Lightness made in Stuttgart: Tech start-up combines bionic design with high tech materials for future logistics

Lightness made in Stuttgart: Tech start-up combines bionic design with high tech materials for future logistics

The Vision Van of Mercedes-Benz Vans, that was recently revealed at the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 and at CES Las Vegas, combines groundbreaking design with innovative technical solutions and rethinks the process of parcel delivery. The core of the concept study is represented by the automated cargo space management system, that boosts efficiency at the distribution center and the delivery of the shipment.

„One-shot-loading“ saves operator time and costs during loading: the fully equipped shelves are pushed into the Vision Van in one go. At the destination, the parcels are picked fully automated to reduce duration of delivery and significantly increase the output of each vehicle.

The lightweight shelves developed by CIKONI play an essential role for the overall system and satisfy numerous functional requirements from tie-down and release of the load carriers up to easy loading mechanisms via integrated functional elements. The available cargo space is utilized in an optimum manner, because volume and weight directly affect the efficiency of the overall system. CIKONI stepped in with its expertise for multi material lightweight solutions from conceptual design, numerical optimization and dimensioning, detailed engineering and FE simulation up to the final delivery of the assembled shelves and carriers ready to be pushed into the Vision Van.

The innovative solution from CIKONI fulfills high optical as well as technical requirements by using bionic design principles, structural optimization and functional integration. An intelligent material mix of carbon, aluminum and sandwich materials guarantees high stability during brake application at minimum operating weight. Integral manufactured supports for load carriers with functional surfaces to minimize friction enable a flexible loading concept without additional joining steps.

The development of the Vision Van represents a transition progress in creating and handling innovations at Mercedes-Benz Vans with ways of thinking and working inspired by start-up culture. This appears also in the establishment of external partnerships: emerging companies like CIKONI get the opportunity to prove their creativity and expertise under challenging conditions and in return, contribute with short development cycles and high dynamic to the project. Together innovations are accomplished.

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