Siemens had a requirement for a vehicle to be used for the maintenance and replacement of pole based road signs, within this specification the vehicle needed to store a large range of tools, up to 4 replacement poles including cranked versions, cone & barrier storage, cable storage, parts bins, ladder storage and an electro hydraulic lift for loading 250kg cable reals.
The specification for this vehicle produced challenges for the design team in the form of the length of the poles (4.2m) and the weight of the kit in the vehicle. The vehicle to be used was a Ford Transit L4 H3, the largest of the transit variants but the maximum interior length was 4.3m, and this was only a small section on the lower part of the bulkhead. To overcome this problem we designed a bespoke rack to the off side of the vehicle with a reverse pocket so that the bulkhead was protected from the poles in the event of movement due to road conditions. The rack along with the ladder storage were designed in house using Solidworks CAD and FEA was used to rationalise the material used so that the vehicle payload could be kept under 3.5t.
The project required tightly controlled account management due to a combination of a short deadline but also with the management of external contractors for the electrohydraulic lift which would need to be modified by the manufacturer due to the space requirements within the vehicle.
Once the project had been defined a design engineer was assigned to it, along with the account manager a full specification was drawn up and then a 3D model of the concept was created. The concept was passed to the customer for approval and upon receipt of the approval and vehicle was marked for prototype and a full set of detail drawings were produced for Qi’s in house manufacturing team. Once the kit had been manufactured the vehicle was brought into the prototype area and the kit was fitted and documented, after a few small modifications the vehicle was ready for a customer review.
During the review we capture any details that have changed during fitment and also any additional requests from the customer, after the review the designs and fitting instructions are updated to reflect any changes and if any modifications are made these are photographed/videoed and sent to the customer.
A few small changes were made by the customer and these were implemented before the vehicle was sent out for field trials.
Upon completion of the field trails 18 additional orders were placed for the specification.