonna take with the Lufthansa employee route, if you ask me to do that again!”

After some more samples lots and test batches… ESN figures its not possible to replicate Tenergy in this short time.




ESN is in major trouble. Tenergy keeps gaining its market share, and to add to their worries… Chinese brands are coming up with low-tech tuned rubbers every other day, taking a “now significant chunk of their market pie”. These tuned products are making inroads even in EU and US market, which is the sweet spot of ESN. If something is not done soon enough, ESN may very soon be known as specialized "manufacturers of best chopping rubbers".



After many closed-door, closed-window, round tables, and Lunch-Meetings, ESN chief passes the proposal ….
- ESN will sell the new porous sponge rubbers with strong marketing support from their brand owners,
- ESN will sell them slightly cheaper to undercut Tenergy
- To avoid the out-of-packet disappointment, ESN will FACTORY-TUNE these rubbers, carefully avoiding any smelly tuner or tuners that leave long term residue on the sponge.
- This would help ESN to buy time for R&D to come up with a truly competitive product, and keep the revenue rolling in the meantime to fund their operations

And so they did. And successfully managed to recover some market share.

And now eventually when it is creating some real issue in 'pro' players' adoption of these new generation rubbers, ESN is trying to strike a balance by reducing the size of pores to something between Hexer and Roxon in its 'newer new generation' line which is to start with, I guess, Hexer+. Someone posted a sponge structure comparison between Hexer and Hexer+ which makes it pretty apparent.

But IMO, the pre-tenergy tensor bios rubbers, like Palio Macro Era or Roxon or Joola Xpress was really the peak offering so far from ESN. r

[And ESN should consider my resume for their product positioning ;) ]

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Last edited by debraj on 03 Mar 2010, 11:05, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2010, 13:51 
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Fantastic theory, and most of it sounds quite plausible too! Can't wait for the next chapter!

BTW Love your disclaimer... classic! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2010, 23:40 
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Looking at the move from Roxon to Hexer the scenario does sound plausible, and if nothing else is juicy reading LOL. Cos everything I know about Hexer says its an attempt to produce something that is a cross between Roxon and Tenergy. All I can say is if they could have kept developing Roxon to be improved over what it already is, to change course is sacreligious. Lowering durability in a market where durability is generally on the increase isn't too smart, even if they thought the product would serve quicker repeat business based on other factors. I look forward to further instalments. :lol: :clap:

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2010, 06:29 
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Quote:
"IF YOU CAN’T MAKE TENERGY, MAKE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE TENERGY"… said ESN chief.....!!


its not true as it comes in black ,yellow and pink lol :D
You may have a good theory there as many of the new ones are not overpriced and don't seem to keep thier spin properties too long

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PostPosted: 02 Mar 2010, 22:45 
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I understand what your saying, but I don't see it. I have Vega pro on three different blades, and it plays great, but better on harder, stiffer blades. On my main blade, even though I've had it for six weeks, playing three hours at a time four days a week; it still feels very very good. The older tensors I thought were the ones who where prima donnas.

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 08:31 
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great post and some funny stuff.

but ESN doesn´t have to produce a next tenergy. most players use the soft ESN rubbers. they are better for most players then tenergy. tenergy is for top players and maybe the better ones (1-4 league).

and the new tensor rubbers (baracuda, hexer, genius, xplode) have another new technology which is NOT spring sponge but something else that plays very interesting :)

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 10:52 
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Pascal Tröger wrote:
great post and some funny stuff.

but ESN doesn´t have to produce a next tenergy. most players use the soft ESN rubbers. they are better for most players then tenergy. tenergy is for top players and maybe the better ones (1-4 league).

and the new tensor rubbers (baracuda, hexer, genius, xplode) have another new technology which is NOT spring sponge but something else that plays very interesting :)


hold on sir.. not so fast. If i was that uninformed, i wouldn't have started the thread. :o

Of course, my construct may be totally incorrect; but i am not naive on the new tensors.... when i have already owned 2 hexers, 1 vega europe, 1 vega pro, and wrote long reviews on them. And now summarizing my experience, my clubmates experiences, and other forum members experiences.

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 12:08 
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First of all I want to say I am totally angry with you!

How dare you write such an excellent article on the topic closest to my heart and not be able to find it my searching the titles?

If you are looking for a job in writing Debraj you have got one. You know if I had gone with my idea of giving away a free tenergy for the best original article, I would have to give to you now.

I actually plan to implement this, as a trial. Although you have already written it!

great stuff mate I really enjoyed it, the beauty of fact, mixed with fiction. You really should start your own EJ Novel or magazine, I will subscribe first!

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 14:14 
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Wow great stuff debraj! Very good to read, and sound very plausible too!

If we had a Hall of Fame (what happened to that idea? :?: ) it would surely qualify!

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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2010, 10:31 
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Boz: Thanks for your flattering comments. :)

HaggisV: Thanks that you liked my fiction. :)


And I just hope ESN guys don't read English. :sweat:

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PostPosted: 13 Mar 2010, 22:46 
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Tenergy was created like 10-20 years before the glue ban as I remember. It really was a long shot gamble for Butterfly if Tenergy will just be a waste of research and development or a big hit. Now it's a big hit. I mean who would have thought of using springs in the sponge can actually produce Tenergy? I always thought of sandwiched layers of sponges merged together like the blade but I never thought of a spring sponge. Maybe because of the over-flooding money Butterfly gained from Butterfly-minded people was used in developing Tenergy.Nice job on the theory. I simply loved the sarcasm and irony.

Timo+Energy=Tenergy

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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 14:47 
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Great stuff Debraj, congrats !

Now, I'm lost. I was under the impression that Hexer, Barracuda, Genius, Vegas were ESN answers to Tenergy. Even you Debraj, were saying that Hexer could happily being compared to Tenergy. So, after extensive use of Hexer, are you misjudjing yourself ? Are you saying ESN hasn't achieved any comparable rubber yet ?

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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 18:29 
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Dbrj came out of nowhere to make a great thread and I knew Jolan could be counted on to build it up. Haggisv is always ready to host such an event. Live up the old days, mates.

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2010, 09:29 
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There is nothing special about the ESN sponge, the same sponges have been around for ever, the newer the better, the fresher out of the factory. If butterfly copied anything from ESN it would be closest seen in Bryce speed first coming out, and the closest looking rubber to that was XIOMs omega III series, still the difference between them was the topsheet softness, Butterfly has always made harder feeling topsheets and that is what sets Japans against Europe's rubber apart.

Butterfly has not stopped cherning out tons of new rubbers like the roundell, soft and hard. But they just look like every other rubber.

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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2010, 07:01 
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makai wrote:
Tenergy was created like 10-20 years before the glue ban as I remember. It really was a long shot gamble for Butterfly if Tenergy will just be a waste of research and development or a big hit. Now it's a big hit. I mean who would have thought of using springs in the sponge can actually produce Tenergy? I always thought of sandwiched layers of sponges merged together like the blade but I never thought of a spring sponge. Maybe because of the over-flooding money Butterfly gained from Butterfly-minded people was used in developing Tenergy.Nice job on the theory. I simply loved the sarcasm and irony.

Timo+Energy=Tenergy


Tenergy was not created 10-20 years ago. Their first tension rubber is Bryce which was launched in 97.

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