Hosting a Challenge in GrabCAD helped the trailer manufacturer Tiki Treiler to significantly improve their product design.
Tikitreiler is a manufacturer of trailers under the brand name Tiki since 1990 with an annual volume exceeding 15,000 units. Currently Tiki has over 50 different trailer models in their serial production, as well as various custom made trailers for the transportation of vehicles, yachts, cables, etc.
Tiki was looking for a new solution for its trailer torsion axle.
The problems were:
- The trailer did not withstand load well (50x50mm steel profiles were used between hubs)
- The spring and axle assembly was time consuming to manufacture (welding the threaded rods to the square profiles takes too much time)
- The Axle / spring / shock assembly contains too many parts
The process of solving the problem consisted of 2 steps:
- Writing the specification and description of the competition with GrabCAD Chief Engineer and announcing the Challenge in GrabCAD for the community. The deadline was set for 2 weeks to give enough time for the engineers to develop their ideas.
- Choosing the winners. The winner, engineer from Venezuela was chosen based on the overall concept and compliance with the requirements. The only effort for Tiki was to put together the specification of the challenge and then pick the winner. All intellectual property created by engineers during the challenge belongs to Tiki. Engineers sign an invention and IP assignment agreement when they submit the designs for the challenge.
Nicely presented with valuable FE calculation. We like the attachment solution between the axle and shock - no extra parts. Overall the most comprehensive solution for the problems we were having on the current axle system. The flat pattern layouts are also worth mentioning. Great work!
Tiki Product Development Manager Kadi Klaamas
GrabCAD has enabled to bring together engineers who are willing to contribute and manufacturers who seek help. There are no location boundaries any more thanks to the technology and finding a professional of your own industry from the 30,000 engineers is easy. Any company is likely to find exactly the right person with the right expertise. The format of the challenge supports finding the solution to the problem without having to search or spend time and money for locating experts.
In conclusion, what has the company won by organising a competition via GrabCAD?
1. Tiki received 44 different suggestions for solving their problem, many of them quite unique and innovative. These results became available in just 2 weeks. By using the capacity of GrabCAD they have acquired quality solutions.
2. Ideas that were outside their own engineers regular thought patterns and current solutions. Broad-based network of over 30,000 engineers contains many trailer engineering professionals and experts with profound experience. These engineers saw the problem from different angle and outside the box and were prepared to suggest different solutions.
3. Momentum to carry on with their product development that was put on hold for a while with no acceptable solution in sight. External help boosted the company to continue the development and rise to a new level.
4. Motivation for their own engineers to work on the results further and integrate it into their own product manufacturing processes.
Kadi Klaamas, Product Development Manager in Tiki said:
"The challenge brought several new concepts and ideas from outside the box to us our own team had not come to. There are also many results that we can develop further and the challenge overall gave us additional product development ideas. The challenge gave us momentum to restart improving our trailer."