How to create impactful machines design

Sebastian Dittus interview

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On the occasion of the launch of the HS15 E and HS18 E scissor lifts from the PULSEO Generation range, we have interviewed Sebastian Dittus – Haulotte Designer. He reveals the design strategy of the Haulotte machines.

Sebastian Dittus, Haulotte Designer

He joined the group in 2012 in the innovation department. Trained in industrial design in Switzerland, Germany and France, he is in charge of the evolution of the design strategy of the Haulotte range.

First of all can you explain what Design is all about?

There is no definition engraved in marble!

Potentially present everywhere, design contributes to the creation of spaces, the communication of visual and sound messages, interfaces and the production of products and services. Thus, it gives them meaning, emotion and identity to improve their accessibility, use or experience.

This activity uses the skills and experience of the designer, made of observation, analysis, listening and technique. Design, when it is present from the very beginning of a project, then enables companies and communities to propose targeted and meaningful solutions that are a source of innovation and progress.

The design of the Haulotte machines is the result of an overall work, what are the main lines?

Our design strategy is at once global, transversal and anchored in time. First, we have carefully analyzed the ecosystem, i.e., all the people who are in contact (directly or indirectly) with MEWP. Knowing our customers’ businesses, knowing precisely who they are, how they use our machines and how they are maintained and inspected is the basis of our work. The evolution of the design, if it has an essential aesthetic component, must also and above all facilitate the work of the professionals who work on our machines.

This permanent collaborative work involves the innovation department, our design office in coordination with our production sites, our international subsidiaries, our marketing/commercial departments, our equipment rental customers and the end users. Haulotte designs innovative and complex machines that are easy to use and understand. This is what Design is all about!

How does this work of listening and observation with your customers translate into action?

Feedback from our customers and meetings with users on construction sites enable us to establish a catalog of points for improvement on the basis of which we propose new solutions. We then design prototypes, which gather these innovations, then we study them one by one. Each evolution in design must provide a visual and aesthetic response to the questions asked by our users, while facilitating the work of the teams that carry out maintenance and servicing. How do I access the platform? Where are the anchor points? The access to the batteries? Are the rotation axes solid?

The design, by playing on shapes, proportions and signage, should enable our ecosystem to « read » each of our machines at a glance and maintain an attractive and convincing perception of them.

Haulotte has an international branding strategy. The challenge is to develop a homogenous and impactful visual universe with recurring markers that are never ornamental but always at the service of functionality and legibility. They must be applicable to all machines in all countries and for all our customers.

In the Haulotte range, which machines benefit from the latest design developments?

HS18 E PRO platform

We will successively deploy this new design approach across our entire range. The new lines of the HS15/18 E scissor lifts (launched in November 2020) have been streamlined and reinforced. These models benefit from a more monolithic and homogeneous design, with a robust and refined chassis and platform and more precise and impactful lines. The platform plinth is more generous. The new Branding & Naming charter will be progressively applied to all of our ranges and will thus contribute to design consistency for better visual identification.

HS18 E PRO chassis

Are you moving towards a greater distinction between the different elements of the architecture?

We are working towards a clear visual distinction, through design and color between all elements. The three main parts of the machine will be immediately identifiable: the platform, the scissor arms and the chassis. Signage and ergonomics have also been improved to mark the points of interaction and grip for users, as well as the path to the platform and access to the batteries.

Overall, the design is evolving towards greater simplicity and clarity to enable each of our customers to better visually understand the different parts of the architecture and the functionalities of the machine.

To summarize our approach, Design must :

  • Facilitate the handling of equipment
  • Emphasize the know-how and the design quality of our products
  • Improve visual recognition of the Haulotte brand and distinguish us from our competitors
  • Guarantee the coherence and uniqueness of our ranges
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