An efficient product, but not without downsides
To get a first look with the ST36, we were provided with all the technical documents, plans and 3D models that were needed. It is however always better to see a product in action. We got the chance to spend a morning on an industrial site with a ST19 operator, a smaller version of the ST36. It helped us understand how a locomotive shunter was used in practice, where there was room for improvements and most importantly, gather some feedbacks from a daily operator.
An incremental approach to innovation
This project being surrounded by many different constraints, we had to think about the feasibility of all our changes. We first developed three concepts, each one with a different level of reassessment. After talks with Socofer's team, we decided to settle on a mix of our first two concepts. They provided aesthetics and ergonomics changes, while keeping the internal chassis nearly untouched.
After refining the design and a lot of discussion with Socofer's engineering team, the redesign of the ST36 was completed. The new design retains the key strengths and the internal technical components of the ST36 while improving visibility, ergonomics and movements around the vehicle.
And that's a wrap
This project ended with a presentation in front of a handful of Socofer's employees. A 1:16 scale white model was built for the occasion. Our ST36 concept was very-well received from the jury as well as from Socofer's team, with engineers stating that the technical propositions were well-thought. They also loved the idea of working with a physical model, so ours was delivered to them. Since then, Socofer has been working on an evolution of their shunter, which includes ideas from our concept. They also now work with models to test layouts before working with CAD.