Twin Battery Drawer Module

  • 2022

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

The project was to create a heavy duty pneumatic powered drawer module to suit RAA’s roadside assistance fleet in the new Toyota Hiace (MY19+). The product is to help their vehicle fleet with standardization, improved usability (OH&S) and increased carrying capacity.

view website

  • MORE
  • The project specifications were set by the client (RAA) and their stakeholders. The drawer needs to fit inside the van without any structural changes, locate and secure via vehicle tie down points, support a minimum of 300kg of batteries without distortion, not exceed vehicle GVM, not exceed current drawer weight, have room for tool storage, meet (OH&S) ergonomic requirements, controls for pneumatic operation must be within the drawer module, house batteries without damage, have the ability to secure additional equipment above the module, must not impair visibility for driver and must have a minimum life span of 6 years.

  • The brief was thoughtfully integrated into a solution, refined through physical prototypes and getting external FMEA analysis at multiple stage gates. Key factors addressed include, smart use of material to get the best strength to weight ratio, well documented production drawings to allow our manufacturing center to produce high precision parts, introduction of a safer alternative method of operation using a setter pin and sprung trigger lock handle. Along with DFM decisions that remove all welding from the main chassis and contain it in smaller isolated parts. Other considerations include routine pneumatic ram servicing and simple installation in the vehicle.

  • The design impacts include local & sustainable manufacture, a continued product life at vehicle change overs, OH&S improvements for the operator. A reduction of welding in exchange for simple assembly means our product is cost effective/viable for manufacture in South Australia. This reduction in welding means almost any component can be replaced by our manufacturing centre if it becomes damaged in the field. Fun fact, the drawers are manufactured only 20 minutes away from where they will be installed in vehicles.

  • During the testing stage a sample drawer module was installed into an RAA vehicle and used in the field for 3 months by different drivers. This process gave us an incredible insight into the end user experience with the product and how they adjusted to the new method of operation. We had a site meeting at RAA HQ to review the product and discuss any issues and areas of improvement; during this time we could witness the other equipment in conjunction with our drawer and offer simple design adjustments that would massively improve their overall installation process.